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Title: Kiana: a Tradition of Hawaii
Author: Jarves, James Jackson
Language: English
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[Illustration: _J. Webber del._ _I. Andrews. Sc._

_A Hawaiian Chief._]


KIANA:
A TRADITION OF HAWAII.

by

JAMES J. JARVES,

Author of “History of the Hawaiian Islands,” “Parisian” and
“Italian Sights,” “Art-Hints,” &c., &c.



Boston and Cambridge:
James Munroe and Company.

London:
S. Low, Son, and Company,
Ludgate Hill.
M DCCC LVII.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
James Munroe and Company,
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of
Massachusetts.

Cambridge:
Thurston and Torry, Printers.



TO HIS MAJESTY ALEXANDER LIHOLIHO, WHO NOW SO WORTHILY FILLS THE THRONE
OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, AS KAMEHAMEHA IV., THIS TRADITION OF HIS KINGDOM
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.



PREFACE.


Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as Fiction. Every emotion,
thought, or action embodied into literature has been human experience at
some time. We can imagine nothing within the laws of nature, but what has
had or may have an actual existence. A novel, therefore, but personifies
the Truth. In giving a local interest to its actors, it introduces them
to the reader through the medium of sympathies and passions, common
to his own heart, of reason intelligible to his own mind, or of moral
sentiments that find an echo in his own soul. Its success depends upon
the skill and feeling with which the author works out his characters into
a consistent whole—creating a simple and effective unity out of his plot,
locality, and motive. Still every reader likes to feel that the persons
whose fates warm his interest in the pages of a romance, actually lived
and were as tangibly human as himself, and his degree of interest is apt
to be in ratio to his belief that they were real personages. I am glad,
therefore, to be able to assure my readers of the following facts.

In my youth I spent several years in different parts of the Pacific
Ocean, but chiefly at the Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands. While engaged
in procuring materials for their history,—first published in 1843,—I was
much struck with a tradition relating to their history by Europeans, two
and a half centuries before Cook so accidentally stumbled upon them.
Briefly it was this—

Eighteen generations of kings previous to Kamehameha I., during the reign
of Kahoukapa, or Kiana, there arrived at Hawaii, a white priest, bringing
with him an idol, which, by his persuasion, was enrolled in the calendar
of the Hawaiian gods, and a temple erected for its service. The stranger
priest acquired great influence, and left a reputation for goodness that
was green in the memories of the people of Hawaii three centuries later.
Another statement adds that a vessel was wrecked on the island, and the
captain and his sister reached the shore, where they were kindly received
and adopted into the families of the chiefs.

Without enlarging here upon the tradition, and the light my subsequent
researches threw upon it, I will simply state that I became convinced
that a Spanish priest, woman, and several men were rescued from a wreck,
landed and lived in Hawaii, and acquired power and consideration from
their superior knowledge, and for a while were even regarded as gods.
Some of them intermarried with the aborigines, and their blood still
exists (or did recently) among certain families, who pride themselves
greatly upon their foreign origin.

Other traces of their existence are perceptible in the customs, ideas,
and even the language of the natives, which last has a number of words
strikingly analogous to the Spanish of the same meaning. Captain Cook
found among them a remnant of a sword-blade and another bit of iron. They
were not strangers to this metal, and as no ores exist in their soil,
they could have derived their knowledge solely from foreign intercourse.

Soon after the conquest of Mexico, Cortez sent three vessels upon an
exploring expedition to California. After sailing as far as 29° north,
one was sent back to report progress. The other two held on and were
never heard from. Why may not one of these be the vessel that was wrecked
on Hawaii? The winds would naturally drive her in that direction, and the
date of the expedition agrees, so far as can be made out from Hawaiian
chronology, with the time of the first arrival of white men on that
island. Indeed, at that period of maritime discovery, white men could
come from no other quarter. For my part, I believe that a port of Mexico
was the starting point of the wrecked party; a conjecture which derives
some plausibility from the fact, that, when the natives offered the
whites bananas and other tropical fruits, they were familiar with them,
which would be the case, if they came from Tehuantepec, from whence
Cortez fitted out his vessel.

To absolutely identify the white strangers of Hawaii with the missing
ships of Cortez, is not now possible. But the interest in them, left
thus isolated from civilization amid savages, upon an island in the
centre of the then unknown ocean, is peculiar. Especially have I always
been curious to trace the fate of the solitary white woman,—a waif of
refinement cast thus on a barbarous shore,—and of the priest too,—to
learn how far their joint influence tempered the heathenism into which
they were thrown, or whether they were finally overcome by paganism.

Twelve years ago, while amid the scenery described in this volume, and
the customs and traditions of the natives were fresh in my mind, I began
to pen their history; but other objects prevented my going on, until
the past winter, when leisure and the advice of friends, pleased with
the subject, prompted its completion. The descriptions of the natural
features of this remarkable island, of the religion, customs, government,
and conditions of its aborigines, as well as the events in general,
are as faithful transcripts, in words, of the actual, to my personal
knowledge, as it is in my power to give.

In saying thus much for the facts, I am in duty bound to add a word for
the ideas. Prefaces, some say, are never read. It may be so. But for
myself, I like the good old custom, by which as author, or reader, I can
talk or be talked directly to. It is the only way of familiar intercourse
between two parties so essential to each other. I shall therefore speak
on.

Every tale is based upon certain ideas, which are its life-blood. Of
late, fiction has become the channel by which the topics most in the
thought of the age, or which bear directly upon its welfare, reach most
readily the popular mind. But few authors, however, can count upon
many readers, and I am not one of them. Still what a man has to say to
the public, should be his earnest thought frankly told. No one has a
monopoly of wisdom. The most gifted author cannot fill the measure of the
understanding. The humblest may give utterance to ideas, that, however
plain to most thinkers, may through him be the means of first reaching
some minds, or at least suggesting thoughts that shall leave them wiser
and happier. If what he say, has in it no substance of truth, it will
speedily come to naught. But on the contrary, if it contain simply the
seeds of truth, they will be sure to find a ripening soil somewhere in
human hearts, and bud and blossom into peace and progress. With this
motive I have spoken freely such views as have been prompted by my
experience and reflections. They are not much to read, nor much to skip.
Whichever the reader does, he carries with him my warmest wishes for his
welfare, and the hope that if he find in the Story nothing to instruct,
it may still be not without the power “to amuse.”

    CASA DAUPHINÉ,
    Piazza Maria Antonia,
    _Florence_, 1857.



KIANA: A TRADITION OF HAWAII.



CHAPTER I.

    “They that sail on the sea tell of the danger thereof; and when
    we hear it with our ears, we marvel thereat.”—_Ecclesiasticus_,
    xliii. 24.

    “The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
      The furrow followed free;
    We were the first that ever burst
      Into that silent sea.”

                              _Ancient Mariner._


To be alone on the great ocean, to feel besides the ship that bears you,
nothing human floats within your world’s horizon, begets in a thoughtful
mind a deep solemnity. The voyager is, as it were, at once brought before
the material image of eternity. Sky and sea, each recedes without limit
from his view; a circle above, a circle around, a circle underneath, no
beginning, no ending, no repose for the sight, no boundary on which to
fix the thought, but growing higher and higher, wider and wider, deeper
and deeper, as the eye gazes and finds no resting point,—both sea and
sky suggest, with overpowering force, that condition of soul which,
knowing neither time nor space, forever mounts Godward. In no mood does
Nature speak louder to the heart than in her silence. When her thunders
roll through the atmosphere and the hills tremble, the ocean surges and
the wind wails; when she laughs through her thousand notes from bird or
blossom, the heart either exults at the strife, or grows tender with
sympathy in the universal joy. But place man alone on the ocean, shrouded
in silence, with no living thing beyond his own tiny, wooden world for
companionship, he begins to realize in the mighty expanse which engulfs
his vision his own physical insignificancy. The very stars that look
down upon him, with light twinkling and faint, from the rapidity with
which they have sent their rays through distant firmaments to greet his
vision and tell him there are countless worlds of greater beauty and
higher perfection for his spirit to explore; even they deepen his feeling
of littleness, till, finally, his soul recovers its dignity in the very
magnitude of the scenery spread for its exploration. It knows that all
this is but a portion of its heritage; that earth, air and water, the
very planets that mock its curiosity, are ministering spirits, given with
all their mysteries to be finally absorbed into its own all-penetrating
nature.

Few, however, can so realize their own spirit-power, as to be calm in
a calm. A motionless ship upon a silent ocean has a phantom look. The
tall, tapering spars, the symmetrical tracery of ropes, the useless sails
in white drooping folds, the black body in sharp relief in the white
light, added to the ghost-ship,—the twin of the one in the air,—in
dimly-shadowed companionship, hull uppermost and her masts pointing
downwards in the blue water, make up a spectral picture. As day after day
passes, overhead a hot burning sun whose rays blind without rejoicing, no
ripple upon the water, no life, because neither fish nor bird can bear
the heat; the very garbage thrown overboard floating untouched, as if
destruction rejected her own; the night mantling all in darkness, making
silence still more oppressive,—for even the blocks refuse their wonted
creaking;—all this consumes the body like rust slowly eating into iron.
Nature faints and man sinks into her lassitude. He feels deserted of
his own mother. She that bore him mocks him. Perchance a cold grey sky,
pregnant with gloom, shuts down all around him, reflecting itself in the
ocean which looks even greyer and colder. The atmosphere grows barren of
light. No wind comes. Silent, motionless, and despairing, the vessel lies
upon the waters; not slumbering, for every nerve within is quickened to
unnatural keenness to catch a sign of change. It comes not. The seamen’s
hearts, too worn to pray or curse, daily sink deeper within them, like
masses of lead slowly finding their way through the fathomless depths of
the ocean. A sail, a floating spar, a shark or devil fish, anything that
were of man or beast, a shrub, the tiniest sea-snail or wildest bird,
would be welcomed as Columbus hailed the floating signs that told to his
mutinous crew a coming shore.

But none come. Weeks go by thus. Is man a god that his soul cannot fail
within him! Must he not sympathize with the surrounding inanition!
Welcome battle, welcome storm, welcome all that excites his energies,
though it consume blood and muscle; be the mind racked and the body
tortured; still man marches triumphantly on to his object. But take away
opposition, reduce him to nothingness, convince him that action begets no
result, that will is powerless, and he is no longer man. Not to act is
conscious annihilation. But Nature never wholly deserts. She leaves hope
to cheer humanity with promises that sooner or later must be fulfilled.
There is, however, no condition so destitute of all that makes man _Man_
as helpless solitude, when mind and body alike without action, stagnate
and forget their origin.

Such was the condition of the crew of a vessel about the year 1530, lying
motionless on the waters of the Pacific, not far from 25° north latitude
and 140° west longitude. The bark was of that frail class, called
caravel, scarcely fitted to navigate a small lake, much less to explore
unknown seas. Yet, in those days European navigators did not hesitate
to trust their lives and fortunes, on voyages of years’ duration, to
craft which would now be condemned even for river navigation. The one of
which we speak was of about seventy tons burden, with a high poop, which
gave a comfortable cabin, a half deck and a forecastle, raised like the
poop, sufficient to give partial shelter to the numerous crew. One mast
with a large lateen sail rose from the centre of the vessel, but her
progress was aided as much by oars as by canvas. At the masthead was a
castle-shaped box, in which the seamen could comfortably remain, either
as lookouts, or for defence. This gave to the spar a clumsy, top-heavy
look, wholly inconsistent with our modern ideas of nautical symmetry.

It was plain that the caravel had been long from port, and had suffered
much from stress of weather. Her sides were rusty grey; barnacles clung
so thickly below and above the water line, as to greatly interfere with
her sailing qualities; the seams were open, and as the hot sun poured
upon them, pitch oozed out. A tattered and threadbare sail hung loosely
from the long yard which swayed from the masthead. The cordage appeared
strained and worn to its last tension. Iron rust had eaten through and
stained the wood in all parts of the hull. If paint had ever existed, the
elements had long since eaten it up. Everything indicated long and hard
usage. Yet amid all there were signs of seamanship and discipline; for
bad and shattered as were rope, spar, and sail, everything was in its
place and in the best order its condition permitted.

Within the cabin was a weather-beaten young man, well made, of a strong
and active frame, features bronzed by long exposure to varied climates,
and fine soft hair, somewhat light in color, which even now would have
curled gracefully, had it been properly cared for. He lay ill and panting
on the transom, with his face close to the open port, gasping for air;
not that he was seriously reduced, for it was readily seen that fatigue,
anxiety and scanty fare had more to do with his weak condition than
actual disease. Near him was a rude chart of the coasts of Mexico and
adjacent sea, which he had long and carefully, and, to all appearance,
fruitlessly studied. It was covered with a labyrinth of pencil marks,
indicating a confused idea both of navigation and his present position.
He had been recently poring over it, and at last had thrown it aside as
utterly worthless, or at all events as affording him no clue by which to
extricate himself from his present situation in a sea wholly unknown to
the navigators of his day.

Near him sat a priest, whose thoughtful, benevolent face was far from
expressing despair even under their present circumstances. He talked to
the young man of the necessity of trusting themselves to the guidance
of Providence, and sought to cheer him by his own hopeful serenity and
untiring action.

Around the deck and under such shelter from the heat as they could
contrive, the crew reclined in mournful groups; some with faces hardened
into despair, and others careless or indifferent. A few only manifested
a spirit of pious resignation. The strongest seldom spoke. Their looks
were as sullen as their tempers were fierce, and if they opened their
mouths, it was to mutter or curse, daring Nature to do her worst. Nothing
but their physical debility prevented frequent violent explosions of the
pent-up irritability arising from their helpless state. Disease and
starvation were rapidly adding fresh horrors to their situation. One
seaman lay on the hard deck with a broken thigh, in which mortification
had already begun, groaning and piteously asking for water. In his thirst
he would have drank more in one hour than was allowanced to the entire
crew for a day’s consumption. Several others, whose fevered tongues
rattled from dryness, were also tossing and moaning on the rough planks,
too weak or hopeless to join in the fruitless appeal of their dying
comrade. Such water as they had was clotted with slime, and impregnated
with foul odors. Their meat was all gone, and the little bread left,
musty and worm-eaten.

All wore the look of having long struggled with adverse fortune. They
were men whose element was made up of hardship and adventure; men, who,
forgetting in one hour’s better fortune all that had brought them to
their present condition, would not hesitate to embark again on a similar
errand. Here they were, bowed in spirit, haggard in features, their
hardy limbs lying torpidly about, indifferent to death itself, but worn
to worse than death by drifting for weeks about under a pitiless sun on
an unknown sea, which the oldest of them had never heard of, and which
seemed to them as if they had arrived within the confines of stagnant
matter, where they were doomed to rot in body and decay in mind, coffined
in their vessel, whose slow destruction kept even pace with their own.

Five of their number had already died and been cast overboard. Gladly
would they have seen sharks gorge themselves on their late shipmates, as
that would have shown them that the water still contained life. But no
carrion fishes came near them. With faces upturned and glassy eyes fixed
upon the caravel, those corpses floated about them so long that the crew
were at last afraid to look over the bulwarks for fear of seeing what
they desired so much to forget.

But humanity had not altogether abandoned them. The frailest in body
among that vessel’s company proved the strongest in faith and action. A
woman was of their number. Consuming even less of their provisions than
the others, she reserved herself, and in great measure her allowance of
food, for those whose necessity she considered as greater than her own.
At all hours was she to be seen moving quietly about, speaking hope and
courage to one, giving to eat or drink to another, or fanning the hot
brow of a half delirious sufferer, while she talked to him of a home into
which no suffering could enter, if the heart once were right. Especially
was she devoted to the young man in the cabin. He evidently relied even
more upon her than upon the priest, and imbibed fresh strength and hope
from her voice and example. The priest was equally unwearied with his
bodily aid and spiritual counsel to the crew. Thus it was that amid the
most trying of the experiences of ocean-life, despair did not altogether
quench hope.

Yet what situation could be more cheerless! One altogether similar in
the history of navigation had never occurred before, and by the hurried
course of discovery and civilization, would not again occur. They were
literally ALONE, drifting on an unknown, motionless sea. No winds stirred
its surface; no birds flew by; no fishes came up from beneath their keel;
there was no change except from the burning day to the feverish night,
which brought with it no cooling dew, nor any sign to excite a sailor’s
hope. Although they could not know the fact, not a vessel beside theirs
for thousands of miles east or west, north or south, floated on that
ocean. Driven thither against their wills, they were the first to explore
its solitude. It was true that continents and archipelagoes thickly
peopled were around them, but for all they knew, they were being carried
by an irresistible fate to the boundary of nature, whence they would drop
into a fathomless void. They were therefore literally ALONE.



CHAPTER II.

    “Suddaine they see from midst of all the maine,
      The surging waters like a Mountain rise,
    And the great Sea, puft up with proud Disdaine,
      To swell above the measure of his guise,
    Threatening to devoure all that his Powre despise.”

                                              SPENSER.


The caravel in question was more than ordinarily frail, having been
hastily equipped with two others from the port of Tehuantepec in Mexico,
at the order of Cortez for the exploration of the continent about and
above the gulf of California. It is true, an experienced seaman named
Grijalva had been put in command, and he had been so far successful as
to have reached the twenty-ninth degree of north latitude. Thence one
vessel had been sent back with an account of his progress. The other
two continued their explorations northward, with the hope of arriving
at that kingdom so rich in precious metals, of which they had heard so
many rumors from the recently conquered Mexicans. Creeping coastwise
slowly upward, many fine bays with shores rich in verdure met their
view, but of gold they found no traces, and of inhabitants, with the
exception of an occasional glimpse of a naked savage, who ran terrified
away, they were equally unsuccessful. Yet they were navigating waters,
the tributary streams of which were literally bedded in gold. But
neither the time nor people to which this treasure was to be disclosed
had arrived. Consequently, Grijalva, with his eyes blinded to what was
constantly within his reach, saw nothing but a vast wilderness, which
promised neither wealth nor honor as the reward of further exploration.
Reluctantly, therefore, he turned his course southward. That night a
severe gale came on, and both caravels were driven far from their course
towards the southwest. It was in vain with such unseaworthy vessels that
Grijalva sought to regain the coast. The wind blew him still farther
into unknown seas, which daily became more tempestuous, until his
storm-shattered vessel sank in sight of her scarcely better conditioned
consort, engulfing all on board.

This sight for the moment chilled the hearts of the surviving crew,
and paralyzed their exertions. But Spanish seamen and the soldiers of
Cortez were too accustomed to death in every form, to long despair. They
redoubled their efforts, and by bailing and cautious steering, keeping
the vessel directly before the wind, weathered the gale, which the next
day was succeeded by the fatal calm, already described.

There were on board some twenty persons, veterans in the hardships and
conflicts of the new world. Their commander was the young man that lay
exhausted in the cabin. He spoke to the woman who now sat with his head
on her lap, while she gave him such meagre refreshment as their famished
bark afforded. His name was Juan Alvirez. Hers was Beatriz. They were
brother and sister. He had been a volunteer with Narvaez, and after his
defeat enlisted under Cortez, and was present at the siege of Mexico, and
all the subsequent expeditions of his commander, to whom he was greatly
attached. This attachment was founded in a congeniality of temperament,
which led him to emulate the heroic daring and unflinching perseverance
of Cortez, while his more powerful intellect was equally an object of
his profound admiration. With the same thirst for adventure, the same
chivalric courage, the same devotion to the Catholic worship, the same
contempt for the rights, feelings or sufferings of others so that his own
desire was gained, devout and loyal, with deep affections, easily moved
to anger or kindness, childlike in his impulses, yet strong in action,
Alvirez in most points, except judgment, might be considered a Cortez
on a small scale. Indeed, his intimacy with him, begun when Alvirez was
not twenty years of age, had, by strengthening the natural traits of
character so similar to his own, quite merged him into his commander. His
individuality was shown chiefly in executing what Cortez ordered, and in
blind though gallant acts of devotion, upon the spur of emergency, in
which prudence or generalship were not often considered.

Alvirez was frank and social. These qualities joined to his tried
bravery made him the favorite of all. Even the Mexicans who had so
often suffered from his arm, learned to distinguish and admire in him
that generous fearlessness to all danger, which pitiless to them, was
self-devoted to his own cause, and stooping to no artifice in action,
went direct to its mark, like the swoop of a hawk upon its quarry. With
them he was known as Tonatiuh, ‘the child of the sun,’ from his burning
glance and stroke as quick as light. His thirst for adventure keeping him
in continual action, he gladly volunteered to command the soldiery in the
expeditions which Cortez sent to explore and subdue the unknown regions
to the north of Mexico.

Not yet in the prime of life, we find this Spanish cavalier, faint from
exertions which had wearied out all on board, lying half helpless,
grieving over the fate of the brave seamen who had so long and skilfully
kept the little squadron afloat.

His sister Beatriz shared many of these traits with her brother. She was
as brave, self-devoted, ardent, and impulsive as he, but true womanhood
and a benevolence of heart which instinctively led her to seek the
happiness of those with whom she was, made her in conduct an altogether
different being. Deeply imbued with the Roman Catholic faith, while
she sedulously conformed to the demands of its ritual, its principles
tempered by her own native goodness and purity, reflected through her
peace and good will towards all men. Juan was all energy and action.
His will flowed from desire like a torrent, rending asunder its natural
barriers, and spreading mingled ruin and fertility in its course. Her
will was deep, calm, and sure, without noise, with no sudden movement,
but like the quiet uprising of an ocean-tide, it steadily rose, floating
all things safely higher and still higher on its bosom, until they
attained its own level. All about her felt its movement, wondered at the
effect, and welcomed the cause.

Her influence over rude men was not the result of charms that most
attract the common eye. The oval of her head was faultless. Her hair
was of ethereal softness, and seemed to take its hue and character from
her mind rather than from nature’s pigments. Considering her race, her
complexion was rare, being blonde. Warmth, firmness, decision, and much
heart-suffering, were denoted by her mouth. Her eyes spoke at will the
language of her soul, or kept its emotions as a sealed book. Yet they
were not beautiful in the strictly physical sense, being in repose
somewhat lifeless in color, but when they talked, an illumination as if
from another sphere overspread her countenance, and surrounded her entire
person with an atmosphere radiant with spirit emotion. So gentle, yet so
penetrating was her speech, that it seemed as though she breathed her
language. To the listener it was as if some delicious strain of music
had passed through him, harmonizing his whole nature. This, no doubt,
was owing rather to her purity and earnestness, as they found language
and a responsive echo and all that was true and good in others, than to
any wonderful endowment of voice. Her vital organization being acute
and generous, she was extremely susceptible to all life emotions, yet
so well-balanced was her character, which was the result of a varied
experience, garnered into wisdom, that came more from intuition than out
of the cold processes of reason, that rarely was she otherwise than the
same quiet high-toned woman, as persuasive to good by her presence, as
faithful to it by her example. None, therefore, asked her age, debated
her beauty, or questioned her motives. All, even the mercenary soldier,
the profane seamen, and the untutored Indian, felt themselves better,
happier and safer, for having her among them. Her sad, sympathizing face,
her winning speech, generous action, and noiseless, graceful carriage,
were to them more of the Madonna than of the earth-woman. Yet she was
strictly human, differing from others of her sex only in being a larger
type of God’s handiwork, with fuller capacities both to receive and give,
whether of suffering or joy. The key to her character was her invariably
following her own noble instincts, sanctioned and aided as they were
by the principles of her faith. In this respect, she was fortunate in
possessing for her confessor the priest who was with them. He was a
Dominican monk, Olmedo by name, and although attached by education to
his theology, was of enlarged and humane mind, and felt that love rather
than force was the only sure principle of conversion of the heathen to
Christianity.

Olmedo had come from Spain with the father of Alvirez, who held a post
of trust in Cuba. Thence he followed Cortez to Mexico, and on repeated
occasions had done much to soften his fanaticism, and inspire him with
a more humane policy towards the unhappy Indians. When Alvirez set out
on the present expedition, his sister and Olmedo determined to accompany
him; the former from her love for Juan, and the latter from attachment to
both, and the hope that he might find a field for missionary labor, in
which the principles that animated him and Beatriz might have free scope,
unneutralized by the brutality and excesses of the miscalled soldiers of
the Cross.

The other members of the caravel’s company need just now no special
mention, except that although bred in the Cortez school of blood and
rapine, they were, almost unconsciously to themselves, influenced much
not only by the high toned courage and unflinching perseverance of
their commander, but still more by the purer examples and earnest faith
of Beatriz and Olmedo; each of whom, as opportunity offered, sought
to deepen this impression, and to persuade them that there was truer
treasure on earth than even the gold for which they lavished their
blood, and better enjoyment to be found than in the brutal indulgence
of base passions. There was, in consequence, in most of them a devotion
to their leader and confessor, loftier and more sincere than the force
of discipline, or the ordinary inspiration of their religion, because
founded on an appeal to their hearts. For Beatriz the rudest one among
them would willingly have shed all his blood to save a drop of hers.

“May the Holy Mother receive their souls,” somewhat abruptly exclaimed
Juan, who had been musing upon the fate of Grijalva. His sister did not
reply, except by a deep sigh, feeling that silence best expressed her
sympathy with her brother’s ejaculation.

Juan and those of the crew who now remained alive, exhausted by their
sufferings and labors, soon sunk into a sound sleep. Olmedo and Beatriz
were alone left awake, and avoiding by a common instinct the past, they
talked only of their present situation and probable future. There was
nothing in their external conditions to authorize hope for maiden or
priest; yet a reliance on divine care so completely filled their hearts,
that although no light penetrated their ocean-horizon, each felt and
spoke words of encouragement to the other.

While they talked, light breezes began in variable puffs to stir the
sails. As the wind increased, it grew contrary to the course for Mexico,
yet it was balmy, and as the sea under its influence began to rise and
fall in gentle swells, the air became cooler, and the sky was gradually
interspersed with fleecy clouds which occasionally shed a little rain.

Awakening Juan and the crew, Olmedo pointed to the clouds, which,
driving before them, seemed to beckon to some unknown haven beyond. “Our
deliverance has come,” exclaimed he; “let us lose no time in welcoming
the breeze.”

“We cannot reach Mexico with this wind,” said Juan glancing aloft; then,
as his spirits revived with the brightening prospect, he gaily added,
“Let us follow whither it blows; new fields of adventure may repay us for
those we have lost.”

“My son,” solemnly replied Olmedo, “we are a feeble band, but trusting in
Him who ordereth all things, we may accept with gratitude the auspicious
breeze; not to carry us to new scenes of slaughter, but in the hope that
He who has preserved us alike from the storm and calm, reserves us for a
more noble mission.”

“What say you, Beatriz, is father Olmedo right?” asked Juan, more to hear
her voice than as desiring her opinion, which he knew would conform to
her confessor’s.

“Dear brother, our father is right. Orphans that we are, let us abandon
ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Virgin and the saints. They will
lead us to the work they have for us to do.”

To the followers of Alvirez, any course which promised a new excitement
or conquest was welcome. They therefore bestirred themselves with such
alacrity as their famished condition permitted. In a short time the
caravel was going before the wind with all the speed she was capable of,
while the crew, excepting the necessary watch, again betook themselves to
the repose they so greatly needed, and which, sustained as it now was by
hope, did much to revive their strength.



CHAPTER III.

    “My dream is of an island place
    Which distant seas keep lonely;
    A noble island, in whose face
    The stars are watchers only.
    Those bright still stars! they need not seem
    Brighter or stiller in my dream.”

                      ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.


In the nineteenth degree of north latitude, and one hundred and
fifty-five degrees west, lies a large and important island, one of
a group stretching for several hundred miles in a north-westerly
direction. At the date of this tale, it was wholly unknown, except to its
aborigines. Situated in the centre of the vast North Pacific, not another
inhabitable land within thousands of miles, it was quietly biding its
destiny, when in the circumnavigating advance of civilization westward
to its original seat in the Orient, it should become a new centre of
commerce and Christianity; and, as it were, an INN of nature’s own
building on the great highway of nations.

Up to this time, however, not a sail had ever been seen from its shores.
Nothing had ever reached them within the memories of its population, to
disprove to them that their horizon was not the limits of the world, and
that they were not its sole possessors. It is true, that in the songs of
their bards, there were faint traces of a more extended knowledge, but
so faint as to have lost all meaning to the masses, who in themselves saw
the entire human race.

Hawaii, for such was the aboriginal name of the largest and easternmost
island, was a fitting ocean-beacon to guide the mariner to hospitable
shores. Rising as it does fourteen thousand feet above the level of the
sea, snow-capped in places, in others shooting up thick masses of fire
and smoke from active volcanoes, it could be seen for a great distance
on the water, except, as was often the case, it was shrouded in dense
clouds. Generally, either the gigantic dome of Mauna Loa, which embosomed
an active crater of twenty-seven miles in circumference on its summit,
which was more than two and a half miles high, or the still loftier,
craggy and frost-clad peaks of Mauna Kea, met the sight long before
its picturesque coast-line came into view. As usually seen at a long
distance, these two mountain summits, so nigh each other and yet so
unlike in outline, seemingly repose on a bed of clouds, like celestial
islands floating in ether. This illusion is the more complete from their
great elevation, and coming as they do with their lower drapery of vapor,
so suddenly upon the sight of the voyager, after weeks, and, as it often
happens, months of ocean solitude.

Nowhere does nature display a more active laboratory or on a grander
scale. At her bidding, fire and water here meet, and, amid throes,
explosions, upheavings and submergings, the outpourings of liquid rock,
the roars of a burning ocean, hissing, recoiling and steaming at the base
of fiery mountains, which amid quakings and thunders shoot up high into
air, not only flame and smoke, but give birth to other mountains, which
run in fluid masses to the shore forming new coast-lines, she gradually
creates to herself fresh domains out of the fathomless sea, destined by
a slower and more peaceful process to be finally fitted for the abode of
man. For ages before the human race appeared, this fierce labor had been
going on. Slowly decreasing in violence as the solid fabric arose from
the sea, the vegetable and animal kingdom at last successively claimed
their right to colonize the land thus prepared for them. Nature, however,
had not yet finished the substructure; for although she had extinguished
a portion of her fires and allowed the forests to grow in some spots in
undisturbed luxuriance, yet there were others still active and on a scale
to be seen nowhere else on the globe. At intervals, rarer as they became
older, they belched forth ruin, to add in time greater stability and more
fertility to the new-formed earth.

Even to this day, Hawaii continues in a transition state. The vast
agencies to which the island owes its origin, not unfrequently shake it
to its centre, giving a new impetus to its geological growth. Sometimes
it rocks, so it seems, on its centre, and alternately rising and falling,
the ocean invades the land, sweeping from the coast by its fast rushing
tide,—piled up by its velocity into such a wall of water as in its recoil
overwhelmed Pharaoh’s host in the Red Sea,—whole villages, and carrying
off numbers of their struggling population to perish in its vortex. So
rapid is its reflux and over so vast a space, that it often leaves bare
its own bed, with the finny tribes stranded amid its coral forests, or
flapping helplessly on its sandy bottom. When this phenomenon occurs it
is generally in quick successive waves, without previous warning, and so
rapidly, that were it not for the amphibious habits of the islanders, the
destruction of life would be great.

The sister islands further to the west have long since ceased to fear
earthquake or volcanic eruption. Their surfaces are covered with extinct
craters, lined in general with verdure and melodious with the notes of
birds. Around each of the group, by the labors of the tiniest of her
creatures, as if to show how the feeblest agencies at her bidding can
control the strongest, Nature is slowly but surely constructing a coral
frame, a fit setting to her sunny picture. The busy little zoöphyte, by
its minute industry sets that bound to the ocean, which Canute in all his
power was unable to do. Over its barriers and through its vegetable-like
forms, trees and shrubs, blossoms and flowers, rich in every hue which
gives beauty to the land, the rushing wave can pass only by giving toll
to these water bees. They have not to seek their food, but they make the
everlasting waters bring it to their door, and pour over them, in their
struggle to reach the shore, a glad symphony of power and praise.

On the northeast of Hawaii lies a deep bay, fringed with coral reefs,
but in many places presenting high cliffs, precipitous masses of volcanic
rock, rent by deep chasms, or forming valleys through which pour streams
of fresh water along banks of surpassing fertility. Everywhere the
soil is good and the vegetation profuse. Numerous cascades tumble from
the hills in all directions, giving life and music to the scene. Some
are mere threads of water lost in spray amid rainbow arches, before
reaching the rocky basins underneath. Others shoot from precipices,
waving, foaming torrents, which thunder over stream-worn rocks, far
away beneath in sunless and almost inaccessible dells. Emerging from
these into placid rivers, they flow quietly on till meeting the incoming
surges of the ocean, which, as they struggle over the coral bars at
their mouths, whiten their surfaces with foam and break into eddies and
uncertain currents, creating trying navigation for the frail canoes of
the islanders.

The vegetation was unequal in luxuriance. In some spots it pushed its
verdure quite into the brine, which not unfrequently watered the roots
of trees that overhung it. In others, broad belts of sand came between
the grasses and the water. These glistened in the sun’s rays in contrast
with the back ground of dense green, like burnished metal. Earth, the
provident mother, had not, however, so overdone her good works, as in
some of the more southern groups to provide a meal without other labor
than plucking. There were fine groves of the different species of
food-bearing palms,—orchards of bread-fruit and other kinds of trees,
from which man could derive both sustenance and material to clothe and
house him; but for these purposes and the culture of the taro plant,
which was his main resource, no little labor and skill were necessary.

Metals were unknown. The animal and feathered creature were scanty
in species and numbers, and much of the island surface was still a
wilderness of basaltic rock or fields of lava and cinders. But such
was the salubrity of the climate and the activity of nature, that
its resources for the comfort, and to a considerable degree of the
civilization of man, were making rapid development; not sufficient as yet
to release him from the active exercise of his faculties, and thus induce
a sensual repose, but just enough to reward him for exertion, while
indolence was sure to beget actual want.

The little caravel with her famished and sickly crew that we left in
the midst of the North Pacific, rolling before a fresh breeze from the
northeast, which proved to be the regular trade-wind, had continued her
course for several days in the same direction. During this time, several
others of the ship’s company had died and been cast overboard. Frequent
showers, and the occasional catching of flying-fish, and now and then a
dolphin or porpoise, did somewhat to restore the physical energies of
the survivors, while the balmy condition of the air, the exhilaration of
rapid motion, and the prospect of novel adventure, had much weight in
raising the spirits of all.

Still there were no indications of land. The sun had set for the tenth
time behind the same purple canopy of clouds; the same birds screamed
and flew overhead; the waves rose and toppled after them with gushing
foam, just so high and no higher; the sails bellied out with monotonous
fulness; not a rope was stirred nor oar moved; on, on, rolled the
caravel, now dipping this bulwark, now that, surging aside the water and
trailing it in her wake with the noise of a mill-course; no variety,
except that the north-star sank lower each night, until the very evenness
of their way, hour answering to hour and day to day, began to beget
in them a feeling of doubt as to the actual existence of land in the
direction they were heading. This, combined with the weariness which
inevitably steals over the senses when long at sea without change, led
to greater carelessness in the night-watches. They fancied themselves
borne onward by a fate which their own precautions could neither alter
nor avert. Hence it was, that having worn out conjecture and argument as
to their positive and probable destiny, they had on the tenth evening
more than ordinarily abandoned themselves to chance. The day had been
thicker than usual, and there was no light at night except the uncertain
twinkling of stars through driving masses of clouds.

All except the helmsman slept. He dozed. Habit kept him sufficiently
awake to keep the caravel to her course, but nothing more. Suddenly a
dull, weighty sound was heard, like the roll of heavy waters, dying
slowly away in the distance. Another; then another; quicker and quicker,
each louder and nearer. The caravel was lifted high on one sea and fell
heavily into the trough of another, rolling so uneasily as to start up
all on board. At this moment the pilot, catching the gleam of a long line
of breakers, hoarsely shouted “all hands, quick, or by the saints we are
lost,” at the same moment putting the helm hard down to bring her into
the wind. He was too late. The craft fell broadside into the rollers and
became unmanageable. The mast snapped off close to the deck, and was
pitched into the water to the leeward. At the same instant a grinding,
crushing sound was heard underneath, as the caravel was lifted and thrown
heavily upon the reef, breaking in the floor timbers and flooding her
hold with water. It was too dark to distinguish anything but the white
crest of the breakers all around, while their noise prevented any orders
being distinctly heard. Indeed so sudden and complete was the disaster,
that there was nothing to be done by the crew but to cling to the wreck
and passively await their fate. Death came soon to a number, who were
washed overboard and taken by the undertow seaward, where sharks fed
upon them. Waves washed over the vessel in quick succession, gradually
breaking her up. The after cabin held together longest, affording some
shelter to its occupants. In a little while, however, even this was gone.
All left on board were floated off, they knew not whither, clinging
to whatever they could grasp, and rolled over in the surf until most
of them became insensible. Beatriz, however, retained her presence of
mind, and aided by the almost superhuman efforts of Tolta, a Mexican
captive, was finally cast upon a soft beach, without other injury than a
few skin bruises and the swallowing of a little water, of which she was
soon relieved. It was too dark to learn the fate of the others. Dragging
themselves beyond the wash of the breakers, in anxious suspense they
awaited daybreak to disclose more fully their situation.



CHAPTER IV.

          “Obedient to the light
    That shone within his soul, he went, pursuing
    The windings of the dell. The rivulet,
    Wanton and wild, through many a green ravine
    Beneath the forest flowed.”

                                         SHELLEY.


Within the tropics the sun lights up the earth or leaves it, with
scarcely any of the mysterious greeting or farewell, with which in more
northern climates he loiters on his way, dyeing the landscape with subtle
gradations of colors, from the fullest display of his mingled glories
in a yellow and purple blaze, to the faintest hues of every shade,
delicate and aerial, like the gossamer robes of spirit land. His coming
is punctual and his welcome hearty. Objects take their hue and shape from
out of the night almost instantaneously, changing from black to golden
brightness, as by the touch of magic. There is loss of beauty to the eye
in this, though the earth may gain in fertility from not having to wait
so long for the fruitful warmth.

It was well nigh morning when the caravel broke up in the reef. The air
was warm, and although the surf roared as loudly as ever, the wind had
gone down. Soon the sun began to appear above the horizon. Beatriz,
availing herself of its earliest light, began to search for her brother
and his company. Tolta was active also. Bits of the wreck strewed the
beach, with here and there articles that might still be of service, but
she paid no attention to them. Hurriedly looking about her, hoping yet
fearful, she espied a body half-buried in the sand. In an instant she was
beside it, but it was one of the crew, stiff and cold. There was no time
to spare for a corpse, so she continued her search for the living. An
object half hidden amid low shrubbery caught her eye. Hastening thither,
she saw the well known white robe of Olmedo. With a cry of joy she
rushed to it, and then breathlessly knelt at his side, placing her hand
upon Olmedo’s heart and her mouth close to his, to detect any signs of
life. He was warm and breathing. His eyes slowly opened, and recognizing
Beatriz, for a moment he seemed to have forgotten the wreck, and to
imagine himself still at sea. As he stretched out his hand with a smile,
to give her his wonted welcome, she seized it passionately, kissed it and
burst into tears.

The good father, surprised at this feeling in one usually so calm, yet
carried away by it without knowing why, pressed her hand warmly in
return, while a tear found its way also to his eye. Instantly recovering
her usual manner, Beatriz asked if he could give her tidings of Juan.

The question recalled to Olmedo the disaster of the night. He had himself
been thrown ashore, on top of a plank to which he had clung at the
breaking up of the caravel, and had scrambled up the beach, until he
reached the bushes, where he had been found half gone in faintness and
sleep.

At the name of Juan he started to his feet and said, “Let us lose no time
in looking for him. The wreck was so sudden that human efforts could not
have availed to save any one. God may have brought him safely to shore as
he has us.”

They had not gone far before a well known voice was heard calling loudly
upon Beatriz. In an instant, she was clasped in the embrace of her
brother. He had rushed from a neighboring grove, as he caught sight of
his sister, and now the two in their sudden joy clung to each other with
mingled sobs and laughter; for being twins their active affections had
been formed together in one maternal mould.

Juan led the party to the spot from which he had emerged, where they
found three of the seamen. It seems that Juan had reached the land,
somewhat bruised, in company with them, and the four had spent their
time in searching for Beatriz and others of the crew, but owing to the
darkness of the night and the loudness of the surf, they were neither
seen nor heard. Farther search assured them that they were the sole
survivors of the wreck. Accordingly having secured the few objects of
utility that had been thrown ashore from it, they began to explore their
new home in reference to their future wants.

The land was much broken and thickly covered with vegetation, some of
which was familiar to them from being common to the “tierra caliente”
of Mexico. As they wandered inland they came to cultivated patches
of yam and the sweet potato. Many of the fields were enclosed in well
constructed stone walls. They were therefore in an inhabited land, and,
as they thought, must soon meet the tillers of the soil. Bananas and
other fruit hung within their reach. Numerous paths intersected grounds,
which were divided into square or oblong lots, surrounded by dykes,
planted with the broad leafed, nutritious taro, and irrigated by so
admirable a network of water-courses as to extort from all exclamations
of surprise. Following up the most trodden of these paths, they came to
a retired valley embosomed amid forest-clad hills, with a quiet stream
flowing through its centre, and cultivated as far up as the eye could
see, in the same manner as the fields through which they had passed. Soon
houses came into view. They were in clusters, low, of thatch, raised
on embankments, with stone pavements around them, or fenced in by rude
palisades.

Expecting each minute to meet the owners, they proceeded cautiously
towards them. They were disappointed, however, for not a human being
appeared; not even a dog or domestic animal of any kind; the air was
still and the sun hot; there was no hum of insects or song of birds;
the sole life that met their view was now and then a stray lizard, that
glided so quickly and silently away as but to make the surrounding
stillness still more sensible.

They began to distrust their senses. Were they in an enchanted land? Was
their shipwreck real, or were they dreaming? Their very voices seemed to
die out in the universal silence. They gathered fruit and eat, and this
reassured them of the reality of their appetites at least, but their own
shadows as they lengthened before them seemed unreal, while those of tree
and rock cast spectral forms about their path.

Terrible and oppressive grew upon them the ambiguity of their position.
Were they watched and being led by enchantment into the power of savage
foes, or were they tantalized by illusions, like the dreams of starving
men who rave of dainties ever within their reach? What meant this life
without life, harvest without reapers, houses without owners, this
atmosphere without insect-hum or bird-song? The very waters enclosed in
rocky basins, or overshadowed by motionless foliage, were unrippled by
current or wave, and repeating the landscape in their still depths, made
it even more unreal. The gracefully shaped canoes which floated upon them
without moving, looked as if painted upon the surface of the stream.

Juan’s impatient spirit chafed for want of action. “By the Holy Mass,
father Olmedo,” he cried, “this silence beats that which made us hold
our breaths on the night when we marched out of Mexico, thinking we
were stealing away unseen from those red devils, when tens of thousands
of their impish eyes were glaring upon us, awaiting the signal to drag
us to their damnable temples. Well must you remember it, and how sad a
night they made of it to us, after the silence was once broken by their
infernal yells, as they dragged away so many of our companions to have
their hearts torn from their living bodies, as offerings to their hideous
war-god. Jesu Maria! I like not this awful stillness. Give me rather a
hundred foes and my own trusty horse, that I might dash among them with
our old battle-cry;”—and in the excitement of the moment, he sprang
forward, waved his sword and shouted at the top of his voice, “At them,
cavaliers; Santiago for Spain.”

“Ah! I have started you at last,” he exultingly exclaimed. “Hark! By the
Holy Virgin, they reply in our blessed language. A dozen wax candles
for our Lady’s shrine for this, as soon as I can get them,—we are among
friends, Beatriz.”

“You mistake, Juan,” replied Beatriz. “The words you hear are only your
own sent back from the hills.”

Juan, distrusting her more acute senses, again shouted, and convinced
himself that it was only the rocks that mockingly echoed the shout. It
was the first time since their creation, that they had given back a sound
foreign to their own shores, and it seemed to linger long among them as
if they relished its notes. Then the silence brooded over the scene more
ominously than before, as no foes appeared, and no human voice sent back
the defiance. Tolta’s eyes, however, glared furiously on Juan at his
ill-timed allusion to “La Noche Triste,” but it was only for a moment.
Beatriz had observed the look, and in a low whisper said to Juan, “Nay,
brother, forbear, that night was a sad one to many besides ourselves.
Why provoke Tolta to revengeful thoughts? He has done us both faithful
service. For my sake respect his feelings.”

Chafed as he was at the mysterious silence, which only angered him,
while it awed, not through fear, but from the depths of its repose, the
hearts of Olmedo and Beatriz, who found something in it kindred to their
own position, Juan’s hasty impulse would have been to have vented his
irritation upon the Mexican, but a second look from his sister restored
his better nature, and he frankly held out his hand to him, exclaiming,
“Pardon my hastiness, Tolta, I meant not to vex you.”

The Mexican’s features resumed their usual apathy, and no one would have
supposed from them, that an emotion had ever touched his heart. Yet among
them all, no eye or ear was keener than his, no nature more sensitive,
none so quick in its perceptions when touched in its own interests or
passions, and none more patient, outwardly forbearing, and inwardly
revengeful, for he was faithful to self-immolation in his friendship, and
equally so in his enmity.

In him love to the individual and hate to the Spanish race were so
interwoven, that it would have been impossible for himself to foresee
how he should act on any occasion which might afford scope for either
passion. He was an Aztec by birth, of the race of the priesthood, young,
accustomed to arms, and learned in the lore of his race; at heart a
worshipper of their idols, though a forced baptism, and the necessities
of a captive, made him nominally a Christian. Manuel was the name
bestowed in baptism, but I prefer to retain that of his birth. In him
lay dormant all those qualities which marked the downfall of his nation.
He was both subtle and open, gentle and fierce; in his domestic relations
inclined to love and peace, refined and courteous; in his faith believing
in one God of “perfection and purity,” yet delighting in smearing the
altars of terrible deities with human gore; a tiger in rage, and a lamb
in sentiment; in short, combining in his own breast the instincts of
brute and man, with no harmonizing principle to keep him in permanent
peaceful relations with himself or his kind. He believed in peace and
purity, and delighted in war and cruelty, displaying to his enemies
either open and irreconcilable hatred, or concealing revenge under the
mask of courtesy and kindness, nay, almost servility, at the same time
recognizing no principles of humanity or religion which interfered with
his desires. As a conqueror, he was imperious; as a captive, abject.
But the native pride and fierceness of his race, so long dominant among
servile tribes, ill adapted him to his present anomalous state, in which,
while feeling himself partly treated as a friend, he could not forget the
events so recent in the history of his race which had made him in reality
a slave. Although he brooded much over his own altered destinies and his
country’s fall, yet, while with Beatriz, the gentle principle in his
nature became active, and he felt soothed and grateful.

Concord being restored, the little party footed their way towards a
cluster of houses of more pretension than the others, built upon a
slight eminence, terraced on all sides with stone work, and having a
flight of steps to the summit. This was walled in, and gave sufficient
area to enclose quite a hamlet. Indeed it might be considered a
fortification of no slight strength, where fire-arms were unknown.

They proceeded cautiously up the steps, stimulated by curiosity, and
thinking it better to brave openly and promptly any danger that might
threaten, as from experience they knew that no demeanor imposes more
powerfully upon barbarians than courage. To this course Tolta advised
them. He was the least affected by the singularity of their position,
and seemed in many things to recognize a similarity in the degree of
civilization and manner of cultivation, as well as in the articles
themselves, to the habits and productions of tribes on the southern
frontiers of his own country, though the entire absence of precious
metals, and any altars or edifices which indicated the worship of
sanguinary deities, puzzled him not a little.

Immediately within the wall, and bordering the main avenue, leading to a
large and commodious house, were many rudely carved wooden images, with
round staring eyes and grinning mouths. Before them were the remains of
fruit, and about them were hung wreaths of flowers, indicating that they
were held in reverence. Passing between them, Juan felt disposed to try
the temper of his sword upon their awkwardly shaped legs and arms for
practice, and to express his abhorrence of what he termed blasphemy,
quite forgetful that in his own land images of the Virgin and saints,
some scarcely better executed, were common to every street and by
every roadside, and that before them were lamps constantly burning and
offerings of flowers placed.

Olmedo’s better judgment checked him. “This indeed may be, my son, as
you say, a device of Satan to turn their hearts from the true worship;
but let us learn more before we act. These very offerings and idols
prove the necessity of worship to the darkened minds of their makers,
and from these false symbols we may by persuasion turn them to the holy
ones of our religion. Remember the Master’s charge to Peter, when he
would have taken the sword. We have had too much of that, and too many
of your brothers in arms have already perished by the sword. We have
been led hither for some wise purpose. Be peaceful and patient. God will
disclose his design in due season. In the meantime, let us respect all
that we see, and if the people of this silent valley show themselves,
meet them with the cross aloft and open hands. We are too few to contend
against a multitude, though not to persuade them by courtesy and our very
helplessness to peace and kindness. If none appear, let us use these good
gifts, as provided by Him who has led us thither.”

Juan replied: “By my troth, father, I would clip off the heads of a few
of these ugly monsters, if for no other motive than to call up a host
of the evil spirits that possess them, that I might do them battle. You
speak truth, however, and I will be patient. Hurry on, my men, let us
explore this sanctuary, and see if we can start out any one to give us
the hospitality we so sorely need.”

Beatriz, who feared his hasty mood, stopped him as he was about to enter
the large house. “No, Juan, let me go in first. The inmates, if any
there be, may slumber; the presence of a maiden,” said she, “will create
neither alarm nor fear. I will enter first.”

So saying, she drew aside the heavy cloth which hung at the door and went
in. Olmedo not heeding her request to Juan, entered immediately after,
but not soon enough to anticipate Tolta, who glided in before him as
noiselessly as a shadow. Juan and the others without further question
followed after.

They found themselves in a spacious room formed by white posts driven
into the ground, with rafters springing from them, making a lofty roof,
covered throughout with thatch, fastened on in the neatest manner with
neatly braided cord. The floor was spread with white mats. Every part
was scrupulously clean. There were raised divans of fine mats variously
colored, and as pliable as the coarser cloths of Europe. These invited
repose, though the pillows being of wood covered with matting, indicated
no effeminacy in the slumbers of their owners. Several of these divans
were curtained by gaily painted cloths, differing in texture from
anything they had seen before. It was something between paper and the
cotton fabrics of Mexico. Garments of the same material, but of softer
and finer quality hung about the walls. There were also wooden bowls
of beautiful grain, highly polished and indicating no slight degree of
mechanical skill; also vessels for water, formed from the gourd plant
and prettily ornamented; fans, graceful plumes of crimson and golden
feathers, protective armor of net or basket work, war clubs, spears and
other weapons. In fine, they found themselves within a house, which
afforded all that was necessary to their wants in that climate, and much
that showed no inconsiderable degree of refinement and taste, but no one
to challenge their intrusion.

The other houses presented a similar sight. They ransacked everywhere
to find some one to explain the unaccountable desertion. There had been
no haste. The inhabitants had not fled in fear. Everything was in its
natural place and condition, just as were the household effects of the
Pompeiians, when Vesuvius buried them in lava and ashes. But here the
mystery was inexplicable. Evidently the desertion had not been very
recent. Some weeks must have passed. Their own appearance, therefore,
could not be connected with it. There was not an article that could
properly belong to such domestic circles that was wanting, and all in the
best condition and ready for use. Everything, however, that had life had
been carefully removed. Even the usual tenants of deserted habitations,
rats, were missing. The awe that almost mastered them in the silence of
the open valley, no longer clung to them in the confined walls of human
make. Curiosity was now uppermost. They talked freely and loudly, and
busied themselves with conjectures to solve the wonder, but with no other
result than to weary their minds without any satisfactory answer.

“At all events,” said Juan, “all but drowned in the morning, with our
brave caravel ground to pieces on the rocks, and most of our poor seamen
a prey to the fishes, here we are at night well housed, with food at
hand, and no greedy innkeeper’s face to suggest a long bill. For my part
let’s to sleep. This is much more comfortable than campaigning amid the
rocks of Tlascalla, with the prospect of a copper-headed lance finding
its way between the ribs before one could sleep out his first nap.”

“You counsel rightly,” replied the priest, “but first let us unite in the
Ave Maria.” So saying, he motioned to them to come into the open air,
and holding up his crucifix he led the chant, while the others knelt
and joined in. Then in the silence of the setting sun, there arose, for
the first time in that unknown land, the hymn of praise to the mother
of Jesus, woman deified and restored to her true nature as the hope and
purifier of man, the type of God’s love to his own image. Softly and
gently as Beatriz breathed the words “Ave purissima,” they seemed to fill
all space, and borne on the air of the fast coming night, stole through
the valley, along the waters, up the hill-sides and amid the trees, with
a melody which made all Nature listen and repeat in notes still more
penetrating, that thrilling symphony of peace and purity. The evening
stars looked down gladly upon the little band, and shedding a harmonious
radiance around the singers, their hearts grew quiet and strong. Even
Tolta felt its influence. As the seamen looked at the hideous idols
about them, they fancied they saw them move in the night air as if they
too bowed in worship to a spirit mightier than their own. It was indeed
mightier; for it was the spirit of Love.



CHAPTER V.

    “See man from Nature rising slow to Art.”—POPE.


Mauna Kea, the highest mountain of Hawaii, occupies the northern portion
of the island. In some places it descends in grassy slopes, sufficiently
gentle to form plains, dotted here and there with the many armed pandanus
and the thickly leaved kukui trees. From the resinous nuts of the latter
the natives obtained their torches, while its rich foliage and grand
proportions made it equally valuable for timber or shade.

At the distance of some twenty miles from the bay where the caravel was
wrecked, there was a level and extensive plain fringed with forests of
the above named trees, and backed by the snow-topped mountains. The
front afforded a wide-spread view of the ocean, the breezes from which,
added to an elevation of several thousand feet, gave it a climate much
cooler and more bracing than that of the coast. On this account, and
from its natural beauties, it had from time immemorial been used by
the Hawaiians as a spot on which to celebrate public games or sacred
festivals. Its verdant and carefully irrigated soil afforded food for the
numerous priests who belonged to the different “heiaus” or temples to
be seen within its limits. These were built of basaltic stones, some of
which were of great size, and nicely adjusted together without cement,
according to their natural fractures. Within the walls, which were
massive and high, were the houses of the priests and the shrines where
were deposited the most sacred images. Each chief of importance had his
family temple, around which had grown up villages, to accommodate himself
and retainers in their periodical visits to this upland region.

[Illustration]

For a month previous to the wreck, many thousands of the islanders had
been gathered under their chiefs to engage in their annual athletic
games. Their principal object was, however, to celebrate the festival
of Lono. Now Lono was one of those mythic beings so common in America
and Polynesia, who in ages long gone by, after having done many notable
things for the benefit of their fellow men, disappear like Moses in some
inexplicable manner, leaving behind them a memory always green, and a
sort of implied promise to return with greater benefits in store. Indeed,
heroes of this character appear amid much traditionary fog, in the youth
of almost all nations. In this instance, Lono had killed his wife in a
fit of jealousy, instigated by a Hawaiian Iago out of malice equal to
the Venetian’s. Love’s reaction and contrition drove him frantic. After
founding games in honor of his victim, he put out to sea in an oddly
shaped canoe,—so the tradition runs,—promising to return some future day
with many good things to enhance his welcome. Whether it was from love to
him, or from faith in the expected increase of comforts and riches, that
they so venerated his memory, I am at this day unable to say, but certain
it is that a more popular god did not exist in Hawaii. His festival was
therefore celebrated with peculiar unction.

On this occasion it had been honored with unusual solemnity, on account
of the presence of the most powerful and best beloved chief of this
island, whose territory embraced the fertile bay where the caravel went
ashore.

It was the custom on the most sacred festivals to enforce perfect silence
from man and beast during certain rites. While the festival lasted, peace
was universal, property respected, and under the solemn influence of the
magic “tabu,” human law and police seemed unnecessary; for there was
implied in this simple word, if but its spirit were infringed, all the
awful judgments, both temporal and supernatural, that the imagination
could conceive, and even more, for the very uncertainty of the fate
which was to attend its violation, added ten-fold force to its terrors.
The simple symbol, therefore, which denoted the application of the tabu
to any object, carried with it a power such as no civilized code ever
exercised, and which the tortures of the Inquisition failed to establish.

The word tabu, as applied to religious matters, was a ritual in itself.
Hence when the high-priest set apart a certain time as tabu to Lono, the
entire population knew what ceremonies were to be performed, and what
was expected of each of them. During the present holidays it had been
specially enjoined that the valley in which Kiana, a descendant of Lono
and the supreme chief of more than half of Hawaii, resided, should be
tabu from man and all domestic animals. For one month, profound silence
was to rest upon it. Consequently, the inhabitants left for the uplands,
taking with them every animal and fowl which they owned. It was owing
to this tabu that Alvirez, when he explored the valley, met with such
complete stillness amid all the outward signs of active life.

The very day, therefore, that Alvirez had so freely taken possession
of the chief’s own quarters, Kiana with his people were on their march
homeward. This chief, as is the aristocracy in general of Hawaii, was
of commanding stature, some six feet six inches in height, finely
proportioned, with round elastic limbs, not over muscular or too sinewy,
like the North American Indian, but full, with a soft smooth skin and
a bright olive complexion, which was not so dark, but that the blood
at times deepened the color thereon. His face was strikingly handsome,
being, like his body, of that happy medium between womanly softness and
the more rugged development of manly strength, which indicates a well
harmonized physical structure. In repose, one feared to see him move,
lest the beauty of outline would be destroyed; but when in action,
with his muscles quivering with a hidden fire, his dark eyes flashing
light, the full nostril of his race and rich sensual lip expanded
with excitement, there was about him much that recalled the Apollo,
particularly in the light step and eager haughty expression. His strength
was prodigious. He had been known in battle, having broken his javelin,
to seize an enemy by the leg and neck, and break his spine by a blow
across his knees. Fierce he undoubtedly was to his foes, but there were
in all his actions a pervading manliness and generosity, joined to a
winning demeanor, which stamped him as one of nature’s gentlemen. No
rival of his tribe disputed his authority, because all felt safer and
better under his rule. By moral influence, rather than by force, all the
other chiefs of this portion of Hawaii looked to him as their leader
and umpire; so that without any of the dubious treaties and forms of a
confederated government, they had all the advantages of one, while each
remained free within his own territorial confines.

By nature humane, Kiana had infused into their general policy and
domestic life a more liberal spirit towards inferiors, and a less
servile feeling towards the priesthood. He held the latter, in general,
in small esteem, perceiving how much they were disposed to corrupt the
simplest power of nature into a hideous mythology, based upon fear and
superstition, to the intent to enrich themselves at the expense of the
people. As he also inherited the office of high-priest, his influence
was the more effective, inasmuch as he set the example of neglecting all
the requirements of their pagan ritual which were cruel or oppressive,
while the games and festivals, which tended to develop their physical
powers and give them amusements, or to lighten their general labors, were
sedulously cared for. His people were therefore happy and prosperous,
and, at the date of this tale, exhibited an agreeable picture of a race
blessed with a salubrious climate, a soil ample for all their simple
wants, living almost patriarchally under a beloved chief, whose more
intelligent mind, by example rather than argument, had influenced them to
a form of idolatry which in its offerings of only fruits of the earth, to
its symbolized phenomena or the images of departed men once venerated for
their moral worth, in some degree connected their souls through refining
influences with the Great Maker.

In closing the festival, the procession was formed with great state and
solemnity, preparatory to its final departure from the sacred plain.
First came a thousand men in regular files, armed with swords of sharks’
teeth and slings. Each had a laurel wreath on his head, and a tapa mantle
of bright red thrown loosely over his shoulders. This corps led the way
to the noise of rude drums and other barbarous music. Behind them marched
a more numerous body in detached companies, armed with javelins and
spears, and a species of wooden mace, which, dexterously used, becomes
a formidable weapon. In addition, each man carried a dagger of the same
material, from sixteen inches to two feet long. All wore helmets of
wicker work, shaped like the Grecian casque and covered with various
colored feathers. These helmets in connection with their bright war
cloaks, gave to the whole array a classical look not unworthy of the
heroic days of Greece. The appearance of the men was martial, and their
step firm and regular.

In the centre of their array there was a selected corps of one hundred
young chiefs, armed with still better weapons. Their costume was also
much richer than that of the common men. They wore scarlet feather cloaks
and helmets. Conspicuous amid them, borne upon a litter hung about with
crimson drapery, sat Kiana. His helmet was surmounted by a graceful crest
from which lightly floated a plume taken from the long and beautiful
feathers of the tropic bird. Both the helmet and his war cloak were made
of brilliant yellow feathers, so small and delicate as to appear like
scales of gold. These two articles were the richest treasures in the
regalia of Hawaii. The birds from which the feathers are obtained,—one
only from under each wing,—are found solely in the most inaccessible
parts of the mountains and ensnared with great difficulty. Nearly one
hundred and fifty years, or nine generations of Kiana’s ancestors had
been occupied in collecting a sufficient number to make this truly regal
helmet and cloak. This was the first occasion he had had to display them.
He bore himself in consequence even more royally than ever before; for
savage though he was, the pride of ancestry and the trappings of power
warmed his blood as fully as if he had been a civilized ruler.

Immediately behind him was borne a colossal image of Lono. It was
carved with greater skill than common, and surrounded by a company of
white-robed priests, chanting the “mele” or hymn, which had been composed
upon his disappearance. At particular parts the whole people joined
with a melancholy refrain, that gave a living interest to the story,
and showed how forcible was the hold it had upon their imaginations.
On either side of Kiana, were twelve men of immense size and strength,
naked to their waist-cloths, two by two, bearing the “_kahilis_,” as were
called the insignia of his rank. These were formed of scarlet feathers,
thickly set, in the shape of a plume, of eighteen inches diameter, about
ten feet high, and tipped to the depth of a foot with yellow feathers.
With the handles, which were encircled with alternate rings of ivory or
tortoise-shell, their entire height was twenty feet. As they towered and
waved above the multitude, they conveyed an idea of state and grandeur
inferior to nothing of the kind that has ever graced the ceremonies of
the white man.

The women of his household followed close to the chief. Their
aristocratic birth and breeding were manifest in their corpulency and
haughty bearing. To exaggerate their size,—which was partly a criterion
of noble blood—they had swelled their waists with voluminous folds of
gaudy cloths, under the pressure of which, added to their own bulk,
they waddled rather than walked. Helped by young and active attendants,
their pace was, however, equal to the slow progress of the procession.
A numerous retinue of their own sex, bearing their tokens of rank, fans,
fly-brushes, spittoons, sunscreens, and lighter articles of clothing,
waited upon them. Some of these young women were gracefully formed, fair
and voluptuous, with pleasant features, without any excess of flesh.
In contrast with their mistresses, they might have been considered as
beauties, as, indeed, they were the belles of Hawaii. Small, soft hands,
delicate and tapering fingers, satin-like in their touch and gentle and
pleasant to the shake, were common among all.

[Illustration]

The women in general were a laughing, merry set, prone to affection,
finery, and sensuous enjoyment. But the lower orders were workers in the
fullest sense, the men being their task-masters, treating them as an
inferior caste by imposing upon their sex arbitrary distinctions in their
food, domestic privileges, duties, and even religious rites, so that
their social condition was wantonly degraded. Yet females were admitted
to power and often held the highest rank.

Besides this state there was a vast throng of attendants carrying
burdens, or driving before them their domestic animals. The families of
the soldiery followed the procession, in irregular masses, as it defiled
from the plain into the valleys that led towards the coast. In advancing,
its numbers gradually lessened by the departure of warriors, and minor
chiefs with their retainers, for their respective destinations. With
the exception of those immediately about Kiana, all order of march soon
ceased, and the crowd spread themselves over hill and valley shouting
and jeering, in their good-natured hurry to reach their homes. The fowls
cackled, the dogs barked. The swine with ominous grunts charged in all
directions, upsetting impartially owners and neighbors, amid the laughter
and cheers of the lookers on. Children grew doubly mischievous in the
turmoil, running hither and thither, with frantic cries, pushing and
crowding each other over rocks into the rapid streams, in which they
were as much at home as the fishes. They tripped up their heavily laden
parents in their gambols about their footsteps, dodging the quick blow
in return with the slipperiness of eels, or repaying with equally noisy
coin the threats of future floggings, which they well knew would be
forgotten over the first meal. The more sedate vented their enthusiasm
in deep toned songs, which, as they swelled into full chorus, filled the
air with a wild music, in keeping with the scene. In forest and grove the
birds listened and replied in musical notes that thrilled sweetly on the
ear amid the medley of sounds. Nature was awake to the scene. From every
tree and rock, out of each dell and off each hill-top, there came voices
to mingle in the general jubilee. The mountain breezes poured their
anthems in joyous harmony through branch and leaf. Buds and blossoms
bowing before balmy airs, shook out their fragrance. Cascades sparkled
and leaped, foamed and roared in the bright sun. Rivulets, looking in
the distance like silver threads, stole with soothing murmurs along the
plains, while the startled wild fowl with defiant note fled deeper into
the forest or skulked closer in the thicket as the living current swept
by.

While all was thus life and motion in the uplands, the solitude of
the sea coast remained as described in the last chapter. Alvirez and
his party had disposed themselves for the night as best suited their
individual convenience. There was no lack of accommodation or retirement.
Each might have selected a village to himself, but they all remained
within the enclosure where we left them. Juan and Beatriz occupied the
principal house. Olmedo chose one near, and the good man was soon
dreaming of his early Castilian cell. Tolta watched long and late,
and then stretched himself, mastiff-like, upon a mat at the threshold
of the house in which Beatriz slept. The three seamen, after sundry
explorations, which seemed to give them small satisfaction, cursed their
luck in being wrecked on a land which had not even copper, much less gold
or silver, in short, anything whatever which came up to their ideas of
spoil, and closing their eyes, muttered their discontent even in their
sleep.



CHAPTER VI.

    “How often events, by chance and unexpectedly come to pass,
    which you had not dared even to hope for.”—TERENCE.


Night came and went; when morning broke, the same stillness rested on the
valley. All of its guests still slept the deep sleep of fatigue, except
Tolta, who had thought he heard at intervals distant sounds that fell
mockingly upon his ear for a moment, and then died away into profound
silence. Cautiously he had listened and peered into the deep shadows of
hill and forest, but had detected nothing. As often, however, as he had
sunk again into restless slumber, the same strange sounds came to him.
The air seemed filled with them; voices and laughter, the tramp of feet
and cries of animals, yet so vague and intermingled, that at last he
fancied there was a spell upon the valley; that its inhabitants had all
perished by demoniacal violence, and unseen by mortal eyes, during the
night, came back to haunt their late homes.

This solution of the mystery was not calculated to reassure him, and he
became more restless than before. Visions of his native land mingled
themselves with the phantom forms and sounds which disturbed his
slumbers. His imagination vibrated between joy and fear, without a
moment’s pause to give him rest. Gradually, however, as morning twilight
came up over the hill tops, he fancied he detected shadowy outlines of
men, sharp against the horizon, passing rapidly into the gloom further
down. His terrors were then realized. He saw the ghosts that had so
disturbed his slumbers fleeing before the coming day, and he shuddered as
with a grave-chill.

A cock suddenly crowed afar off. Tolta started as if the trumpet of
Cortez had sounded in his ears. His blood tingled once more in his
veins. Another and another crow, nearer and nearer; the morning air is
suddenly filled with their rival notes. A dog barks! Scores of dogs’
throats open in reply. Human voices are now distinctly heard. Groups of
men, women, and children, can be plainly seen descending into the valley
from the wooded uplands. He watches their motions, half doubting his own
senses. A band orderly marching approaches the enclosure. He sees among
them the sharp array of lances, and the brilliant colors of feathered
casques and cloaks. They recall to him the warriors of Mexico, and he
exults in their martial tread and warlike aspect. His first impulse is
to rush forward and greet them. “Now shall Spanish blood again be shed,
and their false hearts quiver on the altars of Mexico’s war-god! Here in
this teocalli, shall the incense so sweet to Huitzilpotcli’s nostrils
once more ascend;” and in his dreamy excitement he rushed forward as if
to strike the serpent-skin drum, whose terrible signal had so often been
the death-warrant to his country’s invaders.

Shall Beatriz die this death? No sooner did she occur to him, than his
fierceness passed away like a spent surge. All other emotions were lost
in the desire to protect her. Stepping quietly inside the house, he woke
Juan and motioned him to follow.

As they passed out and looked over the parapet, they saw considerable
stir among the warriors. They were coming towards them at great speed,
and evidently with no friendly intent. Their leader had caught sight
of Tolta as he left the wall to awaken Juan, and indignant at what he
supposed a violation of the tabu, by one of his people, ordered them to
surround the enclosure, so as to prevent the possibility of escape, while
he with a few followers ascended by the narrow stone steps, that he might
slay the sacrilegious wretch with his own hand.

By the time Kiana—for it was he—had nearly reached the platform, Juan had
arrived at the gate-way, and at a glance took in his whole position.

“Tonatiuh can now strike the infidel,” said Tolta with sarcastic
emphasis, as he recalled Juan’s unwise speech of the day before, at the
same time pointing to Kiana, whose rapid strides would in another instant
bring him in front of Alvirez. The Mexican then re-entered the house to
warn Beatriz of their new danger.

Juan had too often encountered as fearful odds, in his Mexican
campaigns, to lose his presence of mind in a crisis like this. He called
to his men to come to his succor, as he prepared to hold the gate-way
against his foes, and shouting his accustomed battle-cry, drew his long
Toledo blade, and advanced it in guard to await Kiana’s onset.

This chief in his rush up the steps had not fairly lifted his eyes until
the shout of “Santiago for Spain” reached his ears. His astonishment at
the apparition of the white man,—the gleaming steel, fierce eyes, thick
red beard and strange tongue, the costume so unlike his people’s,—instead
of the expected tawny hue of his own race, brought him to a sudden stop.
It was but for a moment, for, excited by his previous fury at a crime so
uncommon among his people, he saw only an offender who seemed aided by
sorcery, and rushed at him with uplifted javelin, reserving his force
to strike and not to throw. So sudden and powerful was his spring, that
although Juan’s sword parried the blow, he was borne backward, and Kiana
found himself on the platform.

Both paused as they now better saw each other’s strength and strangeness.
Kiana’s surprise was increased as Juan’s men, followed by Olmedo with
crucifix in hand, came hastily up and ranged themselves at his side. His
own soldiers were fast crowding upon the platform, filled with wonder
rather than fear, at so unexpected a sight. At his command they were
filing off to surround Juan’s little band, and close in upon them, while
he upraised his javelin, prepared once more to tempt the skill of his
strange enemy. His right foot was advanced, his broad chest thrown out
and weapon poised to try again the thrust, which had never before failed
him, when a new cry was heard and a new figure came forward and sprung
between him and Alvirez.

It was Beatriz. Her long flowing robes, dishevelled hair, her pallor and
the impulsive energy with which she pushed aside Juan’s sword, and turned
her eager eyes towards Kiana, fearlessly fronting his javelin, amazed the
red-men. Their weapons dropped silently by their sides, as their chief
gazed in astonishment with powerless arm upon the new apparition.

Kiana’s indecision was, however, only momentary. A sudden thought had
seized him. Turning to his followers he said, “Behold Lono and his wife!
they have returned with their faces brightened, and their speech changed,
from their abode in the sun. They have come as Lono promised, with new
teachers and good gifts. Let us honor them and make them welcome.” As he
spoke every weapon was laid upon the earth, and every head was bowed.
Kiana alone stood erect, asserting his dignity even in the presence of a
returned god.

Whatever his native sense might have suggested in regard to the origin
of the group before him, his sagacity in turning the ideas of his people
into their present channel, was safety to the one side, and direct
benefit to himself. He recognized at once a superiority in their armor
and habiliments, which evinced a knowledge far beyond that of his own
people. They could be useful to him in many ways. Naturally humane and
generous, after his first anger had cooled, he would not have harmed a
hair of their heads. On the contrary, he and his people, had they found
them helpless on the shore, would have tenderly received them. Now that
he saw the tabu had not been violated, but that so far from sacrilege, an
event had occurred that appeared to all miraculous, and confirmatory of
the traditions of his ancestry, he determined to receive the strangers as
his own kin, while he confirmed in the minds of his people the belief in
their divinity. As the common Hawaiian’s idea of a god was of a being not
more removed from him in power and intelligence than was the white man,
this was an easy affair.

Accordingly he gave orders that they should be provided with suitable
retinues and lands, and servants assigned to them as of his own family.

His decision was proclaimed by the public heralds. Great were the
rejoicings and shouts throughout the valley, that Lono and his wife had
come back and were to protect them from their enemies, and enrich them by
new arts and gifts. The simple people believed and prostrated themselves
deferentially before Juan and Beatriz. Their persons and those of the
others were tabued or made sacred. No follower of Kiana’s dared lift his
hand toward them, except to do them service or honor. The change from the
peril of immediate massacre, to being worshipped as divine personages,
was so striking, that while they realized its advantages, they could
not, before they had acquired the easy tongue of Hawaii, fully comprehend
its cause. The seamen, however, readily domesticated themselves, taking
wives, and were soon placed on the footing of petty chiefs.



CHAPTER VII.

    “In countless upward-stirring waves
      The moon-drawn tide-wave strives:
    In thousand far-transplanted grafts
      The parent fruit survives;
    So in the new-born millions,
      The perfect Adam lies.
    Not less are Summer mornings dear
      To every child they wake,
    And each with novel-life his sphere
      Fills for his proper sake.”

                                EMERSON.


A year had passed. There was no iron on the island, consequently no means
of building a vessel, which could carry the exiles back to Mexico. Their
only hope lay in the possibility that some caravel, equipped as theirs
had been for discovery, might sight Hawaii and explore its coasts. But
this hope was so faint as rarely to form a theme of discussion; so they
wisely identified themselves with the interests and welfare of their
generous host, whose kindness and confidence grew with their stay.

Kiana and Juan became firm friends. The former had long since learned
the origin and history of the shipwrecked party, as indeed had the more
intelligent among his chiefs, but their superior knowledge, and the
polite deference of the nobles towards them, continued to keep them in
the same sacred relation to the common people as at first. This was the
more useful, that it gave to their efforts to instruct them the sanction
of religion.

To properly understand the condition of the people under the government
of Kiana, it will be necessary to go more into detail. I have already
observed, that their climate and soil combined that happy medium of
salubrity and fertility, which gave ample returns in health and harvests,
but did not dispense with care and labor. Hence, they were an active
and industrious race. Nature was indeed a loving, considerate mother to
them. As yet no noxious reptiles or insects infested the land; ferocious
animals were equally unknown; storms were so rare as scarcely to be ever
thought of, while the temperature was so even, that their language had no
term to express the various changes and conditions of physical comfort
or discomfort, we combine into the word weather. This, of course, was a
sad loss to conversation, but no doubt a compensation for lack of this
prolific topic existed somehow in their domestic circles.

[Illustration]

The households of the chiefs were in one sense almost patriarchally
constructed. “My people” had a meaning as significant as upon a slave
plantation in America, with the difference that here they were only
transferred with the soil. They were literally “my people;” and as with
all purely despotic institutions, their welfare depended mainly upon the
character of their lords.

In some respects there existed a latitude of deportment between the
chiefs and their serfs, which gave rise to a certain degree of social
equality. This freedom of manner is common to that state of society in
which the actual gulf between the different classes is irrevocably fixed.
It grows out of protection on the one hand and dependence on the other.
On Hawaii there existed a partial community of property; for although
all that the serf possessed belonged to his lord, yet he had the use and
improvement of the property in his charge, and besides certain direct
interests in it, was protected by what might be termed their “common
law.” The chief was both executive and judiciary, as obtains in all rude
society. Self-interest became a powerful incentive to humanity, because
cruelty or injustice towards his tenantry was a direct injury to his
own property, and a provocation to desert his lands. There was also the
family bond, derived from direct intermingling of blood, the perpetuity
of estates and the familiarity of personal intercourse between the chiefs
and their dependents, fortified by a condition of society that knew no
contrasts to this state. The lack of other commerce than barter and a
partial feudal system, which required the people not only to furnish
their own arms, but upon all occasions to follow their lords to the
field, helped to develop this social union of extremes.

All lands were in reality held in fief of the supreme chief. His will
was in the main the code of law, and indeed the religious creed; that
is, the ultimate appeal in all questions was vested in him. But public
opinion, based upon old habits and certain intuitive convictions of right
and justice common to all mankind, held even him in check; so that while
rarely attempting any forcible violation of what was understood to be
the universal custom, he had it in his power indirectly to modify the
laws and belief of his people. While to some extent the spirit of the
clan existed, giving rise to devotion and attachments similar to those
recorded of the Highlanders of Scotland, there prevailed more extensively
the servile feeling common to Oriental despotism. Numerous retainers
of every grade and rank surrounded each chief, forming courts with as
varied and as positive an etiquette as those of Europe or Asia. The most
trivial necessity was dignified into an office. Thus there were “pipe
lighters,” masters of the pipe as they might be called, masters of the
spittoon, of the plumes or “kahilis,” and so on, while there was no lack
of idle clients, the “bosom friends” of the chief, his boon companions,
buffoons, pimps and every other parasitical condition in which the
individual merges his own identity into the caprices or policy of his
ruler, or by deceit, flattery, or superior address, seeks to advance his
own selfishness at the general expense.

In this arrangement the analogy to the courts of Europe is so evident
as to form a striking satire upon them. Here we find amid petty,
semi-naked tribes, the same masters and mistresses of royal robes
and other useless paraphernalia; the same abject crowd of parasites
quarrelling and intriguing for honors and riches they are too lazy or
dishonest rightfully to earn; the same degrading etiquette which exalts
a knowledge of its absurdities above all morality, and imposes penalties
upon its infringement, not bestowed upon crime itself: in fine, a parody
of all that in European monarchies tends to make human nature base and
contemptible.

Justice, however, requires me to state, that while the vices of the
systems were allied, their virtues were no less in common. Despotism
corrupts the many, but there are a choice few in all aristocracies who
receive power and homage only as in deposit for the public good. Its
conditions are favorable to their moral growth, when perhaps the rugged
necessities of life, in conflicts of equality, would dwarf their souls
to the common level of material wants or selfish interests. Besides
these exceptions, as familiar to savage as to civilized life, because
founded not upon acquired knowledge, but upon natural instincts, the very
superiority of position begets desire for superior manners and external
advantages. Thus we find in not a few of the privileged orders, rare
politeness and outward polish, and a chivalric loyalty to the institution
of titled aristocracy, as if in partaking of its birthright, it brought
with it a loftier and more refined standard of feeling and action than
that of the masses.

[Illustration: A SACRIFICIAL FEAST.]

The best of food was reserved for the nobles. Their houses, bathing
places, and domestic utensils, were tabu from vulgar use. They even used
a language or courtly dialect unintelligible to their subjects. Their
deportment was based upon the innate consciousness of mental superiority
and long inherited authority. Rank was derived from the mother as the
only certain fountain of ancestry. In size and dignity of personal
carriage they were conspicuous from the crowd. In short, the difference
was so marked in Hawaii between the chief and his serf, as to suggest to
a superficial observer the idea of two distinct races.

Hospitality was a common virtue. There was no beggary, as there was
no need of begging, for the simple wants of the natives were easily
supplied. The poorest man never refused food to his worst enemy, should
he enter his house and demand it. Indeed so freely were presents made,
that the absolute law of “meum and tuum,” as it exists among commercial
races, with its progeny of judges and gaols, locks and fetters, had
with them scarcely a defined meaning. Where there was so much trust and
generosity, any violation of them met with prompt and severe retribution.
Theft was visited upon the offender by the injured party, even if the
weaker, by the seizure of every movable article belonging to him. In this
wild justice they were sustained by the whole population. If the property
of a high chief suffered, the thief was sometimes placed in an old canoe,
bound hand and foot, and set adrift upon the ocean.

Kiana’s people were wealthy in their simple way. His reign was the golden
age of Hawaii. This was owing mainly to his own character, which took
delight in the happiness and prosperity of his subjects. No lands were so
well cultivated as his. No rents were more ample or more cheerfully paid.
His people had easy access to him. In their labors as in their sports he
often mingled. If at times he was hasty or severe, it was owing rather to
the quickened indignation of offended justice than to selfish passion.

A very striking reform in the rites if not in the principles of their
religion had been peacefully brought about by him. In general, the savage
mind is more influenced by fear than by love; that is, it seeks by
worship to avoid harm from natural objects, which from ignorance of their
laws he considers to be evil spirits, rather than to do homage to those
whose direct beneficence is readily recognized. But Kiana, like Manco
Capac with the Peruvians, taught them a less slavish ritual. Instead of
sacrifices of animals to deities whose attributes solely inspired dread,
he led them to rejoice in the bounteous seasons, the vivifying sun, the
winds that refreshed their bodies, and the clouds that watered their
thirsty soil. He taught them that the waters that bore them so pleasantly
from island to island, were much more to be regarded lovingly, than the
devouring shark with superstitious fear. Thus without fully, or perhaps
in any degree recognizing the principles of the One God, the people were
led more into harmony with those of his works, which were suggestive of
good and kind attributes, which they symbolized in idols, to which they
offered chiefly the fruits of the earth. They were indeed idolaters,
because their minds seldom, if ever, separated the image from the ideas,
but it was an idolatry that made them cheerful and truthful, and not
gloomy and cruel.

Contented under their government, reposing on their religion, these
islanders presented a picture of happiness, which, if we consider only
the peaceful, joyous flow of the material life, we might well envy.
They had no money to beget avarice, or to excite to the rivalries and
dishonesties of trade. There were no more prosperous territories and
bounteous soils for them to covet by arms; none of superior force to
make them afraid. Their diet was simple, and their diseases few. They
had nothing to fear from famine, weather, noxious animals, or poisonous
insects. Their unbounded hospitality kept want from even the idler,—their
agricultural games and fisheries gave ample scope for their physical
energies, while their numerous festivals, the songs of the bards, and
traditions and speeches of their historians and orators kept alive a
national spirit, which made them proud of their origin and their country.

[Illustration]

All their myths were connected with the great phenomena of nature, with
which their island was so pregnant. Hence in their minds there was a
certain grandeur of sentiment, as well as loftiness of expression and
suggestive imagery, that imbued them with the more elevating influences
of the great nature around them. Then their joyous dances, particularly
graceful and spirited among the children, though too expressive, perhaps,
in action and words of the sensual instincts with the adults, caused
the gayety of their sunny skies and the passionate enjoyments of their
rare climate to come home to them with a fulness of sympathy that made
them truly the children of material Nature. They danced, they sang, they
sported, and they feasted, as if the present hour had had no predecessor,
and was to see no successor. If they labored, it was that they might
enjoy. In all their exercises, whether of amusement, religion or work,
the requirements of the chiefs, or the necessities of their families,
there was a renunciation of all but the present moment, mingled with
so full a sense of sportive humor, that no civilized spectator could
have looked unmoved upon their sensuous happiness, however much he might
moralize upon its affinity to mere animal life.

If they ever thought of death, it was merely as a change to a world
where their enjoyments would be still more complete. At the worst their
spirits would only wander about their earthly abodes, vexed at the sight
of pleasures which they could no longer participate in. The general
idea the serfs had of heaven, was of some place specially given to the
chiefs, into which if they entered at all, it was in the same servile and
distinct relation to them as on earth. Perhaps one great cause of their
contentment sprung from their implicit acquiescence in the power and
privileges of their rulers, as of beings too vastly their superiors to
admit even for a moment of any equality of fate or aspirations in either
life.

Such in brief were the character and condition of the race among which
Alvirez and his party were now domesticated, and to all appearance for
life. There was much to reconcile them to their new position, as will
be shown, and especially in the peaceful contrast their present homes
presented to the crime and devastation which had been their experience
in Mexico. True, there was no gold. But what need of gold, when all it
represents was provided without price? After their long experience of
perils and hardships, to the seamen their present lives seemed planted
in Eden. An occasional affray with some distant tribe that sought to
spoil their more fortunate countryman under Kiana’s rule, gave them
opportunities to exercise their courage for the benefit of their new
friends. The reputation which they soon established, and the supernatural
character with which they continued in some degree, still to be regarded,
especially at a distance, contributed much towards keeping the frontiers
quiet. Juan and Kiana, according to Hawaiian custom, exchanged names, by
which in friendship, power and property, they were viewed as one. But the
better to appreciate the true position of each in reference to their new
life, we must trace their individual experiences.



CHAPTER VIII.

    “Earth, our bright home its mountains and its waters,
    And the ethereal shapes which are suspended
    O’er its expanse, and those fair daughters,
    The clouds, of Sun and Ocean who have blended
    The colors of the air since first extended,
    It cradled the young world....”

                                                 SHELLEY.


Olmedo had not been idle during the year in his labors to convert the
islanders to his faith. Nor was he without a certain degree of success,
though very far from having instilled into them any definite ideas of
Christianity. Indeed, strange as it may appear at the first statement,
there was in the rites he wished to supersede so much analogy with those
he wished to introduce, that the substitution was not easily effected.
Juan, in his martial zeal for the Roman Catholic faith, would gladly have
used the same arguments here as in Mexico; that is, have destroyed the
idols, purified the temples, and set up crucifixes and new images, which
only they should worship, whether persuaded or not of their religious
efficacy. For once, however, Spanish zeal was obliged to be tempered
with a respect for the force which was not now on their side. It must
be confessed, also, that the easy, seductive life he had led, the
absence of the worst features of heathenism, and the generous character
and shrewdness of Kiana, had not a little weakened Juan’s fanaticism;
so that, although conforming sufficiently to the ritual of his faith
to keep himself within the pale of his church’s salvation, he had
almost unconsciously imbibed the idea that some even of the virtues of
Christianity might exist among pagans.

Within the walled enclosure in which Juan and his sister resided,
overlooking the sea, Olmedo had built a small chapel. The rude images
which native ingenuity under his direction had carved to represent the
Virgin and her Son, were not so unlike their own wooden deities, as to
require anything more than an enlargement of their mythology, for the
simple natives to have accepted them as their own. This of course would
have been only adding to the sin which Olmedo wished to eradicate. The
good man, however, persevered in his rites and doctrines, and had the
satisfaction to have numbers of the chiefs and their attendants come
to witness his worship. Among them most frequently was Kiana, but as
his eyes were oftener directed towards kneeling Beatriz, than the holy
symbols of the altar, it is to be presumed that another motive beside
religious conviction swayed his heart. He saw that the crucifix and the
images of the gods of the white man, as he regarded them, were very
dear to them. Out of respect, therefore, to his guests, in unconscious
philosophical imitation of Alexander Severus, when he placed statues
of Abraham and Christ among his revered images, Kiana had set up the
crucifix in his domestic pantheon. How far he understood the teachings of
Olmedo may be gathered from one of their not unfrequent colloquies upon
religion.

[Illustration]

Mass had just been said. Olmedo had trained some of the more tractable
youths to assist him in the service, which they did the more willingly,
from perceiving that it gave them a personal importance to be considered
of the household of Lono. The solemn chant of the priest in a strange
and sonorous tongue, the regular responses of the Spaniards, and their
thorough devotion, the simple exhortations to a good life, which all
present could comprehend, followed by the earnest eloquence of Olmedo,
as he sought to expound in the Hawaiian tongue the mysteries of a faith
which it had no terms correctly to render, all made an impressive scene.
Their hearts were touched even when their minds were not enlightened.

It was the decline of day. The sun was pouring a flood of soft light over
the sea, which sparkled as with the radiance of an opal. Kiana, Olmedo,
and Beatriz, came out of the chapel, and reclined upon a pile of mats
which their attendants had spread for them on a green knoll just beyond
the reach of the waves. The trade wind fanned them with its cool breath,
and sang an evening hymn amid the waving palms, high above their heads. A
group of fishermen were hauling their nets, heavy with the meshed fishes,
to the music of a wild chant. Numbers of both sexes were sporting in
the surf. The line of breakers commenced far seaward, in long, lofty,
curling swells, that came in regular succession thundering onward to the
shore, which trembled under the mighty reverberation. It was not a sound
of anger, nor of merriment, but the pealing forth of Nature’s mightiest
organ, in deep-toned notes of praise. There was much in the commingled
glories of sound and color, the beauty of the shore, and the expanse of
the ocean, to suggest an Infinite Author to the most thoughtless mind.

Human life and happiness mingle largely with the scene. The bathers shout
and gambol in the water as if in their native element. The maidens and
boys,—with their parents, who in the frolic become children also,—dive
under the huge combers as one after another they break and foam on their
way to the shore. Heads with flowing tresses and laughing eyes are
continually shooting up through the yeast of waters with merry cries,
then ducking again to escape the quick coming wave. Rising beyond it,
each plunge carries them further seaward, till with their surf-boards
they reach the line of deep water. Then poising their boards on the very
crests of the heaviest rollers, they throw themselves flat upon them, and
skilfully keeping their position just on its edge before it topples and
breaks, they are borne with the speed of race horses towards the shore.
Now is their highest glee. In revelry they scream and toss their dark
arms, which strikingly contrast with the silvery gleaming wave, urging
their ocean steeds to still more headlong haste. They near the rocks.
Another instant, and of their gaysome forms nothing will remain but
mangled flesh and broken bones. But no: the wave passes from under them,
and dashes its salt spray upon the land barrier, and far away among the
green bushes; the surf board is cast with violence upon the shore, but
the active swimmers avoid the shock, by sliding at the latest moment from
their boards and diving seaward, again emerge, challenging each other
once more to mount Neptune’s car.

[Illustration]

A more quiet scene is at the left. Here flows a gentle stream, overhung
with deep foliage. On its banks, to the beating of drums and the quick
chants of the musicians, young children are dancing. They wear wreaths
of white or scarlet flowers, intermingled with deep green leaves, on
their heads; and on their bosoms are necklaces of bright shells or finely
braided hair, and feather mantles about their waists. They are yet too
young to feel other instincts than the gladsome and chaste impulses which
are shown in light and graceful motions. Even the groups of adults seated
on the grass, watching with interest their sports, reflect their innocent
gayety, and become for the moment young and innocent themselves.

[Illustration]

In the stream itself, mothers are teaching their infants to swim. Their
love for the water is apparent in every struggle. They take to it like
ducklings, and almost as soon as they can walk they can be trusted alone
in that element. Now they turn their smiling faces towards their parents,
and kick and cry for one more plash and still another; the delighted
mother encouraging its attempts with soothing voice and tender care.

Such was the spectacle on which Kiana and his friends were gazing, after
leaving the chapel and seating themselves by the sea-shore.

That day Olmedo had in his discourse dwelt more earnestly than usual upon
the doctrines of his creed, with the hope finally to induce Kiana to cast
aside his mythology and accept the Roman Catholic Trinity. Here, indeed,
was the stumbling-block. How could Olmedo hope to make an idea, which
was in a great degree contradictory and incomprehensible even to many
of the cultivated and theological minds of Europe, intelligible to the
simple reason of the Polynesian, when by the former it was at least only
received as a great mystery!

“You tell me,” said Kiana, “that there is one great God, who made heaven
and earth, an all-wise, all-perfect, all-powerful Being. He has created
the Hawaiian, the Spaniard, the Mexican, and all the races of men. I know
this to be true. My people worship the wooden images of deities, and
think they supply their wants. But those of us who have been taught the
true meaning of our sacred songs, know full well that these senseless
idols cannot make the taro grow,—they do not send us rain,—neither do
they bestow life, nor health. My thought has always been, there is one
only Great God dwelling in the heavens.”

“Your thought is indeed right,” replied Olmedo; “but God many years ago,
seeing how wicked the world was, sent his only-begotten Son to teach it
true religion. He was cruelly crucified by the people to whom he was
sent, and he went up to heaven, where he remains to be the judge and
Saviour of all men. After his ascension, he sent to his disciples, to
comfort them, the Holy Ghost. Now these three persons are one God,—the
God whom we Christians worship. All your images are vain idols; cast them
aside, and set up in their places the image of the Son, Jesus Christ, and
his holy mother, of whom he was born in the flesh, by the will of God,
without a human father. Then shall you and your people be saved.”

Had Olmedo been content to have acquiesced in the simple conception of
the One God, he would have had little difficulty in persuading Kiana and
his people to renounce the direct worship of idols, and to trust in and
pray to the Great Father. There was something in their minds that made
this idea seem not wholly new to them. This was derived in part from the
mystic expressions of their bards, who had dimly felt this sublime truth,
and in the testimony of the universal heart of the human race, which
ultimately resolves all things into One Great Cause, however much it
may overshadow his glory and pervert his attributes, by multiplying the
symbols of natural powers, and make to itself “graven images” of earthly
passions and foibles. But when Olmedo talked dogmatically of the “Three
in One,” he left only a vague impression, that he worshipped either
“three male gods and one female, which made four,” or that there were
absolutely three equal gods, which in time they called “Kane, Kaneloa,
and Maui.”



CHAPTER IX.

    “The rounded world is fair to see,
    Nine times folded in mystery,
    Though baffled seers cannot impart
    The secret of its laboring heart,
    Throbs thine with Nature’s throbbing breast,
    And all is clear from east to west,
    Spirit that lurks each form within,
    Beckons to spirit of its kin.
    Self-kindled every atom glows,
    And hints the future which it owes.”

                                        EMERSON.


The good missionary, for such in truth was Olmedo, was met at every step
of his argument with answers, which from their truth and good sense, he
found no little difficulty in refuting, while he drew his weapons solely
from the polemic armory of Rome. It matters little in what theological
crucible the doctrines of Jesus may have been melted, they all become,
after the process, perverted from their simplicity. They then require
schools to sustain them and scholars to explain. Whereas in the few
earnest and loving words of their Author, before they are petrified
into creeds, they find their way readily into the hearts and minds of
even children. Indeed properly to receive them we must become as little
children. The polemical subtleties of REASON are wholly foreign to him
who did WORKS in his Father’s name, that they might bear witness of Him.

As often, therefore, as Olmedo sought merely to indoctrinate Kiana, he
was met with replies founded on assumptions of the same character as
his own, or on the admission of similar ideas and ceremonies among the
Hawaiians, which from their analogy to the rites and thoughts of his own
church, a more bigoted Roman Catholic missionary of that day would have
accounted for, only by the blinding devices of the devil. But Olmedo’s
mind was so largely imbued with true charity, that recognizing a common
brotherhood in man, he was prepared to admit that even the heathen were
not left wholly without some spiritual light, which was the seed in due
time destined to grow up into Christianity. His mildness and firmness
were proportionate to the strength of his own convictions. He was patient
also, and disclaimed forced conversions, which he well knew would only
recoil into deeper error, through the avenging power of wounded liberty
and reason. Moreover, he had no wish to substitute a new idol for an
old one. In Mexico, humanity demanded the prompt abolition of human
sacrifices and other cruel rites. Here he had no fanatical and crafty
priesthood to oppose him; no barbarous customs openly to denounce; the
people looked upon him as a messenger from some divinity, and listened
deferentially to his exhortations. He saw plainly that the evils which
he had to encounter lay deep in the temperament of the Hawaiian, and
could only be eradicated by presenting to his mind moral truths, which
might gradually so operate upon his sensuous character, as to give him
higher motives of action, from convincing him that better results and
increased happiness would be his reward both here and hereafter. Perhaps
no obstacle was more fatal to his success than the easy and hospitable
nature of the Hawaiian himself. Based as it was, upon the generous
spontaneity of his climate, modified or directed by the individual
character of the rulers and priests, it found no difficulty in adding to
its mythology at the will of the latter, or in being courteous and kind
to all. But this quality, dependent as it was mainly upon the healthful
action of their animal natures, could not be permanently counted upon.
Their passions, like the limbs of the tiger in repose, were beautiful to
look at, but rouse them and they were equally fearful. In the exercise
of hospitality, they freely proffered their wives and daughters to their
guests, but excite their hate or jealousy, and their revenge became
demoniacal. With all their external peace and happiness, there was but
faint moral principle. This Olmedo saw, and endeavored to inculcate
virtue as the only basis of religious reform.

On the other hand, they had often expressed much good-natured wonder at
his refusal to take a wife from the most beautiful girls, which partly
from pity at his continence, and partly to test its strength, they had
offered him under the most seductive circumstances. His explanation of
the vow of chastity required by his religion, did not aid to render
it the more acceptable to them. It was beyond their comprehension that
any deity should require such a mortification of the instincts he had
himself created. Olmedo’s abstinence was therefore the more marvellous,
but perceiving how scrupulously he fulfilled the obligations of his tabu,
they gave him that respect which every sincere action, proceeding from
a good motive, never fails to inspire. By degrees they began to feel in
Olmedo’s life a purity and benevolence, which, overlooking his own bodily
ease or enjoyment, was untiring in its efforts to do them all good. In
sickness, he watched at their bedsides with herbs to heal and words to
cheer. In strife he was ever active to make peace. Their children he
fondled, and upon their plastic minds he was better able to impress
the idea of a One Great God and his Son’s love. He told them beautiful
stories of that sinless woman and mother of Judea, the Madonna, who
centered in herself all the human and divine strength of her sex, and
who, as the spouse of God, was ever nigh to pity, soothe, and protect.
He taught them that to forgive was better than to revenge; that the law
not to steal sprang from a better principle than fear of retaliation;
in short, that virtue brought a peace and joy far beyond all that the
fullest gratifications of their merely selfish desires could produce.

Much of this instruction fell among choking weeds. Still they were all
better for having Olmedo among them; and, indeed, the very fact of their
being able in any degree to appreciate his life, showed the dawnings of a
new light to their minds.

Without this detail of the relative moral positions of the priest and his
semi-flock, the reader would not appreciate the force of Kiana’s reply
to Olmedo’s appeal, in which the latter had given a brief history of the
Christian religion as derived from the Holy Scriptures and interpreted by
the Roman church.

I give merely the substance of Kiana’s words, as it would be too tedious
to follow them literally through the web of conversation which led to
so full an enunciation of his own belief. The reader will perceive a
sufficient coincidence, to suggest either a common source of knowledge
in the earliest ages of human history or certain religious instincts in
the human mind, that make isolated races come to practically the same
religious conclusions.

“Some things that you tell me,” said Kiana, “are like our own traditions.
From them we learn that there was a time when there was no land nor
water, but everywhere darkness and confusion. It was then that the Great
God made Hawaii. Soon after he created a man and woman to dwell on it.
These two were our progenitors.

“Ages afterwards a flood came and drowned all the land, except the top
of Mauna Kea, which you see yonder,” continued the chief, pointing to
its snowy summit. “A few only of the people were saved in a great canoe,
which floated a long while on the waters, until it rested there, and the
people went forth and again built houses and dwelt in the land.

“One of our Gods also stopped the sun, as you say Joshua did, not to slay
his enemies, but to give light to his wife to finish her work.

“We have a hell, but it is not one of torturing flames, but of darkness,
where bad men wander about in misery, having for food only lizards and
butterflies. Our heaven is bright like yours, and those who are admitted
are forever happy. You tell me of a Purgatory, where the souls of those
who go not directly to heaven or hell, remain in temporary punishment.
Our priests tell us that the spirits of those who have been not very good
or bad, remain about the earth, and that they visit mortals to protect or
harm according to their dispositions.

“We pray with our faces and arms extended towards heaven, as you do. We
have our fasts and our feasts, in memory of our good men, who have gone
before us to happiness. We venerate their relics and the people worship
them.

“You believe in One Great God and worship many. We do the same. What
matters it by what names they are called. You declare a man whom you
call Pope, to be the representative of God on earth; that he can bind or
loose for hell or heaven; that only through belief in his church can any
one be saved; that his authority is derived from dreams and visions, and
prophesies and traditions written in a Holy Book.

“Our priests too have visions and dreams. Their gods visit them. They
claim authority from the same sources of inspiration. Your Pope is no
doubt right to govern you as he does. His book is a good book for you
white men; but we red men have no need of a book, while our priests still
talk with their gods, as you say yours once did.

“If no one can be saved except in believing in the Pope, what becomes of
all the races you tell me of who have never heard of him? Would a good
God punish his creatures for not knowing what they cannot know? No! I do
not believe in this! The Great Spirit has given us Hawaiians some truth.
Perhaps he has given you white men more. This I can believe, as I see you
are so superior to us in knowledge, but that he created those only who
acknowledge the Pope, to be saved, I do not believe!

“Our priests when they quarrel talk in the same way. Each claims to be
the favorite and inspired of his God, but it is because they are selfish
and ambitious. They wish to control men by pretending to hold the gate
of Heaven. My thought is, that God hears and sees all men, whether they
pray through priests or not. I am the Pope of my people, but I know that
I cannot shut or open heaven to any one. I have no right to give away the
lands of other people, because they do not believe as I do. Some prefer
one God and some another.

“You have what you call an Inquisition to punish those who do not
assent to your faith. We too have our ‘tabus’ which permit the same,
when sacrilege is done or our laws broken. If we adopted your laws and
customs, how should we be better off than now, when they are so alike?

“If your Jesus was the Supreme God, how could his creatures put him to
death? How could he have been a man like us? If he were only a great
prophet, then I can understand how these things happened and why he has
since been worshiped as a God?

“Have you not heard our priests say, that among the doctrines that have
come down to us from the earliest time, is one almost the same as you
tell us of Jesus, ‘to love our neighbor as ourself, to do to him what we
wish done to us?’ They also tell us to keep peace with all. God who sees
will avenge, the same as you say, only that you constantly preach and
practise it, which our priests have long since forgotten to.”

After this manner did Kiana reply to Olmedo. The words of the pagan were
a prolific theme of reflection to him. In some things he found himself a
scholar where he would have been a teacher. There was then a light even
to the Gentiles. How vain was force, how wicked compulsion in matters of
faith! Mankind all sought one common end, happiness here and hereafter.
God had left none so blind as not to have glimmerings of truth. He would
adjudge them according to their gifts, and not by an arbitrary rule of
priestcraft. God’s laws were uniform and universal. All creation was
penetrated with their essence. Sin brought its own punishment, and virtue
its own reward, whether within or without the pale of the church. Was
the Roman Church, after all, but _one_ form of religious expression?
An imperfect one, too! At this thought he shuddered as the force of
theological dogmas recoiled upon him. It was but a transient emotion.
Truth was not so easily subdued. The idea flashed through his mind, “Does
not pure religion diminish in proportion as a stony theology flourishes?
Is not that a science of words and forms of man’s creation, destined
gradually to pass away, as the kingdom of God, which is only of the
Spirit, shall increase until all men are baptized into it through Love
and not through Fear?”

Olmedo’s heart swelled at these thoughts. As he gazed upon the scene
before him, so in harmony with the joyousness of nature, so penetrated
with her beauty, so choral with her melodies, the mere scholastic
theologian died from within him. His face lighted into a glow of
thankfulness, that God had created Beauty, and given man senses to enjoy
it. Was there any good thing of his to be refused? Was not every gift to
be accepted with gratitude, and used to increase his enjoyment? Was not
the rule _Use_, and the denial _Abuse_? Was not the immolation of correct
instincts a sacrifice of self to Belial? Were not the heathen themselves
reading a lesson to him from Nature’s Bible, wiser than those he had
studied from the Law and the Prophets? There was opened to him a new
revelation. Not of Rome! Not from Geneva! God’s world in all its fulness
flowed in upon him. He was inspired with the thought. Out from his eyes
as he stood erect and felt himself for once _wholly_ a man, there, shone
a light that made those who looked upon him feel what it was for man to
have been created in HIS IMAGE. But beware monk! Beware priest! There is
either salvation or ruin in this! Salvation, if Duty holds the helm,—ruin
if Desire seizes the post.

Kiana regarded Olmedo in amazement. His was not the soul to enter into
such a sanctuary. There was one, however, whose nature penetrated his
inmost thoughts. Nay, more, it instinctively infused itself into his and
the two made One Heart; intuitively praising Him. Their eyes met. One
deep soul-searching gaze, and these two were for ever joined.



CHAPTER X.

      “So Love doth raine
    In stoutest minds and maketh monstrous Warre:
      He maketh warre: he maketh Peace again.
    And yet his Peace is but continual Jarre.
      Oh miserable men that to him subject arre.”

                                        SPENSER.


The situation of Beatriz alone, so far as companionship of her sex
was concerned, was peculiar. She was not one readily to give or seek
confidence. Were she surrounded with her equals in race and cultivation,
she would not have disclosed her inmost self, and least of all to a
female. This was instinct rather than reason. Those about her thought
they knew her in all points, because they saw how good and true she
was to them. They loved her, because her vast capacity of love drew
all lesser loves towards it. They came readily to her with their
trials, because in her large heart and womanly perceptions there was an
inexhaustible fountain of sympathy and a foresight truer than a sybil’s.
Thus daily, wherever she was, whoever among, she received a constant
tribute of devotion and confidence. The character of those about her grew
better by her presence. But with all this power, of which each word or
look could not but make her conscious, she was often inexpressibly sad.

Whence this sadness? Beatriz had never analyzed her own heart. While all
others were open to her, her own had remained a mystery. She felt within
it deep, broad currents of emotion, which led, she scarcely knew whither.
That their waters flowed from a clear spring was self-evident, because
her desires were pure and high. She loved her brother warmly, and he
returned her love; still there was a wide gulf between them. With other
men the gulf was wider. With women she had never been intimate. Hence,
while she seemed so easily read by all about her, there still remained a
mystery of which none had been able to lift the veil.

Her sympathy, self-sacrificing spirit and generosity; her indignation at
the mean or base; her approving glance at the noble and true; her quiet
courage and patient endurance; her piety, her quick perception, which
so often anticipated man’s slower judgment; her passions even, for she
had shown, when roused, a force and decision, that awed armed men and
controlled rude hearts; all this was intelligible to her companions, and
commanded their love and esteem. But there still remained a depth to her
nature, that theirs could never have sounded, and would have remained
fathomless to herself, unless stirred by a depth answering to her own.

All God-filled souls experience this. With all that rank, position
and the ordinary affections of kindred can confer, with, as it were,
every earthly wish gratified, there still remains, underlying the calm
exterior of social cultivation, a gnawing and restlessness, that unmasks
the skeleton at the feast. Something is ever wanting.

What is this want?

It is not Reason. The book of Nature is ever open, and the mind has but
to look thereon to find always something new,—truths to lead it upward
and onward, daily convincing it that its heritage is Infinity.

What is it then?

It is Love!

Yes, with all the resources of Reason, without Love, we are indeed
widowed. Like Rachel we refuse to be comforted. No love will satisfy
our hearts, however much we may cling to the phantoms of sentiment or
passion, however strong may be the demands of duty, however implicit our
obedience, unless the _measure_ of our hearts is filled. We must have all
that we can contain of all that we are and all that we are not. Then only
dual souls become _One_.

It is right that it should be thus. The very misery arising from
uncongenial unions or unsatisfied desires, springs from a benevolent law,
which says, like pain to the diseased limb, “you are wrong.” Be dutiful
but not satisfied. Although you now see through a glass darkly, in time
light and harmony will be your portion. Cultivate your soul so as to
receive a better inheritance.

Beatriz had never married. Her nature had kept her from the great error
of mistaking a little for the whole. She who had so much to give, was
too wise to fling herself away upon a single impulse. Her love for all
was the result of an unconscious superiority of soul, which increased by
what it gave. It was, more properly speaking, kindness or benevolence,
and flowed from her as naturally and as sweetly as fragrance from the
rose.

All great natures have in them a vein of sadness. This springs from the
consciousness of the little they are, in contrast with the much they
would be. With man it is an active want. He would know all things. He
grasps the reins of the chariot of the sun, and falls headlong because
he tries to fly before his wings are unfolded. Woman is more patient.
She passively awaits her destiny. If it be long in coming, she may find
solace in apathy, but she rarely, wilfully commits a wrong to hasten her
right. Yet when her moral nature does become disordered, as the foulest
decay springs from the richest soil, so she becomes so wanton as to cause
even fallen man to shudder.

Love had remained passive in the soul of Beatriz. Its might was all
there, but the torch that was to kindle the flame had not yet reached it.
She only knew its power for joy by the pleasure she felt in seeing its
effects in others. Thus she welcomed within herself all that she saw in
another that was noble and lovable, while she shrank instinctively from
every base action or degrading thought.

Kiana’s ardent, generous nature, had from the first been her captive.
This she saw; but it inspired in her no deeper sentiment than the respect
due his qualities. He, however, unlike most men, did not fancy that
to love, implied of necessity to be loved. His passion was open and
honorable. To the praise of the Hawaiian race, be it recorded, that no
white woman ever received other than courtesy at their hands. Rich or
poor, alone among thousands of natives, they and theirs with no other
protection than their own virtue, have ever been, not only respected,
but cared for, and to a certain extent venerated. White men, it is true,
have in general been as hospitably received. But by their passions they
speedily place themselves upon the level of the native. The white woman,
on the contrary, from the first went among them as a missionary,—a being
superior in virtue as in knowledge to themselves,—and by the affinity of
respect which human nature everywhere shows for the truly good, she has
ever maintained over this semi-barbarian race an ascendancy more real
than hostile fleets have ever effected.[1]

Beatriz had nothing to fear from Kiana. It was not in her power to refuse
his gifts for they reached her indirectly, through the thousand channels
ever open to a despotic will. Kiana’s passion, like his nature, was
princely. The rarest flowers, fresh every morning, were placed by unseen
hands about her house. All that Hawaii could produce that was beautiful
or delicate, found its way thither; she could not tell how, though she
felt from whom it came. The choicest fruits were served to her by the
fairest and best of Hawaii’s maidens. No wanton curiosity was allowed to
intrude upon her retirement. If she walked out, not an eye gazed rudely
upon her, not a glance questioned her motives. Amid a populous district,
she was as retired, at her own choice, as if it were her pleasure
grounds. The gallantry of Kiana had even provided for her a bathing place
in a crystalline pool, so nicely shaded by nature and screened by art, as
to form a retreat that Diana might have coveted. When he visited her, it
was with the state of a Hawaiian noble. Rarely, unless specially invited
by Juan, did he approach her in an informal manner. Savage though he
was, he possessed a tact and an intuitive perception of the delicacy of
Beatriz’s character, which led him to adopt the only course that could in
any wise make him personally acceptable to her.

One day not long after the scene described in the last chapter, Beatriz,
sadder than usual, was alone in her garden, looking at the ocean without
seeing it, when Kiana came up to her and in a low voice said, “Does the
white maiden mourn her Spanish home?”

“No, chief,” said Beatriz, “my home is with my brother. We are orphans.”

“Juan loves Hawaii,” replied Kiana, “and will stay with us. He is my
brother, my Hoapili, ‘close adhering companion,’ my people now call him.
But my heart is lonely. Will not his sister be my wife?”

The abruptness of the proposal, although so long foreshadowed by
attentions that only an honorable love could have suggested, at first
startled Beatriz, and for a moment she was at a loss for a suitable
reply. Decided in her own feelings, she wished to spare him unnecessary
pain, and at the same time preserve a friendship so important to the
welfare of her brother. Perhaps she thought too of Olmedo. Her hesitation
encouraged Kiana to plead his suit still farther.

“Kiana loves only the white maiden. Since his eyes first saw her, all
other loves have left him. His heart grows feeble when she speaks. He
trembles at her voice, but it is music to his ears. When she smiles the
sun looks brighter, the birds sing more sweetly and the flowers grow more
fragrant. My people see in her a deity. To me, she is my soul, my life.
Be mine, maiden, and rule Hawaii, as you now rule me,” and the haughty
chief, who had never before bent the knee in prayer to God or mortal,
knelt to Beatriz.

Her resolution was at once taken. With a nature like his, frankness and
firmness would, she felt, be appreciated.

“Rise, chieftain,” said she, “this must not be. White maidens give their
hands only with their hearts. You are generous, noble, proud. Would you
wed one who cannot return your love? No! Kiana could not stoop to that.”

“But thou wilt love. Thou art formed for love. Does not each bird seek a
mate? Wilt thou, of all thy sex, be always alone? Look around. All nature
smiles; thou only art ever sad. Let my love be thy smile, and Hawaii
shall ever rejoice that ‘the pearl of the sea-wave,’ for so thou art
called among us, was found upon her shore.”

“You speak truly, chief, when you call me sad, but were I to wed you
without love, you too would soon grow sad. The white maiden respects
you,—is grateful to you,—would serve you all in her feeble power, but she
cannot do so great a wrong to herself and to you, as to say yes, when her
heart speaks no.”

Kiana shook like an aspen leaf. His voice grew tremulous, but the pride
and passion of his race were subdued before the truth and beauty of
Beatriz. There had always been something in her deportment, which as
decisively forbade hope where hope was not to be, as it would have
invited love where love was to be. So he turned from her more in sorrow
than in anger, but had gone but a few steps, when returning, he said,
“Kiana loves you, and ever will. He seeks a companion, not a captive. You
are right not to say yes, when you feel no; fear not. Kiana can love,
even if not loved. All that he possesses is yours. Never shall it be said
of Kiana that his love changed to dishonor, because he could not win the
white maiden.”

Tears started to her eyes as she gave him her hand. She dared not trust
her speech to express the gratitude she really felt, for fear it might
revive his passion. And so they parted, each remaining true to their last
words.



CHAPTER XI.

    “I never saw a vessel of like Sorrow,
    So filled and so becoming.”
    ...
    “Give Sorrow words: the Grief that does not speak
    Whispers the overfraught heart and bids it break.”

                                         SHAKESPEARE.


No woman of true sensibility rejects a lover without feeling herself a
sympathy in the pang she inflicts. It often happens that in her artless
attempts to mitigate the disappointment, her motives are mistaken, and
she subjects herself again to a siege so much more pressing than the
former, that she yields against her conviction, a captive to a stronger
will, but not to love. It was not so with a woman of Beatriz’s mould. She
knew that in no way could she be so true to others as in being true to
herself. When Kiana turned from her, although she was sadder than before
he spoke, she felt that her sincerity had been her safety.

As she prolonged her walk farther from her house to where the trees
thickened into a forest, she thought she saw a pair of piercing eyes, not
unfamiliar, watching her at times, through the thick vines and ferns that
clustered about her path. She was, however, too abstracted by her own
reflections to be curious about them, and so she slowly wandered on.

“Holy Mother, has it come to this,” said she to herself, stopping
occasionally, and pressing her hands over her heart as if to still its
throbs, “do I love this man? Whence this fever here, if it be not love?
Why was it that when I found him lying, as I thought, dead on the sand,
my pulses ceased to beat, and for the instant I was dead myself? Could he
have seen my emotion when he came to? The Chaste Virgin forbid! Yet when
our eyes met on that holy evening in which we gazed so long upon the sea,
I read my soul in his. But can he know what I do not know myself? I would
say I do not love him, yet something within chokes me when I would utter
the words. What I, a Catholic maiden, love a priest? ’tis not so! it
would be sacrilege. May the Mother of God forgive the thought,” and she
paused with eyes uplifted and hands clasped in silent prayer.

For an instant she became quieter, but it was only the gathering of the
coming storm. Every instinct of her warm nature cried, “you love him.”
Each accepted doctrine of her faith as firmly forbade it. She felt
she was on the brink of a gulf. Destruction of soul and body or their
martyrdom, seemed the only choice.

“Yet,” thought she, “if it be a crime, why is it that his voice ever
soothes me,—that his words ever make me stronger and truer to my better
self,—that he upholds me in all that is good? When with him, nature has a
more loving aspect; the very stones look kindly on me. It has ever been
thus. Before I suspected myself,—yes, now I see it all,—years, years ago,
my heart flowed out the same to Olmedo,—his presence was my want. Away
from him I was contented, it is true, but I was sad. With him, my sadness
became a quiet joy. I was doubly myself. Has the good God given me all
this for a torment? To ruin my soul through the source of its virtue and
its highest happiness?”

She shuddered. Her whole frame was convulsed with agony. She did not
fear that Olmedo did not love her, because she thought that feelings so
deep and long tried as hers had been in relation to him, could not exist
without the answering sympathy of his.

It was not then the fear that she was not loved that troubled her. It
was rather the fear that Olmedo might be tempted even as she was. He,
a priest, vowed to chastity: his wife was the Holy Church; if it were
sacrilege in her to love, it were blasphemy in him. Again all the terrors
of a stricken conscience smote her, and she was overwhelmed at the
thought that he might be equally guilty with herself.

Thus it often is. God gives man his instincts and desires. Having made
him after his own image, that image must be vital with the eternal
principles of God-nature. If the author of all has inseparably connected
cause and effect in the physical world, He has carried the law no less
positively into the moral world. There can be, therefore, no instinct
without its proper function, and no aspiration that may not be realized
progressively towards Him. Duty is the password to heaven, which, in the
rightly balanced mind begins on earth. Finding all things good according
to their kind, it is not afraid to honor God by the right use of his
gifts. Man begins his hell here also, by the bars to his progress,
which his misunderstood organization, selfish passions, and the foolish
learning or spiritual tyranny of his merely human theology fabricate for
him. He fears, and seeks to compromise or deceive. If the spirit of God
be upon him, then he enjoys all things of God, each in its due degree,
with a peace that passeth understanding.

Beatriz, therefore, was right in feeling that the Being who had made the
human heart and given it the capacity of loving, intended that it should
love; that he had not given affections and the affinities of soul to
either sex, to be a torment from want of the very object which He had
made that man might not be _Alone_. And alone must be man or woman into
whose heart enter no sympathies, responding to their own. If Adam had his
mate, so has each son of his, by the same great law of Nature. God chose
for Adam, but he gave to his children a delicate heritage of instincts
and emotions of commingled matter and spirit, which were to be their
guides towards finding the other being who is to complete their unity.
That Olmedo was to her that being and she to him, Beatriz now knew full
well. Her past life, with all that she had gained in character through
him, and all she had enjoyed in feeling, the repose of perfect trust in
his truth, the delicacy of his deportment, which, whether as confessor
or friend, had always sought her highest good, all came back to her as a
new revelation. Not that a single word of love had ever passed between
them, or a single action, which angels might not have witnessed, escaped
him. Both had been in too full enjoyment of that calm but unconscious
love that springs from a mutual, mental and spiritual adaptation, without
the suggestion of a more intimate relation, until to her the pang of his
supposed death, and to him the reawakening of his physical life, amid the
allurements of a tropical climate, disclosed to both the full extent of
their attachment.

From that moment Beatriz was wretched, because however calm her exterior,
within love and conscience were in conflict. Her misery was the greater,
that she must hide her secret within her own bosom. Hitherto, every
doubt or struggle had been disclosed to her confessor, and in his advice
or consolation she had found repose. Now, the duties of her religion
required her to confess this great sin to her confessor, and seek
absolution for her soul’s sake; but that confessor was the man she loved,
and the confession itself, besides being forbidden by every principle of
womanly feeling, might, if made to him, precipitate both into the gulf
their faith told them to avoid.

“Sinning woman that I am, how can I pray to the Holy Virgin with such a
stain on my soul! Aid me, thou Chaste Mother, purest and best of women.
Must I ever carry this sorrow, known to him and seen to God, yet dare not
confess it, for fear of a greater sin? Would that I had drowned at the
wreck,” and the tears dropped fast upon her pale cheeks. For a moment her
body swayed to and fro with anguish, till faint and worn she sank upon
the ground.

Woman! thine hour of trial has come; as the good or evil principle
succeeds within thee, so wilt thou be saved or lost!

Every soul is born into the kingdom of Heaven only through spirit throes,
such as thou now feelest test thy power! Much has been given thee, and
much is required in _this_ hour. Conquer, and eye hath not seen nor ear
heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the joy
reserved for thee!

“God knows I love Olmedo. Were I to force my tongue to perjure my soul to
man, He sees my heart and its secret sin. Father in heaven, can it be sin
to love this man! Thou art all-wise, all-good, all-merciful. Thou hast
told us that imperfect mortals cannot look on Thee and live, but through
him, thy likeness so shines, that I can dimly see Thee. Do I not then
in loving him, love Thee?” And she mused for an instant with a dubious
smile, as if hope had began to dawn on her mind.

It was but for a short moment. Again her features darkened, and the cold
shudder came back upon her. Life seemed struggling to escape from so
bitter a trial. But her vital organization was so exquisite, that as she
could enjoy, so must she also suffer.

“Oh! my God! my God!” broke passionately from her lips, “what blasphemy
is this! Save me, Holy Mother! intercede for me with thy Son! the Evil
One seeks to snare my soul,” and she knelt in prayer.

There in the forest, no leaf stirring, all nature hushed, that lone
woman, her soul racked with doubt, fearing equally to violate her own
pure impulses and the faith which bade her crucify them, plead piteously
to her Father in heaven for strength to calm her soul, and to know the
right. Never before, in that land, had a truthful, earnest woman’s heart
poured forth its passionate griefs in words of childlike simplicity,
seeking sympathy and aid direct from its Maker. Well might we call that
spot hallowed through all after time. Long and deeply she prayed, with
her sad, sorrow-convulsed face upturned to heaven, into the vault of
which her full mild eyes seemed to pierce with a bright light, as if
like Stephen, she saw the crucified one amid his angels. Gradually her
features softened, a tear stood in either eye, the spirit she sought
entered her soul, and she rose from her forest altar, if not a happier,
for the time a calmer woman.



CHAPTER XII.

    “’Tis one thing to be tempted,
    Another thing to fall.”

                      SHAKESPEARE.


Since the evening by the seaside so eventful to each, Olmedo had not seen
Beatriz. Indeed he had avoided it, because with his present feelings
he dared not trust himself alone with her. His profession having been
chosen for him by his parents, he had been subjected when so young to
the discipline of his order, that he had been screened from the usual
temptations and experiences of ordinary life. Under any circumstances
he would have been an upright man. In his convent he had early acquired
an excellent character for strict compliance with the ritual of his
faith, benevolence, and study. Some of his brethren, jealous perhaps
of his greater influence among their flock, had hinted occasionally to
their superior, that his opinions were somewhat liberal, and that he
had displayed at times an independence and energy that betokened a more
active mind than was consistent with their order. Whatever truth there
may have been in these insinuations, such was the general respect in
which he was held, that no harm came to him or even notice of them,
except now and then a good-natured suggestion to be cautious in his
expressions before certain of the brethren.

Olmedo was born for a wider sphere than a monastic life. His passions
were active, but pure. There had always existed within him a silent
protest to forced celibacy, for he felt that the family was an
institution of God, while the convent was only of man. His mind, in all
questions that affected the welfare of the human race, naturally took
a broad and correct view, but so thoroughly grounded had he been in
the faith and practices of his church, that when his opinions really
differed, he preferred outwardly to submit to what he considered the
highest authority. Whenever, however, his good sense could consistently
be active in opposition to the narrow or fanatical views of other members
of his order, he had invariably spoken, and in general with effect;
and on all occasions which required self-devotion or the exercise of a
stricter rule of conduct, he had been the most prompt among them.

He was eminently qualified to be a missionary. His sincerity of faith
had not cramped his sympathies of human action. Active and thoughtful,
self-denying, yet charitable, firm to his convictions while obedient
to lawful discipline, with a winning, quiet manner, that commanded
respect and confidence, he was just the man to go forth to the world as
an example and preacher of the pure tenets of Christianity. The newly
discovered continent of America, with its novel races, greatly interested
him. There he could be freer than in Spain. Accordingly he had obtained
permission to embark for this new field of religious enterprise.

Although Olmedo had come from Spain with her father, it so happened that
it was in Cuba that he had first made the acquaintance of Beatriz. From
that moment he found himself strongly drawn towards her by their mutual
comprehension of each other’s character, which to each filled their
want of sympathy in the deeper aspirations of their natures. To either
their friendship was a new and sweet experience. Olmedo’s heart finding
refreshment in the ingenuous feelings and impulses of Beatriz, while her
mind expanded and strengthened in the intellectual resources of his.
Their intercourse, or mental confidence it would be more proper to term
it, as it related so exclusively to their minds, was the more complete,
that while each was actually governed by the real affinities from which
true love must spring, both were unconscious of any alloy of passion.
Such an intimacy as existed between them, could not have been between
brother and sister, neither between lovers, for while it was undoubtedly
warmed by an undercurrent of feeling unknown to the former, it was free
from all the embarrassments or dangers growing out of its recognized
existence with the latter. Olmedo was her spiritual father, and
something more; the magnet of her soul. She was his spiritual daughter,
and filled to his then well disciplined nature the void which lack of
female communion had ever caused. Hence both were free, unreserved, and
affectionate. Theirs was of its kind a perfect love, because it had no
fear, but now the time had come when the eyes of both were opened.

The effect on Olmedo of this sudden disclosure of his passion, was no
less a source of acute misery to him than the same self-confession of
Beatriz had been to her. Perhaps his sufferings were even greater. Hers
were impulsive and passive. An intuitive perception disclosed all at
once the joys a complete union of hearts like theirs might realize,
while faith forbade the banns. With her, therefore, it was simply a
struggle, not against reason, for that sided with her, but a conscience
educated in opposition to nature. There is no source of mental misery
more poignant than this, because it is the actual right struggling
against the conventional wrong, which by a false view of the laws of
God has been made to appear the right. It is God’s conscience against
man’s conscience, claiming to be of God. And although the latter may
not be right in itself, yet from having been chosen as a moral guide,
circumstances may have woven so strong a web around it, that to suddenly
break the woof would be a wrong. Hence, the eternal wrong having become
the present right, nothing remains but to obey duty and leave the
justification of God’s ways to his own good time.

[Illustration]

Olmedo now saw plainly that God had as fully constituted him for marriage
as any other man; that even his partial intercourse with woman had been
the means of his greater soul-awakening; that it was an error to view God
as a being who delighted in asceticism. On the contrary he rejoiced, and
all nature showed it, in man’s innocent appropriation of all the sources
of enjoyment and knowledge, created expressly for him. The feasting
and sociality of Christ, his love for women and children and constant
intercourse with them, his generous disregard of the letter of the law,
all spoke to him as they never had before. He was satisfied that man was
right only, in the degree that he exercised all his faculties in the
direction for which they were created; that to deny some to the intent
to exalt others, was a fatal mistake. Harmony proceeded solely from the
mutual and free action of all, in accordance with general principles
which all nature except man instinctively recognized, but which to
man were often perverted by the wantonness of Reason. In demanding to
be his sole guide, Reason claimed too much. There were lessons to be
learned through his affection as well as through his intellect. The
more childlike he became, the more direct was his intercourse with God.
Nature, children, and, above all, the heart of woman had become to him
new sources of inspiration. There was then a Holy Book in all created
things. Words of life could be read alike in the phenomena of nature, the
sports of innocence, and the warm affections of humanity. Revelation was
not confined to the printed page.

Such thoughts as these would have brought him to the stake in Spain.
In the dull routine of convent-life, they probably would never have
been awakened. Here he was in a new world. The church, as a human
institution, was himself. There was no official authority superior to
his own; no guide above his own reason or conscience. Naturally free
and inquiring, how could it be otherwise than that the lessons of his
new life should be felt in his soul. He saw that hierarchies were not
indispensable roads to heaven. He even dimly imagined the time when each
man should be again his own priest, and the intercourse between God and
his children be direct as it once was. But I cannot follow him through
all the foreshowings of his newly aroused religious aspirations. The
Age and his education still had deep hold upon him. Fain would he now,
however, redeem himself a man.

“Why should I not?” thought he. “Am I always to obey a vow taught me by
others before able to judge for myself? Is the scope of another’s mind to
be the measure for mine? Here Beatriz and myself must pass our days, away
from our native lands, with no bars between our loves except such as have
been made for other places and circumstances. Must we obey them and deny
ourselves all that God appoints for our union, because man has put us
asunder?”

His heart rebelled at this thought, and his passions grew clamorous.
They were none the less forcible from long restraint. He loved Beatriz
truly, but he loved her as a man; his whole nature panted for hers, but
with his intensity of feeling there was perfect chastity, for he could
as soon have warmed towards a vegetable as towards one he did not love.
His passion was begotten of his love. He felt its impulses, but neither
analyzed nor thought of them, except in relation to their object. Did
this monk sin?

His thoughts now reverted to her. “She is my spiritual child. Her soul is
in my keeping. Should I not be false to my charge to permit a union which
the Church anathematizes? I may risk my own soul, but not hers. No! No!
Be quiet, heart! She is pure and artless, the child of heaven; she must
remain so,” and he sighed as if his last breath was parting, as he strove
to bring his will to this self-renunciation.

With him, passion, opportunity, reason, and even his new views of
religion plead for the union. Greater temptation of circumstance and
argument never assailed a man. On the other hand, arose the still, small
voice, “You are her spiritual father; love you may and must, but to
confess that love, to tempt her, would be a sin against the Holy Ghost;
for has she not been confided to thy charge? Was ever such a crime known
to one, who has vowed to God for his better service here, and for higher
reward hereafter, to renounce the honors and pleasures of this life,—to
know no wife, or child; to crucify alike passions and affections for the
love of Heaven. Have a care, priest! the devil baits his hook temptingly
for thee!”

The full tide of a broken faith swept over his soul with retributory
energy. He trembled with horror. Clasping his crucifix tightly to
his breast, and frantically kissing it, he rushed from the house,
exclaiming, “Save me, Jesus, save me from myself; save her, at least,
whatsoever thou wilt do with me.”



CHAPTER XIII.

    “The world and men are just reciprocal,
    Yet contrary. Spirit invadeth sense
    And carries captive Nature. Be this true,
    All good is Heaven, and all ill is Hell.”

                                     BAILEY.


The southern and most eastern portion of Hawaii was, at the period of
this tale, in great part, a sterile, volcanic region, with but scanty
vegetation and a scanty supply of water. Mauna Loa occupied the larger
part, with its immense dome and volcano. It threw off on its flanks, vast
rivers formed by the flow from its summit of torrents of lava, which, in
cooling, broke up into a myriad of fantastic forms. In some places they
presented large tracks of volcanic rock, in easy slopes, as smooth as if
a sluggish stream of oil had been suddenly changed to stone,—in others,
the sharp vitrified edges, broken, basaltic masses, and savage look
of the whole, suggested the thought of a black ocean petrified at the
instant when a typhoon begins to subside, and the waves running steeple
high toss and tumble, break and foam, into a thousand wild currents and
irregular shapes. No verdure of any kind found root in these wastes. The
sole nourishment they offered was an occasional supply of rain-water,
left in the hollows of the rocks. It was impossible to traverse them,
unless the feet were protected by sandals, impenetrable to the heat
which was reflected from the glassy surfaces of the smooth rock, or the
knife-like edges of the jagged lava, which formed a path as unpleasant
as if it had been freshly macadamized with broken beer bottles. Fresh
currents of lava yearly flowed over the old, adding to the blackness of
its desolation. The fumes of sulphur and other poisonous gases, the lurid
glare of liquid rock, explosions and mutterings, belchings and heavings,
the quaking and trembling of the fire-eaten ground and jets of mingled
earth and water,—the very elements fuzed into whirlpools and fountains
of nature’s gore, redder and more clotted than human blood, while fiery
ashes obscured the sky, and heavy rocks shot up as if from hell’s
mortars, burst high in the air, or fell far away from their discharging
craters with the crash and roar of thunderbolts,—such at times were the
scenes and atmosphere of much of this district.

Still the coasts and many of the valleys afforded sufficient arable
ground to support quite a numerous population. The climate was as
variable as the variety of altitudes it covered. On the seaside, to the
leeward of the fire-mountains, it was burning with the heat of Sahara,
and all but rainless, while the highest portions were almost continually
enveloped in clouds and dense vapors. The natives were familiar with both
the tropical palm and the frigid lichens, perpetual heat and perpetual
cold, boiling springs and never melting ice, the precocious luxuriance
and the utter sterility of nature, all within a circuit of not over one
hundred and fifty miles.

I doubt if the earth’s surface affords elsewhere more rapid transitions
of zones within a more limited territory than Hawaii. Her phenomena
of all kinds, and even her productions, though limited in variety,
are on no niggard scale. The active and extinct volcanoes are the
largest known,—her mountains, not in chains, but isolated, are the more
impressive to the eye, from their solitary grandeur, rising as they do
directly from the ocean, which encircling them leads off the view into
immensity. Thus the grandeur of this wonderful island becomes complete.

In the middle-ground between the hot country of the coast and the cold of
the highest region, there is a neutral spot or belt, where the creative
and destructive agencies of nature are in intimate contact. Here we find
heavy forests with trees of immense size, growing upon a soil so thin,
that earthquakes frequently tilted them to the ground, throwing roots and
the clinging earth into the air, and leaving bare the rock beneath. Amid
seas of cold lava arise islets of shrubbery; verdant spots, where the
strawberry, raspberry, and other fruits grow, planted in ages past by the
provident agency of birds, that have here rested in their flights from
more prolific soils. Now they yield welcome harvests to the colonies of
their first sowers and to man. Although fire so often lays them waste,
they speedily recover their fertility, and, indeed, are gradually
pushing vegetation into the increasing soil on all sides, thus adding
slowly to the area of habitable earth.

The inhabitants of this region partook of its character. They were brave,
hardy, fierce, and cruel; as uncertain as their volcanoes, and as savage
as their soil. The sybaritic life of their more favored neighbors had no
attractions for them, except as a temptation for foray. They loved to
seize upon the luxuries they were too ignorant to create for themselves,
and indeed which nature almost denied them. But the superior arms and
discipline of Kiana’s people in general prevailed, and they were confined
within their own borders, although sometimes a successful expedition
supplied them with both slaves and victims for sacrifice to the gods of
their terrible mythology. For they saw in the mighty agencies of nature
around them, only malignant and sanguinary deities, whom they feared and
sought to appease by rites as horrible as their own imagination.

[Illustration]

The great crater of Mauna Loa was their Olympus. Amid its glowing
fires, or high up in the perpetual snows of the mountain, resided
their awful goddess Pele, with her sister train and attendants of the
other sex, whose names best express their terrific attributes. It
will be noticed that like the Grecian, their mythology had its origin
in their elementary conceptions of the facts of natural philosophy,
which in time, by their darker imaginations, were personified into a
family of monsters, instead of the poetical fancies of the sensuous
Greek. “Hiaka-wawahi-lani,” the heaven dwelling cloud-holder, and
“Makole-inawahi-waa,” the fiery-eyed cave breaker, were the sisters
of Pele, and with the brothers “Kamoho-alii,” the king of steam and
vapor, “Kapoha-ikahi-ala,” the explosion in the palace of life,
“Kenakepo,” the rain of night, “Kanekekili,” thundering god, and
“Keoahi-kama-kana,” fire-thrusting child of war; the latter two were like
Vulcan deformed,—made up her court. Their favorite sporting place was
the volcano of Kilauea, where they were always to be seen, revelling in
its flames, or bathing in its red surges, to the chorus of its terrific
thunderings or frightful mutterings.

My readers will, I trust, forgive me the insertion of these sentence-long
names for the poetry there is in them, and if they will pronounce them
with the soft accent of Southern Europe, they will find them as melodious
as their definitions are expressive.

But it was not alone to these deities these savages paid homage. They
worshipped a mammoth shark, and fed him with human victims, casting
them alive within the enclosed water in which they kept their ferocious
pet. This was not quite so bad as feeding lampreys on slaves, for their
sin was done under a mistaken idea of religion, while the other was to
glut revenge, and fatten eels for their owner’s dinner. If we condemn
the unintellectual Indian for his sacrifices and his tabus, how much
more must we pass under condemnation the Roman for his inhumanity, and
the Catholic for his Inquisition; the one sinning in the full light of
knowledge, and the other of both knowledge and revelation.

[Illustration]

As Kiana had partially succeeded in placing the rites of worship among
his sensuous people upon a cheerful and in a material view, an elevated
footing, so the priests of these tribes had in every conceivable way
augmented the terrors and demoniacal attributes of theirs, and shaped
them into the likeness of a devil, called “Kalaipahoa,” which combined
all the ugliness their imaginations were capable of conceiving in a
wooden idol, sufficiently hideous to have sent a thrill of horror even
through Dante’s Inferno. It was the poison god, and was made of a wood,
which the priests gave out to be deadly poisonous. Its huge, grinning
mouth was filled with rows of sharks’ teeth, human hair in brutish curls
covered its head, while its extended arms and spread fingers continually
cried, “give, give,” to the poor victims of its fears.

Such, in brief, were the chief objects of worship among these Hawaiians,
whose habits in other respects offered a strong contrast to those of
Kiana’s people. Cannibalism, though not very common, was not rare among
the most ferocious of the clans, but was restricted chiefly to feasts of
revenge after contests in which all their cruel propensities had been
fully aroused. They were given to the worst forms of sorcery, and their
worship embraced such rites as might be supposed to be pleasing to their
demon-idols. Always at war, either among themselves, or with their more
favored neighbors of the north, their selfish passions were ever active,
and their religion, based upon fear and the most abject superstition,
but confirmed them in the vices most congenial to their natures. Kiana’s
subjects presented the aborigines of Polynesia under their most favorable
aspect, but these tribes the other extreme of savage life. With both
there were exceptions to the general character. There was, however,
sufficient similarity between their traits to prove not only a common
parentage, but that a change of circumstances would, in time, produce
an alteration in the most prominent qualities of each. This actually
occurred, nearly three centuries later, when the first Kamehameha united
the islands under one sovereign. But even now the traveller perceives in
the sparse inhabitants of these regions a less genial disposition than
in those on the sea-coast, while it is among them that still linger most
pertinaciously the traces of their former fearful worship.

Among their chiefs was one named Pohaku, who had acquired by his
superior courage and fierceness an ascendency over all the others. He was
dark even for a native; his hair short and crispy; his eyes blood-shot;
nostrils thick and wide spread, and his lips heavy and full, showing,
when open, a mouth in which great milky white teeth appeared like
scattered tomb-stones in a graveyard; many having been knocked out in
the various fights in which he had been engaged. His frame and muscles
were those of a bull, and his strength prodigious. Brute force was his
tenure of power, for with all the respect of the Hawaiians for inherited
rank, he was so bad a tyrant, that nothing but a convenient opportunity
had been wanting for them long before to have rid themselves of him. So
malicious was his vanity, that he had been known to cut off the leg of
a man more richly tattooed than his own. To mangle faces, whose beauty
inspired him with jealousy, was a common pastime. Thankful were the
possessors if their entire heads were spared. Even a handsome head of
hair was sufficient provocation to cause the owner to be beheaded. To
this malevolence he joined a mania for building. What with his wars,
cruelties and constant consumption of time in his rude works, his
immediate tenants had a hard service, so that it was not surprising that
they took every occasion to desert to the territories of Kiana, who
kindly received all who claimed his protection. Others retreated farther
into the savage wilderness, and there became petty robbers, a further
pest to the little industry that could exist under such a ruler, and on
so precarious a soil. The whole population, therefore, bred to hardihood
and tyranny, were ever ripe for every opportunity which would unite them
in any enterprise that savored of danger and plunder.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XIV.

    “He that studieth revenge, keepeth his own wounds green.”—BACON.


Tolta had not been idle since the shipwreck. The restraint which the
presence of the Spaniards had hitherto imposed upon him, was now removed.
He was rarely seen with them, and indeed often disappeared for weeks at a
time.

Kiana had never liked him. Tolta felt it at heart and resented it. At the
bottom of this feeling was no doubt the attachment both had for Beatriz.
We have seen the nature of Kiana’s; generous and profound, more from deep
respect than from positive love, because in reality, while her character
compelled, it at the same time repelled his passion. He had striven to
win her, for he could not help it. In one sense, he was not disappointed
at the result, because his reason told him it could not be otherwise.
Having therefore obeyed both his own and her will, he now, in continuing
his kindness, left her as free to act as himself.

It was different with Tolta. The Aztec saw even deeper into the
impassable gulf between their two natures, but he was drawn to her with
the tenacity of the bloodhound to his scent. In her presence he was
gentle and serviceable. The passions which excited him when apart from
her, became with her like those of a little child. He would gaze upon
her for hours with eyes intense with his fiery emotions, but the moment
she spoke to him the fire left them, and the good in him illumined his
countenance.

Beatriz read his character, and while from sympathy in his misfortunes
she exerted herself to soothe, she never could so overcome her repugnance
as to trust in him as she did in Kiana. With the latter she felt safe;
with Tolta never. The very fierceness which he was ever ready to display
in her defence, might at any moment be turned upon her. It was well
that her instincts prompted her to distrust him as much as she did, for
often the only barrier between them was her own moral superiority. Tolta
felt this to be indeed a far stronger obstacle than would have been the
jealous precautions of lock or duenna. The possibility of Beatriz loving
him as he did her never deluded him. He knew that was hopeless. Still his
passion rather grew than abated, especially in the freedom of his new
life, which brought back the pride and ambition of his race. So long,
however, as he saw that Beatriz did not love another, he was reconciled.
She had so wisely avoided the subject whenever he sought to suggest
his feelings, that he had all but persuaded himself that she was of a
different mould from other women. She might be worshipped, but not sought
in love.

He hated Juan and the seamen with all the intensity of an Aztec’s
revenge, for their share in the conquest of his country. Olmedo he had
ever respected for his virtues, and would have exempted from the fate
he cherished at heart for the others. In his excursions about Hawaii,
he had come in contact with some of Pohaku’s warriors. Gradually their
intercourse had ripened into an intimacy with their chief, with whom he
now conspired to overthrow Kiana and get possession of the Spaniards.
So adroitly had he concealed his designs, that he had retained the
friendship and confidence of all except a few individuals about him, for
his manner was the same it had ever been. Their own consciousness of the
opportunities he now had, and the provocation they had often given him,
were more the causes of their secret distrust than anything they saw. His
frequent absences were a relief rather than a cause of suspicion, for he
was then forgotten.

He had no difficulty in obtaining a willing auditory to his plans in
Pohaku, and the chiefs leagued with him. His inmost desire was to
sacrifice the Spaniards to the war-god of Mexico, under any name his
allies might choose from their mythology, and to gloat over their dying
agonies, while taunting them with their fate as due their crimes against
his countrymen. Besides this, seeing the brutal nature of Pohaku and the
easy confidence of Kiana, he conceived the design of eventually disposing
of both, by turning their arms against each other, while he gradually
united all Hawaii under his own sway and forced Beatriz to become his
wife. As hopeless as seemed such a plot, it was within the range of
probability could the wily Aztec dispose of the chief actors. To this end
he now bent all the resources of his cunning.

Pohaku listened eagerly to his seductive eloquence as he promised him
the wealth of Kiana’s people, if he would unite his warriors under his
direction. He excited his fears also, as he narrated the career of the
white man in Mexico, insinuating that they were spies, to be followed by
numbers sufficient for the conquest of Hawaii, as soon as their report
should reach their countrymen in the ports whence they came.

At the suggestion of Tolta, some days before the declaration of Kiana
to Beatriz, Pohaku had sent his heralds to summon the friendly chiefs
to a grand council, at which the plot was to be finally discussed. They
assembled at one of his principal fortresses on the southwestern bank of
the crater of Kilauea, and there in silence and secrecy prepared their
plans. Tolta knew too well the valor of the Spaniards, not to impress
upon the chiefs the importance of securing them before marching in
force upon Kiana. So artfully did he mingle his own revenge with their
superstition, that they with one accord decided to seize upon them by a
secret expedition entrusted to Tolta, who agreed to put them into their
hands for a solemn sacrifice to Pele, on condition only that the white
woman was to be his own prize. Accordingly, some of the most active and
trusty warriors were placed at his command. By slow marches and secret
paths he led them without discovery to the borders of the valley where
the Spaniards dwelt, dividing them into different ambushes, with orders
to seize each one and bear him off at once to Pohaku’s fortress, without
taking his life, while he was to decoy the white men to them, and on each
occasion make his own escape as if equally endangered. So successful was
he, that the three seamen were abducted as arranged, without any alarm
being given. Tolta then, with a select party lay in wait in the vicinity
of Juan’s dwelling, watching his opportunity to seize the main prize.
Alvirez, he soon ascertained, was for the present out of his reach, being
in a distant part of the valley.

While watching for Olmedo and Beatriz, he had been witness to the scene
between Kiana and the latter. Without overhearing their discourse, he saw
in their parting, as simple as it was, food for his jealousy, for he well
knew that her hand and tear had never been given him. His tiger blood
was stirred, and he ground his teeth in rage. “What,” said he, “does she
frown upon the Aztec noble, that she may smile upon this hind of Hawaii.
Once in my power, and she shall be taught to love me or none.”

He watched her after movements more in amazement than anger, for they
were to him contradictory and unintelligible. Besides, until she was
sufficiently far from her people, he dared not give the signal to seize
her for fear of a general alarm; but not for one minute did he let her
get out of his sight, following her movements under cover of the thick
undergrowth of the forest, with the silence and subtlety of a serpent.
While thus engaged, a scene occurred which so astonished and fascinated
him, that until he had seen it out, he seemed to have forgotten the
object of his expedition.



CHAPTER XV.

                    “Exalted souls
    Have passions in proportion, violent,
    Resistless and tormenting: they’re a tax
    Imposed by nature in preëminence,
    And Fortitude, and Wisdom must support them.”

                                          LILLO.


When Olmedo left his house under such excited feelings, he unconsciously
followed the path which led to the grove where Beatriz was, and which he
knew to be her favorite retreat. In his present condition of mind, she
was the last person his reason would have counselled him to meet, but led
by an inward attraction, without seeking the meeting, his steps took him
towards where she had just risen from prayer. So distracted, however,
was he with his conflicting emotions, that she saw him the first. It was
too late to avoid him, which she would not have done had she been able.
Conscious of the rectitude of her own desires, and pacified by her late
appeal to heaven, she obeyed her impulse and advanced towards him. As he
suddenly looked up and saw her within a few steps, a faintness came over
him, and he was well nigh falling, but with a great effort recovering
himself, he took her hand as frankly as it was offered.

Both were silent. Each felt the crisis of their fate had arrived. Nature,
when her mightiest agencies are about to go forth in the hurricane, the
earthquake, or the volcanic eruption, is for the moment breathless. So
the human soul anticipates its most direful trials by utter stillness.

They walked on side by side, going deeper into the wood, as if to screen
themselves from all the world. Yet neither knew why they did so, only it
was a relief to be together and to be apart from every one else. Though
not a word had been spoken, each felt the confession had been made, and
they began to tremble, as did the guilty pair in Paradise when they first
heard the voice of the Creator. Why should they tremble?

To love surely was no crime. That hearts like theirs should in meeting
mingle, God had ordained when he first created man and woman. Whence,
then, the thrill too deep for utterance that paralyzed their tongues?
Beatriz was not a woman to shrink from the display of her own feelings.
She was one rather to avow them, and meet the consequences fearless in
her honesty. Olmedo had never before shrunk from speaking directly from
his heart words of truth or admonition. Why, then, did these innocent
ones act as if guilt was upon them? Because the Church had said to him,
“thou shalt not love her whom God gave thee for a companion, and to her,
thou shalt not be a companion to him.” Thus man’s forgery of God’s will,
making Him to say, “it is good for man to be alone,” had given to each of
these sufferers, who by his laws were mated in love and sympathy in body
and soul, for time and eternity, a false conscience which perverted their
good into their evil. Much of theology is indeed a cunningly contrived
system of man’s to make himself miserable, despite the broad ordinances
of the Creator, to be read in all his works, “to go forth and enjoy the
world, to be fruitful and multiply, to love Him with all thy heart, with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” and “thy neighbor as thyself.” Man
will not be in his proper relation to his Maker, until he escapes from
the dogmas and creeds of a conventional Christianity and walks with Him,
as did Enoch, in the faith of that perfect love which casteth out all
fear.

But man in his soul-progress can keep pace only with his age and
opportunity. The duties he voluntarily assumes are still duties, though
more light may have widened his own prospect. He is but a link in the
vast chain of humanity, no one of which can be ruptured without affecting
it through its entire extent. He is, therefore, to consider well before
he acts whether in seeking his own personal gratification, or even in
obeying the right instincts of his heart, he may not offend others,
or do a general injury for a particular good. In all doubtful moral
emergencies, duty says obey the higher law, or that which shows that thou
lovest thy neighbor as thyself.

There is a blessing in the principle of obedience, springing from
self-sacrificing motives, which, whatever may be the result in this life,
is sure of its final reward. Duties, whether artificial or not, are the
moral diamond dust, by which our souls are polished. As we free ourselves
from all selfish considerations in our relations with others, so shall
our hope be converted into joy in the next life. It is well, therefore,
to bear our burdens meekly and with courage here, that we may travel the
lighter hereafter.

Olmedo was distracted between his vows and his desire. How could he to
the simple natives recall his teachings and example as a monk, upon the
one point of celibacy, which in him was now in such peril! Could they
comprehend his recantation? Would not the little truth that had already
begun to be understood among them, based as it was more upon their
respect for one who showed himself superior to their ordinary passions,
than to an intellectual appreciation of his doctrines, would not this
seed even be lost, and the priest, tabued to women, be hereafter esteemed
only as one of themselves? Besides, the doctrine of self-abnegation, or
the crucifying of his natural instincts, which although his now more
enlightened reason showed him could not be an acceptable sacrifice
to their author, except in refraining from their abuse, still had a
deep hold upon him, particularly as it was his own love that had just
stimulated his mind to the full exercise of its freedom. He who had
already sacrificed so much to an erroneous idea, could he not now
complete the sacrifice for the sake of the good to others? Would not such
a sacrifice to the principle of love to his neighbor, and of duty to his
vows, be bread upon the waters, to be returned to him at the end of
time? Each heart had its schooling for eternity. The struggle to decide
his future—his salvation had come. What was once right for him as a free
man, was now wrong as pledged to a religion whose tenets had ever been
his love and admiration.

Such had been his reflections. They had flashed through his mind and
ten-fold more, with piercing throbs of conscience, as in silence he
walked by the side of Beatriz with his eyes fixed on the ground, while
his blood was beating time to passion’s marches, and his affections
yearned, nay, clamored to take Beatriz to wife. They had come to him
with all the quickness and vividness with which the entire previous life
crowds itself into the brief struggle of the drowning man. Speak he could
not. His tongue was rooted to his mouth.

With Beatriz the struggle was different. She made no pretence to conceal
what was longer impossible, but waited with quickened pulse and tremulous
feeling, to hear him break the silence. His mental agony was perfectly
intelligible to her. Without analyzing as he did the circumstances of
their position, they flooded her heart like a spring freshet. It might
break, but she would give no sigh that should tempt him from his holy
allegiance. Once his decision made, her heart was wholly his, either to
sustain him in duty, or to share his lot. With Ruth she would have said,
“Entreat me not to leave thee, nor to return from following after thee,
for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge.”
How long they wandered thus, or how far, neither could realize, for
every step was as if a millstone were tied to their heels. In their doubt
and conflict the landscape, so joyous in itself, seemed overspread with
gloom. The very sun, as it stole through the thick verdure overhead,
shot upon them cold and mocking rays—light without warmth. Heaven was
darkened, and the earth gave them no rest.

At last they sat down; Beatriz on a log, and Olmedo at her feet.
Around and over them rose a rural bower, carpeted with soft mosses and
canopied with vines, fragrant in blossoms and flowers. The birds warbled
melodiously even at noon-day in this shady retreat. Near by, flowed a
little brook with gentle murmurings, a vein of life coursing through the
green sward, on its way to a torrent stream that thundered far below.
Through an opening in the trees, mountain-ward in the far distance could
be seen the glassy curve of the cataract which fed both. Rising from its
mist, enclosing in its hollow the entire gorge from which it issued,
was a perfect rainbow, forming a frame of wondrous beauty to nature’s
painting. On the opposite side, glimmering through the forests like a
silver horizon, was the ocean, its waves sparkling and dancing in the
bright sun as the fresh trade-wind swept over it, and, cooled by its
breath, came stealing with soft notes and reviving breeze through every
leafy cranny of the dense jungle. The quick darting, bright eyed lizards,
crept out of their holes and played about their human friends, sure that
they had nothing to fear from them. Adam and Eve when they slept in
Paradise, were not more alone with the communings of nature than were
apparently this pair. A scene more soothing, since its gates were closed
upon our race, the earth had never offered to mankind. Yet for a while
it was unheeded, for the eyes of both were turned within; gradually,
however, its beauties dawned upon them. They looked around. Beatriz first
spoke. “Olmedo,” she said, “does not God reign here? How beautiful is
this landscape? how filled with repose; all nature is hushed in harmony.
Why is it we alone are unhappy?”

As she said this her face lighted up with its wonted smile for him. She
wished to chase away the gloom that darkened his brow. The appeal was
irresistible. There was before him the rainbow, God’s sign of hope and
protection for man; there was her smile which for so many years, and
through so many trials, had been the rainbow to his heart. Why should it
be less now? Could he not learn to accept its spirit, without coveting
her possession?

His heart melted. He laid his head upon her knees, and for an instant
wept aloud. Their hands soon met, and were entwined; then their eyes—long
and earnestly they searched each other’s souls. All the tenderness and
truth of natures, warm like theirs with humanity’s deepest sympathies,
poured forth responsive in that gaze. From her face, lighted with love’s
softest smile, bending over him with an angel look, as if it would pour
into his torn heart all the peace, purity, and sacrifice hers contained,
there shone a celestial glow, which savored more of heaven than earth.
Bright spirits were communing with them; spirits of love and joy. Alas!
their lips meet, and in one lingering kiss, the first of love’s passion
either had known, was concentrated all the long pent-up affection of
their two lives.



CHAPTER XVI.

    “It is with certain Good Qualities as with the Senses; those
    who are entirely deprived of them, can neither appreciate nor
    comprehend them.”—LA ROCHEFOUCAULD.


There are some natures like the orange-tree, upon which the blossom and
fruit meet at the same time. In their capacity for joy they receive
more from one glowing, self-forgetting impulse, than colder and more
calculating persons are able to gather in a lifetime. With such are
generally permitted on earth only glimpses of ecstatic happiness, far-off
sights of their promised land, the eternal future, through the never
ending ages of which their affections and intellect shall steadily
advance towards infinite Love and Wisdom, each emotion a new bliss, and
each thought a deeper current from the infinitude of divine knowledge.

Who are those that realize their hopes on earth; here find their homes,
content with the present and its material gifts, without heart-yearnings
for deeper, truer, and more satisfying affections; without soul-strivings
to penetrate the mysterious Beyond? Who are such? Through the length and
breadth of every land myriads respond, “Give us a sufficiency of treasure
on earth, and we will not seek to scale heaven. Our loves, our lands,
our gold and our silver, our mistresses, our wives and our children;
our well-garnished tables and our fine houses; the riches for which our
hands and minds labor, and which our hearts covet; all that we can see,
feel, weigh and compare; the honors by which we are exalted above our
neighbors, the fame by which our names are in the world’s mouths; these
are our desires. Give us abundantly of these that we may eat, drink, and
be merry, and we ask not for more. This earth is good enough for us.”

Do they have their reward? Yea, verily! as they sow, so they reap. Few
there are who steadily give themselves to the pursuit of these desires,
but receive houses and lands, honor and fame, meats and drinks, handsome
women or fine men, such children as such parentage can give birth to,
stocks in all banks but that of Eternity. There is no lack of wealth like
this to the earnest seeker.

God is a provident father. He has created everything good of its kind,
and bestowed self-will upon man that he might himself elect his manner of
life. The standard of enjoyment for his own soul is at his own option,
whether he will discipline it here for its higher good hereafter, or
whether he will enjoy here without reference to that hereafter, the
knowledge of which is suggested in some way or other to all men. Man is
highly distinguished. For is not creation made for him? There is neither
gift nor discipline but can be made subservient to his moral growth;
to his conquest of the kingdom of heaven. There is nothing, also, but
may be transformed by sensual, selfish, short sighted desire, by his
weaknesses or passions; by his false logic or falser ambition, into a
morass of error, into which he will ever plunge deeper and deeper, unless
he resolutely bends his steps towards the firm land of hope and faith
that is never wholly shut out of the gloomiest horizon.

Just in proportion to the quality of the treasure we seek, is the degree
of enjoyment that springs from its realization. All that belongs solely
to earth has incorporated with it change, decay, satiety, fear, and care.
These are warning angels, to urge the spirit to temperance, that it may
not mar its capacity for nobler enjoyments. As they are disregarded, and
man seeks only that which is perishable, he finds his pleasures pall and
his appetites wane. Abuse extinguishes gratification. Want of aspiration
towards the perfect development of all man’s faculties leaves him a
monotonous, abdominal animal, content with husks wherewith to fill his
belly. There is no increase in store for him, because he can conceive
of nothing better than what his feeble hands or vainglorious mind have
gathered around him. Nature reads to him no moral lesson, because he uses
her only as a slave, to administer to his material wants. He sees not
that there is in all things a deeper principle than mere use for the body.

    “A primrose by a river’s brim—
    A yellow primrose is to him,
    And it is nothing more.”

The vital element that pervades all nature, uniting it in a chain of
harmonious progression, the eternal laws of which even his stolid spirit
cannot ultimately avoid, however much he now seeks to bury it beneath
the grosser particles of matter, escapes his perception. Guided only by
his finite, perishable sensorium, in vain attempt to grasp at once the
entire treasure, he often plunges his suicidal knife into the ovary which
daily laid him a golden egg. Thus man destroys his own birthright through
brutal ignorance and sensual impatience. The truly wise count all things
at their right worth, and find a sympathy in every natural object, in
varied degree, according as it speaks to them the thought of a common
Creator, and connects them in one common end. They have, therefore, a
double enjoyment. First, that which springs from the right material
use of every object or sense; secondly, the language which both speak
to them of hope and faith in more refined enjoyments and more perfect
conditions of existence. The very trials and incompleteness of present
experiences are so many testimonies of future and nobler realizations.
Thus God speaks as kindly through the so-called evils and disappointments
of life, as through the more readily distinguished blessings; for if they
see in the latter hope and happiness, so in the former they distinguish
that chastening which, through paternal discipline, seeks to guide and
strengthen.

Few situations could be more trying to moral firmness than the
circumstances under which we left Olmedo and Beatriz. Free from all
external restraint of church discipline, with no censorship beyond their
own consciences; reason and passion both pleading their right to be
united; their past by its friendship casting a bright light upon their
future and closer union; doomed to pass their lives, while still in the
flush of life, away from all that had made other homes dear; twin exiles,
each sustaining the other and now alone, amid a joyous seductive nature,
every motion and aspect of which was pleading for love;—was there not
in all this sufficient temptation to have overcome them? Neither were
ascetic by nature nor principle. No two human beings, by organization,
were better fitted to enjoy lawfully all the indulgences wholesome
instincts and the tenderness of united hearts craved. The very restraint
which former circumstances and the absence of love had produced, now
that both were removed, but made them more susceptible to the reaction.
We must not, therefore, judge that kiss too harshly. Less passion would
have removed them from our sympathies. Now they have vindicated their
humanity, will they be able to vindicate their duty? Duty as their
religion taught them!

Olmedo’s heart beat wildly. His face was flushed and fevered. He would
have repeated the embrace, but something instinctively alarmed Beatriz,
and she sadly whispered, putting her hand on his forehead, and looking
directly at him, with an expression of affection and alarm, “You do not
love me, Olmedo!”

Had the voice of the Almighty called to him, as it did to Adam in the
garden, a greater change could not have come over Olmedo. It was the
voice of the Almighty in the pure soul of Beatriz, and it spoke to an
answering conscience. He became breathless, pale, and faint, as the full
meaning of those soft words pierced through his soul. They spoke volumes.
His passion was quenched, and true wisdom descended upon him. In an
instant he was another being, loving not less, but less selfishly—able
to sacrifice indulgence to Duty, to her and to his faith; for he would
not peril her soul through the entreaties of passion, or the pleadings of
what might be selfish reason.

Holding her hand tenderly as might a father, he said, “Beatriz, my
daughter in faith, thou art my saviour in action. Love thee! let me
prove how I do love thee. I dare not think of what we might be to each
other, were not I wedded to the Holy Church. No blessing will follow
vows broken, because circumstances tempt. Help me to be true to my
religion and to thee! Forgive my passion thou wilt, because thou knowest
the strength of passion. Be to me sister, spirit-bride—all of woman in
tenderness, love and friendship thou canst, and as I am true to thy
confiding faith, so God deal with me. In his own wise providence and good
time will he recompense our faith in Him and our love to each other.
Had my passions overpowered us both, however much our union might have
brought us pleasure, we should have sought to hide our heads in shame and
confusion, as the conviction that we had purchased it by the violated
faith of a soul, consecrated to heaven, grew upon us. Heaven spoke
through thee, Beatriz; angel woman hast thou ever proved to me.”

Kneeling upon the ground, with Beatriz besides him, every passion
harmonized by gratitude and hope and faith, Olmedo lifted up his head and
said, “Father, I thank thee, that thou hast spared me this crime. Thine
be the praise, and not to my own feeble will, which without thee, in the
hour of temptation, thou hast permitted me to see is as a broken reed.
I praise thee, I thank thee, Father, that thou hast pitied thy servant,
and in saving him from error hast given him further opportunity for thy
service and of getting wisdom. In creating man, thou has bestowed upon
him affections for wise purposes, and I now see that thou delightest no
more in their sacrifice than in innocent blood. I thank thee that I am
a man; that I possess from thee the desires and aspirations for love
eternal as the heavens, and that thou hast permitted me to find, even in
my solitary profession, a heart which makes mine beat warmer, truer and
better. May it ever be a strength and a support, and this love, which I
now confess before thee, our Father, be a bond of stricter service and
accountability for every thought and action, and finally unite us in
spirit among the just made perfect.”

Thus plead the Man with his Maker. In his aroused emotions, the formal
language of priestly prayer was forgotten, and the genuine, sincere
thought of the heart ascended freely and welcome to God, with nature’s
true eloquence. Does the Great Heart not hear such prayers? Heart to
heart and soul to soul make answer! When man conquers himself and ascends
in spirit to his eternal home in the heavens, asking from God direct,
life and light to guide and keep him through his earthly trials, the
sympathetic voice of the entire heavens echoes his prayer, and repeats to
him the assurance of aid. Prayer is to the soul what the plough is to the
soil. It opens it to vivifying rays. As the disturbed water sends circle
after circle, wider and wider over its surface, so in the moral world,
each thought or action for good or evil, spreads likewise, and awakes
throughout its infinity its circle of affinities. Angels rejoice with
man in his rise, and fiends exult in his fall. Be cautious, therefore,
fellow-man, for thou canst not calculate the extent of thy influence in
either life.

Beatriz felt her power and her responsibility, and was troubled.
Silently, but with deep earnestness, she followed Olmedo in his prayer.
Both rose from that forest sanctuary dearer to each other, because there
was now no secret thought between them. Each felt that the salvation of
the other was a solemn charge from heaven.



CHAPTER XVII.

    “How now?
    A foe? What means this most unwelcome visit?”

                                         KEMBLE.


By the time Olmedo and Beatriz had begun to retrace their steps to their
homes, Tolta’s hesitation had vanished, and he prepared to seize them.
If his anger had been aroused by the scene between Kiana and the maiden,
he was now furious with rage and jealousy at the discovery of the mutual
love of Olmedo and Beatriz. Of their motives and resolves he could
appreciate nothing. He saw only that they loved. Their devout prayer had
astonished him, but that over, his imagination acted as a slow-match to
explode his passions.

At a sign from him, his warriors stealthily encircled the two, and
stepping out suddenly from their retreat, seized and bound them before
they could either resist or effectually cry out. Tolta, unable to repress
his satisfaction, walked up to Olmedo and hissed in his ear, “Catholic
maidens are not kept solely for the dalliance of Catholic priests.
You shall soon see her fonder of an Aztec priest than she has been of
you, most chaste monk,” and he leered upon him with such a demoniacal
meaning, as for an instant to paralyze the speech of Olmedo, who almost
fancied the devil himself had bodily entrapped him.

Soon recognizing Tolta, he exclaimed, “What means this violence? Are you
mad? Release us, or evil will come upon you.”

“Not so fast, monk, we have a journey to make first. I wish to introduce
you to one who is as fond of Spanish blood as your countrymen are of
Mexican.”

“Do with me as you will, but send back Beatriz to her brother. She has
never injured you,” urged Olmedo.

“Beatriz is my prize, you are another’s,” said Tolta, with a look so full
of dark insinuation that his captive shuddered,—not for himself, but for
the maiden.

He would have again entreated, but Tolta fearing to lose time, ordered
his men to gag him and drive him before them, while he whispered to
Beatriz, “If you attempt an outcry, these infidels will kill Olmedo.
His sole hope is in your keeping quiet.” This he said with cunning
forethought, and it had the immediate effect he wished, to keep her
silent, for he dreaded the influence of her voice quite as much as he
feared any alarm she could give.

Compelling her to walk before him, the party passed in single file
through the forest in the direction of the mountain, till they reached
its outskirts, and came to the more scantily wooded uplands. Here they
were joined by another and larger band, bearing a “manele,” a sort
of palanquin, into which Beatriz was placed, and borne rapidly on by
four stout warriors, who were relieved each hour by others. In this
way allowing no intercourse between the captives, but hurrying on at a
dog trot by a circuitous course that took them away from the inhabited
portions of the country, they made rapid progress for several hours
without a halt or seeing any one.

Their course lay along the eastern and southern flank of Mauna Kea,
which was then a wilderness, much broken up by precipitous ravines and
irregular plains, dotted with groves of a beautiful species of laurel,
whose pendant branches, with small dark green leaves intermingled with
delicate white blossoms, all but swept the ground, affording by day a
shade impervious to the sun, and by night not an unwelcome shelter.
Not a word had been uttered by which either of the captives could get
a clue to their probable fate. Each was most anxious for the other. At
the same time both felt a certain degree of relief and even pleasure in
their mutual presence, and had the choice to be free and apart been given
to either, while thus uncertain as to their future, neither would have
accepted it. Beatriz alone had some suspicion as to the object of Tolta
in their abduction. Olmedo on the contrary, notwithstanding the dark
hints of the Mexican, could not persuade himself that any real danger
awaited either. Calm in his own soul-peace, he patiently bided a solution
of the mystery.

As night approached, Tolta gave orders to encamp under one of the
laurel groves. Being now beyond immediate danger of a recapture,
Olmedo’s gag was removed, and he was permitted to warm himself by the
fire, which, at that altitude, was agreeable even in July. He was kept
apart from Beatriz, each being under the charge of a distinct company
of warriors. They were fierce, athletic men, quite capable of executing
any orders their chief,—for such by the command of Pohaku, they now
considered the Mexican,—might give, but at the same time they regarded
their captives, especially Beatriz, more with curiosity than hostility.
Her quiet, resigned demeanor, had made some impression upon them, and
involuntarily they treated her with a degree of respect, that did not
pass unnoticed by their crafty leader. He was not at all satisfied with
himself, although his expedition promised such complete success. While
away from Beatriz, he could plot against her honor and her brother’s life
without compunction, but it was quite a different thing when she was
an unresisting captive in his power. Her apparent feebleness and moral
security were more formidable barriers than an armed defence. She had not
once appealed to him by voice, but her mournful look, excited rather at
his treachery than her danger, recalled to him those moments which, under
other auspices, had impelled him to peril his life for hers. Besides, he
thought of Pohaku, and feared the effect of her beauty on his sensual
appetite. He might claim the woman as well as the man, and how could he
resist.

Having fully embarked in his career of deceit and revenge, Tolta saw at
a glance he had gone too far to withdraw, for the fiery Juan would never
forgive the insult to his sister, however lenient she might prove. The
future began already to wear a different and more problematical aspect
than it did when he first meditated his treachery. The apparent ease with
which he had done so much, but magnified what remained to be done. In
fact, his conflicting emotions all but paralyzed his evil energies, which
threatened to leave him midway in his career an imbecile villain, sure
to die like a torpid serpent from the blows of the first that discovered
him. This hesitation arose from the influence Beatriz exercised over him,
despite his jealousy, which at intervals somewhat cooled from having his
rival in his power. He was therefore, restless, suspicious and wavering.
While his captives slept peacefully on the rude couches of tapa and dried
leaves their guards had prepared for them, he sat apart gloomily brooding
over his projects.

It was clear star-light. Through the thick foliage an occasional bright
ray at times found its way, as if to hint to his troubled soul there
still was light for it if he would but look upward. But his eyes were
either bent upon the ground, or peered out between the pendulous branches
into the mysterious horizon around, out of which grew strange, spectral
shapes, with long arms sweeping the night-air. In the daytime they were
but common trees, like those under which he sat, but to him they now
became demon ambassadors from his terrible war-god to arouse him to
vengeance. Through the overhanging branches, the chill breeze sent hoarse
sounds as they chafed against each other, at times grinding heavily
with a dismal noise like the crushing of bones, while the more distant
trees responded with fitful shrieks or deep sighings as the winds by
turns rose or sunk in varying gusts; now wholly silent, then swelling
into a diapason that thrilled Tolta’s heart with horrible fancies. Owls
flapped their white wings, and lighted near by, hooting, with their great
staring eyes fixed on him. Then gathered about him a chorus of furies
that excited every passion to avenge his father, massacred by Cortez
at the foot of the altar, on which still reeked a human sacrifice; his
mother violated and slain by the savage allies of the inhuman Christian;
himself, wounded and senseless in her defence, mangled and taunted by
his Tezcucan foes,—but, but what? that _but_ for the instant exorcised
the vision, for it recalled to him that Juan, indignant at the wanton
barbarity, had rescued him from their hands, and that Beatriz had bound
up his wounds, and spoken to him the first words of kindness he had ever
heard from the lips of a Spaniard.

Could he have forgotten this, he would have gone straight on to his
revenge without a single soul-qualm. As it was, fortified by his
jealousy, and impelled by the gathering force of reawakened passions,
the struggle of personal gratitude became gradually weaker, until there
was nothing between him and his victims, except the love which he felt
for Beatriz, and which jealousy had now all but turned into hate. From
out of the gloom of nature around him, there spoke voices and issued
shapes, kindred to all the darker purposes of his soul. Guatimotzin,
his butchered sovereign, whose blood was in his own veins, called to
him from his bed of hot coals, not to forget his martyrdom. The spirits
of myriads of Mexicans slain by famine were waving their gaunt arms,
and clawing with feeble fingers at him, while hollow voices muttered,
“Avenge us, art thou not our kin?” and they pointed to the sleeping
Spaniards, and wound their dark limbs over them in a death embrace. The
flames of Mexico, once the pride and glory of the Aztec empire, now in
ashes, burst upon his vision. He once more saw her towers and palaces
glowing with heat and crumbling to the ground, while fire and smoke shut
out the bright heaven above, and settled like a hellish pall upon his
native city. His eye-balls became blood-shot as he strove to penetrate
the darkness to gainsay his vision. It was in vain. Far into the deep
shadow beyond, and high above him, there glowed a bright red spot growing
larger each minute, with flames and smoke intermingled, and ever and anon
there faintly reached him a crashing sound like the fall of heavy bodies
from a great elevation. There was a reality in the sight he could not
dissipate by reason, or by gazing. The longer he looked, the more true it
became. At last, tired out by his watchings, he too sunk into an uneasy
slumber, saying to himself as his original purpose, with renewed craft
returned to him, “Away with doubt; I will obey your call, my countrymen,
or join you in the dark abodes whence you urge me to vengeance,”—then
mingling with his patriotic frenzy his personal desires, he added, “I
will circumvent them all. The Spaniards shall be sacrificed, and Juan
slain. Kiana and Pohaku must perish in the coming war. Olmedo and Beatriz
shall believe that I have taken them away to save them. He shall die in
attempting to escape, and she shall be rescued by me. It will then be
time enough to use my opportunity, if she still resists my love. Alone!
whom else can she look to? Chiefs and people all curse Pohaku, brute that
he is. Many already hail me as their deliverer from his tyranny. Yes,
love and revenge are both sweet to an Aztec. My parents’ slaughter shall
be avenged, and these sacrilegious Spaniards shall learn that an Aztec’s
hate never dies.”



CHAPTER XVIII.

    “The spirits I have raised abandon me—
    The spells which I have studied baffle me—
    The remedy I recked of tortures me.”

                                        BYRON.


As soon as day broke, Tolta recommenced his march. The route was
difficult, but he hoped to reach Pohaku’s fortress the coming night.
They had camped well up Mauna Kea, and as the sun slowly lighted the
landscape, sending his rays into the depths of that mysterious space
which lay between them and Mauna Loa, it disclosed a scene that might
literally be taken for the valley of the shadow of death.

Its mean elevation above the sea was about four thousand feet, gradually
rising as it approaches the mountains on either side. Numerous streams of
lava, now black and vitreous, and of great extent, having their source in
the huge volcano opposite, glistened in the morning sun. Several of these
lay in their direction, and they would be obliged to make their way as
they best could over their jagged and distorted surfaces. At the distance
they were from them, they looked like cataracts of ink. Amid them, and
scattered thickly over the plain, were small conical craters, regular
in shape, and composed of clay and ashes. These gave to the region the
appearance of being pock-marked on a leviathan scale. Whirlwinds swept
frequently over the plain, taking up high into the air columns of fine
sand, and dispersing it with furious and blinding gusts. There was
neither water nor vegetation, except in the immediate vicinity of Mauna
Kea, or a long way to the eastward. In their rear, but far above, was
perpetual snow, though not in sufficient masses to make a conspicuous
land-mark. Immediately beneath them were piles of basaltic rocks and
loose stones, thrown together in abrupt heaps on slippery beds of gravel,
with now and then soil enough to grow coarse grasses, and stunted cassia
trees, whose yellow blossoms were the sole bits of bright color permitted
by nature to enliven the general dreariness. Far away to the left the
horizon was lined with forests, that rose on its verge like great green
billows. Before them, somewhat to the right, was the gigantic outline of
the lofty crater of Mauna Loa, whose immense base occupied nearly one
third of the island, rising so gradually to its summit, as to appear in
the distance like a huge dome, up whose sides a carriage might easily be
drawn. The vast scale of its desolation may be judged of from its having
on its summit, as already remarked, an active crater of nearly thirty
miles in circuit.

As Tolta turned his eyes towards this mountain, he saw the bright
red spot that had glowed so fiery in his late vision was not without
foundation in fact. The edge of the crater was to be clearly seen with
not much more than its usual volume of smoke. At some distance below,
however, there was a great rent in the mountain, out of which poured a
stream of melted lava, rapidly making its way in an oblique direction
between them and Kilauea.

His warriors saw it at the same time, and comprehending from their long
experience in this region, the necessity of despatch, if they would not
be cut off from the territories of Pohaku beyond, they set forward on
their march at the top of their speed.

In compliance with his resolution of the previous night, to regain if
possible the confidence of his captive, Tolta approached Olmedo and said,
“We have far to go to-day. Forget my words of yesterday; I was angered to
see the white priest embrace Beatriz. Had you remained where you were,
you would have both been slain. More I cannot now say; but with Tolta
you are safe, he will restore you to your homes when the storm is over.
Confide in him. You are now free to talk with your daughter; but be
cautious before your guards, for though they serve me well now, it is at
the bidding of a greater chief than Kiana.”

This artful speech confused Olmedo. He distrusted Tolta; but he knew
enough of the artifice of Indian character, not to give himself blindly
to the Mexican, and at the same time not to reject him outright; for
whatever might be his motives, on him alone to all appearance depended
the fate of Beatriz. Besides, he saw that he had him at disadvantage,
from having witnessed his interview with her. This gave the wily Aztec an
opportunity of injuring both in their most sensitive points, for he had
learned enough of the sacred responsibility of a Catholic confessor to
his female flock, to see at once his power over the priest. Whatever else
Juan might forgive, he would be relentless towards the dishonorer of his
sister.

Olmedo, therefore, coolly thanked Tolta, saying, “I trust, my son, no
injury will befall us or our friends. Why not seek Juan? He is needed
more than either of us to protect his sister, if there be the danger you
imply?”

“Ask no questions now, priest. Later you will know all; Juan will be with
you soon. I have provided also for him. He would have been here now, had
he not been absent yesterday from his house. Go and aid Beatriz. Inspire
her with courage. You will have need of all your forces this day. See how
that lava gains upon the plain below us,” and Tolta pointed to its red
current which was rapidly flowing towards their intended track.

Olmedo parleyed no longer with the Mexican, but hastened to Beatriz, and
related their brief conversation. “I much fear he is false to us all,”
added he, “but we have no alternative now but to follow his directions.
We shall have enough to do to-day, to contend with the obstacles in
nature that threaten us, for it is plain that he fears more the dangers
behind him, than those in front. He will not retrace his steps,—we must
trust in God and go on.”

The voice of Olmedo was soothing to Beatriz, and with his presence she
forgot her fears. Her anxiety for Juan was almost lost in her present
joy in finding Olmedo free to be by her side, and she looked forward
hopefully to meeting her brother as Tolta had promised. “I am strong,
Olmedo, thanks to my rough journeys with the army. Never fear for me. Be
Tolta true or false, our fates are bound up together, and the Holy Virgin
will protect us;” and she smiled so trustingly upon him, that he felt she
was indeed protected by the Mother of God.

They had little opportunity to talk, because the way was so rough as
to require constant care and great exertion to prevent the warriors
who bore the “manele” from falling. As their own lives were to be the
forfeit should harm befall their prisoners before they were delivered to
Pohaku, they were most cautious to preserve them from injury from the
stones which frequently came rolling down the mountain, set in motion by
the haste with which they clambered over them. Their activity, however,
prevented any accident, and in a few hours they arrived at the less
rugged plain, where they halted near a spring of water, from which they
replenished their stock, as it was the last they could hope to fall in
with during the day.

But little rest was allowed. Tolta was afraid of pursuit, while his men
were even more fearful of the volcanic eruption. The immediate outbreak
was now hid from them by an intervening ridge, but the smoke and
explosions continued to increase very perceptibly. Their course was for
the present more rapid, as it was on comparatively level ground. The soil
being of loose ashes, was, however, fatiguing to the step, except where
the smooth lava rock cropped out. Over that they could go at a quick
pace, and thus make up for their previous slower progress. Such scanty
vegetation as this district afforded was soon passed, and they came upon
the region of dead streams of lava, emphatically known as clinkers. Some
of them were several miles in width, and tried the endurance of the party
greatly. As it was impossible to carry Beatriz farther on the “manele,”
it was abandoned. They had now to climb over huge fragments of lava,
of obsidian hardness, and as sharp and brittle as glass, continually
breaking into minute pieces that frequently cut through their sandals,
and wounded their feet, so that their course might have been tracked
for some distance by blood. Tolta had provided against this contingency
by spare sandals, otherwise his expedition would have been crippled
midway—equally unable to advance or retreat. Olmedo lifted Beatriz over
the roughest passages, assisted by the stoutest warriors, who, on several
occasions, caught him and his burden just in time to save them from
severe bruises. None escaped some injuries, for it was often necessary to
crawl for short distances over steep masses so slippery and friable, as
to cause many a slide and fracture, ending in cut limbs. Imagine all the
slag from all the forges and glass factories, that have ever existed,
thrown confusedly on the ground, in pieces from the size of hillocks
to that of peas, shivered into every variety of pointed and cragged
fragments, and an idea of the highway over which they were now making
their way may be formed.

To add to their delays it began to rain, and by the time they had got
to the smoother ground beyond, a fog set in, so dense as to obscure
the landmarks by which they had hitherto been guided. The oldest
warriors were now at fault. After wandering for some time at random, the
fruitlessness of such exertions compelled them to stop. So many hours
had been consumed in disentangling themselves from the clinkers, that it
was nigh dark. There was no remedy but to seek the best camping spot the
locality offered. Tolta ordered several couples of the men to explore
about them in different directions, keeping within hail of the main
party. In a half hour they returned, and reported having found a cave on
the edge of a dwarf Ohia wood. To this they went, and with a fire made
themselves tolerably comfortable. With the refinement, in which the Aztec
nobility were bred, Tolta screened a portion of the cave for the sole use
of Beatriz, and with tapa mantles made for her not an unwelcome retreat
from the storm without and the rude men within. Olmedo was permitted to
remain near by, but Tolta kept beside him. The rain poured in torrents
and made its way through the roof, wetting the floor, while the smoke
from the fire with difficulty escaped into the open air. Yet, amid all
this discomfort, Olmedo offered up his evening prayer, Beatriz joining
in the usual hymn, with a voice that seemed to the stilled warriors to
come from another world, so melodious was it even to their dull ears, in
contrast with the barbarous chants of their own women.

The captives found it difficult to sleep in the confined air of the cave,
which grew more hot and stifling as the fire died out. Occasionally
fatigue overpowered them and they dozed; but they were oftener awake,
from a restlessness they could not account for, and which kept their
senses in that dreamy, vague condition, which neither admits of perfect
consciousness nor salutary rest. At intervals a hoarse blast, and a
dull heavy roar, like the sudden escape of vast volumes of ignited
gases, startled their ears. Several times the cave trembled as if in an
ague fit; once so violently that a loosened rock fell near the guards
and caused them all to start up. For a few seconds they staggered like
sea-sick men, but recognizing the breathings of the volcano, with which
they were familiar, they merely ejaculated, “Pele is sporting to-night in
the fire-surf,” and laid themselves down again to sleep.

At the earliest light all were on foot for a fresh start. The rain had
ceased, but the atmosphere was lurid and heavy, and respiration more
or less difficult. They found themselves upon a knoll of considerable
dimensions, lightly wooded, and surrounded by a sea of lava, over which
they could not see far on account of the smoke and steam arising from
it in all directions. During the night a fresh flow had spread itself
over the clinkers they had passed the day before. It was now so hot and
vaporous as to cut off all retreat in that direction.

As the wind at times dispersed the smoke, they caught glimpses of the
fountain-head of the stream, apparently some fifteen miles from them,
and about half way up the mountain. It was not a violent eruption, but
poured out at short intervals, with roarings and tremblings of the
earth, huge masses of molten rock of the hue of blood, which descended
rapidly towards them. In spots it suddenly disappeared, emerging at some
distance, and continuing its course with renewed rapidity. This was
caused by its meeting with an obstacle it had not sufficient volume to
overwhelm, but was driven to eat its way underground, forming galleries,
which, when cooled and emptied of the lava, leave caves sometimes of
great extent and intricacy. This alternate appearing and disappearing of
the crimson fluid amid the surrounding blackness, gave it the look of the
glaring eyes of huge basilisks watching in desert caverns for their prey.
At times it leaped precipices with a furious, fiery plunge, scattering
its hot spray on all sides, rock and forest alike recoiling from its
destructive touch, shivering into a thousand fragments, or melting with
the fervent heat, and swelling the consuming tide.

The progress of the torrent towards them was so rapid, as to leave but
little time for reflection. It was gradually rising all around, and
threatened to submerge the knoll, which as yet had escaped. Many of the
trees on its skirts had already been crisped and blackened with the heat;
some had fallen, the trunks being burned off near the ground, while the
branches lay unconsumed, on the lava stream, which cools and hardens very
rapidly, presenting a surface often sufficiently strong to bear a man’s
weight, even while the crimson current is flowing underneath. This fact
was suggested to Tolta by his men as the most likely means of escape.
Indeed none other seemed to offer.

Accordingly, they sought the stream in the direction in which it was
narrowest and firmest. Ten of the warriors spread themselves out in the
form of a fan, sounding their way with their spears as if on ice, for
fear of air-holes, and to test the strength of its surface. The remainder
of the party followed, more or less apart, with great caution, holding
their breaths to lighten their weights. Their feet were protected by
rough sandals, and bits of wood strapped to them, from the lava, which
was in spots still so warm as frequently to raise blisters. Where it
had suddenly cooled it had split up into deep chasms, raised cones, and
twisted and cracked into every variety of shape. It was therefore with
the greatest difficulty that any progress could be made. They persevered,
however, when a sudden crack was heard, and at the same instant a shriek
of agony. The foremost of the warriors had trodden upon the thin crust
where it had been puffed up by the air, and, being as brittle as glass,
it had broken and let him down into the liquid lava beneath.

Appalled by his fate, the whole party halted. To go on was impossible,
as it was evident they had reached the extreme verge of solid lava. All
beyond was either fluid, or so densely covered with sulphurous vapor,
that it was sure death to advance. They retraced their steps without a
minute’s delay, and it was none too soon. A fresh wave of lava was fast
descending towards them, and setting the crust on which they were all in
motion. Suddenly a vein of red lava showed itself in a narrow chasm, over
which several of the warriors had already leaped. At the same moment,
detonating gases were heard near by, and then louder explosions, from
which the air was fast becoming impregnated with deadly vapors. Beatriz,
sinking from their suffocating effects, faintly said to Olmedo, “My
father, I can go no farther,—my strength is all gone.”

He had been sustaining her for some time past, and felt himself scarcely
stronger, but roused by her danger he seized her in his arms and was
about to leap the fiery chasm, when he stumbled and partially fell, with
both their weights overhanging its brink. Quicker than thought the men
nearest seized them, and, before a word could be uttered, by a violent
effort they had cleared the chasm, but not before all were slightly
scorched by the heat which flickered above it. They had scarcely time
to leave the spot before it discharged a stream of viscid lava, which
pursued them coiling and twisting after their footsteps like a wounded
snake. As it was an easy matter to outrun this, they soon got back to the
knoll, which now rose like an island above the molten flood.

[Illustration]

The Hawaiians, breathless with their efforts, sat down and gazed
hopelessly upon the rising lava. A dense poisonous smoke was gradually
narrowing their horizon all around and slowly approaching, leaving no
hope of escaping suffocation, even if they were spared a more immediate
and violent death. Their position was far worse than to be on a burning
prairie, for fire can then be made to fight fire as the ally of man.
Here all nature was melting before the heat of the eruption. At any
instant the solid rock on which they sat might surge and toss like the
waves of the ocean, in blazing, gory-hued billows, while of themselves
not one particle of matter would survive to disclose their fate. The
fast increasing heat soon drove them to the centre of the hill, where
sheltered by a pile of stones they had a moment’s respite.

Tolta, leaving his men, searched everywhere for another chance to cross
the lava, but was driven back, scorched and faint, to the knoll. “Am I
to die here like a scorpion encircled by fire?” said he, in a rage at
his futile efforts. “Was it for this that I have plotted vengeance, and
to possess Beatriz? Juan to escape, and she to die with me the death of
a dog; curses upon Pele and her demon crew! Great god of Mexico, if thou
art not thyself become a slave to the Christian’s God, save thy servant!”
and he shook his fist at the hot lava in the fury of his despair.



CHAPTER XIX.

    “This inhuman cavern—
    It were too bad a prison-house for goblins.
    —— —— —— no place safe but this!”

                                     COLERIDGE.


Mutual terror forces hostile animals into peaceful companionship. Under
its influence the wolf lies down as quietly beside the lamb as if in
the kingdom of love. The extremes of faith and education produce in man
under threatened, speedy death, much the same outward result. Pohaku’s
warriors, bred in cruelty, and believing only in malignant deities,
viewed their fast coming fate with sullen indifference. So long as there
was hope in their exertions they were ready to show themselves men,
but when death looked them right in the face, they were equally ready
to proffer their breasts to his stroke without further struggle. Their
instincts taught them that as life was beyond their control, so was
death. He was a foe they could not conquer, neither should he triumph in
their fear. Thus in his ignorance and unbelief the savage meets the great
change with an insensibility, which, in its outward calm, rivals the
faith of the Christian.

Having abandoned hope, they sat stoically regarding the rising tide
of lava,—seldom speaking, for it was a scene in which nature, uniting
them by a common feeling, made speech useless. The air grew hotter each
second. Puffs of steam issued from the rocks near by. At times a thick
cloud of suffocating vapor swept so close to them, that they were obliged
to hold their breaths until it passed.

Olmedo and Beatriz, with their hands joined, calmly awaited their end.
As the danger drew nigher they shrunk closer together, each impulsively
seeking to shield the other.

“How terrible this is, Olmedo, to see earth and air on fire,” said
Beatriz to him, in a voice scarce above a whisper. “Look, it will soon
reach us.” She shuddered and was silent for a minute, but recovering
herself, added, with her eyes seeing only him, “it will be sweet to enter
heaven together, will it not, my more than father?” She thought of him
now only as the being who had awakened in her faith and feelings, which
made her look forward with joy to celestial freedom.

“Yes, my daughter, this is indeed a terrible sight. Nature perishes
like a scroll in the flames. The last day has indeed come upon us, and
we shall soon see the Holy One and his Saints. Have no fear. As we have
fought the good fight, so shall we be welcomed into the joy of our Lord.
But my soul faints for these poor heathen, who await their death with
such unconcern. Would that I could even now baptize them into the true
faith.”

In the meantime Tolta had returned from his fruitless endeavor to find an
avenue for escape. In his anger, he had cursed the gods of Hawaii and
denied his own, from whom no succor came. More enlightened and cultivated
than the Hawaiians, with a moral conviction of the superior truths of
the Catholic faith, yet hating it for the injuries it had brought upon
him and his country, Tolta was filled with distracting emotions. The
Spaniard’s deity might even now save them, as he had ever shown himself
so much more powerful than his own, but he disdained to call upon him,
and the very sight of the crucifix which Olmedo wore filled him with
fresh anger.

He felt that his treachery had brought this awful fate upon those of
all the Spanish race, who had never done him evil. This was a source of
misery to him, but far weaker than that which sprung from having his
hopes baffled by so unexpected and lingering a death, which in releasing
his victims, consigned himself to the accumulated horrors of his own
and the Christian’s hell. Oppressed by these thoughts, believing but
contemning repentance; seeing that just retribution was seeking him out,
yet bidding it defiance; sorrowing, not for his selfish passions, but for
their defeat, he crept back despairing, and laying himself down close
to the feet of Beatriz, said to her, “We shall all burn together. You
will go to the Virgin Mother and I to darkness,—to despair,—to any hell
that shall release me from the sight of the hated white man—curses upon
them all,” and covering his head with his mantle he shut out all outward
objects, and remained as motionless as if turned to stone.

Olmedo made no appeal to him, comprehending its uselessness, but turning
to the warriors, spoke to them of a brighter world which awaited them if
they would trust in the Christian’s God and be baptized. “Renounce your
demon idols and call upon the Saviour this represents,” said he, holding
up his crucifix, and pointing to a calabash of water, added, “you can be
baptized and saved even at the last hour.”

“We have offended Pele,” one of them replied, “and she dooms us. No one
can escape her anger. More powerful is she than your deity. You and your
god will soon be but ashes. See how she rides the air, spouting fire
in her anger! She comes, she comes!” “_auwe!_ _auwe!_” and a mournful
and prolonged wail, like the death-song of the Indian, burst from their
united lips, as a shower of hot cinders began to fall so thick and fast
as to obscure the little light that had reached them through the smoke,
which the wind had hitherto in a considerable degree kept off.

“The cave, Olmedo, the cave,—quick, quick!” cried Beatriz, grasping
his hand to urge him forward. Tolta started up at the call, like one
retouched with life, and the three were soon under its shelter.

The warriors remained as Olmedo last spoke to them, either not hearing
the cry of Beatriz, or preferring to meet their death like soldiers at
their posts in the open air. Their wail continued to be heard to the
latest moment, rising from a low monotonous, tremulous note of suppressed
suffering into a prolonged chorus of muffled shrieks, that fell upon the
ears of Beatriz and Olmedo like the last despairing cry of humanity, and
thrilled their hearts with horror. For an instant it made them regardless
of their own safety, and they turned back a step or two, calling upon the
warriors to follow, but the burning ashes fell so fast that they were
immediately driven still farther into the recesses of the cave. Their
ears were ringing with the dismal wail; the effect of which from sheer
sympathetic force, is to enhance the bitterness of grief and paralyze
joyous emotion, so that the listener is changed into the mourner, despite
his own indifference to the cause. In this case, the sensibilities of the
priest and maiden were the more acute from their own participation in
the dangers which were bringing a lingering death upon so many of their
number, added to their inability to render any assistance. Doubtless the
stupefaction from the poisonous gases, with which the atmosphere was
laden, added to their own exhaustion from previous efforts, aided to make
the warriors so indifferent to their fate. No one replied to the call
of Olmedo, or even to the authoritative voice of Tolta, who had at last
roused himself at the clearer perception of their situation, and with
reawakened energies was prepared to continue his exertions to escape.

It was impossible for them to remain near the mouth of the cave, so they
lighted some torches of the kukui nut, and proceeded to explore it. “We
may find it deep enough to screen us from the lava and fatal air,” said
Olmedo. “Here are the remains too of our last night’s provisions, which
those poor heathen left here this morning. Alas! for their souls! Come,
Beatriz, you shall yet see Juan. Eat a morsel to sustain your strength,”
and he gave the example, more to persuade her than to appease his own
hunger.

Tolta scowled at the confiding smile Beatriz gave to the priest as she
complied with his advice, but he ate also, and the three found in the
short respite from the sights and sounds of the outer air, helped as it
was by much needed food, a renewal of mental and physical energies which
surprised them. It seemed as if they were aroused from some oppressive
dream.

The extent of the cave tempted them on. It descended at first somewhat
abruptly. At the distance of a hundred rods from the entrance the passage
grew narrow, and was partially choked with stones, which had fallen
from overhead. By some labor the two men cleared the way for Beatriz
to follow, and they found themselves in a large chamber, where the air
was quite fresh in contrast with what they had been breathing for hours
past. This revived them still more. The roof was covered with stalactites
of great size, and had the appearance of having been long undisturbed.
Occasionally a slight jar was perceptible in the ground, and a low
warning sound of disturbed elements was heard. They were encouraged to go
on by finding both decreased as they advanced. Once, only, there was a
shock so severe that they paused in stupor, fancying that the rock above
them was being crushed in. But, with the exception of a few loose stones
that rattled down, no harm was done. Evidently the eruption was either
abating, or they were get-away from it. Still to wander at random in an
intricate cave, which might at any moment bury them in its ruins, or
become a living sepulchre by tempting them away from one danger to meet
the still more horrible fate of starvation in utter darkness, for their
food and lights could not last much longer, were not thoughts at all
calculated to raise their courage.

Something, however, tempted them to keep on. So long as they were in
action, hope buoyed them up. Owing to the frequent turnings of the
cave, it was impossible to have a clue as to their real direction. It
was a series of halls or rooms, some of which were lofty and spacious,
joined by long, tortuous and low passages, at times so barricaded by
rocky debris as to almost arrest further progress. Tolta, however, was
indefatigable in clearing a way through them, as he was the first to
explore, while Olmedo and Beatriz waited his report.

Upon emerging into a larger hall than the others, they thought they heard
the noise of running water. It grew louder as they approached the farther
end, where the torches showed to them a stream, which directly crossed
their path. It appeared to issue from the solid rock, but their light was
so faint it was impossible to discern anything clearly, except the quick
flow of the black waters before them, while not far below they heard a
roar and dash as of a cascade or a rapid descent among rocks and chasms.

Here, indeed, was an obstacle undreamed of. Fire cut off their retreat on
one side, and water their progress on the other. Beatriz, already well
nigh exhausted, said to Olmedo, “We can go no farther. Tell Tolta to save
himself if it be possible. He can swim and may find his way out, but we
must remain here and await our fate. Let us by prayer prepare to resign
ourselves to what must now soon come. With you I shall have no fear of
death in any shape.”

Beatriz no more thought of the possibility of Olmedo’s leaving her, even
if he could escape, than she would have consented to have left him to
perish by himself. It never occurred to her, therefore, to urge him to an
effort without her.

“Beatriz, my long loved one, my more than daughter in faith, if die we
now must, we will be one in death as we have ever been in our lives. But
take courage, we are not to perish so. God has not brought us thus far,
to abandon us. I hail this water as a happy omen. What say you, Tolta?”

“When water comes it must go. Rivers do not long flow underground. They
love light as do the trees and flowers. I will see how the other side
looks,” replied the Mexican.

Holding his torch above his head, he waded in. The water was warm and
sulphurous and refreshed him; but it soon became so rapid and deep as
to require all his skill as a swimmer to prevent being drawn too near
the gulf, whose warning roar was heard not far below. Beatriz and Olmedo
watched his progress anxiously, for fear he might be drifted into the
rapids, but his light soon showed by its steadiness that he had reached
ground on the farther side. A few minutes of suspense ensued, when
suddenly he shouted, “We are saved! we shall soon see daylight!” and
plunging into the water again, pushing something before him, he was
quickly back. “See,” said he, “here is a log hollowed out into a rough
canoe. This cave must have an outlet near by, for I see that the natives
come here to bath and sport by torch-light. Hurry, and you shall see for
yourselves the traces of their presence.”

Beatriz, at the direction of Olmedo, who could swim, placed herself on
the log with her feet in the water. It had scarcely buoyancy enough to
support her weight, but with Tolta on one side and the priest on the
other keeping it upright, she was ferried safely over.

It was as Tolta had said. Fragments of food and other tokens of a recent
visit were strewed about. The air also was purer. With lighter spirits
they went on, over an easier path than the one they had traversed, and in
about twenty minutes began to see glimmerings of light. After climbing a
steep and narrow ascent, the mouth of the cave came in sight, and they
shortly found themselves in the open air.

For a few minutes they were unable to discern objects distinctly, but as
they became able to look about, they saw that they were some distance
from the line of the eruption which was still active, but the wind now
blew its smoke and gases from them. The country was wooded, and for
this region fertile. It had suffered much from the vicinity of the lava
stream, the vegetation being either killed or wilted by the heat.

[Illustration: _Hawaiian Girl._]



CHAPTER XX.

    “A smile amid dark frowns! A gentle tone
    Amid rude voices—a beloved light,
    A solitude, a refuge, a delight!”

                                     SHELLEY.


Night being close at hand, the rescued party lost no time in leaving the
vicinity of the torrent of lava, hoping to find a path which would bring
them to the food and shelter which they so greatly needed. Tolta knew he
was within the immediate territory of Pohaku, and was desirous to meet
some of his people, to make sure of his captives, who were now quite
as able to exert their wills as to the course they should take, as he
his. But they were wholly ignorant of their position, while he began to
discern familiar landmarks. The recent danger which they had all incurred
and escaped together, occupied the thoughts of Beatriz and Olmedo, more
than the outrage which had led them into it, so they made no opposition
to the direction he prepared to take.

This led them at first obliquely towards a stream of lava, which was
still running at about two miles from them to the northeast. For some
time their path was comparatively smooth. But at intervals it was
crossed by crevices in the earth, some of which were so wide that they
were compelled to make long circuits to get round them. The air from
them was quivering with heat, and filled with noxious gases. Tolta was
frequently obliged to leave his companions in order to explore the
ground, which became, as they advanced, more and more cut up with chasms,
whose depths the eye often could not reach. Had it not been daylight
these fissures would have made their present position scarcely less
hazardous than their confinement in the cave, for at every throe of the
crater they threw out jets of steam, and filled the atmosphere with
poisonous fumes. Once or twice they came upon them so suddenly, that they
were obliged to cover their heads with their mantles, and rush through
the vapor at full speed. Fortunately they proved to be but puffs, which
required but an instant’s exertion to emerge from.

Beatriz had grown so faint and fatigued as to be forced often to stop
to gather breath and strength. On one of these occasions Tolta had gone
farther from them than usual, in search of the path which he hoped to
strike, and which led direct to Pohaku’s fortress. Not finding it, he
was returning in another direction, when his progress was stopped by a
broad chasm, which poured forth so hot a blast as to singe his clothes
and crisp his hair, as he heedlessly looked into it. Jumping quickly
back, he followed its edge in search of a spot narrow enough for him to
leap across. In doing this he came upon the path he had been looking for.
It led through low bushes which partly hid it. He was about taking the
shortest track back to where he had left Olmedo and Beatriz, when his
eye was caught by a human form stretched lifeless upon the ground. Going
towards it, to his surprise he recognized one of the warriors whom he had
sent to capture the three Spaniards. It was plain that he had been stiff
and cold for some hours. Not far from him he found the entire party,
with the three Spaniards bound and lying on their backs, in the centre
of their guards. One by one he felt of them to detect life. There were
no signs of external violence on their bodies. Each lay apparently as he
had fallen asleep. The faces and limbs of some were slightly contracted,
showing that they had become conscious of their danger, when powerless to
escape. All were dead. They had encamped too near the chasm, and, during
the night, by a change of wind, the fatal air had been blown upon them,
and they had perished in their dreams to a man.[2]

“Pele balks me every way—the foul goddess! may she be blasted in her
own fires,” muttered Tolta, as he turned in angry mood from the scene.
“She leaves me only those I would not sacrifice. I hate the priest,
yet I would he might die by other hands than mine. Pshaw! why should I
feel tenderness towards that puling monk! Who so stands between me and
Beatriz as he? But while Juan lives I have much to do. This is no sight
for Beatriz and Olmedo to see. I will send and get the heads of the
Spaniards. In death even they shall be present at the feast which was to
have been their sacrifice. May their souls rot in everlasting darkness.”

Joining Olmedo and Beatriz, he led them into the path by a course which
kept their eyes from the fatal spot. “Hasten,” said he, “we shall shortly
find succor.”

“Beatriz needs it much,” replied Olmedo; “see with what effort she
sustains herself.”

“Oh! say not so, Olmedo. I am still equal to any exertion. The hot air
made me giddy for a moment, but now the fresh breeze revives me.” But her
action belied her words, and she would have fallen that moment if Olmedo
had not caught her.

“Tolta, you have greatly erred in exposing this maiden to these dangers.
What tempted you to such a wrong to one who never gave you offence. The
blood, too, of those heathen warriors, does it not lie heavy on your
soul? You have made a sad day of it?” said Olmedo to the Mexican, more
in grief than in anger, as he helped Beatriz to reach a grassy slope on
which she could recline.

“Ha, priest! you reproach me with this day’s work! Am I a god to control
the volcano? Come with me a few steps, and you shall see from what you
have been saved.” He grasped Olmedo’s arm, and led him to the group of
the dead. “You and the maiden you love, chaste monk,” continued he with
artful sarcasm, “have escaped this. Had I not borne you off, these
soldiers would have seized you, and if they had spared Beatriz outrage,
it would have been for you all either to have died together, like dogs,
poisoned by the gases of the volcano, or they would have carried you as
prisoners to their chief, who awaits your arrival even now, to offer you
in solemn sacrifice to Pele. He has sworn to exterminate you Spaniards,
and Kiana’s power will be but smoke before the wind in contact with his.
All of you I could not save! Have I reason to love a Spaniard?”

Pointing to the corpses of the three seamen, he added in a seemingly
friendly tone, “They have been spared such torture as even we Mexicans,
skilled as we are in tormenting our enemies, never learned; for Pele’s
worshippers are fiends. Reproach me not with their deaths, for it was
given to them in mercy. You and the maiden are my benefactors; for your
sakes I will save Juan also, if it be possible. You must go with me.
Follow my directions, and you will be safe. No more words now. If you
would keep Beatriz from further harm, cease to chafe me.”

Returning to where she sat, they again slowly pursued their journey. As
Tolta hurried on in advance, Olmedo whispered to Beatriz, “I much fear
the Mexican intends evil. I would not wrong him, but I do not like his
words, and his eye often gleams as if the evil spirit of his race were
aroused within him.”

He did not tell her what he had seen, but merely added, “Watch, and
beware of him. He can do us much good or ill. Now we can do but little
for ourselves. The blessed mother of God will not desert you, rest
assured, my beloved daughter.” Even with his arm about her waist she
walked with difficulty, while her head frequently drooped heavily upon
his shoulder.

“I have no fear, Olmedo, for myself,” she faintly replied. “We have
together too often looked upon death to shrink from it now as a stranger.
To leave you, would make me indeed sad, but with you,—God forgive me if
my heart sins in saying so,—it would be most welcome? But look, who comes
here?”

[Illustration]

As she spoke, a crowd of natives, of both sexes, drew nigh from a cross
path. They did not see the party until they were close upon them. Tolta
was at once recognized, and giving him the customary _“Aloha kealii_”
‘love to you chief,’ they turned in surprise towards the white strangers.
They had heard of the Spaniards, but knowing nothing of Tolta’s
expedition, were amazed to find these strange beings in their midst.
Forming a circle around them, they gazed curiously and timidly at Olmedo
and Beatriz, now and then venturing to touch their clothes and feel of
their persons, but evidently with no unfriendly intent.

The party was composed chiefly of women and children, who had been
enjoying themselves in wild dances. A few young men, hardly beyond
boyhood, were with them, but no warriors.

Tolta ordered some to lead the way to their village, while others were
sent on in advance to prepare food and lodging for the strangers, who he
said would be their guests for the night. As they began with alacrity
to fulfil his orders, a maiden of not above fourteen years, accompanied
by a train of her own sex, of more mature age, and who showed her
great deference, came up. As soon as the crowd saw her, they made way
submissively for her to approach the whites.

No fawn could tread lighter than she trod. Every motion was lithe and
elastic. Her limbs were full and tapering, beautifully proportioned, and
her flesh soft yet springy. With so few summers she was mature in person,
having in this climate attained thus early that perfection of physical
development, which marks the most seductive period of woman. The fineness
of her hands; the tapering fingers and nicely adjusted wrists; the velvet
softness of her clear olive skin, and through which the blood could
be distinctly seen underlying it with richer color; and her proud, yet
graceful carriage, showed that she belonged to the highest rank.

She was indeed one of Nature’s pets. Her face was open and sunny. To
one who rigidly exacted the fineness of Grecian outline in each feature
of the face, some fault might be found with the fulness of the lip and
nostril. But this was so slight that it was lost in the generous loving
smile, laughing, sensuous eye,—sympathy in the joyful and beautiful
which sparkled in her countenance. This, with a consciousness of rank,
and a dignity which had never suffered from the passions of rivalry and
ambition, made Liliha,—for such was the name of the maiden,—a specimen
of natural loveliness, which the salons of civilization might not excel,
except in the acquired refinements of intellectual life.

She wore on her neck a wreath of rich yellow feathers. Another of
gossamer lightness, the effect of which was increased by alternate rows
of crimson feathers, was interwoven with her long dark wavy hair. Over
her delicately moulded bosom was thrown a loose white mantle, which hid
her form as the foam conceals the wave, but to heighten its beauty.

She was no less surprised than her people at the apparition of the
whites. Tolta she had heard of as the companion of Pohaku, but had
never seen him. “Who is it that gives orders in my presence,” she asked
somewhat haughtily, as she stepped forward.

Tolta advanced to greet her, and made himself known. Acknowledging his
claim to her aid by the tie of allegiance to the supreme chief, she
coolly repeated his orders, as if through her only they should be given,
and then with courteous manner turned to Beatriz, took her hand and said,
“You are welcome. Come with me; the daughter of Hewahewa will be the
friend of the pale maiden.”

Beatriz looked her thanks, and simply said, “My father needs your
hospitality too. We will gladly make your home ours until we can return
to our own.”

Tolta kept silent. It was dark before the party arrived at the abode of
Liliha, which was in a considerable village, pleasantly situated in the
centre of one of the few verdant spots to be found in that region. Olmedo
was allowed to occupy one of the best houses, where every attention
was shown him. Liliha led Beatriz to her own habitation, where she
was received with true Hawaiian hospitality. At a signal from their
mistress, her waiting women made her up a couch of the finest mats,
and before retiring they so refreshed her by their gentle, soothing
manipulations,[3] by which the pain was drawn out from her wearied
limbs, that she was soon able to sleep soundly.



CHAPTER XXI.

    “Give her but a least excuse to love me!”—R. BROWNING.

                        “But he
    Can visit thee with dreader woe than death’s.”—E. B. BROWNING.


As soon as Tolta had seen his captives disposed of for the night, he
despatched a messenger to Pohaku, requesting a few warriors to be sent
him. The fortress was but twelve miles distant, so that before daybreak
the men had arrived. Taking every precaution not to let his movements
be seen by any one who would communicate them to Liliha, he entered the
house where Olmedo was still sleeping, and told him he must rise and
follow him.

“Nay, Tolta, I will not leave Beatriz,” said Olmedo, firmly.

“She will join you immediately,” replied Tolta. “Up, priest, if you would
save yourself and her.”

“Whence this untimely haste, Tolta? The poor child now rests. To you
we owe the perils and fatigues of our abduction. I will trust you no
further, but remain amid these friendly natives until Juan can learn
where we are.”

“Ha! do you brave me? It is time then to throw off the mask! Have you
forgotten, monk, that you are in the power of the son of an Aztec
priest, slain by the sacrilegious hands of your countrymen? Priest for
priest,—life for life,—my father’s blood cries for thine,—to-morrow’s
sun will set on your sacrifice. No more shall you hold fond dalliance
with the white maiden. She is my spoil.”

“What mean you, Mexican? What words are these? You rave! You cannot,—you
dare not injure Beatriz! Nay,—you seek to alarm me. It is a jest,—is it
not, Tolta? Your heart will not let you ruin that pure being, whose life
has been a good gift to you as well as me.”

“Silence! I can listen no longer to this babble. We must be off. A
Mexican is not wont to be moved by the tongue of a Spaniard.”

Olmedo started up and looked around for some means of defence, but before
he could even call for help, Tolta’s men, at a signal from him, had
seized and bound him. Taking him upon their shoulders in silence, they
left the house and rapidly bore him towards Pohaku’s quarters. His mouth
and eyes being bandaged, he was unable to cry out or to obtain any clue
to his route. They hurried him on, and early in the morning, bruised by
their rough handling, he found himself deposited on the ground apparently
in a house, and there left by himself.

Tolta had now obtained one great object, which was to secure Olmedo in
the fortress, while Beatriz, equally in his power, was removed from the
immediate presence of Pohaku.

Hewahewa, the father of Liliha, was the high-priest of Pele. Second
only to Pohaku in authority, he was his superior in influence, from
his position as the chief minister of the goddess. Himself a skeptic,
believing in none of the grosser superstitions of the people, and using
them merely as a source of power, he was indifferent to everything but
his own ambition. His lands were the best cultivated, and his tenantry
the most favored of all this portion of Hawaii, because being tabu, the
wars and anarchy which so generally prevailed spared them. Rigorous in
conforming to all the rites of his fearful worship, he expiated his
external hypocrisy by inward contempt. But his mind, though intelligent,
had never conceived any purer system, and only busied itself in scheming
to turn the national mythology to his individual profit. He was the
rival of Pohaku, but for the present coalesced with him. Not being of
the highest blood, he was obliged to rely for his influence mainly upon
his increasing importance as a priest, but was slowly making his way to
supreme rule, aided much by the tyranny of Pohaku, to whose capricious
cruelties his studied suavity and mildness afforded a contrast greatly
to his advantage. Liliha was his only child. He loved her tenderly, and
by this tie only was he connected with true humanity. No other being
had sufficient influence to move him to any action not calculated from
selfish policy. She at times made him susceptible to feeling by her
impulsive nature, so prone to joy and kindly emotions, from her affinity
with all she found fair and good. This was little at the best, but she
kept that little fresh and active from her own fountain of affections,
and it appeared brighter and more winsome from the dark shadows about her.

She was the idol of her immediate attendants, and though capricious from
unregulated authority, yet they had nothing to fear. Her father, so far
from seeking to instil into her mind the vulgar faith, left her free to
her own intuitions. She believed in the beautiful and sublime nature
she so loved to look upon, and felt there had been given her in it a
varied and limitless source of enjoyment. Not that she reasoned much upon
anything, but she was so quick to recognize all that was innocent and
virtuous, under the circumstances of her life, that her heart and mind
were ever developing in the right direction. Her religion, therefore, was
not the result of thought, but the spontaneous action of an untrammelled
soul, that instinctively attracting to itself good in preference to evil,
spoke the faith in actions which it was powerless to frame in words.
She knew nothing of a personal God, yet, had any one explained to her
his existence, she would have listened as if it were nothing new, and
rejoiced in a higher mental satisfaction than she had before realized.
Quick to perceive, she had acquired from her father, almost without his
will, his disbelief in the demon origin of the terrific phenomena of
nature in their vicinity, and looked upon them as fearlessly as upon the
placid ocean or the tiny sea shell. Why should she fear? Had she not been
born among them? Like herself, they were the creation of some unseen
power, who ruled all! So her few years had gone by kindly and lovingly,
with health coursing in every vein, and happiness overflowing her heart.

As soon as Tolta had secured Olmedo, he hastened to announce to Pohaku
his success. That grim chief was not in the best humor upon learning the
death of so many of his warriors, by the new flow of the crater. “A poor
exchange this, is it not, Hewahewa,” said he turning to that person; “so
many of our fighting men for this foreign priest and his woman. But let
us see the prize that has cost so much.”

The three passed to the hut in which Olmedo was confined. His bandages
were removed, and he found himself in their presence. Pohaku looked at
him as he would have at a strange animal, and marvelling at his long
robes and the effeminate air they gave him, said to Tolta, “You Mexicans
must have been less than women to have been conquered by such a race as
this. Would you have my warriors fight them? I have a mind to tie you to
him and toss you both into the crater. Kiana would have been a prey worth
a legion of such as this long-robed, pale-faced she.”

Tolta’s hand nervously sought the dagger he wore, but prudence restrained
him, and he quietly replied, “The Spanish chief has for the while
escaped. He will soon enough give you a chance to feel his stroke in
battle. Till then spare your taunts. Their priests are women in looks,
but devils in deeds. If you would see the faces of their soldiers, look
there,” and he tossed out of a bag before him the ghastly heads of the
three Spaniards.

Even Pohaku was surprised at their long grisly beards and fierce faces,
scarred by wounds, and bronzed by a score or more of years of constant
adventure and warfare. “These may have been men,” said he, “but my
soldiers would have soon rolled their heads in the dust,” at the same
time kicking them scornfully, not choosing to remember that some of his
best warriors had within the past year fallen by their blades. “Guards,”
he added, “take this carrion away, and put it up over the eastern gate
of the fortress,—’twill be a fit target for our boys. As for you, puny
priest, you are destined for Pele. Thank your gods you are to be so
honored.”

“Chieftain,” replied Olmedo, “the God I serve will protect me living or
dying. I am indeed a man of peace, but fear not the sword. Death has no
terrors, for it opens to me a heaven, such as your idolatry can never
know. In your delusion and ignorance you are to be pitied—not me. You
shall see how calmly a Christian can die. Perhaps it will lead you to ask
what it is to be a Christian.”

“I will tell you what it is to be a Christian, Pohaku, for none know
better than my countrymen,” broke in Tolta. “It is to rob, to murder,
to burn, to ravish, to lie, to torture, to destroy the sacred images
and break down the altars of the gods; to demolish towns and to waste
fields; to breed famine and pestilence. All this, for gold and conquest,
have the Spaniards, cursed be their mothers, brought upon Mexico in the
name of their god, and this will they bring to you, O chief! Even if you
welcome them to your bosom, as did our sovereign, Montezuma, they will
imprison and spurn you to your death, or they will broil you on hot coals
as they did the emperor Guatimotzin, to make you confess riches that you
have not. Yet they say their god is merciful and full of love. See, here
is the lying image,” and snatching the crucifix from Olmedo’s neck, he
handed it contemptuously to Pohaku, who, putting it curiously to his ear,
said, “It does not talk. How does it give you power to do all this? Pele
thunders and destroys. She speaks, and we listen. She is silent, and we
fill her with gifts to buy her good will. But this bit of wood is dumb.
Pele eats the ocean and the earth,—mountains and rivers she swallows. She
is a dread goddess, and must be worshipped or we perish. Here, take your
god,” added he, disdainfully flinging it towards Olmedo, “to-morrow we
will give Pele a rare meal. You and your god shall she feast upon.”

“Hold, chief!” cried Olmedo, excited by his sacrilegious act, “the mercy
you refuse you may shortly need. This image is no God, but it represents
the Son of God; his words of peace and love will fill my heart and
rejoice my spirit, when your false Pele, with all her thunderings, is
dumb in my ears. God made the volcano, and at his bidding it sleeps or
overflows. Cease to bow the knee to Pele, and pray to Him, and you shall
learn such truths as shall make you live on earth in peace, and welcome
death with joy.”

“Ha! white priest, do you despise Pele?” replied Pohaku fiercely, and
seizing Olmedo by the arm, he dragged him outside the house to the verge
of the precipice, which looked down upon the crater of Kilauea.

That immense circle of dead lava, now known as the black ledge, which
contracts the active portion of the crater to a circuit of a few miles,
was not then in existence. The whole pit, embracing an area sufficient to
contain the city of New York, was in commotion. From where Olmedo looked,
the height above the fiery mass was about five hundred feet. It had
undermined the wall of the crater, so that it overhung the sea of lava,
as the Table Rock does the cataract of Niagara. Immediately beneath him,
therefore, lay the lurid cauldron. Its heavy, sluggish waves, of deep
crimson, surged against the banks with a muffled roar, as unlike the glad
sound of surf, as a groan to laughter. Occasionally a thick black crust
formed over the surface, like a huge scab. Then this would break asunder,
and bright red currents of liquid rock appear underneath; whirlpools of
boiling blood fusing everything they touched into their own gore-hued
flood. Huge masses of solid stone were vomited high into the air, and
fell hissing and sputtering back again into the depths of the fiery gulf,
to be again cast forth, or melt like wax in a ten-fold heated furnace.
Lighter jets of lava were being thrown up, sometimes in rapid succession,
and sometimes at long intervals, which filled the atmosphere with red hot
spray and steam, and gases, blown hither and thither, and whirled about
like the sands of the desert before a simoom, by the furious blasts of
wind that swept with mingled moans and shrieks across that lake of hell,
and through its glowing caverns and out of its black pits. Overhead hung
a dense cloud, gradually spreading as it rose, until it enveloped all the
region of the crater. The smoke of its torment, like a pall, covered the
cancerous earth, to screen its throes from the light of the sun.

Coming so unexpectedly upon a spectacle of which he had heard only vague
accounts, Olmedo, at first sight, forgot both himself and his enemies in
awe. It was indeed a fearful spectacle, beautiful even in its terror,
exciting all that was appalling in the imagination, and fascinating the
eye as by a spell. The solid earth was passing away in a flame, and
would soon be as a vapor. Olmedo felt as if he were the sole spectator.
The wreck of matter lay before the last man. Such was his immediate
sensation, from which he was rudely roused by Pohaku’s hoarse voice
crying, “How like you this lake to swim in? You shall bathe in it before
to-morrow’s sun sinks behind yonder forest. My people shall see if your
god will carry you unharmed over Pele’s billows of fire. Meantime, feast
and be merry, for the goddess likes a full stomach,” and thrusting him
back into the house he left him.

Tolta lingered behind. Approaching Olmedo, he whispered in Spanish,
“Would you save yourself from this death?”

“My life is the gift of my God,” he replied. “His will and not that
cruel chief’s will determine my fate.”

“Have you forgotten Beatriz so soon? How would she feel to see your form
shrivelling and writhing as it plunged into that boiling lava? Think of
her, priest.”

“Wretch, you dare not tell her this, much less make her witness such a
horror!”

“I dare not! Know that Tolta dares anything for his revenge, and to glut
his desires. With you it lays to save yourself and her from this fate.
Pohaku has summoned his people to a solemn festival, before he strikes at
Kiana. He is furious that the three Spaniards should have escaped their
intended sacrifice. Think you he will spare Beatriz when he sees her? She
either dies on the altar or by his lust.”

Olmedo for the instant was dumb with anguish at the threatened fate
of Beatriz. But clinging to the slightest hope of rescuing her, as he
recovered his voice, with hands clasped in an appealing gesture towards
Tolta, he eagerly asked, “How can I save her? Oh, gladly would I ransom
her life with mine. Tell me, good Tolta; by the love you bore your
mother, by your hope of heaven, tell me, Mexican, and the prayers of
gratitude, and all that a chaste maiden and a Christian priest may do,
shall be forever yours. She saved your life amid the ruin of your native
city—you rescued her from drowning, but not for this fate. Let her not
perish now, and thus”—Olmedo paused for an instant, as his imagination
pictured to him with the force of reality, all the horrors that
encompassed her for whom he plead; big drops of agony came upon his brow
as he met the cold, fierce, lustful eye of the Aztec fixed unmoved upon
his, while the same wily, implacable look, born of his deepest passions,
overspread his pitiless features which he had noticed once before, and
now, as then, involuntarily shuddered to see; but the stake at issue was
the honor and life of his daughter in Christ, and so he plead on. “No!
you cannot—you will not suffer this; the hand that has fed you, nursed
you, the heart that has cared for you and your eternal welfare, when all
others were cold; the tongue that never spoke to you but in love and
kindness,—surely you will not harm them? Look, Tolta, Olmedo the priest,
the friend of the Mexican,—your father was a priest,—Olmedo on his knees
beseeches you to save the white maiden, to restore her in all honor to
her brother; take my life as a ransom for hers, if your vengeance must
have life,—will you not, Tolta?”

Olmedo became silent, and dropped his eyes to the ground, then raising
them for a second towards heaven, he ejaculated in Spanish, as he met the
relentless gaze of Tolta still fixed upon him, “Mother of Christ, soften
the heart of this heathen,—save thy lamb from the wolves that beset her.
If there be no escape prepared, sustain and fortify our spirits until
their hour of final deliverance has come.”

As he finished his prayer, Tolta grasped his arm and said to him, “Now
listen to me, Olmedo. I would save Beatriz, for I love her—start
not—yes, the Mexican dog dares love the Castilian maid, loves her with
all the fiery, quenchless passion of his race, as noble and proud as her
own, and, till the Spaniards came, as victorious. I saved her from the
ocean because I loved her. I have borne insult, oppression, slavery, the
fierce words of Juan, and even a Christian baptism from you because of
this love. I have been faithful to the Spaniard when revenge was offered
me until now, because I love Beatriz. Would you know how much I _love_
her?—as deeply as I _hate_ her nation. She must become mine. It is in
your power to accomplish this. You are her confessor, and you will she
obey. Persuade her to be mine, and you shall be free, Juan warned, and
even Kiana be spared the slaughter now ready to fall upon him. I can
easily fool this brute Pohaku, and lead him into the destruction he
richly deserves. Speak, priest, will you not make her my wife to save
her, yourself, and all you love, from destruction?”

More in sorrow than in anger at his blindness and confessed villany
did Olmedo reply to him. “Life is dear to all of us, but our souls are
dearer. Willingly would I do all but violate my conscience and her truth
to save her a single pang. You know not a Christian woman’s heart. She
mate with you! the dove seek the nest of the hawk! Never! Beatriz would
die a thousand deaths first. Oh! Tolta, is it for this you have played
the traitor? Were I to name the price of my safety, she would spurn me,
as I do you, for the thought. Tempt me no further. Repent of this wrong
before it be too late, or you will learn that though you may imprison
the body, the spirit escapes your bondage. Destroy her you may, but you
cannot dishonor a Christian maiden. Her soul will defy your wiles, and we
shall meet in Paradise. No more! I will hear no more of this.”

Tolta could as little comprehend the lofty motive of Olmedo in refusing
to abase Beatriz’s purity, by merely hinting at its sacrifice, as a door
of escape from bodily torment for either himself or her, as could Pohaku
the spiritual strength of his faith in contrast with the thunder and
lightnings of Pele. Unmoved by his reply, he sneeringly said, “I give you
till night to think of this. After the moon rises it will be too late,”
and left him.



CHAPTER XXII.

    “Be just and fear not.
    Let all the ends thou aim’st at be
    Thy God’s, and Truth’s; then, when thou fall’st,
    Thou fall’st a blessed Martyr.”

                                        SHAKESPEARE.


Hewahewa had been a silent witness of the two interviews. His curiosity
was excited by what Olmedo had said of his religion to Pohaku, and he
desired to know more of a faith so new to him. From the first, Tolta had
been an object of jealousy and suspicion, as likely to cross his own
ambition; but the wily Mexican in winning the confidence of Pohaku, had
also paid such court to him, in his character of high-priest, that he
could find no positive cause of distrust. He had supported his schemes,
therefore, because they enlarged his own field, relying upon his own
cautious and calculating policy to reap the harvest of which the other
two would sow the seeds. Without comprehending a word of what had passed
between the Mexican and Spaniard, the deportment of the latter, as he
rejected Tolta’s double treachery, attracted his attention, and he
determined to know for himself the actual relations between them.

When Tolta left Olmedo, Hewahewa went out also, saying to his associate,
“Thanks, Mexican; a rare festival you have provided for us to-morrow. An
offering like this is a new event in Hawaii. Sweet will be your revenge.
May Pele prosper you,” and touching noses, according to the national mode
of salutation, they parted.

No sooner, however, was Tolta fairly out of sight, than Hewahewa retraced
his steps to Olmedo’s prison. The guards were his own men, because the
prisoner was in his custody, preparatory to the solemn rites of the next
day. He alone, besides Tolta, had the right of access at any hour, for
the victim once consecrated to the gods was tabu, but permitted to feast,
if he could, in view of his terrible destiny.

Olmedo was on his knees, with crucifix uplifted, praying for strength for
himself, and that Beatriz might be spared the fate to which she seemed
doomed. “Not our will, but thine be done, our Saviour and our God; yet
if this trial and death be necessary that we may enter Paradise, O grant
that I, the enlisted soldier of the cross, may alone bear the torment.
Accept my sacrifice, Queen of Heaven, pity and save thy daughter. Let
not these heathens triumph in her agony, but take her peacefully to thy
bosom, Virgin Mother,” and his eyes overflowed with grief as he thought
of his utter helplessness to aid her. With his prayer, however, a calm
gradually came to his spirit. It could not be called hope, but it brought
peace, and renewed his trust in divine aid. A demeanor so unlike the
dogged despair, or frantic fear to which he had been accustomed in his
victims for the altar, surprised the high-priest, and imbued him with
a respect for his prisoner, that he had never before felt for any one.
Olmedo was so wrapped in his own emotions, that his entrance had been
unnoticed. Tapping him on the shoulder as he still knelt, Hewahewa said
to him, “You pray then, brother priest. Who to?”

“I am an unworthy servant of the Holy Church. Have you heard of the
Christian’s God? I pray to Him.”

“Nothing but what Tolta tells. He must be more fiendish than is our Pele
in her anger, if he delights in such deeds as your countrymen have done
in Mexico. But I believe in neither. There is no God but what we make for
ourselves. Tell me your thought. I would know what makes you so calm, in
sight of a death so terrible?”

“Willingly. First tell me, who created Hawaii?”

“I know not. It sprang from night or chaos, so our bards say,” replied
Hewahewa.

“Something from nothing. Do you believe this? Where does a man go when he
dies?”

“Back to night, or everlasting sleep.”

“Then, you think, that man and the earth came by chance out of nothing,
and return to nothing?”

“That is my thought. We must make the most of life. There is no other.
I believe in what I have, in what I feel and see, but in nothing more.
Death finishes all. Do you not fear to go back to nothing?”

“If I thought as you think, I should. But the earth you love, and the
life you covet teach differently. Can the canoe live on the ocean without
a pilot? Does the taro ripen without the sun? Think you that this earth
drifts at random in space, without a hand to guide it? No! the Supreme
Being made this world and man to dwell therein. He has made also a heaven
for the good, and a hell for the evil. He governs all, and sent his Son
ages gone by to tell us there was eternal life, and we should be happy or
miserable as we obeyed the commands he left. Among other things, he told
us white men to go abroad over the earth and tell to all nations the glad
tidings. I am one of his soldiers. But we carry no arms. We fight not,
we teach as he taught, and if we are put to death, we pray for those who
kill our bodies, that they may believe as we do. Then will they see that
death is but a portal to a more glorious life. There are bad men among us
white as among you, who love evil and commit the crimes Tolta tells of.
Our mission is as much to them as to you. We preach love and faith in the
Great God to all, and it is because we know that he will receive us into
Paradise that we dread not death.”

Much after this manner did Olmedo talk to Hewahewa, who listed
attentively to words which opened to him new trains of thought. He felt a
desire to save him from his impending fate, that he might hear more. But
the whole population were assembling to witness a sacrifice such as had
never before been offered in Hawaii, and he dared not disappoint them.
Besides, Tolta and Pohaku were not to be easily balked. Musing for a few
moments he abruptly said to Olmedo, “I would see more of you. You must
not die. I will provide a substitute; give me your garments for him and
you shall be secreted, while the howling mob will think you have been
thrown to Pele.”

“Not so! I would not purchase my life at the expense of an innocent
victim. I thank you for your intended kindness to me, but this must not
be.”

“Are you mad? What is the life of a slave to you! He will be but too much
honored to take your place. Refuse me not. I am determined on this.”

“Never! My religion forbids even evil thoughts, much more deeds. Free
me if you will, for that I would be most grateful. But you know not the
spirit of a Christian, if you think him so base as to purchase his safety
by a crime.”

“Strange being, what means this? Soon the sacred drums will sound, and
the criers announce that the solemn festival has begun. Then it will be
beyond my power to make the exchange. Yield before it be too late. Hast
thou no daughter, no wife to live for?”

“Daughter! alas I have a daughter. Think of me no longer. Take her from
the toils of that Mexican, and I will even bless you, and pray the Son
for you in heaven to which I am going. She would despise me, more if
possible than I should myself, could I accept my life on your terms.
Mention not that again. Have you a daughter? I see by your face you
have. By the love you bear her, as you would not have her dishonored by a
villain, or see her a mangled corpse, save her. You can: will you not?”
and he grasped the hand of Hewahewa and wrung it in his anguish.

He had struck the only chord of feeling in his gaoler. “Where is this
woman,” he asked; “for your sake I will see her.”

Olmedo then detailed their capture and subsequent history up to the time
he was violently separated from Beatriz, and finally the offer of Tolta
to redeem them both, and his contemplated treason to Pohaku, provided
he would assent to his designs upon her. Hewahewa listened eagerly to
every word by which the thread of his rival’s projects was unravelled to
him. He now saw clearly the game he was pursuing, and without betraying
his intention, simply said, “If not too late, I will do as you wish. She
shall be a sister to my daughter. Courage. Farewell.”



CHAPTER XXIII.

    “And priests rushed through their ranks, some counterfeiting
    The rage they did inspire, some mad indeed
    With their own lies. They said their god was waiting
    To see his enemies writh and burn and bleed,
    And that —— Hell had need of human souls.”

                                             THE REVOLT OF ISLAM.


We left Beatriz sleeping, watched over by Liliha, who with true kindness
had forborne to ask any questions, but had confined her hospitality to
administering to the bodily needs of her guest. As she believed Olmedo
to be equally attended to, and both now in comparative safety, it is not
surprising that her slumbers, after the excessive fatigue and excitement
of the few past days, should have been long and deep. Liliha herself
came often to her, to see that she was comfortable, and to be the first
to greet her when she woke. After it was light and her household had
begun their daily employments, she sat constantly by her side, watching
her with mingled curiosity and love, for she was attracted to her by a
feeling she had never before experienced. Beatriz now stirred frequently,
and her lips moved, but she did not open her eyes. She seemed agitated by
distressing emotions, and often spoke as if to some one she loved, but in
a language strange to her watcher. At times, however, there came words
of earnest pleading, succeeded by a resolute and defiant tone, as if she
struggled with an enemy.

To calm her inquietude, Liliha gently took her hand, pressing it for a
while with soothing caresses, and then softly whispered in her ear, “Have
no fear, dear stranger, much love Liliha bears to you.”

Beatriz slowly opened her eyes, looking at first with surprise upon the
young girl, but as her memory brought back the scene of the preceding
night and her young host, she smiled and said to her, “I cannot thank you
enough, kind maiden. You have aroused me from a painful dream. Forgive me
if my recollection was somewhat confused.”

Liliha returned her smile, with a look full of gladness, saying, “You
will now be better. Your sleep was long and deep until the day dawned.
Liliha is your near companion; will you not be hers?”

“Most gladly,” replied Beatriz. “You can indeed be to me a friend. I have
sad need of one.” She then briefly related her history to Liliha, who
listened in amazement at the narrative, which carried her ideas so far
beyond the horizon of her own little world.

“You then are the pearl of Hawaii, of whom I have heard my father speak;
the beautiful, pale-faced woman whom Kiana was to wed; Lono’s sister.
Glad is my heart to welcome you,” and she jumped up and beat her little
hands with joy at the thought that she had at last met with such a
companion and friend. “But,” added she, “tell me what fate brought you
here with that dark stranger. He comes often to see my father. Much I
fear him, and hate him too. His presence portends trouble, I am sure, for
since he has known him my father leaves me more than ever. He goes to
that ugly fortress, but never takes me with him. But he will be glad to
know that I have found a sister. May I call you so?” and the bright-eyed,
affectionate girl seized both Beatriz’s hands in hers and looked up so
winningly and hopefully, that Beatriz felt she must take her at once to
her heart; a singing bird ever there to nestle and cheer her with sweet
song.

Beatriz continued her narrative, at least all but what her heart held
as too sacred for human confidence, and which indeed would have been
unintelligible to the untutored forest-girl, whose bosom as yet had known
only her own simple impulses, which to her nature were like the sweeping
of the summer breeze over a lake, gently stirring its surface, but
leaving its crystalline depths unmoved.

She comprehended that Beatriz felt like herself towards Tolta, and loved
Olmedo, who was a priest, as she did her father. Her active sympathies
were therefore at once enlisted in her new friendship by a common bond
of feeling. As Beatriz concluded, she said, referring to Tolta, “He
is a bird of evil, but no harm shall reach you with me. My father is
high-priest, and will protect you from him. Let us send for Olmedo, and
talk together.”

Beatriz had been longing to see Olmedo, but delicacy had prevented her
from expressing her desire. She therefore joyfully acquiesced in the
proposition of Liliha. Calling one of her attendants, the chief bade her
request the presence of the white priest. She soon returned with the
information that he had disappeared.

“And Tolta,” demanded Liliha, “where is he?”

“Gone also,” replied the messenger.

“Then he is upon some evil errand. Hasten and inquire of my people what
this means. Who knows about it! Send out runners in all directions to
seek the strange priest. Off, off,” said Liliha, enforcing her order with
an imperious gesture to all her train.

Beatriz’s heart sank within her. But controlling her emotions, she calmly
awaited farther intelligence. Meanwhile Liliha comforted her with the
assurance of her friendship and her father’s assistance.

They had not long to wait before several of her people returned with the
tidings, that a sacred festival had been proclaimed for the morrow at the
temple at Kilauea, and all the people invited to witness a new and solemn
sacrifice to Pele. Every chief also had been summoned to attend with his
warriors in readiness for war. Some important event was in preparation,
which the heralds would announce before the sacrifice. But the news that
most touched them was, that a boy in returning home at an early hour of
the morning, had passed on the road to Pohaku’s fortress, a band of armed
men carrying a prisoner, clad in a strange costume.

“It is Olmedo,” said Beatriz, as the truth flashed across her mind,
“they are bearing him away to be sacrificed. My friend, my sister, cannot
we save him? I will go to him and share his fate. Aid me as you would act
for your own father.”

Dismissing her attendants, Liliha replied, “My father charged me not to
follow him to the fortress without his express orders, and never has he
permitted me to witness the offices of religion. But we will go there and
appeal to him. I am sure he will grant my wish. Kind he is ever to me.
But you must not be known by my people. In disguise we will go together.”
So saying, she summoned four of her “bosom companions,” as were called
the most attached and trusty of a chief’s retinue, and confided her
intention to them. With their assistance the needful disguises were soon
arranged, and the little party, taking a by-path to avoid observation,
began their journey to the fortress.

With an object so dear in view, Beatriz felt equal to any emergency.
Eager to serve her new sister, Liliha entered fully into her zeal. As
they drew near the fortress, they met parties of women and children and
bands of warriors, hurrying forward in the same direction. All were
so bent on arriving early at their destination, that our travellers
attracted but the customary salutations, with now and then the inquiry,
“Have you seen the strange priest Hewahewa is to offer to Pele to-morrow?
It will be a novel sight.” At these ominous inquiries, Beatriz shuddered
and drew closer to Liliha, who at times barely refrained from indignantly
bidding them cease their exultation, for her father would be guilty of
no such breach of hospitality. “Has not Olmedo eaten beneath his roof;”
she would say to Beatriz, “how then can he slay him? The laws of Hawaii
forbid. Believe them not. Take courage.” As they passed one group of
decrepit women to whose bony hands young children clung, scarcely old
enough to totter along, but yet able to keep pace with the faltering
steps of the hags who led them, Liliha could restrain herself no longer,
and in her usual tone of authority, bade them “begone to their homes, and
not leave them to glut their dim sight with the agonies of a horrible
death. Their own would soon enough be upon them.” Not recognizing the
young chiefess, they shook their lank arms menacingly at her, and croaked
out, “So, so, my gay bird, you would look on it alone! Old eyes love new
sights as well as young eyes. You go fast enough now, but your bones will
crack and your flesh will wither like ours before many suns. You’ll know
then what a treat ’tis to see Pele fed. Come, come, don’t keep us back,”
and they twitched the little ones at their sides in impotent effort to
make them go faster.

Luckily Liliha was out of hearing before they had finished their
sentence, and thus was spared the temptation to reply. In company with
a motley crowd, her party arrived at dusk at the western gate of the
fortress, and entered unnoticed amid the throng. Numerous companies
of warriors, with their arms and provisions, and headed by their
hereditary chiefs, had assembled and were encamped apart from each other,
both within and without the stronghold. Knots of these fierce men,
intermingled with women and children, were gathered around orators, who
were exciting their passions to war and plunder, and to whose eloquence
they replied by shouts and yells and thrilling chants, brandishing their
weapons and deriding their foes. There were many fighting women among
them, the most ferocious of Amazons, whose cries and gestures were the
wildest of all, as they indulged in imaginary triumphs, and danced and
raved by torch light in maniac groups, or flying hither and thither
with dishevelled hair and distorted countenances, sought to inspire the
spectators with their own savage emotions. Priests were discussing their
singular good fortune in the propitiatory offering they had secured for
Pele in the white man, and promising the people her aid and that of her
terrible sisters in the nefarious designs of Pohaku, whose heralds just
before night-fall, had proclaimed war, and invited all the population
to join in the feast, or more properly speaking the saturnalia, in
anticipation of the solemn sacrifice of the morrow, and the subsequent
march towards the territories of Kiana, whom they hoped to surprise. The
non-combatants were to remain within the fortress. This was more than
seven hundred feet wide. Its walls were fifteen feet thick and twelve
high, making it for Hawaii impregnable, if resolutely defended. Along
its whole extent at short intervals, were hideous images of stone or
wood, which stood as sentinels over their worshippers. Now in the dusky
light they looked like real demons, silently watching the noise and
revelry below. The maddest of the priests were rushing about with smaller
idols, lifting them above their heads with fearful screams and grimaces,
pretending that they came from the images, which were to be borne in
the ranks as consecrated banners. Feasting had already commenced, and
various parties were to be seen seated on mats on the ground, both inside
and outside of the houses, banqueting on wild boar, dog, live fishes,
and other luxuries of the region, which they washed down with copious
draughts of the intoxicating arva, amid rude jeers, jests, shouts and
uproarious laughter. Slaves of both sexes, naked to their waist-cloths
despite the chill air, gaunt and feeble, from famine and ill-usage, stood
in the rear of their masters, eager to clutch the thrown aside morsel,
while tremblingly obeying their capricious orders. Canine and swinish
pets, barked and grunted, fought and rooted in unrebuked proximity to
their owners, adding their stirring noises to the general chorus of
discordant sounds.

Such was the spectacle into which Beatriz was introduced, as following
Liliha they quietly made their way in search of Hewahewa. Fortunately,
the deepening shadows of night favored their disguise, and Beatriz was
too intent on finding Olmedo, to notice what otherwise would have alarmed
her, for there were scenes of debauchery going on which it is not for the
pen to describe.

As they passed the open door of a house larger than the rest, Liliha saw
the gloomy features of Pohaku, intently gazing into a smothered fire, in
which something was slowly consuming. Around him were a party of the high
chiefs, who stood deferentially, while he reclined on a divan. On either
hand were two priests, who were uttering a dismal chant with their hands
extended towards heaven, but frequently stopping to throw a substance,
the nature of which they could not discern, upon the fire. If it flashed
into a quick bright flame, all hailed it with cries of satisfaction; but
as it oftener seemed to half extinguish the fire, or to puff out thick
wreaths of smoke, Pohaku’s face became fearfully moody, and he growled
curses upon the priests, who evidently were more in awe of him than their
deities. Tolta stood in the back-ground, regarding the scene with a look
of mingled contempt and impatience.

Making a sign to her companions to remain where they were, Liliha
thinking her father might be within, cautiously approached where she
could see the interior. Hewahewa was not there. But before she could
retire, Tolta passed out so close to her that she could have touched
him, saying to himself, “Fools, do they think by drunkenness and frantic
shouts to beat Kiana’s men, or by incantations to waste the flesh from
his bones? Rightly that brute is named stone,”—referring to the meaning
of the word Pohaku,—“his head and heart are made of nothing else. His
stupid sorcery will lose me my game. He says he will not budge until he
omens are auspicious. Would he were to be cast to Pele with Olmedo. But
I must see that priest and get his final answer.” Seeing the group of
women, he roughly said to them as he passed, “Away with you, hags, to
your feasting; leave such foolery to your betters; you’ll have enough
to wail for to-morrow,” little perceiving to whom his bitter words were
spoken.

Liliha motioned to them to follow her as she stole after him. He walked
fast, but they dogged him as noiselessly as shadows. Olmedo had been
removed into the heiau, or temple, outside of the fortress, upon a cliff
overhanging the lake of fire. Inside were a few houses devoted to the
priests and the idols. As they passed under the eastern gate of the
fortress, Liliha saw the three heads of the Spaniards set upon poles. In
the dim light their features could not be distinguished. Supposing them
to be some of the common victims of the priests, she put her finger upon
her lips for Beatriz to keep silent, fearing the effect upon her of so
sudden and ghastly a sight. Beatriz knew too well to whom they belonged,
but she restrained her emotions, and passed them quickly, though not
without an inward prayer for the repose of their souls.

They arrived at the entrance of the heiau as Tolta disappeared within.
It had been made tabu to females, and was now deserted by all but the
guards appointed by Hewahewa to watch over Olmedo. Death, under the most
appalling forms, would be the penalty if they were detected within the
sacred precincts. As little as Liliha knew of the rites of the popular
religion, she was quite aware of the terrible punishment awarded to
any breach of priestly tabus, though without any superstitious dread
of infringing them. It was natural, therefore, for her to pause before
she crossed the fatal barrier. Beatriz, either not perceiving or not
understanding her hesitation, entered at once. Liliha stopped no longer,
but impulsively followed, as did her faithful women, who, if it had been
her will, would have leaped after her into the crater, so attached were
they to their young mistress.

The heiau was reeking with foul odors, that arose from the putrefying
masses of animal offerings upon the numerous altars. Some human
sacrifices had been recently made. These corpses, in which decay had
already begun, were stretched out before images so foul in features
and postures, as to be unlike anything earthly. To a savage they might
well appear to be fiends, but to an educated mind they were absurd and
disgusting, exciting horror only from the blind devotion paid them. They
saw also the secret access to the principal idols, by means of which
the priests, like those of Isis at Pompeii, were able to utter oracles
through their mouths, as if the god spoke, and to perform the usual
ritual jugglery which, among all ignorant races, designing priestcraft
passes off as miracles.

Although faint and soul-sick at these evidences of a faith so false, so
pitiless to the doomed, and so suggestive of what might be her own fate,
and unless they succeeded in rescuing Olmedo, would be his, Beatriz did
not for a second falter. For a little while they were bewildered in the
intricacies in the interior of the heiau, as they had lost sight of
Tolta, and knew not in what direction to seek for the prison of Olmedo.
As they cautiously groped their way from one house to another, listening
to catch signs of life, they heard voices from one near by. Being of
thatch, there was no difficulty in observing the interior through a hole
made in the straw. They saw Olmedo lying on mats, with several guards
about him, whom Liliha recognized to be her own men. Indeed they were
husbands of the women with her. Tolta had just gone in, and was speaking
to Olmedo in Spanish.

[Illustration]

“I have come, monk,” said he, “according to promise, to hear your final
answer. For the last time I ask, will you assist me to wed Beatriz, and
live? Methinks the sights and odors about you must have quickened your
reflections. Remember, yes is still in time, but shortly no power can
save you from your doom.”

“Leave me, Mexican,” replied Olmedo, “my few remaining hours in peace. My
answer has been already given. I will not join in your treachery to save
myself. Beatriz may die, but she never will be dishonored.”

“Even now her life and honor depend upon your answer. Make her my wife,
and she shall be queen of Hawaii. Hear me! No other faith but yours shall
exist in Hawaii. This I swear, and you shall be its chief minister. My
plans are ripe. I have but to lift my finger and they turn either way, as
you decide,” urged Tolta, in his eagerness, forgetting the doubts that
but shortly before clouded his mind and angered him.

“Your offers and your threats are alike useless, Tolta. I have not the
power, if I had the will, to make Beatriz love you. I may perish, and she
too, but we both will die with souls unsullied by falsehood,” answered
Olmedo. “Even now He to whom I pray, upholds me and gives me peace. Go,
and tempt me no further.” And he turned his face from him in sadness,
firmly refusing to listen to him any more.

“Then perish, you and yours; all in whom flows Spanish blood. I doom
you all.” Saying this, Tolta left the house, and returned towards
the fortress, at each step venting his anger in execrations upon the
obstinacy, as he called it, of the monk.



CHAPTER XXIV.

    “There is no danger to a man that knows
    What life and death is.”

                                    CHAPMAN.


It may be readily imagined that Beatriz listened eagerly to a
conversation which gave her the clue to all the tortuous actions of
Tolta in regard to herself and Olmedo. He had no sooner gone than she
entered, throwing back the covering to her face, which, amid the general
excitement, had enabled her to pass unobserved among her companions,
who, immediately coming after, imitated her example. Notwithstanding the
suddenness of her appearance, and the obscure light, Olmedo knew her
at once, and greeted her with an exclamation of joyful surprise. The
guards, challenging the intruders, were about to take them into custody,
but perceiving their young chiefess, and two of them recognizing their
wives, they were at a loss what to do; whether to give an alarm, which
would be their death-warrant, or by acquiescing in the sacrilege, run
the risk of being themselves involved in their crime. Their attachment
to Liliha proved stronger than their fears, as she partly appealed to
their personal fealty, and partly commanded their services, seconded
by her women, who, having now irrevocably committed themselves, had
no other resource than to bribe or cajole them to silence. Still they
were incurring, as they well knew, a fearful hazard, and they heartily
wished themselves out of the net into which they had been led by their
inexperienced mistress. She herself did not reflect how the adventure
might terminate, now that she had missed her father, but was so absorbed
in her desire to save Beatriz, that she thought of nothing else. Indeed
she entered as impulsively into every act that had that in view, as
she would have into any scheme of pleasure. It was the first time she
had ever taken any serious responsibility upon herself, unknown to
or unadvised by her father. Up to this moment she had fully expected
to meet him, not doubting but that, as usual, he would accede to her
wishes. Could she have read in his calm exterior the closely weighed
policy which decided every question solely in reference to his ambition,
and made him patient or impetuous, kind or cruel, priest or infidel,
selfish or generous, only as interest swayed, she would have hesitated to
approach him on such an errand. When he proposed to Olmedo to save him by
substituting another victim, he was sincere. Not that he desired to spare
him the pangs of the sacrifice, but that he might reserve him to gratify
his inquisitive mind, after which he would have consigned him, with
equal indifference, to death, or sent him back to Kiana, as his policy
prompted. The refusal of Olmedo had perplexed him. It was an exhibition
of character not within his calculation. He would not risk his popularity
with the expectant multitude, by refusing to sacrifice Olmedo, as had
been solemnly proclaimed; but, true to his promise to aid Beatriz, and
hoping from her to obtain further disclosures of the acts of Tolta, he
had set off soon after for his own residence. By taking the main road
he missed Liliha, who arrived at the fortress at the same time that he
reached his own house. Thus it was that the maiden was left solely to her
own resources, as she was told by the guards her father had returned to
his home, and would not be back before early morning.

When she heard this her heart failed her, and she wrung her hands,
exclaiming, “What can be done? By morning it will be too late. I will go
to Pohaku. He will not refuse the daughter of Hewahewa her petition.”

“Nay, nay, our chiefess, you would bring ruin to us all, and to your
father also. Think not of this. He is as merciless as death. Like a
maddened boar, he will rend us all,” both women and guards exclaimed in
one breath, as each began to discuss how to escape from their present
perilous position.

While this was going on, Beatriz had explained to Olmedo all that had
occurred since they parted, and he had told her his history. His first
idea in seeing her was that she had been brought to share his fate, but
finding that she was comparatively free and with friends, hope began to
revive in each for the other. Overhearing the discussion between the
women and the guards, Olmedo said, “These friendly natives must not be
put to death for me. We must either all depart, or you must go as you
came, and leave me to my destiny. Some other mode of escape may offer,
which shall not risk so many lives for one.”

“I will never again leave you, Olmedo. If you remain, I remain; if you
go, I go. Whatever your fate may be, I am here to share it,” said Beatriz.

“Say not so, my daughter, my Beatriz. Go with those who brought you here.
They can guard you safely back to Juan. If you remain with me, they are
lost. Surely you would not cost them their lives. Go while there is yet
time. God will guard you. As for me, I am a soldier of the cross, and
it is meet that I should offer up my life rather than violate its holy
principles. There,” said Olmedo, tenderly taking her hand and putting it
into that of Liliha, “depart with her. She will rescue you and restore
you to your brother.”

Withdrawing her hand from Liliha’s, Beatriz took Olmedo’s, and fixing
her expressive eyes on his, firmly and slowly said, “My resolution is
formed. Did you ever know me to swerve from my decision? Go, I pray
you,” said she, turning to Liliha. “May the Holy Virgin reward you for
your kindness, dear sister. Embrace me. Your father, should he come to
know this, would not be cruel to his daughter for her love to the white
maiden.”

But Liliha clung convulsively to her and refused to part. “I cannot give
you up,” said she. “I am your sister. If you stay, I will stay. You shall
not die so cruel a death,” and she sobbed like an infant, while her
women, terrified at her words, urged her to delay no longer. The guards
added their entreaties, for at any moment some of the priests might
return, and then all would be lost.

Olmedo, seeing the unfortunate turn Beatrix’s endeavor to save him was
taking, here interposed, as a new idea suggested itself, saying, “Calm
yourselves and listen to me. If these good men,” speaking of his guards,
“will consent, we can be all saved.”

“How! What do you propose? I will answer for my people,” eagerly
exclaimed Liliha.

“Then let us all fly at once, taking the shortest and safest route to
Kiana’s territory. Some of you must know the country well. He will reward
you all to the extent of your desires, and protect you from the vengeance
of your chief.”

“And leave my father! What will he think of me? I must not forsake him,”
said Liliha, with a filial firmness that threatened to extinguish the
last hope of rescue for Beatriz.

“It will be but for a short time, noble maiden,” urged Olmedo. “He will
pardon you for an act of mercy—for saving the life of your friend and
sister. You have gone so far that there is safety in no other course.
Finish your merciful work, my daughter, and the blessings of the God of
the Christian will ever attend you, and his holy saints have you always
in their keeping. The Great God wills it. Your heart is too tender to
leave her to suffer so cruelly from the malice of a stranger to your race
and ours. Your women, too; think of them; their visit here cannot long
be concealed. As soon as it is known, they will be inhumanly tortured,
and sacrificed to demons. Would you have the blood of all these upon your
head? No. Your father will not blame you.”

“The stranger priest speaks well,” interposed Umi, the captain of the
guards, glad of an opportunity to desert the service of Pohaku for that
of Kiana, and seeing in this affair an occasion to recommend himself to
that chieftain. “By sunrise we can reach the territories of Kiana if we
start now. I know a city of refuge near the frontier, where we can be in
safety until he comes to our rescue. Let us go at once.”

“For my sake, for the love you bear your father, save mine,” pleaded
Beatriz, embracing her.

The women and guards added their entreaties, so that Liliha hesitated
no longer. “Be it so,” said she, “I yield for your sakes, but my heart
misgives me for deserting my father.” But there was no time for further
indecision, so they bore her half-reluctantly forward, leaving the heiau
by the gate farthest from the fortress, fortunately meeting no one. It
wanted an hour and a half of midnight. The moon rose as they reached a
path that skirted the crater on its northern side. By its light they made
tolerably quick progress over the rough country, in the direction of the
eastern shore of Hawaii.

They had been gone about three hours, when Tolta walked once more towards
the heiau, desirous of seeing his captive again before he was wholly
given up to Hewahewa, for the terrible rites of the dawning festival.
Surprised and angry at finding the temple wholly deserted, his first
thought was, that the guards and priests, whose duty required them to
have been there at that hour, had left their captive and gone to indulge
in the orgies at the fort. He searched everywhere without finding a trace
of Olmedo, and was on the point of going back to seek Hewahewa, and
demand why the prisoner had been removed, when he saw something bright
lying on the ground, close by the gate farthest from Pohaku’s quarters.
Picking it up he recognized the well-known rosary of Beatriz. Immediately
the misgiving crossed his mind that by some means he was unable to
account for, she had been able to release Olmedo, and they had fled.
Alone and unassisted, such a deed was impossible. She must, therefore,
have secured aid from some one, able either to overawe or bribe those who
had the custody of Olmedo. His suspicion fell at once upon Hewahewa. “He
seeks to ingratiate himself with Kiana,” thought he, “by revealing the
plot and restoring the prisoners. But why? What motive can there be for
such a step, when our joint plans were so nigh success?” Confiding his
discovery to no one, he went back to the fortress, hoping that he might
find Hewahewa, and learn from him that he was wrong in his conjecture.
He was as unsuccessful in getting tidings of him as of Olmedo. Doubt
now ripened into certainty, and he felt sure that Hewahewa had not only
released the prisoners, but accompanied them in their flight. “The
traitor, does he think to foil me thus? I will have his head and one
rival the less. I never liked his ominous silence,—his thought is as
secret as the grave. But they cannot have gone far. I must pursue and
capture them before this gets to the ears of Pohaku. Caught in the act,
he will then be sure not to spare even his favorite priest. Beatriz must
still be kept from his sight. The war once begun, he will hence have
enough to glut his passions without thinking of the white woman. It will
go hard with me if some lucky blow may not put an end to him. Then,
Tolta, you are supreme.”

So musing, pleased at the opportunity that offered for catching Hewahewa
in the same net which he had been spreading, and not doubting but that
in a few hours he should return successful from the pursuit, he apprised
his most trusty partisans that he had need of their services, and without
letting them know his object until fairly upon the road, he made all
possible haste to come up with the fugitives. Trained to forest warfare,
his men once upon the route found no difficulty in tracking, even by
the uncertain light of the moon, the party in advance, whose progress,
encumbered as it was with women, was necessarily much slower than their
own.

While Tolta was pursuing Olmedo, Hewahewa, surprised at not finding his
daughter and Beatriz at his own house, was on his return to the fortress
to learn further tidings of them. His people knew only that they were
missing, and that a party of women had left quite early in the day in
that direction. They supposed that their mistress, curious to witness the
spectacle, had secretly gone for that purpose. The high-priest arrived
at the stronghold in about an hour after Tolta had left, presuming he
should have no difficulty in detecting Liliha through any disguise. He
anxiously sought for her among the different groups that were prolonging
their carousings into the morning, and searched every house, but equally
in vain. At last he went to the temple, though believing it impossible
that she could have braved the terrors of the tabu, either from curiosity
or to gratify the white woman. He was more astonished than even Tolta
at its desertion, and could scarcely credit his sight. The heiau was a
complete solitude. Its foul offerings polluted the night air, and sent up
their reeking incense to impish idols, unwatched by human eyes. Excited
as his feelings were for the safety of the only being he loved, never had
the gloomy precincts of the sacred enclosure and its disgusting rites
appeared to him as they did now. He was repelled and disgusted, and as he
recalled the words and resolute self-denial of Olmedo, he felt disposed
to proclaim the whole a delusion. But the thought was only momentary. As
he discovered the absence of Olmedo, he remembered what the white priest
had told him of the proffered treachery of Tolta, and he suspected that
Olmedo might have relented at the last moment and consented to his plans.
Liliha no doubt had been seduced to conduct Beatriz to the fortress
in disguise, and the whole party had fled with the guards. Instead,
therefore, of surprising Kiana, that chieftain, led by Tolta, would
shortly be down upon them with all his force. Enraged at the abduction
of his daughter, which he attributed to the Mexican, and hoping to defeat
his intentions, he hurried to Pohaku, and related the circumstances and
his conclusions.

That chief was still engaged with the sorcerers, and as the auguries had
not improved, his temper was in its most savage mood. He heard, however,
without interrupting, the story through.

Starting up, he roared rather than spoke, “The lying hound, the whelp of
a wild dog—no marvel that the sacred signs failed before his false eyes.
Arm ye, all, and pursue the traitor. My richest valley shall be the prize
of his capturer—off men to the hunt, but leave him to be dealt with by
me. He who lags behind shall feel my spear.”

Clutching his weapons he rushed out, followed by the fiercest and most
resolute of his retainers, who, eager to win the reward, tumultuously
pushed forward; but Pohaku, maddened by his abortive witchcraft, and
the deceit of his tempter, soon outstripped them all, and intent upon
revenge, went on at a pace to which few of his men were equal.

Hewahewa perceived that Tolta had not gone alone, as many able fighting
men were missing. He concluded, therefore, that he had partisans, and
would make fight, should he be overtaken before joining Kiana. The fury
of Pohaku might defeat its object, unless sustained by his regular
force. So calling together as many companies of the warriors under their
chiefs, as the debauch had left fit for immediate service, he led them in
military array after Pohaku. Thus it happened that within a few hours,
these different parties, actuated by such conflicting emotions, in wild
chase of or from each other, were on the road to Kiana’s territories.



CHAPTER XXV.

    “When Anger rushes unrestrained to action,
    Like a hot steed, it stumbles in its way.
    The Man of Thought strikes deepest and strikes safely.”

                                                   SAVAGE.


The reason why Tolta missed entrapping Juan at the same time with
Beatriz, was this. Early on that very morning he had set out with Kiana
to hunt wild boars in a forest in the district, now known as Puna, but
which at that date was about equally divided between the territories
of Kiana and Pohaku. It would be impossible for the traveller of the
present day to recognize the localities of the events of this chapter,
on account of the repeated changes in the features of the country,
occasioned by the successive eruptions of Kilauea since that period. Even
the coast line has been greatly extended and altered. When the Spaniards
first arrived at Hawaii, the volcano had for a long period been quiet
in this direction. Consequently, the country had become overgrown with
vegetation, which mantling the abrupt mountain spurs, and numerous lava
raised hills, and wide extended plains gave it a highly picturesque
appearance. Cultivation was spread over its surface but very slightly.
In general, it was a fertile wilderness, sparsely peopled, but prolific
with the game of the country. On this account it was much frequented
by the sporting warriors of both the chieftains, whose followers, in
pursuing the chase, not unseldom met in deadly conflict. There was,
therefore, a double risk to the adventurer in exploring its wilds. In
escaping the tusks of an infuriated animal, he might fall upon the spear
of an ambushed foe.

The very dangers of this territory were the origin of its most redeeming
feature. Abounding in wild forests, it naturally became a refuge to
the escaped slave, or oppressed tenant, and even the fugitive from
justice, who without the intervention of an institution, which I will now
describe, would, from their common perils, have banded together, and made
themselves formidable as robbers or assassins.

I refer to the Pahonua, or to adopt the phraseology of the Israelities,
in a kindred institution, the ‘city of refuge.’ The analogy between the
two is very striking. With both, it was a necessity as a check upon the
prevalent laws of retaliation, the barbarous character of their warfare,
and their system of justice, so liable to perversion from the caprices
or tyranny of their rulers. It affords also consoling evidence of the
disposition of mankind, even in the least improved condition, to correct
evil. It is true, that like the sanctuaries of the Roman Catholic Church,
they were liable to abuse, and were available to the criminal, as well
as the innocent, but in a rude society, they afforded a wholesome check
upon revenge, whether private, or under judicial forms, and served in a
considerable degree to mitigate the otherwise unendurable ferocity of war.

A river, having its source in Mauna Kea, flowed through this region. It
was a rapid, impetuous stream, much broken by rocks and whirlpools, and
fed by numerous cascades and torrents from the neighboring hills. As it
rained a great deal in this vicinity, it was generally swollen. Near the
sea the river forced its way between precipitous banks, with much roaring
and many abrupt leaps, at times quieted by the depth of its waters, as
it reached some rocky dell, and at others spreading out into a quick,
broad current, until it finally expanded itself into the sea, amid the
thundering of breakers, over a treacherous bottom of moving sands. Only
in the calmest weather could canoes venture to cross its bar. There were
a few spots where sufficient land had been gained from the river, higher
up the valley by dykings, so as to repay careful cultivation with rich
crops. Here the banana and taro grew most luxuriantly, ripened into a
luscious flavor by the sun’s rays, caught and retained between the steep,
verdure-clad banks. Dams were partly thrown across the river in several
places near its mouth, diverting portions of it into artificial ponds,
well stocked with fish, particularly the delicious mullet, which being
reared in brackish water, acquired a flavor and fatness unknown to the
species bred elsewhere.

Besides these signs, there were many others of peace and abundance in
the immediate vicinity. They were due to the presence of a spacious
Pahonua built of stone, situated upon the river’s left bank, which there
formed an easy precipice, affording a pleasing contrast to the lofty and
jetting crag opposite. The juncture of the fresh water with the salt tide
of the ocean, took place almost under the walls of the city of refuge,
occasioning eddies, admitting of a ford, though at no time safe, because
of quicksands.

The tutelar deity of this Pahonua was Keave, now worshipped, or more
properly speaking, sainted; for the formula of the Roman Catholic Church
is in this respect as applicable to the paganism of Hawaii, as to its
own more enlightened ritual. Keave was simply the benevolent founder
of this particular institution, the building of which was, considering
its purpose, solidity and extent, as creditable to his sanctity and
enterprise, as have been any of the numerous monasteries of the papal
church, to their canonized founders. Canonization is indeed but another
form of heathen deification. The creation of this Pahonua, the natives
being destitute of machinery for raising large masses of stone, was in
truth a prodigious feat. In its walls were blocks weighing upwards of
two tons, elevated six feet or more above the ground. Around it were the
sacred images, usually placed upon such structures. Within, there were
several pyramidal temples, besides a sufficient number of houses for
the people likely to take refuge therein. The limits of the sanctuary
extended to a certain distance outside the walls, marked by white
flags, while its charge devolved upon a class of priests,—monks they
might aptly be called, if we set aside the vow of chastity—who with
their servants were permitted to slay any one that transgressed their
privileges. Like themselves, their property was sacred, which accounts
for the oasis they had created amid the otherwise forbidding scenery and
its pertinent perils. Whoever once got safely within their precincts,
became inviolable. This personal security extended to a certain time
after the refugee had returned to his home, as the protecting spirit was
supposed to still abide with him, though guilty of the foulest crimes,
or even of violating the most solemn tabus. Before a fight, the women
and children of both the belligerents, assembled in the Pahonua for
security. After the battle was won, the vanquished also fled to it to
secure that mercy which the conqueror rarely granted. All made offerings
to the deified founder, as does the Roman Catholic to his patron saint,
in gratitude for favors vouchsafed.

Olmedo and his party arrived soon after sunrise, without interruption, at
the base of a sharp mountain ridge, which intervened between the river
and the more level ground over which they had passed. It was not lofty,
but, owing to its dense vegetation, extremely difficult to scale, except
at one point where the natives had, by frequent traversing, worn a rude
passage. Path it could not be called, for the jungle was so thick, and
the branches of the trees so interlocked, that it offered much of the way
a series of climbing and leaps, more suited to the habits of a monkey
than a human being. There were other points of access to the river, but
Umi had selected this as much the shortest, though it involved greater
fatigue. For a considerable distance the party was obliged to go in
Indian file up a rapid ascent, which formed the backbone of the spur, and
was so narrow, that to unpractised feet it was safer to sit upon it, as
on a saddle, and to hitch themselves along by the help afforded by the
coarse grasses and ferns. On either side was a steep precipice, covered
with a slippery coating of rank verdure. Before arriving at the summit
the path became so obstructed with trees of a large growth, imbedded in a
tangled network of shrubs and vines, that the utmost caution was required
to prevent the weaker members of the party from becoming inextricably
involved therein. Often they were obliged to find a foothold on branches
elevated twenty feet and even more, from the soil, and clinging to the
limbs above them, slowly work their way through the vegetable barrier.
The sun’s rays never penetrated the leafy canopy overhead, though to
the almost constant rains they were a slight obstacle. These had caused
a luxuriant growth of mosses which encircled every limb, making them
appear double their real size, and frequently hiding their decay. In
grasping the seemingly stout branch it would prove to be a flexible twig
or a rotten stick, and giving way, precipitate the climber into beds of
oozy vegetation, which, sponge-like, not only showered their chilling
contents upon the wayfarers at every step, but, from their slimy coating,
rendered both foothold and grasp very uncertain. Nothing short of the
previous rough experiences of Beatriz, in the wild campaigns of Mexico,
could have prepared her for an effort like the one she was now making.
Her companions were indefatigable in their exertions to aid her. After
two hours of excessive labor they had the satisfaction to stand upon
the summit, and look down upon the river which separated them from the
territories of Kiana.

“Look,” said Umi, “our toils are almost at an end. There is the Pahonua,
and the priests will give us food and rest while we send for Kiana.”

“But what comes there?” exclaimed Olmedo, pointing to some objects moving
along the narrow ridge they had just traversed, and which were hardly
perceptible from their point of view.

All looked anxiously to the spot indicated, and were not long in
perceiving Tolta, followed by several score of warriors, rapidly
advancing towards them. At the same instant the Mexican caught sight
of them, and they saw him pointing their party out to his followers,
and urging them forward with impatient gestures. A wild shout of
triumph broke from his men at the discovery, and they dashed forward in
expectation of speedily seizing the fugitives. The difficulties of the
ascent, however, so impeded their progress, as to give ample time to Umi
to put into execution his plan of escape. Tolta had taken this difficult
pass to the river, thinking to arrive on its banks in advance of those
he pursued, and intercept them as they came by the longer but more easy
route. He was therefore taken by surprise on discovering them ahead
of him. His hope now lay solely in the greater speed of his men. With
promises and threats he excited them to redoubled exertions, himself
leading the way.

Fortunately for Beatriz and Olmedo, the descent towards the river was
comparatively facile. Sending two of his men forward to aid the women,
Umi with the others took post just at the crest of the mountain, where
the path was so narrow that they could easily hold it against great odds.
With their spears poised they awaited the onset of Tolta’s men.

While these incidents were in progress, Kiana and Juan, accompanied by a
mixed train of not above one hundred men, warriors and servants included,
were occupied in the chase. They were unaware of the abduction of the
Spaniards and the subsequent events, having had no communication with
their homes for several days. Indeed, although many of their people had
missed their guests of late, as they were accustomed to their retirement
at not unfrequent intervals, few besides their immediate attendants had
manifested either curiosity or anxiety at their absence. But when three
days had gone by without news of them, their retainers prepared to notify
Kiana of the fact. Some had gone in pursuit of him on the very morning
of the escape. But the hunters at early daylight had crossed the river
at some distance above the Pahonua, and had been beating the forest at
the foot of the mountain in pursuit of their game, with, however, but
indifferent success. Wearied with their exertions, they were reposing
in the shade of a grove about half way between its base and the river,
when their attention was attracted by shouts proceeding apparently from
the mountain. Soon several women were seen issuing from the forest, and
running at full speed towards the river, followed by armed men, a few
of whom, every now and then, faced about and stood on the defensive
against others who were pursuing them. By this means the women made some
progress, but evidently their strength was failing, and they must quickly
be captured, especially as the foremost of their pursuers had overthrown
his antagonist, and was gaining rapidly upon them.

It seems that Umi and his men had been unable to retard the progress of
Tolta for a much shorter time than he anticipated. The followers of the
Mexican had rushed fiercely upon them, and although beaten back, returned
again and again to the charge, throwing their spears, and yelling
frightfully to intimidate their foes. But Umi was too well practised
in native warfare to be driven from his post by menaces, while he was
sufficiently protected as to avoid much risk from the missiles of his
assailants. Chafing at this delay, Tolta was himself preparing to close
with Umi, when his quick eye caught sight of a vine overhanging the rock
which effectually screened his enemy. With the spring of a wild cat he
caught at it, and almost as quick as the thought had been formed, he had
scrambled to the summit, whence he could look down upon Umi. Another leap
would have brought him into his rear. Umi seeing this retreated, but, as
he turned, dealt a quick blow to a careless assailant, which stretched
him lifeless right in the way of his companions, who stumbled over him as
they pursued him down the mountain. His men, taking somewhat different
directions, followed, occasionally stopping to arrest the progress of
their pursuers, that the women might have a chance to reach the river.

Kiana, surprised at this scene, called his men to stand by their arms,
saying to Juan, “We must be on our guard. Pohaku, I suspect, is about to
pay us the compliment of a visit. If so we shall find him fiercer game
than we have yet seen this morning.”

Juan was too intently gazing upon the flying group to heed the remark.
Suddenly he exclaimed, “That headmost warrior is Tolta. There is no
mistaking his tiger spring. But what is the Mexican doing here? Jesus
Maria! That robe belongs to no Hawaiian. By the holy saints it is our
worthy priest. He must have strangely changed his nature to be marauding
with that wily Aztec. But, no! the villain! he throws his javelin at him.
There is foul work going on here. At them, Kiana, or they will slay the
monk.” So saying, he rushed towards the assailant, calling upon Olmedo to
turn towards him. Kiana and his men added their shouts to his, and ran
quickly after him.

Their apparition seemed to paralyze both the pursuer and the pursued.
With the latter, however, the hesitation was but brief. Recognizing her
brother, Beatriz gave a cry of joyful surprise, and hastily bidding
Liliha follow her, turned towards him. Juan knew her voice, though
he could scarcely credit his senses on finding his sister in such a
position. Both he and Kiana were immediately at her side. Overcome by
her exertions, she fainted as she fell into Juan’s arms. Olmedo and the
rest of the party were soon surrounded by the friendly warriors, eagerly
inquiring the cause of their appearance and flight. Their story was told
in a few words. A cry of vengeance upon the Mexican rose from every
throat as his men called upon Kiana to lead them against the traitor.

Meantime Beatriz slowly came to. Both Juan and Kiana, in their anxiety
for her, thought of nothing else, until she was able to confirm by her
own lips the narrative of her faithful friends. Her weakness made her
tale short, but the little she spoke, stopping at each broken sentence to
gain strength, told much to her listeners. Olmedo was almost as feeble
as she. Juan gave a look of grateful surprise at Liliha, as his sister,
embracing her, presented her as her rescuer. His thanks were hearty and
brief, but all other feeling was speedily lost in his desire to revenge
the treachery towards Beatriz. Without stopping to count his foes, he
sprang towards them, calling upon Tolta to prove himself a man by facing
one.

Kiana was prompt to sustain him, but not before he had charged a portion
of his retinue to escort the rescued party across the river, and place
them in safety in the Pahonua, while he with the remainder would cover
their passage. Less fiery than Juan, his first impulse was to see to
their safety, then to look to their own, for he felt certain Tolta
would not have undertaken an enterprise of so much danger, without
being sustained by the whole power of Pohaku. That chief, therefore, he
believed, would soon appear upon the field. As it was, Tolta had the
superiority in numbers, and it would not be prudent to exhaust their
strength before they knew what fresh dangers might be in store.

The Mexican, calling his men about him, determined to act solely on the
defensive. It might have fared ill with Juan, had Tolta with his whole
force made a rush upon him as he came towards them. Several of the most
eager of his men did indeed sally from their ranks, to make a combined
assault upon the white man. Their commander recalled them, but not
before the foremost having struck at Juan with his mace a blow which he
easily parried, was run through by his sword before he could recover his
guard. This experience of the fatal skill and power of the weapon of the
Spaniard made them more cautious, and they kept their ranks retreating
slowly towards the rocky promontory directly facing the Pahonua. It was
not far from this point that the road usually traversed from Kilauea,
and leading to the somewhat dangerous ford before spoken of, joined the
river. Tolta knew too much of Juan’s prowess to venture himself in combat
with him, especially with inferior weapons. He noticed the fewness of
Kiana’s men, and hoped before long Pohaku might join him, when their
combined force would easily slay or capture their opponents.

Kiana and his men had now come up, and without making a direct assault
were gradually pressing Tolta’s party back to the highest part of the
precipice, which here overlooked the deepest waters of the river, though
a little way below they became shallower as they approached the ford.
Olmedo and his companions were already preparing to cross, having availed
themselves of some canoes belonging to the priests of the Pahonua, which
Kiana had borrowed early in the day for his own passage. The rising
ground on which they now found themselves, gave Tolta’s men a decided
advantage in resisting any attack. Their flank was protected by a dense
thicket, which bordered the road that led from Kilauea, while the river
effectually sheltered them on the right. Thus they were in a position
either to retreat or to await a reinforcement. A messenger had been
despatched by Tolta to Pohaku, as soon as he had made the discovery of
the presence of Juan and Kiana. In the meantime he had determined to
remain where he was. Should Kiana attempt to recross the river, he could
sally down upon him at advantage.

Juan, irritated at Kiana’s prudence, demanded that they should attack
Tolta at once, and drive his men into the river. But that chief would not
waver from his surer policy, for he had also sent to summon his warriors
to join him. By keeping his foes in their present situation, they would,
before long, be enabled to assault them, certain of success; whereas
now, a defeat or even a repulse would endanger the lives of those they
had just rescued. Until Beatriz and Olmedo were within the Pahonua, it
would be risking too much. Juan acquiesced in these measures, but swore
he would not lose sight of Tolta while he lived.

Pohaku, as we know, had pursued Tolta, deceived by the report of
Hewahewa. But few of his warriors had been able to keep up with him.
The messenger that Tolta had sent, and who might have explained their
position, had missed him. The enraged chief came in sight on the main
road, soon after the hostile parties had assumed their present positions.
Perceiving Kiana and his warriors, he was still more confirmed in his
belief of Tolta’s treachery; believing that he had fled to rejoin that
chief and surprise him. Without stopping to parley or to ascertain the
truth, he roared out to Tolta’s men to make way, and sprang forward
with a ferocious look towards the Mexican. The warriors, surprised and
confused, for they had supposed he had come to their assistance, parted
before him like water before a strong swimmer. Straight on towards
Tolta he came foaming and cursing, and bidding him await his fate. The
Mexican, at a loss to account for his sudden hate, supposed him gone mad
and ordered his men to seize him, but they would have sooner, unarmed,
crossed the tusks of the fiercest wild boar of the mountains, than have
now put themselves in his path. With his spear poised, he stopped a few
feet from Tolta, glaring upon him with blood-shot eyes. In another
second he would have driven it clean through him, but Tolta’s instinct
of life was quicker than even his rage. Seeing his hopeless position, he
sprang aside and the spear glanced on the turf, tearing up the ground,
and finally burying itself deep into it, remained with its haft quivering
in the air. Pohaku, uttering a fearful howl of disappointed rage, ran
towards him, intending to seize him with his naked arms, and to twist
his spine. The Mexican, whose movements were quick and subtle, again
dodged him, and sprang upon the cliff. As Pohaku rushed after, he aimed
a stroke at him with his dagger, which would have reached his heart had
it not struck upon an ivory ornament, which he wore upon his breast. The
steel broke, and Tolta was left defenceless. The river was now his only
chance. A precipice ninety feet high lay between him and it. With one
bound he cleared its edge. So sudden was this movement and so desperate
the leap, that all for the moment supposed him dashed to pieces on the
rocks beneath. Striking the water, however, with his feet pointed like a
wedge, and his arms clinging to his sides, he disappeared, but soon rose
and struck out towards the Pahonua. The rapid current bore him towards
the shallower waters. Here his feet touching the sand, he was obliged to
walk now and then, sinking as the water deepened and compelled him again
to swim. Suddenly he was seen to throw his arms wildly in the air, and
to shriek for help to the priests who were watching him from the walls
of the Pahonua. They ran hastily towards the water’s edge to rescue
him, but perceiving his position they dared not trust themselves on the
treacherous sands. His exertions to reach them were desperate, but every
struggle sank him deeper. He had touched a quicksand, and its vortex was
slowly sucking him down. Inch by inch he disappeared, each moment to him
an eternity. His entire life of baffled ambition and revenge, with all
the deeds of horror he had witnessed or participated in; all the better
desires he had cherished and affections he had indulged; all of his dark
and troublous career became legible in letters of fire to his quickened
memory, and mingling with an obscure and despairing future, the terrible
mythology of his earliest belief conflicting with the hated creed of the
Spaniard, harrowed his soul. Fiercely he struggled for a while with his
fate. The water became discolored by the sand his frantic exertions to
release himself stirred up. But nothing could now save him. Conscious of
this he became more quiet. As the waters covered his face its latest look
was towards a group of females just landing at no great distance above
him. One among them had seen the leap and after struggle. Shuddering she
covered her head with her mantle, and was then praying for the soul of
her enemy, whose hands, even after his head had sunk out of sight, were
seen for an instant turned imploringly towards her.

This sight sobered even the rage of Pohaku, and arrested the attention
of all. No sooner, however, was it over, than Juan, unable longer to
restrain himself, called upon Kiana to avail himself of the confusion
of their enemy and attack him. Setting the example, he sprung among
them dealing fatal wounds at every stroke. Kiana and his men seconded
him well, and the melée, it could scarcely be called battle, soon
became general and bloody. Pohaku, who had regained his arms, rallied
his men and fought with courage, but in skill he was not a match for
his assailants, whose better discipline compensated for their inferior
number. Three times, however, he foiled the desperate attack of the
bravest of Kiana’s men, slaying several of them, and might at last have
repulsed his foes had it not been for the impetuosity of Juan, who,
calling to him to beware, closed upon the chief. Twice Pohaku succeeded
in casting his javelin at him. The first blow he avoided by an active
movement of his body, but the weapon whizzed so near as to bruise his
left arm. The second javelin pierced his helmet, as he fortunately
stumbled over a corpse, otherwise it would have brained him. Before
he could recover himself, Pohaku had sprung forward with an uplifted
war-club, which, with terrible force, was about descending on his head,
when Kiana intercepted the blow by his mace. The warriors on both side
sprang to the rescue of their chiefs, and in the rush Kiana’s men were
borne back a few paces. He, however, held his ground, beating off his
assailants, thus giving time to Juan to rise. “Leave this chief to me,
he is my foe,” he cried to Kiana, and advancing once more upon him
he easily parried his furious blows, and at every thrust drew blood,
until watching a moment when Pohaku from sheer exhaustion struck less
quickly and forcibly, Juan plunged his sword through his breast. His fall
disheartened his men, and they began to recoil before the renewed efforts
of their foes, when loud shouts were heard from the road, and soon after
a regular body of warriors, outnumbering greatly all on both sides
engaged in the present fray, marched upon the field.

It was Hewahewa with the warriors he had assembled after the hasty
departure of Pohaku, whose soldiers recognizing them, re-formed in their
rear, and awaited the orders of the high-priest.

Kiana drew his men off from the pursuit and arrayed them into a
wedge-shaped phalanx, with its rear towards the stream. Juan and himself
occupied the _welau_, or point which must receive the brunt of the onset,
should an attack be made. On the other side of the river his followers
who had escorted Beatriz over, seeing his danger, came back with the
canoes and joined him. Thus he had it in his power to retreat, presenting
the while a formidable front to his enemy.

Hewahewa, having learned the state of affairs, was not desirous of
pushing him to extremity. His own immediate rivals, Tolta and Pohaku,
were dead,—no small gain to him,—but his daughter was virtually in the
power of Kiana. He was therefore disposed to terms. Sending a herald
bearing a branch of the _ti_ plant used as a flag of truce, he proposed
a parley. To this Kiana assented, and it was finally agreed that Kiana
should return to his own territories unmolested, Liliha remaining as a
hostage, until he was on equal terms with his antagonist, after which
they would treat for a general peace. Upon those terms, Kiana withdrew to
his own side, while Hewahewa encamped where he was.



CHAPTER XXVI.

      “Sudden arose
    Ianthe’s soul; it stood
    All beautiful in naked purity,
    The perfect semblance of its bodily frame.
      Instinct with inexpressible beauty and grace,
        Each stain of earthliness
      Had passed away; it reassumed
      Its native dignity, and stood
        Immortal.”

                                         QUEEN MAB.


Beatriz was once more at her home by the seaside. Liliha was always
near her. Since their first meeting the loving forest-girl had grown
still dearer to her. When her father claimed her, she pleaded so hard
and showed so much distress at the thought of leaving her white sister
that he consented she should remain for the time being. Kiana and the
high-priest were at peace. The latter had more than once visited Olmedo,
for the double purpose of talking with him and seeing his daughter. By
this interchange of civilities and the impression which the superior
condition of Kiana’s people made upon him, added to the more enlarged
views derived from his intercourse with the Spaniards, Hewahewa became,
if not a believer in any creed, a more humane and wiser man. By his
influence, backed as it always was when necessary with the arms of Kiana,
his people partially gave up their predatory habits, and paid more
attention to their fisheries and the culture of their soil. It was great
gain also to establish an amicable intercourse between tribes so long
bitterly hostile to each other. Instead of warlike expeditions to secure
prisoners for sacrifice and to plunder, Hewahewa’s people now came often
to trade. A commerce was growing up, which later led to the establishment
of regular fairs, the principal of which was held at stated intervals
on the banks of the Wailuku river, in the territory of Kiana. Here the
products of the soil and the manufactures of the several districts of
Hawaii, each of which from peculiarity of soil or climate, or from the
skill and industry of its inhabitants, could claim some local advantage,
were brought and interchanged. A paid police preserved order, and public
inspectors decided upon the qualities of the merchandise, or acted as
arbitrators in case of dispute, while the numerous pedlars by their cries
and importunity would not have discredited their brethren of Europe.

[Illustration]

But this fact is foreign to my story, except so far as showing how soon
and rapidly commercial industry supplants the fighting principle, if
it be allowed a fair chance, even among the passionate and sensuous
aborigines of Polynesia.

Beatriz looked wan and feeble. More than a month had gone by since her
rescue. Before her capture she had been gradually failing, but almost
imperceptibly and with such an increased delicacy of outline and purity
of complexion, that while Olmedo and Juan had praised her increasing
beauty, neither had noticed that it was sapping her life. The exposure
and excitement consequent upon the violence of Tolta, acting upon an
already enfeebled frame, had at last brought her very low. Daily since
her return had she been compelled to shorten her walks. At the same time
her voice grew weaker, but gained ever in sweetness, and the flush upon
her face became deeper. Still so long as she could go out she went,
leaning upon Liliha or Olmedo, to look upon the scenery she so loved,
and to breathe the balmy sea air beneath the palms. Juan clung to her as
to a life-buoy. Careless and impetuous as he had always been, he loved
his sister fervently. To see her pine day by day, her flesh wasting
as disease claimed it, the rich blood fading from her cheek never to
return, each embrace growing more languid as life ebbed, well nigh drove
him mad. Bitterly he blamed himself for his absence on that fatal day.
Even the horror of Tolta’s death did not check his curses upon him. To
Olmedo he would listen in deference as he talked of the consolations of
religion, but escaping to the woods, he would there sit hours in silent
agony brooding over his coming loneliness, and fiercely resenting any
intrusion. Liliha alone could quiet his grief. Knowing his habits, she
would sometimes steal from the side of Beatriz and go after him. Taking
his hand, without speaking, she would lead him to his sister, and the two
would sit by her in sympathetic sadness, watching her every motion, and
endeavoring to anticipate every want. While thus occupied he was in some
degree soothed. His sister was still with him. The Blessed Mother of God
might yet restore her. He would be so lonely when she was gone. Never
until now had he felt how large a portion of his happiness was derived
from her presence; how much he needed her calm sustaining spirit, her
untiring kindness, and above all her exhaustless fountain of forgiveness.
Was all this so soon to be taken away? Cold shudders passed through his
heart as the gloom of certainty shut down upon him, and starting up
abruptly he would go back to the forest. Giving time for the paroxysm
to subside, Liliha at a sign from Beatriz would again bring him back.
“My dear brother,” she would say, “sorrow not so, I may yet live; I feel
stronger to-day. Take my hand; see! it is not very thin; and my face, is
it not a little fuller? It seems so to me. Once you know, before we left
Spain, I was as ill, but I got well. Kiss me and stay by me while I sleep
a little. When I wake we will talk more. I have much to say, and yet I
cannot speak it, when you are so sad. Another kiss, dear Juan; you have
ever been a kind brother to me.” Thus she would cheer him with a hope
that at times dawned upon herself, in spite of her rapid decline.

Often Kiana came in, and sat gazing at her until the big tears followed
one another down his cheeks. Seemingly unconscious of them, he would
remain without uttering a word for hours, striving only to give some
order which he thought might promote her comfort. To him the fading away
of the maiden was like the loss of sunlight to the landscape. The earth
was all there, but its joy and glory were alike gone.

How was Olmedo? Calm. Never had Beatriz appeared to him so lovely as now.
He had seen too many death-beds not to know that she was shortly to pass
away. Every change in her aspect was closely watched, and all that his
experience could suggest done to postpone, if it could not avert, her
death. But he neither sought to deceive himself nor her. If Juan felt
himself alone, how much more must he whose soul was so interwoven with
the dying woman’s! Tenderly and truly had their love and faith kept pace
in all the eventful scenes they had passed through. Tempted, they had
conquered. Their hearts had recognized their inalienable birthright—to
love—yet they had not sinned. Now the spiritual was triumphing over
the material. As the body grew more helpless, the spirit became indeed
stronger. This he saw. How could he then sorrow; when, with the eye of
faith, he beheld infinite joy expanding in her soul? Mourn for himself,
left so solitary in his earthly pilgrimage, he must, and did, but he
rejoiced for her. At no time had he been more earnest in his religious
duties than during her illness. A solemn responsibility rested upon him
to be even more faithful to her pure aspirations and gentle faith. He
was with her also more than ever. As she drew nigh her departure, every
trace of the harsher doctrines of her church passed from her mind, as
the dead leaves of autumn give way to the living growth of spring. Fed
by the vital currents of faith and love that flowed into her soul from
that world her spirit was now piercing, his mind grew likewise, and he
perceived how that separation in body could prove union in spirit. Thus
he was comforted and sustained. He now felt that divine wisdom and love
were given in some degree to all men; that all nature was imbued with
their principles; that both nature and man were working out the great
problem of happiness, through a slow and laborious progress, governed by
universal laws existing from a beneficent and impartial deity. Polemical
creeds were the shackles of intellect and the graves of the soul. There
was but one creed, viz., that God made all men, and none had a right to
arrogate to themselves the way of salvation. Of him to whom much was
given, it was true that much would be required. God was always revealing
himself to the inquiring soul. No age or race had a right to claim a
final revelation or a monopoly of inspiration. Truth was as free as the
air to all who could or would receive it, but it was like gold in the
mine, dark and hidden until labor brought it to the sunlight, stamped
it with the die of reason, and put it into circulation. All new coin
was looked on with suspicion, but when made familiar became as current
as the old. All truth was partial, because its degree depended upon
the quality and capacity of the individual mind. Perfect truth is the
divine atmosphere. No man can breathe that now, but might hope to attain
it through infinite progress. Hence among men universal toleration
of opinions should prevail. The best minds here were but infants in
knowledge. Striving there should be, but it should consist in mutual
charity and forbearance; the patient waiting of each soul, and patient
working out of its duties in faith, for individual and general life were
linked together for a harmonious end. If disappointment to him were
needful for another’s good, he was ready to bid it welcome, and from out
of self-sacrifice to rise the stronger man. He saw in Beatriz’s death
her spiritual promotion. In strengthening her to meet it, he was best
preparing himself for those consolations which as necessarily result
from moral laws as does gravitation from the physical. Therefore Olmedo
looked upon the present trial as the beautiful working out of the final
happiness of Beatriz and himself. To him she was the divine messenger
through whom life and light had come. Talk not of the power of passionate
love! Its selfish flame burns itself out, leaving nothing but ashes.
Olmedo loved Beatriz, but it was now with a love in which passion was
sublimated into purity; strengthened by self-sacrifice and made immortal
by faith. What, then, were a few years of time to him who already saw
into eternity!

One day Beatriz felt so much stronger that she asked to be carried to the
spot in the forest, where she and Olmedo had met when they were taken off
by Tolta. Besides her litter-bearers and women, who retired a little way
after making up for her an easy couch, she was alone with him. It was
the loveliest hour of the twenty-four, drawing towards sunset, just as
the sun’s rays, becoming mellow, were casting a veil of soft and purple
light, tinged with golden radiance, over sea and land. The air was as
warm and healthful as an infant’s breath.

Beautiful as was the place, it had never looked so beautiful to her as
now. The birds were twittering in their leafy homes, and, coming close to
her as to an old friend, warbled a welcome before they bade good night
to the sinking sun, or from the topmost branches sang their vespers.
All old memories came back to her, save only the sad one connected with
Tolta, which she seemed now to have forgotten. She thought only of the
many talks they had had here, on subjects dear to both; their mutually
expressed longings for the familiar faces and scenes of their native
land, and their plans and hopes when forced to feel that they would no
more see them; the sadness that stole over her spirit as she realized
that she must live and die upon the island without one of her sex, born
of her race, to share her solitude; how the good father comforted her
with holy words, and finally her love spoke and his spoke, and they
each knew the heart’s secret of the other, and both trembled, but grew
stronger from prayer and faith, and now could look back upon their past
without a blush, and forward with hope in an eternal union; all this,
and much else that was endeared to her, came bright and joyful to her
recollection. She recalled to Olmedo scenes and words full of gladness
to both. Her voice was much clearer and stronger, and her manner so
cheerful, that he was borne away on the pleasant tide, and thought only
of their present happiness, without heeding that it was the illumination
of a mortal on the confines of the spirit-world.

Suddenly a shadow passed over her features, and she told Olmedo that she
would rest awhile. Closing her eyes, she sank into a gentle slumber that
lasted for half an hour. Bright smiles chased each other in such quick
succession on her face, that she seemed to her watcher to be already
living in another sphere. As he gazed almost in awe upon a happiness that
gave him a closer insight into the joys of a soul communing with its God,
Beatriz awoke. Turning her eyes vacantly upon him, then looking around
upon the scenery still lovely, for the brief twilight was in its prime,
she was for a moment bewildered. “Where am I; is this earth,—am I back
again? How dark it seems,” said she. “Give me your hand, Olmedo,—I see
you now. I have had such a dream,—shall I tell it to you?”

Olmedo begged her not to exhaust herself, but to wait until she was more
equal to talking. “No, Olmedo, I must tell it now. I am quite strong.
Indeed a new life is in my veins, but something bids me be quick. When I
closed my eyes it seemed to me I was dead. My spirit slowly left my body,
and rested in the air above you, who were watching it so tenderly. How I
wanted to embrace you and speak my love, but I could not. Soon a bright
form came, so bright that my eyes were at first too dazzled to be able to
look upon it. But as that wore off, I knew my sister Domitila, who you
remember, died before we left Spain. She welcomed me to my new home, as
she called it, and took me away with her. How we went I could not tell,
but we were borne on without effort on our own part, by an unseen power,
and yet it seemed to come from ourselves. Such scenery, such beauty,
those loving faces crying, ‘welcome, dear sister.’ Would that I could
describe them. Joy filled my heart. I was amid all things loveliest and
best, such as of late you and I have so often faintly conceived as we
talked of heaven. Oh! how real they now were! I was a spirit, yet I had a
body and senses that gave me exquisite pleasure. Every emotion and effort
was increasing happiness. How clearly my soul saw into divine wisdom and
love. I thought it strange at first that I did not see the Holy Virgin
and the Saints, and asked where they were. ‘Such as we are now they
were,’ replied my sister; ‘they have passed on to greater glory through
the sure operation of the laws of progress. Ye do wrong on earth to
worship those who once were but human beings like yourselves,—whose sole
claim to honor is, that they were obedient to the divine will, diligent
to understand, and quick to practise. It is because you have lived on
earth a blameless life, charitable and useful, enjoying existence,
cultivating purity, seeking truth, actively good, and ever aspiring to
know the divine will, patient and sincere, through doubt and ignorance
trusting in the great good, that you now witness these mysteries. Soon
they will be as much yours as mine. Go back to earth and tell your
companion what you have seen. He will understand the message. Bid him
be patient and zealous, for he has much earthly work yet to do, but for
you, my sister, I shall soon return. I have watched over you as you will
over Olmedo since we parted in form, striving to impress your heart with
the love of our world. It was an easy task, and now it is finished, and
we will kneel in future together at the feet of older spirits, to learn
of them still further the way of truth and life.’ So saying, she floated
away like a sunbeam, and I awoke.

“What think you of it, Olmedo? Was it not sweet? There is no death;
joy! joy! Ever shall I watch over you with my sister until you too
pass through the gate of heaven. Look! look! there she comes. Oh! how
beautiful. Many others are with her now. I see their rainbow robes. I
hear their voices,—they call me; oh! listen to the music. Seraphs are
striking their harps,—the air is filled with harmony,—do you not hear
it too? Where are you, Olmedo? Touch me. I do not see you, but I see
them,—that white light,—how glorious all appears; how melodious their
speech! I am here, dear sister,—quick,—take me,”—and thus her sweet
spirit went home.

Olmedo was stupefied. Not a word had he lost, feebly and brokenly as the
last words had been uttered. Yet to see her go from him as her spirit
became so ravishingly beautiful, was more than even he could well bear.
There she lay in death’s stillness. The sun had gone down, the wind was
hushed, her maidens looked on in speechless grief, not a leaf stirred,
all was silent,—silent as the grave! No! there is no silence in the grave
to the believer.

Before him it is true was the form by which he had known Beatriz, soon
to be dust. The eloquent eye, the laughing lip, the blushing cheek were
never again in flesh to speak to him. Must we not allow him a moment’s
anguish as he _heard_ their silence? Mourn, monk;—thou art still human!
Grief is permitted thee. Many and lonely must thy days of pilgrimage yet
be!

He shed no tears, but leaned his face on the bosom of the corpse, and
there groaned. A light seemed to pass before his eyes. He looked up.
“Merciful God, am I too a Spirit?” burst from his lips as he gazed.
There, floating in the air, and almost touching him, he saw her he had
just lost. She was an angel now. As she smiled upon him, he thought he
heard a voice say, “Farewell for a little while,”—and then the stars only
were twinkling above him.



CHAPTER XXVII.

    “Yet human spirit! bravely hold thy course,
    Let virtue teach these faintly to pursue
    The gradual paths of an aspiring change:
    For birth and life and death, and that strange state
    Before the naked soul has formed its home,
    All tend to perfect happiness.”

                                               QUEEN MAB.


In my opinion, I should stop here. Each reader, so it seems to me, can
readily conjecture the subsequent fate of the survivors. But a voice over
my shoulder whispers, No. We are still curious and quite unable to trace
their after history without your aid. Recollect, you are familiar with
the locality, customs, and above all the traditions which first brought
the actors to your notice. Where everything varies so greatly from our
experiences, the result must be more or less of an enigma.

And why should it not be? Mystery will give the story a charm beyond the
power of my pen. Beatriz has gone up to heaven, not in chariots of fire,
but in the arms of love. Well would it be if we could there follow her
and partake of her felicity. “A little while,”—yes, in a little while the
call of each of us will be heard. May our welcome be like hers.

As I cannot follow her into the scenes of her new duties and joys, I
leave them to the imagination. To gratify any lurking curiosity as to the
others, I will briefly relate all that came to my knowledge after that—to
her—great gain.

[Illustration]

Kiana proved a sincere mourner. The character of Beatriz had so impressed
him that he never after sought companionship among the females of his
race. He grew to be a silent, reserved man, kind to all, but indisposed
to interest himself in the usual duties of his station. Much of his time
he passed alone, so that his people, in their poetical fancy, in speaking
of him among themselves, called him Kamehameha, “the lonely one.” To
Olmedo he particularly attached himself, and as he soon neglected the
religion of his ancestors more than ever, it was supposed that he
had imbibed many of his views. When he died, which took place at the
expiration of ten years, there was a wailing over all Hawaii, such as
had never been heard before. The people all grieved for him as for one
they deeply loved. At his dying request they abstained from the usual
barbarous demonstrations, by which they were wont to mark their sorrow.
There were no sacrifice of property, no shaving of heads, no knocking out
of teeth, or self-inflicted wounds. Above all, his memory was honored
by a strict abstinence from the usual saturnalia, allowed on the death
of a chief of the highest rank, during which sensuality and the darkest
passions were permitted to riot unchecked. A decorous funeral took place,
at which all the people assisted, with a solemn state heretofore unknown
in their annals.

Hewahewa became a powerful and sagacious ruler. By the influence of
Olmedo he was induced to mitigate many of the cruel rites of his
mythology, though the belief of his people in Pele remained unshaken.
The good monk had therefore the satisfaction to see that humanity gained
by his presence in Hawaii, though his opinions affected but a few of the
most intelligent minds. Indeed, so satisfied had he himself become of the
inefficiency of strictly dogmatic teachings, that he seldom attempted to
expound the mysteries of the Roman creed, but confined his discourses to
such general ideas of the nature of divinity and the absurdity of idol
worship, as might be comprehended by the simplest mind. The seed which
he thus sowed was not without fruit. It slowly ripened during rather
more than two centuries, gradually weaning the masses from their belief
in demonology, until a short time before the advent of the American
missionaries, in 1820, the nation discarded paganism and destroyed
their idols. Hewahewa, the then high-priest, had inherited much of the
inquiring, skeptical spirit of his ancestor. Publicly resigning his
office, he was the first to apply the torch to the temples and their
sacred contents. The accumulated gifts of national piety through the
long centuries of heathenism were consumed in a day, while he and others
proclaimed their belief in “one only Great God, dwelling in the heavens.”

Juan’s grief was violent, but he recovered before long his natural tone.
As he could not recall the dead, he interested himself in the living, and
was ever the same adventurous, impetuous being, admired for his gallantry
and beloved for his generosity. Before his sister died, Liliha’s artless
sympathy had touched his heart. After that event, he was more than ever
drawn to her, and she to him. There was something in her youth and
character so different from the wanton beauty and unrefined minds of
Hawaiian women in general, that it commanded his respect. He must have
some one to love, now his sister was gone, and he loved her. She returned
his love as freely, and truly as the wood-dove returns its mate’s. There
was no coyness or affected reserve. His manly qualities had now won her
heart, still warm with its devotion to Beatriz, and she told him so, and
gave it to him with her all. Juan asked of Olmedo the Roman Catholic
rite to sanctify their union. Liliha assented, much wondering at first
why the words of another were requisite to bind them closer together.
They loved each other faithfully. How then could the bond be made dearer
or truer? It was difficult to make her understand the necessity of the
ceremonies and pledges with which Christians wed. With or without it,
however, she was the same faithful, sincere, joyous creature, right in
her instincts and quick in her perceptions. From their mingled blood
descended several noted chiefs.

What of Olmedo? He lived long and usefully. The dying vision of Beatriz
was never absent from his thoughts. It had become a holy message to
him. Never did the good man let go by an opportunity for a kind act or
comforting word. His counsels and instruction were freely given to all
who applied. He lived apart from all others as he had always done, the
same solitary chaste man of God. So wrapt was he ever in his reflections,
inwardly conversing with his spirit-bride, that among the natives he was
known as Kapiolani, “the captive of heaven.”

Beatriz was buried on the spot where she died. Olmedo erected a cross
over her remains with the simple inscription in Spanish, “_She is not
here._” He had consigned her dust to its mother earth, but the spirit
had gone back to the God who gave it. Daily at sunset he prayed over the
grave. Often that dear face came back to greet and cheer him, and as he
gazed, the same lowly whispered words, “for a little while,” fell on his
ear. He would then go back with fresh courage and hope to his earthly
home, fulfilling its duties as a sacred trust. When he died the tradition
does not tell. The last it says of the strange priest is, that he was
“the captive of heaven.”

THE END.



FOOTNOTES


[1] An exception in one instance to this fact, so creditable to the
Hawaiians, is said to have occurred to one of the American missionary
ladies, to whom a native behaved with so much rudeness that the king,
Liholiho, only spared his life at the intercession of her husband. The
contemplated punishment for a breach of their national hospitality, shows
in what abhorrence they regarded a wanton insult to a white woman!

[2] This is not fiction. A large party of warriors once met their death
in this way, while others of their company, encamped not far off, escaped.

[3] _Lomilomi_, as this process is called, is peculiar to Polynesia,
for the Asiatic shampooing is but a rough substitute. In Hawaii it was
an art, and as much a necessary rite of hospitality to the fatigued
traveller, or even of luxurious pleasure, as the wine cup in Europe.
By it, commencing with almost imperceptible pressure, from the softest
hands, every part of the body was gradually submitted to gently
increasing force, until each muscle was kneaded and each joint stretched
and cracked, and the whole frame, with fatigue removed and endowed with
fresh vitality, was lulled into slumber or recruited for fresh exercise.
The Hawaiian Sybarites had invented a pleasure unknown to the Roman. The
latter, to have the greater capacity for gorging at their feasts, were
wont to prepare themselves by emetics, but the more ingeniously sensual
savage first eat his fill, and then resigned himself into the hands of
skilled and meretricious women, who, by their ingenious substitute of
artificial action of the muscles for natural exercise, hastened digestion
without the trouble of locomotion to the effeminate Hawaiian, and by a
most deliciously sense-exciting and restoring process, prepared him for
fresh gratification of his appetites. In this respect we need not regret
that the refinement of the art has departed from Hawaii, but the voyager
who has once experienced it in its genuineness, cannot but prize its
virtues.



CONVERSATION: ITS FAULTS AND ITS GRACES;

OR, THE BEST MANNER OF SPEAKING, WRITING, AND PRONOUNCING THE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE CORRECTLY.

COMPILED BY

REV. ANDREW P. PEABODY, D.D.

NEW EDITION: REVISED, WITH ADDITIONS.

16mo, cloth stamped, marble edge, pp. 150. 50 cts.

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WORKS OF JAMES J. JARVES,

PUBLISHED BY

HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK; and SAMPSON LOW, SON & Co., LONDON.


=Art-Hints: Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting.= By JAMES JACKSON
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    yet free from pedantry or pretence; one in which the author’s
    glowing enthusiasm is tempered by judgment and discretion. From
    its earnestness and loving tone, you might suppose it the work
    of a tyro; from its moderation and respect for the opinion
    of others, it impresses you with the belief that the writer
    has pondered much, ere he gave his opinions to the world.
    Not that he is deficient in boldness; very far from it, he
    sometimes runs counter to the general voice; and—what is a far
    better token of moral courage—he does not minister to national
    self-love.”—_Albion, New York._

    “Gracefully and elegantly written, this work is destined to
    take rank with those masterly criticisms which have given the
    name of Ruskin such a world-wide reputation.”—_New York Herald._

    “Hardly a page of this book but abounds with thoughtful comment
    and valuable suggestion.”—_New York Churchman._

    “Next after Ruskin we are disposed to rank the author of
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    “Mr. Jarves has written upon a subject with which thought and
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    fulness of knowledge and clearness of expression. At times, his
    language rises into eloquence but it is always lucid, nervous,
    and harmonious.”—_New York Times._

    “Mr. Jarves’s views on Art are as remarkable for their calmness
    and good sense, as for their requisite appreciation of every
    form of genuine beauty.”—_Courier and Inquirer, N. Y._

    “A work which every American tourist in Europe should read
    carefully before setting out, and consult frequently while
    among the art-collections of the old world.”—_Godey’s Ladies
    Magazine._

    “A noble sermon on Art.”—_Christian Examiner._

=Parisian Sights and French Principles=, seen through AMERICAN
SPECTACLES. First and Second Series. 12mo., with numerous illustrations.
Price, $1.00 each.

    “A better picture of Paris, in so narrow a compass, we have
    never seen.”—_N. Y. Courier and Enquirer._

    “As a shrewd observer, a stinging critic of society, and
    a lively narrator, we have not seen his superior for many
    a day,—one of the most amusing books of the time.”—_N. Y.
    Tribune._

    “Without question one of the raciest books ever written upon
    Parisian life and manners.”—_Boston Post._

=Italian Sights and Papal Principles.= With numerous illustrations. 12mo.
Muslin, $1.00.

    “In variety of style, truth of description, and piquancy of
    criticism, Mr. Jarves has few competitors among tourists.”—_New
    York Independent._

    “Mr. Jarves combines many important qualities which are
    essential to the character of an intelligent tourist. He is,
    evidently, a person of education and refinement, conversant
    with the principles of art, as well as familiar with its chief
    productions; cherishing an interest in religious systems,
    apart from their external ceremonies, and accustomed to carry
    a critical spirit into his observations of nature and society.
    Hence, the sketches, of which this volume is composed, are not
    only spirited, but informing. They furnish an impressive idea
    of the grandeur and the glory, and the degradation and shame of
    modern Italy. They are not merely brilliantly colored pictures
    addressed to the eye, but pregnant illustrations of profound
    social truths. As a writer on art, Mr. Jarves will well sustain
    his reputation in this volume; while his description of
    ecclesiastical ceremonies, local scenery, and popular customs,
    will place him in the front rank of recent travellers.”—_Home
    Journal._

⁂ _HARPER AND BROTHER will send either of the above works by mail,
postage paid, (for any distance in the United States under 3000 miles,)
on receipt of the price._



IN PRESS.

PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO., Winter Street, Boston,

WILL PUBLISH, OCTOBER FIRST,

“WHY AND WHAT AM I:”

THE CONFESSIONS OF AN INQUIRER,

In Three Parts.

PART FIRST, HEART EXPERIENCE; OR, THE EDUCATION OF THE EMOTIONS.

BY JAMES J. JARVES.


This is a _resumé_ of life-experiences in the spheres of the affections,
art, and religion. The first part is a narrative of educational
experiments and conclusions, embracing a wide and varied field of
adventure, erratic, and often at war with commonly received opinions,
but earnest, sincere, and thoughtful. Whatever judgment may be formed of
the author’s philosophy of life, no one will question the frankness of
his Confessions or withhold sympathy from feelings that touch and try
all hearts alike, and make us sensible of our common brotherhood. The
descriptive portion of society and manners in Polynesia, with particular
reference to the great question of the capacity of the Indian and Negro
races for civilization and Christianity, is of particular interest. There
are, too, not a little of the spirit and savor of Sterne, Rabelais, and
Montaigne, in its pages; an audacity of revelation and reflection, and an
unshrinking probing into the issues of humanity, with an individuality of
style, not common in modern literature, which will make the book either a
decided success or the reverse.



IN PRESS.

PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO.,

WILL PUBLISH, NOVEMBER FIRST,

Part Second of the preceding Work,

NAMELY,

ÆSTHETIC CULTURE; OR, THE ART-IDEA,

BY JAMES JACKSON JARVES.


This portion of the work is intended to show the importance of
Art-culture individually and nationally, and treats of Art in relation
to principles, religions, races, climate, artists, and science, with
particular reference to its quality and prospects in America, embracing a
critical review of the works of many of our living artists, as compared
with European artists of the present and past ages, and a historical
review of Art-motives of ancient and modern times. A competent critic who
has examined the MS., pronounces it “an original and vigorous Æsthetic
Treatise, evincing a profound study of the subject, and a rare insight
into the principles of Art.”



KIANA: A TRADITION OF HAWAII.

BY JAMES JACKSON JARVES,

Author of “History of the Hawaiian Islands,” “Parisian” and “Italian
Sights,” “Art-Hints,” &c., &c.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.

Price $1.00.

Published by JAMES MUNROE & Co., No. 134 Washington Street, BOSTON.

⁂ _Copies sent by mail for above price._


_Extracts from the Preface._

    “In my youth I spent several years in different parts of the
    Pacific Ocean, but chiefly at the Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands.
    While engaged in procuring materials for their history,—first
    published in 1843,—I was much struck with a tradition relating
    to their discovery by Europeans, two and a half centuries
    before Cook so accidentally stumbled upon them. Briefly it was
    this—

    “Eighteen generations of kings previous to Kamehameha I.,
    during the reign of Kahoukapa, or Kiana, there arrived at
    Hawaii, a white priest, bringing with him an idol, which by
    his persuasion, was enrolled in the calendar of the Hawaiian
    gods, and a temple erected for its service. The stranger priest
    acquired great influence, and left a reputation for goodness
    that was green in the memories of the people of Hawaii three
    centuries later. Another statement adds that a vessel was
    wrecked on the island, and the captain and his sister reached
    the shore, where they were kindly received and adopted into the
    families of the chiefs.

    “Without enlarging here upon the tradition, and the light my
    subsequent researches threw upon it, I will simply state that I
    became convinced that a Spanish priest, woman, and several men
    were rescued from a wreck, landed and lived on Hawaii, acquired
    power and consideration from their superior knowledge, and for
    a while were even regarded as gods. Some of them intermarried
    with the aborigines, and their blood still exists (or did
    recently) among certain families, who pride themselves greatly
    upon their foreign origin.

    “Other traces of their existence are perceptible in the
    customs, ideas, and even the language of the natives, which
    last has a number of words strikingly analogous to the Spanish
    of the same meaning. Captain Cook found among them a remnant of
    a sword-blade and another bit of iron. They were not strangers
    to this metal, and as no ores exist in their soil, they could
    have derived their knowledge solely from foreign intercourse.

    “Soon after the conquest of Mexico, Cortez sent three vessels
    upon an exploring expedition to California. After sailing as
    far as 29° north, one was sent back to report progress. The
    other two held on and were never heard from. Why may not one
    of these be the vessel that was wrecked on Hawaii? The winds
    would naturally drive her in that direction, and the date of
    the expedition agrees, so far as can be made out from Hawaiian
    chronology, with the time of the first arrival of white men
    on that island. Indeed, at that period of maritime discovery,
    white men could come from no other quarter. For my part, I
    believe that a port of Mexico was the starting point of the
    wrecked party; a conjecture which derives some plausibility
    from the fact, that, when the natives offered the whites
    bananas and other tropical fruits, they were familiar with
    them, which would be the case, if they came from Tehuantepec,
    whence Cortez fitted out his vessel.

    “To absolutely identify the white strangers of Hawaii with
    the missing ships of Cortez, it is not now possible. But the
    interest in them, left thus isolated from civilization amid
    savages, upon an island in the centre of the then unknown ocean
    is peculiar. Especially have I always been curious to trace the
    fate of the solitary white woman,—a waif of refinement cast
    thus on a barbarous shore,—and of the priest too,—to learn how
    far their joint influence tempered the heathenism into which
    they were thrown, or whether they were finally overcome by
    paganism.

    “Twelve years ago while amid the scenery described in this
    volume, and the customs and traditions of the natives were
    fresh in my mind, I began to pen their history; but other
    objects prevented my going on, until the past winter, when
    leisure and the advice of friends, pleased with the subject,
    prompted its completion. The descriptions of the natural
    features of this remarkable island, of the religion, customs,
    government, and conditions of its aborigines, as well as the
    events in general, are as faithful transcripts, in words, of
    the actual, to my personal knowledge, as it is in my power to
    give.”





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