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THE -I (Ju OF 

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Jack and Charmian London 







All right* reserved 

Copyright 1915 

Set up and electrotyped. Published, Octobei 1915 

November, 1916. 



who made possible these happiest and most 
wonderful pages of my life. 




Jack and Charmian London ...... . . Frontispiece 



The Oaken Frame of the Snark .......... 26 

Her Trick at the Wheel 

Jack Harpooning .......... ... 50 

Wada's Dolphin 

The Beach at Taiohae 1 78 

Marquesan Tattooing j .......... * 

Marquesans Dancing ............. 102 

Human Hair Dancing Dress, Turtle Crown, and Old Men's \ 

Beards I 122 

The Nature Man in Street Costume J 

Snark at Tahiti -| 

Double Canoe, Bora Bora I ........ , ... 156 

"Porpoises!" J 

Off for Tahaa with Tehei \ 17ft 

Pahia, Bora-Bora / 

From left to right: Vaega, Mrs. London, Mr. Morrison, "j 

Tuimanua I onA 

Off Manua 
Upolu J 

Pa Williams 1 224 

Village Beau, Samoa J 

Lava-choked Graves \ O - A 

Lava Pouring into the Sea, Savaii / ' 



Bush Woman, Tana > ............. 275 

Taupous, Samoa 

Port Resolution, Tana ") 

The Skipper, "After Suva" ^ ............ 304 

The Puzzled Monkey-Brow J 

Houseboys at Pennduffyrn "I o 98 

A Dream of the Southern Seas / ' 


A Tambo Canoe House "1 

Mangrove j .11... 356 

A Kingpost and a King 375 

Ugi ,., 400 

The Impact of Civilisation 1 

Houseboys at Pennduffryn /' 430 

Guadalcanal ^ 

The Squall off Lord Howe L , 454 

A Cannibal Venice J 

Snark Careened at Meringe 1 

The Rembrandt Skipper I , .. 430 

A Polynesian Prince 


It was all due to Captain Joshua Slocum and his Spray, 
plus our own wayward tendencies. We read him aloud to 
the 1905 camp children at Wake Robin Lodge, in the Val- 
ley of the Moon, as we sat in the hot sun resting between 
water fights and games of tag in the deep swimming pool. 
Sailing Alone Around the World was the name of the book, 
and when Jack closed the cover on the last chapter, there 
was a new idea looking out of his eyes. Joshua Slocum did 
it all alone, in a thirty-seven-foot sloop. Why could not we 
do it, in a somewhat larger boat, with a little more sociable 
crew? Jack and I loved the water, and a long voyage was 
our dream. He and Roscoe fell at once to discussing the 
scheme, the rest of us listening fascinated. 

This was a few months before we were married. "Say 
we start five years from now," figured Jack, who always 
seems to be making plans for a tangible eternity. "We'll 
build our house on the ranch and get the place started with 
orchard and vines and livestock, at the same time going 
ahead with boat-drawings and building a yacht to suit. 
Five years will not be too much time." 

Then, privily, he asked what I thought of it. Too good 
to be true, was what I thought; but why wait so long? 
We'd never be younger than we were, and, besides, what 
was the good of putting up a home and leaving it for seven 
years? seven years being the time roughly calculated to 
carry out our far-reaching plan. I won the day. 

And the boat. She should be ketch-rigged, like the Eng- 
lish fishing boats on the Dogger Bank. We had never seen 



a ketch, but knew that for our purpose it combined the 
virtues of both schooner and yawl. There should be six feet 
of head-room, under flush decks unbroken save by com- 
panionway, skylights, and hatches. The roomy cockpit 
should be sunk deep beneath the deck, high-railed and self- 
bailing. There should be no hold, all space being occupied 
by accoutrement, and engines one a seventy horse-power 
auxiliary, and one five horse-power to spin out electric lights 
and fans. Forty-five feet should be her water-line, with 
a length over all of fifty-seven feet. She should draw six 
feet, with no inside ballast, but with fifty tons of iron on 
the keel. There should be used only the strongest and best 
materials of every kind a solid, serviceable deep-sea craft, 
the strongest of her size ever constructed. 

But we counted without the Great Earthquake of April 
18, 1906. The vessel was already begun, and the iron keel 
was actually to have been cast the night of April 18. Fol- 
lowing that date, what we did not suffer from damage to 
other property, was inflicted by post-earthquake conditions 
which made our shipbuilding triply expensive and incom- 
prehensibly protracted. Everybody and everything went 
mad; and it was nearly a year after the delayed laying of 
her doughty keel that the yacht, unfinished, unclean, her 
seventy horse-power engine a heap of scrap-iron from the 
ignorant tinkering that had been done to it, sailed from 
California for Hawaii, manned, or unmanned, by a more or 
less discouraged crew, whose original adventurous spirits 
and efficiency had been sorely dampened by the weary post- 
ponement of departure dates. The final one was set behind 
an extra week-end by a ship chandler who libelled the yacht 
because he was afraid he would not get his last bill paid, 
the while Jack was settling accounts right and left aboard 
the boat, one pocket full of gold and silver, the other con- 
taining check-book and fountain pen. 

However, Jack and I were undaunted, if sad and puzzled, 
and all those months of waiting worked hard to meet the 


expenses of incredible mismanagement, going about drown- 
ing our disgust in libations of poetry, such, for instance, as : 

"We must go, go, go away from here; 

On the other side the world we're overdue." 


"You have heard the beat of the off-shore wind, 
And the thresh of the deep-sea rain ; 
You have heard the song how long? how long? 
Pull out on the trail again!" 

I am sure we ought to thank Mr. Kipling for contributing 
largely to our undauntedness. 

The naming of the yacht was not the least of our diffi- 
culties. Friends were prolific with Petrels and Sea Birds; 
they even dared White Wings and Sea Wolves, not to men- 
tion Calls of the Wild. Jack recalled Mr. Lewis Carroll's 
The Hunting of the Snark, and held that name up as a 
warning inducement for better suggestions. Such were not 
forthcoming, and when we sailed for Hawaii, the elliptic 
American stern bore the gilded inscription: 

San Francisco 

Now the way my Log came to be written was mostly due 
to Jack. Be it known that he detests letter-writing, although 
a more enthusiastic recipient of correspondence never slit an 
envelope. His friends consider him sheerly selfish, but I 
can vouch that he is very busy. At any rate, when I decided 
to keep a typewritten diary, to be circulated in lieu of indi- 
vidual letters, my husband hailed the scheme with acclaim. 

And here it is, my journal the one accurate, continuous 
story of the adventures of the Snark, from San Francisco 
Bay to the Cannibal Isles. 

Aboard Yacht Roamer. 

Sacramento River, January, 1915. 

... To burst all links of habit there to wander far away, 
On from island unto island at the gateways of the day." 



Aboard the Snark, Pacific Ocean, 

Thursday, April 25, 1907. 

IT is too good to keep any longer, this joy of living that 
is beginning to make itself felt aboard the Snark. For 
an hour I've been dangling my feet over the edge of the 
life-boat lashed on the deck to windward, watching the 
purple water swash in and out of the lee scuppers. Our 
midday meal is finished, concocted by Martin and myself 
(Martin has been and still is a little worse off from sea- 
sickness than I), and we are all comfortably lazy.' And 
speaking of the joy of living as felt aboard the Snark, it is 
a matter of degree. Martin has not yet come to feel it; 
and Tochigi, our alleged cabin-boy, has succumbed to the 
effects of mat de mer with the characteristic abandon of the 
Asiatic. He can't or thinks he can't lift a finger, and as 
there are many fingers necessarily to be lifted in the manage- 
ment of the ship, he is very much needed in our midst. 

But the water is purple, and I am recovering from my 
seasickness, which seemed quite violent to me, but was in 
reality a mild attack. Roscoe and Bert have had no nausea, 
but a heavy lassitude has taken the place of ordinary 
seasickness. The five-horse-power engine is pumping ' ' juice ' ' 
into the storage batteries, our dinner is settling in the most 
encouraging manner, the life-boat is being packed with staples 
of diet, for emergency, the deck has been hosed down al- 
though Jack was the only one with energy enough to make 
a start at it; and, joy of joys, the Snark, under mainsail, 
staysail, jib, and fly ing- jib, is steering herself night and day. 
This is a great relief, because several hours at the wheel, 
keeping the course (south by east), is very monotonous, as 



well ss t>mg t'> th* untried spine. But we keep a wary 
eye upon the compass, and of course set regular watches at 

We have been out only three days from Oakland wharf 
and all the souls who waved us farewell and fair weather; 
but there is so much to tell. To begin with, the water is 
purple, and such purple ! Jack and I took a trip out to the 
end of the bowsprit this afternoon, and sat for a long time 
watching our little white ship cleave the amethyst flood. 
Afterward we lay over the stern-rail, looking at the red- 
gold rudder dragging through the purple. Do you remem- 
ber that gorgeous picture by Maxfield Parrish, c * Sinbad the 
Sailor"? The colours we have seen to-day rival its oriental 
splendour of indigo and gold and purple. 

Just this moment, reminiscent of our sally out on the bow- 
sprit, I glanced that way. Behold Jack ! arrayed in Jimmie 
Hopper's famous blue-and-gold sweater, gazing again at the 
purple water under the bow; Jimmie Hopper's first 'Varsity 
sweater, which we flew at our mast-head when we left Oak- 

This morning Jack called to me, "Hurry on deck the 
ocean is alive with Portuguese men-o'-war!" My first 
thought was one of alarm; next I wished Jack would say 
"water" instead of "ocean" the latter sounded so remote. 
(You see, in my inner consciousness I am still on land.) 
Then I oriented myself, took a good look at the "mighty 
wet," the "prodigious damp" that encompassed us, and be- 
gan to shake the land-dust out of my brain. The fearsome 
Portuguese men-o'-war turned out to be pretty, jelly-like 
bits of life turquoise-blue, transparent organisms, each with 
a milky, finny sail hoisted to the breeze. The sea was float- 
ing countless myriads of them, and we hauled one or two 
aboard in a canvas bucket, finding them no less beautiful at 
close range. 

Then the gunies. (I said there was much to tell.) First 
day, one guny; second day, two gunies; to-day, four gunies. 
And they will eat anything but orange-peel. A human be- 


ing is the only animal that has sense enough to make use of 
orange-peel though he disguises it pretty thoroughly be- 
fore he finds it palatable. A guny in case you don 't happen 
to know looks like a dark-grey, overgrown seagull, until 
he essays to fold his wings upon the water. Then there is a 
difference. I say " tries" to fold his wings, because each 
attempt appears to be a brand-new experiment, each experi- 
ment rivalling the last in awkwardness. Once folded down, 
the three- jointed pinions do not always seem to sit comfort- 
ably, whereupon the bird fusses around and re-settles them 
until, possibly, another bird has eaten what he was after. 
These are the birds that get seasick when they are captured. 
I'd like to see something seasick besides a human being. 
And I 'd like to see Tochigi make even a feeble attempt to be 
something else than a corpse. It cannot be possible that he 
enjoys seasickness ! He was ever a willing worker. 

But do not think for a moment that watching gunies and 
Portuguese men-o'-war and purple seas have been my only 
occupations. I have cleaned up the greasy, filthy, littered 
floors of the engine room, the bathroom, two staterooms, and, 
with poor sick Martin's help, the cabin. I did not think I 
could stay so long below; but the mess was unbearable, al- 
though it did not seem to bother any one but Jack and me. 
You should have seen my hands these three days. But I 
have made merry with much soap, strong ammonia, and as 
little precious fresh water as was practicable. Now I feel 
more like a white woman. 

Have I said anything about the weather? It would not 
do to leave the weather out of a Log. We anchored off the 
Alameda Pier the day we bade Oakland good-bye, Monday, 
and spent the night there under starry skies. The next day 
was overcast ; Wednesday was overcast ; Thursday, to-day, is 
overcast, and we have had no observation. Our patent log 
registers about seventy-five miles for the past twenty-four 
hours and now, at five o 'clock p. M., we are swinging along 
in a fresh breeze, still overcast, a faint silver sunset on the 
grey horizon. 


Later. They are rigging up a topsail to put speed on the 
yacht, and Bert has climbed the mainmast to straighten out 
something. He is a goodly sight, clinging high, his bare, 
powerful arms working at the swaying masthead. The extra 
sail is making the boat drive faster, but something is wrong 
with it, and although adding to our speed, it is so horribly 
ill-setting that Roscoe is promptly taking it down. And oh ! 
it's great, this rush of wind and wave a wonderful new 
life, all the working of this little world of plank and iron 
and brass and canvas. And if I can feel enthusiasm while 
my stomach is still wavering between belt and throat, fancy 
the enjoyment to come. 

At sea, Friday, April 26, 1907. 

This has been a very exciting day. Listen : Jack shaved, 
and I washed my face and hands. If you are inclined to 
smile at our simple pleasures and excitements, stop and con- 
sider if it is really funny for a water-loving crowd to go 
without washing for forty-eight hours or so. I love to wash 
my hands. Ordinarily I wash them a thousand times a day, 
more or less. So imagine the black filth and oil and grease 
and the seasickness that could make me more contented to 
sleep and wake in grime than to make a fight for cleanliness. 
I hope that I may never again be so soiled and unkempt. 
However, there's nothing like being adaptable. It is what 
makes a trip around the world. 

I further celebrated to-day by manicuring Jack's and my 
own nails. It took me all of three hours. If I move too 
rapidly, I'm liable to lose my latest meal. I am having 
my turn at the prevalent lassitude, lying in the life-boat for 
hours without ambition enough to open my eyes. The crew 
seems to be demoralised. "Work doesn't go on. There is no 
system about anything, and this spirit is contagious. Jack 
is growing restive, but has not yet interfered. Some piece 
of work on deck is begun, and never finished, and the gen- 
eral lack of interest is astounding. 

The sky is overcast, for a change, and winds are variable. 


Eighty miles have been left behind since yesterday noon. 
We are beginning to wonder about all the fish Jack promised 
us, for we have not seen a single one. Jack trolls, but has no 
luck. There is not even a flying-fish, the herald of the 
king, which is the dolphin. The Portuguese men-o '-war still 
escort us, and an occasional guny casts a shadow on the deck. 
Oh! for a sunny day. These cloudy skies are indescribably 
depressing. They are not heavy clouds every now and 
then the blue breaks through or a bit of sunlight straggles 
down, only to withdraw again behind the pall. I can see 
my first stormy petrels, Mother Gary's chickens. (NOTE. 
If I make any mistakes, please remember that I am calling 
things by the names that are given me by those aboard who 
have either sailed the seas before, or have read extensively 
about the sea. Now, I don't know whether yon sable scav- 
engers are yclept gunies or gonies. No one, upon being 
pressed, can help me out. I can only go my phonetic way 
even the dictionary fails me. Jack and Roscoe pronounce 
it goo-ny, and * ' guny " is as near as I care to come to that. 
There is nothing so valuable as a husband upon whom a 
woman can shirk her responsibilities.) 

Tochigi came to life to-night while the rest of us were 
trying to consume a shifting dinner (except Martin, who 
peered jealously down from his bunk-shelf at the table he 
had furnished and of which he could not partake) Tochigi, 
I say, came to life and feebly piped over the edge of his 
bunk: "Mr. London, I think I could take my watch to- 
night." Of course we knew he couldn't he was weak as a 
whisper; but it was encouraging to hear him offer, he had 
so utterly succumbed up to then. While the rest of us who 
are seasick are alternately working and sloughing off our 
nourishment, he refuses to leave his bunk except for the last- 
named exigency (which has become rather attenuated by 
now), and meanwhile his cabin-work lapses and conditions 
below are unspeakable. If I looked at it all with land-eyes, 
I know I could not stand it. But I brought an extra pair 
of eyes with me, for it doesn't always pay to observe too 


closely. I have earnestly tried to ease the disorder below, 
but cannot keep abreast of the accumulation; besides, it 
makes Jack indignant to see me dd it. The aforesaid joy of 
living is considerably dampened by the demoralisation 

We had a three-handed game of Hearts before eight, this 
evening, after which I took my watch, from eight until ten. 
The moon showed occasionally, in a sickly, unwilling sort 
of way, and the sunset ought to have been ashamed of itself. 

At sea, Saturday, April 27, 1907. 

This also has been an exciting day, but in a different way. 
There was a steady increase in wind, with the accustomed 
overcast sky, until it was blowing what the men called l i half 
a summer gale/ 7 although to me it seemed far more than 
that. In the morning we sat in and around the cockpit for 
a while, very jolly, talking about the colour of the water and 
the size of the swells and the sailing qualities of the yacht. 
A boat is as absorbing a topic as a horse, for lengthy discus- 
sion. Little did we dream what we were to learn about her 
before the day and night were gone. You see, when a boat 
is built, no matter upon what lines or by what rules, no man 
knows what peculiarities may show up. Boats are as un- 
certain as babies. It is too dreadful. Let me take my time. 

As the wind kept on freshening, sail was shortened and 
two reefs were put in the mainsail; and finally Jack and 
Roscoe decided that it would be best to heave to for the 
night so that all hands could have some sleep, rather than 
set long watches for the wise ones or to trust the steering to 
the green, hands as it was a case of running before the wind 
with a little rag of a flying-jib if we sailed at all. 

Toward night the weather looked very nasty indeed (I 
knew I'd have a chance to report some weather), the waves 
seemed enormous to me, the Snark rolled and pitched, water 
running deep across her deck, water sloshing around below 


and squirting up through the floors, water squeezing in 
through the buried side and into the galley stores and all 
over the dishes and stove. But the boat acted well in the 
heavy seas, until it came to putting her through the paces of 
heaving to. Heaving to means bringing a vessel's head up 
into the wind, the sails being trimmed to hold her that way 
any length of time. This means safety so long as a sail stays 
on a boat. 

Now, listen well; the Snark refused to heave to. Not all 
the efforts of three men for hours and hours could make her 
heave to. She simply wallowed and most creditably wal- 
lowed, it must be confessed in the trough of the sea, but 
would come no farther into the wind. Fortunately the gale 
did not increase, nor was it cold. But oh, the hills and 
valleys of the ocean! There may be real storms for the 
Snark somewhere on the wide ocean of our adventure; but 
the waves this day loomed quite large enough on my new 
horizon. If they had been really big waves, we, rolling there 
in the trough, might have been turned over and over, with 
only a stray life-preserver left floating upon the boundless 
briny to tell that the Snark had been lost with all on board. 
And, of course, the wind might have blown harder, and the 
worst might have happened, with the yacht acting as she did. 
The final thing to be done, in a case like this, or in any ex- 
treme case, is to put out a sea anchor, a contrivance of can- 
vas and half-hoops that is warranted to hold to the wind 
the head of 'most anything that floats. So our sea-anchor 
was rigged up. And it failed. Then Jack and Koscoe stood 
by the mizzen and talked it over with serious faces. They 
had tried everything, every possible combination of sails 
that they could think of, and failed to bring the yacht up 
nearer than eight points into the wind, which means that we 
were rolling in the trough, as I have said. The men talked 
it over, wondered at the incredible fact of the failure, and 
could solve nothing of the wonder. I wish I had a picture 
of the three, in the pale grey moonlight that drifted through 
the flying clouds, leaning over the forward weather rail 


watching the sea-anchor. It will be with me always, that 
grey scene, the three darker grey forms in oilskins, the heads 
in sou 'westers, leaning at the same angle, hanging upon the 
success of that sea-anchor. 

There is no explaining these things that happened this 
day. I can only tell the facts and leave folk to wonder as 
we wonder. 

All these hours I stood in the cockpit hovering over the 
compass, wheel hard down, watching vainly, oh ! how vainly, 
for the yacht to round up into the wind, and at the same 
time marvelling that some of the grey seas which brimmed to 
the very lip of the rail did not come aboard and whelm us. 
I remember, some years ago, figuring out that I was too old 
to die young ; but this grey night, especially after I went to 
bed in my rubber boots, I caught myself dwelling on the con- 
clusion that I was too young to die ! 

The other day I was bending over the stern watching the 
rudder trail golden through the purple water, when the 
mizzen boom unexpectedly jibed over. (This purple water 
will be the death of me yet. ) I was in imminent danger, but 
knew nothing about it until Jack cried "Mate! come back! 
Come back! Quick!" At the same time he grabbed me 
and jerked me over a coil of rope and the rail into the cock- 
pit. I might have been badly injured by the swift-swinging 
tackle. I can see Jack's face as he pulled me in. One sees 
many things in faces at such moments. The wheel needed 
his undivided attention to avert a possible smash-up of every- 
thing on deck ; but the man left the ship to save the woman. 
"There are many boats, but only one woman," he briefly 
summed it up. 

At sea, April 28, 1907, Sunday. 

It is not physically restful to sleep in one's sea-boots 
nor mentally restful, what of one's reasons for so sleeping. 
There is a sense of responsibility every moment of every 
night, let alone a night like last night. And little of a sailor 
though I am, I cannot help sharing this sense of responsibil- 


ity. Jack bears the heaviest share, of course ; and it is not 
to be wondered at, when you consider that outside of himself 
our only sailor is a bay-yachtsman. 

We ran before the wind all last night, and learned another 
thing about the Snark that she can run beautifully, even if 
she can't or won't heave to. (Certain sage acquaintances 
of ours in San Francisco, for some unexplained reason 
wagged their heads over the lines of the Snark and said that 
in the very nature of things she would never be able to run. 
Why they thought so, or why they thought they thought so, 
they seemed unable to say. But I wish they could have seen 
her race that breeze last night.) 

Jack, Koscoe and Bert divided the hours into three 
watches, for I was not expected to steer in such a sea, nor 
did I care to attempt it. Four-hour watches are anxious 
stretches for a tyro in an ugly wind and sea. 

Coming on deck this morning, I stopped in the companion- 
way to watch my man at the wheel. His face, framed in the 
sou 'wester, was toward me ; but his big sad eyes were turned 
aside to the bitter sea. Four hours and more he had stood 
there guiding his boat of disappointment, his boat that will 
not heave to in a storm, that will not even mind that last 
resort, the sea-anchor a boat that would be a death-trap on 
a lee-shore. 

But as the day wore on and the wind blew more gently, 
and the waves went down a bit, and the sun came out and 
made the water purple, every one grew more cheerful. De- 
vices, to be worked out in Honolulu for correcting the terrible 
fault of the boat, were thought out and discussed, and we 
were able to make jokes at one another's expense, and to 
mourn over Aunt Villa's Christmas fruit-cake, made months 
before the voyage, and upon which somebody put a heavy 
box in the engine-room the night before. I remember 
going down into the dark and swash and saving a huge chunk 
of the shattered goody, and trying to feed it to the hungry, 
toiling, heart-sick men on deck. There had been no dinner, 
no hot coffee, nothing but disappointment and a damp bed. 


Martin was very ill, and gazed down from his bunk with 
lack-lustre eyes. I don 't know what is the matter with him. 
It is not all seasickness; but the seasickness is so blended 
with other things that one cannot name his trouble. Prob- 
ably he has the grippe in conjunction with the seasickness. 
During the trouble in the night, Martin heard Jack mutter 
something about ''Twenty-five thousand dollars gone to 
blazes," or words to that effect, and somehow gathered that 
the Snark was about to go down with all hands. But even 
this dismal prospect did not in the least jog his apathy. 

Tochigi continues bunk-ridden, and the pig-pen situation 
below abates no jot. Jack has an accession of disgust and 
discouragement whenever I try to ameliorate the awfulness 
says it's a little too much to have his wife doing the work 
of two men. So I do things surreptitiously, although it is 
rather hard to be surreptitious in such close quarters; and 
then I wax philosophical again about the filth, and the 
futility of one small woman trying to keep abreast of the 
accumulation. At this point I climb the greasy, sooty, slip- 
pery companionway of beautiful but disguised teak, and 
seek surcease from sordidness in the cockpit where Jack, 
Roscoe, and Bert are discussing the weather. (Jack can be 
found at the wheel, steering and reading, any hour of the 
day after his morning work is finished. No one ever sug- 
gests relieving him.) Then I forget the desperate dirt in 
the exhilaration of the speed we are making, reeling off the 
knots at the rate of ten an hour and sometimes eleven. A 
knot is eight hundred feet longer than a land-mile. So 
figure out our speed when the Snark is walking along in a 
fair wind. Other times three knots will be the tale of the 
gay little patent log over the stern; but even so, that is 
seventy-two knots in the twenty-four hours. 

We sailed beautifully to-day. We must do justice to the 
yacht 's fine points, even if she is treacherous and may drown 
us all. Jack says he never heard of a sailing vessel that 
would not heave to, although some steamers are so con- 
structed that they are obliged to heave to stern-first. Her 


failure to do what was expected of her last night was a 
fitting culmination to all the distress of the building the 
unaccountable delays, the frightful waste of money in 
material and worthless labour, down to the attachment on 
our sailing day, for $242.86, put on the boat by that wretched 
old ship chandler, Sellers, who did not even first send over 
his bill. And Jack had paid him thousands of dollars in 
the preceding months, and was waiting for all final bills to 
come in for settlement before he sailed, waiting with pen and 
check book in one pocket, and another pocket full of gold. 
And now think of his feelings, after all his troubles, to find 
that his own boat is the only one he ever heard of that 
refused to perform the important and necessary function of 
heaving to. He declares it is enough to make a man turn to 
wine and actresses and race horses, to be so thwarted in his 
clean and wholesome scheme to gain pleasure. I shall try to 
persuade him to stay by the ship ! 

The sea is not a lovable monster. And monster it is. I 
thought a great many thoughts about it last night, those 
hours I studied the binnacle or watched the men make their 
fight. It is beautiful, the sea, always beautiful in one way 
or another; but it is cruel, and unmindful of the life that is 
in it and upon it. It was cruel last evening, in the lurid low 
sunset that made it glow dully, to the cold, mocking, ragged 
moonrise that made it look like death. The waves positively 
beckoned when they rose and pitched toward our bit boat 
labouring in the trough. And all the long night it seemed 
to me that I heard voices through the planking, talking, 
talking, endlessly, monotonously, querulously ; and I couldn 't 
make out whether it was the ocean calling from the outside 
or the ship herself muttering gropingly, finding herself. If 
the voices are the voices of the ship, they will soon cease, 
for she must find herself. But if they are the voices of the 
sea, they must be sad sirens that cry, restless, questioning, 
unsatisfied quaint homeless little sirens. 


At sea, Thursday, May 2, 1907. 

If something does not occur soon, my log's items will be 
reduced to: No fish, light breeze, large swells, growing 
warmer, Martin and Tochigi improving, also bill of fare, like- 
wise appetites. We had a little variation, however, on Mon- 
day, the 29th, when Koscoe took his first observation. We 
found ourselves in 31 15' 21" North Latitude, 126 48' 8" 
West Longitude, with 120 knots to our credit in the preced- 
ing twenty-four hours, in a fresh northwest breeze. About 
sunset on the same day we sighted a full-rigged ship several 
miles off. She crossed our bows and disappeared in the twi- 
light, sailing a west by south course. That night, Martin 
being very ill, I took his watch as well as my own four 
hours on end. And when I did go below, I could not rest, 
for the wind was lively, and I had a sense of responsibility 
during the watches of the green hands. My worry is a 
reflection of Jack's, which is based on the fact that our crew 
seem to regard this voyage as a mere picnic on the breast 
of an unruffled lake. Jack has sailed deep water before; 
and while standing the same watches as the others, he has the 
entire responsibility as well. The other day he called all 
hands aft and gave them a very short and very mild lecture 
on system and discipline aboard ship. He had made no sign, 
but as no one had displayed any ambition to improve the 
appearance of the boat, above or below, he thought he would 
try a little talk. It will probably be resented in the long 
run ; but things could not go on as they were. 

My eight-to-ten night watches are a never-ending joy. 
Such gaudy fan-rays of sunset, and such distorted moonrises, 
the weird light mingling with the phosphorescence in the 
water ; and I often lie over the stern rail looking down at the 
rudder leaving behind a ''welt of light" like a comet's tail. 
The little waves break and crumple in wild-fire, and every- 
thing is a wonder. One thinks calmly and simply these hours 
alone at night upon the ocean. Artificialities and conven- 
tions and the strains of ordinary life are remote and trivial. 

Jack is at work on a boat article, entitling it ' ' The Incon- 


ceivable and Monstrous. " It deals with the outrageous cir- 
cumstances under which the Snark was built, following the 
earthquake and fire; and it deals with the worthless work 
and materials that were given us for our money. For in- 
stance, the " gooseneck " on the main gaff has broken short 
off. It took three men two hours to substitute another 
gooseneck, which had to be worked out of a spare gaff that 
belongs to another sail. Half an hour after it was tried, it 
snapped. This being the last one we had, the gaff was lashed 
to the mast with rope and in this trig and seamanlike shape 
shall we enter the port of Honolulu, like a sea-bird paddling 
along with a broken wing. Now please take note that both 
of these wrought iron goosenecks were made to order. I 
wonder what the maker had against us! 

And never for a moment do we forget that our staunch 
little ship will not heave to. 

A year ago to-day, Jack and I set out upon a long 
horseback trip up the California coast. It just came over 
me, sitting here in the midst of the wide ocean the feel of 
the sweet country, the perfume of mountain lilac, the warm 
summer-dusty air. What a life we live, and how we do live 
it while we live it! 

At sea, Friday, May 3, 1907. 

This is the northeast trade-wind with a vengeance. The 
Snark is sailing before it, with a regular but heavy roll that 
made me stuff a pillow between my body and the ship's side 
last night before I could get any sleep. 

Bert has had a cold dip under the bowsprit, and now, in 
a red bathing suit and a scarlet Stanford rooter's hat, is 
helping Roscoe put to rights the i ' boatswain 's locker. ' ' Our 
deck, what of desultory scrubbings and much sea-swashing, 
looks fairly respectable. Jack got Tochigi up and put him 
at the wheel, and the enforced exercise made a great improve- 
ment in his condition. Martin is able to cook an occasional 
meal, and in fancy's flights serves up many delicacies of the 


deep, such as sharks, whales, and dolphins. Because the 
vegetables that came aboard in Oakland were almost entirely 
worthless, our cuisine is mostly garnered from tins and 
the bean-bag. 

Saturday, May 4, 1907. 

We are bowling fast into the Torrid Zone, into Hawaiian 
weather. I am sitting on the rudder-box, steering with my 
feet while I write. Oh, this water, and this brave trade 
wind. The big sapphire hills of water, transparent and 
sun-shot, are topped with dazzling white that blows from 
crest to crest in the compelling wind. Just now a huge 
swell picked us up and swung us high, and the merest little 
fling of salt spray was in our faces. The Snark is what 
sailors call a "dry" boat. And she sails easily, without 
jerks or bumps. Along comes a blue mountain that looks 
like disaster; and we slip over it and down into the blue 
abyss on the other side, without a jar just a huge, rolling 
slide. And ever the strong sweet wind blows from behind, 
sending us forward to the isles of our desire. 

The steering-compass has become a part of my conscious- 
ness, sleeping and waking; and I often go amidships and 
hover over the big Standard Compass. I think in terms 
of "south by west," and "south half west," and other 
expressions that were Greek to me a month ago. I can ' l luff 
her up, ' ' too, when the men are aloft fixing something. And 
I can box the compass. Jack calls me various jolly names, 
such as "The skipper's sweetheart," "The Cracker j ack, " 
"Jack's wife," and I swell with pride and feel very salty 
indeed. And I am reminded to mention that when we call 
each other "Mate," this has no connection with boats, but 
is an interchangeable nickname. 

Monday, May 6, 1907. 

To-day is the first time I have felt that we are actu- 
ally bound for Polynesia, and all backward thoughts are 
swinging round to the goal. The boys have the big chart 


stretched over the book-case in the cabin, with our course, so 
far travelled, marked upon it. It looks a staggery course, 
for we let the yacht steer herself much of the time, under 
short canvas, to save being continually at the wheel ; and we 
are not in the least hurry. If the mizzen were hoisted, and 
some one at the wheel all the time, there would be a differ- 
ent story, for the Snark can walk right along with half a 
chance. She shakes her heels pretty well even as things are, 
with a heavy load and crippled mainsail, her staysail and 
two jibs. 

The sky has been clearing, and we are able to dry a little of 
the dampness below. I wonder if we shall ever get things 
running with any discipline. No one seems to care. Roscoe 
came on the voyage as sailing master, but he doesn't take 
charge ; which laxness demoralises the rest. My fitful night- 
marish sleep is troubled with trying to get the crew to do 
something, or of trying to get the Snark away from San 
Francisco. Waking, I put my hands to all sorts of strange 
tasks, to see if it will not encourage the others. Even Tochigi, 
now well on the mend, cannot seem to realise that this is 
home, and that the same round of duties obtains on a boat as 
in a house. But we shall get harmony out of it all yet. 

Thursday, May 9, 1907. 

Another item of the Inconceivable and Monstrous: Day 
before yesterday, when the men tried to set our spinnaker 
for the first time the beautiful wing of speed that stretches 
overside an important piece of wrought iron on the boom 
threatened to give way. So we shall have no spinnaker to 
shorten our time to Honolulu. 

The deck has been washed! I do not say scrubbed, or 
swabbed, because dripping a few pailfuls of water over the 
planking is neither scrubbing nor swabbing, nor will it re- 
move the accumulated dirt. I should not have known the 
deck was being washed except that my decklight was open 
and I was slumbering thereunder when the deluge came. 


Jack and I have decided that although we wish we were 
a little younger than we are, we are glad we are not too 
young. Extreme youth must be the trouble with the rest 
(barring the sailing master, who is sixty), for the spirit of 
adventure seems far from them. While Jack and I are on 
deck or out on the questing bowsprit, enjoying the glorious 
sun and flowing air, watching for the life of the deep and 
congratulating ourselves on the mere fact of living, the others 
stay in the dim and musty cabin, reading or talking or 
sleeping, or just sitting listlessly with idle hands. It must 
be that we knew what we wanted, Jack and I, and are get- 
ting what we knew we wanted. 

We have sailed well in a fair wind to-day, with a big sea, 
and followed by some spike-tailed grey and white birds 
called ''boatswain birds," because of their hoarse, exhort- 
ing cries, which are supposed to resemble those of the ordi- 
nary ship's boatswain pronounced "bo's'n," of course. 

Jack has begun a new article, to be entitled " Adven- 
ture." It deals with the numberless and varied individuals 
who applied for berths in the Snark for this world-voyage. 

This day ended with a wild tropic sunset that lingered 
for a long while a sunset of brilliant white and silver, with 
only faint suggestions of gold and red, and great broad rays 
flaring up from the horizon, fanwise. It was nothing like 
any land sunset we ever saw, and when the sun had dropped 
below the crinkly horizon, a copper streak persisted, for 
nearly an hour blending a ruddy tinge with the dull purple 
of the water. 

At sea, Friday, May 10, 1907. 

Ominous black clouds pressed down upon the seascape 
during my watch last evening, and there was such an ac- 
cession of brave trade wind and so imminent a rainsquaU* 
that I called Roscoe to take the next watch instead of To- 
chigi. Nothing alarming happened, only an exasperating 
rolling of the sea. And they say to me, "Wait until you're 
in a gale, sometime, and see what real roltij&g is!" I am 


waiting, as I am waiting for the promised dolphins and 
bonitas. Tired out trying to get a morning nap, I joined 
Jack at the wheel before six. It was my first sunrise at 
sea, and the great morning sky was a whirl of tinted clouds 
poured over with melting sunshine, a glossy sapphire satin 
ocean reflecting the glory. And we saw a fish, we did, we 
did ! and it was a flying-fish. If you don 't believe me, ask 
Jack. He saw TWO. He shouted, " Flying-fish! Flying- 
fish!" and went right up in the air. Now the fish-line is 
trolling for dolphin, for there should be dolphin where are 

Later in the day Jack enticed me out to the tip-end of the 
bowsprit, with a heavy sea rolling. I must frankly admit 
that I felt shaky climbing out, my feet on a steel stay only 
a few inches above the crackling foam, and my hands cling- 
ing to the lunging spar itself. But the end was worth the 
pains, and it was wonderful to watch the yacht swing mag- 
nificently over the undulating blue hills, now one side 
buried in the rushing, dazzling smother, now the other, the 
sunshot turquoise water rolling back from the shining, cleav- 
ing white bows, and mixing with the milky froth pressed 
under. We gained such manifold impressions of the boat 
from our vantage at the end of the bowsprit. Now the man 
at the wheel would be far, far below us, a great slaty moun- 
tain rolled up behind him, and the uneven horizon high in 
air; now he was 'way above us, sliding down that same 
mountain. But he never overtook us, for about that time 
we were raising our feet from the wet into which they had 
been plunged, and were holding on for dear life as the 
S nark's doughty forefoot pawed another steep rise. 

But this day has not been all gladness. I did the initial 
suffering, and Jack suffered vicariously. He knew noth- 
ing about it until, following me below to play a game of 
cribbage, he found me sitting on the floor at the foot of the 
companion-stairs, unable to speak a word. Before me sat 
Roscoe, watching me curiously. Above us, Martin eyed me 
suspiciously, and ventured tentatively, "Now, in Kansas, in 


my family, the women cry when they hurt themselves like 
that." I couldn't cry it hurt too much. I am not very 
heavy, perhaps a hundred and fifteen pounds; but this 
weight behind one small elbow- joint, in a six-foot fall, is no 
light matter. My rubber soles were wet, slipped on the top 
step, and I touched nothing until I landed below, on that 
right elbow. No, I shed no tears then. But when I was 
alone at the wheel, under the stars, I wailed right woman- 

At sea, Monday, May 13, 1907. 

The "Inconceivable and Monstrous" has cropped up 
again. The bottom dropped out of the bean-pot, right in 
the oven, when said pot was simmering a delectable mass of 
frijoles, tomatoes, onions, garlic, Chile peppers, and olive 
oil. My great earthen bean-pot, my noble bean-pot, my 
much-vaunted bean-pot, has gone to pot! "Whoever heard 
of a bean-pot cutting such capers? I leave it to anybody. 
But nothing commonplace ever happens aboard the Snark. 
Why, the very particular universe in which she moves is of 
an uncommon variety a dual universe, in short. You may 
not have heard: but Roscoe is making the voyage on the 
inside of the earth's crust, while the rest of us (barring 
Bert, who is on the cosmographical fence) have a strong be- 
lief that we are progressing upon the outer surface of the 
globe, with an ascertained astronomical system surround- 
ing us. Either Roscoe will have to find a hole through 
which to climb to our stratum, or we shall be obliged to 
crawl through to his warm kennel ; and I don 't know which 
event is the more unlikely. No, there is nothing common- 
place about the Snark or her voyage. It wouldn't sur- 
prise me to see the water canary-yellow and the sky bright 
green. I forgot to tell about the dolphins. There aren't 
any. But there are plenty of flying-fish. 

This is a fine sunny day, and I have been steering for 
an hour and a half while I write, to give the others a chance 
to do the deck-work. Everybody is in good health, but 


without animation or ambition or pride in the yacht. "When 
they are not making listless bluffs at working on deck, they 
continue to sit below, dully wondering when we will reach 
Honolulu. I believe Jack and I are the only ones who do 
not care how long the trip lasts. We are happy in the 
sailing and the health and life and beauty of everything 
about us, and one hour is as another for pleasantness. I re- 
joice to observe that Jack has unconsciously resumed his 
wonted light-foot gait, which I call his "merry walk," and 
his smile is like a sunbeam. 

Yesterday I had a little lark all by myself, sitting on the 
lee rail and dabbling my feet in the warm gurgling water 
overside. Next time I'll wear a bathing-suit. Jack de- 
clined to join my refreshing gambols, saying that he would 
go in all over when he chose to get wet; but he trained a 
cautious eye upon me, for it would be decidedly inconven- 
ient to pick up a "man overboard," especially if that man 
were a woman who knows little about keeping afloat in rest- 
less water. At three o'clock we went below and answered 
a huge bunch of mail, Jack dictating to me through the 
narrow doorway that separates our rooms. We got the work 
done quite comfortably. 

The sunset last evening claimed us for an hour, as we lay 
on the fore-peak hatch, heaving upon the mighty lungs of 
the ocean. It was the first time the sun had sunk into the 
sea instead of into banks of clouds. It dropped slowly 
through rainbow mists, a dull orange ball that we could 
gaze upon to the last without straining our eyes. The big 
night-purple waves rose and broke against it, turning 
slowly to ashen-rose in the shell-rose light that followed the 
setting. But no matter how pale the tints of the tropic 
world, they are very simple and crude. With the loveli- 
ness of the day-ending still in my soul, I took the wheel at 
eight o'clock, and was thoroughly enjoying the rhythmic 
solitude when I was jarred rudely from off my blissful 
plane by the appearance of a bald head in the engine-room 
hatch-way and a querulous and accusing voice demanding, 


* c How on earth do you expect anybody to sleep when you 're 
making that noise?" I was singing! And it is not out of 
place to mention that only those near to us by marriage or 
blood are privileged so to break in upon our raptures! 

Wednesday, May 15, 1907. 

This is the most perfect morning yet. And it isn't so 
merely because I have had two good nights of sleep; the 
sea disk is of deepest sapphire, the trade-wind clouds, 
lying low and puffy on the horizon and straggling up here 
and there into the blue, are the real trade-wind clouds we 
have been looking for so long, while a not-too-dense white 
cloud follows the face of the sun and tempers the heat. We 
are sailing along well on a comparatively smooth sea, in the 
gentle but steady trade-wind. At nine the course was 
changed to "W.N.W. true, to clear Maui by 25 miles." 

Jack looks like a picture of a sailor, at the wheel, in a 
suit of white sailor-togs, against a classic watery back- 
ground. Bert is going over everything on deck with a 
brush, and the deck itself is being washed. (I am glad 
there is some activity on deck, for last night, leaving the 
wheel in a sudden rainsquall to put the cover on the boat- 
swain's locker which had been carelessly left open, I nearly 
broke my neck over a sack of coal that has been lying for 
days across the one available gangway on deck.) Martin is 
planning a big platter of spaghetti and mushrooms, Italian 
style, and Tochigi is cleaning up below. My flannel sailor- 
clothes are towing overside (this is the way we launder), 
and when they come up, clean, and have hung in the shrouds 
until dry, they shall be wrapped carefully and packed away 
until such time, how long hence, and where, who knows? as 
they may be needed in a cooler clime. Yesterday, although 
only 88, we suffered from the heat. We are well over half 
way to Hawaii. 

A few scaly scales were found on the deck this morning, 
attesting to our having been boarded by one or more flying- 


fish, but nothing was on our hook. But yesterday, while 
Jack and I were working hard below, there arose a great 
yelling on deck for us to come up. Which we wasted no 
time in doing, for news is scarce these days; and there, to 
leeward, we saw a goodly school of fin-back whale. 

I am reading Isabella Bird Bishop's Hawaii. It was 
written long ago, but is splendid live stuff, being her let- 
ters written to England from the Islands. I am also study- 
ing our Planispheres, in order to familiarise myself a little 
with the changing skies. Jack told me to watch for the 
Southern Cross, and last evening when I came on deck to 
take my watch, there it was, just as it looked on the Plani- 
sphere, and I realised I had been looking at the constella- 
tion for several nights, without knowing. I must confess 
that I had expected something larger and more bejewelled. 
But it is a very good, bright little cross, and is going to 
mean much to me. 

Later. Bert has blossomed resplendent in white trousers 
and a blue shirt. He washed his face and shaved yesterday, 
saying in extenuation ( !) that he had not looked in the 
glass for a week, and didn't realise how unkempt he was. 
Martin is almost well, and furbished up his camera this 
afternoon. Jack wrote in the morning, and dug at naviga- 
tion later on. I wrote letters, did some typewriting, and 
actually got out my sewing. I did not realise how dark 
the backs of my hands were from sunburn until I saw 
them against the fine white linen. But for a wonder my face 
and neck are not much tanned. 

The setting of the sun, the blossoming of the new moon 
in a bright rose afterglow, and the coming of the stars, are 
a feast of beauty each evening. That growing silver of a 
young moon was so brilliant last night that it bewildered 
my sight, and I could not avoid seeing two crescents. Jack 
brought up his sextant and took some observations, during 
which he remarked icily that he did wish I could manage 
to call that fine and beautiful instrument something besides 




Lat. 20 56' North, 
Lon. 152 52' West. 
At sea, Thursday, May 16, 1907. 

Our trade-wind died down to the faintest breathings in 
the morning, and this afternoon it is so calm that we have 
little better than steerage-way. At this rate we shall not 
see land to-day as we had hoped. I worked below for hours 
in my stateroom, writing letters, typewriting, and reading, 
for once finding it cooler than on deck. With decklights 
and skylights open, it is nearly always cool below a very 
encouraging thing to look forward to in the tropics. And 
if our electric plant ever works satisfactorily, we shall be in 
clover. This coolness of the Snark's interior is one of the 
few things about that much-sinned-against craft that are 
not Inconceivable and Monstrous. So much luck may be 
Inconceivable, but I don't like to call it Monstrous. It 
might be tempting fate. 

But we faced it again this afternoon, the Inconceivable 
and Monstrous, all done up in a blue and green package 
seven or eight feet long in the shape of a shark, attended by 
his fleet of black and white striped pilot-fish. Bert saw it 
first. He had been bathing from the stays under the bow- 
sprit, and no sooner had he regained the deck than he saw 
the dorsal fin of the shark cutting the surface a short dis- 
tance away. Jack immediately baited a hook of the proper 
size with a goodly chunk of fat from our best boiled ham, 
from which Martin happened to be carving slices for sup- 
per. And that tempting bait, that superfine for sharks 
morsel of salt pork was smelled by that shark, and that 
Inconceivable, Monstrous, Epicurean shark even jauntily 
scratched his back upon the light rope that trailed the hook ! 

Now, who ever heard of a shark that would not rise to 
salt pork, or sink to salt pork, or, at any rate, be interested 
in salt pork one way or another? It's in all the books and 
on the tongues of all the sailors, that salt pork is the un- 
failing bait for shark. Perhaps it isn't exactly Inconceiv- 
able that this particular fish may have been gorging him- 


self to repletion before he sighted us; but it is certainly 
Monstrous that the first fish we have seen on this strange, 
uneventful voyage (barring flying-fish and whales), should 
be a shark, and that this particular one should refuse super- 
fine salt pork. It is on a par with the Snark refusing to 
heave to. That still rankles; I cannot forgive her. It 
would rankle worse still if this calm should prove to be the 
forerunner of a real gale. 

We even had a cold supper served aft, that we might keep 
an eye on that disagreeable, ungrateful scavenger that 
wouldn't scav. I've got it! I've got it! That shark 
was a scavenger, of course, and a mere scavenger would 
not know first-table ham if he saw it ; and he would therefore 
be suspicious of it, of its smell and its taste. I know there 
ought to be some explanation, and perhaps I have found it. 

A lovely, colourful sunsetting, a shining silver sickle in 
the afterglow, a little studying of the constellations, and my 
watch began, a beautiful watch except for the fact that the 
tops of the brass binnacle lamps are hot, and I laid the ten- 
der palm of my left hand on the port one. Then I called 
for some kitchen soap and plastered the palm with it. How 
I do hurt myself ! Why, I have to go around with my right 
elbow bandaged in a salt-wet towel, and cannot use the arm. 
Therefore I am black and blue from violent contact with 
various articles on the crowded boat. It is more difficult 
than one would dream to adjust, physically, to this moving 

There is a new feel about everything, with this closeness 
to land. We seem suddenly to have a place in the universe, 
a character of our own. We have had nothing all these 
weeks with which to compare ourselves, ourselves as a boat. 
We have been alone of our kind, with no one to see that we 
existed. This is almost as good as annihilation, isn't it? 
But now we seem about to take our place once more in a 
known world. On a big ship, carrying hundreds of per- 
sons, it is different; the many souls form a community, and 
the unrelated character of the vessel is not so conspicuous. 


We are so very, very little; the daily surprise is that we 
know where we are at all, that we can do aught but drift, a 
mote in a sunbeam. 

Lat. 21 23' North, 
Lon. 154 13' 45" West. 
At sea, Friday, May 17, 11)07. 

In a thin kimono I joined Jack at the wheel to enjoy the 
sunrise with him. It is delightful to be so safely careless 
about warmth of clothes, in this blowing air. We sneeze oc- 
casionally, for old-time's sake, but there is no cold in the 
head to follow. There were some showers in the early hours, 
with calm afterwards, but we are picking up a little breeze, 
enough to steer by. Nothing but clouds on the horizon; 
no land. There is a familiar high fog overhead that makes 
me homesick ; but I think I am homesick for the Islands. 

While Jack and the boys were taking a bath to-day under 
^the bow, clinging to the bob-stay, Roscoe and I poured brine 
over each other's heads, aft by the cockpit. This was 
after we had soaped our hair. I haven't been able to do 
up mine since; and now, while I write, I am steering and 
drying my locks after a fresh-water rinse. 

Tochigi made some candy yesterday, rice boiled in mo- 
lasses. The rice remains brittle, as do the brown beans 
that are added. Tochigi 's success made Martin ambitious, 
and we are waiting for the molasses confectionery he is 
making while he bakes. His bread is very good, by the way; 
and he has easily learned to make the simple yet difficult 
graham bread. I don't know who is going to pull that mo- 
lasses candy. Martin thinks he should be exempt, having 
made it ; besides, he is too busy. Roscoe also says he is busy. 
Jack is writing, and can't; and the nice, round, burned 
circle in my palm prevents me from volunteering. Bert 
has announced that he can, but that he doesn 't want to sun- 
burned hands being his excuse. I think I can see Tochigi 
pulling the candy for the crowd. 

Later. At last, our first land ! After supper, Jack and 
I were playing cribbage on the fore-peak hatch, before going 


into the bows to watch the sunset, when he shouted "Land!" 
at the same time pointing over the starboard bow. Oh, it 
was exciting! Our first island, faint and far, hardly dis- 
tinguishable from the clouds around it. And the best about 
it is, that it is just where it ought to be (if it is the Island 
of Maui ) , ten thousand feet high and a hundred miles away, 
which would prove our observations to have been correct. 
Everybody began to climb. " Martin- Johnson-Discovering- 
Hawaii" hung in the shrouds, while Bert, having attained 
the head of the mainmast, came sliding precipitately down 
the jib-stay rather a risky undertaking, we thought, until 
he explained to us that he had practised it in California. 
Tochigi deemed it unnecessary to climb a few feet the better 
to observe a 10,000 foot mountain. Tochigi has the wis- 
dom of the East in his gentle head. 

I remember what a paradise Jamaica looked, one New 
Year's morn when we saw it rising out of the Caribbean 
Sea. But this is different; now we are adventuring in a 
little boat of our own, and one could almost wish no charts 
had ever been made of the region in which we now are, and 
that we were discovering it for ourselves. 

Aboard the Snark, off Island of Maul, 
Hawaiian Islands, Saturday, May 18, 1907. 

Coming on deck at six for my sun-bath, I could not even 
say good morning to my Mate at the wheel, so exquisite was 
the greeting. I looked south right at the snow-hooded sum- 
mit of mighty Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii, rising 
14,000 feet out of the sea. The clouds must have lifted 
only that moment, for Jack, scanning the horizon, had 
missed seeing the island ; so we enjoyed it together, a dream 
f white and blue opalescence. It was very thick to the 
southwest, but soon Maui broke through, and the naviga- 
tors were able to verify their calculations. Haleakala is on 
Maui the greatest extinct volcano in the world, with a 
crater measuring over twenty miles around. It is impossible 


to describe my sensation when I look at those bulking blue 
shapes cleaving up through the summer sea, as we sail. It 
is all wonder, a mystery of beauty and delight. 

Double watches were kept on deck all last night. If this 
were Maui, we were of course too far away to lose sleep 
worrying about running into anything. But a sailor can- 
not be too careful. There is always the chance for a mis- 
take, and there was much studying of charts in the grimy 
little cabin of the Snark. 

Everybody has been strenuously occupied this morning in 
keeping the ship afloat. We want variety of experience; 
but when our cook pokes his head up the companionway 
and protests that the floors below are all awash, the owner 
of the vessel strives without delay to reduce the order of 
the day to the ordinary commonplaceness of existence. Bert 
had forgotten to close a seacock in the engine room, and the 
water was rushing in. The five-horse power engine was 
immediately switched off to more important work than the 
deck-washing that was going on when Martin gave the alarm, 
and Bert felt around for that seacock and closed it. How 
amusing it would have been to go down with all on board, 
in sight of our first land. And as likely as not the life-boat 
could not be got overside in case of need, as Roscoe has had 
no drills. 

The flying-fish are large and fat to-day; but still no dol- 
phin. Tochigi, cleaning deck-lights and skylights, found 
in a nook on deck one small, very much over-ripe flying-fish. 
This is a rather deferred ( ! ) item, but it isn 't my fault. 
It shadows another item, however, that certain portions 
of the deck have not been investigated in the deck-wash- 

Later. A busy afternoon typing this Log, rendered diffi- 
cult by the rough sea, which has increased to the biggest 
swell we have had on the whole voyage probably the re- 
sult of some gale to the northward. There is plenty of 
wind now. Jack has changed the course to N.W. by W., 
to clear Molokai, lying low and sad among heavy clouds, 


under a drowning moon. Roscoe 7 s optimistic brain does not 
consider the change of course necessary, but Jack's brass- 
tack judgment says we could not clear Molokai on the other 
course, with this wind holding all night, and for the first 
time since San Francisco he, as captain, has over-ridden the 
sailing master with a positive command. 

Aboard the SnarJc, off Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, 

Sunday, May 19, 1907. 

Jack set double watches again last night, Tochigi and I 
taking the first, from eight until twelve. It was eerie, 
watching forward in the grey light of the moon struggling 
through the murk, and ever and again I would seem to see 
land looming close ahead, only to find it was the huddling 
dark clouds on the horizon. I would stay there for an 
hour, then relieve Tochigi at the wheel and send him for- 
ward to watch. At 5:30 this morning, Jack jibed the boat 
over, and I came on deck, to find the Island of Oahu, upon 
which is the city of Honolulu, right ahead. As we sailed 
nearer, the land looked very familiar, accustomed as we have 
been to pictures of it. The waters are deserted; it does 
seem as if we ought to sight some sort of a vessel, so near 
to Honolulu. Such an incidentless voyage although I for- 
got to tell that I found one flea the other day. Where he 
had been hibernating I do not know. And this morning a 
horsefly came aboard. 

The sea is transparent ; one can see into illimitable depths 
of sun-shot blue. And of all the Inconceivable and Mon- 
strous things yet, here we are drifting toward the reef of 
Oahu in a dead calm. The trades are supposed to blow here 
almost the year around, especially at this season. But we 
have had unusual variable weather all the way. Oh ! for the 
big engine now we could be in landlocked Pearl Harbor in 
a couple of hours. Of course, if the engine were in commis- 
sion, there would be plenty of wind. It could not be other- 
wise. Don't try to convince me that anything reasonable 


could attend the workings of our venture. Last night it was 
blowing briskly, and then the wind cut off short, and here 
we are turning round and round under cloudless sky and 
blazing tropic sun, wondering why it is not hotter. It is 
only comfortably warm, and this does not seem reasonable, 
either. Perhaps I am crazy. 

Still off Oahu, Hawaii, 
Monday, May 20, 1907. 

We drifted past the growling reef, inside of which we 
saw little fishing-boats sailing at sunset; past Makapuu 
Head, and past Diamond Head, that beautiful sentinel of 
Honolulu; and now, while we slip smoothly along toward 
port, I will tell the rest of yesterday's experiences. The 
horsefly, I think, is the only special excitement I have men- 
tioned. After the midday meal we succeeded in hooking a 
guny don't doubt me, I saw it with my own eyes, and the 
others will bear me witness. He knew salt pork a mile 
away. It was a funny sight, that guny with the hook caught 
in the downward curve of his upper beak, coming toward us 
against his will. He measured six feet from wing-tip to 
wing-tip, and was a thing of great beauty, with marvel- 
lously feathered, triple- jointed pinions of cloudy warm- 
brownish grey. His brown eyes were large and sagacious, 
more like a dog's than a bird's, and he used them, too. He 
was angry rather than frightened, and not especially vicious, 
although he did manage to get hold of Bert's trousers and 
a small pinch of Bert. But when we tethered him on deck, 
the Inconceivable Monster would not be seasick as is the 
wont of captured gunies. We finally cut him loose, un- 
hurt, and when he went over the side he awkwardly sub- 
merged, something to which he was evidently not accus- 
tomed, for he could not raise his wet wings high enough to 
fly. Just then we picked up a fan of wind and the dis- 
tance between the stern of the Snark and the stern of the 
guny lengthened rapidly, the bird paddling for dear life, 
head-over-shoulder like a coyote. While we had him on deck 


we noticed an old break in one of his legs, and two birdshot 
holes in his web-feet. He must be a regular old war-horse, 
and deserving of his liberty. 

Then we glimpsed a big freight steamer going southwest; 
and there was quite a sociable time in the late afternoon, with 
numerous things to discuss the flea, the horsefly, the guny, 
the steamer, a flickering breeze, and one lone Portuguese 
man-o'-war. And then there was the summer isle before 
us with promise of rest from perpetual movement, and lure 
of velvet green mountains and valleys. 

Jack slept beside the cockpit during my watch, indeed all 
night until his own watch. The reef with its white-toothed 
breakers could not have been more than a mile and a half 
away, and the calm was absolute, the current fortunately 
setting us on past danger. At ten o'clock, I told Tochigi, 
who was sitting in the cabin studying, to go to bed. I felt 
anxious and knew I should not sleep if I went below. 
Twice the Snark, with her wheel hard down, turned com- 
pletely around. I was disgusted, and remembered when a 
smaller yacht did the same thing with me in the bay of San 
Francisco, in the Doldrums off Angel Island. 

How I watched that line of reef in the misty, elusive 
moonlight. Imagine four hours at the wheel, eyes riveted 
on the round, small, vital compass, heart aching for it to 
indicate some control of the boat. The only rest for the eyes 
was to strain them on the dark shore until it blurred, or 
try to pierce the mysterious gloom of the horizon for lights. 
It was tense business; but in the midst of it, worried and 
lonely as I felt, I caught myself thinking how happy I was. 

And now, a word aside. 

In shaping up the Log of the Snark for publication, I am 
forced to see that the enthusiastic book I have written, cov- 
ering five months' land travel and experience in the Ha- 
waiian Isles, has no place in a ship's log. Labour of love 
though it has been, the recounting of all those happy days 
of glamour in our first landfall must find itself between 


other covers than those of a sea diary. I must pass by the 
month in Pearl Harbor Dream Harbor, Jack called it; the 
subsequent blissful tent-and-surf life at Waikiki; our days 
in saddle and camp through the crater of mighty Halea- 
kala ; that amazing week spent in the Molokai Leper Settle- 
ment; the trip on horseback through the Nahiku Ditch 
country on Windward Maui, with its hair-raising old chief- 
trails and hair-breadth swinging bridges over great water- 
falls all those vivid hours of living shall have a place to 
themselves elsewhere, together with tribute to our friends, 
the Thurstons, and their friends, who helped us to know 
Hawaii off the much exploited "tourist route." 

Aboard the Snark once more, after months of work on her 
engines in Honolulu, and repairs in Hilo on that same work, 
we set our faces to the sea again, answering its clear call as 
we answered it in California in April; as we shall want to 
answer it, I am sure, in all the months of all the years. 

Lat. 15 8' North, 
Lon. 151 30' West. 
Aboard the Snark at sea, 
Hilo, Hawaii, to Marquesas Islands, 

Monday, October 14, 1907. 

A week ago to-day we sailed away from Hilo, Hawaii, on 
our voyage to the Marquesas Islands. So began the second 
chapter of our boat-adventure. It is six months since we 
left San Francisco Bay for our voyage around the world, and 
what of the many delays connected with completing the 
yacht and repairing her wrecked engines (wrecked by in- 
competent workmen), we have spent far more time in Ha- 
waii Nei than originally planned. We cannot be sorry, 
however, for we had a glorious time all through. But here 
we are at sea again, with our first port of call, Honolulu, 
hundreds of miles behind us, and our next, the Marquesas, 
thousands ahead of us unless this head-wind and sea shift 
and let us get on our proper course. South 28 East it is, 


while we sag south, due south, and at times even west of 

Everything is dove-grey, sky and sea, and there are occa- 
sional warm showers. I am tucked snugly away in a corner 
of the deep cockpit, while the little Snark steers herself by- 
the-wind as successfully as ever she did before it. Herr- 
mann de Visser, the Dutch sailor, is sitting near by sewing 
canvas, pushing the huge sail-needle with a "palm" on his 
hand. And Herrmann is singing "The Last Rose of Sum- 
mer" in Dutch, in a wonderful light baritone that makes 
me feel selfish in being the only listener. Incidentally, 
Herrmann, a small black rain-hat on one side of his head, 
looks as if he had just fallen out of a Rembrandt canvas. 
But Rembrandt van Ryn never designed that tattooed bal- 
let-girl on Herrmann's short and powerful right forearm 
a figure that any muscular movement of the arm makes 
dance amorously. 

Martin Johnson, sole survivor, so to speak, of the original 
crew that sailed from California on the Snark, has come 
into the cockpit, and is rigging up an electric light exten- 
sion for me to see by when I read to Jack on watch. 
There's a brown-skinned cook in the galley now, and Martin 
is flourishing in our midst as engineer and electrician. 
Martin has made good, and he Is the only man who was 
aboard the Snark when we left the States, who was not 
chosen from the ranks of our intimates. 

Captain James Langhorne Warren, our Virginia master, 
is sitting to leeward of me for the purpose of smoking a 
cigar and bless us all if it isn't the first he's smoked since 
we left Hilo! You see, the captain hasn't been feeling 
equal to anything stronger than cigarettes during the past 
week. We have lost all false pride about seasickness, we 
of the Snark. We have been hopelessly, disgracefully sick, 
all of us, except Herrmann, who seems to enjoy remarking 
at irregular, inconsiderate intervals, "I do not know vot 
xiasick iss." 

It is comforting to a captain-discouraged yachtsman like 


Jack to see the way Captain Warren runs things. The boat 
has never looked so orderly; never were commands obeyed 
so promptly; never was such forethought shown in keeping 
everything ready for emergency for the expected unex- 
pected. For instance, last Wednesday night, the 9th, 
looked squally and strange, after a most remarkable sunset 
which made our sensitive barometer oscillate; and before 
dusk Captain Warren and Herrmann had everything on 
deck in readiness for possible trouble during the dark hours 
movable articles lashed securely, ropes in perfect work- 
ing order. After all there was no blow; but if there had 
been we would not have been caught napping. 

That great sunset was a miracle of colour. Who ever heard 
of vivid peacock blue in the sky? But it was there; and 
such turquoise and green and gold, in an Oriental riot of 
gorgeousness. Then the air became so flooded with living 
rose that we all looked as if we had been feasting on roses 
and the elixir of youth. 

To-day Jack has done his first writing since we left Hilo. 
A six-days' vacation is an unusual thing for him. Also, he 
has inaugurated a general setting-to-rights below, as to con- 
tents of drawers and lockers, clothes, and so forth. I am 
unable to join in the perfumed revel, as a very few minutes 
below are enough to convince me that I am not yet quite 

Our new cabin-boy, Nakata, shipped at Hilo, is very dif- 
ferent from the aesthetic and poetic-looking Tochigi of the 
first voyage. Nakata 's hair far more resembles a roughly- 
used shoebrush than the glossy "football bang" that 
crowned Tochigi. But Nakata, little plebeian that he is, 
has the body of a brown cherub and a smile that is inextin- 
guishable. He seems to have more teeth than the rest of 
us, and shows them on all occasions except when he is asleep. 
Also, he brushes them sedulously for just fifteen minutes 
every morning. When he slumbers, his funny little face is 
tired and drawn, for he has been and still is quite seasick. 
But he never gives over. No matter what his qualms, when- 


ever he is spoken to he bobs up with his everlasting jack-o'- 
lantern grin and benevolent interrogative "Yes-s?" 

Wada, the Japanese cook, is more Indian than Japanese 
in appearance, and so far has proved just an ordinary, 
greasy sea-cook, his dishes a sad contrast to Martin's imagi- 
native cuisine. But Martin and I are slowly getting him 
into our ways. 

Our prolonged stay in Hilo was a trial to us all. This 
was not the fault of Hilo, nor. of the very dear people 
who entertained us there. The irk and strain was from 
enforced delay the dreadful condition of our 70-horse- 
power engine, which had to be gone all over again in Hilo, 
at an expense equal to the outlay in Honolulu, although 
our "friend" 'Gene (sent for from San Francisco), while 
knowing better, assured us that the engine was in good con- 
dition at that time. But that is of the vanished yester- 
day; and now Martin, in 'Gene's place, is devoting himself 
to preventing a recurrence of the conditions brought about 
by the latter 's neglect. 

And so we go sailing along this grey-and-gold late after- 
noon, involuntarily looking up now and again for a return 
of the splendid dolphins that played with o;ur hook around 
the stern this morning. You will rememoer how utterly 
dead was the ocean those four weeks from California to Ha- 
waii, except for one school of hump-backed whale, and a few, 
a very few flying-fish, and one small shark off Maui, that 
had not sense enough to bite at boiled ham. Why, this 
morning there was kaku for breakfast that's the Hawaiian 
for it a fish with long eel-like body and sharp head and 
a jaw fitted with rows of fine white teeth. But don't let 
me deceive you. This was the first fish ever caught aboard 
the Snark at sea. 

Dolphins they are like all the living rainbows of the 
aquarium at Honolulu wrapped in azure. They are all the 
colours of all the skies that ever were, with touches of solid 
green as green as solid earth. Brilliant as peacocks, and a 
thousand times 


Oh, this is too much excitement for seven persons ! A 
thousand porpoises are about us, the captain is on the bow- 
sprit wielding a harpoon, while Martin tugs at the line set 
for dolphin, over-stern, and there! the fish has carried 
away the hook. The fabulous blue dolphins are swimming 
alongside; sunny-green porpoises are darting with in- 
credible swiftness all around and under the white yacht, 
leaping clear out of the water, singly and in twos and threes, 
like colts over hurdles. Our ocean is alive at last with the 
beauty and motion of the people of the sea. 

There's a white and gold sunset now, like a flight of 
angels in the western sky; and before the stars come out I 
am going to sit and dream for a little space of the beauti- 
ful world and of the swift sleek forms of vibrant colour I 
have seen this day. 

Lat. 14 53' North, 
Lon. 152 T West 
At sea, Tuesday, October 15, 1907. 

There's a subtle change in the atmosphere aboard ship 
this morning. Nakata, showing an unusual number of 
teeth, even for him, summed it up in two words : ' ' Seasick 
pan!" which last word, translated from the original Ha- 
waiian, means finished, done away with, gone, past, elimi- 
nated all the blessed meanings that should predicate that 
dread subject. Fortunately, Nakata was not only voicing 
his own ecstatic state, but that of the company in general. 
I proved my own recovery by making the regulation four 
at the breakfast table below, for the initial time this voy- 

When I came on deck after breakfast, the captain and 
Herrmann dropped their work (the sewing of canvas into 
ventilators, or "windsails"), to rig up a little awning over 
the cockpit, so that I might write in comfort, out of the 

It is nine o'clock, and Jack has just gone below to write 
his thousand words of the novel under way. (I cannot call 



the novel by name because the author hasn't been inspired 

as promptly as usual in his choice of title.) The hero, Mar- 
tin Eden, has been waiting to make his first love to Ruth 
all this week the author has been under the weather. 

Jack slept on deck last night and looks a happy, healthy, 
blue-eyed young sailor this morning, in white ducks, the 
broad-collared shirt open at his tanned throat. Before we 
sailed from Hawaii he threatened to have his hair clipped 
very close for the voyage; but my pleading "Oh, not too 
short, please, please!" at the door of the barber-shop in 
Hilo, saved perhaps an inch. The present neat closeness is 
rather becoming than otherwise. 

I am so happy. All the rough edges of the first week at 
sea are smoothing down, and the spirit of our surroundings 
is getting into our blood. The wave-tops are silvered with 
flying-fish. One leaped out just now, cutting the air like 
a steel sickle, all of a foot long the largest I have seen. 
And where there are many flying-fish, one may look for 
dolphin. Herrmann didn't catch the fish for breakfast this 
morning that he prophesied last night in the second dog- 
watch, and for which Jack promised him a bag of "Bull 
Durham. " 

The 5-horse-power engine (which we call the "sewing- 
machine" because it runs so easily since it was broken and 
mended in Hilo), is pumping electric "juice" for lights and 
fans, and Martin's six feet of height are under deck, which 
means that he is going over the big engine and putting his 
engine-room to rights. Herrmann is relating some choice 
bit of personal history to the captain, of which I just now 
caught the information that somebody lived "four miles off 
the bay from." The cook, coming on deck from the per- 
spiring galley to dry his shirt, is commenting to the world 
at large upon the moustache he has raised during the past 
week; and Nakata is making up for lost time by washing 
and polishing everything in the cabin, occasionally bobbing 
up to smile happily at the universe. 

Jack whispered to me this morning what he has not yet 


suggested to the others: that if this adverse wind and sea 
continue, he may decide to cut the Marquesas Islands from 
our route and head direct for Tahiti. We sail and sail and 
get nowhere on the present course. 

Who has said "miracle hours after sunset"? Last night, 
quitting the talkative group around the cockpit during the 
second dog-watch (six to eight), I went for'ard alone into 
the bows, curled myself up in a big coil of sun-bleached 
hawser on a water-tank, and took a little trip to the moon. 
The sky had cleared of all but fleecy wisps of cloud, and a 
gleaming half -moon and a few rare stars hung in the shin- 
ing rigging. "What dreams may come" when one is all 
alone on a flying prow, among the moon and stars, with the 
sweet wind filling the wings of speed ! But the dreams can- 
not be told, for they are thought in a language that was 
whispered to us when we were very young, while listening 
to tales of Karl in Queerland and to only the very young 
is it given to translate the language. I slid back down a 
moonbeam to the deck very quickly when a dolphin at least 
three feet long leaped his length out of the water on the 
lee bow; but I couldn't get any anglers' enthusiasm out of 
the crowd aft. They were too filled with comfort and moon- 
light. Jack joined me after a while, and we sat on a tank 
to leeward, close to the water, holding to the fore-jib-sheet, 
watching the pearly full-rounded canvas, while glistening 
spray swished over the weather bow above us and wet our 
faces. It was the loveliest night I have ever seen at sea. 
The memory of it belongs between the pictured covers of a 
book of fairy-tales. 

Then came nine hours below, of which I slept eight; and 
now the wholesome reality of the day is as beautiful as the 
fitful unreality of the night. Herrmann has drifted into 
"The Last Rose of Summer" again, and I cannot work 
while he sings. To do so would be to scorn one of the good 
things that bless my life. There is a really Caruso-like 
quality in some of his middle tones. And while I am think- 
ing about the ease with which he handles his untrained voice, 


he airily switches off into a spirited rendition of "La Pa- 
loma" in Dutch, with an appropriate catch and swing that 
make me wonder if the tattooed lady on his forearm is danc- 
ing to match the music while he plies his needle. 

Alternating with bouts of cribbage we read up a few 
sheaves of late San Francisco papers, jerking ourselves 
rudely from this Pacific solitude, this desert of oceans, back 
into the crowded world of cities from which we have fled. 
Why, if we were cast away in this part of the Pacific, we 
should stand practically no chance of being picked up. It 
is out of the travelled way. It was something to think of, 
as I lay on a strip of duck on the deck, too ill to do any- 
thing but watch the veils of cloud drawing across the sky. 
The world was a round blue ball swathed in clouds like a 
jewel in white floss, covered by a blue bowl. Not a thing in 
sight but blue water and blue and white sky; and through 
the silent picture our white-speck boat moved upon her quest 
for palm and coral and mountain-isle and pearls and 
strange simple peoples. We are all the world, we of the 
Snark, so far as the rest of the world is concerned unless 
a sail should break the line of the horizon, when we would 
become only a hemisphere ; but no sail pushes up out of the 
blue of this painted solitude. 

But accidents will happen. On Friday morning, the llth, 
in the early hours some bolts worked loose in the steering- 
gear, and when I came on deck the captain and Herrmann 
were arms-down-to-shoulders in the casing around the rud- 
der-head, heaping maledictions in several languages upon 
the man or men who planned and executed this casing so 
that it could not be got into except from the top. The teak 
cover, upon which the steersman sits, is the only movable 
part of the box enclosing the steering-gear; whereas the en- 
tire upper half of the box should be made so that it could 
be lifted. Just another instance of the outrageous mistakes 
that were perpetrated on the poor little Snark. There had 
been a stiff squall the night before, too, and it was fortunate 
the bolts did not come loose then. It would have been 


cheaper in the long run if Jack had given up his regular 
work during the building of the yacht, and done the over- 
seeing himself. 

Our winds have been fairly fresh, but not steady, the 
best part of the week. The days have been pretty warm, 
and I find the coolest spot to be on the cockpit floor, where 
I spend hours trying to read or write, or merely watching 
the colours under closed eyelids. That amusement is always 
left, when one hasn't energy enough for other exertion. 
Some days the wind blew harder and the seas piled high, 
hissing hungrily toward us, usually missing and going 
astern, but sometimes striking ponderously and snapping 
their white teeth over the rail. The rougher nights were 
hard on me, as my bunk, on the starboard side, came in for 
all the jarring weighty blows of water when the hull rose 
and fell in the trough. 

One languid diversion during the days of our uselessness, 
was the discussion of who would gather the first quart of 
pearls in the South Seas. It rather lames the controversy, 
however, when I insist that the rest shall give all their quarts 
to me. 

Lat. 14 4' North, 
Lon. 152 56' West. 
At sea, Wednesday, October 16, 1907. 

There was dolphin for breakfast this morning a heavy, 
steak-like sort of meat. Herrmann got it last night with 
the granes, an awful devil's-pitchfork sort of implement. 
And just as Herrmann landed his dolphin Jack mean- 
while shouting for me to come and see its wondrous tints 
in the moonlight I landed my cockroach, the second horror 
of its kind caught aboard the Snark. The dolphin was 
about two and a half feet long. The cockroach about one 
inch. It was a good night's catch we made mine, I 
thought, being the more important. Another and larger 
dolphin was struck with the granes, but tore itself loose; 
and this morning the poor pretty creature is swimming 
faithfully if rather indiscreetly alongside, its wounds gaping 


snow-white under the brine. We are not sailing fast 
enough to catch dolphins on the hook. They are too clever 
to bite at anything they have time to observe is not the real 

"Who hath desired the sea, the sight of salt water un- 
bounded" oh! we had a feast of Kipling last evening in 
the cockpit, until half past nine, when Jack and I went for- 
ward to enjoy the moonlit bow again. The water was un- 
usually placid, with a fair breeze, and we were making some 
headway, E.S.E. by the compass. Shadowy forms of dol- 
phins slipped luminously past in the dark flood and like a 
whisper of the Far East came the voices of the two Japanese 
tucked away in the life-boat for the night. Perhaps the 
unearthly charm of our bow may grow commonplace some 
day; but not yet awhile. 

Slowly we're getting everything into working order. 
Yesterday I started putting to rights my stateroom lockers, 
carelessly packed on leaving port. Writing is going for- 
ward, the captain pursues his unostentatious navigation, the 
wonder of the ocean-world is becoming incorporated into our 
every-day consciousness, and the Snark sails on, the Snark 
sails on. 

Herrmann is like to burst with pride, for he has caught 
all the fish so far. This morning he displayed a small fly- 
ing-fish that he found on deck, one of an unusual variety 
with four finny wings instead of two. These fish dash 
blindly over the rail in the darkness and fall to deck 
stunned. Just now, stitching away at a jib that was 
dragged and torn under the forefoot the other night, Herr- 
mann is relating how he skated one hundred and ten miles 
in a day, from one town to another, on the canals in Hol- 
land. One day he explained to Jack why he never saves 
money. There was a time when he had three hundred dol- 
lars in bank in New York. Off the Horn the main hatch 
of the ship he was in was smashed in a storm, the 
ocean poured in, and for a while it looked as if the vessel 
would sink. But in all the smother of darkness and water, 


obeying orders from the desperate captain and mate, Herr- 
mann's ruling thought in the very face of death was one 
of regret that he had not drunk up that three hundred dol- 
lars in the last port! Upon reaching Seattle he had his 
money telegraphed to him from New York, and wasted no 
time in spending it. As Captain Warren has it, "Money's 
no good except for the fun you can buy with it. 7 ' 

Lat. 13 36' North, 
Lon. 152 West. 
Thursday, October 17, 1907. 

There are two factors in sea-voyages that I cannot recon- 
cile to advantage, namely, lack of exercise, and three meals 
a day. To be sure, there is a sort of passive exercise in 
the mere motion of the boat continuous, and tiring until 
one gets used to it, but not sufficient, in my case at least, to 
offset a hearty diet. I have always bewailed the absence of 
some sort of exercising-bar on the boat ; and all the time one 
has been staring me in the face and eyes every time I de- 
scended the companion-stairs, in the shape of the brass 
handle-bar at right angles to the side-bars. So now when I 
go below I usually ' ' chin ' ' that bar thrice. 

Last evening, while having a cup of bouillon in the cock- 
pit in lieu of supper below, I listened to Herrmann's story, 
as he polished away at Jack's set of surgical instruments, 
of how he left Holland in wrath ten years ago, to return 
no more to the bosom of his family. It appears that he was 
skipper of his father's boat (a ketch-rigged vessel, by the 
way, like the Snark), carrying small cargoes in the North 
Sea and on the coasts of England and Denmark. One 
Christmas Eve, Herrmann came from Rotterdam, where his 
vessel happened to be, upon urgent invitation ^from his 
family. He arrived at dinner-time and found his parents 
and his brothers and sisters with their guests around the 
table. Some relative, a clerk in an office, commented dis- 
agreeably upon Herrmann's clothes. "He told me as I 
shouldn't come mit my father's house to dinner in the clothes 


as I was. My clothes ben all right, blue English sweater 
and good pants. So I got awful mad for him, and I told 
him I could buy all his clothes a t'ousand times ofer, as I 
ben getting much money." More words passed, and Herr- 
mann, who I gathered had been feeling somewhat convivial 
when he arrived, finally "got too mad" and landed across 
the festive board on his antagonist's countenance. Herr 
de Visser reprimanded his son for this breach of etiquette 
and peace. This proved too much for Herrmann's "mad." 
He rose in outraged dignity and left the parental roof for- 
ever. 1 1 And I told my father he would nef er see me more, ' ' 
Herrmann concluded, in a tone of mixed pathos and de- 

"But your mother?" I asked. 

"Oh she cried much; she felt very bad." 

Then I: "Why don't you write to her, Herrmann, some 
day? It wasn't her fault." 

His delft-blue eyes looked past me across the sea. 

"It iss too late," he said, softly. "She iss dead two 
years. ' ' 

Lat. 12 North, 
Lon. 151 West. 
Saturday, October 19, 1907. 

It was bathing-suits and bucketfuls of salt water this 
morning before breakfast. I assuaged some of my yearn- 
ing for exercise by hauling in the canvas bucket, after 
which I replenished wasted tissue with a fairly stout 
breakfast. Wada is doing nobly with the cooking. He goes 
on his independent way, to the best of his ability, until 
some suggestion is made, whereupon he devotes himself to 
learning a different way. 

We feel so very husky, drying our bathing-suits on us in 
fresh breeze and sun. The particular northerly wind our 
skipper has been whistling for, sprang up last evening in 
the dog-watch, after a day of calm that looked suspiciously 
like the Doldrums (far north of the Equator as we are), 
and during which we ran our crippled big engine for an 


hour or so. But the crank-bearings heated badly, and we 
flapped on the rest of the day by sail, but didn't flap far. 
With the wind came a smart shower, and we hung out some 
of our clothes to wash. 

Sitting around the cockpit afternoons, reading Melville's 
fascinating Typee and Eobert Louis Stevenson's and his 
mother's books on the Marquesas and Tahiti, we long more 
than ever to get forward into the South Sea. And it is a 
wonderful thing we are doing full of romance and colour. 
Even while we are being held back from the Line by this 
calm, we have with us beauty rare and unforgettable. The 
calm ocean is a disc of sapphire encircled by a rim of clouds. 
Once, watching that wounded dolphin which still follows us, 
we noticed that the smooth blue water, through a trick of 
light, seemed to be dotted with bluer pools something like 
the effect of oil on water. 

But the calm is gone, and now we are travelling on our 
course, east by north ; and it is cool and fresh in the shade 
of the cockpit awning. 

Jack called to me the other day and said he had some- 
thing to ask of me that, every time I came on deck, I 
should look around over the water. "This is a lonely sea, 
Mate, and there might be some poor devil in distress." I 
told him I rather thought I already had the habit of look- 
ing around the horizon a great deal. "Yes; but make it 
your duty to do it every time you come on deck." Well, 
men have been lost for the lack of a dutiful eye in this re- 
gard, and I'm going to be very watchful. 

I'm afraid Herrmann isn't quite equal to some of Jack's 
jokes. The latter announced lately that he wanted Martin 
and Herrmann to do two things for him on this trip around 
the world Martin at some time to get a baby monkey for 
roasting, and Herrmann, for the same purpose, a baby can- 
nibal. Martin reports that Herrmann said to him with an 
aggrieved expression, "I couldn't shoot a little baby!" 



Lat. 11 7' North, 

Lon. 150 33' West. 

Sunday, October 20, 1907. 

This was a morning to put the fear of Nature into the 
heart of a tyro at sea-going. I came on deck at seven, after 
what had seemed to me a rough night, and found the cap- 
tain at the wheel, closely watching a black sky ahead, Herr- 
mann shortening sail, and all preparations being made for 
trouble. Then one of the teak top-doors of the companion- 
way descended upon my head and I went below for 
a few minutes to nurse my wrongs. There are plenty of 
ways to get hurt in squally weather on a small vessel. Yes- 
terday accidents were rife, a cut finger apiece for Martin 
and Herrmann, and for me a thumb jammed in a heavy 
water-tight-compartment door. 

Next, the mizzen was taken in, and the motion gentled 
down a little. After breakfast we ran well into the squalls 
of rain, and the men soaped their bodies and washed their 
clothes in the rain-water that stood in the slack of the can- 
vas boat-covers; while Jack and I had a novel bath in 
the curtained cockpit, rain coming down on us and dripping 
from the mizzen boom also. The only complaint just now 
is that after our thorough soaping the rain stopped and we 
had to put on our clothes without rinsing off the lather! 
Dry bathing-suits are the clothes, however, and when it 
rains again we'll take another wetting. The captain said 
he guessed a bucket of fresh water could be spared for com- 
pleting my shampoo. He holds every one else down close 
when it comes to using our water store. I am very econom- 
ical, though for I try to realise what it would mean to be 
out of water at sea, and this promises to be a long voyage. 
A very little water, with a drop or so of strong ammonia, 
goes a long way toward keeping one clean. 

It was great fun bathing in the rain you haven't any 
idea how something unusual like this varies the monotony 
of seafaring, however pleasant that monotony may be. 

Now, at ten o'clock, the weather has moderated and the 


sun is trying to come out. There is a great amount of 
movement, however, and none of us feels any too well. Per- 
sons who are going to be seasick ought to be broken in with 
a gale immediately upon sailing. The best I can do this 
morning in the way of work, with any degree of comfort, 
is to lie in my bunk and use a pencil. I had hoped to get 
at Jack's typewriting, but the very thought makes my nar- 
row walls revolve. I am so glad they are even approximately 
white walls, though even now, after two thorough coats of 
white enamel paint, old Captain Rosehill's salmon-pink coat- 
ing shows through. Captain Rosehill was Roscoe's suc- 
cessor, and served as harbour captain while the Snark was 
in Hawaii. 

We have learned something startling. Yesterday Jack 
was reading in the South Sea Directory the report of an old- 
time mariner concerning the difficulty of fetching the Mar- 
quesas and Society Islands, from Hawaii, on account of ad- 
verse wind and sea. He went so far as to hint at its being 
practically an impossible traverse. So we are on the way 
to doing something impossible, are we? Well, we have 
started, and it is easier to think of the impossibility of the 
trip for other people than for ourselves. We have just got 
to make the Marquesas. 

Lat. 11 North, 
Lon. 149 5(T West. 
Monday, October 21, 1907. 

Two weeks ago to-day we left Hilo, figuring on three or 
four weeks for our passage to the Marquesas. Yesterday 
Captain Warren remarked that it might be fifty days yet 
before we see them. A Hilo friend's anxious questions, at 
parting, as to whether we really expected to reach our 
destination, will probably recur to her mind several times 
before our arrival is listed. Most persons seem unable to 
comprehend that we are not deliberately suicidal. 

It's hard sailing this morning, in a big sea with steady 
wind. Yesterday we seemed to be sailing; there was abun- 


dance of movement, but it was mostly up and down a 
troubled cross-sea and strong head-wind. 

Just after the stormy sunset and sudden twilight yester- 
night, the moon showed dead ahead, a burning copper disc 
melting its way through a wall of lead. Then happened 
one of the amazes of the sea. Out of the turmoil of wind 
and mounting waves, out of the whirling chaos of the low 
overtaking sky, we sailed right through the leaden wall into 
a night of perfect tranquillity, lit by an incredible burst of 
moon and stars. It was a revelation, this peaceful ocean 
and dry north breeze and sparkling firmament. It was like 
the shifting of colossal scenery in some marvellous spectacle. 
The stars were too large and bright to be anything but 
tinsel and electric light; the sky was far too purple for a 
real night-sky, and the billows of woolly clouds too massy 
and tangible to be mere vapours of sea-water. 

Lat. 9 45' North, 
Lon. 136 17' West. 
Monday, November 4, 1907. 

Death is farthest from one's thoughts these pleasant, busy 
days of semi-calm, when there is just breeze enough to slip 
us along slowly over the smoothly rolling flood. We are 
complete in our little working-world; the domestic ma- 
chinery cogs along much the same as in a land-home. There 
is little danger of any one falling overboard unless he is 
attacked by vertigo, and we are in a live world in which 
death, I say, does not occur to our minds. But when, after 
such days, and placid evenings spent in the starlight with 
music and singing and poesy, one is startled into conscious- 
ness at midnight by being let down suddenly against the 
bunk-rail, and the further sensation of going on over, end- 
lessly, endlessly then death is the first flashing thought. 
It might not be so to one in the open, on deck ; but a closed 
forward stateroom, in a small yacht, is a trap. It may mean 
death by drowning, or, what is worse, sharks. Sharks are 
.no myth in this populous Pacific as the jaw of a young 


six-footer, drying its twelve rows of fine saw-teeth on the 
mizzen pin-rail, grimly attests. It all darted through my 
brain when the squall smote, and I went over the rail of my 
high bunk and landed on the five-by-two floor with an 
agility I would not have thought possible. Theretofore I 
had always taken off the rail before climbing carefully 
down. I turned on the electric bulb, cleared up fallen 
things as best I could, got on my clothes somehow or other, 
all the while wondering if the boat would ever right. My 
heart was beating in my throat with the suddenness and 
manner of my awakening ; while my head told me I was not 
needed on deck, in spite of an urgent desire to get out from 
under, for I knew that every man was up and doing. A. 
woman may be a very small item in the way of usefulness 
in stress at sea; but there is always something to be done, 
and after our careless days of placid weather things below 
had not been wedged in as tightly as usual. 

I was glad to get out and up on deck in the driving 
smother. I " tooted " to Jack, while groping my clinging 
way to the wheel, and tried to satisfy my curiosity as to what 
was happening which is asking too much with regard to 
a tropical gale in the dead of night. A sailor cannot see, 
he can only feel; and what he feels is a powerful gust that 
puts the vessel over and keeps her down, while he takes in 
sail and wonders what is behind the awful blackness to wind- 
ward. So when I said to Jack at the wheel, "What is it?" 
he could merely answer, "I don't know." No one knows. 
It is black, it is blowing like a gale but it may be only a 
rain-squall, over in ten minutes. 

One thing gratifies me: Jack and the skipper never try 
to reassure me at the expense of their own veracity. I 
begged this of them at the start. So I get the best there is 
to be had of their frank opinions. I want to know, and 
I ought to know ; and they treat me in this) respect as ' ' one 
of the boys. ' ' 

So Jack "didn't know"; all he was sure of was that with 
the sudden onslaught of the wind he awoke in the life-boat, 


aware of Captain Warren streaking past him to the main- 
boom tackle, for the squall had burst in the opposite quarter 
from a light breeze that had been filling the sails. The 
celerity with which Jack must have landed from his bed 
on the canvas cover of the boat amidship, into the cockpit 
and to the wheel, is partially told by a huge rent in the 
nether garment which adorned his person at the time, and 
which I have just finished repairing. 

Nakata was steering when the squall smote, and immedi- 
ately spoke to the captain, asleep on deck alongside. The 
captain is quick as lightning, and had things straightened 
out in no time. Fortunately the Snark is stiff, and shows 
no signs of turning turtle ; so that while the man at the wheel 
eases her along in the violent puffs of wind, the others have 
time to handle the sails without fear of capsizing. When 
I came up, Martin and Herrmann were taking in the flying- 
jib and sails and Jack was succeeding in keeping the yacht 
before the wind. How I love men, and the work men do! 
Jack, keen at his task of steering in the squall the sturdy 
little wheel flying under his hands; the men forward hold- 
ing on by their eyebrows while they took in the jib ; the cap- 
tain everywhere; Nakata, cheerily fastening down the 
weather-skylight and taking bedding below men, men, all 
brave men, doing their fighting work in the world. 

And death receded into dim distance with the interest and 
excitement of our little battle with the forces of out-doors, 
as the small Snark buckled down to carrying every thread 
of her working canvas, which was re-set shortly when the 
wind grew no worse. The captain's voice broke warmly 
as he spoke of the way she did it, and the way she minded 
the helm. He is very emotional. Why, the other day when 
he had that shark on the hook over the stern, I thought he 
would weep with excitement and disappointment for very 
fear that Herrmann would not slip the bowline over the 
creature's tail in time. He was afraid the hook alone would 
not hold it. 

The squall blew itself out shortly, leaving us a good sail- 


ing-breeze, and we went below and finished our sleep. But 
such an experience clinched what old sailors tell of the 
treachery of these latitudes, where the wind slaps out of 
unexpected quarters at unexpected times, and in the night 
at least no man knows what lurks behind the darker dark 
to windward. . . . Captain Warren, sitting at the wheel, 
nods appreciatively at what I have written. 

Although personal death does not press upon us in pleas- 
ant weather, there is doom all around for the lesser things, 
swift and pursuing. For four days countless myriads of 
small fish resembling mackerel have been leaping and glinting 
around the ship, driven by tireless enemies below, and meet- 
ing pain and disaster at the surface from the ravenous 
young gunies scanning the deep from above. It is some- 
thing like the tragedy of the flying-fish caught between 
dolphin and frigate-birds. Of this an old chronicler of the 
sixteenth century writes: 

"There is another kind of fish (the flying-fish) as big 
almost as a herring, which hath wings and flieth, and they 
are together in great number. These have two enemies; 
the one in the sea, the other in the air. In the sea, the 
fish which is called the Albacore, as big as a salmon, f ollow- 
eth them with great swiftness to take them. This poor fish 
not being able to swim fast, for he hath no fins, but 
swimmeth with the moving his tail, shutting his wings, 
lifteth himself above the water, and flieth not very high. 
The Albacore seeing this, although he have no wings, yet 
giveth a great leap out of the water, and sometimes catcheth 
him ; or else he keepeth himself under the water, going that 
way as fast as the other flieth. And when the fish, being 
weary of the air, or thinking himself out of danger, re- 
turneth into the water, the Albacore meeteth with him ; but 
sometimes his other enemy, the sea-crow, catcheth him be- 
fore he falleth." 

Jack has been taking a hand this morning in the carnage, 
or trying to, getting out some of the pretty tackle we used 
to unpack so gleefully at Glen Ellen when the orders were 

Her Trick at the Wheel 

Jack Harpooning 

Wada's Dolphin 


filled from the East. But the fish were too busy with the 
other form of death to be caught by this lure of bright steel 
and colour. 

We have fared better in the matter of wind during the 
past two weeks. On the 22d, at 4 :30 p. M., a squall came 
up that sent us spinning along at six knots during the 
following hour, in the right direction; and the second day 
following, good winds started that kept us well on our 
course for several days. Everybody aboard is happier when 
the Snark is holding her own, especially the captain, upon 
whom a dead calm has a very bad effect, and during which 
his temper is short and his language, on the side, when I 
am not supposed to be within hearing, is hardly elegant. 

It is a splendid sight, a rain-squall coming over the water 
in the daylight. It resembles a dust-storm or low rolling 
hills fairly smoking along; and when the dust of the rain 
arrives you do not run for shelter, but just stand and enjoy 
the warm drenching. This morning Jack and I stood by the 
weather shrouds forward, watching it come from the north- 
east, the nearer waters broken by leaping fish. 

We are in the Doldrums now, variable winds and frequent 
showers, whereas in the Variables there was more wind and 
less rain. 

The horizons are dreams of cloud-beauty on the still days ; 
or, toward late afternoon when a light breeze sends us 
smoothly ahead, we may see low-lying clouds of blue, the 
clouds themselves blue, and out of the low pillowy clouds on 
the horizon will puff up bursts of white that tint through 
with rose and gold as the sun goes down, while we sit with 
faces glorified by the rose of the west and the wine of the 
sunset sea. 

Lat. 9 37' North, 
Lon. 135 18' West. 
Tuesday, November 5, 1907. 

It has surprised me, as we have drawn nearer to the Equa- 
tor, that it has not been warmer. " Stark calm on the lap of 


the line " as we are, the heat is not distressing. Of course, one 
would not choose to be in the sun for long at midday; but 
there has been nothing unusual about the temperature. To- 
day, however, is quite hot enough for an introduction to the 
Line. A hat and green visor scarce shade one's eyes. I 
was fairly blinded just now when I took up some linen things 
to bleach on the launch-cover. Head and eyes ache from 
the brassy glare, and I am going to take better care of them 
and wear a hat oftener, although I love the warm colour of 
the sun-burn on my hair. 

Keeping clothes from mildewing and yellow-spotting is a 
ceaseless responsibility, and deterioration of silk is appalling. 
A large portion of Nakata's time is employed in taking on 
deck and returning below our bedding and wearing ap- 
parel. Just now I am burning an electric extension in my 
crowded closet-locker, to offset the dampness, while a mass 
of holokus and other summery garments is on my bed bene- 
fiting by sunshine that filters through the decklight. There 
is one compensation, however, for the trouble of over- 
hauling, and that is the pleasure of handling pretty things. 
My every-day garb on the boat is of a kind that, while com- 
fortable and even picturesque (according to Jack), makes 
me appreciate the sight of more feminine and dainty pos- 
sessions. You see, the grime of San Francisco has not yet 
quite worn from our ropes and tackle ; and after completely 
ruining one silken bloomer-suit I said " Never again," and 
adopted pajamas, rolled up at knee and elbow, as Jack wears 
them. In such a suit of white, black-figured, with a piratical 
touch of red at waist and neck, I go my free and barefoot 
way. As for the crew, they seem to take everything I do 
as a matter of course, without comment of eye or lip. 

I am not the first observer in the world who has noted that 
most persons long to be something for which they are not 
fitted by nature. Nakata is no exception. His desire is to 
be a blond, and he waxes ecstatic over my burned locks. 
' ' Bee-i/M-ti-f ill, Missisn ! " he. cries innocently, his gaze lin- 
gering on my hair as I brush it in the sun. Now he is wild 


with a bird-like delight over my suggestion that we bleach 
his stiff black poll. I am equally keen for the lark, but there 
is no peroxide aboard. Martin, I think, has leanings toward 
brigandage, judging by the desperately evil look he attains 
by wearing a blue-and-white bandana around his head in 
lieu of a hat. He has lost overboard some eight hats and 
caps since we left San Francisco, and is now reduced to a 
bandana, and his precious Baden-Powell, and he is afraid 
of losing that. I do not know in what character Jack would 
be scintillating, if he could find the scarlet bathing-suit 
he is hunting for a new one bought in Hilo ; but it has dis- 
appeared, either tucked away as things aboard the Snark are 
too often tucked away and lost to all intents and purposes, 
or else stolen before we sailed. Our shelf-copy of The Sea 
Wolf is gone, too, and a book-proof copy of The Iron Heel. 
And neither Jack nor I has a sou 'wester both stolen, as far 
as we can judge. I wear the captain 's, at his urgent solicita- 
tion, although it is not fair to him, and Jack goes around in 
his old rummage-sale Tarn o' Shanter, the age of which is 
beyond guessing. As for me, I am posing as the happiest 
and luckiest girl in the world, and it is an easy role. 

Now let me tell about that six-foot-five shark we caught 
the first ever landed on the Snark. The captain got it with 
a salt-pork-baited hook over the stern; Herrmann slipped a 
bowline under it, and then shot it in the head several times. 
But it died hard, thrashing on the deck a long time after 
the men got it inboard. Of course, it was hung up and 
photographed strange, vicious monster, with eyes like a 
cat, yellowish, slit-pupiled, and with a cat's disinclination 
to give up the fight for life. It still thrashed about even 
after most of its internal economy had gone overboard. I 
never have heard a description of the eye of a shark, and its 
resemblance to the feline optic struck me instantly. "The 
tiger of the sea," to be sure why, it ought to have cat's 
eyes. This shark of ours was a specimen of the man-eating 
variety, with twelve fearsome rows of saw-edged teeth. The 
meat of the shark is good and sweet, and not dry ; but sailors 


do not care for it probably because of their hatred of its 
propensity for human meat. 

But sharks have annoyances of their own, one of these 
being a black sucker remora that clings to it as a sea- 
anernone clings to a rock, a marine vermin that can hardly 
be soothing to the shark. The longest we pulled off was 
about ten inches. The clinging-muscles of the slippery pest 
are under its head, under the jaw, if it can be called a 
jaw. At first we thought these parasites were young sharks. 
So tightly did they stick, that it was almost impossible to 
pull them loose while they lived. And now all that is left 
of our first shark are the jaws, drying on the pin-rail, and 
the vertebra, strung at the mizzen-masthead. 

There were many dolphins swimming around us the morn- 
ing we got the shark, Saturday, the 2nd an orgy of colour 
in the sun-shot azure of the water. It was one of the days 
when the water is pale sapphire through which the sun-rays 
focus deep down in long slanting funnels of quivering golden 
light. The shark was attended by dozens of its black-and- 
white striped pilot-fish, and there were several bonitos 
around also. 

Later. A small shark is following us this afternoon, but 
in a listless fashion that indicates a full stomach. It chased 
a big dolphin out of the water, and the pursued fish took a 
shoot of at least seven feet over the surface a curving blade 
of flashing blue. 

The first Portuguese men-o'-war that we have seen since 
we left Hilo, have shown up lately one day a solitary little 
silver sail, and the next day myriads. Just here I am re- 
minded of the " nature-fake" discussion that is raging in 
the United States. It appears that Mr. John Burroughs has 
incurred the displeasure of a correspondent of the Outlook, 
by stating that ''the Physalia, or Portuguese man-o'-war, 
has a kind of sail in its air-sack that helps it sail to wind- 
ward." The irritated correspondent jumps back with: 
1 'It does nothing of the kind; it cannot sail to windward, 


and it never did; it drifts to leeward." But another critic 
out-Burroughs Mr. Burroughs, as follows: 

"The physalia has three masts, all square-rigged, and in 
windward work easily lies within three points of the wind. 
Going large he runs under bare poles. In the Bay of 
Barataria I have often seen a squadron of these Portuguese 
men-o'-war with stunsails set, beating to windward to get 
the weather gauge on a Spanish omelet, then furling every- 
thing and running down the wind to their less active victim. 
The nautilus has sails too, only it is barkentine-rigged, and 
in running sometimes sets a lower f oretopsail. " 

One day, when the men were overhauling the fore-peak, 
eight infant rats, with their mother, were killed. We hoped 
they were all settled, but since then traces of another have 
been found. Probably it comes into the galley at night for 
water, as there is none handy anywhere else, all tanks being 
of galvanized iron, with no seepage. Captain Warren says 
that aboard ships a rat will gnaw almost through a water- 
cask, contenting itself with the moisture oozing through, 
rather than letting the water out freely and losing it all. 

We have been practising with our rifles this afternoon 
the first time I 've had a gun in my hands since the heavy rifle 
on Molokai, when I hit the target at two hundred yards. 
To-day we were trying at pieces of wood and cans on the 
water. Perhaps, before the day is over, Jack will have a 
chance at the shark. 

Try as we may to forget the inexcusable blunders in the 
building of the Snark, and the persons who are inexcusably 
responsible, things hitherto unknown keep creeping out to 
make us more than ever sick of commercial civilisation. 
The men who sailed with us from San Francisco insisted 
upon the honesty of those who betrayed us in the building 
of our boat even insisted in the face of evidence to the 
contrary as strong as what came to light yesterday morning, 
when Captain Warren found the deck-beams forward of our 
staterooms, where they were not likely to be discovered, to 


be pine instead of the fine oak beams that were ordered and 
paid for in the east and delivered at the shipyard. To be 
sure, many a good ship's deck-beams are pine; but that is 
not the point: the shipbuilders substituted beams that cost 
about $2.50 apiece, for beams that cost us about $7.50 
apiece. What became of the oak? But this is not the 
worst. The bitts forward, upon the strength of which de- 
pends our safety when at anchor, is a ghastly bluff. About 
one quarter of it reaches as it should down to the bottom 
of the boat; the other three quarters are supposed to go 
down to the bottom of the boat but do not. A magnificent 
great beam of oak to look upon it stops short at the deck, 
a farce, another heart-breaking reminder of the way the 
''honest" men treated us in the States. The rotten wrought 
iron it still goes back on us, here and there; the deck- 
planking full of butts, ordered without butts and paid for 
accordingly; the pitiful futile engine. But I haven't told 
about the engine. After paying out five hundred dollars 
more in Hilo on repairs to it, now, after working it at half- 
speed (it would go no faster) for perhaps a couple of hours 
altogether since we sailed a month ago, the engine is pau, 
and cannot be used again until another machine-shop is 
handy, which will not be until we reach Papeete, Tahiti. 
Even the engineer in Hilo, our last hope, let us go out to 
sea with an engine he knew for a joke, and with some new 
faults of which he did not tell us, although he knew them, 
according to Martin. Why Martin did not give us the bene- 
fit of his information, I do not know. 

From the engine room at intervals comes a heavy sigh. 
It is certainly appropriate, and quite affecting, even if it 
is produced by a metal valve ! It is an expensive valve, by 
the way, installed in Hilo, doubly expensive because it is a 
failure. Ah, well cold world and warm friend, it has been 
all one to Jack and me where the building of the Snark is 
concerned. But we have each other and the fair sky and 
water all about us, and we are alive and living in spite of 
them all. 


Lat 9 4' North, 
Lon. 134 15' West. 
Wednesday, November 6, 1907. 

Have I said before that we are over half-way to the Mar- 
quesas? and already a month at sea. There are potatoes 
for four more days; and with the potatoless prospect arise 
vague longings for fresh taro, and poi, cocoanuts, and bread- 
fruit! We shall be glad enough to welcome land and trees 
and growing things. But Jack and I are not in the slight- 
est sense bored by the long passage we haven't time to do 
the things we want to do. The captain frets and chafes 
sorely, however, although after a particularly crusty spell, 
he usually laughs at himself and explains again what it 
means to a captain to have a vessel held back. 

We thought we had made an important discovery. It 
seems that the mackerel fishing-grounds of the world have 
been practically deserted of late years, and no one knows 
where the fish have migrated. Here, in this lonely part of 
the Pacific, we began to think we had solved the problem. 
But the books tell us that mackerel are not to be 
found far from land, so this boiling sea of fish through 
which we have been sailing cannot well be mackerel, 
but is more likely to be the skipjack and young bonita 
both related to the mackerel, however. Also, the ex- 
treme shyness of the supposed mackerel toward our 
hooks, tallies with that exasperating characteristic of the 
skipjack, as noted in the book of reference that we dug up. 
Our little library is of unending use and joy to us. 

It being too wet to box after breakfast this morning, Jack 
read aloud to us all, Joseph Conrad's Youth, a masterpiece 
of which he and I never tire, many times though we have 
read it. I, at least, can appreciate it much better than I 
could before my acquaintance with the sea. Books and 
stories about the sea and sea-going bring the world closer 
than ever about me, as I touch more intimately, day after 
day, the life of the sea. Captain Warren swears by Con- 
rad a sailor vouching for the capable work of another 


sailor. And speaking of the captain reminds me of an in- 
cident that occurred yesterday which made a great impres- 
sion upon me. Our little arsenal has rusted in spite of 
present care-taking, having got a bad start during 'Gene's 
regime, and the guns jammed yesterday, after the first few 
shots. Jack was firing his Colt's automatic pistol, and it 
jammed. The empty shell would not eject, nor would the 
loaded magazine come out. I was watching his efforts 
to straighten out the thing, and the captain could see I 
was nervous lest there be an explosion in Jack's pre- 
cious hands, although I declare I made little fuss. So the 
captain begged Jack to let him experiment, adding some- 
thing about its not being so important a matter if anything 
happened to his own hands. It was said quite as a matter 
of course the captain of a boat taking as a matter of course 
the first risks in all things. Jack did not relinquish the 
pistol, and I was immensely relieved when the magazine 
finally yielded and came out. But I shall not soon forget 
the captain's words and intention, and told him so later on. 
He looked pleased, and said simply, "Mr. London's hands 
are worth more than mine." 

Everybody had a good time to-day, for there was plenty 
of incident. The captain hooked our first bonita, a small 
specimen about fourteen inches long, dark changeable blue 
on top and all delicate mother-of-pearl and rose under- 
neath. Being a dry fish, it was relegated to a chowder 
for supper. Jack did not finish his chapter of the novel 
this forenoon, because, soon after he had gone below 
to write, after inspecting the bonita, we spied a turtle not 
far off. Captain Warren wore ship and made for the bow- 
sprit, dropped down upon the martingale back-rope, calling 
meanwhile for a line to put around his body, while he should 
fasten another rope around the turtle, after which we were 
to haul them both in. He did that once before, he says, 
and shows a scar from the turtle's bite. But he did not 
go overboard this time, for we drifted to the left of the 
creature. "Waking from sleep, it paddled astern, bobbing 


against the starboard side of the boat, heavy with a meal 
off a dozen small-fry. Over the stern the captain hung 
on to the granes that Herrmann put into the turtle's 
shell just back of its head, while Jack shot his automatic 
rifle into the head. Herrmann and Martin were frantically 
hunting for the harpoon, which was not where it belonged, 
strange to say! Only one barb of the granes had caught 
in the shell, and the captain had his hands full to keep from 
losing the catch. Herrmann could not manage to stick the 
harpoon where he wanted it, so he put a rope around himself 
and dropped overboard, passed the turtle up and was him- 
self hauled in. One doesn't feel quite happy with a fellow 
voyager overboard in these waters, I can tell you. One 
never knows when a shark may be loafing just under the 
keel, dozing lightly and alert for anything that looks like a 
meal. Like our shark, the turtle was attended by pilot-fish. 

Handling a sea-turtle is a thing to be done gingerly; for 
besides the vicious mouth with its sharp beak inside in lieu 
of teeth, he has a thick strong claw on each flipper. And 
when a turtle is dead, he isn 't dead ; you can 't trust him 
he is worse than a shark. A story is told of a turtle-shell 
hung on a tree, with only tail and head left attached. A 
sailor put two fingers into the mouth, and the "abysmal 
brute" beak closed and the sailor left his two fingers therein. 

The dissection of this creature, which is "neither flesh, 
nor fish, nor fowl," but resembles all three, was worth see- 
ing. I wonder sometimes how I can watch these bloody 
operations. But I want to see, I want to know; and these 
good reasons brace me up. The most remarkable thing I 
saw in the interior of this turtle was the canal leading to 
the stomach, which canal was lined with yellow spikes 
like those of a sea-anemone. Nothing that is swallowed can 
return to the light unless the swallower wills. Captain 
Warren is drying this curiosity in the sun, and says it is 
going to make me a purse ! Our turtle measured three feet 
from nose to rear end of shell, the shell itself being twenty- 
six inches long. The tail alone was about ten inches. 


During the catching, there happened a thing of wonderful 
beauty. Twice, a brilliantly coloured dolphin, at least six 
feet in length, leaped high and shot out over the water, 
twisting and turning in the air before falling on its side 
with a loud splash just having a good time enjoying its 
life and strength. There were many dolphins swimming 
close around us at the time, as if curious about the turtle, 
and we saw a four-foot albacore, resembling the bonita, only 
many times larger than any bonita we have come across. 
Schools of tiny skipjacks swam under the yacht, and a small 
flying-fish came aboard. Jack's old promises are being abun- 
dantly surpassed. 

It is an unending happy dream of youth and romance, 
this idling over the face of the waters, taking anything and 
everything that comes along, as a matter of course, rain or 
sunshine, cloud or wind, pleasure and danger; and it is all 

Lat 6 45' North, 
Lon. 134 West. 
Friday, November 8, 1907. 

Captain "Warren is trying hard not to be short and glum 
in this near-calm, in which the only fan of air that blows 
takes us more to the south than we care to go as yet easting 
being what we must make in order to gain the Marquesas. 
But Jack and I are most cheerful, with our work and read- 
ing, sparring, playing intense games of cribbage and "ad- 
mirin' how the world is made." 

The turtle has been served up in various forms, each bet- 
ter than the last broiled, fried, soup-wise, and in chowder ; 
and the end is not yet. 

. . . Last night a slim new moon came out above heavy 
slate-blue clouds after sunset, and under the clouds glowed 
a dull-gold horizon, while the sea was all a pale purple 
flushed with rose. If my sunsets grow tiresome, forgive me. 
They are so lovely that it seems I must speak of them. This 
morning the ocean reminds me of a great round aquarium, 
the rim wrought with frosted filagree of clouds a bowl of 


blue water wherein the fish leap clear as if trying to escape. 
But the bowl has a cover of palest blue, and there is no 

Monday, November 11, 1907. 

To-day a new element entered into our romance the ele- 
ment of raw, red, brutal sailor-life that lands- men and 
-women read about in books. And it has left me sad and 
sick and with a cruel sense of disillusionment. I have al- 
ready hinted at the emotional disposition of the S nark's 
present skipper; but I did not dream that I was preparing 
my readers for the horrid thing that happened this after- 
noon. It is like a nightmare ; only, when I look at the ugly 
cut on poor Wada's blanched face, with the purple-bruised 
eyes swollen almost shut, I know again the sickening reality 
of this new page in the Snark's Log. 

The captain's moroseness had been increasing steadily and 
probably he had reached the stage when he had to take it 
out on somebody. He chose the smallest man on board. 
Warren has a cleft in the top of his skull that he says was 
dealt him by a crazy ship's-cook; but after to-day's experi- 
ence I don't mind hazarding that maybe that cook was not 

And here's what occurred: This morning at breakfast 
the captain suddenly remembered a box of honey some one 
had given him at Hilo. He also remembered having sub- 
sequently seen this box in the galley, and now asked Wada 
sharply why he had not served the honey with our hot- 
cakes these many mornings. Wada, very flustered and small 
in the voice, answered haltingly that he had never seen the 
box. He was commanded to produce it immediately, but 
failed to locate it. Then the captain, half rising from the 
table, cried in a voice shaking with rage, "You find that 
honey, or I'll show you how to find it!" His fury was out 
of all proportion to the occasion, and much out of place at 
table, to say the least. 

After breakfast, Wada, with drawn face, and assisted 


by a silent but sympathetic Nakata, searched through locker 
after locker, in galley and in cabin; but, presumably 
through the very forgetfulness of fear, he did not happen 
on the right locker. After lunch, which passed off rather 
constrainedly under the lowering looks of the captain, there 
was a general air of uncomfortable expectancy aboard ship. 
In the afternoon, while Jack was steering and reading aloud 
to me in the cockpit, there came through the galley decklight 
the sound of a one-sided conversation in the trembling, un- 
controlled tones of Captain Warren. Nakata was hovering 
on deck with the longest face we had ever seen on him. Few 
words reached us ; but there followed a thudding pause that 
turned me faint. Then the captain came on deck, and his 
hands were bloody I know I can never look at them again 
without thinking of it ; and he was followed by a shrunken, 
blinded little brown man whose entire face was a red 
smudge. I did not look again, for I felt somehow that along 
with the pain Wada was suffering, there was pride and a 
shrinking from observation. So I looked at Jack instead, 
and something in his eyes told me the happening would 
never be repeated. 

The captain came aft with his brutal hands; and would 
you believe it? he had so relieved himself that he was now 
all apology for making a scene, and further, his voice broke 
sympathetically over the "punishment" he had been obliged 
to give Wada. The cook had ordered him out of the galley, 
and of course it was a captain's right to go anywhere he 
pleased aboard his command. 

Martin had heard and seen everything through the glass 
window in the wall between galley and engine-room. The 
captain, Martin told us afterward, who is twice as large as 
Wada, had blocked the galley door with his person, and 
demanded "that honey." Wada, scared out of his wits, 
said it was not on the boat. The captain started to enter, 
threateningly, and Wada, in the last extremity of terror, 
said, "Don't you come in my galley." Which is where he 
made his big mistake, for it was just what Warren had 


tried to frighten him into, so he would have an excuse to take 
the boy by the throat with one hand and smash in with the 
other. There was no escape in the confined space, with the 
stove behind. 

Wada was stupid, granted for the honey was found later 
but he was terrified, and not intentionally mutinous or 
impudent; and his punishment was entirely disproportion- 
ate to his offence. This is not a merchant ship nor a tramp 
steamer; it is a pleasure-boat, and such extremes are un- 
called for. 

Poor little Wada! That evening I was alone in the life- 
boat, when he crept on deck. I called him to me and asked 
him if the cut on his forehead was painful. He answered 
in a dead, level voice that it was not, but that his throat 
ached. I noticed that he was hoarse. He seemed to grieve 
most over the possibility of a scar, for he said he had never 
been in trouble like this before. He thought a scar would 
be a sort of disgrace. 

"Cap'n big man just like hit little baby when he hit 
me," he said with a sigh. 

Lat. 8 3(X North, 
Lon. 131 West. 
Wednesday, November 13, 1907. 

I am sitting on a new corner seat in the cockpit, at seven 
bells in the evening ; Jack, Captain Warren and Martin, are 
perspiring over a game of poker in the cabin ; Herrmann is 
on the rudder-box holding the boat to her course, southeast 
one-half south, in a fair wind that has been blowing since 
three o'clock, to our delight. Upon my assurance that it 
will not bother me in the least, Herrmann is singing "The 
Last Rose of Summer," although I have discovered that the 
tale he carries to our familiar air is not the one we know, 
being a recital of a Dutch Maud Muller who scorned the 
rich suitor, preferring her poor but honest yokel. 

To the northeast, in an otherwise clear and moonlit sky, 
a low black thunder-cloud is spitting intermittent flashes of 


steely lightning that make my electric light yellow by con- 
trast. It is too lovely a night for me to be stuck in an ar- 
tificially lighted corner ; but this has already been a day full 
of neglected work, and if I wait too long to write what I 
see, the freshness and colour will go out like the life and 
colour that went out of a dying dolphin Herrmann landed 
yesterday. I was sleeping late, and Jack tiptoed in at 
8:30, not wanting me to miss this first dolphin caught 
in daylight. It took me just about two minutes to get on 
deck, and even then the living peacock-blue was gone, all 
but speckles of it dotting an iridescent green. This in turn 
shaded out of a dark blue line underneath, which soon faded 
to glossy white. Most of the dolphins we see in the water 
are of all shades of bright blue, passing into emerald green ; 
and to-day, through some light and shade effect, they ap- 
peared to be broadly striped with black and green and blue. 
They are the chameleons of the deep except that their 
colours are not protective; they shame everything else in 
air and sea. 

This fish measured over three feet. Although we have 
seen them twice this length, the captain says this three-footer 
is the largest he ever caught. As with the sunsets, I must 
be pardoned for recurring to the dolphin, so beautiful a 
thing he is. We have been surrrounded by enormous ones 
these days of calm. Imagine a vision of luminous azure deep 
down in transparent dark sapphire water why, we drop 
everything to watch. The turtle shell, towed close astern, 
brings various sorts of inquisitive fish around us when the 
water is calm. 

To-day Jack and the captain classified our charts some 
already used, some unnecessary ones, to be returned to Cali- 
fornia, and the ones for the future put into the order in 
which we now expect to need them. After these days of 
turning around and around in calms, or fighting head winds 
and currents and getting nowhere, we are fired with fresh 
ambition to follow the islands shown by the charts. 

Big drops of warm rain are blobbing all over the page as 


I write; but they cannot put out my covered light, so I 
don't mind them. 

Poor Martin has been wrestling with defective plumb- 
ing in the bath-room ; also with certain faults in the engine- 
room electrical apparatus. His opinions as to the integrity 
of the people dealing in ship chandlery are undergoing a 
transformation, now that he must keep in order these faulty 
things. ' * The darn things were only made to play with, ' ' he 
complained, looking ruefully at an inefficient pump-handle 
that had been defying all efforts to make it do its work, 
and that had finally broken short off. 

Lat. 8 North, 
Lon. 129 42' West. 
Thursday, November 14, 1907. 

Not much sleep these hot nights, for the " juice " that 
runs the cooling fans gave out a few nights ago. About 
4:30 this morning the wind freshened to a strong squall 
that called for all hands on deck to take in flying- jib 
and mizzen. How it does pour in these squalls! The big 
stinging drops seem to shoot from the clouds rather than 
fall, with a drive that sends them through oilskin. But it is 
such cleansing rain. The ropes grow whiter after each 
deluging ; and I love to feel the water run off my slicker and 
drench my bare feet. 

It is so cheering to hear the brave bright voices of the 
men through rain and dark, reassuring us as to their safety. 
One could go overboard so easily at night in a big sea and 
not be missed for a time; and even if he were missed im- 
mediately, how pick him up in the gloom and noise and 
confusion ? 

I am more or less painfully aware of the many places 
aboard a small craft upon which one can "bark" his 
anatomy. I would better say "her" anatomy, since I have 
a more than ordinarily brilliant faculty for decorating my- 
self with bruises that vie with the lunar rainbow in 
smothered tones of violet and orange. I am particularly 


conscious of such abrasions after a rough night. I recoil 
in sleep from a wicked encounter of my temple with a sharp- 
cornered pigeon-hole on a locker-door by my head, only to 
receive the full weight of my descending body on the flat- 
tened end of my poor sun-tender nose against the bunk- 
rail, as I turn, assisted by a violent roll of the boat, for con- 
solation to the other side of the bed. Oh, it is not at all 
funny until I come to tell about it, when I have to laugh 
even if it hurts to laugh. I am minded of the solicitous old 
sea-dog who warned Jack by letter that it was not safe to 
take a woman outside the Golden Gate in a boat of the 
Snark's size; that we would be bruised over our "entire 
persons, unless the boat be padded, which is not usual." 
I'll give him the satisfaction of knowing that I am pretty 
much bruised over my ' l entire person, ' ' but that I am grow- 
ing hardened both in spirit and muscle. Every one aboard 
knows when I hurt myself; but I really think I make less 
outcry than of yore. I would be willing to wager a good 
round sum that more than one reader of my tale of bumps 
and humps will say that my husband is a brute to risk me 
on such a voyage unless he wants to lose me. But to all 
such I make reply that they should just see me if he tried 
to leave me behind. However, I think I must have been 
inspired when I suggested, in America, that we take the 
trip before we were any older ! 

No woman but an idiot would embark on a round-world 
voyage in our fashion without sundry flutters and misgiv- 
ings. I did not worry very much about trouble or danger; 
but at first I could not help being a little nervous sometimes 
in the sizable seas through which the little Snark would 
thread her way with that impudent adventuring nose of hers. 
But now, except when shocked awake from a dead sleep, I 
take the pawing and clawing, lurching and bounding over 
the bucking seas, quite as part of the day's work. This is 
not to minimise the possibility of the awful things that could 
happen to us and may yet happen to us, for the sea is a 
cruel, unlovable monster of caprice and might ; but now my 


accustomed nerves are beginning to dread nothing less than 
the worst. 

We are all becoming more and more a part of the boat. 
We take less conscious care of ourselves near the rail but 
we are actually more cautious than ever, in a finer and more 
intelligent, if more subconscious way. 

. . . Think of the mails that must be waiting for us at 
Papeete, Tahiti. It will be six weeks next Monday since 
we sailed from Hilo ; and it struck me with a pang the other 
day, that before long, dear ones at home may be saddening 
their days with apprehensions for our fate and life is so 
short, and terrors of this kind shorten it, if life be measured 
by heartbeats of happiness. It is bad enough for people to 
think of us out in this cockle-shell, without the agony being 
piled up by " overdue " press reports. Our obituaries may 
even now be in preparation in newspaper offices where news 
is scarce! 

Jack says this is probably the longest single stretch we 
shall ever have. Where we should be logging one hundred 
miles a day at the least, we are only doing a few. Take 
yesterday: we made thirty knots on our course, and I don't 
know how many off our course ; and this morning after the 
squall, which kept us on the course, the wind broke off and 
we are now fighting slowly northeast with plunge and 
splurge, in a big short sea, making very little headway. It 
is a comfortless movement, too. We are past getting sea- 
sick now; but I for one am not quite at rest in the region 
of my solar plexus. 

After making the acquaintance of the tropic cockroach, 
the centipede, and other unsympathetic co-dwellers in this 
vale of tears, a woman's heartfelt desire is to keep them 
from possessing the household. My household is a boat, 
with all sorts of attractive nooks and damp lockers and dark 
corners for insect or reptile. No centipedes have shown up ; 
plenty of time yet for them to come aboard with island 
fruits. But after several days' vague curiosity about cer- 
tain black husks in the graham bread, it was discovered that 


the flour was alive with weevils and black bugs. Well, 
there's no use being too squeamish; but Jack, horrid thing! 
said he had noticed a distinct change for the better in his 
physical well-being, as if, forsooth, he had been living on 
a fresh-meat diet ! Ugh ! the flour was carefully sifted and 
sunned on the skylight to-day don't think for a moment 
that we wasted it overboard. "We are too far from land to 
do anything so unwise. 

It is an even chance, now, which port we fetch first, 
Nuka-Hiva in the Marquesas, or Papeete in Tahiti. When 
the wind is contrary, which, when there is any wind at all, 
is usually the case, there is talk of our being unable to make 
the required slant to the Marquesas, the chance being that 
we shall be lucky if we can lay a course that will not miss 
Tahiti. I rather wish it would be Tahiti first, in order that 
we might pick up our mail sooner; then, granting a fair 
wind east, to run back to the Marquesas, taking in Tahiti 
again and later mails on our westward way. There is cer- 
tainly nothing cut-and-dried in our calendar we do not 
even know where we are bound ! 

But we 11 let go our anchor in some lovely haven this side 
of the "Port of Missing Men." 

Sometimes I think of the women of my New England fam- 
ily, scattered from their home-Maine throughout the South, 
in New York, and Philadelphia, and Boston, who in their 
time have gone abroad in ships with their master-mariner 
husbands, travelling for years, until some swift disaster 
widowed them, stranded and desolate. In the town of 
Searsport, Maine, where some years ago I visited a beautiful 
white-haired cousin with the look of loss in her eyes in 
Searsport there are some eight hundred inhabitants, the 
majority of whom are widows of sea captains. And it seems 
strange that I, born and reared in the opposite corner of 
the Union, should be out adventuring to strange lands my- 
self with a man who loves to sail the sea. How much closer 
I shall ever be to those women of my father's family. 

. . . The other morning, lying late, I heard the captain 


say he had never seen so many fish in his life. During the 
day I learned what he meant. They were mostly bonitas, 
cresting the waves with their flashing silver bodies, the 
water boiling and seething with them as they darted and 
leaped countless thousands of them. 

. . . Nakata is learning much English ; but once in a while 
he shows preferences for words of his own coining above 
those taught him. For example, yesterday I told him to 
clean the blades of my electric fan, which pick up all sorts of 
fluff out of the atmosphere. The small heathen (who is a 
Christian, by the way I) told Herrmann that he was going be- 
low to clean the mind! 

Lat. 7 52' North, 
Lon. 126 36' West. 
Monday, November 18, 1907. 

I gave up trying to sleep below without the electric fan, 
and have spent my third night on deck, forward, under the 
bow of the life-boat. Sailing softly along before light airs, 
the nights have been lovely, moonlit, with no squalls. 

Herrmann cannot be brought to see that it is quite the 
right thing for a woman to sleep on a hard deck with no 
mattress ; but I am entirely satisfied with my yielding spread 
of many-folded, clean canvas, a duck coverlet and a comfort- 
able pillow; and if my feet grow chilly, there's a poncho to 
pull over. It is a novel picnic to turn in under the moon, 
face and body softly swept by the palpable, flowing wind 
air that one drinks rather than breathes. And when I 
rouse and lift my head to look in the waking eye of dawn, 
I truly wonder where I am, and glance momentarily into 
the airy rigging above with a sense of lacking weight and 
substance, of being part and parcel of myth and mystery. 
The face of morning is very beautiful, bending over the 
flushing sea. Think of our little white boat, floating lone- 
liest of all boats, in this desert of celestial colour. It is 
adventure, pure and simple; it is enrichment of one's most 
precious store of imagination. . . . We stood last night 


after supper, Jack and I, leaning over the launch and gazing 
spellbound at a sunset of forms and hues so grotesque and 
crude, contrasts of rawness and garishness so rude, that our 
senses were shocked. The simplest pigments were used to 
limn the picture, greens and blues and pinks ; and from the 
basic flaunting gold there shout out great spreading rays 
of rose and blue. A cloud-genii, inky black, developed 
in the centre, and as the colours deepened around, long 
cloud-capes on the horizon sent up strange forms like in- 
sane, toppling mountains. It was exciting, tonic, jarring 
blood and brain like an electric bath or a burst of cannonad- 
ing or anything unusual and shocking. Something made me 
face to the east as if to seek peace for the eye. The op- 
posing vision was untouched by the spirit of the first. A 
cold silver moon hung in a sky of dove, over a sea of silver- 
grey, all softly luminous but as wanting in colour as grey 
can ever be. To change to this calm desolation of grey and 
silver was as if to turn from a gaud-tricked, painted woman 
to see a grey nun standing. 

November 19, 1907. 

Whenever there is any good fishing over our rail a sort of 
tacit holiday obtains, affecting all hands but the cook. Yet 
our brown chef revels in the sort of work entailed upon 
him by our catch. Three hundred pounds of sea-meat hap- 
pened on our deck the other day. "Fish market," Nakata 
unctuously commented; while Wada, squatting on his bare 
heels, dexterously carved a seven-foot shark, sharpening the 
knife on its hide now and again. In addition to the shark 
there were some dolphins varying from three to four feet in 
length, and several bonitas larger than any we had yet seen. 

The sport began with Martin hooking his first fish a ten- 
pound bonita that put up a game fight and came aboard 
glowing with angry colours as bizarre as our sunsets a 
painted fish if there ever was one. Kaining and blowing 
though it was, Martin hied him to the end of the bowsprit 
and promptly caught a five-pounder of the same species, 


that looked for all the world like an elongated soap-bubble, 
blown from Paradise, if Paradise can fling off anything so 
exquisite. Martin hooked one smaller bonita, which exactly 
fitted Wada's eye for a baked stuffed fish. 

Jack knocked off work for a while and came up to try his 
luck, but his success was reserved for larger game. The 
bonitas shot along near the top of the water, straight and 
true and brightly gleaming, like steel shuttles weaving a 
prodigious fabric of grey and white. Jack had no sooner 
returned to his work again, when ' * Shark ! ' ' was the shout on 
deck, and I reached the stern in time to see the tiger of the 
sea with his yellow cat-eyes turn leisurely on his side and 
swallow bait and hook, the captain yelling meanwhile for 
Jack to come and have the fun of pulling it in. But Jack 
was not going to spoil a sentence for any second shark, and 
came up a moment later to empty his shot-gun into the 
head of the furiously struggling monster. It was not so 
game as our first shark, giving up both the conscious and 
the unconscious fight much sooner. 

Jack offset all his hitherto unsuccessful sport when the 
dolphins began to bite that same afternoon. For several 
days the birds that hunt flying-fish had been scarce, and we 
had noticed an absence of the latter. For this or some other 
reason the dolphins were hungry, and we hung over the rail 
and watched the orgy of colour they made in the calm blue 
underneath as they would sniff at the bait several times, 
suspiciously, and finally, reassured, catch it up next time 
they shot by. Every one but Nakata and I pulled in a dol- 
phin. I didn't try, and Nakata failed. Jack caught two, 
and Martin two, and Jack's larger one turned out to be an 
inch longer than any other, measuring four feet seven inches, 
and weighing twenty-six pounds. He played it for three 
quarters of an hour with rod and reel, and a small hook 
baited with flying fish. It passed through indigo and tur- 
quoise to the most brilliant luminous gaslight-green, and, 
when finally landed with the help of the granes, faded into 
fairest gold all over, then quickly spotted with electric-blue. 


Some dolphins came aboard a hard, bright white, immedi- 
ately changing to other tints ; others arrived in pale blue, or 
pale green, or both, and no two went through the same suc- 
cession of colours. They are unbelievably beautiful. 

Since this big catch, different ways of putting fish on the 
table have kept Wada's ingenuity busy. They have been 
baked and stuffed, with tomato dressing; boiled; broiled 
with a rasher of bacon; have made excellent chowder; and 
this morning dolphin fritters made their bow, nicely light 
and done in olive oil. And the roe is a great delicacy. 
Wada is beginning to look like himself again, but for a 
nasty healing scar between the eyes. The captain keeps a 
wary eye on the cook, as if fearing treachery; but Wada 
goes his way unconcernedly. 

One big dolphin swallowed four expensive hooks from off 
a white wooden lure in the form of a fish, but gulped another 
baited hook presently, and when Wada came to clean the 
fish he discovered the lost hooks. 

We do not want for incident these days. What of the 
weather, the sunrises and sunsets, the extreme loveliness of 
the reflecting liquid expanse round about, the squalls, calms, 
winds fair and foul, there is endless novelty; but ft is life- 
incident, or the scarcity of it, that pitches excitement high 
when anything new in this line turns up. We are all like 
children at a circus parade. Herrmann, with the murder- 
ous granes poised for a cast at dolphin or turtle, his face 
alive with earnest attention, is a model for a sculptor of 
old-country types to be wrought in bronze; the captain, 
breathless and with quivering voice, hanging to a line around 
a shark, the Japanese emitting little barbaric squeals and 
cries of delight, Jack talking fast, with his eyes shining, and 
I tumbling over the main-sheet to a place of vantage oh, 
I can assure everybody that it is exhilarating! One day 
lately we sighted a small white sea-porcupine about eight 
inches long, bobbing calmly on the long swell, head and tail 
extended, like those of a turtle. Its arched white back glis- 
tened with wicked spikes. We tacked and tacked in order 


to pick it up, straining our eyes to keep track of it ; but the 
wind was too light, and we failed. We saw another turtle 
last night, but missed it. These turtles are unusually far 
from land, I have learned. 

To offset our very unstimulating record for speed on this 
traverse, we contemplate the fact that, so far as we know, no 
other yacht has ever travelled the course at all. 

Jack has resumed his navigation again in earnest ; and on 
the 15th, Friday last, took his first chronometer sight on this 
cruise. Herrmann is much impressed, and wonders why 
we employ a captain! 

We have taken up Saleeby 's fascinating work, The Cycle of 
Life, which Jack found he could not be selfish enough to 
read by himself ; so, several times a day, while I stitch away 
on summer lingerie, or embroider, he reads aloud to me of 
the sufficient wonder of the ascertained fact and the rela- 
tivity of all knowledge, worked out in beautiful clear 
style in chapters under such headings as " Swimming, " 
11 Cricket, " "The Living Cell," "Song," "Fratricide," 
"The Destiny of the Horse," "The Green Leaf," "Atoms 
and Evolution" all related in a way that makes one glow 
with enthusiasm over the universe that is and the particular 
brain-cells of the man who can present the conclusions of 
science in such enchanting form. 

. . . Our course staggers tipsily over the chart, but we 
are going to get in cahoots with the southeast trades 
some day, and now, having accomplished the requisite east- 
ing, we are sure of the Marquesas if we can be sure of any- 
thing in this capricious ocean. As the Snark buckles down 
each day to her work, we discuss our future plans for that 
region indefinitely termed the South Seas, and have about 
made up our minds to try for the Paumotus, of "infamous 
reputation" for danger, as Robert Louis Stevenson says 
the Dangerous Archipelago of old-time navigators. 

Jack has spent to-day 's holiday in overhauling all his fish- 
ing-tackle coils of line, coarse and fine, shining reels of 
different makes and sizes, hooks of roughly murderous or of 


finely cruel aspect, elegant rods of varying degrees of slen- 
derness and polish, dainty nets of white or yellow; and the 
spoons of steel and mother-of-pearl and gay pigments are 
fit to make an angler's fingers twitch. One lure represents 
a curving silver minnow, cunningly armed with wicked 

After boxing this morning we had to borrow a pai-l 
from the galley for our bucketing, for on Saturday Martin, 
open-mouthed over the stern while the captain held the 
shark, deliberately let go the canvas pail he happened to be 
holding; and later in the day, hauling up a galvanized iron 
pail full of water, the rope parted and a second container 
was lost. Herrmann is now manufacturing a new canvas 
bucket, having finished my windsail, which even as I write 
is conveying cool draughts of air down through an open 

Lat 6 45' North, 
Lon. 125 36' West. 
Monday, November 25, 1907. 

There is something wholly exasperating about the weather 
this morning; and as it was the same all of yesterday and 
last night, our nerves are a bit on edge. The wind blows 
briskly from the wrong direction, sending us east by north, 
when we want to go southeast ; and we are bucking the head- 
sea that has certainly been no novelty on this long passage 
forty-nine days to-day. You cannot move without bump- 
ing something, in this contrary motion; and when a big 
swift roll comes, things slide and fall in all directions. Just 
now, among a shower of articles set loose by a vicious surge 
of the yacht, one book struck the floor with such force that 
it slid right out of its binding, and it was not flimsily-bound 
either. My pocket-diary took a trip across the deck, poised 
in the very teeth of the scupper, and the instant after Jack 
rescued it a wave washed in where it had been. There has 
been little sunshine for several days, and, on account of 
wet weather, less opportunity for open decklights; so our 
staterooms and lockers have a disagreeable odour of stale- 


ness and mouldiness. The air is sultry, and I had a surpris- 
ing attack of prickly heat this morning. This is the first 
day I have felt as if I would rather sight land than not; 
then I appreciate that if it were not for my work with which 
I never catch up, and my desire to make the most of my un- 
interrupted time, I might be tainted with Captain Warren 's 
impatience. Altogether, I feel very much like breaking my 
cheer and being real cross for a spell ! But what 's the use ? 
I know, when I come right down to " brass tacks," as Jack 
says, that I would rather be here, on this buffeted boat, in 
this up-ending head-sea, than in lots of other states I can 
think of say on an abused and stumbling horse, riding over 
a bad road, in another person's ill-adjusted saddle, under a 
hot sun; or, to come nearer home, I'd rather be in present 
circumstances than in those of last Wednesday, the 20th, 
when we found ourselves short of water, with no prospect 
of rain and with only twenty days' rations left. But the 
unpleasantness of that prospect, which I am using to offset 
to-day's irk, was mitigated somewhat by the interesting 
touch of danger. A taste of sea-peril of this kind has a 
thrill in it something new to go through and to think of 
afterwards, provided, of course, that there be any after- 
wards. There was an element of romance, somewhat 
dimmed by humour, in the spectacle of the galley-pump, 
shackled with steel handcuffs against the possibility of the 
cook drawing more than his allotment of water for cooking 
purposes. We experienced a hitherto unknown sense of 
miserly vigilance over our quart-bottles filled to last twenty- 
four hours, and hung up in shady places. 

The threatened water-famine affected us according to our 
several natures. Martin was seized with an aggravated 
thirst and consumed his quart in the forenoon. To bring 
home to him the consequences of his unbridled license, we 
compared our plenty with his want by trickling our own sup- 
ply loudly and ostentatiously from varying heights into 
our glasses. As for Jack, he drank moderately, and had a 
little of his allowance left the following morning. I was 


not driven into excess by imaginings of a future parched 
throat; indeed, I was less thirsty than usual although I 
am not prepared to say how much of my lack of desire was 
affected by the discovery that there was a flavour of kero- 
sene in my bottle. At night, however, Jack let me have some 
of his hoarded store in exchange for some of mine for his 
morning shave. Naturally, no provision for washing en- 
tered into the regime, each scheming the disposal of his 
single quart as he saw fit. I tried ammonia in salt water, 
and it was an improvement over salt water plain ; but I did 
not put any of this mixture on my face. I cleansed that 
mirror of my soul with cold cream, and judged my coun- 
tenance to be the cleanest of the ship's company, as I saw 
no one else making any sort of shift to wash. 

The cook was given seven quarts of water for general 
use in cooking only, and employed this so discreetly as to put 
chocolate or coffee on the table at all three meals, whereas we 
had expected none for at least one of the three. Herrmann 
was inclined to survey the whole proceeding as a joke, which 
called forth a few serious remarks from Captain Warren, 
who is the only one of us who really knows the terrors of 

. . . Jack and I added a great picture to our brain-gallery 
on Thursday. Alone in the cockpit, we watched our men 
rig up the large deck awning, tilted up at the sides, the 
centre breadths lowered at the forward end over a tub set 
on the skylight, while a funnel was stuck into the opening 
of the 'midship tank to catch all gleanings from the awning 
in event of rain. For the sky had clouded and the wind 
freshened from N.N.B., and squalls, white squalls and black, 
curtained the horizon. The awning rigged, our men rested ; 
and the picture we saw was of three of them leaning at 
about the same angle on a boat, watching for rain un- 
consciously straining forward toward the thing desired, 
one mastering thought bringing them together in one 
bodily expression of that thought. They leaned a long time, 
motionless, absorbed, unaware of our scrutiny or our ap- 


preciation. And those eluding squalls lifted and fell and 
glided like marionettes on a revolving stage, leaving us dry, 
until about midnight. Between then and daylight about 
one hundred gallons were poured into the 'midship tank. 
And by Saturday, for it rained on and off till then, as much 
water was stored as before the shortage was detected. 

You have been wondering at our sudden discovery of this 
shortage of water? (Bang, rattle, snap! the flying-jib has 
just carried away. The only advantage of this is that the 
boat doesn't paw quite so wildly with her headsail off.) But 
as I was saying. In a sudden squall Tuesday night, during 
the hoisting of the spinnaker-boom, in some way the faucet 
on the port bow tank was turned, and not before morning 
did we discover our loss. Investigating the other tanks, on 
deck and below, it was also found that somebody had miscal- 
culated in a former inspection, and we found ourselves 
facing a serious predicament. We might have drifted 
around in these doldrums for an indefinite time without 

To-day we are still three hundred and seventy-nine miles 
north of the Equator, with a current setting us eastward. 
The barometer is normal. I often think of the Stevensons 
in the Casco, sailing from San Francisco to the Marquesas 
in the eighties. 

... 3 P. M. Jack is popping away at some snowy pink- 
billed bo's'n birds that are flying very close, crying sharply 
to one another. A rummaging for lost possessions has been 
going on in the cabin, and Jack's red bathing-suit came to 
light along with other missing articles. And speaking of 
losing things: when one loses them on land, there is always 
the possibility of recovering them ; but at sea, when a thing 
is overboard, there is a finality about it that is positively 
startling. That canvas bucket, for instance the new one 
can never take its place, and we know we shall never see 
the old one again. It is oscillating somewhere in the deep, 
pressed equally from above and below, there to stay until 


dissolution disposes of it into the primordial ooze. And the 
granes broke away the other day; also a white silk necker- 
chief with a red border, that floated astern for a time, then 
suddenly disappeared probably into the maw of a dolphin. 
Evidently it did not please his palate, for it came up 

. . . Nakata is a thing of joy to all hands except to 
Herrmann, who cannot understand the boy's amused incom- 
prehension of his queer Dutch-English. Herrmann care- 
fully explains technicalities of steering to Nakata, who 
bends his oriental brows in strict attention to language 
he wots not of (although he is learning our English fast) 
and then promptly brings the vessel say up into the wind. 
This sometimes perilous experiment fetches the long-suffer- 
ing and exasperated Hollander aft on the jump, to explain 
with augmented ambiguity of speech, that that was what he 
had expressly explained to him not to do. 

I myself have failed in one glaring particular, to elucidate 
something to the cabin-boy, namely, that "sir" is not the 
accepted manner of addressing a lady. Perhaps my pajama 
knee-breeches are to blame ; but when, to my call, he cheerily 
responds, "Yes, sir!" I know, by his correction to "Yes, 
man/' that all my care in pointing out the contraction of 
madam has gone over his bristly black head, and that he is 
still puzzled as to why he should say "Yes, man!" to a 
woman. He also insists gently but firmly upon calling the 
cockpit the cockroom. There is something fascinating about 
him, his ready smile, his cheerfulness, his temperamental 
happiness like some wild thing of docile instincts. His 
frank expectance of kindness, as expressed in his winning 
bearing, bring him goodwill all round. The captain has to 
hide his face repeatedly, for the sake of dignity and disci- 
pline, at some evidence of frisky humour on the part of the 
little brown mannikin with the homely face that his smile 
makes beautiful. 

. . . Sometimes down through the open skylight, as we 

The Beach at Taiohae 

Marquesan Tattooin< 


sit at work in our cubby-holes, come fragments of conversa- 
tion that hint of a different state of affairs on board the 
Snark from that of old hint of discipline, and continued 
discipline. One doesn't hear all; but the other day the 
captain 's voice cut out : " Do I mean it? Wha' d 'you sup- 
pose I give an order for, if I don't mean it?" But there's 
plenty of friendliness among the men, although it doesn't 
do for a minute to allow a sailor, who has lived on law and 
order aboard ship all his life, to become lax on a boat as 
small as ours. Herrmann is so extraordinarily susceptible 
to praise or notice that he quite loses his head if we approve 
any little act of his, and begins to suggest improvements in 
everything around with an originality and fearlessness that 
is rather discomfiting. After he has been called down by 
the master, he is perfectly lovely. 

... A week ago we began economising on fuel by hav- 
ing cold suppers; but there is a small burner aboard, used 
for melting solder, upon which Wada manages hot drinks 
and occasionally rice and curry, or soup. Our table is a 
raised skylight, and thus we have a chance to see all of the 

On Tuesday, the 19th, in some cider we unearthed aboard, 
we celebrated the second anniversary of our marriage. 
I wish we knew who sent it to us so we could return thanks. 
Jack waxed reminiscent and regaled the others with anec- 
dotes of our honeymoon in Cuba and Jamaica. And well, 
here we are, -out together hunting the thrills of new experi- 
ences with as much vigour and enthusiasm as ever, and no 
abatement in sight. 

Jack has the delightful characteristic of always wanting 
to share everything in which he is interested his amuse- 
ments, his books, or the thing he is studying. He explains to 
me his advancing steps in navigation ; he reads aloud to me ; 
he wants me to feel the tug of his fish on the line; and he 
draws all of us together to re-read, aloud, some book he 
knows will give pleasure. Sunday forenoon, having done 


more than his usual "stint" of writing the previous day, 
he took a holiday and read Conrad's Typhoon aloud, to 
the delight of the sailormen. And so, a unity of good spirit 
is preserved aboard, because one man is fond of sharing 
knowledge, the acquirement of which is the business of his 

There is one of Jack's pleasures, however, that I cannot 
share with him, what of a congenital lack. This is his 
beard. He is " letting his face rest" for a week, and as 
I cannot appreciate the rest it gives him to let his whiskers 
grow, it makes me restless to contemplate his rough chin 
and jaw. And I take less delight in any sudden and un- 
foreseen juxtaposition. But I consented to let him raise 
this mat, upon his promise that I may take his picture just 
before he shaves. 

. . . On Wednesday last, Jack landed a thirty-pound dol- 
phin, one of the finest we have seen all exquisite variations 
of abalone and gold and blue, green and rose. We tried to 
capture a big skate that bothered around for hours, attended 
by two white baby sharks and a lot of pilot fish. But the 
monster flopped away finally with its black wing-like pro- 
pellers. Wada hooked one of the infant sharks, less than 
two feet long, which cooked up into the best baked fish we 
have had. 

The bonitas are easily fooled these days with a small 
white rag on the hook, which is jerked ahead to simulate a 
flying-fish. Friday, the 22d, the boys had eighteen bonitas 
on deck at one time. Jack added a good-sized 'dolphin, and 
the collection was hung on a pole reaching clear across the 
deck amidship, from shroud to shroud, a flying-fish dangling 
at one end, the bonitas grading up to the big dolphin at the 
other end. Since then bonitas are caught for the keen sport 
only, and thrown immediately back. They are a hunger- 
cruel spawn. The instant one is hooked, his mates make a 
rush for him. Many a fish, even dolphin, brought aboard, 
shows healing wounds from great mouthfuls that have been 
taken out by its enemies, many of them among its own kind. 


The stomach of a fish usually tells the story of this con- 
tinual fight for existence. 

It is a wonderful sight, in a squall at night when the 
vessel is racing over the water, to behold in the depths shoals 
of bonitas slipping along whitely in the phosphorescence, 
their flight in perfect relation to the speed of the boat, so that 
they look like pale stones seen in the bed of a stream. By 
day, their backs show like swift olive-brown shadows, until 
they turn their gleaming sides up to the light. Two of the 
latest catches weighed twenty-five and twenty-four pounds 
respectively chunky, fat fish. 

Lat. 6 2' North, 
Lon. 125 30' West. 
Tuesday, November 26, 1908. 

Referring again to our fishy satellites, last evening while 
we were listening to Typhoon in a flood of rosy light, the 
water pink, the clouds bright pink, and the sky of startling 
blue, an enormous dolphin was playing about, leaping clear 
and falling loudly on his side, over and over again, adding 
to the evening radiance his flash of blue-white his colour- 
mood for the moment. When a dolphin has felt the tear of 
the hook, and got away, or when he has carried the hook 
off, he leaps and flashes through the air, recklessly shak- 
ing himself, landing on his side or his back with a crash, 
with all the mad abandon of a colt in the breaking yard. 

. . . The wind has gone nearly into the southeast and it 
now looks probable that we may be picking up the trades. 
There is a good-sized sea and swell running, and it is 
hard to adjust one's movements to the lunges of the boat 
when she takes a header into the abyss or is flung from the 
crest of one big wave only to fetch up smack against the 
next. But the little Snark noses her way pretty wisely in 
the labyrinth of heaving hills, and no small vessel could 
ride more easily than she. 

. . . Something very reassuring and encouraging oc- 
curred just now. The fly ing- jib was not replaced after 


carrying away, and we sailed all night without it. This 
morning the jib-sheet was unhooked, and the jib also hauled 
in, after which the mainsail was lowered, to put in a new 
lace-line the rope that laces the head of the sail to the 
gaff, and which had worn through during the night. Jack 
was bringing the yacht up into the wind to ease things for 
the men working on the mainsail, and all at once the good 
thing happened. The Snark was right up in the wind, prac- 
tically hove to, under staysail and mizzen, in light wind, and 
with a moderately heavy sea kicked up by the blow that had 
preceded that light wind. And she would not heave to 
that night coming from San Francisco to Hawaii! But 
why? Why? That is our everlasting query. The captain 
says it is ridiculous to think she would not heave to; 
we agree with him, perfectly. But she did refuse, just 
the same. As Jack says, "I don't believe it I only saw 
it." How one learns to love a boat. I am beginning to 
appreciate how sailors feel about ships, no matter what hap- 
pens, never quite admitting even to themselves that the 
vessel is at fault. Captain Warren swears more and more 
heartily by the Snark the more he sees of her performances. 

. . . And now, at 9 :50 A. M., every visible sign points to 
our being in the southeast trades the blue, white-capped sea 
running with the wind, the wind itself, the "wool-pack" 
clouds. All at once I am willing and even anxious to reach 
the islands to see land again, mountains, bays and safe an- 
chorages; to eat fruit, and fruit, and more fruit bananas, 
guavas, oranges and lemons and limes, yams, breadfruit, 
taro. . . . 

We have all bet a dollar each with Jack, who wagers that 
we shall see the Marquesas by December 12; but it begins 
to look as if he may win. 

. . . Martin developed a roll of film for me yesterday, and 
spilt his hypo on the bathroom floor; but he went right on 
developing where the fluid deepened in the leeward corner. 
This morning, asked the cause of the peculiar odour, Nakata 
enlightened us with: "Mr. Johnson ... he ... yester- 


day . . . make come kodak-medicine ! " "Nakata's latest" 
is a sort of daily newspaper. I verily believe that if the 
Snark went down with all hands, our last conscious picture 
would be of Nakata's toothy smile, and the last sound in 
our ears would be the paean of sheer exultation of being that 
this child of Japan lets out whenever anything happens, 
whether of good or ill. 

. . . During these weeks under the tropic sun I am sur- 
prised at my lack of deep sunburn. To be sure, I am less 
white ; but considering that I seldom wear a hat, only shad- 
ing my eyes with a green visor, this freedom from tan is re- 
markable. Herrmann remarked quite innocently one day 
that the only man aboard who was not burned was Mrs. 
London. But my hair is burning a gorgeous red and yel- 
low, without apparent loss of gloss or moisture. It is 
"Oh-h-h-h beautiful nice!" according to the exuberant 

Lat. 5 41' North, 
Lon. 126 2' West. 
Wednesday, November 27, 1908. 

My birthday and we are celebrating with a true south- 
east trade. We have logged one hundred and two knots 
in the twenty-four hours, and now, at 4 :30 p. M., are smok- 
ing along on a course of south by west. Jack and the 
captain are grinning and chuckling like schoolboys over a 
chart of the Marquesas and Paumotus, spread between them 
on the rudder-box, while the captain reads aloud "Hostyle 
Inhabitants" over and over, printed against tiny dots of 
islands in the Paumotu cluster. Jack has just looked up, 
in answer to my question, with "It's a hundred to one now 
that we'll make Nuka-Hiva all right. We're on the home- 
stretch " " And a short home-stretch excuse me, sir!" 
interrupts the captain, with shining face. They both agree 
that ei^ht or ten days "at this lick" ought to bring us to 
port. Martin popped a land-famished face over the boat- 
swain's locker a moment ago, and asked what I was smiling 
about. And I am willing to admit that I am now frankly 


satisfied to exchange these longed-for days of all work and 
no fresh fruit, for a different programme. Also, I want a 
level place to sleep on for a spell, where I can present the 
unwinking eye of sleep to "Policeman Day" for about ten 
hours at a stretch. I have had but one uninterrupted night 
in fifty-two. 

I inaugurated my birthday's entrance by catching two 
large bonitas, landing one of them unaided; also I hooked 
a good-sized dolphin, but lost my head and forgot to ' * play ' ' 
him, so he broke the hook and streaked for parts unknown. 
Jack was hugely elated over my catch the first time I have 
tried. Once, I caught six mackerel in Penobscot Bay; and, 
unmentionable years before, I bent-pin-hooked thirty-five 
minnows, without bait ! This is the extent of my fishing ex- 

Dolphins and bonitas are with us in gleaming hordes 
to-day. The Snark is flushing the flying-fish for them, 
most of which seem to be four-winged, like dragon-flies 
dragon-flies of the deep, sailing down the wind. It is 
continual slaughter, and they are a cruel lot, these big fish ; 
but by what manner of reasoning cruel? What other food 
than their own kind is provided for them by beneficent na- 
ture? And when they are haled aboard by their unwilling 
mouths, straining and resisting, staring horribly with lid- 
less eyes of fright, it all lines up in one's mind as a game 
a game wherein men and fishes and beasts destroy to live. 
And war of man or war of fish or beast, it is all of a piece 
with the game. 

Jack harpooned three dolphins to-day, using the harpoon 
in lieu of the lost granes; but it is not the proper weapon 
for them, does not go easily into their firm bodies, and 
they get away. But they doggedly stay with us, recognis- 
able by their scratches, as intent as ever upon damaging 
smaller and weaker ones. 

Last evening at supper time there was the worst rain 
squall we have ever weathered. It came from two direc- 
tions or rather they did, for two squalls struck at about 


the same time, one from the weather quarter, one from the 
weather bow. Below, holding the dishes from spilling into 
cfur laps, we knew only that the Snark stayed down a long 
time; but the captain, coming to supper it was over 
quickly said it was our stiffest squall yet. Earlier in 
the day I had my most disagreeable experience on the 
voyage. I had settled before the typewriter in my state- 
room. Everything was lovely thewindsail pumping cool- 
ness down through the open skylight, the decklight open, 
with a poncho spread on my bunk to catch any chance spray 
that might come down ; I had just typed ''Chapter XXX" at 
the head of a page with four carbon copies under it and 
then the deluge. My newly cleaned and oiled machine was 
drenched with salt water, inside and out; the water ran 
down my draw-tables into the packed lockers beneath the 
bunk; a gallon or so fell through the decklight on to the 
poncho, and I was quite forlorn with water. I felt like a 
quenched candle, and went about dispiritedly soaking up the 
brine with cloth and sponge, while it took Martin the best 
part of two hours to get the devastating salt water off the 
typewriter and the works carefully oiled. Just to show 
how quickly rust forms in this climate: Jack had shaved in 
the morning (and I did not get that photograph, after 
all ! ) ; and being called on deck suddenly, asked me to lay 
the soapy safety-razor on his bunk. Within two hours red 
rust was on the blade. 

Lat 1 18' North, 
Lon. 127 30' West. 
Friday, November 29, 11)07. 

The only thing that roused me at seven this morning, after 
a disturbed night, was a dash of cold water that sent me 
shooting feet-first out of my canvas covert alongside the 
cockpit the dryest place I had been able to select this 
breezy weather. It was a second dose, the first having 
caught me just after I went to sleep, about ten, when the 
lee-quarter failed to dodge the edge of a wave going 


obliquely astern. That time I got it on the head, and slept 
damp. Herrmann has hung me a canvas stretcher between 
cockpit rail and weather rail, with a tent-like protection 
from the spray. It was very rough, angling across the big 
seas; and the jaws on the mizzen-gaff, which are chewing 
away at the mast till the chewed section is in splinters, 
rubbed skreakily all night, the bell in the cockpit keeping 
up a doleful rhythm like a fog-bell. For all our bobbed-off 
little craft with her barnacled copper and her small sails 
wrought for ease of handling and comfortable sailing, we 
logged seven knots during the night, and this morning, at 
ten, we have covered one hundred and twenty knots since 
noon yesterday and still humming. Captain Warren is 
keeping the vessel off a little, for the comfort of Jack writ- 
ing below, so that he can have the weather skylight open and 
the windsail working. But think how wonderfully "dry" 
the Snark is. The few instances I have cited of water com- 
ing aboard, are all I can remember a pretty good record 
for these many weeks in squalls and rough seas. Oh, yes 
one other instance : last evening Jack and I were perched up 
forward on the windy weather bow of the launch, dodging 
flying spray and drinking deep the flowing trade, while 
watching the everlasting miracle of bright fishes darting so 
effortlessly and swiftly. Finally came a monster swell that 
the Snark decided to have a little fun with at our expense. 
She rose like a hunter at a fence and then descended, the 
wave curving back and down from her bow, but the wind 
flinging the heavy spray upward. Jack's feet preceded his 
body up the rigging, while I, farthest from the rigging, 
hanging to a horizontal steel stay back of my head, raised my 
own feet and escaped some of the drenching. I wish I had 
a picture of the pair of us. The bulk of the water went 
below, all over the set dinner table, on the leeward seat in 
the cabin, on my bunk, a gallon or so piling up in the floor- 
corners. But these infrequent splashings are nothing com- 
pared with the sweeping a "wet" fast yacht endures, where 
there is no comfort on deck, because of water, and none be- 


low for closeness of air. Why, the Stevensons were kept in 
the cabin for days at a time when the Casco was doing her 
best paces. 

We are about one hundred and fifty miles from the Line, 
as we go about ninety as the bird flies ; and to-morrow we 
hope to cross into the South Sea at last. The weather is 
actually cool. The books tell us that the southeast trades 
are cooler than the northeast. Fancy the charm of verify- 
ing this and that item in the old books especially in such a 
little travelled section of the globe. 

The fishes are unusually beautiful this morning to the 
leeward the bonitas showing red like autumn leaves in a 
torrent. Sometimes they display a streak of this glowing 
crimson underneath when they are brought to deck, but never 
before have I seen them so red in the water. It is some- 
thing to live for, once to behold, near the close of day, an 
upstanding wave between you and the sun, transparent blue, 
green-topped, white-tipped, sun-shot, and glinted through 
with rainbow shapes of the sea. 

. . . Inconceivable and Monstrous, again! Yesterday 
Captain Warren ordered the topsail set. So far on the voy- 
age it had never been set. It was promptly dragged forth 
from where I had been sleeping on its folds for many a 
night. Herrmann was aloft in the hot sun for quite a while, 
making an unsuccessful effort to get it set. Finally the 
captain took a climb, for something was radically wrong. 
Then the trouble was made plain. When it was discovered, 
in California, that the mizzen-mast had been stepped too 
far forward to allow for the mainsail, instead of re-stepping 
the mizzen-stick (which should, by all that is right and hon- 
est, have been done), the mainsail had been cut down and 
the topsail left as it was to match a mainsail that no longer 
existed so far as its original size was concerned. This is the 
second time on the voyage it has been set, and we now realise 
why Roscoe took it in so hastily the first time. 

(Right here, a bonita close by leaped his length into the 
air, got his flying-fish, and we saw him with the rainbow half 


swallowed, as he tumbled ingloriously back into the water 
tail-first. ) 

Lat. 8 11' South, 
Lon. 138 West. 
Aboard the Snark, South Seas, 
Thursday, December 5, 1907. 

There is one incident in human affairs that it is safe to 
say never fails of interest, never palls. Perhaps it is the 
only one but I will not go that far. The raising of land 
on the horizon is the one thing that induces a thrill even in 
the most experienced from the very connoisseur of trav- 
ellers to the oldest sailor afloat. It seems to me that I have 
centred in my soul all the fascinated, illusioned expectation 
of all peoples in all days under similar conditions; for to- 
morrow is the day when we confidently hope to see land, the 
first in nine weeks, come Monday next. It seems as if I can 
hardly wait for the loom of it ahead. How will it look? 
Will it be floating in the blue and gold of sunset, or will it 
show hazily in the blazing afternoon? or mayhap in the 
pearl and rose of dawn? "The first love, the first sunrise, 
the first South Sea Island, are memories apart and touch a 
virginity of sense. " Thus Robert Louis Stevenson. 

We crossed the Line last Saturday, November 30, in longi- 
tude 128 45' which was even a little better than Captain 
Warren expected; and immediately we fell in with such 
cool temperature that I promptly caught cold. It doesn't 
sound probable, I know, that right below the Equator I 
caught my first cold in months ; but I 'm the one that caught 
it, and I ought to know. 

We had planned to do some weird stunts to celebrate 
crossing the Line ; but it turned out a very busy day in one 
way and another, in which there seemed no place for pranks. 
I copied ninety pages of Jack's manuscript, for one thing 
work I had neglected for other work. We must have tripped 
up against Neptune somewhere, however, for I found yellow 
whiskers that looked very much like rope-ravellings, on the 
stays under the bowsprit. 


While I write, lying under the life-boat for shade, the 
men are trying to lure a big shark that is sniffing around. 
He is of a size to make one glad of a few planks between. 
The waves are a-hiss with leaping bonitas fighting for 
some food they have run into, any unlucky one that hap- 
pens to get bitten being immediately devoured by the rest. 
We have not seen a single dolphin since the day before we 
crossed the Equator. "They dropped us cold!" said Mar- 
tin. The bonitas and flying-fishes alone have been sliding 
with us down the bulge of the earth since we topped the rise, 
at the rate of one hundred and forty miles a day. Night 
and day, night and day, everywhere we turn, the countless 
purplish-coppery bodies of the blood-mad destroyers keep us 
in sight while we thresh out the flying-fishes for them. 

Ah, but I forgot the Wiggler! He lives and moves and 
has his being under our keel, wriggling out occasionally to 
take a snap at a passing bonita, like an irascible little back- 
yard terrier. He is about a foot and a half long, and of a 
whitish green a sort of suppressed hue, showing like a cel- 
lar-plant among gay flowers when he lines up against the 
sun-blazoned bonitas. On Sunday, the spinnaker was set, 
and as we begin gliding ahead at a seven-knot clip, in the 
wake we saw our Wiggler, left a little astern on one of his ex- 
peditions out from under. He was making the run of his 
life to catch up. We yelled and hooted affectionate encour- 
agement he was doing such a plucky and manful sprint, 
nearly wagging his tail off. ' ' Go it, you son-of -a-seacook ! ' ' 
" Come on, now, once more ! That's it!" "You'll make it, 
keep up the fight ! ' ' were heard from various quarters of the 
stern rail. Presently it seemed as if the chase were lost. 
The only way we might have helped him was by throwing 
him a line with a hook on it. Martin saw him next day, 
however, as much at home as ever; but he surely had his 
fins full to make up the speed handicap caused by that spin- 

. . . We are betting heavily as to who will first see 
land. I am pledged for all of forty cents among my ship- 


mates. It cannot be more than a hundred miles dead ahead ; 
but the sun is in our eyes, and it is not a 14,000 foot Sand- 
wich Island mountain we are looking for only one of 2800 
feet. We are going to lose our dollar bets to Jack, for the 
date we wagered on fetches up to the 12th, one week from 

Jack is sitting on the weather rail, with his feet in a pail 
of fresh water unwonted extravagance. He has not had a 
shoe on these two months, and is trying to coax his feet into 
shape for the trial that awaits them, who knows? maybe 
to-morrow. In order not to waste his golden hour, he is 
reading, and also, at intervals, shooting bonitas with his 
22- Winchester automatic rifle. I wish I had known him 
better before I married him! just listen to this: Yester- 
day I said, "I don't feel like typing to-day." " Don't do it 
on the boat then," urged Jack kindly. " Don't type until 
you get to TYPE-E!!!" 

. . . There have been many heralds of the land about us 
the past two days various kinds of birds, with gunies and 
boobies among them; bo's'ns, and smaller white birds, flut- 
tering by twos, like love letters in the wind against the blue 
sky. There are small black birds, too, and brownish grey 
ones, neither of which we know. 

The South Seas think of it, we are sailing, beautifully 
sailing, over the very waves of that storied region of islands 
of strange form and composition, peopled by strange men of 
unspeakable customs. But we are not in time the devastat- 
ing civilising years have preceded the Snark venture, and 
we can only see the islands themselves with little trace of the 
people who roamed them of old. What of Melville's Valley 
of Typee now? But listen: When I wander through 
Typee, a few days hence, I am going to people it to suit my 
fancy ; I am going to see the chiefly Mohiva and kind Kory- 
Kory, and the matchless Fayaway, and all their beauteous 
straight-featured tribe. I alone may see them, but see them 
I will! 

The other day I read a book by Edwin Somebody-or-other, 


in which he tells with casual cleverness of his meanderings 
among the islands of the South Seas, and in his chapter on 
the Marquesas, especially devoted to the Island of Nuka- 
Hiva, he does not once mention Typee. Can it incredibly be 
that he never heard of it? 

It is all very well to romance about the fantasy of the 
South Sea Islands; but my imagination persists in rioting 
in fields of cabbages and onions, potatoes, cauliflowers, and 
luscious tomatoes ; in taro patches and fabulous banana- and 
cocoanut- and breadfruit-groves. Captain Warren's desire 
carries him closer, into the chicken-coop; while Martin is 
content to dream merely of the nests one dozen variously 
prepared eggs being his first order. 

. . . There are no more spectacular twilights; the days 
have grown much longer than they were on the other side of 
the hill. And the sunsets do not compare with those of the 
Variables and the Doldrums. But the sailing is wonderfully 
lovely the boat rocking, rocking, on waves that pursue 
from astern and overtake and propel us, spinnaker and 
mainsail winging us straight toward the setting sun. 

Nor are the water and skies so gorgeous as we found them 
above the Equator ; but any lacks of this sort are offset by 
the "silver-winged breeze" that blows from the right di- 
rection, and every hour of the day I am thankful for the 
change from past exasperating, bone-racking, flesh-bruising 
head-seas and -winds. Here everything is with us wind and 
billow, fair days and nights. 

... I am curled comfortably in a hollow of the life-boat 
cover, shaded by the mainsail, and the swinging of the boat is 
so restful not a jar, nothing but soothing curves and un- 
dulations of movement, ever rocking forward and sidewise, 
but imperceptibly making five knots an hour in the light but 
steady wind. We are in the sun's highway, a broad and 
glittering stretch directly before. We must be absorbing 
the gold as well as the miles, for there is none of it in our 
wake. . . . 

We often try to picture different friends, suddenly trans- 


ported into our midst aboard the Snark, and wonder how 
they would comport themselves. With no experience of the 
sea it would be remarkable if they saw anything beautiful 
in earth or heaven. The roll would attend to that. The 
smallness of the boat, the nearness of the water, and 
particularly the size of the waves, would about wreck a 
nervous woman for the time being. The very middle of the 
yacht would be the only livable place for her, as being 
farthest removed from certain destruction over the awful 
rail. Now, I am not making sport of anybody. I can pro- 
ject my viewpoint far enough to put myself in the other 
fellow's mind under such a strain. I have been here a long 
time and it is only comparatively lately that I have felt quite 
secure, free from nervousness and sickness. 

. . . We have finished Saleeby's book, and are now read- 
ing Ball's The World's Beginning. Astronomy helps me to 
new appreciation of this world we are circumnavigating, and 
of the whole universe of worlds and suns. At night, before 
turning in, we lie in the lifeboat a while, Jack and I, and 
study the Southern skies, sometimes dropping below to scan 
our planispheres; and last evening we had a feast of me- 
teors, that streaked long trains of light across the sky. 

Nightly a poker game obtains in the second dog watch, 
and the only monotony in it that seems to strike Jack and 
Martin is the way the captain wins and continues to win. 
He usually does it with a royal flush in his face and say a 
pair of sixes in his hand. He has had a run of luck that 
deserves greater scope. 

There is always one perfectly contented soul in our party, 
no matter what happens, and that is our inimitable cabin boy. 
At dinner to-day I asked him, "Are you happy, Nakata?" 
' ' I, happy ? oh-h-h, Missisn, v-e-r-r-y happy yes, ma 'am. ' ' 
(He has mastered the "ma'am" at last.) "But why happy, 
Nakata?" I pursued. He threw back his head to look up 
at the sunlight through the companionway, smiled seraphi- 
cally and said with pure sweetness: "Oh, ev-e-r-r-y-thing, 
Missisn ! ' ' 


. . . The only thing with which I can compare my state 
to-night, is my Christmas Eve sensations of old time. I am 
sure there must be a stocking of mine hanging up some- 
where on the boat, and that there is going to be something 
nice in it when I wake. 

Lat. 8 47' South, 
Lon. 139 44' West. 

Aboard the Snark, in channel between Ua-Huka and 
Nuka-Hiva, Marquesas Islands, 3 :30 P. M., 
Friday, December 0, 1907. 

Can't you see it? can't you see it, Cape Martin right ahead 
there in the west, and Comptroller Bay just around the point? 
Comptroller Bay, into which the Valley of Typee opens, 
where Melville escaped from the cannibals. Then another 
and dimmer headland, beyond which is Taiohae, where we 
shall anchor at sunset if the fair wind holds. 

Captain Warren picked up Ua-huka (Washington Island) 
at daylight, and the first I heard, awakening under the life- 
boat, was Herrmann up the mainmast calling down. But so 
sure was I of my full stocking, and so very sleepy, that after 
rising half-way and seeing nothing, I subsided for another 
nap. I had been up at a little past three, looking at the 
Southern Cross the first time below the Line. 

When I did finally turn out, I saw a volcanic island of 
beautiful form and proportion, grey-green and shimmering 
in the morning radiance. We sailed toward it, passed it, and 
now it lies astern, touched with the sunset. The island looks 
as if it has had a drouth, for its steeps are as yellow with 
dried grass as California's in the autumn, with here and 
there a hint of dull green. 

. . . This has been a full day. I was bound and deter- 
mined that I should not be caught arriving at Taiohae with 
a lot of back work on hand on the typewriter in spite of 
Jack's vile pun on Typee; so I copied a chapter of his novel, 
sacrificing our daily reading; closed up a lot of letters with 
the advice that we were coming into port (against the pos- 
sible sailing of some vessel from Taiohae immediately after 


our arrival), and did a thousand little things for shore-going. 
After lunch Jack and I went forward with our rifles, and 
shot at the numerous birds fishing in the olive current of the 
channel. It was my first shooting at moving objects, and, 
considering that the aiming was from a plunging boat, I 
didn 't do so badly, for I got three boobies on the wing, two or 
three more that were just rising, and ruffled the feathers of 
others. Also, I struck a bonita, which instantly up-bellied, 
and as instantly disappeared among its ravening brothers. 
I tried porpoises, and they immediately grew shy and came 
seldom to the surface. And we fired at a small whale, but 
it quickly sank out of danger. 

. . . Now we are nine miles from Taiohae Bay, and with 
the glasses can just pick out the two Sentinel Rocks guarding 
either side of the entrance. The headland features I have 
already mentioned are on the southern side of the island, the 
northern coast stretching far to our right. Cape Martin 
reminds me of the castled outlines of Wyoming, with a 
natural tower standing atop the abrupt black head of the 
promontory. The face of the island toward us, the east 
side, seems ruggedly bluffed ; and above, fold on fold of vol- 
canic green mountains range back and up to the highest point 
of the island, 3890 feet. Perhaps that is the farther wall of 
Typee Valley that we can just glimpse beyond those first 
bluffs. It seems to me I never wanted to see a place as I 
want to see Typee. 

All sorts of business is going forward, while the yacht 
slides steadily nearer. The captain studies the coast with 
his binoculars; Martin is putting finishing touches of green 
paint and aluminum paint on the rejuvenated launch-engine. 
(It had been about given up by Martin until Jack got out 
the books and made a suggestion that, when applied, set the 
machinery going merrily.) Herrmann, the while trying 
to explain how it happened that in Honolulu he had 
bought both his sea-boots for the same foot, is scraping wood 
teak, pine, oak, on yacht, launch, and life-boat ; Wada steers ; 
the spinnaker has just been taken in, and, the wind hauling, 


we have jibed over. The sturdy anchors are in readiness to 
let go when we come to our resting-place, and 111 warrant 
the skipper knows exactly where the red-marked lead-line is. 
Jack is stretched out beside me on the life-boat cover, reading, 
and, I think, dreaming a little. When he was a small boy he 
happened on Melville's Typee, and promptly thirsted for 
Marquesan exploration. Years later, after one trip to sea, 
he tried to ship as cabin boy on a sailing vessel bound for 
these islands, but failed to secure the berth, for he thinks 
the captain must have seen desertion in his eye. But here 
he is, and here am I, lucky enough to be the partner of his 
realised adventure; although for his sake I wish he could 
have fulfilled his desire when the dream was young. 

. . . The little Snark! She seems to be reaching out 
eagerly, after sixty days of unremitting motion, for her 
shelter under the land. Consider for six times ten days we 
have never been still one moment. I am afraid the imminent 
level repose that threatens will disquiet more than soothe, 
until we readjust. 

5 P. M. The captain is now thinking of putting in at 
Comptroller Bay for the night, for squalls are closing in 
around us and dimming the sunset light that we depended 
upon for conning into Taiohae harbour. I rather hope we 
do go into Comptroller. It would be enchanting to wake in 
the morning with Typee Vai spread out before us. 

We are surrounded by untold myriads of sooty little sea- 
swallows with white heads and sweet piping voices. As we 
curtsy past Cape Martin, its striking profiles change from 
moment to moment, and we can see green trees that look like 
Hawaiian kukui, trooping up the shallow erosions. 

Aboard the Snark, Taiohae Bay, 

Nuka-Hiva, Marquesas Islands, 
Saturday, December 7, 1907. 10 A. M. 

It is a cyclorama of painted cardboard, done by an artist 
whose knowledge of perspective was limited. The walls in- 


closing the green, still water in which we ride at anchor, the 
pinnacles and bastions half-way to the ragged scissored sky- 
line, the canyons and gorges, sun-tanned beaches, grass-huts 
under luxuriant plumy palms, and the rich universal verdure 
it is all painted boldly on upright cardboard. There is a 
rift in the amphitheatre, toward the sea, and on either side 
the entrance, booming surf breaks upon the feet of the two 
Sentinels of tilted strata, crowned with feathery trees. It is 
an astounding scene, and cannot be compared with any place 
I ever saw. The mirrored effect of the atmosphere on the 
perpendicular mountains is not unlike that on Winward Oahu 
in Hawaii; but the form and lines of the landscape round 
about this bay surpass anything in my book of memory pic- 

The entrance looks very innocent this morning in a sunny 
calm; but it did not appear so harmless last evening, our 
waning daylight shut off by a blinding rain-squall, just when 
it seemed indispensable that we should see clearly in order 
to make our way around the eastern Sentinel. The captain 
had finally decided to try for Taiohae. The distance across 
the mouth of the bay is only seven cable-lengths, and it is 
necessary to hug the eastern side, because the equatorial cur- 
rent sets over toward the west shore of the bay, and with 
only light fans of air, there is liability of going on the rocks. 

It was tense and delicate work. Every one was on deck, 
Jack at the wheel, Herrmann standing by the three headsails, 
Martin and Wada obeying general orders, and Nakata haul- 
ing in the lead-line for the captain after each cast. And 
over it all was the trained intelligence of the captain, whose 
was the responsibility of the Snark and the lives on board. 
He stood in the bow, before we entered the harbour, with, 
straining eyes on the fading outlines of the East Sentinel, 
close by which lay safety, and praying that the wind would 
hold. But it held only until we rounded the rock, then swept 
on seaward past the entrance, leaving us to fare as best we 
might with current and tide, rocks and surf. The spinnaker 
was taken in and the mizzen set, and each man returned to 


his post, ready for prompt obedience. I longed to be a man, 
to take some active part ; but they don 't let me do much and 
besides, there are plenty of men to handle the boat. (Why, 
the picturesque 500-ton bark lying yonder carries only eleven 
men, while our ten-ton yacht has six all told. ) 

I was fascinated with the working of the Snark. The cap- 
tain 's questions, "How is she now?" or "How is she head- 
ing?" were rapid and frequent; and Jack, eye on binnacle, 
busy with instant replies and instant compliance, had no 
chance for extraneous observation. Muffled in oilskins, I sat 
on the cockpit rail, and posted him on what I saw the 
looming rocks close at hand, the white-toothed breakers snap- 
ping hungrily and loudly, and the vague suggestion of the 
dreaded western shore. Captain Warren commanded my 
respect. His head was clear, and he seemed high-strung in a 
way that only refined his certitude of judgment and action. 
Much though I have absorbed of knowledge of the sea, in 
relation, at least, to our ^particular craft, I was open-mouthed 
at his quickness of perception. I knew, of course, how care- 
fully he had "crammed" the sailing-directions, and how 
sharply the chart was reproduced on his brain; and these 
things, coupled with his practical experience, were sufficient 
to satisfy my reason ; but it was wonderful just the same as 
man is wonderful in everything that raises him to primacy 
over the brute earth-forces. 

By and bye we picked up the "fixed red light," hung at 
ninety feet, described in the Directions, and had some- 
thing tangible to steer by. We fanned in, tack upon 
tack, with the mere breathing of the mountains to give us 
steerage-way. The Snark responded faithfully to the hand 
on her helm when there was the faintest air to make it pos- 
sible. The near water was very still, and sometimes the only 
way we could tell that we were inching ahead was by the 
slight passing riffle against the boat. The bay is very deep 
along its sides, so we had no especial worry except for the 
current. Once or twice we seemed to be drifting toward 
the west, for the sound of the surf from that direction came 


clearly. Then suddenly a big light flared out in the murk 
ahead, although try as we would with our glasses we could 
not make out whether it was on land or vessel. 

But as we approached our anchorage, there were other and 
less disquieting sounds in our ears than breakers. Down 
from obscure heights drifted the querulous bleating of kids, 
which I bewildered into more distressful tones by answer- 
ing them in kind. And then a cock crew cheerily, and 
another, while the venerable blat of a patriarchal goat 
hushed the timorous young. The breath from the darksome 
steeps came down fragranced with spice of flowers the 
yellow cassi loved of wasps, which distils perfume far and 

At quarter before ten we dropped anchor in nine fathoms, 
having passed the entrance at about 7:30. You cannot 
imagine what a feeling of utter rest followed the rush of 
the anchor chain through the hawsepipe the sea-song of 
adventure. We found ourselves unexpectedly tired, and 
although we slept in the warm below on account of rain, we 
slept profoundly. I know I did not turn over in seven hours. 
I was awakened by voices on deck, and coming up found that 
Mr. Kreiech, the German trader who has charge of the 
Taiohae Branch of the Societe Commerciale de 1'Oceanie, had 
called. I could see him going shoreward, a big figure stand- 
ing in an outrigger canoe paddled by scarlet-breeched 

... It seems rather odd, as the morning wears on, that 
no one else comes out only one indolent native has had 
curiosity enough to approach a well-featured brown fellow. 
We sent him in search of bananas, and he wanted five francs 
for one bunch. He accepted half of that with perfect con- 
tentment ; and then we all fell to and stuffed inordinately on 
this first fresh fruit in two months, and agreed that we had 
never eaten bananas before, so luscious were these. 

As we have seemed to be in no danger of interruption from 
the beach, we have gone ahead with our work as usual in 
the cockpit, shaded by the awning. Little flaws of wind, 


pollen-scented, flurry down upon us from the pictured walls 
of the amphitheatre, that are slowly taking on a less artificial 
aspect losing nothing of their exquisite beauty, but becom- 
ing more earthly and approachable. The water is not clear 
rather a dull olive-green, deepening into rich blue toward 
the mouth of the bay. Outside, we can see the channel white- 
caps racing past the Sentinels. 

. . . After lunch we climbed reluctantly into our " store 
clothes," shoes being particularly odious. I had in my 
mind's eye pictures of several provincial white women, wives 
of the traders, and arrayed myself with care in brown linen 
with a touch of red scarf and corals a "neat but not gaudy" 
effect that was destined to be appreciated solely by our own 
crowd and Mr. Kreiech and his assistant Mr. Rahling, to say 
nothing of the silver-laced old French Marechal who looked 
over our ship 's papers ; and to be wondered at by the natives. 
There were apparently no white women on the beach. But 
later on, when we inquired if there was any one in the place 
who would board Jack and me, Mr. Kreiech recommended a 
Mrs. Fisher, and we learned that besides herself there were 
her daughter and a niece, a French school teacher, and the 
Sisters at the Mission. We were also informed that fruit, 
eggs, fowls, vegetables, and nearly everything else that we 
have been hungering and thirsting for, are extremely scarce 
almost out of the question, in fact. However, when mak- 
ing arrangements with Mrs. Fisher for two meals a day, she 
assured us that good limes and oranges are plentiful; that 
fowls can be had occasionally, for a reasonable price ; that the 
mangoes are beginning to ripen, although the breadfruit 
season is not yet; and that cocoanuts are abundant. 
There were also hints of fresh-water prawns, fish, wild goat, 
water cress, and tomatoes, but no potatoes the last importa- 
tion from California being exhausted. Mr. Edwin Some- 
body-or-Other misled us by his glowing description of the 
lavish and automatic supply of everything edible in Nuka- 
Hiva. There is a French bakery, glory be, where crusted 
loaves are made at frequent intervals. This is a welcome 


surprise an excellent cross between French and Italian 

But let no toddy-thirsting mariner be deceived as to this 
chaste strand. Whiskey is taboo in the Marquesas, although 
rum and wines and absinthe can be purchased at the Societe 

This afternoon we decided to rent the only available cot- 
tage. Imagine our gratification when we learned that it was 
the old club-house where Robert Louis Stevenson frequently 
dropped in during his call at Taiohae. In one corner of the 
large main room is a sort of stationary stand, where drinks 
used to be mixed. The house is now owned by the Societe; 
and before promising it to us on any terms, Mr. Kreiech had 
to negotiate with exceeding deliberation with the native 
couple who live there as caretakers. No one here ever makes 
the mistake of doing anything on time or in haste, and the 
man who tries to rush the natives is the man lacking fore- 
sight. But Mr. Kreiech is evidently destined for success with 
the kanakas, for the elderly pair are to move into the de- 
tached kitchen, and we shall take possession of the cottage to- 
morrow. Jack and I could easily in ten minutes move all 
their belongings a bedstead and bedding and a few gar- 
ments hanging on nails; but twenty-four hours is not con- 
sidered too much notice to allow. We saw these two old per- 
sons at the store at five o'clock, at which gala hour the work- 
men gather on Saturday afternoons to be paid off. Practi- 
cally the entire population of the village drops in socially a 
pitifully dwindled community in these latter years. The 
woman from our cottage is constantly attended by an 
enormous puarJca (hog), given her by the captain of the 
Norwegian bark. She fondles it as if it were a beloved dog 
although I could not help wondering if her affections were 
not slightly gustatory in character. And we saw her pitch 
viciously into a Norwegian sailor who waxed too familiar 
with her pet. 

Jack and I sat on a big drygoods box on the veranda of 
the little store, dangling our happy heels against the sides, 



and stared and were stared at by ' the ' natives',' While? "we 
munched and sucked some villainous striped candy that 
Martin bought. Here were our first Marquesans and hardly 
a pure-breed among them! The blend is baffling in many 
cases Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Corsican, 
Italian, English, American. One little girl with snapping 
black eyes and curly hair was pointed out as a true Mar- 
quesan specimen; but some one contradicted the assertion 
with the statement that her mother was half Irish. She had 
been " given away" as Hawaiian children are passed along, 
and lives in terror of the short temper and long arm of 
her adoptive sire. 

When these people are displeased or contemptuous, they 
express their feelings mainly by writhing their mouths into 
the most astonishing contortions; and whenever our female 
caretaker emerged from the crowd, facing our way, her 
shapely lips wore an expression that led us to believe she 
was not altogether enthusiastic about our impending occu- 
pancy of the cottage. She moved restlessly here and there, 
attended by the enormous pink puarka, reminding us of 
some one trying to force an objectionable relative into society. 
She has been a beauty, this old aristocrat of Nuka-Hiva, and 
most persons might envy her straight features and beautiful 
eyes. She wears the old-time tattooing on face and hands, 
the latter looking as if blue-lace mitted. The Marquesans 
were famed for the fineness of their tattooing. 

The language of smiles is efficacious here as in Hawaii 
more so, in fact, for these Marquesans are far less sophisti- 
cated folk than the Hawaiians. 

Walking from the little wharf to the store to-day 
on first landing, we passed a building where half-naked 
natives and Scandinavian sailors from the bark were chop- 
ping copra (the dried meat of the cocoanut) with spades, 
preparatory to sacking it for export. Other natives, brawny 
fellows wearing only a red and white loin-cloth (pareu), 
carried the filled bags out through the surf to a lighter which 
was towed to the bark by her small boat. The men, chopping 


on -tlie'fiooi* of 'the 'dark' room piled high behind them with 
the copra, composed a striking picture. Fair sailors and 
dark natives, all shining with sweat, they bent to the work, 
and we would catch curious tattooed faces with savage 
features, peering from out the gloom at the strangers. We 
fell in with the captain of the bark while we were looking on, 
and he explained the work. 

We were immediately struck, upon landing, with an 
ominous narrowness of chest and stoop of shoulders among the 
natives, only a few showing any robustness. And the ex- 
planation came from moment to moment in a dreadful cough- 
ing that racks the doomed wretches. The little that is left 
of the race is perishing and it is not a pretty process. The 
men and women are victims of asthma, phthisis, and the sad 
"galloping" consumption that lays a man in two months or 
less to say nothing of other and unnameable curses of dis- 
ease that "civilisation" has brought. And as for children- 
there are very few born any more. A handful of years have 
made a fearful change in the Marquesas, the islanders going 
down before disease so rapidly that to-day, for instance, only 
nineteen able-bodied men can be mustered in Taiohae for 
ship-loading. It is only the infusion of outlander blood that 
holds the fading population at all. 

The women wear the holoku of Hawaii in Marquesan 
eueu, in English Mother-Hubbard the men being variously 
habited in overalls with bright striped net shirts, or merely 
in the pareu, a large square of red, or blue, blotched with 
bizarre designs in white or yellow an English importation. 
Everybody, of all ages and both sexes, smokes cigarettes of 
strong native tobacco rolled in a spiral of dried leaf, or 
bamboo strip, or cane. The women are disappointing as to 
looks; but we have to remember that it is a far cry to the 
days of Herman Melville, who spoke of the Marquesan race 
as being the handsomest and fairest of the South Sea 
islanders that the women would compare favourably with 
"the beauties of Europe." We had a glimpse of the hus- 
band of the old care-taker, and he, too, has the fine straight 





nose, well-sculptured mouth, with large and well-set eyes, and 
the marvellous tattooing. Mr. Kreiech vouches for the pair 
as being of the purest Marquesan aristocracy. 

Taiohae, Sunday, December 8, 1907. 

Owing to the requisite delicacy in handling the old couple, 
we were obliged to sleep aboard again last night, and with 
our men returning from the shore at all hours there was not 
much sleep. It was quite novel, for once, for Jack and me 
to be alone together on the Snark. We spread a mattress 
on deck and lay on our backs looking up at the sparkling 
stars and a thin new moon that trembled on the edge of the 
sky. The warm tide rippled along the sides of the boat, the 
surf droned soothingly in the distance, and the balmy air was 
filled with drifting scents of flowers and cocoanuts. My 
thrumming ukulele fretted the wild kids, and their drowsy 
plaints came down from the steeps. Then the whole firma- 
ment was blotted out with sudden clouds and the face of the 
tropic night completely changed. I went below; but Jack 
chanced it in the life-boat cover, and later on I found him 
fast asleep in a pool of rainwater. 

Once up this morning and the cobwebs brushed out of my 
brain, I was glad of another morning afloat in the incom- 
parable harbour. We were lucky enough to arrive in time 
for a very important event in Marquesan circles. One 
Taiara Tamarii, a part-Hawaiian part-Marquesan familiarly 
called Tomi, was to hold a great feast commemorating the 
first anniversary of his mother 's death. On such occasion, 
an important ceremony is to erect a cross upon the grave. 
But over against this pious symbol, the feature of rarest in- 
terest is a procession of the natives bringing in roasted pigs 
for the feast, imitating the days not so far gone when success- 
ful warriors returned with the bodies of their vanquished 

The host himself, the huge and burly Tomi, was waiting 
when we went ashore, together with Mr. Kreiech and Mr. 


Rahling and the captain of the bark. We strolled along the 
wide green beach road (if road it can be called where never 
rolls a wheel), past Mrs. Fisher's picturesque tumble-down 
cottage, on up a gently rising stony trail, over brooks and by 
scattered grass houses built on ancient pae-paes described by 
Melville high platforms of stones laid by dead and gone 
Marquesans. The natives of to-day have neither the am- 
bition nor strength to pile such masonry, and so they squat 
upon the stages of their forefathers. 

Now and again we were overtaken by hurrying natives who 
had some part to perform in the festivities or who were 
carrying articles for the feast. One wild-eyed, strapping 
young woman, reckless with drink that she had obtained 
somehow, attracted our attention by her exasperated attempts 
to pick up a battered accordion that kept dropping out of 
her bundle. Although she fell repeatedly, any offer of help 
was fiercely resisted. 

We passed one hut before which lay spread a half-dozen 
roasted porkers, done to a turn and awaiting transportation 
to the house of Tomi. Finally we came within hearing of a 
barbaric rhythmic harangue in a woman's high strong voice, 
and were told it was a chant of welcome, the burden being 
that the occasion was made perfect by our presence. Fol- 
lowing the wild sound, we turned, full of tingling curiosity, 
into an enclosure containing a spic and span new cottage 
built above a high open basement. To the right, through 
the trees, we could see the welcoming chantress a swarthy, 
elderly creature with a certain lean, savage beauty, ham-wise 
upon a corner of a noble pae-pae that supported a grass hut. 
We were made very much at home by Tomi and his family, 
who received us in a half-shy, affectionate way. His wife 
had a refined, well-featured face, while his youngest daugh- 
ter, a girl of twelve or thirteen, was a veritable beauty of 
any time or place. 

We were soon out of doors again, seeing what we could 
see. Martin and I worked our cameras energetically, for 
never was there such incentive. Behind the house was a 


long arbour of freshly plaited palms, under which, upon the 
ground spread with leaves, the natives were to eat their 
puarka and poi-poi. There were mighty wooden bowls of 
this poi-poi, which is a thick and nutritive paste made from 
breadfruit, instead of from taro as in Hawaii. Breadfruit 
poi-poi is buried in the ground for an indefinite period, that 
used on this occasion having been entombed for years. I 
surreptitiously poked my finger into one grey mess in a huge 
hand-hewn calabash, but I did not like the taste so well as 
the taro poi. 

Scores of merrymakers moved or sat about the grounds, 
women gossiping in groups and inhaling endless numbers of 
cigarettes of the acrid native tobacco, naked pickaninnies 
tumbling in the grass or sucking sections of fresh young 
cocoanut, while to and fro stalked Tomi's brothers carrying 
more calabashes of kao-kao (food) on their polished shoulders 
magnificent brown savages girdled in scarlet, and over 
these bright cinctures ordinary leather belts in the backs of 
which were stuck murderous knives. 

Altogether fourteen huge cocoanut-fed hogs had been 
roasted whole in the ground among hot stones. These hogs 
were laid, four or five at a time, in a savoury row near the 
arbour. Tomi's brethren drew their long knives with a 
flourish and fell to carving the steaming meat, meanwhile 
surrounded by yearning, sniffing dogs of all mongrel breeds 
under heaven. As soon as one lot was carved, another lot 
was brought. The two biggest brothers willingly posed for 
us, once bearing a greasy pig on a pole between them, and 
again with the great wooden bowls of calabashes upon their 
glistening shoulders. 

There was a sudden alarming change in the music. We 
ran to the front of the house, not to miss anything, where an 
old woman was loudly mouthing a rude and protracted cry 
that was much too sinister and menacing to be pretty, and 
made creepy sensations down one's spine. There were 
answering warlike cries in men's voices from a distance 
among the trees. The exchanging calls, like tom-toms and 


war-drums, split the calm air ; weird and ghastly questionings 
seemed to be in the voices of the women, and incommunicable 
horrors of suggestion in the resounding replies from unseen 
bearers of victorious burdens. 

It was not a long procession that wound into view through 
the palms and twisted burao trees and past us to the rear of 
the house; but it was led by a king's son, and as the slow, 
ominous double-file came on, he repeatedly turned to it with 
exhorting vociferations that called forth a howling clamour 
of assent to some ungodly proposition. The men carried 
long leaf -swathed bundles, each bundle slung high on bamboo 
poles between two bearers. It was comforting to be assured 
that the packages were only pig wrapped to resemble long-pig 
which term is too mortuarily obvious to need explanation. 
But the actors in the tragedy entered with such zest and lack 
of shame into the spirit of the seeming, that we were led to 
speculate upon how many years, if left to themselves, it would 
take them to lapse into their old habits of appetite. I hate 
to spoil the vivid, savage picture ; but the anachronisms were 
too funny to leave out. For instance, one man sported a top 
hat above a tattered rag of a calico shirt ; several wore ludi- 
crous derbys of the low-crowned "Weary Willie" variety, 
and the king's son (who, by the way, was none other than 
the man who wanted a dollar a bunch for bananas the day 
before), shone in decent ducks and a native straw hat. But 
we had to be satisfied, our willing imaginations eliminating 
the comedy and grasping the beauty of the entirety of the 
scene, while Tomi's brawny half -nude brothers, carrying the 
biggest bundle of leaf -wrapped flesh, made up for any dis- 
crepancies. In spite of the anachronisms in costume, there 
was a tremendous sense of unreality about the whole pro- 

Upon the instant the procession appeared, several old 
vahines began jumping stiffly up and down like electrified 
mummies, their arms held rigidly to their shrivelled sides 
after the manner of the "jumping widows" described by 
Melville and emitting the most remarkable noises that ever 


came from human throats. This they kept up during the 
passing of the procession, and it seemed that their function 
was to announce the readiness of the feast not to spoil the 
appetites of the guests, as a fastidious diner might have 

But no epicure, however outraged, could have quarrelled 
with the collation to which we were bidden. There was but 
one disappointment to our sorrow we were specially 
honoured by eating in the house, at a table, with all the im- 
plements of an effete civilisation. We bowed to the inevi- 
table, but with secret rebellion in view of that palmy banquet 
outside on the ground. 

Our dinner was course-served by the cook himself, a slim 
Marquesan, and he certainly was a chef to remember. We 
had fresh-water shrimps, big fellows tasting like New Eng- 
land lobster; wild chicken (descended from the domestic 
ones brought by old-time ships) boiled in milk squeezed from 
the meat of cocoanuts, and delicately flavoured with native 
curry and other spices ; roast sucking-pig, as fine and white as 
spring fowl; for salad, they gave us water-cress, crisp and 
succulent ; and there were potatoes, real Irish potatoes, come 
all the way from San Francisco via Tahiti, French-fried and 
with a flavour of homesickness. We were not served with 
poi-poi, but our old favourite the taro was there, to my utter 
gratification. Absinthe was passed around before eating, and 
California wine, white and red, flowed during the meal, fol- 
lowed by a sweet French champagne. 

Mrs. Fisher and I were the only women at the board; 
while outside on the veranda, in fine white eueus, with their 
black locks flower-crowned, the more pampered of the native 
women had their goodies, unavoidably reminding one of a 
dusky harem. Now that I am having a chance to observe, I 
think one might discover more beauty among the women 
here were it not for the shocking manner in which they wear 
their hair, white women as well as natives brushed straight 
back from the forehead and hanging in a braid behind. 
Such a fashion is trying to the most lovely face. 


We were a long time at table, during which there was op- 
portunity to study the heterogeneous company from the 
head of the board. On my right, next to Jack, came Mrs. 
Fisher, then Captain Warren and Martin, by whom sat the 
ship-carpenter from the bark, a huge grizzled Scandinavian 
with bearded mouth and dull and introspective eye a Viking 
in size and form, but with all the fire gone out. At the foot 
of the table was the captain of the bark, a man with nose 
and mouth that deserved better eyes for company, a nose 
severely Greek, a mouth sensuously so, but the eyes just 
ordinary Scandinavian blue eyes, set too near together and 
remarkable for nothing but their insignificance. On my left, 
next Mr. Kreiech, our diffident host, Tomi, sat beside one of 
his eight brothers, and next following was old Mr. Goeltz, 
father of Mrs. Fisher. The mate of the bark, a medium sized 
young fellow with a homely, amorous face, came next to Mr. 
Bahling, who completed the circle. 

Dinner was diversified by considerable exercise, for we 
must run to the windows to see the hula-hulas of the natives, 
who would nearly kill themselves laughing at the untrans- 
latable sentiments of the songs. These were accompanied, of 
all things, by an accordion, that had a habit of sighing pro- 
foundly at the end of each stanza. Then there was much 
mirth and banter over the swift sneakings for home of certain 
men carrying large portions of puarka. It is the custom 
that each guest may take home whatever of his allotment of 
meat he does not consume on the spot. One furtive kanaka 
trying to get away unobserved with what looked to be a 
whole hog in two sections slung each on the end of a bamboo 
pole, was detected and hooted out of sight. We were told 
that this man always departed early with all he could lay his 
hands on. 

It was a wild afternoon that followed, dance upon dance, 
until it became an orgy. The hula-hula here is largely 
Tahitian, and is faster and briefer and less graceful than 
the Hawaiian hula, while the music has not the charm of the 
Hawaiian. In fact, we heard only one air to-day, played on 


the accordion; and the only virtue it had was that it made 
the men and women dance. Everybody danced, everybody 
applauded. Even I had to join in a waltz with the two 
captains, much to the amusement of the natives. Sailors 
from the bark shook a leg or so to keep the fun boiling. At 
the height of the prevalent madness, the old bow-shouldered 
Viking, who had been gazing heavy -lidded and vacuously at 
the scene with an idiotic expression on his pendant lip, 
without warning sprang up like a monster marionette, and 
crashed into the middle of the suffering floor in a mighty 
hornpipe. Pandemonium broke loose, everybody yelled and 
screeched with delight, until the giant was suddenly smitten 
self-conscious and dropped foolishly into his chair ; but later, 
when Martin, who was having the time of his life, took a 
whirl in the hula-hula (with great credit to himself), the 
old man could not hold still any longer. After wiggling his 
great feet for a little while, he essayed another hornpipe, and 
wound up in an angular hula-hula that brought tears to our 
eyes. I know I never laughed so in my life. The clutter 
of dogs in the house greatly enhanced the orgaic spirit of 
things. Jack and I sat dangling our feet from the high 
window-sill, and wondered if we knew where we were this 

The windows opening on the porches were crowded with 
shining dark heads wreathed in white flowers, and when I 
begged for a wreath I was soon crowned with a fragrant 
circlet of tube-roses, or such they most nearly resembled, 
twined with glossy green leaves. 

But to the natives the most deeply significant event was 
the photographing of Tomi and his family before the impos- 
ing white-painted, black-decorated wooden vault entombing 
the dead mother, with the new cross planted in front. It is 
nothing out of the way here to inter the dead in the house- 
enclosure. Martin posed the group and took the picture, but 
there was difficulty in getting all the subjects to look serious 
at the same time. Tomi wore not the ghost of a smile, not he ; 
he knew what was what. But the majority of the long line 


of relatives signally failed in gravity, with disastrous results. 

While this was going on, the old ship-carpenter awoke 
once more from his lethargy and tried to dance with the 
women; but he was evidently not accustomed to handling 
anything so fragile, and they refused to dance more than once 
with an uncouth giant who stupidly bruised their wrists. 

We were somewhat delayed in our farewells by Martin, who 
at the last moment engaged in a particularly brilliant hula- 
hula with half a dozen of the men. At length he was torn 
unwillingly away and preceded us down the rocky path- 
way, a Bacchanalian tilt to his leafy coronet, a shoe in either 
hand to rest his feet, and a worshipful vahine on each arm. 
Jack also carried his shoes, which he had taken off as soon as 
he reached Tomi's. I kept mine on, although I was not en- 
tirely happy; but the stones were many and sharp and I 
considered I was choosing the lesser torture. The homeward 
walk included many stops and rests, and it was an intense 
relief to strike the soft green turf of the main road. This 
lovely thoroughfare is called the Broom Road, after the drive- 
way so-named in Tahiti. Mrs. Fisher says " Broom Road" 
means a road which many feet have brushed in passing. 
That woman bids fair to be a mine of interest and informa- 
tion, and we are congratulating ourselves upon having her 
take us to board, especially as she is the only one here who 
can or will do this. 

We are going to be very happy in our independent fashion 
in this clean little house with its big living-room and closet, 
an ample veranda for sleeping and working, and best of all 
a concrete bathing place out-of-doors under a shed connected 
with our side door. There is room in the house for the 
Victor and all its records, and word of the talking machine 
has already gone forth so that there are many peepers through 
our vine-clad fence. 

Monday, December 9, 1907. 

We slept eight unbroken, dreamless hours last night in 
makeshift beds on the porch at least I did ; Jack never sleeps 


without fantastic dreaming. The quiet did not disturb us in 
the least. We were lulled by the musical purr of the little 
surf only a few rods away, and the patter of warm raindrops 
on the banana leaves in our garden. But just as we were 
losing consciousness, the soft night-sounds were rent by a 
chorus of Gargantuan laughter horrible, raucous, as from 
the throats of insane Titans. The splintered turrets of the 
mountains fairly reverberated to the astonishing orgy of 
noise. This morning we learned that the goblin chorus had 
issued unaided from the throat of a diminutive and entirely 
amiable jackass that grazes untethered about the village. 

The air of Nuka-Hiva is pure and sweet, with frequent 
showers that cool it deliciously and it is certainly warm; 
but perspire as one may, there is no great discomfort if one 
dresses sensibly. I am going to wear kimonos and my 
Hawaiian holokus, without strictures of any sort in the way 
of belt or sash. 

It 's early to bed and up early in this tropic Elysium, with 
dejeuner about ten and dinner somewhere around five. 
There are no stated hours for any functions of living. So 
before seven this matchless morning I sat me down in the 
long grass under a giant-leaved banana tree, with a pan of 
golden-rosy mangoes and a sharp knife, and plunged into the 
preparation of a luscious breakfast. Plunged is an excellent 
word, although dived might be better, for one cannot dally 
with the gracious mango without getting pretty well up to 
the elbows in its squashy ambrosia. I shall not tell how many 
mangoes Jack ate, nor how many oranges, nor how much 
lemonade he drank in addition. Such oranges ! Except for 
seedlessness, the finest California oranges are no better. 

While Jack wrote at a table in the middle of the big room, 
I fussed about making the cottage homelike with our be- 
longings, Nakata watching me out of the corners of his eyes 
to learn points about housekeeping, the while he unpacked 
and furbished our saddlery ; and the sight of the comfortable 
pigskin Australian models made me smile at the memory of 
Mr. Rahling's pained look when I declined his kind offer of a 


side-saddle on a ride that Mr. Kreiech suggested for the after- 
noon. No comment was made; but methinks I am about to 
learn that the dusky women of this green isle are still in the 
clutch of the feudal ages. 

At ten, Jack and I, both in kimonos, under a pongee para- 
sol, strolled up the green boulevard, and the cut of our 
garments caused much whispering and giggling among the 
loafers as we passed. Whatever Mrs. Fisher may have 
thought, she kept it to herself, and went cosily about the 
laying of a small table in her cool front room. But we pro- 
tested vigorously when we found she had not planned to sit 
with us, for we were looking forward to talking with her. 
We had our way in the end; and while we stowed away a 
meal that was an earnest of our being well looked after by her, 
Mrs. Fisher told us vividly of her life. She has been in the 
South Seas for thirty years, although born in San Francisco 
of German and English parents. She married in Tahiti at 
fifteen, and, besides most of her eleven children, she has 
buried husband and mother. Being a keen observer, with 
strange things to observe, she is ripe with knowledge of the 
islands and their inhabitants, both white and brown. Weird 
were some of her tales of both colours. In spite of a life 
of unusual trouble and hardship, she is wonderfully young 
looking. She has a striking profile and carriage, her rather 
austere expression relieved by a pair of irresistible dimples 
when she smiles. 

By noon we were in the saddle. Our horses were small 
black stallions, full of mischief from lack of exercise com- 
bined with natural cussedness. I was unwarned, and mine 
began by variously rearing and kicking all over the road, with 
sudden shying slides down the banks to the beach, and wild 
leaping runs over precarious foot-bridges that spanned nasty 
gullies. Thank goodness he did not know how to buck. It 
was about the only thing he did not do, however, to get me 
off ; but I managed to stick, and at length he decided that he 
wanted to follow the party. We fell into line, a small but 


turbulent cavalcade, horses snorting, neighing, kicking, fight- 
ing, but sure-footed as goats, and gentle of gait when they 
chose to have any gait. I have read of the surety of these 
Marquesan ponies, but the writers neglected to mention their 
beauty. The original stock came over from Chili, and has 
bred true in form and spirit, though not in size. They are 
firm bodied, shapely beasts, with slender legs, small trim 
hoofs, fine coats, and beautiful heads. They are also hardy, 
although they do not know hay and grain, and are merely 
turned out to forage in the jungle. 

The object of our ride was to inspect an ancient god that 
is doomed to voyage over-seas in the black hold of the Nor- 
wegian bark, provided a way can be devised to transport it 
through the intricate jungle. Our trail lay northeast, and 
imagine my delight when they said this was the way to 
Typee, and that to-morrow we should start out on the same 
path to the fabulous valley. I was too busy at first with my 
India-rubber steed to appreciate our surroundings; but 
presently he grew weary of tearing up the landscape to over- 
take that merciless rider, the Norwegian captain, and I was 
able to look about. On either side of the trail, as far as eye 
could penetrate, were the splendid ruins of ancient pae-paes 
terraced up the hillsides in tangled jungle of blossoming 
burao that strewed the earth with brown and golden bells. 
(This is the same tree as the hau of Hawaii.) Some of the 
nearer stone platforms carried most picturesque little grass 
huts ; but we saw very few natives, probably because there are 
very few left to see. It is mournful, all this grandeur of 
wasted masonry, left in solitude by a wasted race. 

But it was a lightsome forest, for all its old associations. 
Sometimes we rode in a mist of golden silk-cotton growing on 
a tree that is like a delicate drawing of straight lines and 
right angles, with scant and lacy foliage and bursting pods 
of cotton depending from its cane-like branches. Among the 
burao trees we also saw the lauhala of Hawaii, which is like- 
wise used here for hat-plaiting and basketry. There is a 


lack of wild-flowers in Nuka-Hiva; indeed, almost the only 
flowers we saw were those of the ~burao, and the flame- 
coloured flags of the flamboyants tree. 

We tied our now submissive horses a mile or so up the trail, 
and plunged on foot into the denser woods and up among a 
world of moss-grown pae-paes. The stillness was intense, a 
waiting solitude that made one listen and look for the unex- 
pected. You could fancy faces and contorted limbs in every 
gnarled burao, or shadowy forms crouched along fallen 
mossy trunks; and it seemed sacrilege to tread the springy 
undergrowth, for surely it had risen from the dust of 
forgotten Druids. There was a mute sacredness in the forest 
that was in no wise destroyed when, after a panting climb, we 
came in sight of the ungodly idol that we sought, leaning 
moss-clothed and isolate against an old and broken tree. 
And the god was a goddess, after all Tataura, the rotund 
deity of fecundity, to whom childless brown women prayed 
in the long ago. 

Our dream was broken when the German trader and the 
soulless Norwegian captain fell to wrangling over ways and 
means for transporting the quaint image to the beach, and 
stuck their iconoclastic knives into the soft red stone to see 
whether it might not be of a consistency for sawing to 
advantage. We glimpsed a stealthy brown figure, almost 
naked, lurking near, watching the intruders into his ancestral 
wood, in his eyes a blending of modern agnosticism and the 
superstition of yesterday, with a tinge of suspicion and regret. 
Jack and I left the two white men haggling over the fallen 
immortal, its almost obliterated heathen face seeming to grin 
sarcastically. -We wandered down through the twisted 
temple of out-doors, touched by the romantic hillside where 
once lived a laughing, careless people, beautiful to look upon 
and dwelling in amity and abundance when they were not 
out besieging or being besieged by the dwellers of other hill- 
sides and valleys. 

The two men overtook us down the trail, and on the way 


home we turned off to visit a mineral spring that supplies 
irreproachable drinking water to the fastidious in Taiohae. 
Our caretakers are to keep us with full jars at the cottage. 
The captain forged ahead and tore through the trees, I close 
after, supposing he knew what he was doing and he did, 
but it was not the right thing to do. I followed him over a 
place that I would have disliked to attempt on foot. He 
forced his poor horse down the boulders with savage un- 
scrupulousness, and it was too late for me to withdraw, 
although my doughty little stallion tried to recover on the 
brink. I was angry, and took pains to explain the situation 
to Mr. Kreiech when he came up on foot, having tied his 
horse somewhere like a sane man. Jack had been drawn 
over that boulder as I had been, and neither of us wanted 
Mr. Kreiech to think we were accustomed to abusing horses. 
Of course we had to claw out the way we descended, for 
there was no other way. 

At the spring, the water of which had a pleasant mineral 
tang, we were treated also to a draught from cocoanuts which 
a native opened with his long knife. These Marquesan cocoa- 
nuts are much superior to the Hawaiian ones in sweetness 
and richness of water and meat. They are picked young and 
full of the delicate-flavoured water, and the delicious meat 
is soft enough to eat with a spoon. 

On the home stretch the irrepressible Norwegian raised 
general havoc in our ranks by wickedly whooping by down- 
hill, and Jack's small stallion promptly bolted. Mine took 
after him in turn, and I could only trust to his tiny nimble 
feet, for there was no checking him. So I made the most of 
the mad descent, which was exhilarating if risky. By the 
time we drew up at Mrs. Fisher's at the foot of the hill, Jack's 
saddle was on his horse's neck, and it was a mercy the horse 
was not overbalanced to a fall. 

. . . Such an appetite ! And what a dinner ! Mrs. Fisher 
has engaged as cook the man who set the feast at Tomi 's yes- 
terday, and he seasons his dishes most toothsomely. There is 


a combination of fine French cuisine and native cookery that 
keeps us hungry to the end and looking forward to the next 

We asked Mrs. Fisher and her household down to hear the 
phonograph in the evening, and passed the word along to 
others as we leisured on foot back to the old clubhouse. 
They turned out in force, flocking to our garden with smiles 
and bashful laughter, then disposing themselves here and 
there, sitting or standing around on the grass inside the gate, 
as well as on the broad green beyond, while some crowded on 
the porch where Jack was working the Victor. The women 
were nearly all in white, the men in ordinary suits of white 
duck or blue drilling, or in brilliant pareus. I wore a holoku, 
which pleased the women ; and I went among them and tried 
to make them feel at ease, for they were very diffident with 
me at first. I, too, sat in the grass, laughing with them and 
trying to learn their words one, in particular, maitai, mean- 
ing good, being worked most successfully in a hundred con- 
notations. And they in turn put fragrant wreaths of rich 
white flowers about my neck and upon my head, patting my 
hands and smiling appreciatively like lovable children. 
Poor things! Over and under and all about their mirth- 
making is the coughing, coughing, a running accompaniment 
to everything they do; and they continually soothe their 
racked lungs with the strong native tobacco. 

Roaming among our guests outside the gate, I found lying 
under a flamboyante tree in the moonlight an old Corsican 
beachcomber with white hair and beard. He would not come 
inside, indicating that he could enjoy the music better where 
he was. How did he happen to come to this place, and, more 
remarkable, why did he stay on ? I wonder what his thoughts 
were, listening to music from the outer world, there in the 
short grass under the flamboyante tree in the moonshine. 
Some one has whispered leprosy. This may explain him. 

The men proved better listeners than the women, who, 
after their first curiosity about the "man in the box" had 
worn off, fell to chattering, chattering, till even Sousa 's baton 


could not command clamour enough to drown them. Once 
in a while some kanaka, interrupted in his own racket by the 
superior clatter of the vahines, by hissing loudly restored a 
brief general silence. 

And all the time, out on the bay, fairy-like in the moon- 
shine floated the quaint old grey bark with her painted ports, 
and the tiny white-speck boat that brought us to this lovely 
isle four thousand miles to cover a twenty-one hundred mile 
course. But she did it ! she did it ! And there she lies these 
pleasant days, resting until she is called upon to bear us on 
over the purple seas, through the pearl lagoons of the Dan- 
gerous Archipelago, to Tahiti Papeete, the " Paris of the 
Pacific/' on, on, endlessly, the receding horizon our goal. It 
is all wonderful and unreal, here in the midst of it ; and my 
heart is full of marvel at the beauty of life, my life, although 
at my pitying feet in the grass the poor fading creatures of 
this fair land lie coughing their lives away, pathetic aliens 
of no true race, waifs of the drift of many and incongruous 

Against our door-post an old tattooed savage leans, squat- 
ting on the floor, his eyes dumbly agog at the talking-machine ; 
in front of him, chin in hands, sits a degenerate of French- 
Marquesan stock, with a fine and delicate face marred by a 
look of concentrated foolishness in the great brown eyes. 
Mrs. Fisher sits straight and white and still, eyes fixed and 
far-dreaming, while on her long-tried knees sleeps a grand- 
child. And woven into the picture is a score or so of dogs, 
more oddly-bred than the people who tolerate them and cuff 
them by turns. Some departed Great Dane has left his 
gold-striped coat stretched upon many a strange frame, and 
the lineaments of a pug-dog mock at one from the shoulders 
of a hound sans pedigree. 

... At a little after ten we told our friends "pan," which 
is current here as in Hawaii to express the end, the finish, 
and, to the blare of La Marseillaise, the men and women 
trooped away singing. 

Then a great black cloud rose from behind the mountain 


and covered the moon ; and in the darkness we found the way 
under our lacy canopies of mosquito netting, and drowsed off 
to the staccato of big rain-drops on giant banana-leaves, to 
dream of Typee Vai on the morrow. 

December 10, 1907. 

The plan had been to get away at five for Typee, but when 
that birdlike hour dawned it seemed that Jack and I were 
the only ones who had taken it seriously. No one else had 
made any preparation. We got away at half -past ten. But 
it did not matter nothing matters in this leisure-land. 

There were six besides ourselves Captain Warren, Mar- 
tin, and the Norwegian skipper with two native girls he had 
asked to bring. And last, and very important, was Nikko, 
an Easter Islander whom Jack had engaged as guide. The 
Norwegian had offered, as he had once before made the trip ; 
but we preferred a resident of Nuka-Hiva, and Nikko knows 
his adoptive island thoroughly. 

With my husband's entire approval I had concluded, in 
view of a hard ride through all sorts of country on a skittish 
horse, to discard skirts altogether; so I sallied forth booted 
and spurred and in khaki riding breeks of course to find the 
native girls, arrayed in voluminous eueus, lounging in roomy 
side-saddles. Take my word for it that they betrayed more 
surprise and disapproval than I did. 

The bark captain had the ride very much to himself, 
because he was the only one who had no consideration for a 
horse, albeit his was a fine animal, borrowed at that, from one 
of the women. The rest of us struck a humane pace and 
stuck to it, while he raced over the rocks regardless of rise 
or declivity, his poor brute dripping rivers and quivering 
with exhaustion. 

I rode my little stallion Jacques, and Jack's mount was a 
sure-footed 1 1 buckskin ' ' gelding. Martin, had he but thought 
of it, might have assisted his tiny bay mare with his own 
long legs, for they could easily touch the ground. But Cap- 
tain Warren's close-knit figure just suited the stocky, wicked 


little stallion that had been allotted him. It set its will 
against his at the start, but the stern- jawed mariner prevailed 
through a course of cajolery, heeling, and thrashing. Jack 
and I laughed ourselves weak during the first half hour. 

The morning was fresh and sparkling, but the sun, touch- 
ing the purple peak-tips with gilt, soon let loose its whole 
golden flood into the valley, and we were glad of a cool breeze 
to the summit. Such a gallery of incomparable pictures! 
First, the beach with its frilly surf, the vessels rocking in the 
wind-crisped water beyond, and yet beyond the blue flashing 
sea. Then the coloured palisades about the bay, sprayed with 
rainbows from little waterfalls born of a night's rain. On 
the landward side we were greeted by palm-vignetted sketches 
here a warm-brown grass hut with its warm-brown dwellers 
smiling kaoha to us as we swept by; or the old grey- white 
mission with its peaceful garden where a cowled priest tended 
his flowers ; and we passed the ha'e (house) of the dead Queen 
Vaeheku, spacious and imposing by contrast with the dwell- 
ings along the Broom Road. Then we plunged into the 
wooded trail where opened ferny vistas and the golden cotton 
brushed our faces with morning dew. It was familiar going 
for a time, with a memory of the forsaken red goddess in the 
enchanted forest; but presently we were beyond our ken 
and following our guide up-mountain a mile behind the 
flying Norseman and his unfortunate charger. 

We crossed shady streams and drank deep while the horses 
breathed, and ever we fought our way up, until we came out 
upon a rocky ridge and turned to look back upon one of the 
loveliest visions in the world. Such green, such unbroken 
emerald verdure the valley a great round green-lined nest, 
dotted with feather of cocoanut ; with little white birds, two 
by two, floating dreamily in the void. The sides of the nest, 
the wonderful mountains, shimmered in a tinted mist, and 
far down in the silver horse-shoe of the bay the boats lay 
tiny and toy-like. As in a chart spread out before us, we saw 
the twin Sentinels, and lying mistily on the horizon the 
violet islands of Uapo and Hiva-oa ''Yonder Far." We 


could even glimpse the ragged edges of the western wall of 
Comptroller Bay. This reminded us of our objective, and 
we turned once more to the ascent. Just as the encircling 
walls of the valley below looked too diaphanous to be real 
in the blowing blue vapours, so even the perpendicular cliffs 
close at hand looked unreal. This magic atmosphere idealises 
everything, far and near. 

Our last pull out of Taiohae Valley was on a zigzag trail, 
some sections of which were narrow and steep enough to re- 
call the Molokai pali, and we rested the horses frequently and 
enjoyed the ever-widening panorama growing beneath. 
Much of the trail was smothered in a slender though sturdy 
cane-growth, and we were warned not to cut ourselves on the 
green blades. This must be the cane that so discouraged Mel- 
ville and Toby in their flight from the Dolly. The bank on 
the upper side was mossy and a-wave with familiar ferns, one 
variety resembling the stag-horn of Maui in Hawaii, al- 
though without its vicious thorny attributes. We saw a ripe 
guava, just one, and that was hollowed out by bird or rat. 
There was an abundance of guava-scrub, but the fruit season 
is young. On the top of a bank level with our eyes, we found 
a Liliputian wild passion vine bearing the most fragile 
lavender blossoms, miniatures of those we know at home. 

The whole land was solidly green, valleys and glens, moun- 
tainsides and summits, broken only by chance scarry cliffs 
upon the bald faces of which clung desperate contorted palms. 

We peered ghoulishly at a huge rocky funeral-crag near 
the divide, where corpses, embalmed so that even the eyeballs 
remain intact, are said to be hidden. Shall I ever be able to 
explore such a place ? I let my opportunity slip at. Keala- 
kekua Bay, Hawaii (where Captain Cook died), because they 
said the sun was too hot for me to climb the face of the tomb- 
honeycombed cliff. And there's not the ghost of a chance 
on Nuka-Hiva. It has been tried, with most unsatisfactory 
results, by some of the white residents here in times gone by. 
They could not get even a whiff, so to say, of their loathsome 
quarry. The native carrying their camping things became 


suspicious, found some significant tools in the outfit, and re- 
fused flatly to have anything to do with the expedition. And 
of course he didn't keep still about his find; so that ever 
since it has been considered unhealthful by the whites to 
make any attempt to scale the frowning monument. 

We now emerged upon more or less of a table-land, and 
galloped along high breezy ridges from which fell away on 
either hand a world of hills and wild fruitful valleys ; while 
ahead, beyond the last ridge, rose the farther wall of Typee. 
A little way on we discovered that we were at the very head 
of Hapaa Valley, whose inhabitants were the fiercest enemies 
of the Typeans in Melville's time. To-day the green gloom 
of the deep pocket is unbroken by hut or smoke or human 
form. Not one man is left to point out past glory of con- 
quest nor triumphant feast of pale, grim long-pig. Melville 
spelled it Happar, and the spelling of Typee should rightly 
be Taipi; but Typee it will always remain for the wander- 

To make our travelling more perfect, the sky had some- 
what overcast, and just enough sun broke through at inter- 
vals to throw lavish swaths of light and shadow across the 
tremendous landscape, while we went in cool comfort. 

When Nikko pointed out the head of Typee Vai far to our 
left, my sensations were all I could wish. There in the midst 
of stern mountain bulks, black in the shadow, just where the 
deserters sixty years ago perilously let themselves down into 
the valley, was the waterfall described by Melville a dis- 
tant shaft of purest white, still as a pillar of marble. And 
very likely the long, embowered pathway down which we 
gained the floor of the valley is the very one by which Toby 
escaped from the man-eating tribe. 

Near the head of the valley we could see the white welt of 
the trail to Hatiheu angling up ravines and erosions. One 
of our native girls came from Hatiheu, granddaughter of a 
chief, and part French. She is an indolent, insolent-eyed 
creature, and as neither she nor the other girl seemed in- 
clined to be sociable, we soon left them to themselves. 


The only other striking feature on the opposite wall of 
Typee was a sloping enclosure of several acres, overcrowded 
to bursting with breadfruit and cocoanut. The walls looked 
to be of piled stone, and we could not doubt that this was 
one of the walled groves made so much of by Melville. 

And the valley itself one cannot be surprised that its 
olden visitor thought it extraordinary and had no words to 
tell of its extreme loveliness. Deep in the heart of the moun- 
tains it rests, an inexpressible wilderness of greenest green, 
threaded by a beautiful river fed by cataracts at its magnifi- 
cent scowling head. The mountains of Nuka-Hiva are not 
very high, but have all the character of greater mountains 
and make grand effects among the shifting, tumbling cloud- 
masses. The length of Typee I should judge to be about 
seven or eight miles by two broad, and the valley opens into 
nothing less lovely than the bay of its own name, the mid- 
most of the three arms of Comptroller Bay. 

Melville saw much of Typee blossoming and fruiting 
abundantly under savage cultivation ; but I cannot think the 
general view is any less overwhelming in our day, with its 
mad riot of vegetation. It is when one walks in the old 
paths and comes close to Typee that the change hurts. It is 
as if a curse had fallen upon it spreading over it a choked 
jungle of burao, damp and unwholesome, on the edges of 
which, near the river, unkempt grass houses stand upon the 
lordly pae-paes of decayed affluence. 

And the people ! Where are the beautiful women and the 
splendid men who loved so sweetly in their happy land? 
Look for them you must for Fayaway and her maidens, 
clad in white tapa cloth; but what you see is a wretched 
thing dragging toward you in bedraggled calico, her face 
discoloured and blotched with leprosy, her very existence a 
shame to mankind and the sun. 

Melville estimated some two thousand warriors in Typee 
Vai; now there are perhaps a dozen vilely-bred men and 
women whose cross-strains alone have kept them alive, de- 
clining as they are in disease and misery. 

Human Hair Dancing Dress, Turtle Crown, and Old Men's Beards 

The Nature Man in Street Costume 


We unsaddled and tied our horses by an ancient stone 
enclosure, and Nikko carried the lunch down by the river. 
We came to our first case of elephantiasis in a hideously 
deformed young native with a face smacking strongly of 
Chinese. He brought us cocoanuts for our lunch, and for 
which we paid him. His feet were literally elephantine 
the leg swelled until the toes were no more conspicuous than 
those of an elephant. The man wore a deprecatory ex- 
pression, as if he would apologise for his unlovely exist- 

We were extremely annoyed, as we sat under the trees by 
the stream, by myriads of the diminutive black flies, called 
nau-nau (pronounced now-now), that have bothered us some- 
what in Taiohae. Mrs. Fisher had warned us against allow- 
ing them to sting us, as the bites, after lying dormant for 
days, almost invariably fester and continue to fester. She 
urged me to wear long sleeves and gloves. To-day the pests 
settled in clouds, getting into the food and robbing us of 
peace. Later on, when Jack and I took a swim in a pool of 
the river, which we tried to think was ' ' Fayaway 's lake, ' ' we 
were obliged to keep under water to escape the flies; and 
when poor Jack, going out first, essayed to dress on the bank, 
he was beset by such numbers that he was beside himself, 
and his language not at all pretty. I placidly treaded water 
and chaffed up at him from my comfortable seclusion. But 
he got back at me. When / tried to clothe myself, omitting 
all towelling for the sake of speed, the vengeful man stood 
by and made remarks when I went quite, quite mad in my 
efforts to get things on without imprisoning the clinging tor- 
mentors. Perhaps I deserved my punishment ; but he needn 't 
have been quite so mean ! 

After lunch I remembered my promise to myself that, once 
I was on the spot, I was going to people Typee Vai to suit 
my imagination. So I stole away up the hillside, past an 
immense pae-pae bearing a filthy hut, and struck a damp 
pathway that led into the burao thicket. I walked on and 
on, but the trail seemed to lead nowhere, so I gave up and 


retraced. This moist, unholy jungle has possessed the land. 
I saw nothing of special human interest except a big mossy 
stone that gazed dimly sphinx-like out of what may have once 
upon a time been pictured eyes. 

Baffled, I tried the up-river path. This was better 
really exquisite in fact. The way was smothered in sunny 
trees and shrubbery and the most alluring little pathlets 
tempted away from the riverside into a happy tangle of 
growing things. One could easily imagine a phantom Fay- 
away playing there at hide-and-seek. I saw a ripe warm 
orange lying under its tree, and pounced upon it, catching 
at the idea of having one golden apple out of the lost Eden. 
It was a capital orange, too, even if hot. There was another 
ruddy ball on the slender tree, but I let it hang. I wan- 
dered on in the steaming tropic air, under the blue flame 
of the noonday sky, and found the going fair and my dream 
good. The valley rang with bird-calls, although Melville 
made a point of the absence of birds, and they must have been 
imported later on along with the nau-nau! 

Jack was asleep under a tree upon my return. Before 
long we were in the saddle again, with only one horse-fight 
to mark our departure. After I had mounted, my coal- 
black steed rose to his full height per hind legs, and de- 
scended upon the mounted Scandinavian, raising a consider- 
able lump on the man's knee. Then we started back the 
way we had come, but, instead of crossing the river to the 
home-trail, kept to the left, galloping through a grove of 
the biggest banana trees we have ever seen. A scant hand- 
ful of natives peeped apishly at us from under the giant 
leaves. Climbing to a pass leading out of Typee, we gazed 
down upon the tan beach where Melville escaped to the 
ship 's boat. Two men were fishing in the river where it met 
the bay, and we caught the gleam of their silver quarry lying 
on the sand. 

Now came a joyful surprise. Typee had depressed us 
with its desolation; but here, the other side of a low hill, 
we dropped into a little vale that looked more as Typee 


must have in her hey-day. This was Hooumi Valley (pro- 
nounced Ho-o-oo-me). Melville never mentioned it in his 
book, and, since he was zealously guarded from approach- 
ing the mouth of his own valley, undoubtedly knew nothing 
of it. Still, judging from the accessibility and smallness of 
Hooumi, its people must have been counted among the 
Typeans, for such a small contingent could not have held 
out against the powerful valley proper. Melville probably 
saw the people of Hooumi among the others, and included 
them in his two-thousand estimate, while ignorant of their 
actual headquarters. 

It is a bit of aboriginal fairyland, this Hooumi. We 
raced along, following the windings of its blue stream, many 
a turn taking our breath away with the beauty it unrolled. 
The prospect was one of plenty, the " profitable trees, " 
breadfruit, bananas, cocoanuts and the like, growing pro- 
fusely on every hand. The breadfruit is magnificent, re- 
minding one of the jewelled trees in the story of Aladdin, 
for the very leaves, broad and indented, glisten like polished 
gems, while the large fruit, sometimes round, sometimes oval, 
is studded with emerald knobs. 

Once we rounded a broad bend, where a healthy, hearty 
savage, gleaming like copper in the westering flames, fished 
ankle-deep in pebbly shallows; again, we came upon a still 
elbow of the stream in which a perfect grass hut, with all its 
trees and background of wooded hill, was reflected ; or there 
flashed upon us a straight stretch of road, striped with tree- 
shadows, and opening up the lofty shoulder of a jagged 
crag, tipped with sungold; and once I drew up abruptly, 
having almost missed, in sheer enjoyment of my horse, one 
of the prettiest sights in the valley a particularly well pre- 
served pae-pae by the roadside, supporting a ruined grass 
house shaded by three plumy palms of varying heights and 
angles, and one justly proportioned breadfruit tree that 
laid its purple shadow distinctly upon the tessellated plat- 
form. A grass hut is the very quintessence of savage pic- 


We fetched up at the mouth of the valley in a little vil- 
lage of native huts and one small frame house built on a 
modern pae-pae in a grassy enclosure. It might have been 
more romantic for us to put up in native fashion; but we 
were quite willing to forego that pleasure and accept Nikko 's 
arrangements, what of our aversion to centipedes and such 
things although, if grass house it had been, well and good. 
One's lust for the outlandish chills somewhat in face of 
sharing bed and board with unpleasant crawling vermin of 
elongated aspect and with bites up their sleeves. 

Upon riding into the yard, Jack and I were entirely 
absorbed in a young man who moved about as one in posses- 
sion, without affectation, and with a dazzling smile in mouth 
and eyes whenever he met our gaze. His face was not hand- 
some, except as his ready smile made it so ; it was the body 
of him that stayed the eye with its complete symmetry of 
line and proportion. And more than beauty of form was 
the carriage of it never did a Prince Charming bear him- 
self with more regal grace. With all his thewy masculinity 
there was a flowing softness of line and motion that led 
away from any thought of iron muscle; but later on, when 
he jack-knived himself up a cocoanut palm that our sailor- 
eyed men pronounced all of a hundred and twenty-five feet 
high, we saw the steel sinews of him, the deep lungs, and 
the control. It was an astonishing thing he did: merely 
walked up that swaying column on all-fours, and descended 
similarly, backward; and when he reached the ground and 
walked past us with his inimitable port, he was only breath- 
ing quickly, as a man after a short run might do. Now 1 
come to think of it, he was the only being in the village 
whom we did not hear cough. 

It seemed ill fitting to offer a young god from Olympus a 
franc for braving a mere cocoanut palm ; for one grows used 
to such irregularities of circumstance, although I must not 
forget that this royal-bodied youth did not even look toward 
us for approval or for the money that had been promised. 
He approached only when bidden, naked in his perfection 


save for a scarlet cloth, and received double the prize with 
the manner of a victor in the athletic field taking his re- 
ward as his due and no more, pleasantly without servility. 
Indeed, he did not even look at the coins in his hand until 
he had swung with leisurely dignity across the green to 
where the cooks were busy, and there we saw him laugh like 
a pleased boy while the men congratulated. Later on, this 
Marquesan Adonis was fairly commonplace in blue overalls 
and a net shirt; but he could not disguise walk or smile, 
and whenever he appeared, Jack and I followed with our 
eyes. You see, he meant old Typee to us, for he was neither 
half-caste, nor sick. Excepting the fisherman in the stream, 
he was the only specimen we saw who approximated the 
Typean of Melville and the other old chroniclers. 

Everything in the neighbourhood was in a bustle over 
our feasting and lodgment. A dozen men were preparing 
kao-kao in a large half-open shed in which we saw a reminis- 
cent wooden trencher the length of a man, and wondered if 
there was a resident in the village old enough to remember 
its grisly use; while other men dug a shallow pit in which 
the sucking puarka was to be roasted whole, and Adonis went 
about the preparing of that goodly item. 

We sat on the ground leaning against a plaited side of 
the shed, enjoying the yielding turf under our tired limbs 
and long draughts of the incomparable cocoanut. Every 
living thing eats cocoanut meat in Nuka-Hiva fowls, pigs, 
men, dogs, women, horses, cats and birds. So we amused 
ourselves seeing how near the domestic livestock would come 
to take our cocoanut from us. The horses nearly drove us 
out by their voracity and speaking of horses: although it 
is not much above fifteen miles to Hooumi from Taiohae, 
they are hard miles, and one would have thought our ani- 
mals would enjoy a rest; but from the instant the saddles 
were removed there was a continuous vicious engagement 
among the stallions that kept every one on the lookout lest 
he be run down. My Jacques' first offence was to walk up 
to Jack's innocent horse and deliberately bite a generous 


mouthful out of the soft part of the back, which cannibal 
outrage he twice repeated before nightfall. And Jack does 
so hate to ride an animal that has the slightest scratch under 
the saddle! 

It would take too long to go into the details of how a pit 
is prepared, so that when the pig is wrapped in leaves and 
laid among hot stones it becomes roasted as the natives like 
it. Suffice it that our puarka was thus buried, piled with 
leaves, and the whole covered with earth ; whereupon a long, 
lean dog that had missed no jot of the proceedings, composed 
himself to sleep on the warm grave. 

It takes these people endless times as long to do anything 
as it does white men. Most white men, I should qualify, 
for the Norwegian captain never knows his mind two min- 
utes and backs and fills with staggering rapidity when any 
kind of decision has to be made. I cannot see how he com- 
mands a ship. He had been vociferating sixteen times in 
every fifteen minutes during the latter part of the journey 
and while we were getting settled in camp, that he would 
not stay over night ; he had stated positively the day before 
that he could not go at all, and this in reply to no special 
urging; he had been largely to blame for our tardy start, 
and whenever any hitch occurred, he would roundly abuse 
Nikko Nikko, who was our guide, not his. 

But to get back. The dilatory methods of the native 
cooks made it quite imperative to assuage our appetites with 
fruit and cocoanuts; and, strange to say, so great a void 
was there that we were in no way daunted when we dropped 
cross-legged on the cottage porch and surveyed the banquet. 
We leaned against our saddles and saddle-bags and partook 
of boiled breadfruit that we knew was the real thing at last. 
I cannot name the flavour of this substantial comestible ; but 
I can say that the man who described it as tasting like sour 
potatoes and cheese and turpentine and kerosene must have 
had accidents in his kitchen. Lake the taro, which it re- 
sembles in excellence only, it is a noble vegetable or fruit 
we must call it, I suppose, since it grows on a tree ; and I am 


quite sure that if I had to live entirely on breadfruit or taro, 
or both, I should not miss bread or potatoes. 

They set breadfruit poi-poi before us, and very good it 
was, with its tart flavour ; but I think we shall never like it 
as we do the taro poi. There was a big bowl of fowl de- 
liciously boiled in the pressed milk from the meat of cocoa- 
nuts, and we added Taiohae bakery bread that we had 
brought in a sack. There were eggs, nicely soft-boiled, and 
the Hatiheu princess and her friend, who had warmed to- 
ward us by now, affably demonstrated how to eat certain small 
chunks of fish from the fingers, first dipping into a slightly 
fermented cocoanut sauce. For wine, we quaffed from 
fresh cocoanut flagons. Home is sweet, to be sure; but I 
wish Marquesan cocoanuts and breadfruit grew in my 
kitchen garden ! 

The women of the place were very shy with me for a 
while. I do not think they have seen many white women, 
for all the European blood that pales their own faces. Be- 
sides, there was the difficulty of my trousers to be got over, 
and I cannot wonder at their corner-comments and embar- 
rassed smiles. 

After dinner we were invited into the main apartment of 
the two-roomed house, where we sat in a circle on a spotless, 
polished wooden floor, and were offered absinthe for a 
liqueur. A bit of French helped us along, and the Scan- 
dinavian, besides his English, knew a little Marquesan from 
the Hatiheu girl, so we did very well. I noticed the sew- 
ing machine that books all mention as the invariable 
piece de resistance of South Sea Island well-to-do homes 
indeed there were two, and the fresh red calico eueu worn 
by our hostess showed that the machines were not allowed to 
rust. This lady had kept in the background until now, and 
we found her very handsome, of a big, sumptuous, Hawaiian 

One thing I was determined to find out if there was any 
of the old tapa cloth left in this forsaken country. The mis- 
tress of the house looked a likely person to ask; and she 


went into the other room, nodding her head. After an 
anxious time for me, out she came with a nine-foot roll of 
pure white fabric, undoubtedly made many years ago from 
the breadfruit bark, for no tapa of any description is made 
by the Marquesans now. This piece exactly answered Mel- 
ville's description of the clothing worn by the maidens, and 
it was in good condition. It was the only good white piece we 
were able to obtain, all the rest being deep cream and 
of coarser fibre. Dear me if Fayaway came to Typee now 
she would have to array her loveliness in a red calico wrap- 
per. But the daughters of Nuka-Hiva are quick to emulate a 
new style. Already, in Taiohae, I have noticed the luxuriant 
locks of several swarthy damsels going topward in imitation 
of my modest chignon. Perhaps, who can tell? one visiting 
Hooumi a few years hence may find the leaders of fashion 
promenading in khaki riding breeks! 

But I cannot allow myself any kind of a joke at the ex- 
pense of these dying Hooumians. Although this little com- 
munity was more prosperous and sanitary than what we 
saw in Typee, it is not saying much, as we soon found when 
the news of our tapa purchase went out and the women began 
to bring in the sheaves of their foremothers. The lame, the 
halt, and the blind, the asthmatic, the consumptive shyly 
and painfully they came and laid their faded bundles at 
our feet, eagerly watching our discriminating eyes, some 
gasping for breath, their sunken chests rattling. One 
woman in particular, a half-breed, had the prettiest French 
face imaginable, "pale as the milk of cocoanuts," with big 
soft brown eyes that lighted up when she saw our approval 
of her creamy fathoms and the money Jack held out to her. 
And all the time the poor soul was fighting for breath, her 
hands often clutching the air. When she went from 
us, Jack and I looked at each other silently, for we could 
hear a long way off the involuntary groans from her ruined 
lungs. And her father where is he? Who might he be? 
For a thoughtful moment the universe was "jangled, out of 


We collected quite a bale of rare old tapa, accepting only 
the best. I suppose we saw about all there was left in the 
valley, and it was not much. As far as I can discover, this 
white and cream tapa was the only kind made by the Mar- 
quesans. The patterns and warm colours of the Hawaiian 
and Samoan sorts were unknown here. 

Before bedtime, we two stole off for a little look-see about 
the beach. There was an air of happy excitement even in 
the moonlit woods, for foreign visitors are very infrequent 
and the village was out and a-whisper with our com- 

Aside from the witchery of shining strand and the shadowy 
woods, we saw nothing of special interest except a long, 
graceful whaleboat that lay wrecked and rotting in the rank 

The rest of the party had decided to return to Taiohae at 
six next morning, for our captain had work aboard the Snark, 
and the other skipper was near the end of his lading and 
must get back. Jack and I planned to take our time in 
order, if possible, to pick up some wooden bowls and other 
curios. We secured one small but beautifully-grained bowl, 
or calabash, this evening. 

We were allotted the one small room off the large one, and 
found on the immaculate floor three spotless white pillows, 
stuffed with silk-cotton, and a white bedspread. It would be 
interesting to know where the lady of the house learned her 
civilised cleanliness. We laid our heavy oilskin saddle- 
slickers, for mattress, and turned in under the white 
counterpane. Outside on the porch a string of natives of 
both sexes and all conditions slept side by side, heads to the 
wall. I say slept, but it is only a manner of speaking. 
There was a clamour of coughs, wheezings, expectorations, 
and conversation more or less desultory principally less, 
for just as I would decide they were at last dead-o, and com- 
pose myself for that coveted end, somebody would break out 
again, the whole chain catching like a pack of firecrackers. 
Our invasion being their latest topic, we knew we were the 


subject of debate. At last they quieted, and we succumbed 
to the liquid lullaby of the little surf. 

Wednesday, December 11, 1907. 

I opened my eyes at seven this morning. Jack was stand- 
ing inside the porch window. He seemed to be disagreeing 
with a native outside who held up a dark, oscillating object 
in both hands. Jack turned away as if he had lost interest, 
whereupon the thing was flung on the window sill in a curly 

" Goatskin ?" I inquired. 

For reply, Jack gathered up the dusky fleece and dropped 
it into my lap. Involuntarily I shrank from it. Goatskin ! 
It was human hair long, thick, wavy, the seal-brown matted 
strands curling tawny at the ends. The eerie locks were 
deftly gathered on a band of woven cocoanut fibre, and the 
dancing-skirt, the hula-hula fringe, stood confessed. All 
very beautiful ; but when one was assured that undoubtedly 
this garnered wealth of hair had been shorn from the heads 
of human sacrifices that had been cooked and eaten by their 
captors, the lightsomeness of romance dimmed somewhat. 
I handled the ghastly trophy gingerly, but with a determina- 
tion that it should not escape the "Snark room" we mean to 
build at home ; and a little later a bargain was struck. The 
curio would have been cheap at any cost, for it is a priceless 
memento of a vanishing race. 

The lethargic Hooumians were aroused at last. Acquisi- 
tiveness was the order of the day. Their hoarded ancestral 
treasures were snatched from mouldy seclusion and showered 
on the sunlit pae-pae. While the bartering was on, much 
counsel was offered to each seller by his companions. Chil- 
dren mixed with the chattering, coughing crowd, and an oc- 
casional yelp attested to some skinny dog having been landed 
by a flipper-like savage foot. 

A pair of armlets to match the hirsute hula-hula skirt 
came to light, and the eager villagers all tried to explain at 


once that there should also be anklets, but that none were to 
be found. We felt like paleontologists reconstructing an 
antediluvian monster but instead of bones we had only hairs 
to go by. And speaking of hairs, we made another lucky 
find in several of the ''old men's beards" that Stevenson 
describes as so precious to the Marquesan heart. These are 
thin grey fringes about a foot long, stiff and grim, and are 
worn on the forehead, held by a brow-band and thrust 
starkly upward. 

The asthmatic French-faced girl glided toward us with 
seraphic smile and shining upraised gaze, bearing in her two 
hands a crown of carved yellow turtle-shell, thick and beau- 
tifully spotted, the curving sections held together by deli- 
cately plaited threads of cocoanut fibre. King or priest, we 
could not find out whose had been the head or heads that 
once bore this rare ornament. Each piece is carved differ- 
ently, with fine workmanship, and we shall probably never 
know the meaning of the figures wrought into the shell. 
Perhaps to the present generation they are meaningless. 
That the crown is old, is shown by the condition of the cocoa- 
nut sennit, as well as the firm dirt-incrustations in the shell. 
We were shown how to fasten the "old men's beards" inside 
the circlet, and the effect was startling enough. 

The pretty crown-bearer proved a good business woman, 
and did not cheapen her wares by showing them all at once. 
Once the curio had become ours, she brought out another, a 
brow-band of porpoise-teeth and beads. This did not appeal 
so strongly, although in the eyes of the natives the porpoise- 
teeth rendered it far more valuable than the turtle-shell 
crown. They pressed close in their efforts to explain the dis- 
tinction. But it was the woman who won. She was so 
sweetly wistful, that we bought it mainly to see her smile 

Then we turned to the calabashes (kokas) that had been 
collected for our inspection bowls, great and small, of heavy 
mio wood, hard as stone. Nothing we had seen in Hawaii 
could excel these old Marquesan vessels. To be sure, they 


were not polished; but it was easy to discern, through the 
grime of many years, the splendid graining of the wood and 
its possibilities for a shining surface. Our only difficulty 
was how to carry them, and we wanted them all ; but our 
quandary was simplified by finding that most of the biggest 
were undesirable on account of cracks; so we compromised 
on three that were perfect, and a lot of small ones, some 
round, some oval. We gave our hostess all the bread that 
remained a coveted delicacy and Nikko used the gunny 
sacks for packing the calabashes on his horse, while Jack 
and I carefully stowed in our saddle-bags the smaller and 
more fragile things. I shall never cease to regret that we 
could not manage that long-pig trencher from the cook-shed. 

By now it was time for breakfast, and we fortified our- 
selves with eggs, bread, bananas and cocoanuts. After 
which we strolled about with the kodak for a last look at 
the village. At half past nine we were mounted and bidding 
farewell, and oh! it was a joyous jaunt across the island. 
Hooumi thrilled with bird-voices and river-songs in the 
green-and-gold forenoon, while Typee lay sleeping her long, 
long sleep, her sombre head wrapped in a grey cloud-pall. 
We sat a little space looking our last on the great, silent 
picture, before leaving it forever. 

''Don't try to take it," Jack advised, as I trained my tiny 
camera on the splendour of Typee Vai. ' ' You will be disap- 
pointed it will be only a blur. ' ' 

But I snapped it all the same, thinking that even a blur 
of Typee would be better than no record. 

When we reached Mrs. Fisher's about noon, our horses 
fresh and lively, we found that the others, who left Hooumi 
three hours ahead, had beaten us in by only fifteen minutes. 
At first we could not understand. But it turned out that 
the captain of the bark had forced the pace until his horse 
gave out in an hour, and the others, nearly as badly off, were 
held up waiting for it to recover. Martin was indignant, 
because try as he would to hold the rest, he was obliged to 
overdo his own horse to some extent. 


. . . While we were faring to Typee, the nineteen labourers 
of Taiohae were bringing the red goddess down the moun- 
tain. It is a significant fact that no Marquesan would touch 
it, which leads one to conclude that of the total of able- 
bodied workmen of Taiohae, not one is a real Marquesan. 
And there were murmurings on the beach that day impo- 
tent and spiritless protests of the old blood against this 
desecration of its hoary wood. So the maternal Tataura 
was toted down out of the jungle and deposited whole and 
unharmed in the rickety old bark's hold. 

. . . This evening we dropped in to see Mr. Rahling in his 
pretty cottage smothered with vines and flowers one yellow 
bell-shaped blossom, called by the natives epuua, rioting 
everywhere. He came out from a little workshop next his 
bedroom, and at our request took us in to see what he had 
been doing. Among other cleverly wrought articles, he had 
carved several saddle-trees out of the hard mio wood 
excellent models of the McClellan type. There were also 
two side-saddles. " Nothing to it!" declared Jack. "You 
must sell me a saddle-tree." And we added this to the rest 
of our Marquesan curios. But never fear but this saddle, 
although of the nature of a curio, will be rigged up some 
day and see good use on the home ranch. 

Mr. Rahling also parted with a little red god of stone and 
two small calabashes; then to our delight we found a pair 
of human hair anklets which he was willing to forego, 
although he had no idea where he could duplicate them. 
Indeed, both he and Mr. Kreiech are astonished at the num- 
ber of valuable things we have secured, insisting that they 
did not know they still remained on the island. 

Returning home, we walked in upon the two old thor- 
oughbreds, sitting a-ham before the collection of heirlooms 
we had haled from Hooumi. They Oh'd and Ah'd lugu- 
briously when we added the red god and calabashes and 
anklets to the mound, then rose sighing and went to their 
own quarters. Poor things it is a wrench for them to see 
the last of their relics going into the hands of pale inter- 


lopers, although we, at least, are not unmindful of their sen- 

But of all the outlandish trophies from our Typean quest, 
none holds the grisly allure of the hair skirt and its ac- 
companiments. More than one head must have fallen to 
furnish such abounding tresses. Those of the skirt are all of 
two feet in length, and piled thick, layer upon layer, so that 
the least movement produces that oscillation I had noticed on 
the window-sill. We try to vision the unholy rites wherein 
this ghastly garmenture was worn. 

Thursday, December 12, 1907. 

This is the day upon which the Snark's company had 
wagered it would see Nuka-Hiva. So we have been paying 
Jack his ill-gotten dollars. His judgment was six days better 
than ours ; and thinking over the happenings of the past six 
days, we are mightily glad of it. 

Taiohae may be a quiet place; but we somehow find our- 
selves beset with engagements of one sort or another. Jack 
wrote all this morning on his novel, which he will name Suc- 
cess, while I typed in another corner of the porch. When 
we went to Mrs. Fisher 's dejeuner at eleven, she showed us a 
pair of beautifully carved dark-brown calabashes which her 
father, Herr Goeltz, had sent over for our approval. We 
" approved " promptly, and they were ours in no time, as 
they were the handsomest things of their kind we had ever 
seen. Herr Goeltz also sent word that he had more of these, 
as well as other curiosities, if we cared to pay him a visit 
across the way, which we shall do to-morrow. 

We had promised to go aboard the bark this afternoon; 
and, after a siesta on our shady veranda, went out in the 
ship's boat with the captain. That man is so good looking, 
and has such charming moods, that we could like him 
wholly were it not for his inhumanity to horses. 

There is strong romance to me in old ships, especially in 
such a setting. We climbed up the side ladder and found 


ourselves in the rickiest vessel imaginable. The topmasts had 
a raffish cant that made one think apprehensively of Pau- 
motan hurricanes. Decks were unkempt, ropes looked risky ; 
even the " absinthe-minded crew" had a gaunt, uncanny, 
unfed appearance. Our movements on deck were impeded 
by frightened and fragrant goats running at large, together 
with the vociferations of an unseen litter of lusty puppies 
added to the weird din. We moused around the mouldy 
quarters of the vessel, peering into bilgy holes and weevily 
stores, and then went below, where I sat in a cushioned nook 
of the really cosy little cabin of Norwegian pine, the walls 
of which the captain had himself decorated with fleur de lis 
picked out in aluminum paint. We drank smooth French 
beer and swapped yarns for an hour or more at least the 
men did, and I listened. Captain Warren was somewhat 
gloomy, for this very morning he fell down the bark's com- 
panionway and all but broke his ribs, and a bigger baby 
than an injured sailor is hard to find. 

Jack got some Norwegian pine and several Asiatic pilot 
books in exchange for superfluous manila hawser from the 
Snark. This skipper runs his ship very easily, it would 
seem. Parting with a pilot book or a volume of sailing direc- 
tions means nothing to him. Short a 1908 Almanac, he is 
too careless to copy a few pages from ours. Why, he 
has actually allowed his chronometer to run down, and it 
looks as if he intends to go to sea day after to-morrow with- 
out setting it by ours! But he's a man for a' that, for who 
but he flared the big light for us the night we crept feeling 
our way into the harbour ! 

We took him over to the Snarlc. Our men were holyston- 
ing the deck the first it had ever received. Herrmann 
met us with his Mona Lisa smirk, and almost burst with 
pride over the new whiteness of the deck. He seemed much 
impressed with the change my "shore clothes" made in me, 
and commented respectfully, not for the first time, on the 
lack of tan on my complexion. But on this occasion he 
quite eclipsed himself. He broke out heartily : 


"I tell you, there is of only one white man aboard the 
Snark, and that 's Mrs. London ! ' ' 

And the goose did not know why we laughed. 

Herrmann had permission to take Jack's Mauser out for 
goats yesterday. He made a day of it, and has been busy 
ever since explaining in detail the various reasons why he 
did not bring home any game. 

Mr. Eahling was on the wharf when we landed, swimming 
Jacques in the deep water alongside. Seeing the horse in 
the water reminded me that our men noticed a shark near 
the yacht the other day. I had thought of taking a swim 
every morning off the pier, but this changed my mind. 

Friday, December 13, 1907. 

No matter how hard we work, it is rest to live in this tran- 
quil house. In one corner of the viny porch a chapter of 
the novel is being finished, in another my eternal typewriter 
clicks; while at the fence awed voices murmur, as Tomi's 
daughter Tahia explains the writing-machine. Tahia means 
''above the rest," and this little brown-eyed girl of fourteen 
is certainly the superior of her playmates in beauty and in- 
telligence. She has been allowed to come close to the won- 
derful machine that manufactures books (more amazing, I 
do believe, than the talking-box), and feels very important. 
I go on typing while they stand a few feet away whispering 
under a whisper, fearful of disturbing. Then they steal 
away on their bare, fan-like feet, with a soft kaoha in thanks 
and good morning. The natives are very considerate of our 
privacy, never making themselves nuisances in any way. 

While we are busy with our end of the work, refreshing 
ourselves ever and anon from our pitcher of orange-nectar 
(we have thirty-five oranges squeezed every morning) , Nakata 
goes about learning the ways of a white man's house, al- 
though the makeshift manner in which we are living is not 
the best of training. Aside from the routine o the Snark, 
the little man is innocent of European habits with tl^e ex- 


ception of one, fine washing and ironing. What a boon in 
the South Seas! Jack's white crepe shirts and my sheer 
lawns and linens they're all one to Nakata. 

The seaward aspect of our Elysium showed a trifle ruffled 
this morning, a heavy swell sending an unusual surf on our 
brown shingle, where the men loading lighters with the last 
of the bark's copra cargo were having a lively time. The 
southeast trade, the tua-to-ha, is blowing briskly, with the 
same twist to the north 'ard that gave us fair wind here from 
above the Line. 

We added to our knowledge of South Sea kao-kao at break- 
fast to-day, in the shape of roasted fei pronounced fay-ee. 
It resembles a plantain in appearance and tastes like a hardy, 
substantial banana, though less sweet. The natives are espe- 
cially fond of it. 

From Mrs. Fisher's, accompanied by her purring, tailless 
cat, we crossed over to Herr Goeltz's. He met us on the 
tottering, trellised veranda, on his grey head a faded black 
velvet cap trimmed with yellowed lace, on his sunken frame 
a nondescript suit, trousers tied in at the ankles to keep out 
sandflies the nau-naus. (Jack and I are already wishing 
we had been more careful.) The old man led us into the 
dim and dusty twilight of his cobwebby castle a fairly com- 
modious house of five rooms. I at once became lost, poking 
around in the musty corners, into spidery cabinets brought 
in old ships from Germany; old albums; baskets of shells 
and green cat-eyes from Samoa, and cupboards of beautiful 
china and heavy old French porcelain. Our eagle-faced 
host, sharp and keen of wit for all his eighty-two years, 
while showing us about talked upon a score of topics. One 
of these was his cruise through the Paumotus on the Casco 
as Stevenson's pilot; another was his noble Polish family, 
for estray though he be, he has a title all his own. He 
brought out several more of those fascinating carven bowls 
of wood, concerning one of which, a symmetrical oval laced 
with intricate traceries, he told us a creepy tale. Without 
going into the sanguinary particulars, you may take it that 


the blood of two white skippers has been drunk from this 
ornate receptacle ; and, if history be true, their fate was far 
too good for them. For instance, one of these captains, 
among other atrocities in return for the goodwill and royal 
hospitality of the natives on one of the islands in the group, 
presented the chief with a wholly rotten whaleboat that had 
all the seeming of staunch newness, what of shining paint 
and gay trimmings. That captain had the bad luck to be 
wrecked at the self-same place a few years later. If you 
don 't believe it, we 11 show you the bowl ! 

Herr Goeltz had disposed of the bulk of his possessions 
long before we touched at Taiohae, which made us wish we 
had been earlier. However, it took half a dozen to carry 
away the spoils of our forage. I had often noticed the 
green-trimmed porcelain with which Mrs. Fisher set the 
table, and it turned out that she had borrowed it from her 
father, who had the remainder of the set. Such tureens! 
Such platters, and such great plates! Said Jack, with a 
small amused smile at the l ( pictured corners ' ' of his mouth : 

"I think we could use the whole set, couldn't we?" 

It is very nice to be treated like a small daughter occa- 
sionally, and thereupon we fell to counting the pieces to see 
what was missing. The dishes had been often borrowed and 
some of them broken; but there was a goodly array left. 
Mrs. Fisher came over during our despoiling, and, while 
glad to see her father making a little money, she could not 
hide the sadness in her eyes at the last family treasures 
going the way of the rest. 

I added some delicate teacups; then there were a couple 
of old ivory fans, and a pair of fine conches. We also 
found some thick round heis (wreaths) of small yellow-and- 
white landshells, and a true ( ?) piece of the elm, or what- 
ever the tree was, that grew over Napoleon's grave at St. 

We were tired and warm upon reaching home, and, piling 
our burden in a corner of the big room, retired to the con- 
crete bath and sat reading for an hour, the water up to our 


chins. It would be hard to eclipse our schemes for comfort. 
Stevenson doesn't mention this rude tub. Think what he 
missed. His description of the club is: "A billiard-board, 
a map of the world on Mercator's projection, and one of the 
most agreeable verandas in the tropics. " We are heartily 
ready to indorse this last, even in advance of any other ex- 
perience in verandas under the Equator. 

The Norwegian came in to bid us farewell, as he expected 
to sail at daylight, and incidentally he trimmed Jack's hair 
according to a promise made yesterday. 

The day ended with music, and we had the novel enter- 
tainment of merry Marquesans dancing the energetic hula- 
hula of their Tahitian cousins, to Hawaiian music on an 
American phonograph under a tree with a French name ! 

Saturday, December 14, 1907. 

"up and out at half past five this morning, we watched the 
old grey bark with painted ports square away for the 
zores her chronometer dead and no 1908 Almanac aboard. 
A fair vision she was for all that, dipping her flag to 
the tinaik, where Wada was running up the colours. A gun 
saluted from the shore, and dusky women, sitting beneath the 
trees and on the pier, raised a mournful wailing for the 
men who had been so briefly theirs. "For men must work, 
and women must weep ' ' it is the sea-song for white women, 
brown women, black women, wives and sweethearts, the 
world over the old, old game. 

We lingered to see the last of the bark, as she passed 
through the portals of Taiohae and took the rocking swell. 
Soon her last royal was out of sight behind a headland, and 
we wondered if we should ever see her again. Then we 
watched the painting of the morn upon a shell-pink sky above 
the sculptured heads of the Eastern range, and drank deep 
of the cool sweet breath of waking day. We were too full 
of peace to stir, resting there at the grassy edge of the 
sand. One by one the tear-stained women picked them- 


selves up and went disconsolately along the green road to 
their lonely homes. When we, too, finally rose and walked 
toward the old club-house, Nakata was starting to hunt for 
us. He paused when he saw us a quaint and smiling 
Japanese figure in grey kimono, standing under a small 
broad tree laden with flowers like pink tiger-lilies. 

" Breakfast ready, Missis-n," quoth the cheerful picture; 
and ye of the cities with your steaks and chops, ham-and- 
eggs, and fried potatoes, have nothing on us, with our man- 
goes, butter-yellow, rich and spicy, our wild pineapple, 
sweet as sugar-cane, and our pitcher of orange juice. 

. . . There were two arrivals to-day one, a canoe from 
Hooumi bringing two big calabashes for us, in the pink of 
condition, and the other the beautiful schooner Gauloise, 
spic and span as a gentleman's yacht, carrying mails every 
several months between here and Tahiti. Captain Chabret, 
a striking, swarthy man, born of French and Paumotan 
parents, and educated in Europe, called with his mate, who 
interpreted, as the captain speaks little English and our 
French is very lame. The Hooumian made the sleepy after- 
noon vibrate with solemn blasts on our war conches. Once 
heard, one could never forget the barbaric mournfulness 
of their long, resonant, bell-like call. It conjured up night- 
mares of stealthy tattooed savages gathering for the fray 
and secret orgy of long-pig. 

At five o 'clock we went to the store to see for the last time 
the social gathering of pay-day for Jack says we shall get 
away Wednesday. I cannot say enough for the kindness of 
Mr. Kreiech and Mr. Rahling. They have never been too 
busy to give their undivided attention to our slightest want 
When Mr. Kreiech discovered that I was interested in the 
old French silver which is current here, he had me into the 
inner office free to rummage in the money-bags. I found 
several five-franc pieces bearing the head of Napoleon over 
the dates of 1809, 1811, and 1813, for which, of course, Jack 
paid the equivalent. 

Captain Chabret dropped in, and Mr. Kreiech opened 


bottles of sweet French champagne on a counter, and brought 
a couple of watermelons from his garden. How Martin 
Johnson's Kansan eyes did shine! 

After a while Jack and I gravitated out to the big box on 
the porch to dangle our heels once more under the yellow 
spilth of the sketchy cotton-tree. The grief-stricken girls of 
the early hours were arm-in-arm and eye-to-eye with the 
men of their own kind, who looked well content. "We saw 
our two aristocrats of the cottage, the woman, whose name I 
have discovered to be Mauani ("Sky is covered"), as usual 
on such occasions making herself and her puarka very much 
at home. The jolly workmen, in the big white cook-caps 
they often wear, jostled one another in the store as they 
spent their earnings in gaudy pareus and tobacco. Among 
the dark skins, Mrs. Fisher's daughter shone white as a lily, 
moving about with her plump pink baby. She is a veritable 
Madonna, and Leonardo would find himself in his element 
here, for this girl, like Herrmann, has a Mona Lisa smile 
and the inscrutable gaze that goes with it. Mrs. Fisher, a 
head above the crowd, trod her stately way into the store, 
with a grandchild hanging to her skirt. 

Everybody was invited down to hear the phonograph at 
half past seven. They turned out en masse, less shy than 
before, dancing the hula-hula with fervour, Tahitian sailors 
from the Gauloise swelling the fun. Simeon, a bright native 
boy who clerks in the store, was the envy of all when we 
showed him how to run the Victor. This left Jack and me 
free to mingle with our guests. 

The captain of the Gauloise was familiar with the operas, 
and enjoyed the music immensely, murmuring little ex- 
pressions of appreciation in French. But I had to bother 
him to tell me about pearls in the Paumotus. Then Jack 
and Captain Warren plied both him and his mate with 
questions concerning the Paumotan atolls. The weather in 
their vicinity seems to be a joke in the South Seas, although 
a serious one, as the name Dangerous Archipelago would 
imply. We have decided not to risk the Snark any length 


of time among these treacherous coral-rings. One of them, 
Rangiroa, in one side of the broken circle and out the other, 
will do for us on our way to Tahiti. 

During all the merrymaking of an evening like this, 
Mauani and her old mate, Taituheu ("Burned-out cinders") 
sit in the living room, proud to show that they are part of 
our household quite a change from their original attitude. 
What is in their minds behind those wide-set eyes as they 
watch the gambols of the decadent remnants of their purple 

It is impossible to form any true estimate of what was the 
moral status of the original Marquesans. The Sailing Direc- 
tions of 1884 give them a black reputation for licentiousness, 
and warn shipmasters against putting in at these islands. 
Persons here with whom we have talked say that a widow is 
grievously insulted if a new admirer fails to appear on the 
day of her husband 's funeral. We are assured that the peo- 
ple have little love and absolutely no gratitude. That 
polyandry exists, we have evidence; but it is an institution 
of old standing and high repute. 

But from Melville one does not get the impression that the 
Typeans were unusually lax in their social relations, and 
Stevenson, in 1889-90, gives the Nuka-Hivans a good char- 
acter for modesty, pride and friendliness, as well as endless 
courteous observances. At any rate, whatever they once 
were, they are passing ; and those who are left are so altered 
that one's conclusions are worth little. 

We asked Mrs. Fisher if she had known Robert Louis 
Stevenson. She said she had met him at Anaho, on the 
other side of the island, where the Casco first touched, and 
she added : 

"He used to go about barefoot, with his trousers and 
singlet-sleeves turned up, and never wore a hat; and 'most 
every one thought he was a little crazy. ' ' 

Dear Robert Louis! he was "crazy" because he was sav- 
ing his own good life in his own good way. I wonder what 
is the general opinion of Jack and me in our kimonos as we 


trail over the landscape bareheaded under a pongee parasol, 
our bare feet thrust into Japanese sandals. 

December 15, 1907. 

Strange Christmas holiday weather this, our first tropic 
winter. We look forward to eating our Christmas fowl 
aboard the Snark, provided she hasn 't become fatally involved 
in the Paumotus. They tell us that until very recently the 
insurance companies refused all risks on vessels in this vicin- 
ity, and now, while they will insure, the rate is twenty per 
cent. The owners, however, take out no policies. They 
estimate the life of a schooner in the Paumotus to be five 
years, and merely write off twenty per cent, a year. 

I could almost find it in my heart to wish for a week of 
California climate. The warmth here, while not oppressive, 
keeps my north temperate cuticle in a ferment of invisible 
prickly-heat and visible bunches of exasperating hives; and 
by now the nau-nau bites are becoming more than exasperat- 
ing ; and Jack 's are worse than mine. 

But do not think that these trifling annoyances interfere 
in the least with our plans. Jack asked Mr. Rahling to 
arrange a goat hunt, and to-day, with two mounted kanakas 
to carry guns and game, we three started. For the first time 
our ride took us off to the left of the Typee trail. We saw 
more of the beach, and, once out of the valley, had an 
entirely new aspect of the island. Nuka-Hiva is only four- 
teen miles long by ten broad; but every foot of it is worth 
seeing, from sea-brim to mountain-rim and all the verdant 
laps of the valleys between. The changes that are wrought 
in such small space stir one's blood from moment to 
moment. From dreaming over sweet vales of repose, the 
eyes, startled by some sudden gloom, rise to the black trouble 
of stormy peaks where thunder-clouds are rolling. Oh! to 
have seen the volcanic chaos of the making of this isle of the 
Southern Sea, with her sister isles lifting their heads round 
about to keep her company. 


Once across Taiohae's western bastions, we rode through 
fragrant lanes of yellow cassi at the head of another and 
smaller valley almost as beautiful, that ended in a wonderful 
blue bay, bounded by lofty perpendicular rocks to the west, 
and on the other side by the wild eastern declivity of 
Taiohae's wall. I dislike to mention that the name of this 
lovely anchorage is Port Tschitschagoff, although it will soften 
your anguish to know that the natives mercifully call it 
Hakaui, and, even more gently, Tai-oa. It may further in- 
terest to learn that it took a master mariner born a Krusen- 
stern to outrage such a heavenly port by a name like 

The entrance is twenty fathoms deep, with fine sandy 
bottom, while the azure basin itself is two hundred fathoms 
in depth and one hundred wide. In it the greatest man-o'- 
war yet built could anchor in safety from the worst hurri- 
cane that ever blew; and to careen her on the even, sandy 
beach, would be child's play. 

The valley is luxuriant with palm and breadfruit and 
banana, and well watered by streams ; and we startled from 
cover many a reverted chicken, which swept with strong 
pinions over the tree-tops on the incline. But not a human 
being makes home in this ideal spot and it can be bought 
for $1000 Chile, less than $500 in American gold. Think 
of the smothering cities of the world, and this exquisite 
haven gone to waste. That it was not always thus, is 
shown by Captain Krusenstern: 

11 Behind the beach was a green flat resembling a most 
beautiful bowling-green. Streams of water flowed in various 
places from the mountains, and in a very picturesque and 
inhabited vale. ... A ship in need of repairs could not wish 
for a finer harbour for such a purpose. The depth is exceed- 
ingly convenient. Bananas, cocoanuts, and breadfruit, are 
superabundant. The chief advantage is that you can anchor 
about 100 fathoms from the land, thus having the king's house 
and all the village under the guns of the ship, in case of an 


That was a hundred years ago, and now wild fowl, goats, 
birds, wasps, and the ubiquitous nau-nau have sole possession. 
The wasps warned us menacingly off their premises, and we 
went ; but this wasn 't a circumstance to what they did to us 
coming home. But more of that later. 

Looking back as we climbed into yet another valley, we saw 
a big boulder that they call the Rocking Stone; but we did 
not take time to prove whether it really "rocked" or not. 

The valley in which we did our shooting is a very fast- 
ness of natural disorder, as if the primeval forces had 
stopped midway in setting it to rights and let grass grow 
over the wreckage to see what the effect would be. No 
gradual slopes and placid beaches lead into this goat-scented 
retreat. It would be a dreadful misfortune to run a ship's 
nose into its snarling, frothing lip. 

Tying the horses, we took our rifles and proceeded on foot. 
I have never done such rough climbing. It took all my wind 
to accomplish the rocky pulls, and all my confidence to 
descend their other sides. Once and for the second time 
in my life my nerve deserted me. I had to cross the bare 
face of a horribly-sloping rock, and midway, in spite of 
hands reaching close to me, I suddenly saw myself on an icy 
incline in Switzerland where once I felt I must cast myself 
in the abyss. But I gathered my wits, and before long we 
were sitting on the knife-edge of a windy ridge, with a world 
of green hills behind, and the chaotic goat-haunt before us. 
We kept very still, and breathed our panting lungs full of the 
flowing air while cooling off from the hot scramble. Then a 
dotted line strung out far below our toppling perch, and one 
of the men fired. The dotted line lost a dot, and the rest 
swerved across the green lawns into the brush, where another 
dot that had been struck, fell just at the edge. One altruis- 
tic goat came back out of safety to sniff at the fallen one. 

The two kanakas, with two others who had appeared out of 
the woods, went back into the hills, and Mr. Rahling, Jack 
and I worked seaward along the ridge. I found I was hold- 
ing their stride back a little, and begged them to go ahead. 


I followed in their tracks, and overtook them down a long 
sweep of grassy hill after they had killed several goats. We 
sat a long time at the edge of a chasm, picking off stray 
victims virile little billy-goats that wagged their wiry 
beards in dismay at the invasion of their stronghold. But 
the distressed cries that rose from the stricken were not 
sweet in my ears, and I about made up my mind that now I 
had proved I could bring down distant game, I would leave 
killing to others in future, and do my practising as be- 
fore, on twigs and grasses and targets. 

A sudden shower blew up, and we sheltered under the 
brow of a crag in a small red lava cave, odorous of goat, 
meanwhile watching rain-squalls drift like brown veils across 
the stern features of the mountains. 

While our men were packing the game to the horses, we 
rode on up the mountain for a further view of Nuka-Hiva. 
And it was all a piece of the same beauty the castled rocks, 
the hills shrugging their round shoulders against the blue 
mantle of the sky, the unearthly atmosphere and colouring 
of the little world of island. Is there anything lovelier 
waiting for us further on in our voyage ? 

Out of sight from where we stood, is a long slope of 
country that lacks the rugged character we know so well, and 
the natives call it the "desert land" Henua-Ataha. I wish 
we could visit Anaho, on the northern coast. From what 
Stevenson and his mother have written, it must be very 
beautiful, although I cannot imagine anything to surpass 
Taiohae. I wonder if the discoverers, those ''careless cap- 
tains," had the imagination really to be shaken by the 
beauty of the Marquesas Mendana, and Marchand, and In- 

There was quite a row going on when we rejoined the 
others. The horses had seen fit to take fright at the familiar 
sight of dead goats, and were literally kicking up a rumpus. 
Jack's diminutive stallion the one Captain Warren rode to 
Typee joined in the fracas. He was looking for trouble. 
And he got it. When we came to the yellow cassi thicket 


the wasps got him, and unfortunately that meant poor Jack 
as well. He rode in the rear, Mr. Rahling leading, I in 
between. Jack yelled: "Get out of my way quick!" How 
could I? The only way was ahead, for the trail was 
exceedingly narrow, to say nothing of steep and stony. 
So we got ahead, and I'll never forget the way we "got," 
dropping down that perilous path to Taiohae. Mr. Rah- 
ling 's horse broke into a headlong scramble as the insects 
stung him, at the same time kicking my horse, who, stung 
behind, let the rear horse have it, and caught Jack's foot, 
while I was nearly pitched off. Jack's horse, frantic with 
pain and fear, tried to pass me, plentifully urged by his 
rider, who was holding the side of his face. Aside from 
one or two stings Mr. Rahling 's horse and mine went free, 
and we were untouched. Jack was the scapegoat. The wasps 
were the largest we have ever seen canary-yellow, with 
bunches of long yellow legs hanging out behind. Jack says 
they were as large as canaries. I don't know. I wasn't 
quite so close to them as that ! 

Friday, December 20, 1907. 

We were a lame pair to-day, from the unusual climbing. 
Then Jack had a painful lump on his neck where a wasp 
had pierced a cord, and other lesser lumps. The nau-nau 
bites did not add to our comfort, and we decided that as a 
place of permanent residence Nuka-Hiva could be improved 
by exterminating canaries I mean wasps and sandflies. 
There are divers reasons why the Marquesas are not at pres- 
ent entirely desirable for white immigrants. One of these 
is the high duty on everything one would want to import, 
and another is the incredible fact that the French govern- 
ment imposes an export duty on copra, which is about the 
only remunerative article of commerce. 

This forenoon Jack had his first chance to use his dental 
instruments. A shrivelled little old Chinaman whom we had 
often seen about the copra sheds, came shambling up the 
steps. In a tinny voice and the most birdlike of pigeon- 


English he volunteered that he once worked in San Francisco 
as a cook, and then asked Jack if he would pull a tooth. 
Jack laid aside his manuscript of an article on Typee, and 
hunted up the dentistry book to refresh his memory on the 
experience he had had with a skull in a dentist's office in 
Honolulu. He then examined the Chinaman's suffering 
jaw, and selected the requisite forceps. Martin and I in- 
duced him to perform the valiant act behind the house under 
a banana tree, that we might photograph it. And a curious 
picture it was, the broad-shouldered white man in Japanese 
garb, bending over the withered, shrinking Chinaman. 
The ancient fang came easily; but just as Jack brought it 
loose and triumphantly held it up, Martin cried : 

"Oh, Mr. London, please put it back I wasn't quite 

Shortly afterward, a sensitive-faced Tahitian youth, with 
big, scared eyes, came on to the porch. He pointed to his 
mouth and made unmistakable gestures. Jack rolled up his 
sleeves and went at it again, looking almost as important as 
when he worked out his first chronometer sight. The vic- 
tim stood it like a man, albeit he quaked and breathed hard 
with the strain. He seemed very grateful, and went away 
laughing nervously with the tooth in his hand. 

While we were talking over the morning's professional 
doings, a shadow fell upon us. It was cast by Tomi, who 
had quietly approached and stood regarding us with lugubri- 
ous eyes and crooked mouth. He had had a toothache all 
night, he said, and only just now had met the jubilant 
Tahitian. (I have not told the latest about Tomi. Unless 
he has been maligned, it looks very much as if he is respon- 
sible for the untimely end of two successive wives which 
may account for a certain worried look worn by his present 

He sat his mighty frame upon a protesting chair and 
opened his mouth warily, keeping a suspicious eye on Jack 
as if he might purposely seize upon the wrong tooth. The 
correct one was laid upon by the shining forceps, but the 


instant they began lifting, the giant clapped his jaws to- 
gether and grasped Jack's arm in both hands, emitting the 
most blood curdling groans. Captain Warren and I took 
a hand at holding him down, but it was no use although it 
was already loosened, Tomi would not allow that tooth to be 
extracted. He was finally coaxed into having another drawn, 
which he said had been aching also. 

"More power to your elbow, Mr. London," giggled Cap- 
tain Warren, as Jack began to pull. This time Tomi did 
not get away. We held on, and so did the dentist ; and the 
big hulking fellow went away as aggrieved as if we had 
enticed him in to rob him of his teeth. 

"The great baby!" Jack said disgustedly, as he passed the 
forceps to Nakata to cleanse. "I didn't believe about the 
wife-killing until I tried to pull his teeth. ' ' 

. . . This afternoon we were in the most typical Mar- 
quesan ha'e we have seen. Strolling about in a final search 
for curios, we were accosted by an eager young woman who 
explained brokenly that she would like to show us some kokas. 
She led, to a high-roofed wooden cottage that we had seen 
many times; but immediately behind, on rising ground 
and connected with the cottage porch by a plank, was 
another house, a grass one, not visible from the road. We 
bent our heads to enter, and emerged into a long room the 
floor of which was of the broad polished stones of a pae-pae. 
Against the farther wall, full length, were spread beds of 
clean native matting, folded and thick-piled just as Herman 
Melville had them in Typee. Everything was spotlessly 
clean. Apparently the family that lived in this ha'e took 
pride in keeping up its traditions. 

In a dark corner we made out a number of large bowls. 
The woman dragged them out feverishly, and with the help 
of Tahia, who had followed in, made us understand that they 
belonged to her husband, Tomi's brother, and that she could 
not sell without consulting him. There were other and 
Smaller calabashes on the wall, all in good condition. They 
like their big poi-poi kokas, these people, although not seri- 


ously enough to go to the labour of making new ones ; so the 
well-to-do hang on pretty closely to the ancestral vessels, at 
least in Taiohae. We were lucky in finding a few persons 
who were not so well-to-do, and when the results of our hunt 
were nested on our floor, they totaled sixteen bowls. While 
Tomi's brother was not anxious, he parted with two or three. 

On the way home we bought some pareus of gorgeous 
designs and hues, to use for the double purpose of souvenirs 
and of packing fragile articles. Our boxes will go to San 
Francisco by a barkentine that is expected in about three 
weeks. Before we left the store, Captain Chabret came to 
bid us good-bye, and then went aboard, for the big mainsail 
of the Gauloise was already being hoisted. Shortly we 
noticed the boat returning. The captain hurried to the 
store, and with the Frenchiest of bows and most gallant com- 
pliments presented " Madame " with a Paumotan pearl a 
lustrous oval with a slight crease around the centre as if it 
had tried to be two pearls. My first Paumotan pearl and a 
gift at that. And think when I showed it to Mrs. Fisher 
at dinner, she cried: 

' ' Why, do you like those things ? Come in here a minute ! ' ' 

I followed her into a little room where the Madonna sat 
at a machine stitching hand-plaited bamboo sennit into a hat 
for Jack. Mrs. Fisher delved into an old wood mosaic case 
on a mahogany dresser, and at length brought to light a tiny 
box. In it was a miniature of herself which she asked me 
to accept, and then she unrolled a wisp of tissue-paper in 
which lay five pearls all a good match for the one I had. 

I 1 You take them, and welcome, ' ' Mrs. Fisher urged. " I've 
had them a long time, and my girl takes no stock in them." 

It did not seem right, somehow, to rob her of her last 
pearls, but nothing would do but that I take them. 

"I wish you could see the big ones I used to have in 
Tahiti," she mused. "But they went the way of everything 
else. I had to sell them. 

"See," she went on, turning to the bed. "Here's a hat 
we've been making for you." 


It was such a pretty thing a "sailor" of glossy white 
bamboo plaiting, and about the crown a hei of pale brown- 
and-white bird-feathers, soft and fluffy. It is hard to keep 
even with these kindly folk. The Madonna makes hats to 
sell, so Jack and I had put in an order for one; but any 
advantage to her was promptly offset by this gift to me. 

We asked everybody to a final musicale, and, as before, 
Simeon squatted on the porch with a bare brown foot on 
each side the machine and tried not to look too superior as 
he reeled off disk after disk of opera, hymn, and sea-chantey. 

The old Corsican reclined in his place under the flaming 
tree beyond the gate. I wonder if he misses the Tattooed 
Man. They must have known each other well as rival celeb- 
rities. Did you ever hear about the Tattooed Man of 
Taiohae? although it would be hard to pick up a book on 
the South Seas that does not mention his curious tragedy. 
He was white, and, as I understand it, fell hopelessly in love 
with a high chiefess in the neighbouring island of Uapu. To 
propitiate her, he resorted to the extreme measure of being 
tattooed a matter of fine torture and ineradicable conse- 
quences. The tattooing of the Marquesans was the finest in 
Polynesia, and the suffering from the process so keen that 
great chiefs have been known to back out before their deco- 
ration was completed. But their incentives must have been 
less powerful and their nerves less firm than this white 
man's he was red-headed, too, they say. He was covered 
from head to foot with lacy designs, not omitting the fash- 
ionable broad bars across the face. And what was his re- 
ward? The high-born damsel went into violent hysteria at 
sight of him, frightening her relatives so that they ordered 
him off the premises. She could never behold him without 
laughing, and at last, discouraged, he returned to Taiohae, 
where he died an old man. 

Tuesday, December 17, 1907. 

While the music was going on last evening, an attenuated 
grey figure angled through the festive gathering and whis- 


pered to Jack. It was Herr Goeltz ; and great was the sur- 
prise, for no one could remember ever having seen him out 
after dark. He took Jack away, and I wondered what was 
up. Jack returned in a little while, accompanied by a na- 
tive, the pair of them bearing two wonderfully carved, full- 
sized paddles, and a model of an old-time Marquesan war 
canoe. No one knows exactly where or when the canoe was 
made, but it is thought to be all of a hundred years old. It 
is the handsomest thing we have, the hard wood dark with 
age, and the deep-cut devices on its sides and full figures at 
each end demonstrate that the Marquesans were wood car- 
vers of no mean talent. Model though it is, the canoe looks 
almost big enough to use; but while it is several feet in 
length, it represents the proportions of the exceedingly long 
war canoes, and its narrow sides would pinch a child. 
These things were part of the furniture of a little cottage 
next the store, belonging to an old captain who was absent, 
and we saw them one day when the Norwegian, who was 
sleeping there, took us to look at some of the curiosities in 
the place. The owner came in on the Gauloise and re- 
mained over. Herr Goletz heard that he was feeling con- 
vivial, took a look in and found him in a mellow mood, and 
then came after Jack, who in some way wheedled the old 
sailor into selling. 

So Martin has been hard put to-day to make a case to fit 
the barbaric battleship; but it is done now, and stands with 
five other boxes as big, one way or another. We all worked. 
Wada came to help Martin, and Jack schemed to stow safely 
the thirty-five-odd weighty bowls we have gleaned from 
Nuka-Hiva. As late as this morning, two more came in. 

While the men did the heavy work, I sat on the floor and 
carefully wrapped the more delicate articles. On the back 
porch, his chair placed so he could watch us, old "Burned- 
out-Cinders" sat mumed in a blanket, for his asthma was 
bad poor old Taituheu, with his perfect Greek face, banded 
across with the wide bars that were once blue but have now 


turned green, as a turquoise turns. And Mauani the dear 
old thing hovered about me all day, sometimes passing her 
slender hands, mittened with their fine tattoo, over the treas- 
ures we were looting from her land; sometimes crooning, 
vowel-throated, in the " evading syllables" of her tongue, 
above some carven koka ; and once, going out of the room, she 
came back with hands full of the flowers I call tuberoses, 
fastening them, one by one, through my hanging hair and 
over my ears. Would that I could pack her in a box, too, 
that she might greet us along with her appropriate furniture 
when we go home again. 

It is said that the nether limbs of the late Queen Vaeheku 
were noted for the most marvellous tattooing in all the Mar- 
quesas. And I imagine our friend Mauani could show some 
traceries worth studying, if one may judge by her feet and 
ankles, which are covered with * ' lace. ' ' But she hasn 't given 
me a chance to see any more, either through modesty or mere 
shyness. It is easy to see she is very proud of her tattooing, 
nodding her head in appreciation of its excellence when- 
ever one points to it. I notice that she also uses the word 
" tattoo" in reference to wood-carving, turtle-shell-carving 
any sort of ornamental scratching. 

The only excitements of special moment to-day were the 
disappearance of a young and exceedingly agile centipede 
(probably brought into the house with the dry banana-leaves 
used in padding) into a full packing-case; and the arrival of 
the schooner Roberta from Tahiti. She is much larger than 
the Gauloise, and looks quite a ship alongside the Snark. 
It is a little world, this! Why, years ago, when Jack was 
seal-hunting off the coast of Japan on the Sophie Sutherland, 
the Roberta, then the Herman, was working in the same 
waters; and Jack used to go "gamming" aboard of her, 
pleasant evenings on the sealing-grounds. This particular 
vessel, of all others, is now in the hands of the French Com- 
pany, away down here in the South Seas, and anchored 
smack alongside Jack's own boat. What next? 


December 18, 1907. 

We hated to get up this our last morning in the Mar 
quesas. I wish we were going to "Yonder Far" (Hiva-Oa] 
and others of the group; but Jack is anxious to receive hii 
mail at Tahiti, and we must hurry hence. It is going or 
three months since we saw home letters or newspapers. 

We lay in our netted beds, conscious of the sweet-scentec 
air, and looking up the eastern battlement of the bay, wit! 
the old fort on tiny ' * Calaboose Hill ' ' in the foreground, al 
woven into marvellous tapestry by the straight lines of i 
heavy tropic shower. The rain turned from diamond t( 
rose-tourmaline and lastly into opal and gold as the sur 
spilled rainbows into it, and then the downfall stopped as 
quickly as it had begun, startling us with the sudden cessa- 
tion of bombardment on our iron roof. I heard Jack quot- 

"You have heard the beat of the off-shore wind, 

And the thresh of the deep-sea rain ; 
You have heard the song how long? how long? 
Pull out on the trail again!" 

I saw his mottled face and hands as he emerged from the 
mosquito-netting, and felt the burning irritation of my owr 
outraged skin, and was glad, after all, of the prospect oJ 
getting to sea once more, away from the wretched nau-naus 
Well are they named not yet-yet, nor then-then, but right 
now-now, with past and future all welded into the insistent 
existent moment. If Nuka-Hiva never sees us again, it maj 
be put down to the nau-naus. 

It did not take very long to make the Snark habitable once 
more. A trip or so of our lifeboat (the launch engine has 
never worked since the morning we arrived) returned al 
belongings, and Jack and I went aboard and stowed oui 
personal things. 

In settling up accounts at the Societe store, Mr. Kreiecli 
left out the item of house-rent, saying that he was only toe 
glad to do this for our entertainment. And he had two men 
raining cocoanuts all morning from the big palms next the 

Double Canoe, Bora-Bora 




store, and others bringing in oranges and limes, that we 
might have our favourite drinks all the way to Tahiti. 

It was hard to big Mrs. Fisher good-bye. There is some- 
thing infinitely lonely about her patient life. Our final sight 
of her was on her low-eaved veranda, smiling sadly, with that 
wistful grandchild clinging to her skirts and weeping heart- 
brokenly at he knew not what. 

Tide would not serve until about ten in the evening, and 
there was no need of going aboard early. So we sat on the 
porch of the empty club-house that once echoed to Robert 
Louis' voice, and for the last time watched the sun go down 
behind the twilight crags, in the foreground the fruit of our 
mango trees and the acacia fronds of the flamboyante sil- 
houetted against a palpitant sky. 

Tahia came and sat at my feet, laying on my knees an 
armful of roses and a circlet of white blossoms on my hair; 
and a Tahitian girl brought more roses and a wondrous hat 
she had made, even the flower-trimming of which was of 
glistening white bamboo. 

We spoke low in the dusky quiet, and from the water heard 
with a thrill the shadowy Snark heaving her anchor short. 
Sitting safely in this peaceful land, among the whispering 
of cocoanut palms and great banana leaves, I felt vaguely 
averse to embarking again on the unrestful ocean, and visions 
of the infamous Paumotus would creep in between my eyes 
and the storied shores of Taiohae. Then I remembered that 
fear is only a word to us of the Snark a word without mean- 
ing. And I also remembered the nau-naus. So I was all- 
too-glad when Jack rose and said it was time to start 
adventure leaping afresh in my heart. 

The going out was lovely as a dream. We slipped along 
in the smooth dark tide with a fair light wind, while plaintive 
little night-voices from the hills stirred the stillness. The 
moon literally burst from an inky cloud at the edge of a 
cliff, and the misty ridges round about the bay lay like gar- 
lands looped upon the mountainsides. 


Our German friends saluted with a shot from shore, 
and "Hoist that spanker!" Captain Warren cried from for- 
ward, while Jack, at the wheel, let go the single stop that 
held the willing mizzen wing. 

How different this, from that dark night we entered. 
Then we could only feel our way; to-night we were lit 
by moon and stars and snowy reflecting clouds, fans of moon- 
rays upon the mountains, and growing patches of light upon 
the water all the paint and tinsel of night under the South- 
ern Cross. 

Never was I so happy, I do believe, as on this dazzling 
night, when the rush and muffled roar of the outside break- 
ers came to our hearing and we felt the Snark taking the 
first swells. At last I know it the lure of the sea, the real 
glamour of it, a thing that can no more be explained than 
Love, or the beginning and end of the universe. 

And with the happiness came a sense of homesickness ; but 
that often comes in my fairest hour of this wild free life that 
is mine, with its great spaces and flowing wind and rolling 

To the nestling night-pipings of sea-birds above the break- 
ers, we passed out the sea-gate of Taiohae and lost the ' ' fixed 
red light" on Calaboose Hill. The spinnaker was set, and 
blossomed and swelled like a great white petal in the moon- 

"The old girl!" Jack said affectionately, giving her a 
spoke as she foamed ahead in the jewelled flood. 

"0 happy! Happy! Happy !' r joyed Nakata, executing 
a queer little Japanese pirouette, with his hands full of 
glasses of lemonade. 

"Good-bye, Typee," we saluted, as we drank and looked 
back on the capes, showing grey in the moonlight like grim 
heroic statues of monster mastiffs. 

The ghostly flowers piled on the bosun's locker sent out 
unearthly sweetness, and the off-shore wind came laden with 
breath of cocoanut and cassi. I know I am growing to be 


like the man who so loved the tropics that he feared his blood 
was purple. 

Good-bye, Typee, and incredible Nuka-Hiva, the first fairy 
port of our southern dreams. And low lie the atolls before 
us, and that mystic lagoon of tinted coral and rainbow life. 

At sea, Marquesas to Society Islands, 
Thursday, December 19, 1907. 

This has been one of our ideal days at sea, after a restful 
night during which the Snark logged sixty knots. It is good 
once more to feel the ocean crooking its sleek back under our 
iron keel. As yet there are no warnings of Paumotan vicissi- 
tudes, although Herrmann has been looking for a change, 
and talked so much about it that the captain told him testily 
not to count his squalls before they were hatched. The wind 
is fair, the waves most comfortable, and a spirit of indus- 
trious prosperity pervades the yacht. 

While Jack and I read our astronomy, the deck is being 
gone over with clean sand from Taiohae beach, and painted 
stanchions under the rail scraped and oiled to show the 
natural oak. Chickens in a coop for'ard keep up a queru- 
lous clatter, and the captain and Herrmann have inter- 
minable discussions concerning obvious trifles. It seems to 
me from my slight experience with sailors, that their minds 
are very immature. They become utterly absorbed in 
harangues about unimportant details that could be disposed 
of in two sentences by the average adult. These differences 
between Captain Warren and Herrmann afford us much 
secret amusement. The skipper is irascible, Herrmann ob- 
stinate ; and when they have parted in the wrath and despair 
of continued misunderstanding (the captain muttering "The 
bally squarehead!") Herrmann can be heard complaining 
(while the lady on his arm oscillates sympathetically), "The 
captain is of too excited. He gets as too excited already." 

We used up our last daylight by reading from Conrad's 


The End of the Tether, Jack with the book, while the rest of 
us lay or sat around the cockpit watching the burning of a 
golden city on the sunset horizon, beyond the rose and 
amethyst swell of the sea. 

Monday, December 23, 1907. 

Before I proceed further, here is a quotation from 
Robert Louis Stevenson's In the South Seas, as an earnest of 
what one may expect in this region of lagoons : 

"... the atoll ; a thing of problematic origin and history, 
the reputed creature of an insect apparently unidentified; 
rudely annular in shape; enclosing a lagoon; rarely extend- 
ing beyond a quarter of a mile at its chief width ; often rising 
at its highest point to less than the stature of a man man 
himself, the rat and the land crab, its chief inhabitants ; not 
more variously supplied with plants ; and offering to the eye, 
even when perfect, only a ring of glittering beach and ver- 
dant foliage, enclosing and enclosed by the blue sea. 

"In no quarter are the atolls so thickly congregated, in 
none are they so varied in size from the greatest to the least, 
and in none is navigation so beset with perils, as in that 
archipelago that we were now to thread. The huge system 
of the trades is, for some reason, quite confounded by this 
multiplicity of reefs ; the wind intermits, squalls are frequent 
from the west and southwest, hurricanes are known. The 
currents are, besides, inextricably intermixed; dead reckon- 
ing becomes a farce; the charts are not to be trusted; and 
such is the number and similarity of these islands that, even 
when you have picked one up, you may be none the wiser. 
The reputation of the place is consequently infamous; in- 
surance officers exclude it from their field, and it was not 
without misgiving that my captain risked the Casco in such 
waters. I believe, indeed, it is almost understood that yachts 
are to avoid this baffling archipelago; and it required all my 
instances and all Mr. Otis's (the captain) private taste 
for adventure to deflect our course across its midst. 

"For a few days we sailed with a steady trade, and a 


steady westerly current setting us to leeward; and toward 
sundown of the 7th it was supposed we should have sighted 
Takaroa, one of Cook's so-called King George Islands. The 
sun sets; yet a while longer the old moon semi-brilliant 
herself, and with a silver belly, which was her successor 
sailed among gathering clouds ; she, too, deserted us ; stars of 
every degree of sheen, and clouds of every variety of form 
disputed the sub-lustrous night; and still we gazed in vain 
for Takaroa. The mate stood on the bowsprit, his grey 
figure slashing up and down against the stars. ... At 
length the mate himself despaired, scrambled on board again 
. . . and announced that we had missed our destination. 
He was the only man of practice in these waters, our sole 
pilot, shipped for that end at Taiohae. If he declared we 
had missed Takaroa, it was not for us to quarrel with the 
fact, and, if we could, to explain it. We had certainly run 
down our southing. Our canted wake upon the sea and. 
our . . . course upon the chart both testified with no less 
certainty to an impetuous westward current. We had no 
choice but to conclude we were again set down to lee- 
ward . . ." 

They sighted an island in the morning, not the one they 
were looking for, but Tikei, "one of Roggewein's so-called 
Pernicious Islands." This seemed entirely out of the 
question, and "at that rate, instead of drifting to the west, 
we must have fetched up thirty miles to windward. And 
how about the current? It had been setting us down, by 
observation all these days: by the deflection of our wake, it 
should be setting us down that moment. When had it 
stopped? When had it begun? And what kind of torrent 
was that which had swept us eastward in the interval? To 
these questions, so typical of navigation in that range of 
isles, I have no answer. Such were at least our facts ; Tikei 
our island turned out to be ; and it was our first experience of 
the dangerous archipelago, to make our landfall thirty miles 

Mine are the italics. And ours is the expected. On 


Friday it began to squall and continued off and on all 
day, with a lively blow once during the night. We were 
obliged to work sweltering in our staterooms with skylights 
screwed down. In a lull toward evening, Jack was lying on 
the life-boat cover, reading, when the main-boom jibed over, 
the sheet catching his head and giving it a wrench that luckily 
did not break his neck. He is still lame in neck and shoul- 
ders. That night, when the drowning moon struggled out of 
the watery vapours astern, there appeared before us a per- 
fect lunar rainbow, the first Jack and I have ever seen. It 
only differed from a sun-bow in its subdued tones. Next, a 
flying-fish came right down into the cabin, looking like an 
offshoot of the rainbow. 

Oh, it is classic Paumotan weather! Saturday the fair 
wind broke off, and it blew from the southwest, with a big 
swell, and we had no rest for rolling. The captain took off 
the jib toward evening, and at midnight, in a nasty squall, 
lowered the mizzen. "We have been averaging over a hun- 
dred knots daily, and on Sunday night, in a tremendous 
black thunder-squall that spit forked fire, we drove through 
the water at ten knots. We sighted a bark that afternoon, 
miles ahead, going the same way with the Snark, but soon 
lost her. 

No chronometer nor latitude sights have been possible for 
two days, and we are wondering how near we shall find our- 
selves to Eangiroa to-morrow, when we should be picking 
it up. To-day has been squally and overcast. At 9 A. M., 
we should have been abreast of the small atoll Ahii to the 
southwest, but were unable to pick it up. Heavy squall at 
noon so heavy that the rain drove through raincoats, and 
even got below in spite of us. Followed a dead lull, in 
which the galley-stove smoked for want of draught. Next 
the wind slapped out of the north for a change. In the 
afternoon there was a much stiffer blow that kept on so 
steadily that the captain thought it might be the beginning 
of a gale, although the glass was normal. Never did I see 
such a downfall of water. The flat-beaten sea smoked with 


its violence, and every line of rain left a white streak on the 
grey water. 

We ate our fried fowl and taro in the cabin, without re- 
moving our seaboots, and solaced the muggy hours of work 
below with many drinks of cocoanut water and orange juice. 

Nakata was laid up with a headache in the afternoon 
the first time we have ever seen him indisposed and when 
he awoke after an hour's nap, we had great sport trying to 
convince him that he had slept the clock around. 

Off the Dangerous Archipelago, 
Tuesday, December 24, 1907. 

At half past four I came on deck in the wan moonlight. 
Jack was forward, on watch for Rangiroa. It was an 
anxious time, for these elusive atolls are but a few feet high, 
and Rangiroa being sixty miles long, we might, with light 
wind and strong current, drift too close. We thought of 
Takaroa, not far away, where the wreck of the British ship 
County of Roxburgh still holds to the reef. 

I notice in the Sailing Directions that when Le Maire and 
Schouten discovered Rangiroa in 1616, they were actually 
driven from the lagoon by " small black flies " the nau-naus, 
of course. They named the atoll Fly (Vliegen) Island. As 
no one now mentions these sandflies as a feature of Rangiroa, 
we must conclude they were all blown off to Nuka-Hiva ! 

Every one will agree that I started this day wrong. In 
the first place, I rose too early, thereby losing sleep; and 
when I went below to wash for breakfast, I took down the 
wrong bottle, deluged my toothbrush with strong ammonia, 
and somehow missed the warning fumes until I started brush- 
ing my teeth with the fiery stuff. 

All morning the captain tried to get a chronometer sight, 
but the sun gave him no chance. A little after nine the sky 
lifted to the southeast and we saw a line of cocoanut palms. 
"Pincushion," observed Nakata; and at that distance they 
did look for all the world like pins. 


But what island could it be ? It did not seem to tally with 
the description of Rangiroa there wasn't enough of it. 
Captain Warren made up his mind that an easterly current 
had swept us so far east that these trees were on the next 
atoll eastward of Rangiroa. So he altered the course to 
about southwest to pick up Rangiroa. He was rewarded a 
little later by another pin-cushion just where he wanted his 
island to be, and great was the general relief. 

It was a marvellous thing to see that atoll rise from the sea 
as we approached, and from moment to moment develop in 
intensity like a plate in the dark-room. The feathered palms 
were stepped in a strand of pale-pink sand, against which 
combed a surf of every vivid shade of blue and green. It 
burst high and white against the rosy barrier, for there was 
a considerable swell and what Jack insisted was a westerly 
current, in spite of Captain Warren's contention. 

Still, we were almost convinced it was Rangiroa, and it re- 
mained only for us to find Avatoru, the northwest passage 
indicated on the chart, con our way in, and anchor in the 
still, sunny waters of the fairy lagoon with its harlequin 
fishes. It seemed as if the sun shone only within that 
charmed circle. 

The captain himself climbed to the masthead and presently 
called down that he saw the entrance. Fifteen minutes later 
he descended with sour and anxious countenance. His en- 
trance was after all only a low part of the reef, with the 
surf breaching clear across. 

Again we sheered off and followed along that puzzling 
island. And the more we scrutinised, the less it tallied with 
the Sailing Directions and the chart. The captain fumed 
and fussed, but held to his opinion that it was Rangiroa. 
Then something showed on the edge of the reef that looked 
like the wreck of a ship, and we wondered if it could be the 
County of Roxburgh, and that we had inexplicably happened 
upon Takaroa. Coming closer, we saw only some blackened 
boulders of coral. 

Jack began to look about with purpose. Day was wearing, 


weather threatening, and something had to be done. He 
found that we were now due west of the island, and since we 
had skirted the entire northwest coast and found no passage, 
it could not be Rangiroa, which has two well-defined northern 
entrances. Therefore he reasoned that the land we had 
sighted in the morning to the southeast was Rangiroa, and 
this atoll we had coasted all day must be Tikahau, the next 
island northwest of Rangiroa. Jack himself got two after- 
noon sights, and asked the captain to work them up ; but the 
man seemed to have gone completely to pieces, and would 
not even make an attempt. So Jack did it, charted a Sumner 
Line, and confirmed his opinion of our whereabouts; but 
Captain Warren refused to accept his conclusions. He 
simply would not admit that he had gone thirty miles wrong, 
even if Stevenson's captain and a special pilot, with days of 
successful sight-taking behind them, as well as countless other 
skippers, had been quite as unavoidably unfortunate. Also, 
he clung to that eastern current of his, although all signs 
pointed to the contrary. 

We now steered north, for the sky was stormy and wind 
shifty, and it would not do to spend the night too near that 
reef. Jack said he thought he would go "butting around for 
a day or two" and find Rangiroa in spite of torrential tides 
and other adverse elements. But no one was enthusiastic, 
and he went below and studied the chart some more. When 
he came up, he walked aft to where the rest of us were sitting, 
looked back thoughtfully at the receding " pin-cushion, " and 
said brightly: 

"Well, Captain Warren, shall we put about for Tahiti ?" 
and to me, "What do you say, Mate?" 

Everybody cheered, even I, for I was as tired as any one, 
hunting for needles or pins in this aqueous haystack, in 
such criminal weather. 

So the course was laid to pass between Tikahau and a little 
island to the northwest of it, Matahiva, and peace descended 
upon the Snark. Next time Jack came on deck he made all 
hands a Christmas present all but me. We had nothing for 


each other but each other ; and, besides, we make our gifts at 
any and all times, instead of upon conventional occasions. 

Jack had been suffering from an increasing headache, and 
before supper it sent him blind to his bunk. . . . And now, 
standing up and writing on my high bunk, I wonder if 
woman ever before spent exactly such a Christmas Eve. I 
have soothed my sick Mate to sleep, and feel very much 
alone, for the thunder and lightning are terrific, the water 
rough, the wind roaring and the white-speck boat only 
forty-five feet long. The captain is on deck and so are the 
men, including the cook, for squalls are stiff and frequent 
and there cannot be too many nor too keen eyes to keep a 
lookout in a night and place like this, nor too many hands 
to obey orders. 

Just now a heavy blow shook the bows. I was certain we 
had struck, for never had a wave dealt such a shock to the 
Snark. I rushed on deck, blinded by the blue sheets of 
lightning, and somehow managed to reach the cockpit where 
Captain Warren was sitting as calmly as if nothing had hap- 
pened. No, he had neither felt nor heard anything. It 
made me appear rather foolish, and I crept below again. I 
am reminded of the dry and comforting lines: 

"The heavens roll above me ; and. the sea 
Swallows and licks its wet lips over me." 

Christmas Day, 1907. 

And it's "Merry Christmas" from stem to stern this day. 
The sun came up at the proper hour for a sun to rise, the 
natural phenomenon of the southeast trade set in, and there 
is a general aspect of restored poise in the universe, except 
that now, southwest of Kangiroa, the fickle Paumotan tide is 
running east ! Well did Charles Warren Stoddard observe : 
' ' If you would have adventure, the real article and plenty of 
it, make your will, bid farewell to home and friends, and 
embark for the Paumotus. ' ' 

When I opened my door this morning, Nakata, head cocked 


on one side like a bird, contemplated me with that elfish 
sweetness of his, and, after giving me full and respectful time 
to spring my l i Merry Christmas, ' ' himself proffered a timid 
"Missis-n Merry Christmas!" Wada, wide of smile in 
the galley doorway,, repeated the greeting. I went on 
deck determined not to be caught again, and nailed Martin 
and Herrmann ; but Jack and the captain spied me from the 
cockpit while I was busy with the first pair, and shouted in 

Poor Jack encountered hard luck again this morning and 
fortunately a hard head. At four, his headache slept off, he 
was coming up to take his watch, when Herrmann, not seeing 
him in the darkness, jammed down the heavy teak compan- 
ionway covers and caught him squarely on the crown. It 
will never do for me, a sailor, not to be superstitious enough 
to wonder what Jack's third accident will be. He is having 
a holiday, however, and it will do him good. But he joined 
the captain in taking chronometer sights, both men working 
them out with assumed latitudes, and differing only a mile in 
their results. These proved Jack's correctness the day be- 
fore, and the captain said Jack's observations this morning 
were perfect. A good noon observation dispelled all uncer- 
tainty about our position, and we should sight Tahiti day 
after to-morrow. It is very fascinating, this finding one's 
position on the world of waters, and I often wish I had time 
to study the science of it. I'd rather see my husband navi- 
gate and sail his boat than write the greatest book ever writ- 
ten. It is living life, whereas writing is but recording life, 
for the most part. Jack himself always insists that he 
wishes he had been a prizefighter ! 

All day the sunshine has scorched down from a broken sky, 
and I cannot express the comfort it spread throughout the 
little ship. Everything moulds so quickly when the sky is 
over-cast, and rainy days have made cabin and staterooms 
stale and unwholesome. It is hard enough to keep even with 
must and rust in good weather. I was caught on deck by 
rain the second night out from Taiohae, and my blankets 


sadly needed drying. The skylights have been raised straight 
up, and drawers and lockers below opened wide to sun and 

The men have been tired and sleepy, after a wakeful night 
of squalls. In one especially ugly one, the mainsheet parted, 
worn by unpreventable friction in calms north of the Line 
when the boom slatted back and forth in defiance of tackles. 

Wada's Christmas dinner was a brilliant success. There 
was tinned soup, followed by shrimp fritters, roast chicken, 
fried taro, tinned corn, salad of tinned French beans and 
mayonnaise ; and for dessert a luscious dish of sliced oranges 
and bananas grated over with fresh cocoanut. Martin and 
the captain contributed a quart of champagne they had 
brought from Taiohae to surprise us. 

Nakata emerged on deck about two o'clock, looking well- 
filled and contented, having banqueted on roast brown chicken 
and plump white kernels of rice. He walked to the fringe 
of bananas swinging above the port rail, contemplated it 
desirefully, selected two large ones, and went forward to eat 
them at leisure. Jack offered a dollar if he would eat twenty 
bananas in the space of half an hour. Nakata could not see 
why Jack wanted to lose money, but wasted no time in helping 
him do so. He took a half-dozen bananas, squatted on the 
deck, and began to assimilate them in judicious, well-masti- 
cated mouthfuls. The six disappeared, Nakata stood up and 
shook himself, took a further half-dozen from Jack, looked 
critically at their size, then at the fringe and back to Jack, 
and requested that he be allowed to select his own fruit. But 
Jack held him to that already picked, so he peeled the seventh 
and began on it, his eyes passing from one to another of us 
with calm, unblinking, Asiatic certitude. By the ninth he 
was sitting again, leaning against the rail and gurgling an 
occasional "0 my!" or imploring smaller fruit, his eye no 
less calm, but wandering more frequently to the clock. 
Once in a while he would break off to laugh at himself, and 
lay a caressing hand upon his distended pod. "Allee same 
chicken-crop," he giggled stuffily. 


By the eleventh banana his laugh was very wheezy and his 
eye less certain. He gazed long at the twelfth before tackling 
it, and half-way through rose stiffly and carefully and threw 
the remaining half overboard, declaring with amiable finality, 
"No can!" He explained in pantomime that he was like a 
cup into which he had been trying to force the contents of 
two cups, and no raising of stakes and lengthening of 
time, even to twenty dollars and another half-hour, could 
tempt him. He leaned painfully over, picked up the re- 
maining eight bananas and ranged them across his body to 
show, by comparing them with his stomach, how unreasonable 
we were. As he went down the companionway, he flashed 
back at us one of his inextinguishable grins. 

"He et so much as it can be," Herrmann commented, with 
his jocund smile. 

Our way is now clear except for two islands. One of 
these, Makatea, lying in latitude 15 48' South, longitude 
148 13' West, we should sight late to-day. It is an uplifted 
atoll two hundred and fifty feet high, revealing its coral 
formation distinctly and having an encircling reef of coral 
in turn, but no entrance for large vessels. It would be 
interesting to visit, for there is something alluring about the 
idea of such an isolated isle, inhabited by a few Polynesians. 
Visible for twenty miles, there is no danger of our running 
upon it unawares. The second island, Tetuaroa or group 
of islets enclosed in a reef thirty miles in circuit is farther 

Thus, we have almost sunk the mysterious Danger- 
ous Archipelago. While it means relief to have run around 
behind such weather, one can but regret not having entered 
just one coral sea-girt ring not to have bartered for one 
"pale sea-tear," one pearl just risen from its coral bed. 
Their very names make one long to know them these thou- 
sand miles of rosy coral wreaths flung northwest to southeast 
across the blue Pacific, with Pitcairn, high Pitcairn of Bounty 
fame, geographically if not geologically belonging to the 


group, bringing up the southernmost end. Are they not 
enticing, these names ? Listen Mangareva, Oeno, Mururea, 
Ahunui, Vahitahi, Negno-Nengo and Fakarava, where 
Stevenson sailed in. 

And the people of varied origin that live under the cocoa- 
nut palms and fish for pearls in the lovely lagoons think of 
seeing those wonderful native divers. It is said the natives 
are very hospitable, most of them resembling the Tahitians, 
although formerly of a more warlike character than the 
Tahitians ever were, so that King Pomare I of Tahiti had 
his body-guard chosen from among them. 

But Jack comes to me and says that many are the pearl 
atolls ahead of us in the southern seas, on to the west, and 
that my lap shall be filled with pearls if I will only wait ! 

Off Tahiti, 
Thursday, December 26, 1907. 

Makatea was passed in the night, but no one saw it, as 
there were squalls all around. We glimpsed Tetuaroa this 
morning. At ten we were about forty miles off Tahiti, and 
the captain will sail until he picks up Point Venus, the 
northernmost jut of the island, then hold back and forth all 
night and at daylight make for the Papeete entrance through 
Tahiti's coral cincture. Point Venus, according to our Sail- 
ing Directory, is the most important geographical site in the 
Pacific, as it has been the point most accurately determined, 
or at least has had more observations made from it than any 
other point. In 1769 Captain Cook, on his first expedition, 
went here in company with Green, the astronomer, to observe 
the transit of Venus. If I had a son, and he looked through 
this old South Pacific Ocean Directory, and then did not 
want to run away to sea, I should disown him! Such un- 
believable romance is spilled through these pages of bare 
facts, such exploits of such brave gentlemen and gallant com- 
manders ! English, French, Dutch, and what not theirs are 
names to conjure with, and we run upon them everywhere: 


Captain Cook, Mendana, Roggewein, Bougainville, Ingra- 
ham, Quiros, Bligh, Boenecheo, Wallis, Marchand, Schouten, 
Cartaret, and so on down the blazing line of men who went 
fearlessly to sea in all sorts of queer craft and drew charts on 
this vast sheet of water. I wonder that any one ever grows 
old in this storied region, this purple desert of the ocean, 
littered with ''fragments of Paradise." As it is, people age 
leisurely. Atrophy is stayed by the atmosphere, physical 
and mental, of Polynesia. That they do die some time or 
other we know, from the plaintive Tahitian proverb : 

"The coral increases, the palm grows, but man departs." 

"We have lived a little, you and I, Mate-Woman," Jack 
said this morning, as we took our book under an awning out 
of the glare. We had been talking over our travel experi- 
ences and the people we had met, from Cuba to Molokai, from 
Paris to the Masquesas. A vivid life it is, and we hold it 
and cherish it, every minute, every hour of to-day, and yes- 
terday, and the fair thought of days that are coming. 

. . . You should see Herrmann this afternoon. Probably 
taking note of a camera on deck, he disappeared below for 
a quarter of an hour. Then he came up, all in white sailor 
ducks, the broad collar flaring back from his powerful neck, 
long time free from any restraint of "high-heeled collars" 
as he innocently calls them. He was exceedingly debonaire 
in a jaunty white hat, on his face the frankest possible smirk 
of satisfaction and expectancy of admiration. He had 
shaved a three-weeks ' stubble, and the smirk was a whimsical 
ghost of Mona Lisa's smile, lurking half-abashed behind the 
mandarin-droop of a yellow moustache. 

He has been irrepressibly talkative all day, has Herrmann, 
and the captain correspondingly glum. "The fool Dutch- 
man," he growled, reminiscent of Herrmann's enthusiastic 
efforts at being clerk of the weather in the Paumotus. His 
moroseness passed lightly above the sailor's guileless head, 
however, for presently, bending over a piece of canvas with 
the statement that he was not so quick mit the needle as he 


was more time before yet, Herrmann went on to tell of his 
last experience in an American ship, where, contrary to the 
usual custom on vessels from our country, the men were 
poorly fed. Their fare, he said, was but six slices daily of 
unrisen bread, with rusty, weevily pea-soup five times a week. 
The captain wanted to make him bo's'n, but Herrmann 
would not accept the promotion. ' ' I cannot as drive the men 
of the way I must ought," he lucidly explained to us. "I 
cannot of swear a more o' many than dom, and like o' that, 
when I am as very mad." Then he recounted how one day 
a seventeen-year-old boy fell overboard, and the captain did 
not turn his head until one of the officers rushed past to the 
wheel. "Then the cap'n called him back, and came along- 
side the rail up, and nevermore did I as hear such a lan- 
guage as he of used. The youngster boy he vas as trying 
save himself mit the log-line, and like o ' that, and the cap 'n 
swearing at him of to let go. And that youngster boy he 
let go. But that was not any never mind to the cap'n. It 
vas awful to see that boy as of left behind. . . . No, I can- 
not as drive the men. I cannot as swear yet as like that al- 
ready. ' ' 

According to Herrmann, his association with the Snarls' s 
company has wrought great improvement in his English. 
"I have of learning more English as every day," he beams 
repeatedly (he is always afraid he will not be heard) ; but I 
vow he isn 't learning it from me ! His ambition is to own a 
farm in America. "It is the only country of what I like," 
he avers. 

. . . The day had been sticky hot. Sky and water have 
vied in outshining each other and have met in a brassy glare. 
My head has ached, but my fuzzy utterance concerning it, 
produced by the ammonia ravages inside my mouth, has 
caused more mirth than becoming sympathy. 

The bulk of Tahiti is plainly to be seen, but its eight 
thousand feet of volcanic upheaval is lost in leaden billows 
of cloud. Jack and Martin are laying plans for getting to 
work on engine repairing as soon as may be after arrival. 


The captain pores charts, and, as twilight comes on, sweeps 
the nearing coast for the Point Venus Light, supposed to be 
visible at fifteen miles. The captain was in Papeete some 
twenty-five years ago in a training-ship, but remembers little 
about its approaches. 

What are our dear ones at home thinking, all these weeks 
without report of the Snarkf We had written before leav- 
ing Hawaii that we should not be more than three weeks 
going to the Marquesas and we were over eight. There is 
no cable from Tahiti. There never was one, in spite of a cer- 
tain English writer to the contrary. The first word we can 
send will be by the old steamer Mariposa, which Captain 
Chabret told us would leave Papeete on January 13, making 
a twelve days' voyage to San Francisco; and on this steamer 
will go all the mail we sent from Taiohae by the Gauloise. 
The Mariposa should be in Tahiti on the 9th, and we can 
hardly wait to get our hands on our letters. 

Again must I break into the Log, briefly to narrate months 
passed in Tahiti, a land which, although surpassingly beau- 
tiful from craggy mountain head to smoking surf, is very 
much on the " tourist route, " and very much exploited 
in book and steamship circular. 

No one who has entered the harbour of Papeete, "Paris 
of the Pacific/' is ever likely to forget the emotional impact 
of it. Outside the coral barrier, one sees to the south the 
smoke of reefs, rising, drifting over the rainbow-coloured 
channel between Tahiti and pinnacled Moorea, lying to the 
west; then follows the exciting fight through the swift out- 
ward current of the narrow reef-entrance into the harbour, 
with the wicked waters leaping, hissing, reaching, snapping, 
from the treacherous coral on either hand. Once safely in- 
side and past the reefy wooded islet in the middle of the 
harbour, Motu-uta, the calm of the haven is like peace of 
prayer after deliverance from peril, and you lift your eyes to 
green palmy hills, on to the abrupt heights of solemn Oro- 


hena, Aorai, Piti-Hiti, and other stern mountain heads 
The Diadem, a thorny tiara of spiked peaks, like the Dent 
du Midi of Switzerland. 

And then the town: never was anything sweeter to look 
upon than this garden spot of flowers and vines and trees of 
deepest green, the quaint French roofs peeping here and 
there from among the flamboyante and fau and mango foli- 
age. The Quai de Commerce, Papeete's main thoroughfare, 
runs along the in-curving water front, embowered in mag- 
nificent flamboyante trees, with houses and shops on the 
shore-side only, while the seaward outlook of the broad ave- 
nue is unobstructed save for gnarled tree-trunks, and little 
white schooners and sloops backed up in deep water right to 
the sheer margin of the street, their graceful bows facing 
out toward the barrier reef. 

Near the southern end of the crescent, a high white 
church, red-roofed, is reflected upon the glassy water in- 
shore, and other buildings, long and white and many-win- 
dowed, are duplicated as clearly like a fleeting glimpse of 
a Swiss city on a lake. 

Along the street occasional slow forms in long gowns of 
white or pink, red or blue, move to and fro, or a duck-suited 
Tahitian, going just fast enough to keep from falling, wheels 
on a bicycle. 

To north and south of the harbour lie idyllic points of low 
white beach, crowded with laden cocoanut palms; and as 
you gaze at them and between their pillared trunks to the 
intensely blue water of other bays beyond, over the whole 
lovely picture comes a change that is all in your own brain. 
In place of the houses of the French and their half-castes, 
you behold golden brown grass huts of the early Tahitians, 
scattered under trees that are not flamboyante trees. 
Moored in sheltered places, or drawn up on the beach, you 
see scores of enormous war canoes, perhaps the mighty fleet 
of nearly two thousand that was here in Cook's day. There 
are no streets, only haphazard pleasure-lanes among the 
pandanus-thatched dwellings; and no steamer-wharf and 


long unsightly sheds of commerce mar the perfect sweep of 
shore-rim. Under the palms pace stately figures of men 
and women, and a warm trade-wind rustles the great fronds 
above them. 

Then you fancy a commotion in the happy village, and, 
following the stretched arms of the natives, turn to greet a 
wonderful sight two painted galleons, questing along the 
outer edge of the barrier reef. They spy the passage and 
alter their course fair vision of strangely fashioned hulls 
and gleaming canvas, as a favouring zephyr swells the fan- 
tastic sails. Perhaps it is morning, or maybe flush of sun- 
set; or, again, it is the brazen noon that strikes upon land 
and sea. It does not matter each phase of the day is more 
beautiful than another. 

In the carven bows stand two Spanish adventurers, Luis 
Valdez de Torres and Pedro Fernandez de Quiros. Three 
hundred years ago, first of European voyageurs, they raised 
Tahiti; and secretly from all the world but Spain they car- 
ried home the name they gave to their discovery, La Sagit- 
taria. So well did Spain guard her knowledge that when, 
more than a century and a half later, Captain Wallis came 
upon Tahiti in the Dolphin, he did not dream but what he 
was the first white man to set foot upon King George Island, 
as he christened it, in honour of George III who had equipped 
the expedition. A year later came Bougainville 1768 and 
called the land Nouvelle Cythere. In 1769, the ubiquitous 
Captain Cook dropped in. Don Domingo Bonecheo hap- 
pened along in 1772, and changed La Sagittaria of 
Quiros and de Torres to Tagiti. And on his last voyage, 
Cook, with Furneaux, made his third visit to Papeete Har- 
bor, August, 1777. Eleven years later the Bounty ar- 
rived in Matavai Bay, on the other side, commissioned by 
George III to transport breadfruit trees to British West 
Indies. Captain Edwards, in search of the Bounty and her 
mutineers, reached Tahiti in March of 1791, and Vancouver 
saw the island in the same year. The London Missionary 
Society sent out the Duff to carry missionaries and Bibles to 


this group and anchored at Tahiti on the fitting day of Sun- 
day, March 5, 1797. Truly, we are late in this part of the 
world. Everything is altered, except the up-thrusting spires 
of the amazing mountains; so it is good once in a while to 
give rein to the imagination and restore as best one may 
the unspoiled paradise of past centuries. 

After standing off all night in the squalls, keeping Point 
Venus light in our eye, in a gorgeous sunrise Captain War- 
ren steered for the entrance through a breaking reef, while 
the ship was made trig and trim and I added a duck skirt 
to my costume. Everything seemed in our favour as we 
dipped and slid in a pleasant sea toward the narrow channel. 
We had no cause for misgiving, and could devote ourselves 
to enjoying the beautiful picture of the island. 

Alas the breeze dropped us very near the entrance, and 
in a dangerous position, for even so chunky and sturdy a hull 
as ours could never survive a pounding on this iron coral. 
So it was up with signals, and promptly our friend Captain 
Chabret responded, coming out in a launch; and promptly 
broke down as soon as he had made fast to our side. 
Anxiety? Try it once a small vessel like ours, drifting 
straight toward a toothed ledge of adamant roaring with 
bursting seas, her sails slatting uselessly with each lurch, and 
an impotent tug bobbing alongside. 

It was not the tug that pulled us through, but the good old 
much abused wind, which picked us up at exactly the right 
point in our game of chance. And we made as pretty an 
arrival at Papeete as Jack's yachtsman heart could desire, 
beating lightly across the harbour, the yacht like a graceful 
skater on ice, her white sails filling now to this side, now to 
that, as Jack, steered, his bright face all alive with achieve- 
ment and pride in his dear little tub! "The old girl!" I 
heard him laugh. 

The American cruiser Annapolis was in port from Tutu- 
ila, Samoa, and Captain Warren fairly strutted when she 
dipped her flag. 


The port doctor, M. DuBruelle, came out and assured him- 
self of our excellent health. He seemed especially inter- 
ested in knowing if we had any live rats aboard, and we 
learned that the plague scare in San Francisco had not 

Before the port doctor's boat left, another came skimming 
out, this time a tiny familiar outrigger, paddled by a native 
and carrying a blood-red flag. Standing in the canoe was a 
startlingly Biblical figure a tall, tawny blond man with 
russet gold beard and long hair, and great blue eyes as 
earnest as a child's or a seer's. His only garmenture was a 
sleeveless shirt of large-meshed fish-net and a loin cloth of 

We were fairly spell-bound by the striking vision, and still 
more mystified when it broke the silence with a matter- 
of-fact friendly " Hello, Jack!" and " Hello, Charmian!" 

Then Jack recognised him "The Nature Man/' Ernest 
Darling, whom he had met in California some years before, 
and greeted him cordially. 

"But what's the red flag for, Darling?" Jack wanted to 

"Why, Socialism, of course," he answered simply. 

"Oh, I know that," Jack said, "but what are you doing 
with it?" 

"Delivering the message," Ernest Darling declaimed, with 
a sweeping gesture of both tawny arms toward Papeete. 

"To Tahiti?" Jack asked incredulously. 

"Sure." And the Nature Man clambered aboard, shook 
our hands, and gazed into our faces with his sweet, mystical, 
unsmiling eyes, and then became suddenly and utterly ab- 
sorbed in unpacking a little basket, setting on the cockpit 
seat a small jar of clear white honey, two bursting-ripe man- 
goes, a tiny jar of heavy cocoanut cream, and two small, 
perfectly ripe alligator pears, which latter Jack hailed with 
a hungry smack. 

He is a picturesque creature, this Nature Man, and good, 
good clear through. Of course he is a little mad patently 


because he lives differently from the generality of people; 
as Robert Louis Stevenson was a little mad in that he chose 
to walk barefoot ; as I must also be mad, on that same score. 
In spite of his interest to us, however, Jack and I had the 
same thought about Darling one look between us told it all 
that he would be a disturber of our coveted solitude ashore, 
and that, as sure as doom, he would proselyte unceasingly in 
the sacred cause of nakedness, diet or lack of it cocoanut 
hair-oil, fish-net shirts in winter, and so on. . . . How could 
we dream of his delicacy, that kept him from intruding until, 
weeks later, we sent for him ; nor his devotion in illness, nor 
his generosity with all he possessed? 

"Any old place I can hang my hat 
Is home, sweet home, to me," 

one tramp sang ; but with this glowing young tramp of mine, 
this peripatetic Jack London, any old place he can hang his 
writing elbow on any old table, is good enough for him. He 
is a wonder to me. My first responsibility in any new place 
is to find or devise a table for his work ; and there have been 
some queer ones. No matter how alluring the situation, how 
novel, how exciting, at nine of the clock down he sits, pep- 
pers the plane before him with little note-pads, some already 
scribbled, some blank, squares his manuscript tablet or 
diagonals it, rather, for that elbow rests well on the table 
selects an ink-pencil from the half dozen that Nakata keeps 
filled, reads over the previous day's thousand words usually 
aloud to me and then, with a little swooping bob that seems 
to shake him free of all external bother, and a busy, wise 
little smile, he settles for two hours of creation of bread and 
butter, he will have it. Sometimes he looks up, with a big 
smile in his eyes, and says to me: 

' ' Funny way to make a living, isn 't it, Mate-Woman ? ' ' 
And I often wonder how many men can do it carry their 
business around with them, and attend to it strictly, day 
after day, at stated hours, living romance and creating ro- 

Off for Tahaa with Tehei 

Pahia, Bora-Bora 


mance at the same time. Now I can spill my thoughts over 
many pages at the end of the most thrilling day ; but to re- 
strain oneself to certain hours is another matter. Also, Jack 
practically never writes of experiences while he is in the thick 
of them. He waits; he gains perspective and atmosphere 
through time. He is the artist, the painter; I am mere 
photographer with colour plates, true, at times, but still a 

In Lavaina's famous hotel I left the artist to his painting, 
and went house hunting. I found a cottage embowered in 
roses and tiare and blumeria, shady with breadfruit and 
palm, and drowsy with honey bees. The ground sloped 
greenly up at the back to a mossy high wall over which 
drifted choral voices of men and boys in a Catholic school. 
The cottage was let to us by our good friend Alexandre 
Drollet, government interpreter. It was ours for three 
months, during which we made a month's round-trip to 
San Francisco on the steamer Mariposa, leaving the Snark 
engines to be repaired for the third time. The history of 
these Papeete repairs is largely one of graft, in which our 
captain shared bountifully. We should have let him go, but 
for one thing. We had learned, from him, be it said to his 
credit, of his having served seven years of a life sentence 
for murder. He had been pardoned, and we, to give him 
this chance to rehabilitate himself, kept him on despite his 
known crookedness to us. 

We worked very hard in Tahiti we had to work hard to 
keep even with the graft. Jack knew it long before he told 
me; but his way is always to let people hang themselves in 
their own way. Perhaps it is a good method by which to 
learn one's essential human relationships. 

Although we enjoy work and the opportunity to work, 
I am not sure it is the best thing for us under this ardent 
sun. Our friend Dr. E. S. Goodhue, in Hawaii, warned us 
repeatedly that we were living too strenuously in an ener- 


vating climate. I am tired beyond all apparent reason, much 
of the time. But be this as it may, one thing is certain, as 
Jack says we shall never rust, in this or any other latitude. 

The custom among the French in Tahiti requires a visitor 
to make the initial call. Since we did not learn this until 
near the end of our three months, and since we are ever 
poor callers, we were practically uninterrupted; and Omar 
himself might have benignly envied us our life in that idyllic 
garden. A few delightful souls broke through the inhospi- 
table habit of the country, and gave us some happy social 
hours the Meuels of the Steamship Company ; the Tourjees 
(his father was founder of the Boston Conservatory of 
Music); Consul Dreher and his wife; and Mr. Young, a 
wandering friend of the Nature Man's. Also, the famous 
Tati Salmon bade us to his home at Papara for the New 
Year's festival. There we met his daughters and sons 
splendid examples of the physical aristocracy of Polynesian 
chief -stock mingled with English blood; all educated in 
Paris, and now living their sumptuous tropical life. Husky 
Jack London was a mere babe alongside these strapping 
girls, who easily weighed three hundred. We attended 
a fair and a feast at Papara, and, most remarkable of all, 
in the narrow white French church heard the himine singing 
of the native Christians, a beautiful production in which the 
women carry the air, and the men produce an accompani- 
ment of sound, the volume and tone of which is akin to a 
pipe organ. This is familiarly known as "the Tahiti 
Organ." The melodies are based upon old hymns, but have 
become infused with an indescribable barbaric lilt that is 
infinitely stirring. 

We also came to know dear old man McCoy and his kind- 
hearted daughter of the McCoys of Pitcairn and the Bounty. 
Our acquaintance with them was a rare bit of luck for us. 

One especial blessing, when we could tear ourselves from 
the completeness of our home life under the breadfruit and 
palms, was our sunset swimming off the Snark's rail. We 
were a mixed and exuberant company Captain Warren, 


our Japanese boys, Martin, M. and Mme. Drollet and their 
brood, the Nature Man and Mr. Young and others ; and great 
was the splashing and laughter and defiance of sharks. Once, 
we arose before dawn, and, with the Nature Man, climbed 
the perpendicular heights to his tiny plantation. And 
often, of mornings, before Jack was awake, I sallied out in 
flowing native garb and bare feet for dewy walks in the 

I believe our only really unpleasant experience in Papeete 
was Jack 's bout with the dentist. His teeth had been threat- 
ening for some time, and finally "blew up/' as he expressed 
it. His sufferings were such that the American dentist, Dr. 
Williams, finally begged Jack to take a vacation, as both of 
them were nervously exhausted. We acted upon this good 
advice and took a week's cruise to Moorea, which proved as 
beautiful as the sunset vision of it that we were accustomed 
to. ... And here I shall shake off the temptation to speak 
more at length of Tahiti, and go aboard our little floating 
home once more. 

Aboard the Snark, at sea, 
Between Raiatea and Bora-Bora, Society Islands, 

Thursday, April 9, 1908. 

Five days ago, we bade farewell to Tahiti. All was packed 
and ready two days before ; but the weather was outrageous, 
with a falling glass. Then, of course, something had to go 
wrong with the small engine so that we had no electric lights. 
The growing friction between Warren and Herrmann had 
ripened into a breach that lost us the sailor. A runaway 
seaman from a French ship took the Dutchman's place at the 
last moment of our departure a rather good-looking but 
weak-faced youth from Bordeaux. 

Having pulled up stakes at the Drollet house and sent our 
things aboard, we went to Lavaina's hotel. There were few 
guests, and our rest would have been good but for mosqui- 
toes and the noisy revels of a couple of citizens of Papeete 
who were entertaining, in a near-by cottage, some of the 


officers of the Chilean training ship in port. Whatever may 
be the ship's discipline, these Chileans are a lawless lot off 
duty. So impudent are the dark-browned little rascals that 
a white woman feels uncomfortable alone in the streets. 
And they are such soiled, untidy creatures, both officers and 
men. However, they are more attractive than the general 
run of hoodlums at home, for, as with the Latin races gen- 
erally, they are full of good music, and some have excellent 

First we heard the distant music of their band, which 
was giving a concert ashore; and after the home-going car- 
riages of the Papeeteans had all rattled by, there came the 
ringing robust voices of the Chileans as they marched down 
street to the cottage across the way, the melting contraltos 
of their native girls blending in the rollicking chorus played 
by the band. 

Once indoors, one 'convivial South American wrestled most 
musically with ' * La Paloma, ' ' evidently remembering it "by 
ear," with frequent assistance from his friends; but the 
spirit and go compensated for lapses and interruptions. 
Some one played his accompaniments on a piano and we lay 
and listened to the songs and cries of "Bis! Bis!" Then 
came dancing, hula-hula after hula-hula, to the strains 
(most strained) of an accordion, every one crazy with fun, 
while wild laughter and drinking songs broke out between 
whiles. In a lull, a man sang "Les Rameaux" in a glorious 
baritone to a splendid piano accompaniment; after which 
two others were inspired to make a triumphant duet out of 
the song. We could only compare the affair to some talented 
college fraternity turned loose only there was something of 
true Bohemianism about these swarthy small foreigners that 
no cool-blooded Anglo-Saxon ever quite achieves perhaps 
because he tries too hard. And also it is easier for those 
who have acquired music with their mothers' milk to infuse 
their fun with true abandon. 

Evidently it makes a difference who breaks the peace of 
Papeete after 10 p. M. The line was promptly drawn by 


neighbours against our poor phonograph playing later than 
nine at Drollet 's ; and Lavaina 's guests were called down for 
mere singing and piano playing shortly after the ultra-re- 
spectable hour. But these same guests are subject to annoy- 
ance from the immediate neighbourhood, and nothing is said. 
" Funny," as Nakata would remark. In this particular in- 
stance, however, Jack and I counted our sleep well lost. 

Lavaina is one of the few honest business persons in 
Papeete. She is "all right," and there is no graft in her. 
It is even said that she often suffers by her lack of cupidity 
in dealings with less guileless ones in her bailiwick. Just 
as she had greeted us three months before, she now sped us 
with her famous cocktails, and we departed with a tall bottle 
of the same, and her good wishes. 

We had M. and Mme. Drollet for our parting dinner at 
Lavaina 's. He brought Jack a backgammon board, while 
Madame presented me with a roll of bamboo hat braid of 
her own make ; and the twain sent aboard the yacht the last 
of their incomparable breadfruit. Mr. Young and the Na- 
ture Man loaded us with taro and feis and bananas, to say 
nothing of drinking cocoanuts. 

And as we throbbed out through the breaking barrier reef, 
waving good-bye to our friends on the wharf,' we knew that 
our last memory of Papeete Harbor, as it is our first, will 
always be the quaint Biblical figure in its scarlet waving 
loin-cloth, Ernest Darling, the Nature Man. 

In spite of delay and graft, and Jack's terrible time with 
his teeth, our days in Papeete were very sweet, living on the 
fat of the land (blissfully garnished with garlic) ; but it 
was with a distinct joy of relief that we turned to the north- 
west and watched for our next island. Jack's spirits were 
somewhat dampened by a mild attack of seasickness. I had 
a violent headache all night, which may have been a form 
of the same malady. There was a distressing double sea, and 
not wind enough to steady us in it. 

We carried three passengers from Tahiti, although not of 


the description to cause us to forfeit our yacht license. One 
was an amiable yellow pup, en route to a native maiden on 
Raiatea ; the other two passengers were served up brown just 
as we passed through Raiatea 's reef entrance, and closely 
resembled one of Wada's masterly achievements of fried 
chicken. This was the first time on the run that we saw Jack 
interested in kai-kai which is the Tahitian for food. 

Skirting the reef for some distance, hunting for our en- 
trance, we had a long vision of Raiatea an elysium of 
green mountains and greener foothills. The highest is 
nearly four thousand feet, but the general outlines are less 
startling than Moorea's or even Tahiti's bluff shoulders. 
There is one mighty bastion, however, probably an ancient 
blowhole, to the right of the village an important landmark 
for mariners. 

Two miles north of Raiatea, and within the same reef (an 
unusual phenomenon), lies another large island, Tahaa, sur- 
rounded by its brood of islets. 

As I sat up forward in the sunset, revelling in the fertile 
loveliness of Raiatea, Jack came behind, took my head in 
both his hands, set my face to the west, and pointed off be- 
tween Raiatea and Tahaa to where a wondrous castled shape 
of earth was flung against the burning sky and I knew it 
for that far-famed gem of Polynesia, Bora-Bora. Even now, 
days afterward, sailing closer and closer, this island loses 
none of its enchantment. 

But to get back to our arrival at Raiatea : 

The Snark passed between two emerald islets that guard 
either side of the reef entrance, into the Bay of Teavarua. 
There is another passage, but the water was breaking there 
and we chose the wider and smoother way lively enough at 
best. Captain Warren remarked, as he did concerning 
Opunohu Bay at Moorea, that there was nothing the matter 
with the harbour except too much water, the depth being 
between eighteen and twenty-four fathoms, although with 
good holding-ground. We learn all we can beforehand about 
these anchorages. Our hook bit in at about eighteen fath- 


oms, and the yacht swung to the puffy little willie-waws that 
ran down the hills. It was dark, except for a tender young 
moon and one lone light ashore. We could dimly make out 
a schooner lying close in by the land, and two or three long 
buildings that resembled factories. 

We did not go ashore. The Snark is our home once more, 
and our own beds are the best we know. 

The next morning, Monday, my head ached harder than 
ever, and I stayed below. About eleven Jack tentatively 
observed that if I felt able, we might take a short sail in a 
canoe with a most ingratiating native. I was not enthusi- 
astic, but to please Jack I crawled out and up, to find a 
rusty outrigger alongside rocking to a snowy spritsail the 
size of which was comically out of proportion to the slender 
dugout. The owner, a bright-faced, alert-bodied islander 
with uncommercially honest eyes, was modestly blessing us 
with bundles of greens and a basket of knobby sweet pota- 
toes, for all of which he would take no price. He was 
garbed in a pareu and a straw hat, and his name is Tehei 
(pronounced Tay-hay'-ee) good Tehei, now at the Snark' s 
wheel, piloting us to Bora-Bora; while Bihaura (Bee-hah- 
oo '-rah), his wife, sits near by and hemstitches like a Mexi- 
can needlewoman, after one lesson from me. 

But I am anticipating as I sometimes must when recapit- 

Well, we dropped into the canoe, Jack in pajamas and I 
in bathing-suit (for I was absolutely sure that airy spritsail 
would capsize the outrigger), and Tehei lifted me down as 
carefully as if I were a baby. We sailed away toward the 
reef, Jack balancing on the outrigger, for any canoe is ticklish 
with a sail and such a spread of cotton as this ! Tehei was 
as fine and quick as could be in handling his boat, on each 
tack lifting a sun-bleached log over on the weather out- 
rigger to offset the force of the wind, at the same time mo- 
tioning Jack to shift his weight to wind 'ard. I sat damply 
on a piece of board resting across the sides of the canoe, 
which sides were not more than a foot apart. A canoe under 


sail is little less than a keel in itself, its passengers mere bal- 
last and disposed almost on a level with the water, their feet 
resting in the swash at the bottom of the narrow coffin-like 

We were children on a lark. I forgot that I ever had a 
headache. This merry adventure was more like the real 
thing than anything we had done yet. What mattered 
Papeete, with its degenerate civilisation and its business 
sharks? Or poor lovely Taiohae with its careless govern- 
ment that lets it go to rack and ruin, its sinned-against peo- 
ple dying without spirit to resist death! 

Tehei's slim French and redundant motions finally con- 
vinced us he was serious in desiring to take us on to Tahaa, 
whence he had come; so we called on our own French and 
gestures to get him to take us back to the yacht for a few 
accessories such as cigarettes, a comb, a handkerchief. A 
tin cracker box was packed and wrapped in a rubber poncho, 
for a possible stay over night. While we had our midday 
meal below, Tehei sat contentedly on deck and ate maitai 
kai-kai (good food) according to his own pleased verdict. 

By half past twelve we were careening dizzily off for a 
new island. Tehei seemed to know every fathom of the 
lagoon, and presently left the deeps, guiding swiftly over 
broad coral shallows. I found my breath coming quickly 
at the proximity of some of the large coral masses ; but Tehei 
perched in the stern and serenely steered with a big paddle 
overside, winding in and out the little channels of the reef, 
familiar to him as our city streets to us. The smallness of 
the craft and its disproportionate canvas, together with our 
whizzing speed, recalled an ice-yachting experience I once 
had up in Maine, on a Mt. Desert lakelet. 

Let no one imagine we arrived dry at Tahaa. We did not. 
Jack was drenched; as for me, the water had poured 
into my lap, and I had been kept busy, as my part of work- 
ing the boat, bailing with a contrivance hollowed from a sec- 
tion of a small tree a sort of scoop with two elongated par- 
allel holes for the hand to grasp. 


At the time we climbed out at Tahaa and waded ashore 
(Tehei first offering to carry me), we did not know of the 
olden fame of this island and Raiatea for hospitality. Wil- 
liam Ellis, in his Polynesian Researches, published in 1829, 
while recounting some startling horrors of the natives of the 
Society Group, gives the Raiateans a reputation for gentle- 
ness and courtesy unequalled in any of the other communi- 
ties. But we had no preparation for the wonder we were to 
know in the small thatched house before us. A dark, wiry 
little vahine, anything but a beauty but sparkling with in- 
telligence, came running to Tehei 's musical hail, and bustled 
us in. I am glad that an ancient custom of the natives has 
lapsed that of greeting newcomers or friends with loud 
wailings and lacerations of the flesh with sharks' teeth! 

The ground about the house had a damp, bare appearance 
as if it had lately been inundated. A few trees grew around, 
and a patch of sugar cane. We stepped on the flat bottom 
of an antiquated canoe-prow, mounted to a porch under 
long pandanus eaves, and were conducted into the one large 
room. Tehei followed, having first unshipped mast and sail 
and brought them ashore ; and he and Bihaura brought us a 
foot tub of fresh water and a bath towel think of it ! a bath 
towel. Then, with delightful importance, they fished deep 
into a cedar chest in a corner for a dry shirt for Jack. I 
asked, "Ahuf" (which is Tahitian for eueu), and the small 
vahine in limp black calico disappeared head and shoulders 
into the scented receptable, emerging with a clean white 
dotted muslin ahu and a chemise that was doubtless her Sun- 
day best, for it was elaborate with cotton crochet. These 
luxuries were presented with little bows and ducks and 
smiles, and, finally satisfied that we had what we needed, 
the pair quietly withdrew outdoors the very pink of unob- 
trusive consideration. Going to latch the door more se- 
curely, I found it had a quaint latchstring of cocoanut fibre, 
like one we once saw in Hawaii. 

Invisible to those without, we could look through the 
breezy bamboo walls and see our friends bustling about a 


thatched cookshed. Dried and dressed, we went to hang our 
wet clothes in the sun. Bihaura materialised on the spot 
from empty air, I suppose, as we had seen her busy else- 
where an instant before, and took charge of things with 
good-natured peremptoriness and capability. 

It is not so much what Tehei and his mate do; it is the 
way they do it, without apparent unusual effort. We have 
been hospitably, gracefully, lovingly entertained before; but 
never, in any land, by any people, white or black or brown, 
have we received such absolute perfection of treatment as 
from this simple kanaka and his simple vahine. The point 
is, not that they placed their house, their raiment, their food, 
and their personal service at our disposal, but that they did 
it as if there were nothing unusual in the proceeding as if 
it were the most natural thing in the world to give their 
comforts and their privacy to entire strangers from a strange 
country, coming to them without scrip or purse. In fact, 
they came out after us, as if they ached to devote their beau- 
tiful souls to some one. We had expected to find kindness 
and hospitality ; but we were overwhelmed not only with the 
measure, but the delicacy and fineness of it. There was not 
the shadow of curiosity in their demeanour in spite of our 
weird habiliments and our luggage of tin cracker box. We 
were entertained with a solicitude that lacked servility, a 
friendliness in which there was no obtrusiveness. 

While Tehei did the main cooking (an excellent custom 
in Polynesia that carries no onus with it), his wife worked 
a transformation scene in the house. Their few personal 
belongings were stowed in corners and covered neatly with 
woven mats of lauhala. Other and finer mats were spread 
double and triple on the floor beside a big high bedstead, 
made up with clean sheets and pillow-cases, with a downy 
red and white steamer-rug spread across the foot. The 
bed-space they screened and canopied with ample quilts 
that would put a New England county fair in the shade. 
The bureau and inevitable sewing machine which, with bed 
and two chairs, was the entire European furniture were 


cleared for our use. A large packing box set in the middle 
of the room served as table, laid with a spotless hemmed 
cotton cloth, water bottle, two plates, two forks, one knife. 
Some of these were borrowed from a neighbour upon whom 
Bihaura seemed partially to depend for taste in setting and 
serving the meal. She was a well favoured woman, named 
Metua, not young, who had travelled to Raratonga and 
Hawaii, and spoke a few words of English. Later in the 
afternoon we were lounging on the porch, on a clean mat 
and a big white pillow stuffed with floss of cotton-tree, and 
once, hunting for change of position, I rested my head on 
the woman's knee. She caressed my head for a long time; 
and when she went home, Jack called my attention to her 
legs and feet as she pulled up her gown in a sudden shower. 
Then I saw she had elephantiasis fee-fee. It did not seem 
to embarrass her, nor did she attempt to hide the deformity. 
Fortunately for my peace of mind, this malady is not con- 
tagious, and the woman was as clean and neat as any one 
could be. 

It takes these people hours to prepare a proper meal ; so, a 
little before sunset, seeing no imminence of dinner, we took a 
walk through the village, which is composed of scattered 
dwellings, some native, some dilapidated European, stringing 
along both sides of a single thoroughfare built across a strip 
of the marshy lowland that forms the shores of Raiatea and 
Tahaa. There may originally have been some advantages in 
the introduction of "neat European houses," as they were 
dubbed by the old missionaries, into South Sea communities ; 
but one cannot help wishing that a certain missionary of 
the early nineteenth century had not followed his bent. 
After repeated and discouraging trials to get the incredulous 
and unwilling natives to profit by his example and erect 
geometrical habitations of wood and stone and plaster after 
the manner of English cottages, this good man was struck 
with a glimmer of the fitness of things, for he plaintively 
admitted that sometimes he almost believed the rambling 


style of architecture and situations of the aborigines better 
suited the wild loveliness of the islands than the four-by- 
square atrocities he was painfully trying to substitute. The 
enormous glaring white meeting-house now falling into decay 
is a blot on the beauty of Tahaa, and as it does not seem 
to be used for any purpose, it will be a mercy if the next 
hurricane wipes it out of the picture. 

Those whom we met accosted us with welcoming smiles and 
la ora nas, while numerous children trooped after, for few 
whites come to Tahaa, and there is but one white resident. 
The natives are very good looking, some quite handsome. 
One scarlet-girdled young wood god gladdened our eyes, 
swinging by with a long hunting spear over his shoulder, 
dog at heels, a chaplet of leaves on his curly head, and a 
laugh and song on his red lips. 

But gone are the days when the people of Polynesia ex- 
erted themselves to any extent. They catch just enough fish 
for their own needs and a little over and above to sell when 
they want money; their cultivation of vegetables and fruits 
is sporadic, or, as some wit has put it, consists in not hinder- 
ing the natural growth of things. The games and sports in 
which they once took pride seem unknown to the present 
generation. Where is Tahaa 's. doughty chieftain, Fenua- 
peho, champion wrestler of all Polynesia a hundred years 
ago or one to take his place ? Where are the lithe archers, 
the fleet foot-racers, the thewy boxers, the strong swimmers? 
These were all here once, but such ambitious pleasures 
lapsed along with customs less pleasant to muse upon 
such as infanticide and older human sacrifice until there 
is not even a cock fight left to remind one of the howling 
high times of yore. Most of the natives show little energy 
of purpose. Most endeavours are relegated to the manana 
of the Spanish, the by and bye of the English, the ariana of 
the South Seas it is all one; only, ariana means to-morrow 
or the next day, and maybe not then ! 

On our return walk, a man came out of his yard and pre- 


sented us with several chubby shells spotted like birds' eggs 
and with an iridescent natural polish. Many of the neigh- 
bours dropped in to pass la ora na with us with a more 
pronounced accent on the last syllable than in Tahiti. Some 
of the girls were exceedingly pretty; one, a Raratonga 
maiden called Tunoa, was a decided beauty. I amused my- 
self with fair success trying to spell the native names and 
words Metua gave me, to our mutual delight, meanwhile 
gnawing at a piece of sugar cane; Jack improved his time 
reading his inevitable book (there was room for one even in 
our tin cracker box), and took a nap. We ventured a peep 
at the cooking of the delayed dinner, the devoted chefs actu- 
ally making apology for the primitiveness of their method. 
Upon steaming leaves laid over hot stones, Tehei piled sweet 
potatoes to roast, taro, yam, feis, and a nicely prepared 
young fowl. Also there was a dish with nice sticky banana 
poi in it, along with the rest of the good things banked up 
for roasting. Then Tehei spread large clean green leaves 
over all, and again, on top of these, numberless round mats 
made of leaves symmetrically tacked together with their own 
stems. These leaf-mats had been used before, and were 
therefore not allowed next to the fresh food. Every crevice 
from which steam escaped was closed by these thick mats, tier 
upon tier. In the end I think we managed to convince the 
self-depreciating pair that their way was the best we ever 
saw. It certainly was the prettiest cooking possible. And 
they were so immaculate about it; I know Bihaura washed 
her hands a dozen times. 

In addition to the things put to roast, we were treated 
to raw fish, coming on the table cut in small white squares 
that had gone through the usual process of soaking in 
lime-juice and salt. It was served in the delicious cocoa- 
milk sauce flavoured with lime and salt, which we had learned 
to like in Tahiti. There was excellent French bread, too, 
from the native baker. While we ate from the packing case, 
Bihaura and Tehei became invisible ; but the fee-fee lady sat 
on the floor and kept track of our wants. The seriousness of 


all three in their anxiety that everything would not be quite 
right, was touching. Our well meant efforts to have them 
share our table so horrified them that we did not press. 

Jack had been trying to explain to Tehei that we should 
like to go fishing, and he conveyed to us that he was arrang- 
ing to take us in his canoe at eleven at night, to fish on the 
reef. That was more than satisfactory to Jack, who scented 
a novel experience. 

In the early evening Tehei got ready hooks and lines. He 
and Bihaura made us a present of a wooden poi bowl of 
Tehei 's manufacture, carved from one piece, oblong, with 
ends like a canoe and four squat legs. I am now less dis- 
appointed about the one I failed to get on Moorea. These 
legged bowls are more like the pictures of the Samoan kava 
bowls. Tehei seemed flattered that we should want his bowl ! 

While we talked, Bihaura, having discharged her duties of 
attending to our material wants, lost her expression of ear- 
nest practical solicitude, and broke into gracious little smiles 
as she and Metua sewed at their wonderful red and white 
quilts. With our few words of French and Tahitian, and 
their modicum of English, we managed conversation, and en- 
joyed the unique evening immensely. We learned, among 
other things, that Tehei and his wife once lived in Papeete ; 
hence their acquisition of modern habits and possessions. 
These two work so harmoniously, and we have yet to hear a 
hasty word or a sharp command from either to the other. 
The woman is a small Martha, full of household affairs and 
the comfort of her guests. She sews, weaves mats and hats, 
and plaits fine cocoa-fibre ropes on which to hang things in 
the house. And she has made a basket of white and brown 
bamboo that is the only good basket I have seen in this part 
of the world where material and workmanship in hats 
and baskets generally seem to be flimsy. Across one corner 
of the room hung a gigantic fringe of lauhala strips, ready 
dried to split for strands from which to weave various use- 
ful articles. 

My headache having tuned up, by eight o'clock I retired 


behind the quilt partition and lay on the big bed gazing 
lazily at the colours and patterns of the hanging quilts, 
which, with the light beyond, resembled stained-glass win- 
dows. Jack came to say good night, and while we talked 
in subdued voices, we noticed a dimming of the lamp- 
light. A few minutes later we realised that we were alone 
in the house. Thinking Jack had also gone to rest, our 
friends had faded away like quiet shadows into the darkness. 

Jack went over and turned up the light, whereupon Tehei 
reappeared, as if to await the appointed hour for the fishing. 
But he fell asleep on a mat, and Jack, not wishing to wake 
him after all his labour for us, left him there. 

And now let me warn you, that if ever you come to Tahaa 
to spend the night, bring along your mosquito netting. We 
did not, and there was little sleep, for it was too warm to 
pull the sheets over our heads, and we turned and tossed and 
flapped the air and slapped ourselves and each other until 
early morn. If I had known what inconspicuous bites these 
particular mosquitoes leave behind, I might have tried to go 
to sleep anyway. 

After coffee and bananas in the morning, Metua, seeing 
me in my bathing suit again, thought I wanted to swim, and 
led westward down the road to a place where the bottom 
was sandy rather than prickly with loose coral. Mindful 
of Jack's warnings about sharks, I did not care to go in 
alone, so we sat on a log, watched the water, and soaked in 
the sunshine, while wee brown girls brought big yellow 
allamanda blossoms and stuck them in my hair and over my 
ears in their pretty fashion. It is sweet to be a guest in 

I was just thinking about returning to Jack, when I heard 
his "Mate! Toot! Toot!" and discovered him and Tehei 
coming along in the canoe. They shot into a shallow, and 
took me aboard. Tehei 's new tackle was in the canoe, and 
he paddled and steered at the stern, while Jack paddled in 
the bow. We skimmed over the broad shallow reef, past the 
wooded islets that lie upon it, and peered down into en- 


chanted gardens of coral, yellow antlers and purple bunches, 
stretches of brown dotted with blue, and then there would 
softly gleam sheets of white sand bottom, wrinkled with 
black sea-slugs becke de mer. Here was only enough water 
to float the canoe. We wondered what manner of fishing 
was to be ours, and after a while glided into deeper water, 
where Tehei called a halt, brought to light a squid, bit off 
portions of the live tentacles and baited all the hooks. He 
then handed me a line, so wound that it paid out from the in- 
side, like a ball of twine, by the weight of hook and bait and 
sinker. When the sinker sounded bottom, Tehei took the 
line from me and attached it, where it left the water, to one 
end of a bamboo, then passed the unused line along the stick 
and tied it at the other end, and cast the whole contrivance 
loose, where it floated flat on the water, the fish-line sinking 
perpendicularly from one end. The idea is, that when a fish 
runs with the hook, the bamboo is forced end up in the water, 
the canoe puts after it and pulls in the catch. We must 
have set a dozen of these, in a crescent, before one of the 
sticks stood up, and we paddled vigorously to the shrill cries 
and shouts of Tehei. I should like to hear a lot of kanakas 
all going at once for their lines ! 

We hauled up a fish about eighteen inches long, the same 
kind we had had raw the night before an iridescent wonder 
with long mouth and sharp teeth. Then another stick up- 
ended, and we flew screaming to the spot, making as much 
noise as twenty savages, and hauled in another beauty of a 
different kind, more like a dolphin. After that no more 
bamboos acted up ; so after resting in the canoe for half an 
hour, absorbing the lovely colour of sky and land and water, 
we paddled ashore to a point covered with cocoa palms, 
where we were greeted heartily by an elderly half-caste 
woman of vivacious manner and rich-toned voice. In good 
English she regretted our short stay in Tahaa, as it would 
deprive her of the pleasure of giving us a native breakfast. 
They must all be large hearted, these islanders. She spoke 
French fluently, having been educated at the convent in 


Papeete. Her Tahitian name is Terii Marama, and later on 
she mentioned Susan Bambridge as her English name. We 
gained some valuable information concerning the surround- 
ing islands, particularly Bora-Bora, where she told us 
Bihaura, who came from there, owned a good house. And 
before we left, we had arranged, through her as interpreter, 
that Tehei should accompany us to Bora-Bora, where he 
would be able to bring about for us the stone-fishing we have 
heard so much about, and other amusements of the place. 

While we sat talking in the tufted grass under a huge 
fau, Tehei spied a squid in the shallows on the edge of the 
water. Now, you would not have seen it, or at least all you 
would have seen would have been what we saw a bunch of 
brown seaweed as big as an ordinary sponge. But Tehei 
knew, and Terii Marama knew; and first thing we knew, 
Tehei 's teeth were tearing at the vitals of a desperate diminu- 
tive octopus that writhed its nauseous tentacles, strong with 
innumerable suckers, about the man's hand and arm. This 
was the way we were warned to do in Hawaii, if a squid 
caught us swimming ! 

On the final round of our lines, we found three fish 
drowned. The sky was lowering black to the east; so we 
pulled in all tackle and started for Tahaa village. The wind 
grew stronger in our teeth, and I knew Jack's unaccustomed 
arms and shoulders must be aching. But he kept up his 
rhythm with Tehei, and when we were in water shoal enough 
Tehei rose in the stern and poled the canoe along in leaps. 
However, the squall beat us out, and a heavy one it was. 
Tehei, ever keen for our comfort, insisted upon my wearing 
his hat a brown felt this time, of indeterminate age and 
experience. I really much preferred wet hair ; but no mortal 
but a prig could refuse such thoughtfulness on the chance of 
causing hurt, so the hat went on. I huddled down behind 
my drenched and weather-battered husband, for the wind 
made my wet clothes feel a trifle chilly. We were willing 
to go the whole way in the rain, but as it kept increasing, 
Tehei steered into a little indentation where stood his 


brother's house a mere roof of thatch above a raised floor, 
built half over the water, and with no walls. Here the in- 
mates, a fat and jolly native and his pretty young wife, 
lounged on mats and grasses in an abandon of the simple life, 
and with effortless cordiality welcomed us in all our 
bedragglement. I was an object of much friendly curiosity, 
for besides the fact that a white woman is not often seen in 
Tahaa, the fame of my swim across Opunohu Bay had gone 
before me. Jack had mentioned the incident to Tehei the 
previous day, and the intelligence had spread. I never 
dreamed that my feeble three-quarters-of-a-mile splashings 
would attract attention among the amphibious people I imag- 
ined in the South Sea; but times have changed in this re- 
spect as in others. A day or two ago two men in the bay 
off Raiatea were much alarmed by the presence of an enor- 
mous spotted shark which insisted upon following them. 
They said it hung perpendicularly about the canoe, opening 
and shutting its huge bristling jaws at them. 

The rain pelted harder than ever, the sky grew blacker, 
and just as we were climbing into the canoe again to make a 
dash for it, we heard a call, and along the road came Bihaura 
at no mean gait, in her arms a small oval tub containing white 
chemise and ahu, covered with our rubber poncho. She 
promptly rescued me from the beached canoe and hurried 
me under the thatch once more, bearing the tub on one arm 
and half-carrying me with the other, her solicitude finding 
vent in a stream of vociferation against the heartless ele- 
ments. Like a hen demanding the best for her chick, 
she shoo'd the inmates from under their own thatch, that I 
might change in privacy ; and out they went, with no ill feel- 
ing. Probably they are used to Bihaura 's energetic and un- 
compromising methods. When dressed, I gathered up my 
skirts, put on the poncho, overturned the little galvanised 
tub on my head, and climbed into the canoe. Bihaura had 
disappeared in her elfish way and when, after a stiff paddle, 
we beached once more at Tahaa village, she was waiting at 
the water 's edge. Wading in, she took possession of me, and 


mothered me into her house, without a word placing me 
before an inviting heap on a mat a fresh chemise and 
pretty blue ahu. And when I had donned these garments, 
I found to my hand a rose silk Chinese shawl, embroidered in 
lilac wistaria, and heavily fringed probably a relic of her 
marriage day. Jack was furnished with dry things, and 
shortly afterward coffee and bread were brought. A couple 
of hours later we were feasted on choice roast sucking-pig. 
It was raining hard when we sat down to eat, and Tehei and 
Bihaura, leaving Metua to attend us, picked up the vessels in 
which they had brought our dinner, and made as if to return 
to- the shed for their own kai-kai. But this was a little too 
much, and we refused to take a mouthful unless they ate in 
the house. Whereupon, well pleased, all three squatted on 
the floor and proceeded to enjoy themselves. 

In the morning we had expressed our wish to return to 
Raiatea during the day, and now, on the porch, we found 
many baskets of limes, fruit, and bunches of taro and greens, 
leaning against the bamboo walls and covered with braided 
cocoanut fronds against the slanting "crystal rods" of rain 
that threatened to drive inside the house. These edibles we 
felt sure were intended for the Snark. 

The weather increased, and presently, watching the hard 
squalls travelling toward the other island, we began to wonder 
a little about the yacht tugging at her long cable, and specu- 
lated whether or not another anchor had been bent, and if 
the captain would think to take a native pilot in case he had 
to move the yacht around the island to better shelter. It was 
a queer experience away off on this island, separated from 
everything that was ours (even the cigarette prospect a 
dwindling one for Jack), sitting cosily in fine muslin and 
silken embroidery, peering through a windy wall of bamboo 
at the small gale that was blowing up we knew not what. 
We could see a cutter and a canoe weathering the wind and 
rain, out there in the smother on the reef. The cutter was 
running under bare poles, and the canoe had her spritsail 
lashed down into a little rag of a leg o' mutton, while her 


men weighed down the outrigger to keep her right side up. 

Tired watching, we loafed on the big bed and talked, look- 
ing at the workmanship of this house not made with nails, 
the white rafters' naturally-arched crossbeams, and the 
shingle-like thatch. Jack fell napping, but I could not sleep 
for the loud strong wind and deluge of water on the grassy 
roof ; but before an hour had passed, the blow eased. We got 
into our weather clothes and appeared on the porch, with an 
expectant look that raised consternation in Bihaura 's ma- 
ternal soul, for she did not want to trust her feminine pale- 
face protege on that water. But she obediently went in 
quest of Tehei, and a cutter was hired, the price for carrying 
us to Raiatea, $2.00 Chile, being carefully explained to Jack 
by Tehei. 

We walked through the village, accompanied by Bihaura 
and the usual following of curious urchins, and halted at 
an old cottage that had once been painted white, where lives 
the one white resident of Tahaa, Mr. Lufkin, a native of 
Massachusetts. He has been in Tahaa over sixty years, off 
and on, and now, at the age of eighty-six, a victim of fee-fee, 
continues on in his chosen land, with a daughter of sixty. 
''She is all I have/' he said plaintively, and the slim brown 
woman, with distinctive New England features, nodded and 
smiled. Tehei 's arrival put an end to our visit, and we 
went on down the long quay of earth and coral and shell. 

The sail in the staunch and fast little cutter was very ex- 
citing. I might have had a livelier time if Bihaura (who, 
with Tehei, went with .us) had not kept me in the bottom of 
the boat, so well wrapped that I could see nothing, but 
only feel. There is no saying Bihaura nay when she chooses 
to exercise her motherly care. She herself helped in the 
sailing when we were in tight places, which were frequent, 
that dripping wrapper of hers clinging to her lithe little 
body like a sheath of skin. Thunder and lightning rolled 
and cracked, breakers growled and roared close by on the 
outer edge of the reef over which we were slanting, and we 
had to tack repeatedly to follow the channels known to our 


boatmen. At length the squalls came so fast and furious 
that the men took in all sail, leaving just a puff of canvas 
on the boom to insure headway, this puff being held and 
regulated by Bihaura's small brown hands. The men never 
had to tell her what to do. . . . "Do you know where you 
are?" was in our eyes this vivid night when Jack and I 
looked at each other in the lightning. 

As we neared Uturoa we saw no light from the Snark for 
guidance, and we did not want to miss her in this ticklish 
weather, when the howling wind from seaward and any mis- 
calculation in the darkness might cram us on the reef close 
to shore. We all united in calling this very careless on the 
part of the Snark' 's skipper. "Aita maitai," the natives 
said, shaking their heads gravely. And it certainly was 
"Not good." 

Then we began dimly to discern the yacht at close range, 
saw a light going toward to the forestay, and as we swept 
astern our rope was thrown to a man who had climbed into 
the launch to receive it. That man proved to be a Japanese 
boy, one ever-faithful Nakata; but the weight our driven 
cutter put on the rope was too much for him, forcing him, 
to let go. We heard a variety of foreign languages in dis- 
tracted voices, a general furore and lack of head that led us 
to infer the captain was not aboard. We were lost to the 
yacht for the time, drifted to the wharf and got on the lee 
side of it, where the men alternately held the bounding cutter 
off and held on, to prevent her from being demolished. 

The launch then came spluttering through the choppy sea, 
in charge of a voluble and excited Frenchman and an equally 
excited Japanese, namely Ernest and Nakata. Ernest landed 
from the weather side of the stone quay, leaving poor Nakata 
to hold the boat from breaking against it. Nakata, doing his 
small best, was terrified into wild ejaculations for fear he 
would fail Nakata has ever a care for our property. 

This was the first we knew that Ernest had learned to run 
the launch; but he had not learned it any too thoroughly, 
and now, when Jack got in to go to the Snark and fetch a 


line to the cutter, Ernest could get no spark from the engine. 
So they rowed through the smother, and poor Jack was again 
reminded that for a year he has been asking one captain 
after another to have more convenient rowlocks put into the 
launch. However, he brought the line, and the cutter was 
drawn safely to the yacht. 

I never enjoyed anything so much in my life as I did trying 
to make our island friends comfortable. It would be hard 
to say which side knew the greater novelty. We had full 
measure of it with them ; and to them our electric lights and 
fans were miracles. I led Bihaura into my tiny warm state- 
room and hunted up dry garments ; but I could not get ahead 
of her she had brought her own change ! I then ransacked 
ribbons and trinkets for gifts, and she was very gleeful in 
her courteous and subdued way. 

Wada cooked European food for them, opened tins of 
things that were new and desired, and delighted them with 
a heap of his beautifully cooked rice, of which they are 
inordinately fond and which they seldom see. We put them 
to bed in the cabin, the owner of the cutter included. I 
should be happier all my life if I thought we had given Tehei 
and his little vahine half the pleasure they afforded us. 

After breakfast next morning, they returned home in the 
cutter, leaving us with the understanding that we were to 
pick them up on the morrow and take them to Bora-Bora on 
the Snark, Jack to arrange for a cutter to carry them back 
to Tahaa when we sailed for Samoa. Bihaura, as she bade us 
good-bye, said in the words of old King Pomare of Tahiti: 
"E mau ruru a vau!" ("I am so happy!") 

When Tehei and Bihaura left us yesterday, we went 
to our work as usual, and after the midday meal Martin 
took us ashore where we called on Mr. and Mrs. Vonnegut, 
who had sent us an invitation to visit them. Martin 
tells us that when the Snark hove in sight on Monday 
outside the reef, they were out driving and immediately 
turned homeward to make ready to offer us quarters ashore. 
And we did not go near Raiatea, but ran off in a crazy canoe 

From left to right: Vaega, Mrs. London, Mr. Morrison, Tuimanua 

Off Manua 



to Tahaa. It is something like the way we did in Honolulu 
sailed right by to Pearl Harbor, and stayed there a month 
before going into the city. 

Mrs. Vonnegut is a jolly soul, Tahitian-born but of Eng- 
lish parentage. Upon our arrival at the store she promptly 
sent for the surrey, and, drawn by a sorrowful but willing 
roadster of Liliputian breed, we saw some of the country. 
The little bays, with their thatched huts, and the mountains 
behind reflected in the water, made entrancing pictures ; and 
other views with Tahaa and Bora-Bora in the background, 
were equally lovely. In many places in the marsh through 
which the road runs, grows a beautiful sort of lily. It re- 
sembles a hyacinth in form many blossoms around one stem 
but is larger, and the overlapping petals have eyes like 
peacock feathers, with the difference that the eyes in these 
flowers are canary yellow, set in blue that shades through 
mauve to a lavender which deepens toward the outer edges. 
The leaf is almost round, ending in a slight point, and look- 
ing like a leaf painted with one masterly stroke of a broad 
brush dipped in dark green pigment. Jack picked me one 
of the flowered stalks, but it soon withered and discoloured. 

We called upon the French Resident, M. Belonne, and his 
pretty bride, and drank tea with them on their tree-sheltered 
bit of beach. 

Returning to Uturoa from our northwest drive, we passed 
through the village south, on the way buying a basketful of 
live shrimps from a woman who waded in from the near reef 
at Mrs. Vonnegut's call. These were for bait, as Jack 
planned to fish off the yacht after dark, asking the Vonneguts 
to join us. And while we were fishing, Martin played the 
searchlight on the shore for the amusement of the natives, 
whom we could hear shouting with delight. 

Martin, who travelled southward some miles on Raiatea, 
says the country is superb, and that the natives live very 
primitively and picturesquely; but Uturoa is not pretty. 
The example of the misguided missionaries evidently per- 
sisted here, for most of the houses are European, and not 


attractive European; while the large white, staring, uncom- 
promising warehouses of the trading companies are an ex- 
asperating blight. When Mr. Ellis, nearly a century ago, 
was carried out of the water, canoe and all, by the welcom- 
ing natives, upon his second visit, he found an " improve- 
ment " since his first coming that made his soul rejoice: 
"We called upon the king," he writes, ''whom we were de- 
lighted to find living in a neat plastered house." Isn't that 
lovely? And if said king did not contract consumption or 
asthma or phthisis, through the unaccustomed restriction of 
air, it was because he had a stronger constitution than most 
of his kin and kind. 

Eaiatea is said to possess some interesting relics of 
antiquity. One of these is the ruin of an old temple of 
human sacrifice which was once enclosed by a wall built 
entirely of human skulls mainly those of warriors slain in 
battle. But with Bora-Bora only a dozen miles away, famed 
for its merry people and pristine life, we did not linger. At 
one o'clock this day upon which I am writing, April 9, 
Martin started off the engine and we set over toward Tahaa 
to take on Mr. and Mrs. Tehei, making our way cautiously 
in the deeper channels among the coral. It was the bright- 
est of mornings, everything sparkling, a gentle breeze 
cooling through the warm sunshine, breakers curling 
white on the barrier reef and the lagoon painted in more 
hues of green and blue than man can name, "nor woman 
neither," I found blues so live and intense that the eye 
was caught and held as by a very spell of colour; greens 
brilliant as emerald shot with sunlight, or soft and restful 
as purest jade. In this riot of silken colour, broad irregular 
splashes of elusive plum-tints marked where coral rose 
near the surface. Midway between the two mountainous 
islands, we all agreed upon Tahaa being more beautiful than 
Eaiatea ; and during the day, travelling mile after mile along 
the dreaming shores of the smaller island, we have strength- 
ened our belief. It is an enchanting panorama of ram- 
bling hills and bays and islets, with high Ohiri lending 


a strong and rugged character to the otherwise verdant round 
outlines of the land. 

Tehei hailed from the cocoa-plumed point agreed upon, 
and indicated that we were to go back to the village. Which 
we did, first taking him aboard. Out from the village pad- 
dled three large canoes so laden with food and floral offer- 
ings that Captain Warren raised his hands in helpless dis- 
may : * ' My goodness gracious ! Where are we going to put 
it all!" The decks were littered with bunches of prime 
bananas, both green and ripe; cocoanuts of all edible ages; 
papaias, green and golden ; endless baskets of the homely but 
heavenly yam; a few oranges; taro; pumpkins; bound and 
protesting chickens, and a vociferous and reluctant piglet; 
and lastly, a diminutive papaia tree, cut down in all its 
promise, set in a kerosene can, and decorated with the rarest 
flowers of the island, twined around the fruit at the top, and 
stuck into the pretty leaves. When we were under way, 
Tehei and his wife formally presented Jack and me with the 
sucking pig, the chickens, and the gay papaia tree, along with 
other and not so elaborate bouquets. The fruit and vege- 
tables went without saying; they are automatic hereabout. 

Some of the relatives of our passengers wanted to go along 
too one, a pretty young wife, her ears decked with 
large real pearls, entreating Jack with tears in her eyes 
and arguments that must have been most eloquent if mis- 
placed, judging by Bihaura's disgusted expression at this, to 
her, breach of breeding. She looked somewhat as she did at 
her own house when a vahine dropped familiarly in at din- 
ner-time, and tried to sell us chickens ! 

Tehei appropriated the wheel and piloted out of the 
harbour, a school of small fishes having great sport in the 
froth kicked up by the propeller. Bihaura, seating herself 
upon the deck on a small straw mat that always accompanies 
her travels, gazed around complacently upon this big 
"bateau" with its * ' mash-een, ' ' and pronounced it all 
"maitai," and again "maitai." 

. . . And now, I have been writing pretty steadily since 


we left Tahaa, and am going to rest and look, until we drop 
anchor under the green battlements of Bora-Bora. 

Lat. 16 32' South, 
Nearly 152 West Lon. 

Aboard the Snark, 
Teavanui Harbor, Bora-Bora, Society Islands, 

Friday, April 10, 1908. 

In the sheltered cockpit, writing, I am surrounded, outside 
the rail, by inquisitive but unobtrusive natives of varying 
ages. They have been paddling quietly out all forenoon 
from Vaitape village (called Beulah by the missionaries), 
lying yonder in the morning shadow of Pahia, which rises 
almost straight up 2100 feet close behind. One might sup- 
pose that the mountain would cut off from Vaitape the pre- 
vailing wind; but the trades contrive somehow to reach 
around both sides of the peak, and the climate couldn't be 
more delightful. 

Bora-Bora lies only about twelve miles northwest of Tahaa ; 
but it was after moonrise last night when Martin shut down 
the engine and the anchor rumbled out, for the harbour is to 
the west and we had to travel nearly around the island, out- 
side an endless ring of reef breakers to the entrance, a fifth 
of a mile wide. After the sun went down, Tehei stood in the 
bow with the captain, Jack at the wheel, and I camped amid- 
ships to pass orders above the noise of the engine. We were 
not sorry we had to go so far around, as we saw more of this 
matchless isle. We realised in glorious actuality an old en- 
graving of Consul Dreher's; only, the real Bora-Bora is far 
lovelier than the picture, and infinitely more majestic. 
Wonderful, wonderful, and again wonderful, I kept repeat- 
ing line and colour changing with each new facet of this 
island jewel. During sunset the land was all rose and opal, 
turning to cool restful green. The islets on the garlanding 
reef stood like emeralds against a green lagoon; green hills 
grew up out of the verdant shore, and behind, the green, 
green mountain pierced clouds that reflected the universal 


green. Pahia is the piece de resistance in all views of Bora- 
Bora, rising sheer and double-peaked and palisaded, hills 
leaning against it, and little islands flanking round about. 
The Nuuanu Pali in Hawaii has been widely painted and 
photographed, and it is not a whit more worthy than Pahia 
of Bora-Bora with the perfect composition of its surround- 
ings. It is like a planet, petrified with its ring of satellites. 

After Tehei and Bihaura had been set ashore at their re- 
quest, Jack said to me: "What do you say we go over for 
half an hour or so ? " Ernest took us to the long jetty, and 
we wandered in the soft cool air, attracted by music, which 
was accompanied by a concerted, regular chug as of some 
dull and toneless instrument. The grass grew to the water 's 
edge, and on this village green, by the forgotten graves of 
the decaying Mission church, we beheld an idyllic pastorale 
of youths and maidens dancing under a spreading flam- 
boyante to the strange rhythmic chant. The maids were 
all in white, garlanded with sumptuous perfumed wreaths 
of allemanda and blumeria and tiare, mixed with drooping 
grass-fringes, the men likewise garlanded, and girdled in 
white and scarlet pareus. They moved in twos and threes, 
arm in arm, closely around the mouth-organ musicians 
in the centre, like bees in a swarm. The curious chug- 
chug was made by a measured grunt-grunt! grunt-grunt! 
of the dancers. There was witchery in it all the wheel of 
graceful revolving forms, twining brown arms, bright eyes 
and white teeth glistening in a soft and scented gloom that 
the moon had not yet touched; and the last least veil of 
enchantment was added by flitting soft-glowing lights 
amongst the dancers' heads. These spots of soft radiance 
were curly fragments of phosphorescent fungus, culled from 
dead and dying cocoanut trees, and set in red and silken 
hibiscus blossoms, worn over the ears of these flower-like 
women curled flowers of captured moonshine, sometimes 
tender, luminous blue, sometimes evasive green, and again 
mere phosphorescent white. 

One of the girls, encouraged by our Japanese boys who 


were gaily mixing with the company, bashfully gave me her 
moon-blossom from its place over her ear, and it was such 
an exquisite unearthly thing that I wished I might keep it 

A half-caste merchant, Mr. Buchin, who runs a sort of 
hotel, came over to us and passed the time o' night, gra- 
ciously placing his services at our disposal. 

After clapping a few more dances of the dusky sprites, 
we walked south along the beach road, like a pair of children 
in dreamland, peeping into open lighted doorways of habita- 
tions too frail to be the abodes of human beings; looking 
straight up through feathery palm-tops at the moon peering 
over the mysterious shadowy mountain; and presently we 
were arrested by music of another sort than that under the 
flamboyant e tree. "Himine!" Jack whispered, holding my 
arm tighter and hastening his steps; and together we tip- 
toed to a large oval structure just an immense thatched 
roof with walls of low picket. Inside, a lantern and kero- 
sene lamp disclosed by their flicker a group of women and 
men sitting on a large mat on an earth floor first, spread 
with dry grass. They were singing himines such as cos- 
mopolitan Tahiti forgot long ago. Vahines composed the 
front ranks, and from the rear came the remarkable tones 
of the " kanaka organ/' heavy ringing voices booming like 
strings of 'cello and bass viol picked resonantly by giant 
thumbs. Three young men, leaf-crowned like wild things 
of the forest, with a frolicsome-eyed Mowgli at their head, 
swayed from the hips, their foreheads clear to the floor as 
they trumpeted, in a sort of sitting dance like that of the 
Samoan fita-fitas on the Annapolis in Papeete harbour. 

Singing mothers held children in their laps, and one 
girl, a perfect type of the heavy-featured, dreamy-eyed 
Polynesian, looked wistfully through the green grass fringe 
of her hei, toward where she knew her young companions 
were dancing free. But she held her important own in the 
himine, being principal high voice. I do not say soprano, 
for there are no natural sopranos in savagedom. So, in 


order to emulate the high tones as heard among the mission- 
aries in their hymn-singing, the native woman forces her 
chest tones up into the head, producing a true note, to be 
sure, but a harsh and strained one. I have yet to see a 
vahine who can take a high tone without wrinkling and dis- 
torting her face, and sometimes she even reaches up and 
holds one side of her face as she climbs the register. 

Jack's theory of this difficulty is something as follows: 
That the lower the race, the less differentiated are the sexes ; 
the women are stronger in proportion to the men than are 
the women of higher civilisation, and so on down the line of 
sex characters, even the voices of both sexes resembling. 

We were assigned to a bench by a grey-haired elder, and 
sat there half an hour lost in pure enjoyment of the remark- 
able harmonies. One himine especially we called for again 
and again. It was like the triumphant shouting song-cries 
of successful hunters returning from the forest; or like 
the victorious paean of warriors bearing home slain enemies 
from the mountain. 

We trod the charmed path back to our boat rocking in 
the silver flood, and went to sleep in our little floating home, 
in our ears the organ tones of Mowgli and his wood-mates, 
and the wild call of hunters and warriors from forest and 

Bora-Bora, Saturday, April 11, 1908. 

Hands full of gifts, we returned this morning to the yacht 
after early coffee and hot-cakes with our devoted Tehei and 
Bihaura in their imposing residence, a two-story, four- 
roomed house. Yesterday the gendarme in authority on 
Bora-Bora, M. Laborde, not waiting for us to look him up, 
came aboard resplendent in white helmet and ducks and 
military medal for "Service et 1'honneur," and welcomed 
us in the friendliest way, inviting us to his house, granting 
unasked hunting privileges, and offering us "plentee che- 
val." Whereupon we ordered our saddle case out of the 


forepeak. Everybody is the same it is smiles and la ora 
nas, abundantly backed with practical benefits. Never can 
we balance the score only can we be thankful for our 
lucky hap. 

So ashore we went in the afternoon, returned M. Laborde 's 
call, and met Madame, a stately French woman (probably 
the only white one on the island), with a royal braid of 
brown hair hanging nearly to the floor. Her husband 
obligingly conducted us to the house of the old chief of Bora- 
Bora, Tavana Tuhaa, to whom we had a letter of introduc- 
tion from his cousin, Terii Marama Susan Bambridge. 
The gendarme humorously explained that he himself was 
the French chief, and Tavana was kanaka chief with a 
Frenchy little shrug at the obvious lack of Tavana 's power. 
But then, M. Laborde is directly under the Resident at 
Raiatea, who is directly under but no more. 

At a dilapidated European house we were greeted by a 
very queen of kanakas, a splendid big woman the physical 
aristocracy again. But she was clad in tatters that ill con- 
cealed her hideously advanced elephantiasis. She went to 
fetch her husband, and the two wrecked bodies came together 
up the neglected garden walk. He is part, white, a small, 
slight man, pitifully disfigured with elephantiasis. They 
were very quiet, courteous, and unembarrassed by their sick- 
ness. We soon left, for there seemed little ground upon 
which to meet. After this we dropped in to see Mr. 
Buchin. As we were due at Tehei's for dinner at five, we 
sauntered early in their direction, passing on our way the 
big himine house. Bless us, if they weren 't singing yet ! 
or had they rested off in the night? the same three wood- 
boys, the girl we call The Type, and the rest. The elder 
hailed us in, hospitably enough, but with tone and gesture 
of one accustomed to authority. 

Seeing a number of large rough tables piled around, and 
a great mound of fruit, vegetables, and fowls, we concluded 
that preparations for a feast were under way. Never did 
we hazard more widely. After listening to a number of 


"selections," and to a repetition of our especial favourite, 
the fiery ferine chorus, the astounding thing happened. 

A fine looking man arose from the grass, waved his hand 
toward the heap of edibles with a graceful flourish, and 
began to speak. As he proceeded, we at length caught the 
unbelievable drift of his discourse. He was presenting us 
with this bounty. But why? We made deprecatory and 
declining signs, and the orator disappointedly subsided. We 
were very uncomfortable we could not accept so great a 
gift. Why should we? How could we? We could make 
no fitting return, and we have heard of an unwritten law, 
that a gift in this part of the world means a gift in exchange 
for a gift. Also, the yacht would not be able to accommo- 
date such abundance of kai-kai in addition to the quantity 
already taken aboard at Tahaa. 

So we sat and uneasily listened to another himine from 
men and women with baffled, reproachful eyes, while the 
grey elder fidgeted with a hurt and displeased air. 

The song finished, he arose stiffly and, advancing toward 
the mooted offering, himself presented it to us in an address 
with many flourishes. Still we hesitated. We simply did 
not know how to act. And suppose we had possibly made a 
mistake in our interpretation of their meaning, and com- 
mitted an awful breach of etiquette? Judging by the frus- 
trated elder 's face, when we again declined the unprece- 
dented munificence, we were already guilty. We felt very 
foolish ; but we lacked information, and were anxious to get 
hold of some one who could set us straight. To ease the 
strain, we asked for another himine, after which we retreated 
as well as we could, hopeful of finding some way to come to 
a rational understanding over such an irrational situation. 

When we reached Tehei's house, he explained, with the 
help of Nakata, who had been washing and ironing there, that 
kai-kai was not ready, and that we were to take a walk with 
Bihaura. Captain Warren and Martin had also been in- 
vited, and we five struck south and caught a view of the 
next bay before sunset. 


"We passed a "lumber-yard," or so Martin named it, 
where, upon racks under long sheds, were laid for sale sup- 
plies of thatch: Long dry leaves of pandanus are strung 
on to five-foot lengths of reed, made fast to the reed by over- 
lapping one end of the leaf and pinning it with the midrib 
of the cocoanut frond run through from leaf to leaf hori- 
zontally, until the rafters are covered. Sometimes it takes 
three thousand or more of these fringed reeds to roof a 
fair-sized house. The thatching will last about seven years, 
and no roofing equals it for coolness or for centipedes. 

We noticed before some of the houses canoe-shaped wooden 
trenches several feet long, full of sago in the making. 
Farther on we flushed a number of blue heron, as well as 
snipe, and a few ducks, and promptly recollected Laborde's 
permission to shoot. Captain Warren took a gun out this 
morning and we had fried snipe and wild duck for luncheon. 

Jack and I had made it up together, on account of mos- 
quitoes, that we would somehow get around the wishes of 
Tehei and his wife for us to spend the night ashore ; but we 
changed our minds once we were inside our room, not be- 
cause we feared the mosquitoes less but that we feared hurt- 
ing our friends more. 

Our room was large and many-windowed, and had two 
wide beds dressed in perfect triumphs of scarlet patterned 
quilts and snowy belaced pillows. "She noticed we had 
separate bunks on the boat," Jack whispered. The floor 
was thick with beautiful plaited mats, Bihaura's weaving; 
and there was provision in the corner for washing. On the 
floor between the beds was that red and white basket I had 
admired on the passage, and which was now mine. Beside 
it lay some pretty seashells. 

They had not wanted us to come to their house until it 
was quite prepared, this lady and gentleman of Polynesia; 
and when we went from our bedchamber into the next room 
where the dinner table creaked with its weight, we knew by 
these signs and by their tired and anxious faces that they 
had worked themselves nearly sick. But they were so bliss- 


fully, affectionately happy over our appreciation, that their 
eyes and lips broke into loving smiles whenever we looked at 

On a small side table stood two newly plaited green bas- 
kets full of all kinds of flowers, and beside them a more en- 
during present. This was a miniature double-canoe carved 
by Tehei, and rigged with the native tackle for hooking large 
fish a long bamboo pole amidships between the two boats. 
When a fish is caught, the pole is jerked high in air, the 
line flies backward and the fish is brought to hand. This 
toy is a perfect representation, even to the shell fish-hook. 
And to cap it all, a gigantic wooden fish depended from the 
pole this last Bihaura 's work, carving, pink and blue colour- 
ing and all. 

Next we were crowned with white tiare and led to the 
board. The Horn of Plenty had been spilled upon it! 
There was roast sucking-pig, done to a nicety; and fowl, 
dressed with delicious gravy and browned onions ; breadfruit 
and the usual native vegetables ; raw fish in our pet dressing ; 
fresh-water shrimps; baked fish; banana poi, cocoanut milk 
and I cannot remember any more, except the good coffee 
and French bread, and many kinds of fruit. 

The centrepiece was a bouquet of strange flowers resem- 
bling ears of wheat, anywhere from one to two feet long. 
At the end of each was attached a blossom of some other kind, 
even to white jasmine. 

A step forward in intimacy was made, Bihaura taking 
her place beside me. Tehei declined all urging, pretending 
that he was needed to look after the cookshed. But he was 
absent very little. The two were evidently agreed on this 
arrangement, so we let them have it their own way. Bihaura 
was so tired she could hardly eat; also, she was in a flutter 
lest she do something wrong. She watched our every mouth- 
ful and the manner of the taking which fork, or spoon, 
or dish. But after a while she became more at ease, and 
later was drinking our health in flagons of cocoanut, and 
jumping up and down in her seat at our suggestion of bring- 


ing the Victor ashore and giving a concert. You see, we 
are cudgeling our brains for ways to offset the favours we 
are continually receiving. Tehei never comes near us empty- 
handed. Martin, noticing that the Seth Thomas clock on 
the wall, an "octagon-drop," was not working, offered to 
repair it, and the gratitude of the owners knew no bounds. 

We had to be careful what we admired. I remarked an 
elaborate straw hat tastefully trimmed with a blue feather, 
and asked Bihaura if she made it. She nodded and said 
something to her husband, and he took up the hat and pre- 
sented it to me. Of course I refused to accept it; and so 
sensitive are they, that they instantly divined the situation, 
and acknowledged the refusal in good part. But Bihaura 
went into the other room, and returned with a thirty-foot 
length of hat braid, plaited of straw so fine that the entire 
roll hardly covers my hand. This I could take but not 
her best chapeau. It was a relief that they did not pick up 
the mats from the floor and give them to us. 

After dinner we all sat on the porch, with fairy fungus 
lanterns over our left ears. Tehei was so weary that he 
slipped off to the end of the porch and lay down. From 
somewhere came to me the memory of an old sweet custom 
in the Marquesas, of friends exchanging names, thereby 
inaugurating a relationship. So, tapping Bihaura on the 
breast I said, distinctly, "Charmian," and, tapping myself, 
"Bihaura." It was an inspiration. She understood, and 
repeated the formula gravely and reverently, whereupon we 
kissed as sisters. Jack so approved that he tried it with 
Tehei. And now we often call him ' ' Brown Brother. ' ' This 
is the favour they love. The worst of it is, that they now 
try to get even with us for this greatest of all honour we 
have bestowed! 

We suggested himine, hoping that Tehei, on the spot, 
might unravel the mystery at the singing house. The sing- 
Vig was in full blast when we arrived and we could see 
aggrievement still on the face of the elder, although he was 
punctiliously polite. The pyramid of fruit and gasping 


chickens was untouched. It was not long before Tehei 
brought order out of the chaos of misapprehension. It 
proved true that we were expected to accept this friendly 
largess ; but Tehei, quickly catching the drift of our protest 
against the magnitude of it, explained that we should be glad 
to have say two of each kind of article. Amity was restored, 
and Jack laid aside two hens, two bunches of taro, two clus- 
ters of bananas, and so on. 

Then we all sat down happily to the music. The captain 
and Martin, classically wreathed, lounged on a curving 
bench an Alma Tadema strayed into the barbaric picture. 
There were more singers and more sitting dancers. One rose 
in the flickering light and performed the most beautiful 
dance of welcome, bending his lithe body back, with extended 
arms; pressing his hand to his brown breast as he swayed 
forward ; in every pose expressing that all Bora-Bora 
was ours. And through it he sang, with a voice like a bell, 
so ringing, so smooth, so rich in tone and expression, that 
it stays in my ears like a song heard overnight in a dream. 
He was the most captivating boy captivating and uncap- 
turable, in his half-wild spirit. If we had reached out to 
grasp the welcoming hands of his dance, I am sure he would 
have vanished furtively into the woods, with his sinewy 
young body, his red mouth curling back over flashing teeth, 
his bird-like eyes, his light, small feet with the toes spread 
like a bird's. Sometimes he leaned forward, looking closely 
into our eyes in the uncertain light, like some questioning 
forest animal or sprite. 

I do not believe the grey elder will ever quite forgive the 
unintentional slight we put upon him and his followers. 
Although he failed in no detail of courtesy, it was but a limp 
hand we wrung upon parting. If he could only understand, 
as Tehei understands. 

. . . The many windows in our bedroom were a delusion, 
all but one which had a couple of panes out. And upon bid- 
ding us good night, Tehei and his vahine were at great 
trouble to shut both doors tightly. When a savage, accus- 


tomed to the air of all outdoors, comes to live in a house 
with windows, he seems to think they are made to nail up 
else why should they be furnished with glass? 

We got the doors open, meanwhile more than vaguely 
aware that we were inoffensively spied upon by inquisitive 
neighbours; but the windows were tighter than the storm- 
windows in a Maine winter. We had not noticed a mosquito 
during the evening, so turned into our fluffy beds trustingly. 
They didn't sing, they didn't even bite; they just threat- 
ened, they alighted, they pestered ; and there was no way for 
the breeze to get into the sealed apartment and blow the 
wretched things about. 

. . . There is no getting around the fact that our host 
and hostess are suddenly become of high importance among 
their neighbours. Did they not arrive as guests on the 
"masheen bateau," and were they not taking first place in 
entertaining the white visitors? But do not think for an 
instant that this figures in their kindness to us. One look 
into their faces precludes such possibility. The little woman 
sat beside me at the himine, and if I leaned toward her in the 
least, she would nestle closer, and clasp my hand bridging 
with sheer lovingness and trust all time and difference of 
race. Returning up the moonlit road that night, Bihaura 
and I with arms around each other, Tehei stalking with 
exalted awkwardness arm in arm with Jack, with a hundred 
following us, we were so full that, once alone in our room 
we could only look at each other with moist eyes. Finally 
Jack, wandering around with a hopeless look, arms hanging, 
said in a discouraged voice: "I can't understand it. It's 
overwhelming. I simply don 't know what to say. ' ' A min- 
ute afterward he added: "Wouldn't it be an awful thing 
stupidly to hurt them in any way?" 

It gives new lights upon cannibalism as practised on white 
sea captains who requited love and courtesy like this with 
deception and abuses worse than death. 


Sunday, April 12, 190& 

Aside from an early walk with our guns, this has been 
a restfully uneventful day, if there is anything uneventful 
about lying at anchor off a South Sea island as extraordinary 
as Bora-Bora. In the evening we were due to join Tehei 
and Bihaura, to go to the phonograph concert. Tehei 's re- 
suscitated Seth Thomas was pointing to ten minutes before 
seven as we entered. It had struck me that I should do 
my brown sister the courtesy of at least one appearance in 
strictly conventional attire ; so I had brought a rose-flowered 
ahu. I knew Bihaura was pleased, although never by look 
or word has her perfect ladyhood betrayed sign that there 
was anything out of the way about my clothes whether 
bathing-suit, pajamas, or bloomers. 

The machine-made concert in the himine house was such 
a success that we knew we had hit upon the one thing to 
square favours. What mattered it that the machine had less 
springs than usual, warning us, by sundry whirs and clicks 
and obstinate halts of the crank, that it would throw up the 
job if we did not look sharp? The man behind, one newly 
baptised Tehei London, had a warm and perspiring time of 

. . . The comfort and sense of home Jack and I now feel 
aboard the Snark is inexpressible. My little white cubby is 
a place of refuge and privacy, clean and convenient. The 
deck is immaculate with lime-juice, and clear of boats a 
roomy, breezy place for work or play or sleep. Think of 
scrubbing decks with the juice of limes! Why, I help 
squeeze them in the tub for this purpose, submerging my 
arms to the elbows in the bleaching, softening fluid. I 
also tried trampling out the juice with my bare feet, to Jack's 
great amusement. 

There is only one drawback to life aboard the swarm of 
cockroaches, large, medium, and small. We have joined the 
fleet of ' ' cockroach schooners, ' ' the attractive name by which 
Society Island trading vessels are known. We are fighting 
the bugs, hand, foot, nail, and I had almost said tooth. 


Anyway, I can bring my fist down on a cockroach with the 
best, provided it isn't one of the largest. My qualms are 
still insistent that I shall not squash a shell-backed mon- 
strosity full of blood that is white! 

Aboard the Snark, at sea, 
Society Islands to Samoa, 
Wednesday, April 15, 1908. 

There goes the graceful white cutter headed back for Tahaa 
under a cloud of canvas, while the Snark surges westward. 
From the stern of the cutter a white-robed woman waves 
her handkerchief, and upon the stern rail of the Snark Tehei 
is bowed in prayer and tears rioniata, tears and sorrow. 
He did not know how hard it was going to be, the big brown 
child-man, this parting from his little brown woman. He 
wanted to go, and she was willing ; but the pain of parting,- 
beginning yesterday, when Jack and I made up our minds to 
take him, was worse than they had bargained for. She was 
brave ; but to-day, coming to eat the last meal with him, she 
sat in my room, bent over with grief, while I frantically 
pawed my belongings to find gifts for her, beginning with 
a fine hanky to wipe away her tears. Tehei went about with 
salt trickles running down his cheeks, reiterating "Maitai, 
maitai ariana," with rebellious courage, when we laid a 
sympathising hand on his shoulder. 

He joined us this morning with his scant luggage, also 
bringing for me one of Bihaura's enormous tree-cotton pil- 
lows wrapped in a many-times-folded mat some seven feet 
square, and a smaller mat, exquisitely fine. In addition, 
Tehei brought more vegetables and fruit, and Mr. Buchin 
rowed out with some South Sea cotton not the tree-cotton, 
a basket of ripe pomegranates, and a parcel of vanilla- 
beans. Then arrived thirteen chickens we had bought on a 
wonderful horseback ride around the island accompanied 
by presents of fruit until the yacht was fairly wreathed with 
bananas, pineapples, baskets of oranges and limes, and her 
decks choked with yams, taro, pumpkins, cucumbers, and a 


dozen other comestibles. Bihaura's final offering was a 
sucking-pig such a homesick, disgusted, obstinate puaa 
never came aboard a ship. It persistently pulls its foreleg 
out of tether and essays perilous journeys to the rail. Tehei 
himself cannot make that wee porker fast. 

"They have placed us on the High Seat of Abundance," 
Jack mused, his eyes very blue with feeling. 

And now we are really westing toward Samoa, about 1200 
miles from Tahiti. We have fair wind and sea, and are 
glad to be sailing. I am looking forward to a few uninter- 
rupted days for work, and might as well begin right away 
and tell about yesterday's stone-fishing: 

I had forgotten all about the conches that were to rouse 
the inhabitants in the morning. When the heavy resonant 
tones broke the stillness, I sleepily wondered if a tramp 
steamer had strayed in, or perhaps a cruiser; then turned 
over and slept again. It was just as well. Although the 
starting-time had been seven, and Jack had given up work, 
we did not get away until ten. 

"Here they come!" Martin shouted, and there they cer- 
tainly came! It was a gorgeous spectacle. Imagine the 
deep-blue lagoon, encircled with green islands of all sizes 
and forms, and, coming toward you a barge that rivalled 
Cleopatra's a gigantic double-canoe, "manned" by a round 
dozen splendid brown girls, all in white with red scarves 
knotted about the hips, garlanded and crowned like tropi- 
cal May Queens. In the stern of each of the joined canoes 
sat a huge muscular savage, likewise crowned, naked 
to the waist, both smiling under the hot sun like the hap- 
piest creatures ever created. On a platform across the 
bows Bihaura and Tehei, decked in scarlet and crowned with 
orange-coloured cosmos, swayed and bent, bowed and ges- 
tured in the graceful abandon of their native dancing. We 
could hardly recognise the prim and housewifely Bihaura 
in this radiant undulating woman ; nor had we realised how 
handsome our swart brother could be. Sometimes they 
leaned forward from the prow, for all the world like Poly- 


nesian Winged Victories challenging wind and sea with de- 
fiant, irresistible figures of bronze. And all the time they 
sang, and the girls sang in chorus, knocking rhythmic 
paddles against the canoes in unison, between dips. 

Three times around the yacht they swept, then ranged 
alongside a careful undertaking, for a long bamboo fishing- 
rod was thrust forward from the bows, decked with festoons 
of flowers. We welcomed the beauties aboard, and after 
some formal speechifying by Tehei and the boatmen, we all 
embarked in that gay ' ' bateau. ' ' As soon as we were settled 
on the tiny platform, the fair paddlers got under way, and 
resumed their singing, while our brown relatives took up 
their performance where they left off. In the midst of the 
musical clamour a languid-eyed houri rose, climbed up to 
us, and, dancing the most alluring hula before me, bent in 
her dancing and embraced me, the while dabbing my face 
with fluttery kisses from lips cool and soft as blumeria blos- 
soms. She repeated this fond greeting to Jack, and danced 
back to her paddle. 

Looking down the double row of dusky girls, performing 
so easily the arduous work of propelling such great loaded 
canoes, we were almost startled by the seeming varied root- 
types among them. Yet they were probably pure Bora- 
Boran from time out of mind. There we saw a face that 
would have done honour to a North American wigwam ; two 
moon-faced sisters with languishing, sleepy eyes, were strik- 
ingly Chinese; while one maiden would easily have passed 
for a Persian. Another was elusively Japanesque; and a 
slender paddler on the right was a good American type. 
And so on down the line: some were intellectual in feature 
and expression and shape of forehead; some innocent-faced, 
some sophisticated ; some wise, some frivolous ; and each one a 
beauty, with strong, brown body and limbs, inexhaustible 
spirits, and the desire of fun in her brown eyes. 

It was a pull of several miles to the shallow point where 
the manoeuvring was to be, and our garlanded crew sang 
all the way, with untired lungs, occasionally breaking out 


in some old wild cry that had to do with the custom of stone- 
fishing. Once in a while a little squall would rush down the 
mountain and give them all the work they could handle, 
while Bihaura shouted, "Hoe Hoe" (Paddle! Paddle!) the 
word we learned in the surf canoes at Waikiki. 

To help along the cheer, I essayed a little hula dance of 
my own, for was I not one of them this day, and did I not 
wear a white waist and a red pareu and a yellow hei, with 
the best! Oh, they were vociferous in their applause and 
their cries of "Maitai! Maitai! Maitai nui!" It com- 
pletely won them, that little tripping of mine off the beaten 

When we were hauled up on the white shallows, I was 
borne ashore high and dry, pick-a-back, by a laughing vahine, 
while one of the jolly steersmen did Jack a like service. The 
palmy point was dotted with the tribe, and we were led to 
a thatch on the sand, under which we reclined in the midst 
of our crew, who took up their himines again, sitting in a 
circle. One of the steersmen was an actor and improvisa- 
teur, delivering himself of the most touching tones of appre- 
ciation of our joy-giving presence. Outside gathered the 
clans, and on the beach a crowd surrounded the captain and 
Martin in the launch. 

There seemed to be some delay, some hitch in the proceed- 
ings. Things did not appear to be going forward, and we 
learned that there had been disagreement among the factions 
one faction would not fish with another, and so forth. 
Now, the grand feature of stone-fishing is the number of 
canoes a hundred should be in the crescent that spreads 
out upon the reef and narrows and draws in to where the 
women, standing in the water at the beach, holding a net of 
cocoa leaves, close the crescent into a circle, and thus cap- 
ture, the driven fish. Only about twenty canoes had an- 
swered the blasts of the conches, and here we were, likely to 
be robbed of our stone-fishing. At last, through the inter- 
vention of M. Laborde and Tehei, it was arranged that the 
twenty canoes would see what they could do. We embarked 


in the launch, with Captain Warren at the engine, Martin 
remaining ashore to take pictures. 

When the twenty canoes had spread in a wide crescent 
on the shell-green water, with the breaking wall of thunder- 
ous breakers at reef-edge, we could realise the disad- 
vantage of there being so few, and tried to imagine how a 
hundred would look. There was a flag-canoe, and, when all 
were in position, a man dropped the flag a red and white 
pareu on a stick from side to side. At every drop, a kan- 
aka at the bow of each canoe beat the water with a stone on 
a string. It was a remarkable scene of action. Running 
our eyes along the crescent, we saw the white spray-smoke of 
the stone-thresh on the water, then the brown forms lifting 
and swinging the stone again. Tehei, in our bow, swung 
with the best, and when he lost the stone from its string, in- 
stantly followed it overside, promptly rising with it in 
his hand. I picked up his floating orange wreath and put 
it dripping on his black head as he emerged. 

The line of canoes drew in and in, beating and beating, 
and we saw the vahines forming their barrier of legs and 
cocoa leaves. Our launch behaved beautifully until almost 
the end, when the canoes had constricted into a tight circle 
and the vahines passed the great string or screen of leaves 
inside the canoe-circle. Then the engine gasped and died, 
the rudder at the same time coming down with a crunch on 
a huge hummock of brown coral. Jack pick-a-backed me 
ashore, and we approached a dismayed and disgruntled 
gathering on the beach. There was not a fish in the enclosure 
not one ! Where were the boiling myriads of fish, big and 
little, that fought and jumped and struck and bit at the 
wall of legs the fish that in desperation dashed themselves 
up on dry land ! 

We made a cheerful, if sympathetic, face about it all, 
especially as we could see that Tehei and his wife felt keenly 
the failure to show what the stone-fishers could do. It seems 
that the people here never can judge when a good catch will 


be made, even when the canoes turn out in force. And the 
bad luck happened on this day of all days. 

Bihaura had by now learned that her mate was going to 
sea with us, and although she continued to keep the pot of 
fun boiling, on the paddle home to the yacht she broke down 
and sobbed with her head on her knees. Mr. Alacot, a genial 
half-caste merchant who had been in the party, interpreted 
to us that she was also sorrowing because Jack and I were 
leaving, and that we had been "so good to her." We asked 
him to tell her that no one in the world had ever been so 
good to us as she and Tehei, and that if the yacht were only 
larger we should take her also. Once back on the Snark, 
with the girls sitting around the after skylight singing cho- 
ruses for the improvisateur, she became more like her usual 
controlled self. But she clung close to Jack and me, and 
watched her husband as he danced and sang and tried to in- 
terpret to us the impromptu songs and speeches. Neverthe- 
less, we caught him wiping his eyes now and again. 

Long ago in Polynesia there was an organisation called 
the Aeroi Society, that lived by its talents for entertaining ; 
a sort of peripatetic Bohemian Club, going about from dis- 
trict to district visiting the chiefs, with whom presents were 
exchanged. The chiefs in turn descended upon the common 
people and farmers, robbing them of their produce in order 
to feed genius. Besides artistic ability of one kind or an- 
other, one of the qualifications for membership in this pro- 
fligate association was the solemn promise of a man to kill his 
offspring at birth. One of our steersmen, a well built, 
slender fellow, handsome of face and winning of manner, 
certainly was the result of a slip-up in this cheerful custom 
by some talented member of the ancient fraternity, for the 
scene aboard the Snark was much as the chronicles describe 
the milder phases of the Aeroi orgies. 

Any one who wants to fit himself for unembarrassed pub- 
lic appearance, should come to Bora-Bora and sit under one 
of these improvisateurs. An you can take what he gives 


you without feeling silly and looking worse, your reputation 
will be made. I could not. The graceful creature (by the 
way, he had fee-fee!) would approach, making up the most 
poetic sounding runes and things with endless and varied 
repetitions of my adoptive name, "Bihaura Vahine," the 
chorus meantime shouting enthusiastic responses, my brown 
sister bowing grave acquiescence to the honour paid me 
through her, and Tehei assuring me by expressive maitais 
aside that this man was a prince of poets ' * Fine ! Fine ! ' ' 
Oh, the genuflections, the spreading of arms, the waving of 
shapely hands, the sparkling eyes ! And all the while, little 
individual hulas were palpitating around the ring of sitting 
singers. These love-dancing people do not have to stand on 
their feet to dance. 

"Wada, instead of worrying about so many to feed, thought 
it all very jolly and funny, and bustled about in his light- 
footed neat way, hoisting ship's biscuit on deck, opening 
coveted tins of salmon for the eager inrush, and boiling huge 
pots of rice. 

After a while, Jack and I withdrew forward, the better to 
orient ourselves and observe this strange act in the Snark's 
drama, performed under a swinging ship's lantern while 
the boat rocked at anchor in the light of the moon. Even 
now, so soon afterward, it seems far away and unreal, and 
wholly sweet and wonderful and unspoiled. 

Bora-Bora to Samoa, 
Thursday, April 23, 1908. 

One year ago to-day we beat our way out through the 
swirls of the Golden Gate. One minute it seems a very short 
year, when one thinks of the rush of events; and the next 
minute, pausing on some of these events the twelve months 
lengthen into years crammed with novel experience. I know 
more about geography than I did a year ago, to say nothing 
of human nature. 

And we're getting on, we're getting on, even if slowly. 


We could not keep up the six-mile gait struck the first and 
second days out from Bora-Bora, and since then have been 
lucky when we could exceed forty miles a day. Winds are 
light and variable, with a criss-cross sea that makes an all- 
night sleep a pleasant memory only. We expected to sight 
Manua by the ninth day, which will be to-morrow; but it 
now looks like a twelve-days' run from Bora-Bora. 

Jack and I were both fairly seasick for a couple of days, 
then buckled down to work. We feel very luxurious with 
our unwonted deck room the boats are on davits now and 
a good-sized awning amidships. One of our cots is left on 
deck in the morning, and we work and read, play cards and 
nap, as comfortably as if we were in a house. The men 
follow the sun around with a flap of canvas, and we are in 
cool shadow all day. Squalls of rain curtain the horizon, 
but none comes nigh us. All three meals are served on deck 
on the 'midship skylight, and I do not even trouble to sit 
up, preferring to rest against big blue denim cushions filled 
with silk-cotton from Bihaura's enormous pillow. Tehei is 
quite satisfied with this disposition of his wife's gift. He is 
beginning to cheer up, although when Martin developed the 
pictures of the double-canoe, showing Tehei and Bihaura 
dancing, he leaned against the companionway and wept like 
a good fellow. Every night at sunset, he kneels reverently 
at the stern rail and prays toward the East. He is a good 
sailor keen, willing, with sharp eye for disorder, and a good 
hand at the wheel. Little experience as he has known in 
white men's boats, he is a far better sailor than poor Ernest, 
whose three years before the mast have left him innocent of 
efficient seamanship. Along with his uselessness, he has 
a decided penchant for " bossing" everything and every- 
body whom he imagines under him Wada and Nakata for 
instance. And, last and worst, he has an unpleasant and 
dangerous disease, which Jack is doctoring and which, on 
so small a boat, is very undesirable for all of us. We look 
forward to dropping him at the first available port. 

Our supply of fresh food is dwindling to the noble 


yam. I enjoy it three times a day, in the variant forms that 
suggest themselves to Wada's fantastic Japanese brain. 
Why, to-day we thought we had French-fried potatoes 
and behold the hearty yam, done to a nicety in olive oil. 
Big ships whitewash their yams, which keep for months this 
way. We have not been able to dispose of all the bananas, 
and they are dropping overboard with reckless wastage. 
The hens have delivered only two eggs altogether, so chicken 
stew and fricassee are frequent. 

Never did the Snark look so well, nor promise to look bet- 
ter. The men are working hard, painting and cleaning and 
polishing. Jack has them knock off at 4 :30, and the watches 
are easy in this uneventful weather. In fact, Martin, taking 
the wheel from eight to ten, has all night in. The engine 
room is unbelievably clean, and the engine is painted dark 
green and light brown, with shining brass to top off. 

Wada's department has spread to quite a farmyard, al- 
though the feathered stock is diminishing by two a day. 
Two fine young roosters committed suicide by flying over- 
board, but the rest contented themselves with merely 
trying out their wings and returning to the rail. The land- 
lubber Growings at daylight are very confusing to the dream- 
dull mind. One's opening eye expects to see the "glimmer- 
ing square" of a house-window. And the pig, the little, 
little puaa. He slipped his moorings under cover of dark- 
ness, and we have since speculated as to whether he met his 
untimely end at the business end of a shark, or cut his own 
throat with his cloven hoofs. 

Jack and I have been boxing daily, as of old, and now, 
with our enlarged deck space, Martin has taken it up with 
Jack, who gets more exercise than when he " fights" solely 
with me. The boxing amuses Tehei inordinately. 

Outside of the dawns and sunsets, and Jack's indignation 
over my impertinent suggestion from below that my venti- 
lator was not a deck ash-tray, the only other special inci- 
dent I can think of is the bleaching, or attempt at bleaching 
Nakata's hair. I brought a generous bottle of peroxide from 

Papa Williams 

Village Beau, Samoa 


San Francisco, at his request; but Nakata's enthusiasm to 
become a blond had not augmented during our absence. 
However, when we now explained that the black would grow 
out again soon, he fell into the plan with zest. He was only 
afraid he would meet Japanese in port somewhere who 
might laugh at him. But the bleaching of his wiry, purple- 
inky poll is not easy. We have used nearly all the bottle, 
the captain and I, and can only detect a dull auburn tone 
when Nakata stands between us and the sun. In passing, 
I must mention that we have discovered that Nakata's first 
name, Yoshimatsu, means " always happy, " and Wada's, 
Tsunekichi, "always good." 

Jack spotted a bonita to-day, but failed to supply Wada 
with fresh fish. Even Tehei's beautiful feather-lure, 
plucked from the dejected tail of a doomed rooster, did not 
look good to the bonita. 

Two new articles have kept Jack occupied, one called ' ' The 
High Seat of Abundance, " relating our experiences with 
Tehei and Bihaura, and the other "The Stone-Fishing of 
Bora-Bora." In Polynesian Researches, he had found the 
following : 

"On the arrival of strangers, every man endeavoured to 
obtain one as a friend and carry him off to his own habita- 
tion, where he is treated with the greatest kindness by the 
inhabitants of the district; they place him on a high seat 
and feed him with abundance of the finest food. ' ' 

Aboard the Snark, at anchor off Tau, 
Manua Group, American Samoa, 

May 28, 1908. 

I am sitting on a little camp-stool that sways threateningly 
at each offshore heave of the sea. Around me is a gather- 
ing of Samoan gentlemen whose frank admiration of a woman 
who does not have to bleach her hair to make it brown, is 
quite overwhelming. You see, these Samoan dandies and 
their fafinas (which is the vahine of it here) do have to 
bleach theirs, and to that end use lime made from coral. 


Why, when the big whaleboat came out to us just now, rowed 
by these splendid kanakas, we were all agog over a magnifi- 
cent savage in the bow, a man of herculean size, apparently 
white-headed. He was a veritable South Sea Colonies 
George Washington. But it was only lime, white, thick, 
plastered lime made from coral, although his truly grand 
lines and bulk and crawling muscles were no illusion. Those 
who have taken off this rigorous bleach are left with hair of 
various auburn hues that make Nakata's dull flush green by 
comparison. The reddish hair lends a red-brown to their 
great black eyes, and a warm tawny tone to their faces. The 
splendid bodies are clad only in loin cloths, which partly 
conceal a fine tattooing that covers their glossy skins like 
tight knee breeches. The upper back part represents a 
canoe, the two ends reaching in points half around the waist. 
A Samoan is not a grown man until he is thus decorated. 
He indubitably must be a man then, by right of pain, if 
nothing else. 

Another reason for admiration in the regard of the circle 
is my facility with this fountain pen, for I do not waste much 
time getting over the paper when I am trying to record hap- 
penings on the spot. When they first swarmed aboard from 
the whaleboat, all shook hands and said "Talofa," (remi- 
niscent of the Hawaiian Aloha), we replying in kind; and 
then I made for parts below and fished up Turner's Samoa, 
in the back of which is a vocabulary of native words. I 
wanted to find out a few things from these new Americans, 
and began pointing at the words I needed. They were able 
to read the words, and pronounced them for me, one after 
another immediately translating into English as, "Uru 
English, breadfruit." The rogues they all spoke consider- 
able English, and had not let on ! 

Tau Island was sighted this morning, but with light wind 
it was well into afternoon before we sailed under the lee 
of the high land. The wind failing, Martin started the en- 
gine, which behaved well until we were close to our precarious 
anchorage outside the tremendous breakers ; then, just as we 


most needed power, something went wrong. Two boatloads 
of natives came out, and towed us with a will to the place 
they said was the best holding ground. This is a volcanic 
island, rolling up from the shore twenty-five hundred feet, 
densely wooded from water's edge to clouds. It is quite 
different from any of the islands so far. There is no bar- 
rier reef, only the rock reef close in, and no safe anchorage, 
in a blow, anywhere on the fourteen miles of coast. We are 
in the best, but fearsomely near is the racing surf, a veritable 
Grand Prix of Neptune's finest horses. Our Carmel never 
flaunted more brilliant turquoise and emerald than do the 
glorious speeding breakers of Tau. We are so close that 
we fall into the hollows they leave behind as they pile up 
ceaselessly on the smoking reef. Catch us risking our boats 
in any of their indiscernible "boat-passages." Not we. 
When we go ashore to yon palm-smothered village, it will be 
in a big whale-boat manned by amphibious Samoans. One 
of them just now posted me upon local etiquette in the mat- 
ter of compensation for services such as have been 
rendered us: " A little sea-biscuit for the boys ? They pull 
boat hard. Ai?" So Wada is handing up a tin box of pilot 
bread from the forepeak, while the square white teeth of the 
expectant, smiling natives encircle us. "Some whiskey, 
please?" Oh, that is different. Whiskey is taboo. They 
know, and so do we. That is one point of perfect under- 

Wednesday, April 29, 1908. 

We did not go ashore, as it was nearly supper time when 
we came to anchor. For convenience in running back and 
forth, we should like an airship. Our visitors departed well 
satisfied with their entertainment, and pulled away singing. 
After dark several boatloads came out through the surf, and 
passed by in the starlight, singing, always singing ; and in the 
night we awoke and heard them in the distance, fishing by 
torchlight under the Southern Cross, while on the beach 
fires burned redly. 


The Snark rolled heavily all night in the ground swell, 
and we were driven below by a stiff squall ; so there was scant 
repose. This morning Mr. Morrison, an American in 
charge of the one store, came out in company with a two- 
hundred-and-sixty-pound ''high man" of the village, who 
teaches English in the school. His name is Viega, pro- 
nounced something like Vee-ahng-ah this melodious ahng 
sound always preceding the g in Samoan. The two invited 
us ashore, so we swallowed our coffee and toast and made 
ready. It was very exciting going through the surf, and I 
found myself studying ways and means of winning ashore 
over the reef, should we upset. Many boats are broken 
up, even in the hands of the skilful surf men. We were 
reminded of surf-riding in Hawaii, when at length a straight- 
going friendly roller sent us shooting in. 

Borne on the mighty shoulders of the tattooed, red- 
headed Samoans, we were set high and dry on the broadest, 
palm-dotted beach we have seen. Viega led us to the 
house of Tuimanua, the King, who, greatly to our disap- 
pointment, for we had heard much of him, was absent super- 
intending the copra-making on Olosenga, the westernmost 
of the Manuan group. Later in the day a flashy-looking 
habitue of the royal neighbourhood, elegantly tattooed and 
be-limed, broached the suggestion that he send a boat to 
Olosenga with news of our arrival. We were glad of this, 
for this pseudo-monarch is the last and most illustrious of 
the kings of Old Samoa, and we should regret missing 

As soon as we were in the house, the high men began to 
drop in, and we sat in a circle and had translated to us by 
the gentle-voiced and courteous Viega the speeches of wel- 
come made by the chief orator of the village the Talking 
Man. Not one of the speakers would have risked his elo- 
quence to his own scant English. Viega, the teacher, was 
able to do their high-flown language into very good English, 
with admirable grace and dignity. The Samoans are cere- 
monious above all the Islanders. Viega 's effect is quite over- 


powering, and I find it necessary to recall my stare occa- 
sionally when I am lost wondering how he carries his mas- 
sive bulk so well. And he is athletic looks fat, but can 
easily touch the floor with his knuckles without bending at 
the knees. It turns out that he practises this and other 
exercises daily proving that he has brain as well as brawn. 
In feature he somewhat resembles Prince Cupid of Hawaii. 
The profile is good, mouth well shaped over even teeth, and 
wonderfully sweet when smiling; the forehead is low but 
broad, and the eyes, very large, are dusky black, with inso- 
lently level, heavy lids the insolence being solely in the 
lines, for the gaze is kind and gracious. His eyelashes are 
half an inch long at least. It is the physical aristocracy 
again, the splendid result of generations of ample nourish- 
ment and care and selection. Viega wears a white lava-lava 
(all the same pareu, I can hear Wada comment), a shirt and 
a white coat. 

A room was made ready for us papalangi (white folk) in 
this European and breezy stone house, and oh, yes I must 
not forget the 'ava. Kava, the Americans say at home, but 
'ava is the correct native usage, while the real botanical in- 
wardness is macropiper methysticum. There was no post- 
ponement in our liking for it, and there is now a note filed 
away to remind us to send for " pepper-bush " when we are 
home once more. They made it in a large fourteen-legged 
calabash called tanoa, wrought from one piece of hard wood. 
The knobby yellowish root is coarsely grated, placed in the 
bowl, and water added. The mess is squeezed by pretty 
maidens whose hands are first punctiliously washed at 
least, that is what happened while we were looking on. As 
the yellow root begins to tinge the water, the grosser grat- 
ings are strained in a bunch of cocoanut fibre. When the 
water retains the proper amount of the flavour and colour of 
the root, the 'ava makers all stand and clap their hands. 
This signifies to the household that the flowing bowl is pre- 
pared, and is also a signal that the house is taboo to intru- 
sion until the drinking is accomplished. Originally the 


meaning of this clapping included the warning against evil 

A cocoanut calabash is now dipped into the bowl and 
brought by one of the pretty maidens to the guest of honour. 
On this occasion it was passed first to me, and then refilled 
for Jack; Mr. Morrison came next, and was followed by 
Viega, and thence on around the ring of "nobles," undoubt- 
edly in the precedence of their rank. The same drinking- 
calabash is used by all, going back to be replenished after 
each drinker, even if he has but touched his lips to it. But 
the best observance is to drain it. The person presenting 
the cup raises it high, then sweeps low, finally bringing it to 
the level of the drinker's hand. It is a beautiful and stately 

'Ava drinking is said to have been the most strict and 
ceremonious function of Samoa 'Umi in the past, and the 
pages of her history are redly punctuated with squabbles, 
feuds, and wars, that arose over the question of precedence in 
drinking. There is no doubt in our minds as to who will 
first press lip to cup when Mr. Tuimanua comes to town. 

Originally, the 'ava was fermented, but the people were not 
given to drinking to excess, only taking a draught before 
meals, like a cocktail ; and old men drank it in the morning, 
believing that it prolonged life. 'Ava is taboo in Hawaii 
now, on account of the intoxication it produced among the 
natives. But this 'ava in Manua is newly made for each 
quaffing, and is the freshest, most mouth-cleansing of drinks, 
leaving an effect on the tongue like a gargle of listerine a 
"delectable toothwash that cleanses all the way down," ac- 
cording to Jack. When my cupful started down, I thought 
I should not care much for 'ava ; but before the cocoanut-shell 
was emptied, I changed my mind. One cannot name the 
flavour that is as difficult as describing the taste of bread- 
fruit ; it is just rooty, and somebody said it reminded him of 
hops. Perhaps it might be likened to a sublimated, unfer- 
mented, celestial beer. One writer has said that 'ava tasted 
like soapy dishwater as much as anything else ; but we failed 


to notice the similarity perhaps we don't know the taste 
of dishwater. 

Mr. Morrison tells us that 'ava is mildly stimulating, and 
that some persons find their knees wabbly after drinking a 
quantity. But Jack and I have noted no effect whatever, 
except that of refreshment. We are just as well satisfied, 
too, that our 'ava is not made as of old, when the root was 
chewed by the Samoan girls. No matter how charming they 
be, one cannot help preferring to do his own chewing, and, 
anyway, microbes are microbes. Oh, surely, we'd have had 
a try at it, just the same. We could not have let our beloved 
Robert Louis go us better on a little thing like that. 

Although one consequence of 'ava drinking is to check the 
appetite for food, it is customary to offer food with the 
drink ; but the ceremonial does not impose acceptance of the 
taro, or breadfruit, or whatever happens to be set forth. 

The household of the King is unique. Here, besides Tui- 
manua and his wife, live Mr. Morrison, and a sister of the 
King, whose name, Lepepa, means Good Tidings, such as 
announcements of marriages or betrothals. She certainly 
looks all of it, and more, for topping her spare presence is a 
head of short black hair, red-ended, standing out frizzily 
in all directions like a Fijian's, giving her a look of 
pained surprise which is irresistibly funny. Lepepa 's main 
occupation, besides being good to us, is keeping this aureole 
in order, which she does by rolling it up tight in a point on 
top of her head, pinning it with two or three insufficient 
wire hairpins. I spared her one of my large bone ones, and 
she promptly came with a beautiful tapa (siapo, here) of 
her own manufacture. It is done in dark brown designs 
on dull white, and decorated with big bars and disks painted 
with a varnish-like vegetable juice. This square siapo is for 
wearing apparel, held in place by a broad white siapo girdle, 
picked out in brown leaf-forms. 

There are several young girls, related to the royal family, 
who sleep elsewhere but spend the day in the "palace," 
ostensibly helping around. Two beauties stood fanning us 


at table to-day. One, vouched for as full-blooded Manuan, 
is a variation in her race. Her hair is brown, half its length 
burned by the sun to a splendid lustreless gold. Her skin is 
tawny, and her black eyes, long and level, heavy -lidded and 
indolent, borrow a tawny tone from hair and skin. She has 
a square-cut neck on her short tunic of bright blue-flowered 
stuff, and her neck and shoulders and back are matchless in 
line and texture. Indeed, she is so lovely a thing that she 
seems fairly to breathe out beauty. Only thirteen she is, 
with an exquisite budding body ; and she lays her dull gold 
hair on the nape of her neck, dressing it over the ears with 
crimson blossoms of hibiscus, and looks upon us with a 
calm sphinx-like gaze that tells nothing except that she is 
unconsciously a perfect thing fashioned from the dreams and 
colours that pictures are made of. I wonder if Cleopatra 
looked so, when she was thirteen. This beauty's name is 
Liuga, with the tender n before the soft g. And Liuga 
means The End, The Aim. Isn't that beautiful ? What 
does she here in unappreciative Samoa-land, where her fair- 
ness is but subject for mirth among her kind? She would 
be The End, The Aim, of many a white heart if she went to 
a white man's country, and possessed the mind to inform 
her loveliness. 

There is a fashion magazine in Tau. I saw it lying on the 
Queen's sewing machine. And if I had not seen it, I should 
have known it was in the village. The strange garments 
that have been evolved would make a book in themselves. 
There is great preference for semi-decollete and berthas; 
and as this pinafore sort of apparel seldom goes as far as 
the knees, a lava-lava of some unrelated material covers from 
the hips down. Liuga finished off the square neck of her 
blue-flowered upper garment with wide purple lace laid flat, 
while her lava-lava is brilliant rose-colour. She is like an 
Egyptian scarf, a rainbow. There I am back to her again, 
when I want to tell about Viega's wife, Sialafua, which 
means The Road, The "Way. She helped in the hospitality 
this afternoon; a magnificent woman, well up to her hus- 


band's weight. I should like to see her in a box at the 
opera, in full panoply of silk and jewels and bare shoulders. 
She would create a sensation, would Viega's wife. As it 
is, she makes a marked impression in a lavender and white 
ofu (Samoan for holoku, ahu, etc.), her black hair done 
high, and plump taper hands folded in a lap that "ample" 
doesn't express. She is the daughter of an old chief of 
Upolu, and looks born to the purple. 

When Mr. Morrison had enticed Jack out to the store, the 
women and girls lost no time surrounding me, and asking, 
in unmistakable and highly ludicrous ways, if I had any 
"pickaninnies," which familiar word they have adopted. 
When I made it clear that I was so unfortunate as to have 
no family, the good souls left me in no doubt as to their pity 
for my childlessness. But after some one pantomimed the 
size of the Snark, and the perils that would beset pickanin- 
nies on that overcrowded vaa (boat), they sagely nodded 
that it was best so, and wished me well for the time when 
my little ship should come home. 

Thursday, April 30, 1908. 

At last we have seen tapa-cloth in the making. I had 
begun to look upon it as a lost art, until Jack and I, taking 
a walk, stumbled upon a fale (house) where a pretty woman 
sat cross-legged before a tilted board, pounding and scrap- 
ing the wet lengths of stripped white tutuga bark a kind 
of mulberry Branssonetia sapyrifera, if you really want to 
know. After the pulpy substance thus made is pounded 
into "cloth," it is laid over a board carved in one of the 
patterns peculiar to siapos. A piece of rag is then dipped 
into native dye made from tree-bark, and well rubbed over 
the cloth. The colour remains on the high places pressed 
up by the carving, and the thing is done. The woman dis- 
coursed volubly to us about the process, and we, nothing 
daunted, replied at length in our own, to her, unintelligible 


The village strays picturesquely along the beach, each 
f ale set up wherever its owner chooses, and his shell-garnished 
canoe drawn up not far off. There are two roads in Tau 
running parallel until they converge at the ends of the vil- 
lage. Trees and flowers crowd to the edges, and we saw 
passing through the air from bough to bough several of those 
strange furry paradoxes, flying foxes. The houses are beau- 
tiful far superior to those of Tahiti and Tahaa, especially 
inside. The roofs are domed much higher, and are more 
often round than oblong, while the workmanship in beams and 
thatch and sennit is exquisite. Samoan thatch is almost al- 
ways made from sugar cane, and the eaves of the steep 
roofs clipped short. The floors are the ground, raised sev- 
eral inches by layers of pounded white coral, with stones 
set around the edge to keep the coral in place. One 
stoops low to enter, passing in between the upright pillars. 
The interiors are lofty and roomy and cool, with a restful 
gloom ; and when rain or draft is to be shut out, mats rolled 
up under the eaves are let down, a section at a time, or all 
around, as the need may be. The only furnishings are 
handsome calabashes lacquered bluish white by the 'ava, 
rolls of sleeping mats, and short bamboos raised a few 
inches, which are used as pillows, Japanese fashion. 

Upon going into a house, with "Talofa" all round, mats 
are instantly unrolled, upon which one is invited to sit 
cross-legged of course. And the most approved posture, 
especially when in presence of royalty, is with the right foot 
resting upon the left leg, well above the knee. Try it. Jack 
says he cannot succeed because of his stiff knees stiff from 
many accidents; so I am doing it for the family, although 
I must admit it is a strain. 

These Manuans are universally good-looking, except for 
the prevalent disfiguring blindness. No one seems to be 
sure of the cause. But judging by the myriads of small, 
clinging, sticky flies that infest the faces of the children, one 
cannot help wondering if they haven't something to do with 
it. Some of the prettiest faces are grievously marred by an 


eye gone white or whitish blue. Hunchbacks of both sexes 
are a common sight, but they are as jolly as the rest. We 
noticed a number of men without hands dynamiting fish 
being responsible. There is fee-fee, but no leprosy. It is a 
pity there is not more fresh water in Manua. Rainwater is 
the source of supply, and the natives have no chance to bathe 
in rivers as all the islanders love to do; and there can be 
little sea-bathing, on account of sharks. They are not volun- ' 
tarily uncleanly; they do the best they can, but lack the 
fresh and shining appearance of people who may revel in 
abundance of water. 

We cannot stir out of the house but a large following of 
all ages and conditions attaches to our rear. To-day one lusty 
young fellow took it upon himself to be guide. He speaks 
English, and says he was once a marine on the Adams. He 
led us into various houses, where we bought siapos and fans, 
shells and baskets. When some avaricious fafine wanted a 
price that our guide considered exorbitant, he assumed a 
lofty, detached expression and remarked: "Let uss go." 
And go we would, on to another fale where perhaps a couple 
of voluptuous damsels volunteered to siva-siva, first placing a 
dish before us, into which Jack was expected to drop small 
change. These Manuans, despite the fact that this is not a 
steamer port, are not so primitive by far as our adorable 

The children have learned that certain purplish-red cat- 
eyes, although common as pebbles here, are for some reason 
esteemed by me ; and they come in droves, hands full. Jack 
pays them a cent for ten desirable specimens, and they scuttle 
for the store to spend their gains in ' ' lollies. ' ' When we re- 
ject bad stones that they try to foist upon us, there is a 
great uproar of laughter, in which the detected one joins 
with good will. I am minded to plan a girdle out of the 
cat-eyes. One green one has come to light, but such are 

We were gone possibly an hour and a half on our quest 
through the village, and when we returned, ten of our 


coppers had already found their way back to the store, where 
Mr. Morrison was dispensing lollies at eight for a cent. It 
seems good to be handling American coinage. It provokes 
the old query : ' ' Do you know where you are ? ' ' Frankly, 
half the time I do not. Down on the broad glistening beach 
I sit with chin on knees and watch the bit Snark tossing just 
beyond the tremendous barrier of surf, and feel very much 
lost indeed. 

The King's front veranda was the scene of quite an ex- 
tensive bazaar to-day, when the natives, rounded up by Mr. 
Morrison at our request, brought siapos and fans and mats for 
us to buy. All were good natured congratulating one an- 
other when a sale was made, and gaily jeering when an 
article was not up to the mark. Mr. Morrison, who is the 
butt of much friendly abuse because he will not take a wife 
from among them, engineered proceedings, and kept prices 
down to normal; and we became the possessors of enough 
mats, fine and coarse, to furnish our floors in summer at 
home, and to sleep on for aye if we choose. A large mat of 
fine, soft weave can be bought for $2.00 to the entire con- 
tent of the seller. Lovely sleeping-mats, child-length, come 
two for a quarter, while an ordinary-sized siapo that would 
take three women a week to make, brings half a dollar or 
less. 'Ava bowls are held very high, because few are made 
in this day. 

When I lay down to rest after dinner, in to me came Soa, 
one-time taupou, or Maid of the Village, now a sober young 
matron of a few months. She sat beside me on the bed and 
began to massage lomi-lomi, the same as in Hawaii. Then 
Lepepa dropped in, with half her unruly hair sticking 
straight out on one side, and added her kneading. After 
a time another girl strayed along and joined, while outside 
on the porch Liuga, head nodding with red flowers, looked 
through the window and wound up a musical clock for our 

I must tell about the Maids of the Villages. I do not know 
who is taupou of this one, now Soa is wedded; but it is the 


custom for the chief of a village to appoint a child to the 
high office, which child is brought up carefully with this 
goal in view. She must be a virgin of high degree, and she 
is the standard, the representative, the paragon, of all pure 
excellence in the community. If she fail in virtue, the chief 
who appointed her must indeed be powerful to save her from 
punishment if he would. Her function it is to entertain high 
guests to make the 'ava, to be gracious, and to look all her 
loveliness, dressed for the part. 

Now, also in each village is the manaia, the beau, the 
flash-man in whom is embodied all the foppery and manly 
style of his people. Part of the business of this masculine 
butterfly is the conquest of taupous of other villages than his 
own his guerdon being the number of maids he may win. 
Courting-parties besiege each village in this game of hearts, 
and each group must look to it that its taupou be shielded 
from the charms of the intruder. Her end is to marry a 
chief who will be chosen for her, and there must be no trip- 
ping aside. There are all sorts of intricate ins and outs in 
the taupou system, and one would have to reside in Samoa 
a long time to unravel the inwardness of the charming cus- 

After supper, still tired, I stretched out on a mat on the 
veranda, where young girls gathered around, who, I have 
no doubt, commented upon the cut of my ofu. I said "Lomi 
lomi," and was promptly surrounded, three on a side, twelve 
small hands hunting out the tired places in my nerves. 
Even the indolent Liuga took a hand, two hands, as well as 
the other belle who fans us at table. 

Boys from Viega's school drifted over to sing for us, and 
sat in a row on the grass under a big fan tree. Their 
himines are less varied in harmony than those of Bora-Bora, 
but very musical nevertheless. 

Friday, May 1, 1908. 

He came, Tuimanua, in a pouring rain. Early in the 
morning the word was passed along that he had landed ; but 


it was some little time before we saw him, for he beached at 
a distance in order to dress suitably. When he finally ap- 
peared, he walked under an umbrella, barefoot in the rain, 
clad in neat brass-buttoned khaki coat, over a white lava- 
lava. His wife followed, with Sialafua, and we were in- 
troduced by Viega. Then ensued a ceremonial period, dur- 
ing which we sat around in the main hall and exchanged 
compliments and courtesies. As for Tuimanua's Queen, 
Vaitupu, she is just the dearest of solid, lovable, wholesome 
women, with dignity and fine manners. So has her hus- 
band dignity and grace, but something more. We had been 
with him but a few minutes when we said to each other: 
"He is every inch the part." He is tall, well shaped, with 
sharp and restless black eyes, fairly light skin, noble profile 
and head, firm mouth, slender sensitive hands, and the first 
fine feet we have seen in Polynesia long, slim, classic, even 
to the long second toe. His carriage is kingly, aloof, lonely. 

We had understood at Tahiti that Tuimanua spoke a little 
English ; but no word did he utter to us except in Samoan, 
which Viega interpreted. Once or thrice, a quick lift of 
the Tui's eyebrows or a flash of his keen eyes, made me 
wonder how much he really did understand. 

Jack and I were getting quite at home in our surroundings, 
when Tuimanua made some request of Viega. That engag- 
ing creature rose to do his bidding, but passed out of the 
room backward and bent double and he a kinsman, a nephew 
of the august Tui. We kept our eyes alert, and when 
clapping announced the 'ava, we saw Liuga approach deeply 
bent. I do not think the fair maiden likes genuflecting, or 
else she has been growing careless in the absence of her 
sovereign, for later in the day she failed somewhere and 
earned a reprimand from him that sent her backing out of 
the room as fast as she could progress in that fashion. 

We had been curious as to how this round of 'ava would 
be served. Tuimanua indicated Jack to the hesitating cup 
bearer, and Jack was obliged to drink first, although he tried 
to offer the calabash to the Queen. But Tuimanua 's imperi- 


ous drawing together of his black brows suggested that the 
best way was to comply with his wish. I came next to the 
head of my family, then Mr. Morrison, the King, his wife, 
and so on. 

The formal audience shortly broke up, and Mr. Morrison 
took us to see Mr. Young and his daughter, who had just ar- 
rived in their schooner from Tutuila. The girl we found 
very sweet and modest, and her father exceedingly interest- 
ing, full of travel and experience. By marriage he is con- 
nected with the Manuan chief blood, and a few years ago dur- 
ing some lull in succession of rulers on Tau, he set his elder 
daughter on the high seat. She subsequently died, and her 
tomb, a modern one, is just outside the house. Tuimanua 
was next on the throne, and there is no love lost between him 
and the Youngs. However, neither mentioned the other to 
us; and when, upon our return to dinner, Mr. Morrison 
casually mentioned that he had taken us to call \jpon Rosa 
Young and her father, the intelligence was received by a 
well-bred inclination of the royal heads. 

There is a vast difference in the way things are conducted 
since the Tui and Vaitupu returned. Law and order prevail 
in right regal fashion, and the women stand around 
promptly. Tuimanua 's quick, roving eye detects the slight- 
est remissness in table service which he has learned in the 
navy circle at Tutuila and he makes his corrections with a 
quiet unobtrusiveness that would bear emulation in many a 
paler menage. 

After the noon meal, Vaitupu took us by the hands and 
led us into her and her husband's room, where we found a 
transformation had been wrought. The dismantled black 
and gilt four-poster was made up snowily, fresh mats laid 
on the floor, a reading-stand ready by the bed, bearing a 
good lamp, and upon the floor a heap of Samoan treasures, 
all for us siapos, mats and fans ; while from her own finger 
the Queen took three turtle-shell rings, inlaid with silver, 
and placed them on my fingers. Around my neck she hung a 
long thick necklace of beautiful diminutive land-shells. But 


the cream of the pile at our feet was a loose low-necked shirt, 
made for the use of the taupou on state occasions, plaited of 
sennit so fine that the woof is like soft cloth, or doeskin. This 
is a valuable souvenir, being an old specimen, finer than any 
of the work done in this day. It is trimmed about the neck 
with a sort of fringe of white bark-fibre, fine and smooth as 
silk ribbon, and interspersed with small fluffy red feathers 
of a rare bird. I could not express my delight, and Jack 
looked positively bashful. It really is embarrassing to have 
heaped upon one such redundant piles of presents. Perhaps 
we shall get used to the marvel of Samoan commonplace 
although customs may be different beyond Samoa, and the 
novelty remain untarnished after all. 

An elaborate siva-siva, combined singing and sitting-danc- 
ing, was rendered outside after supper, and later, as we sat 
fanning in the twilight, Jack and Mr. Morrison swapping 
yarns, and Vaitupu caressing my hands in her large, affec- 
tionate way, Tuimanua arose and went in. In a few moments 
a girl came with a message to Mr. Morrison, which was trans- 
lated as a request that we step inside for evening devotions. 
We found the King seated at the large table, his head on his 
hand. There was something pathetic about him, for Tui- 
manua has a bad illness of the stomach, for which he has 
been to the hospital at Tutuila. We are told that he thinks 
he has an aitu pursuing him a malign spirit bent upon his 
undoing ; and from the way he looks about him at times, it 
is probable that the devil will get him, if fear will kill. 
This evil presence, like the kahuna of old Hawaii, is a dog- 
ger of men's footsteps in Samoa, and even Tuimanua, who 
is more intelligent and enlightened than any of the remain- 
ing chiefs, does not escape the stunting, damning supersti- 
tion, despite his strict devotion to the Christian faith. It is 
even said he hesitated a year or two before he would accept 
the chiefdom of Manua, waiting for the people to give up 
certain barbarous customs. But it is no use. His aitu is 
stronger than his faith. 

Viega offered up a long prayer in his musical voice and 


language, at the end of which all joined in repeating the 
Lord's Prayer in the native tongue. It was a picture to re- 
member the stricken quasi king bowed upon his hands, the 
nephew of mighty sinew praying like a trusting child, the 
sumptuous women filling their inadequate chairs in over- 
flowing lines of ease, and, off in a corner, sitting on our now 
new 'ava calabashes, a cluster of young beauties, gorgeous in 
colours of cloth and flowers and a bit inclined to giggle and 

A hymn ensued, and then the Tui indicated to Mr. 
Morrison that he would be pleased if Jack would tell him 
the latest news from America say concerning the elections, 
and any other matters to do with the Government. In 
speaking, the King addresses the person to whom he wishes 
his speech interpreted, quite as naturally as if he expected 
to be understood. Jack glanced up at a portrait of Teddy 
Koosevelt adorning the key-beam of an arch, and racked 
his brain for items to interest the royal interlocutor. When 
he had finished, Tuimanua went on to state some of his pet 
plans for Manua, one hope being that the Government might 
some day send a man to the school who would know law, so 
that the youth of Samoa would be able to learn the newly 
imposed American laws, and clearly explain those laws to 
their elders. 

And so ended our second May Day since the voyage of the 
Snark began. 

Aboard the Snark, 

Manua to Tutuila, 
Saturday, May 2, 1908. 

There they go, the grave King, the motherly Queen, Viega 
and his gorgeous wife, all singing, they and the brown 
oarsmen : 

"I nev-ver will for-ge-ett you !" 

the "Farewell to Admiral Kimberly" that has become fare- 
well to every one in Samoa. Three times they have circled 
us in the long whaleboat, singing and waving, and now 


they grow smaller and dimmer as the boat surges with 
sweeping strokes toward the familiar beach. A few little 
out-rigger canoes, shell-decorated, float idly about, and 
Young 's schooner dips her flag as we get under way and pass 
slowly in the light air toward a fair breeze that we see 
wrinkling the ocean out from under the land. 

We did not want to go so soon, but time and the season 
are pressing. The only reason for pressure of time is that 
there are hurricane seasons farther on which cautious Jack 
wishes to avoid. You see, the voyage of the Snark is not so 
foolhardy as it might look. So it's anchor up and away, our 
light barque freighted with bales of curious merchandise. 
Which pleasant burthen goes free into the United States, 
from our own harbour in Tutuila. 

Such a busy morning! There was nothing on the yacht 
fitting for gifts to those who had served us so sweetly; but 
the store came in handy, and Mr. Morrison, knowing the 
%istes of every woman in the place, helped us select. The 
younger maids were gladdened by wool and silk shawls of 
dainty shades ; Lepepa had a new ofu of a coveted print, and 
some excellent German umbrellas came to light that were just 
what Vaitupu and Sialafua wanted. Soa had a present too ; 
and I was obliged to send a special messenger for Liuga, 
who was still under the ban of Tuimanua's displeas- 

. . . And then it was "Tofa tofa soi fua!" all round 
words that bear all the lovable significance of the Hawaiian 
"Aloha nui!" with handclasps and cheek-pressures. Tui- 
manua and Vaitupu, with Viega and his wife and Mr. Mor- 
rison, accompanied us out to the yacht, where the two ladies 
promptly fell sea-sick while inspecting my tiny quarters. 
Only one at a time could squeeze in, for my cabin door was 
blocked by the aforesaid bales of merchandise, and our guests 
had to compress themselves to the dimensions of the narrow 
mirrored door between Jack's room and mine. I did not 
think Sialafua could do it; but she did, although piecemeal 
literally lifting herself through in sections, the while shaking 


with mirth. It was Viega who failed. His mighty chest 
stuck fast midway, and he surveyed my inadequate dormitory 
from that breathless vantage. 

. . . Tau village is now all a blur of palms brushing the 
feet of the massive mountains cowled in cloud, and Olosenga 
looms near, little-big Olosenga that lifts its minarets 1500 
feet from but a mile-long base washed with a spouting on- 
slaught of breakers. Beyond is Ofu Island (Petticoat 
Island?), misty-green with distance, and trembling in the 
westering sunlight. There is nothing like it in all the world 
the ever fresh delight of flushing green isles in the deep 

We have caught fair wind, and the Snark is sailing 
well. To-morrow will see her resting in another strange 
port. It is bewildering, this flitting from place to place. I* 
am already confusing the memories of Raiatea and Tahaa, 
Moorea and Bora-Bora and Manua ; and if that be true, what 
will it be like when Tutuila, Upolu, Savaii, and the Fijis are 
left behind? But it is a joyous jumble of sensations, and 
already we are thinking still farther overseas, glimpsing 
fearsome night-sailings past the shores of the head-hunting 
Solomons ; perilous navigating in the reef -netted currents of 
Torres Straits, visiting Thursday Island by the way to see 
the pearling, and, who knows? to fulfil Jack's promise of a 
lapful ! And there are Summatra's pearls also ; to say noth- 
ing of her tigers and tapirs, crocodiles, and great elephants, 
with vegetation in proportion, flowers of three-foot diameter, 
and leaves to match. And oh, Java Java with its unim- 
agined lures its peacocks and flying foxes, five-foot bats; 
and terrible tigers, black tigers from out of nightmare for- 
ests of indestructible teak. And who whispered dragons 
real dragons or are they only flying lizards? Java has 
her flora, too, blossoms weighing eighteen pounds, they 
say; and bazaars think of the India stuffs, and silks, and 
goldsmiths who will make curious settings for one's pearls 
and cat-eyes and opals caught along the way! 

... I can see there is to be no sleep on deck to-night in 


this big swell, with threatening showers, so I am going be- 
low and turn in under the friendly funnel of my ventilator. 

Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila, American Samoa, 
Sunday, May 3, 1908. 

We are not quite so happy this morning as we should be 
in so lovely a haven. Jack sits on a campstool over against 
the side of the teak companionway, with a shadowed coun- 
tenance, and he is not even reading which phenomenon in- 
dicates that he is much preoccupied. Captain Warren, with 
all hands and the cook, is sweating exhaustedly for'ard, tak- 
ing in anchor chain for the third time within two hours. 
And it was all unnecessary. We are a grinning spectacle 
to the nautical shore, from the Governor in his high mansion 
down to the least bluejacket on the beach; and it had to 
happen in our own naval station, of all places. 

. . . After keeping off until daylight, we entered Pago 
Pago Harbor under sail, right in the middle of the channel, 
and around the bend of the splendid landlocked port. In- 
deed, so safe and sheltered is it that we needs must round 
the bend before ever we could see the tall masts of the 
familiar Annapolis, lying at the wharf. We were surely a 
fair vision, sweeping in with all sail set, and were abreast of 
the gunboat, when we heard her boatswain's whistle and the 
order given to "lower the whaleboat." On the instant, Cap- 
tain Warren let go anchor. He seemed to lose his vain head 
over the fact that some one was coming out to us from a 
cruiser. Jack had already suggested where he thought we 
ought to lie, close in to a buoy, astern of the big ship ; but 
Captain Warren, as I say, lost his head. It did not improve 
his temper when the port doctor came alongside, instead of 
the elegant uniformed officers whom he had met in Papeete ; 
and so crusty was he, that the Doctor grew excusably cool 
to the Snark crowd generally, and remarked drily as he re- 
entered his boat, that we could not have selected a worse 
anchorage. A few minutes later, Jack noticed that we were 
dragging rapidly down upon an old hulk of a schooner 


anchored in the middle of the bay, and Martin was ordered 
to the engine, while the rest of the men laboriously hauled 
up our skating anchor. When the hook was out, we moved 
over toward the buoy Jack had indicated, and which, by the 
way, the Doctor had volunteered was the best place for us. 
On the way, the anchor chain, carelessly left with a single 
turn on the bitts, got away and we were fast again. The 
boys went at it once more, straining and panting in the heat, 
for it is arduous work to haul in fathom upon fathom of 
heavy chain-cable twice in an hour. And all the time the 
Sabbath-lazy bluejackets lounged ashore listening to a big 
phonograph and amusedly watching the elephantine ma- 
noeuvres of a small mismanaged American yacht trying to 
pick up her moorings. 

At last, with great expenditure of gasoline, the captain 
decided he was where he wanted to be (although Jack warned 
him we were too close to a coral-rock jetty that ran out from 
the reef), and down went the anchor. Shortly after, two 
officers walked out on a wooden pier near by and called to 
us that the Governor had sent word that we were too close 
in for safety, and we might carry a line to the Government 
buoy. So the weary crew set to again at pulling up the 
chain, and before we had gained the desired position, the an- 
chor got away from them again. And here we are, disgusted, 
and keenly disappointed with our messy arrival in Pago 
Pago, after our bright beginnings. Jack said gloomily : "I 
really think, when all's said and done, I've got more sailor- 
pride than all the rest of them put together even if I don't 
talk about it; and just look at the spectacle we've made of 
ourselves this morning!" I feel so sorry for him; he spares 
nothing in order to have things as they should be, and seldom 
gets what he pays for. And the one and only thing in the 
world in which he fights for style, is his boat. 

. . . These young Tutuilans are a nuisance. They are 
clambering up our sides in swarms, and we have to order 
them off for we haven 't room to turn around ; and they are 
too sophisticated to be especially interesting. They are 


perky and impudent but when Jack pretended that he was 
going to throw one small urchin overboard, the boy began 
to blubber. I was much amused a few moments ago when a 
canoe paddled out, and a pair of exceedingly pretty half- 
caste girls climbed over the stern rail. When they saw a 
white woman aboard, their coquettish quest was abandoned 
with comical alacrity, and they faded away over the stern, 
returning my smile and wave rather dubiously. A big 
Samoan came off to us and asked for laundry, presenting a 
letter from some American officer recommending him to the 
effect that he had done several washings for him, and that 
he probably did them as well as any other laundryman. We 
managed to keep our faces straight, appeared duly impressed, 
and referred him to the crew. 

This harbour is a prize for the American Navy, quite 
hurricane proof shut in as it is by mountains. The highest, 
Matafaa, rises 2357 feet. On the starboard side, entering, a 
mighty bluff called Tower Rock juts up into the sky. It 
bears the picturesque local name of The Rainmaker, for 
whenever clouds are seen about its summit, rain is sure to be 
brewing. To all appearances we are in a mountain-girt 

The red-roofed dwellings of the officers are very pretty, 
and the Governor's House, set high on a little ridge that 
projects into the bay, carries out the same colour scheme. 

The Annapolis, we learn, is leaving on Tuesday for Fiji, 
to bring back Governor Parker, to replace Governor Moore 
who is bound home. 

Monday, May 4, 1908. 

My! but it is good to be in a white-man's house again to 
have two big breezy rooms, bathe in a real bathroom in hot 
running water and cold shower, and to sleep in a bed the 
rolling and pitching of which exists only in the mind. Even 
my typewriter sits tight, showing no inclination to fall into 
my lap nor tilt backward ; nor does it exchange capitals for 
lower case in the mad style it affects at sea. 


We climbed the breathless hillock yesterday to call on 
Governor Moore, and that gentleman repeated his invita- 
tion given in Papeete, to make ourselves at home in the house 
as long as we please, whether he is here or not. We at once 
moved into the delightful suite allotted, Nakata playing valet 
with marked success. The young officers and their wives 
dropped in during the evening, and we renewed our Papeete 
acquaintance; while the Governor regaled us with witty 
stories. His most interesting anecdotes, to us, are those con- 
nected with his administration in Tutuila, where he has made 
himself respected and admired as well as loved by the people 
of our corner of Samoa, barring a few rebellious souls. The 
latter seem to be of the sort that kicks against the pricks of 
government, and they are not to be found among the pure 
native element. One man with whom there has been serious 
disagreement, is, as the Governor puts it, "So crooked he 
can't hide behind a corkscrew" which must be pretty 

In general the inhabitants of American Samoa are fairly 
content. As in the case of Tuimanua, who is practically 
Governor of Manus 'Uma, or "All Manua," other chiefs 
have been made governors of the various districts on Tutuila. 
Thus, a chief named Mauga is governor of the Eastern Dis- 
trict, and the Governor of the Western District is a half- 
white, Fauvae both, of course, answerable to Governor 
Moore. Even Tuimanua has a little colony of Manuans over 
across the bay. The fita-fita, or policemen, are all native, 
usually of high rank, and appointed by the chiefs. They 
must be big and physically fit in every way. Governor 
Moore's stunning steam-launch crew that we saw in Tahiti, 
is a good sample of the fita-fitas we see here. 

. . . This forenoon I accounted for some of my lost hours 
by bringing Jack's typing up to date, namely a new Klon- 
dike story, just finished "Lost Face." Then came an in- 
vitation from Mr. Groves, a socialist who came aboard the 
Snark yesterday, to attend a birthday feast across the water. 
We accepted, and went aboard the yacht at four, to see about 


packing our Manuan curios for shipment. Mr. Groves sent 
a Samoan to the Snark, who rowed us in a chubby little 
bobbed-off boat across the sunset flood and over the reef that 
hugs the shore. On landing we were met by Mr. Groves' 
pretty half-caste wife and a little son who looked as if he 
had stepped right out of a Sir Joshua Reynolds canvas. 

We ascended a short rocky trail to a cottage perched on the 
hillside, and found great preparation going on for the feast, 
even Mrs. Groves' ancient sire taking part with zest. Mrs. 
Groves' attitude concerning him in relation to us was beauti- 
fully tactful. There was no embarrassment in her regard of 
the withered old savage, tattooed and naked but for a scant 
cloth; but she was half-apologetic for his appearance, with 
the explanatory but prideful manner in which she might have 
accounted for some custom of her country strange to us. I 
must say few of us can lay claim to a finer looking parent 
than hers; and the daughter has the same clear-cut features. 

A bright-faced girl came out on the little porch and made 
'ava in a fascinating fourteen-legged bowl, and it was the 
best we have tasted a trifle stronger than the Manuan brew. 
By this time, Dr. Rossiter (in a much more genial mood than 
the official one in which he boarded the disgraceful Snark 
yesterday), arrived with his wife, and we were all bedecked 
with wreaths of flowers and vines before climbing farther up 
the steep to the feast. It was spread on a terraced level strip 
of hill, and some fifty guests squatted around. I was called 
upon to cut the birthday cake, a towering achievement of 
white frosting and pink decorations that taxed my imagina- 
tion and skill to the uttermost ; but I did manage to separate 
it into over fifty pieces, much to the delight of hostess and 
feasters. Mrs. Rossiter was appointed to struggle with a 
cake into which were baked numberless American nickels, 
while the rest of us offered suggestions and criticisms and 
generally superintended her. 

Aside from the cakes and ice-cream, it was the usual native 
spread, with fish baked in ti leaves, as in Hawaii. The 
cocoanuts here are nearly as fine as the Marquesan. 


The board was deserted early by most of the guests, who 
were anxious to avail themselves of the privilege of carrying 
home what they could not eat. Even the native houseboys 
of the Americans were smuggling away the lion's share of 
their portions. 

Hanging on the almost perpendicular mountainside, a 
green precipice frowning above us, we had a wondrous view 
of the twilight lake below for lake it looked to be, the 
opposite shore glowing softly with home-lights, and a bugle 
from the Annapolis floating liquidly on the purple air. After 
the feast we were entertained with a siva-siva in a large 
native house, where three young maidens, girdled in skirts 
of leaves and feathers and tapa strips, gave pantomimic 
dances, somewhat on the principle of the Geisha. Children 
joined in, moving their little feet and hands in dainty and 
graceful rhythm. No civilised dancing of small folk is so 
unaffectedly simple and beautiful as the siva-siva of Samoa. 
These babes imbibe grace with their mothers' milk, and are 
practically untaught, strictly speaking. They learn danc- 
ing along with walking and talking. 

It was "Tofa sui fua" at an early hour, and we rowed 
back across the ripples of the bay to the eternal singing of 
the boatmen. I believe these dark boys cannot row without 
singing. It is said that the canoe-songs of the Samoans are 
old as the race, but while some of the quaint chants survive, 
most of these we hear are of modern conception, tinged with 
the hymn element. The " Farewell to Admiral Kimberly" 
cropped up again this evening as a matter of course, albeit 
the occasion was not one of parting. There seems less at- 
tempt at part-singing than with the Society Islanders. The 
Samoans mostly sing in unison, only occasionally dropping 
into harmonious intervals. 

All about us rose the straight black walls of the mountains, 
as we skimmed over the water, and overhead a tinsel moon 
and electric stars wheeled among dense pillowy white clouds. 
It was as spectacular as the doldrum skies, which transcend 
all rational, sober naturalness. 


Upon landing, we went in for a few minutes to see the 
tiny quarters of the Rossiters, and learned anew what an 
American girl can do with some yards of flowered chintz 
and muslin, a few cushions, a picture or so, scraps of card- 
board and coloured paper in the matter of lampshades, and 
an oil stove and chafing dish. The Rossiters arrived in Pago 
Pago after all the quarters had been assigned, but it did not 
take the bright " Yankee" girl long to create out of nothing 
a small and select paradise for two. 

Tuesday, May 5, 1908. 

Governor Moore bade us good-bye this morning, on his 
way to Fiji to meet his successor, leaving us in the care of 
Paymaster Hilton and Pay Clerk Shute. The latter comes 
from Searsport, and knows my people. It does seem to me 
that persons from Maine, or connected with Maine, can find 
more things to talk about than those from any other State 
in the Union. This is likely to be widely contradicted, I 
know ! 

The Rainmaker was busy all morning, and this high house 
shook with broadsides of wind. So loudly did rain and wind 
vociferate that we, at work, listening for the whistle of the 
departing Annapolis, heard nothing of it, and she passed 
out of ken before we knew. 

Mrs. Frazier, the Navy Chaplain's wife, sent word for us 
to go around the bay with her in the afternoon, Jack on 
horseback, and I in the donkey cart with her. It seemed odd 
to be talking over a telephone in such surroundings mean- 
while looking out over the beautiful green-bound bay. Why, 
last night, playing Seeling 's Lorelei for Governor Moore (his 
wife had written him to ask for it when we should come to 
Tutuila), I saw through the window the rippling Rhine, 
while a jutting promontory personified the German Lorelei 
to a nicety. Such pictures may a casement frame! 

But to come down to earth I had a virulent attack of 
prickly heat to-day, and in desperation tried the first thing 

Lava-choked Graves 

Lava Pouring into the Sea, Savaii 


that came into my head, which happened to be a thorough 
lathering of Castile soap, allowed to remain on half an hour. 
Then a brisk cold shower, and the cure was complete. 

Mrs. Frazier drove through the naval settlement and be- 
yond along a road so narrow that only this one vehicle, made 
to order for the purpose, can travel at all. One other person 
in Pago Pago has a cart, but forgot to measure the highway 
before sending for it. It languishes unused in a shed of 
sugar-cane thatch. 

The shore and the feet of the steep hills are dotted with 
little hamlets of Samoan fales. They are not quite so fine 
as the Manua houses, but then, Manua was not so long ago 
the centre of Samoa 'Uma, whence issued the governmental 
edicts for the entire group. As we jogged through the quiet 
little villages, resting so peacefully under Uncle Sam 's juris- 
diction, I recalled something I had read about alert and 
bloody years when the Fijians came over and conquered the 
Samoans, driving them from their sea coast homes back into 
the rugged interior, where they perforce became mountain- 
eers. To this day can be seen the remains of great roads 
that the transplanted beach-lovers constructed in the 
troublous past. 

In Mauga's village his wife, Faapia, stepped out of her 
well ordered fale and was introduced to me a pretty 
woman, fair for her race, although of pure breed. The 
aristocracy once more. On our return in the dusk, she spied 
us and came out again, hands full of tasteful nosegays, which 
she pinned on our bosoms and set over our left ears, and in 
our hair. 

I saw the handsomest islander I might almost say the 
handsomest man I have ever seen. The graceful Adonis of 
Hooumi pales before this Apollo of Polynesia. Covered only 
with a red loin cloth, he paced majestically along, as if 
happy in princely superiority of manhood, his severe 
straight-featured countenance breaking into the most genial 
of smiles in eyes and mouth when he answered Mrs. Frazier 's 
pleasant "Talofa." His hair, in sharp-cut contours, was 


plastered white, and he walked head and shoulders above 
his fellows. 

Mrs. Frazier is very popular along the waterside, and I 
am sure we said "Talofa tofa, soi fua," a million times 
more or less, and heard the words as many times again. We 
talked of Tuimanua, whom Mrs. Frazier has entertained in 
her home many an afternoon. And she says he comprehends 
English very well, although he refuses to speak it. Evi- 
dently we did not irk His Majesty, for he sent a letter by us 
to the Governor in which he said we had been ' ' Very good ' ' 
and that he had been pleased with us. We are indeed 
pleased, for we lack words to describe our admiration for so 
great a man among his kind. Our hope is that the kingly 
Manuan may die before he ever fully realises how little of a 
sovereign he is in actuality. It is no pleasure to break a 
heart and spirit like his which is a wholly gratuitous and 
ridiculous observation, because spirits like Tuimanua 's can- 
not be broken. 

Aboard the SnarJc, 
At sea, Tutuila to Upolu, 
Wednesday, May 6, 1908. 

Sit with me here and run your glance along the "iron- 
bound" leagues of Tutuila 's coast, where snow-white surf 
breaks against the inky lava of forgotten volcanoes, or forces 
under and out through the crevices of spouting columns. 
Then follow up along the twilit foothills to where the sink- 
ing sun pours streams of gold down guttered mountains, and 
the clouds and mists of evening swirl and stir the colours 
into a riot of brilliant green and gold. Then gaze close into 
the jewelled waves that break and foam against our white 
boat, and say if it is not a beautiful, beautiful world of 
shimmering land and flowing water and lambent air. . . . 

. . . They watched us out of sight, the wholesome, clean, 
hearty young pairs of the Navy, first coming aboard to wish 
godspeed and to inspect the wonderful small boat that had 


borne us so far. They brought us presents, too Samoan 
baskets, and precious eggs; while on the wharf stood our 
Manuan burdens, boxed and labelled for California. 

We took away a new sailor, one Henry, a Rapa Islander 
(Society Group) who came aboard the first day in Tutuila 
and helped Tehei manfully, having him ashore in the 
evening and making that homesick Brown Brother much hap- 
pier. Henry seems to be an able man, and when he applied 
for a berth, Jack decided to accept him, for we must rid 
ourselves of poor Ernest, whose uselessness, and penchant for 
ordering others around, together with his unfortunate 
malady, make him most undesirable. We could not lose him 
at Pago Pago, for he could not pass the Port Doctor. And 
as there was no vessel there upon which he might have 
shipped, we can only hope for better luck at Apia. Captain 
Warren, knowing that we do not want to keep the boy, 
sharpens his wits on the poor fellow to the tune of a sort of 
sarcasm that completely robs Ernest of any little sense he 

Henry speaks half a dozen languages, and is a quick, smart 
man, about thirty, partially bald, with a wry smile belied 
by the good natured expression of a pair of sharp eyes that 
seem to miss nothing. He has been around the world sev- 
eral times, owns to a slight streak of French blood, and was 
fourteen years at school in Paris. 

I do not know what ails Captain Warren, he has grown so 
careless. We had hardly cleared the passage this afternoon, 
going out, when zip ! went the anchor chain again, and we 
were bucking against the sea, weighted with the heavy hook. 
Many things that should have been done in port have been 
left undone, and we are none too happy over the way things 
are going. It is a terrible thing to see a man in his posi- 
tion, with the chance of his life to make good, letting the 
chance slip. 

. . . Robert Louis Stevenson's words often come to me 
when I consider the superfluity of men on this small boat: 


world is too much with me." There are nine of us, 
and that is all of two too many in a space 56 feet long, by 
15 feet at the widest. 

. . . The 'longshore lights are blossoming, one by one, 
and a young moon is rising in the east. I hear the inviting 
whir of an electric fan below, and am going to climb into 
my dainty, clean, comfy bunk and read. 

"Goo' ni'!" purrs Tehei from the wheel, and Good Night 
it is, with Good Morning to come, in sight of Upolu and the 
smoke of Savaii's unresting volcano. 

International Hotel, 
Apia, Upolu, German Samoa, 

Friday, May 8, 1908. 

Such a sleep, and such a rejuvenated sailorwoman this 
morning ! We have just come back to our rooms in the hotel, 
after calling upon Mr. H. J. Moors in his home over one of 
his many stores on the island. We wasted no time getting 
on the subject of Stevenson, and so absorbing was it to hear 
of that beloved man from the lips of one who knew him 
intimately, that Jack came near forfeiting his day 's work. 

. . . At seven yesterday morning we were twenty-five 
miles off Upolu, but the wind dropped and we did not come 
to anchor in Apia Harbor until sunset. In the late after- 
noon, sailing for miles along the barrier reef that frills a 
green lagoon surrounding the land like a moat, we found 
the island very lovely reminding us of Raiatea in its gen- 
eral aspect. There must have been heavy rains, for we saw 
numerous high waterfalls leaping sheer green walls on the 

As the Snark slid along, we began to exclaim at the mag- 
nificent condition of this German province the leagues of 
copra plantation, extending from the shore up into the 
mountainous hinterland, thousands of close-crowded acres 
of heavy green palms. There was an orderly prosperity 
about the country that spoke well for German management. 

The sunset was a vast miracle of gorgeous suffusing colour, 


softened by drifting smoke from the volcano on Savaii. We 
had been watching all afternoon the white slanting column of 
steam from lava running hot into the sea. Back of Apia, 
upon a green ridge of Veea Mountain, the German pilot 
told us lay Stevenson's tomb. 

Under the jolly pilot's direction, Captain "Warren's un- 
accountable resentment of which he did not try to conceal, 
we made anchorage without aid from the engine. Immedi- 
ately we were beset by native wash-men, bringing their soiled 
letters of recommendation. The pilot had but just left, and 
Jack and I had got into our shoregoing ducks, when a news- 
paperman came aboard for an interview. He looked upon 
Jack with adoring eyes from the moment they came to- 
gether, and has made good this love-at-first-sight by offering 
us the use of his two race horses his idols, The Fop and 
Emele. He did not urge them upon us when we asked if 
we could get good horses ashore ; but when he found we cared 
enough for horses to lug our own saddles over the world 
and back, The Fop and Emele were ours only, he suggested 
that Jack would better ride Emele. His name is Charles 
Roberts, an Englishman, who, with his wife, keeps a small 
inn. He said his house would not be comfortable for us, or 
he would insist upon our staying there. We packed a grip 
and went ashore with him, where we inspected his saddles and 
bridles, hanging at one end of the dim bar-room, and met 
"The Missis." Every matron here is "the Missis," and I 
have become "the Missis" also. But then, Nakata has al- 
ways called me "Missis," probably so coached by Wada. 

We put up at the highly recommended International, where 
we can see the Snark's saucy flag in the distance through 
the ribbed wreck of the old Adler, lying where she went 
ashore in 1889 's hurricane. Meals are served in an 
open second-story at the back of the house, whence we can 
look out across the reef to the sea. Mr. Easthope, sitting at 
one end of his long table, resembles no one so much as the 
merry Falstaff a handsome, florid soul with smart white 
moustaches and imperial, who loses and finds his h's in true 


Cheapside fashion. It is whispered that of old he was a 
pirate and a blackbirder. If this be true, all I can say is that 
he must have done his deeds with picturesque dash and style, 
and that he has reformed most gracefully, for never did 
mine host look or act better the part, with his true wife at 
his elbow, and his beautiful half-caste daughter never far 
off. When guests order drinks, his invariable "Whisky for 
mine/' never comes amiss. One can easily understand, after 
a look at his jovial countenance, how men must be willing to 
pay for unnumbered drinks for him, just for the privilege of 
hearing him order them. 

... It was four o'clock when Mr. Koberts, in his light 
breeks and topboots, the picture of an English jockey, brought 
the horses. We were ready, and I was writing, when there 
came the clatter of hoof beats in the yard. They sounded so 
ringing and cheery, those small iron feet of flight, that I cried 
out in delight and ran to our balcony to look down upon the 
saddled backs of two of the prettiest golden sorrels I ever 
want to see. I fell over several things when I flew back to 
Jack, who waited laughing and commented : * ' The kid ! ' ' 

In a few minutes we were mounting, I on The Fop, whose 
knowing eye and staid ten years belied certain frolicsome 
traits I was to learn. Jack bestrode Emele, in whose flaring 
nostril and white-cornered eye one may read who runs (if 
he can run fast enough) disaster for him who sits not close 
and well. Of course both beasts wanted to race, and we had 
our hands full. 

Out of town, we cantered along ferny byways edged with 
sensitive plant that shrank away from our hoofs, its slant- 
ing shudder communicated throughout the green mantle like 
a nervous chill. The copra plantations looked in thriving 
condition, the palms, young and old, set in regular rows, acre 
upon acre, with sleek red and white cattle transmuting ferns 
and lush grasses into butter-fat. We worked around through 
a pale-pillared forest of palms and found ourselves on fine 
hard beach, where Apia's racing meets are held. The ride 
home was along the beach, when we didn't leave it to cut 


across arms of lagoons, our animals lifting their feet like 
kittens above the water. It was a delectable ride, and all- 
too-short. But the horses, for all their early friskiness, had 
had enough for one afternoon in such humid climate. They 
are the only horses we have seen that are clean of sores. If 
horses are not groomed carefully here, they contract a dis- 
ease that eats their hides in spreading sores, which also at- 
tack the face, sometimes entirely destroying the eyes. 

. . . After dinner, we went over and talked Stevenson 
again with Mr. Moors, and borrowed from his library, which 
is largely stocked with books brought from Mrs. Stevenson 
after her husband's death. Then his daughter, Rosa, and I 
discussed fans and mats and hats, and she filled my arms 
with a variety of Samoan fans when we departed, while 
Jack carried away the gift of a Talking Man's fly-brush 
made of white horsehair on a handle of ironwood. We were 
much interested in two chair-rugs they had, made from 
shredded bark and resembling long white goat-hair. The 
wrong side is merely a fine woven mat. The natives no 
longer make these rugs, but Mr. Moors thinks he may locate 
one that we can buy. 

Apia, Upolu, Samoa, 
Saturday, May 9, 1908. 

Stevenson's Vailima, literally " Waters Five/' named from 
the streams that once met on the place, lies about three miles 
of steady slope from Apia. We started in the early after- 
noon although it seems "always afternoon" in this sunny 
land Jack with Rosa Moors in a high black jaunting cart 
drawn by a stout black roadster, native groom behind with 
a parasol over their heads. I rode a brown mare that Rosa 
brought, as I am looking for all the exercise possible. 

We fared happily along the lovely climbing road, shaded 
by tropic trees, bamboo, palm, fau, hibiscus, and a dozen 
more, with little to remind us of our tender quest until we 
turned into The Road of Loving Hearts, the Ala Loto Alofa 
of the Samoans, that leads from the main highway to the 


gates of Vailima. This road was made by the hands of na- 
tives of lofty caste, led and helped by the six liberated chiefs 
of Mataafa's following, who had been befriended by Steven- 
son during political difficulties with the foreign Powers that 
ended in the imprisonment of these chiefs. Stevenson 's own 
words will best make clear the value of this gift of labour, 
and also give a glimpse of his sane sympathy with the 
Samoan nature : 

"Now whether or not this impulse will last them through 
the road does not matter to me one hair. It is the fact that 
they have attempted it, that they have volunteered, and are 
now trying to execute, a thing that was never before heard 
of in Samoa. Think of it! It is road-making, the most 
fruitful cause, after taxes, of all rebellion in Samoa, a thing 
to which they could not be wiled with money, nor driven by 
punishment. It does give me a sense of having done some- 
thing in Samoa after all. ' ' 

This astounding memorial to the Man who Understood, 
should be marked by some abiding symbol, and England 
should look to it. For this Eoad of Loving Hearts, first 
called by its builders The Eoad of Gratitude, is a monument 
far more significant than any tomb of massive proportions. 
Now, even the board, made and lettered by the chiefs, that 
once pointed the way to Vailima, is gone. Stevenson their 
Story Teller, their Tusitala, touched by the tribute, had al- 
ready prepared a graving to immortalise his appreciation of 
what his brown brothers had done; but the brown brothers 
had other plans, and he was obliged to let them inscribe the 
sign-post with their own words, which, translated, read: 

"Remembering the great kindness of His Highness Tusitala, 
and his loving care when we were imprisoned in sore distress, we 
have made for him an enduring gift, this road which we have dug 
to last forever. It shall never be muddy, it shall endure, this road 
that we have dug." . 

We are not the first world-wanderers in a small boat who 
have made the pilgrimage to Vailima. Our friend Captain 
Slocum touched at Apia in the Spray, during the residence 


of the widow, who presented the plucky old mariner with a 
handsome set of Sailing Directions of the Mediterranean 
from her husband's library. Alas, there are now no books 
nor other personal possessions of the author's left in the 
great house, which has been added to in order to meet the 
needs of the German Governor who owns it. 

The caretaker was away, and we could not even go into 
the building, but Rosa took us where we could peep into the 
great hall. Stevenson had a terrible time planning that 
house. He would bring his projected sketches and elevations 
to Mr. Moors for certain disapproval, and that critic 
regularly convinced his friend that the schemes were unprac- 
tical and unsuited to the tropics and his needs. Finally, the 
homeless Scotsman returned from a voyage to Sydney, en- 
thusiastic over the perfected drawings of an Australian archi- 
tect who had caught the fine sense of his client's manorial 
dream. Mr. Moors gasped when the sheets were spread out 
before him. The dimensions were for a castle, or a great 
mansion at the least. Poor Robert Louis wilted under the 
gentle sarcasm of Moors, and came down tremendously 
on all the measurements except those of the main hall, which 
he would reduce but little. It was his pet hobby, that hall, 
and provided with a vast fireplace, to feed a proportionately 
vast chimney. "What on earth do you want that for?" 
demanded Moors. "You'll never be able to use it in this 
climate, and it will cost you a fortune to haul the bricks and 
stones and mortar up that hill, and to build it after you get 
them there." 

Stevenson was crestfallen but obstinate. He could see the 
practical absurdity of the fireplace, but what was a living- 
hall without a fireplace ? Besides, that was the way they did 
it in Scotland, and it made the room look like home. No one 
could argue against this, so the fireplace went in, and one 
cannot but be glad he realised his dear desire. He paid 
for it, and it was one of the few desires he did realise, for all 
his arduous pursuit of happiness. That Heart of Gold must 
have been heavy in his bosom, for he once wrote what is a 


sad admission for his lovers to read "I was only happy 
once ... it came to an end from a variety of reasons, de- 
cline of health, change of place, increase of money, age with 
his stealing steps ; since then, as before then, I know not what 
it means. But I know pleasure still, pleasure with a thou- 
sand faces and none perfect, a thousand tongues all broken, 
a thousand hands and all of them with scratching nails. 
High among these I place this delight of weeding out here, 
alone by the garrulous water, under the silence of the high 
wood, broken by incongruous sounds of birds." 

From the upper front veranda we pressed our faces against 
the window panes of Tusitala 's bedroom, over the inner door 
of which jarred the portrait of the Kaiser. Then we gazed 
through the glass into the "Temple of Peace," the inner 
sanctuary where the master wove his spells. How will our 
own shelves of him look to us when we see them again! 
Straightway into the back of our eyes will come the vision 
of a small dismantled room overlooking the slope of Veea 
Mountain and the shining sea sparkling through his garden 

As we looked around over the present formal garden with 
its disk of lawn bordered in brilliant box, and its gay-foliaged 
crotons and dracenas, there came to us the breath of the 
perfumed things of the land, papaia, frangipani, waxen 
gardenia, and even the scent of orange blossom. And we 
thought of how the place must have appeared to its old owner 
when he began to grapple with the wild for a space that 
would not choke his dwelling. But he enjoyed his combat 
with the growing earth. He was "aye a magerful man/' 
was Stevenson, fighting for health in life, since he must live, 
striving to enjoy that life while it was imposed upon him, 
gaining upon his work against bitterest odds. His strife 
with nature was unique he realised this when he said, in 
connection with his eternal weeding and other garden work : 

"I wonder if any one ever had the same attitude to nature 
as I hold. This business fascinates me like a tune or a pas- 
sion, yet all the while I thrill with a strong distaste ... a 


superstitious horror of the void and the powers about me, the 
horror of my own devastation and continual murders. The 
life of the plants comes through my finger-tips, their 
struggles go to my heart like supplications, I feel myself 
blood boltered then I look back on my cleared grass, and 
count myself an ally in a fair quarrel, and make stout my 

One child of nature there was, however, that elicited from 
him no qualms of sympathy. This was the Sensitive Plant, 
whose pretty acacia-like foliage and lilac-pink pompons are 
nearly as great a pest in Samoa as is the lantana in Hawaii. 
It overspreads rock and roadside, height and hollow, and one 
can appreciate how Stevenson regarded his continuous en- 
counter with the insidious creeper: "A fool brought it to 
this island in a pot, and used to lecture and sentimentalize 
over the tender thing. The tender thing has now taken 
charge of this island, and men fight it, with torn hands, for 
bread and life." 

Almost one expects to see his half sad, half whimsical face 
at an upper window, or his slender back bent over the weed- 
ing of the grass. Then the utter silence of all things calls 
one to reality with a pain at the heart "Alas! for Tusitala 
he sleeps in the forest." 

We took no guide farther than the beginning of the trail 
that rises on the other side of one of the Five Rivers. Rosa 
Moors wanted to send her native groom with us, as she did 
not care to make the climb ; but we preferred to go alone. 

Through the dense bush and forest of the mountain a broad 
swath has been cut straight up the uncompromising steep, the 
clearing laced back and forth with a tiny pathway, water- 
eroded, beset by rock and root and clinging creeper. We 
set our faces to the hidden goal and plunged up through the 
cool still gloom, treading blossoming things that resembled 
violet plants bearing snowdrops, and now and then stepping 
into a drift of pink petals blown from trees. As we clawed 
into the stiff ascent we began to be gently depressed with 
the spirit of the place. At intervals a dove mourned in the 


woods, and our thoughts turned to the stories we had heard of 
Tusitala 's death how he was stricken suddenly the very day 
he had been talking of death and of his desire to be buried 
on the mount, in the spot where the frail frame of him now 
lies. "Why, the man died of too much health," Mr. Moors 
had declared; "he hadn't been better for years, but his veins 
could not carry the good blood he had in him. Something 
went wrong, and a blood vessel burst in his brain." And 
when the natives heard what had happened, and it was 
verified to them, waiting without, that Tusitala, their Story 
Teller, indeed lay low in death, they set up a universal wail- 
ing that must sorely have tried the endurance of the mourn- 
ers within. 

"How did they do it?" I panted as we struggled upward 
' ' How did they ever carry him up this place ? And what 
way was there to go this swath has been cut since ? ' ' 

Oh, the bereaved Samoans saw to it all, Jack told me five 
hundred of them attacked the woods by night, when they 
heard the wish of their Beloved to be laid upon Veea, and in 
the morning the path was ready and the pitiful spot cleared. 
And they bore Tusitala on their own chieftain shoulders, with 
lines carried up the mountain as well to help. One white 
man came into it all, too. It was found after the funeral 
that the place of burial was outside the confines of Vailima ; 
whereupon the owner, Mr. Trude, promptly made over the 
piece of property as a gift to the family. 

If ever you go to Stevenson's tomb, do not believe the 
soft-eyed native who tells you that two young palms mark 
the half of the climb. It seemed ages before we reached those 
trees, and we breathed ourselves for a fresh start on a tug 
as long as that we had already come. But it was not half 
of the half, and all at once, at a sharp turn around a large 
boulder, I was suddenly confronted with the grey gabled 
sarcophagus resting upon its broader foundation, and cried, 
startled, "Oh, Mate Mate!" Then we went forward hand 
in hand, and tears were in our eyes to think of that little 
great man lying under the weight of woful stone. A fresh 


double scarlet hibiscus was upon the foundation slab, where 
it must lately have been laid by some furtive living mourner, 
after all the long years. The querulous pipe of a mellow- 
throated bird came from the thicket close by, as if resenting 
our disturbing the sacred solitude, and the rays of the low 
sun slanted through the rustling f au trees and across the grey 
tomb. On the western face of the gabled concrete are cast 
in Samoan the words of Ruth to Naomi, with a Scotch thistle 
and a hibiscus to right and left : 

"Whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will 
lodge ; thy people shall be my people and thy God my God ; where 
thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried." 

On the opposite side we read the verse, with its great sim- 
plicity, that Stevenson wrote for his own grave : 

"Under the wide and starry sky 
Dig the grave and let me lie 
Glad did I live and gladly die 
And I lay me down with a will 
This be the verse you grave for me 
Here he lies where he longed to be 
Home is the sailor home from the sea 
And the hunter home from the hill." 

We turned on the brink of the descent for a last look at 
the quiet stone drifted over by withered leaves, and then 
dropped to the trail, full of a peaceful melancholy. 
"Here he lies where all must come, after days grown weari- 
some, ' ' came to my lips ; and Jack said in a subdued voice : 
"I wouldn't have gone out of my way to visit the grave of 
any other man in the world." It is not going out of one's 
way in Paris to see Napoleon's tomb, nor to find oneself 
leaning against Wellington's in St. Paul's. "But this, but 
this was you," Tusitala. 

"Glad did I live and gladly die," wove into our spirits as 
we let ourselves down the trail, and when we crossed the river 
again on its narrow broad, we were glad enough over our 
own aliveness to yearn toward a deep pool under a spread- 
ing bamboo tree. But Rosa was calling from the sunset 


garden, and we hastened to where, on the green wheel of 
lawn, she sat amidst baskets of peeled oranges, mangoes, and 
loving-cups of cocoanut ready opened. 

It is all over. We have seen Vailima's many porches 
where our Robert Louis broke breadfruit with his loved 
brown brothers in days gone by, oh, such a little while in our 
thought. One thinks of Yailima as with his living presence 
directing the life there; or, when he must rest, sleeping as 
he wished to sleep, with patient folded hands, upon the twi- 
light mountain. 

A few days before his passing, the Story Teller received 
this poem from Edmund Gosse : 

"Now the skies are pure above you, Tusitala, 
Feathered trees bow down before you, 
Perfumed winds from shining water 
Stir the sanguine-leaved hibiscus, 
That your kingdom's dusk-eyed daughters 
Weave about their shining tresses. 
Dew-fed guavas drop their viscous 
Honey at the sun's caresses, 
Where eternal summer blesses 
Your ethereal musky highlands. 

"You are circled, as by magic, 
In a surfy palm-built bubble, Tusitala. 
Fate hath chosen, but the choice is 
Half delectable, half tragic, 
For we hear you speak like Moses 
And we greet you back enchanted, 
But reply's no sooner granted 
Than the rifted cloud-land closes." 

It would seem that all the gifts of circumstance surround- 
ing his death were as poetic as he tried to make his life. 

"Glad did I live" "I have lived, and loved, and closed the door." 

Sunday, May 10, 1908. 

We have been picking up something of the history of our 
Tehei. A young woman we have met saw him in town, and 
they recognised each other, for it seems he was cook on the 
Eimeo, a schooner belonging to her cousin, Mr. Dexter, when 


that vessel was wrecked, literally blown to pieces, in the 
Paumotus during the 1906 hurricane that swept the Danger- 
ous Archipelago and Tahiti. Tehei and another Tahitian 
were the sole survivors of the Eimeo. They managed to 
catch hold of a hatch-cover that had been torn loose by the 
wind, and for three days the two were in the water under 
the tropic sun, one in and one out alternately, for there was 
only room on the hatch for a single person to rest high and 
dry. In the end they sighted the low island of Tahanea, 
and by waving the rag of a shirt that was left between 
them, the attention of the natives was attracted, and they 
sent out a boat. And Tehei never has breathed a word about 
the adventure, not even to Henry, who could have trans- 

Jack rose early this morning and had his work done be- 
fore breakfast, for at nine Mr. Roberts and Dr. Davis, the 
dentist, were to come to take us on a ride through the cacao 
plantations. And lo! Mr. Roberts said Emele was a little 
light for Jack's weight, and would I mind riding her? 
Would I ! 

We forded a river and struck into the hills where we 
rode through beautiful plantations, where pretty cacao trees 
grow amidst springing young papaias that flourish like 
weeds in Upolu, fruiting in such rank abundance that they 
are rated as food only for pigs and cattle. No self-re- 
specting hotel keeper would dare place papaias or paw- 
paws, or mummy-apples, as they are variously called on his 
table. Pig-food indeed ! Why, the lack of it and our fond- 
ness for it, gave us a distinct and somewhat discomfiting de- 
sire to be pigs. Which we became, to the extent of begging 
pridelessly for papaia three times a day. 

We passed small piled heaps of the cocoa in its crimson- 
pink shell, and it tastes not badly, even in its crude state. 
Five kinds of rubber trees are planted here, also. And oh ! 
the woods of Upolu ! They are so strange, so unreal, with the 
tortured trunks of the Malili trees that spread out toward the 
ground in board-like upright slabs all around, and the native 


banyans that grow very high before they reach out feelers 
toward earth. Umbrageous forest it is, on the one hand, so 
entirely overspread with leafy creepers that one can but 
think of painted stage scenery ; and on the other hand, there 
are woods gladsome with hibiscus and papaia, fau and climb- 
ing palm and fern until you are breathless at the contrast 
of grotesque Dorean glooms so near by. 

Messrs. Harman and Radford entertained us for lunch on 
the Upola Company's Plantation, of which they are mana- 
gers. They impressed us as weirdly unhealthy and spir- 
itless, until we came to learn that only the week previous 
both had been beset, on different parts of the plantation, 
by vicious Chinese coolies who beat and jumped upon 
them, Mr. Radford having several ribs broken. "Gaw' 
f'damee," blustered Roberts, flicking a topboot violently 
with his crop to hide his emotions at sight of his battered 
friend. And Radford smiled as little wearily as possible in 
appreciation of the other's feeling, for it hurt him even to 
smile. Such a sad-faced man; and aside from his present 
condition, I knew he was homesick. "Just to walk along 
Piccadilly again/' he sighed, half -smiling at his triteness, 
his well-bred thin face turned wistfully toward the open 
window; and once, when the rest were out inspecting the 
cocoa-dryer, we fell to quoting Kipling, and he became an- 
other man, and they found him laughing and talking volubly 
on their return. England's men where does one not meet 
them! Here a younger son; there a cockney; now a "gen- 
tleman adventurer," and then a "gentleman ranker." But 
oh! the "Broken Men" they are the saddest. However, 
not one of the men we met to-day would answer to any of 
these. Radford is an English gentleman, if ever there was 
one, and his house-mate, as gentle, is from Australia. 

I found it very interesting, sitting with all these men at 
the lunch table set on a second-story porch and served by a 
Chinese boy, listening to their stories, which were largely 
about horses while our own horses rolled and fed on the 
grass below. The ride back to Apia was by another way, 


lying through more wonderful woods high-trailing their 
mantles of creepers, and underfoot grassy, fern-brushed 
paths. We ended with a good gallop into town, more than 
ever grateful for the boon of fine horses to ride. 

Monday, May 11, 1908. 

There are some odd types here in the hotel, from good 
Mr. Falstaff down to the funny slim Chinaman, Ah Chong, 
who slants around the room in stiff little bumps when any 
one asks, " Dance, Ah Chong, dance for me." There's an 
ex-sea-captain from New England, who is teased a great deal. 
He is only eighty -five or so, and has a new wife and a two- 
months girl baby. The old man was at about the end of his 
patience with badgering one day at dinner, when I asked 
him, in a most respectful tone, particularly why he lived in 
Samoa. "To raise children," he growled back; and I sub- 
sided, well informed. But he is proud to talk about his fine, 
modern home and his family. "My children speak four or 
five languages, when they get ready; but they don't always 
get ready," he boasted with inflated chest; " though I 
don't know as it's anybody's business," he finished lamely, 
with a malevolent glare from under his beetling eyebrows, 
remembering that he was still put out over the badgering, 
and also that a New Englander just must be contrary. But 
he is a most kindly soul, beneath the husky shell of him. 

Then there is the stony-eyed, pink-skinned, brassy young 
Colonial whose papa is a wealthy canner in New Zealand, 
everybody knows, because the son has said so. He walked 
up to Jack the first time he saw him, asked rudely whence he 
came and whither bound, from what ship he had come 
ashore. And, learning at the table that Jack was off the 
Snark, he has since spent his leisure moments gazing fixedly 
over a cuff-high collar, plainly wondering how that soft- 
shirted, curly-headed boy came into possession of a name and 
a yacht anyway. He means well every one means well; 
but birth and nature are terribly against letting it show. 


Mr. and Mrs. Chappere, from Auckland, are delightful, 
and I follow the making of their accent with my eyes and 
unconsciously moving lips. Of course, I am quite aware 
that they probably regard my Americanese as just as re- 
markable. Last night, after dinner at the Roberts', we 
came home and went swimming with the Chapperes off a 
little boat-pier at the hotel. He is travelling for a biscuit 
company and knows something about other commodities than 
crackers jewels for instance. We began discussing Aus- 
tralian opals, and he brought out a little hemisphere of fire 
and dew that made us catch our breaths at the living colour. 
Jack was so interested in the opal that Mr. Chappere pre- 
sented me with it. I thought I saw his wife check a fall- 
ing face; so I produced my little handful of bright Paumo- 
tan pearls (added to in Tahiti), easily discovered, without 
asking, which they both liked best, and so managed to even 
the obligation. Every little while I take out my box in 
which the drop of blue and rose flame trembles in the moon- 
light of the pearls. 

Jack has picked up some green cat-eyes, and some grey 
ones, and I am looking forward to combining them in bizarre 
settings when we reach Batavia and the goldsmiths. Com- 
pare this adventuresome collecting of trinkets with buying 
in the conventional fashion! 

Curios are high in Apia, naturally, it being on the " tour- 
ist route," the basket and tapa and mat makers catering 
to the steamer trade. The Samoan fans are very good, much 
heavier, firmer and more useful than the flimsy Tahitian 
bamboo ones. There is a great variety, and we are told that 
we shall do well on Savaii, where the natives are practically 
unspoiled by visitors. 

Tuesday, May 12, 1908. 

Yesterday we took the ocean drive that leads past the me- 
morial monuments of the heroes of 1899 ; and we also came 
upon the remains of the last of old Samoan war canoes, pro- 
tected under a long shed. It is a double-canoe, the boats of 


slightly different size and build, and must have been an im- 
posing sight in action in the days when it was decorated 
and manned. Now it is too far gone to allow of launching 
even for exhibition. 

The American Vice Consul, Mr. Parkhouse, had invited 
us to dine at the Roberts Hotel, to meet the Acting Gov- 
ernor, Dr. Erich Schultz. We also found Mr. Moors there 
when we arrived, and several others, among them Mr. Mil- 
ler, editor of the Apia paper, and Dr. Davis and his beauti- 
ful Tongan bride. The main intellectual excitement of the 
extremely good dinner was the trying to convert Mr. Moors 
from his unguardedly expressed opinion that Kipling's 
poetry is " jingle. " He soon found what a warm nest he 
was in. Roberts rushed from the room, cursing volubly, re- 
turning breathless and gesticulatory with a volume from 
which, with tears in his eyes, he declaimed "The Broken 
Men. " * ' Jingle, is it ! " he panted, nervously running over 
the thumbed pages for "Gentleman Rankers." "Listen to 
this : 'For things we never mention' " and he went on, his 
heart in his voice, fanning the air with his free hand in a 
professional manner that made us wonder if the stage had 
claimed him at some period in his varied career. Jack read 
several of his favourites, and I tried out Mr. Moors with the 
"L 'Envoi" commencing, "There's a whisper down the 
field." The worthy Moors laughed his unembarrassed and 
spontaneous laugh, and said with twinkling eyes, "Oh, it's all 
very well, I know. Tell you the truth, I haven't read much 
Kipling and I'm willing to admit that all this isn't jingle. 
But perhaps I don 't care for poetry, for all this stuff you 've 
read doesn't affect me in the least." (Here a snort from 
Roberts, who was standing before a large print of "The 
Drums of the Fore and Aft," glowingly reading me the 

And then the Kipling discussion languished, and Dr. 
Schultz, on my right, got the folk interested in questions of 
Samoa. By ten, much in need of sleep, I slipped out, and 
was driven back to the hotel in Mr. Parkhouse 's trap. It 


was a brilliant moonlight night, with a soft warm breeze, 
and I wondered where I was, speeding along this strange 
water-front with a savage coachman, my little boat-home 
rocking in the harbour, not far from the romantic old wreck, 
and, to the west, the intermittent glow from a great volcano 
painting the moonlight lilac of the sky. 

And all this day the flags have been at half-mast, on land 
and water, for the little daughter of a local photographer, 
who died last night very suddenly of ptomaine poisoning. 
Mr. Easthope's daugher is going about with wet eyes, and 
there were tears in Rosa Moors' voice when she talked to me 
over the telephone about the trip to Papase 'ea this afternoon, 
saying she must return in time for the funeral. This acci- 
dent will make us more than ever careful on the Snark, and 
more than ever strict with the galley as to serving any stale 
food. It was tinned salmon that caused the death of this 

On The Fop and Emele we started at eleven, Rosa in her 
cart carrying lunch, and accompanied by her groom, a na- 
tive maid, and Miss Caruthers, daughter of Stevenson's old 
friend. It was beautiful country we clawed through, which 
finally became so steep that we left the horses and went on 
foot to the famous Sliding Rock. We had to let ourselves 
down a long bank to get to it, and at the bottom stood be- 
side a mountain stream, just above us a broad waterfall only 
a few feet in height, and below us the flowing thirty-foot 
precipice over which we were invited to launch our precious 
persons, feet first. I was very brave until my bathing-suit 
was on and the fateful letting-go moment approached, when 
I found all kinds of excuses for delays; but after watching 
the groom and the maid go down, followed by Miss Caru- 
thers, all sitting upright with their hands on the rock be- 
side them, I took my place with the bunch and looked at 
Jack sliding to his disappearance in the dark deep pool. 
He swam out laughing and shaking his head, and sat on a 
warm rock a long time jeering at me to screw my courage. 


I promised Rosa I would follow her. She admitted that al- 
though she had shot the fall hundreds of times, she always 
dreaded it. This cheered me up, and I waxed boastful over 
my own swimming-tank exploits of slides and 22-foot jumps, 
long dives and backward dives until Rosa went down, and 
I was obliged to make good. I took one look at Jack's odd 
expression, half of incredulous fear that I might fail him, 
and wiggled to the descent. It was successful, despite a 
bad sidewise start. The natives were much amused because 
I put cotton in my nostrils and ears. But I had noticed 
the backward jerk of Jack's head when he struck the pool, 
and knew his tubes were stinging from the rush of water; 
and I have not forgotten the month I once lay on my back, 
as a result of high jumps with unprotected ears and nos- 
trils. Well, I did it! I did it! And they say there's only 
one other place in the world where I could do it, and that is 
on the Malay Peninsula, where we have no expectation of 

Before leaving the pool we girls washed our hair, rubbing 
lemons into it, even the rind. The Samoan girls do this for 
its softening effect and also for the delicate perfume. The 
hair must be dried as quickly as possible, however, in order 
that the scent may not be in the least musty. One has to 
work with speed in the tropics, on account of the deteriora- 
tion of things. My hair now shakes out an odour like or- 
ange blossoms. 

Wednesday, May 13, 1908. 

Last evening Jack delivered his lecture " Revolution " at 
the Central Hotel, and it provoked a discussion that lasted 
until midnight. Trust the German every time for knowing 
something about what is going on in the world political and 
social. Jack says it was one of the most stimulating audi- 
ences he ever had. And to-day at table, the guests are dis- 
cussing Socialism and plying Jack with questions. Very 
dissimilar his experience in Papeete, when he spoke under 
the surveillance of the chief of the gendarmes, in a native 


Folies Bergeres the property owners, under the compulsion 
of the local authorities, refusing to rent him a hall. 

We are bound for Savaii to-morrow, and this afternoon 
Jack and I were crossing and recrossing each other's tracks 
in a brief buying-tour. Unless you speak German, be 
warned that if ever you go to Upolu and hear ' ' The German 
Firm," accept the name as a matter of course, lest you be 
called upon to write or pronounce, " Haupt- Agent ur 
Deutsche Handels und Plantagen-Gesellschaft, der Siidsee- 
Inseln zu Hamburg." 

I bought some shocking lava-lavas with which to make en- 
vious the Snark's crew, one in particular, in wavy stripes of 
all gaudy colours that be, causing Rosa to gasp when I shook 
it out. After the shopping, we drove around town in the 
sunset, and I met the lawyer, Mr. Caruthers, who told me 
many things about Tusitala, and gave me a picture of old 
"Jack," the horse Tusitala used to ride. It is now in Mr. 
Caruthers' possession, some thirty years of age, spinning out 
its latter days in pleasant pastures. Mr. Moors tells us that 
he sold the horse to Stevenson for fifty dollars. But this 
was not the first time Moors had sold old Jack. He 
originally paid fifty dollars, and later on, being offered fifty 
dollars, and not needing the horse, accepted the price. The 
chance arose to recover the animal at the same figure, fifty 
dollars, and it again became Moors * property. But he had 
got into the habit of selling Jack, and again parted with him 
to a friend for the consideration of fifty dollars. Not long 
afterward, the friend, owing him fifty dollars on a bet, 
Moors accepted the worthy horse in payment. The next 
and last sale was to Stevenson, for fifty dollars. 

We have not seen the famous old high chief of Upolu, 
Mata'afa; but this afternoon while driving, Rosa pointed 
across lagoons and low hills to a green blowhole in the side 
of a wooded mountain, and told me that Mata 'af a has a very 
beautiful native place there, which he greatly loves. But it 
happens that for some time each visit he has made there 
from Apia has been followed by sickness ; therefore the old 


autocrat has decided (like Tuimanua) that he has an aitu, 
and has eschewed all sojourning in his favourite fale. And 
so they pass, and in a little while all the old representatives 
of true Samoan nobility will be gone. ' ' Drive away from us 
sailing-gods, lest they bring disease and death, " they used 
to say; but probably now only the ancient fathers of the 
tribes remember the proverb. The rest are glad enough to 
welcome both sailing-gods and steaming-gods, for they mean 
money in exchange for goods and labour, money with which 
to replace their beautiful siapos with cheap manufactured 
stuff, the siapo now being made mostly for sale. ' ' The iron 
of the machine has eaten into the soul of the artisan/' as 
Austin Lewis says. 

The Samoans have been a very superior race, with cer- 
tain strict ideas of morality. The old taupon system is an 
example of what they strove for. And they took great care 
that there should be no intermarrying among close relatives. 
Also, it does not come within our knowledge that they were 
ever rapacious cannibals. A morsel of a notoriously cruel 
enemy was not to be snubbed, but it must be borne in mind 
that the participation in such fare carried an ethical signifi- 

They are an altruistic people. In their language there is 
no equivalent for the word poverty, and the nearest they 
can come to expressing the idea of servant, is "one who 
runs an errand for another." 

The Samoans once flattened the noses of their children by 
frequent pressures, much as the Hawaiian mother even to- 
day is continually seen moulding the fingers of her babe into 
taper form ; but it would appear that the Samoans have re- 
covered from the old aversion to the "canoe noses" of the 
whites, for they are now a well-featured race, according to 
our biases. Sometimes I weary a little for the sight of a fine 
nostril in an otherwise clearly chiselled face, but one mustn 't 
be too particular ! 

They have a fascinatingly intricate and interesting my- 
thology. The very name Sa-Moa, meaning ' * Sacred to Moa, ' ' 


a heaven-born ancestor, gives a line on their concepts. But 
I cannot take space for the dead in this essentially living 
screed, so I wish you would read G. Turner's Samoa, a book 
that goes exhaustively into the lore and which will be found 
anything but dull, with its striking parallels to the my- 
thology of many a presumably enlightened nation. 

It is not all beer and skittles for the erring ones among 
these Apians. This morning, at work, a strange clanking 
arrested us, and from our balcony we saw a procession of 
convicts dragging their chains down the street. They were 
marked with black disks on the right shoulder blade and 
left breast of their grimy shirts. Some were Samoans, some 
' ' black boys, ' ' the universal name for the imported labour 
from darker isles, such as the Solomons. I saw one guile- 
less-faced Chinaman, and wondered what he had done. 
That reminds me of another celestial employed by Falstaff. 
His name is Jim, and he is small and trim and good looking, 
with heavy eyebrows drawn into a slight scowl. He is just 
out after doing eighteen months for pilfering from Fal- 
staff 's cash drawer; but the proprietor seems to think there 
is scant danger of a repetition. 

Bougainville, seeing the Samoans so much about in canoes, 
named the group The Isles of the Navigators; but it seems 
to be the general judgment that these people are not nearly 
such good sailors as many another race of the South Seas. 

We came away from our last visit to Mr. Moors with arms 
full of books about the Solomons, New Hebrides, New 
Guinea, and other countries where we expect to touch. The 
owner takes chances of losing them all in case we should be 
wrecked. Whenever I look at these books, I get to dreaming 
of the real raw edge of earth we are so soon to explore. 

One pretty experience we have had in Apia whenever 
we go on the street at night, an escort of brown small fry 
springs up and sees us to our destination. The noiseless 
forms walk close behind in the dust, sometimes one or two 
coming abreast. Nothing is said, and when we arrive, all 
disappear softly. They seem to expect nothing, and display 

Samoan Fale 

Bush Woman, Tana 

Taupous, Samoa 


little curiosity. "Wouldn't it be sweet to discover that this 
is some ceremonial of hospitality connected with the 
stranger in their land ! I am reminded of days gone by, in 
Berkeley, when, walking with my escort on fair nights to 
and from the college dances, a majestic St. Bernard on many 
occasions padded softly alongside. If he attended us to the 
Gymnasium, he failed not to make the round trip. Caresses 
he received, but returned none. Perhaps his life was too 
idle, in our summer land, stirring in him old instincts of pro- 
tection. To whom he belonged I never learned. 

At sea, between Upolu and Savaii, Samoa, 
Thursday, May 14, 1908. 

"We have just passed through our worst thunder squall, 
the most terrifying thunder I ever heard, even on thunder- 
ous old Mt. Desert Island. It was overwhelming, the 
silken-blue suffusion of the lightning, followed by frightful 
crashing of rended elements. This sort of display is very in- 
teresting for a while, especially when one is within several 
feet of a thousand gallons of inflammable gas-engine fuel, to 
say nothing of a tank of kerosene and two tanks of lubricat- 
ing oil, as well as 15,000 rounds of ammunition. But one 
quickly tires of the fireworks, the uncertainty and the racket, 
and longs for even a dead calm. We got it the deadest of 
dead calms, and the shortest, broken like a flash by a double- 
squall smiting from opposite directions, like one I have de- 
scribed farther back. Now, as I write, the clouds are lift- 
ing and breaking before us, disclosing a nearer view of Sa- 
vaii a huge squat shape, warted with volcanoes. And from 
one living crater, like some ceaseless humour flows a stream 
of red lava, the venous blood of the squat and knobby shape. 
Already we can see very distinctly the wind-slanted columns 
of steam rising from where the hot lava meets the sea. 
Henry is much excited, for the last time he visited Savaii 
there was but one column. 

We left Apia yesterday under power, since the wind, which 


has been very capricious the past few days, had played out 
altogether. We dipped our flag to Mr. Young, who was com- 
ing in from Manua, but he was too busy keeping his schooner 
off the reef to bother about flags, and waved an arm in- 
stead. Our engine purred away until we had cleared the 
long point, Falooloo ; then we let the Snark roll in a silvery 
calm, with just enough air to keep on the course. The silver 
moon rose astern from the silvery sea, half-enveloped in 
frosted-silver clouds, and from time to time heat lightning 
flushed the low clouds on the horizon. We slept on deck, 
our lighthouse a volcano; and frequently Jack and I raised 
our heads to look at the pillar of flame rising to the brood- 
ing clouds and illuminating their under sides in long wastes 
of fiery light. To-day it is a pillar of smoke that shows us 
the way. It is so wonderful, so unbelievable sailing in a 
white-speck boat in the tropic sea, steering by a volcano. 

Our decks are well stocked with native kai-kai, much of 
it brought by the friends who came aboard to see us off ; and 
a brown and yellow turtle that must weigh over a hundred 
pounds, lies heavily and sadly in the lee scuppers. If we 
speak to him, he droops his eyelids and withdraws his head, 
but displays no tendency to snap. This is the second edible 
turtle our boys caught in Apia ; and so unusual and valuable 
is such a prize, that the turtles had to be watched nights 
to keep natives from marauding them where they lay in the 
water alongside at ropes' ends. 

Mr. Easthope's daughter brought a beautiful siapo and 
handsome fans. Eosa Moors came over the side with basket- 
fuls of oranges and lemons and other good things, arranged 
as only she, artist that she is, can arrange everything. 
Charley Roberts, bursting with ill-concealed grief over part- 
ing from Jack, smuggled into our staterooms some fascina- 
ting long-necked bottles of liquid sunshine from France 
("Mere trash, my dear fellow, mere trash !"), while his 
1 ' Missis ' ' remembered that she had left five dozen eggs in the 
launch. And there were " roses, roses, riotously," and good 
wishes by the bale, and farewells between people who may 


never meet again, but who are glad of having met that 
once. For the Snark is a ship that passes, and passes, and 
keeps on passing, the round world around, never to return. 
Why, the gleeful winged thing doesn't even have to return 
to ports of entry to clear, what of her yacht license, which, 
by international courtesy, entitles her to come and go as she 
pleases, like a man-o'-war, unbound by papers of any kind 
save her Bill of Health. 

This morning, looking back with the glasses, we could 
faintly make out Young's schooner at anchor, still outside 
the reef. That is where we would have been but for our en- 
gine. All our heartbreaking difficulties with the engines 
fade before our present joy in them propulsion, interior 
lighting, and searchlight. 

This whole day I have done nothing more practically 
profitable than take a bath in the violent warm rain that 
fell with the squalls; and the profitableness of this act is, I 
believe, a question of climate and open to individual dis- 
pute. In general the sea has been too rough to allow of 
comfort in any occupation. Hunting for braces to offset the 
rolls is about all one can do. There is one gratifying cir- 
cumstance aboard Ernest is missing gone to Australia on 
a steamer. Captain Warren ought to be happy, with his de- 
tested Frenchman removed; but I can almost believe he 
misses the luxury of some one on whom to vent his brilliant 
sarcasms. Henry does not look as if it would be healthful 
for any one to use him as a butt, Tehei is our brother, and 
the captain has an inkling that we do not care to lose our 
Japanese boys. Poor Captain Warren he would seem to 
have forgotten how ardently, in Tahiti, he wanted to re- 
habilitate his reputation, and how much Jack overlooked of 
his misconduct. And nowadays, he is more or less of a 
blight upon the gaiety of our adventure. 

But we cannot be shadowed very much, in so vivid a life. 
Think of sleeping under the biggest moon ever seen, with a 
great sighing leviathan of a turtle at the head of your cot, 
and an active volcano for guide-post. Then to wake in the 


morning to a sunrise like the gates of Paradise, with a flight 
of golden angels in between. . . . 

The water is flecked with ashes, and as the day draws 
to a close we can see the fearsome glare of molten lava 
that plunges over the rim of iron-bound coast. The col- 
our is lambent rose of opal; each moment the wonder 
grows. After a wintry-grey sunset, followed by coloured 
hazes of the volcano smoke, we are coming near enough 
to spy the actual lava-falls as they drop heavy plum- 
mets into the sea-wash. Henry's eyes are large with aston- 
ishment at the increase of the flow, and he and Tehei ex- 
claim sharply at intervals as some augmented cascade of 
liquid fire explodes in the breakers, sending up rockets 
never surpassed by man's ingenuity. We are all exclaim- 
ing, for that matter. The volcano is classic to-night, the 
cone showing clearer, the smoke rising funnel-wise to a great 
height, now and then blown into fantastic spirals by the 
high winds. There is something sinister and sullen about 
the glaring, flaring, unnatural light. The water alongside 
is 88 Fahrenheit, warmer than the air, which is oppressive 
with fumes of sulphur. We are now only half a mile from 
the hell that has so long been loosed upon the ruined land, 
and are beginning to realise that something dreadful is en- 
acting before us something exceptional, not yet known in 
Apia, for we were unwarned of such magnitude of disaster. 
The wind holds, and we are able to skim along the edge of the 
tremendous spectacle, each long black land-point divulging 
greater devastation of liquid fire. Whole plains have been 
licked up, the red flood forcing under a cooled and 
blackened crust, and only emerging at the brink where it 
writhes and twists out of its confines, ever hissing into the 
sea, like a myriad driven serpents. 

To put on paper what I behold is like painting a picture, 
and I am no artist ; but there is fascination in trying to share 
with the many what so few may see. And now it is grown 
too dark to write, and I shall give myself up entirely to this 
terrific experience. 


Aboard the Snark, 
Matautu Bay, Savaii, German Samoa, 

Saturday, May 16, 1908. 

After we had sailed to a safe distance for lying off and 
on all night, the calm that had preceded the afternoon thun- 
der squalls returned and left us drifting. I had a good 
night below, deciding that the universe was altogether too 
light and bright and diverting for any repose on deck. 
Daybreak brought lovely new colours, and a transformation 
of the warty monster Savaii into a colossal milky opal, what 
of the delicate tints in smoke and mist that obscured its 
grim ugliness. When the veils lifted, we made use of a 
light breeze to carry us back near the scene of fireworks, in 
order to take pictures. The wind gasped out suddenly, Mar- 
tin tuned up the "masheen," and we steamed as close as we 
dared to the flowing abomination of lava the living, moving 
curse that had come upon the land. Raising our eyes, we 
saw vast forests standing stark and dead upon the moun- 
tainsides, the edge of the blackened coast licked up with red 
flames from the water's edge, where cascades of slow resist- 
less lava were quenched of their heat. The water in which 
we sailed was a venomous yellow-green, while close to the 
lava it boiled a bright yellow. At an eighth of a mile we 
tested the flood, and it went up to 90, 10 warmer than 
the thick air we breathed, shortly, as if in fear of a pesti- 
lence. We were disappointed, upon closer view of the 
stream of lava that sent up the most conspicuous disturbance 
of steam and smoke, to find that it did not run over the low 
cliff, but came out under the surface, an upper crust hav- 
ing already formed. But there was ample opportunity in 
other places to observe the real red stuff, and red and aw- 
ful it showed even in the broad sunshine, trickling or drop- 
ping into the dancing hot surf that beat loudly against the 
rocks. This present eruption is overflowing the dead lava 
of 1905, from the same crater; but three years before, an- 
other peak turned loose and destroyed a fine section of the 
country. An island in the making! And we can see it 
with our own eyes! 


We speculated if the hot water would kill off our bar- 
nacles, and whether or not we could stand warmer baths than 
the sharks, in case we took a swim. Jack climbed into the 
suspended launch, taking pictures, while we throbbed along 
the shore, passing the daylit wonders of last night, on and 
on, every turn divulging new destruction of a land that only 
yesterday was green with cocoanut and banana, mango and 
citron. Then we came where we must avoid the reef which 
protects Matautu Bay from the east, and lost our nearer 
view of the lava fields. But we could see that the conse- 
quences of the present eruption are widespread, and as we 
approached Matautu, our glasses showed a village smoking 
by the water 's edge under limp and ragged cocoa palms, and 
Henry cried out in sorrow, for he had been in this village. 

Jack did not like the way the yacht was allowed to hug 
the eastern horn of the reef entrance, but did not interfere. 
Our good luck was to make through safely, and we found 
excellent anchorage. This harbour is much exposed at all 
seasons, but it is only the north and northwest winds one 
need dread, and between the first of December and last of 
March, mariners are warned from visiting Matautu. 

We bore various letters of introduction to "Dick" Wil- 
liams, Administrator of Savaii, and had been prepared to 
find him ' ' a bunch o ' good fun, ' ' which seemed to be the en- 
thusiastic opinion held by his friends in Apia. It was after 
three when Jack and I started with Martin for shore, Henry 
also going along. No boat of any kind had come out to us 
from Fagamalo village, which was rather surprising. Little 
did we know the reason that kept every one on land. Henry 
pointed out Mr. Williams' place, and we picked our way 
over the shallows of the reef, avoiding the little rips of 
foam where the water broke on higher coral. The colours 
were lovely I can never get over the enchantment of these 
coral gardens of orange and blue, brown and purple, seen 
through the pea-green water. 

The Snark anchored near the middle of the bay, so we had 
some distance to go, and when we began conning the sandy 


beach for a place to run in the launch, a picture out of Pick- 
wick came towards us from a pretty concrete house, and 
motioned where we should land. The launch nosed into 
soft sand, and we were borne ashore by native policemen, 
who had donned their helmets and gilt-buttoned khaki coats 
for the occasion. 

We promptly fell in love with the " bunch o' good fun." 

"Come on in the 'ava's just made," he called heartily, 
preceding us into the pretty house with its arched corridors 
and doorways. After we had drained our cocoanut beak- 
ers, we presented our letters. Mr. Williams tossed them un- 
read on the table, and proceeded to be very hospitable on his 
own account. 

"Now, I'll tell you how I am situated," he began. 
"Here's this big house, but nobody can sleep in it for the 
dampness. The concrete was mixed with salt water, and I 
don't know if it's ever going to dry. But come and let me 
show you where I sleep," leading the way to a long wooden 
structure near the water. "This is my boat-house, and in 
this end is my room." We went into a small but light and 
airy bedchamber partitioned off from the boat, and he con- 
tinued: "You folks move right in here and be comfortable. 
No, that's all right, don't you worry. I can sleep in a 
native house they 're glad to help me out, ' ' he insisted, tug- 
ging away at a beautiful native-carved fan of hard wood 
that defied his efforts to get it off the wall. It came loose 
finally, and he handed it to me, along with another from the 
table, and a dainty hair ornament of the same carven wood. 

Then he commenced planning trips. ' ' Of course you must 
go to the volcano ; and to-morrow morning we '11 drive to the 
next village, back the way you sailed. It's a great sight. 
The lava has come through and burned most of the houses, 
and now is taking a new turn that's going to finish it. In 
fact, here you've got your launch, and we can run up there 
by water now, and see the lava at night." 

Before we knew it we were in the boat again, Jack steer- 
ing, Martin running the engine, Henry bulging his eyes over 


the rail landward, and Mr. Williams' rotund figure standing 
forward to pilot. And mind you this fatherly soul was 
trying to hide from us a deep anxiety for his people, now 
being driven out of their homes faster than he can find 
shelter for them. Small wonder that no friendly canoes 
came out upon our arrival! 

It was a new experience to run along in deep water close 
to the sand, only once turning out for a shallow spit, and 
once again to avoid the delta of a little river. It grew dark 
rapidly, and we wondered how we would be able to get back. 
Natives kept pace alongshore; and when we approached the 
end of the sandy beach, beyond which was the forbidding 
coast of fire, brown boys and men splashed into the water 
and carried the whole boat ashore with us in it as they did 
the first white men. So many were they, and so curious, 
that Mr. Williams thought wiser for Henry and Martin to 
stand guard lest they inadvertently do the engine harm. 

It was dazing, the nearness and light of the dreadful dis- 
turbance ; and as we trod the beach pathway, crowded with 
sheltering palms, their higher fronds tattered and crisped 
by heat and fumes, we could not but shrink from the glare 
of the wicked cone that was laving this land. It is mak- 
ing new land extending the confines of the island, to be 
sure ; but how many hundreds of years will have to lapse 
before palms take root again and green grass clothes the 
black nakedness of plain and slope and shore? 

Eyes smarting, breath coming painfully, we walked hand 
in hand, the three of us, past deserted houses, not yet burned, 
and then turned from the beach and made our way through 
a marshy place, criss-crossed by fallen palms, to where the 
ruin was slowly, implacably advancing. And then I saw, 
close at hand, what I have all my life dreamed of beholding 
living, flowing lava from the heart of a volcano, sluggish, 
pushing, sticky stuff that forced out through a cooled crust 
of clinker, like rose-madder from a tube such a terrible, 
devastating liquid, growing thicker and more darkly red, 
more heavily sluggish as we watched, under the cooling of 


the air. Lava follows the line of least resistance, of course, 
which in this case is the marshy land near the river ; and we 
could see slow lines of crimson flowing into the water, which 
is fast going up in steam another disaster to the inhab- 
itants. We shielded our faces and tried to get some of the 
lava on sticks; but it was too thick by now, and would not 

The blazing core of the crater is seven miles in a straight 
line from Matautu Bay, but the lava, as it runs, covers a 
course of twice that distance. Mr. Williams figures that 
by the time it reaches the sea, it is moving about five yards 
a minute. 

We went back to the path, and continued to where the 
main flow had crossed. It was glazed over, and we were 
able to step on it with assurance, although it was still very 
warm. We picked our way for some distance, in order to 
gain better view of a large bight of the sea where red lava 
showed in a continuous cascade along the shore. 

By this time we were actually shivering in a breeze that 
mercifully broke through the suffocating shimmering heat, 
and were glad to get back into comparatively pure air. We 
passed a large two-story frame house that we had noticed 
when sailing by, and Mr. Williams told us it had been locked 
up, furnished and provisioned as it was, by the owner, who 
was absent. 

We re-embarked in the fitful light that filtered through 
the jungle. It was tense work, steering in the murk; but 
after a little the moon rose behind us, solemnly, slowly, 
redly, like a round world of blood wheeling sadly through 
the rack and ruin of space. Very quiet we were, overcome 
by what we had seen and were seeing, and touched by the 
trouble and apprehension of this man who has the care and 
keeping of the island in his hand. By now he made no se- 
cret of his anxiety how could he, when he had revealed 
the problem he must handle ? 

No, Apia knew nothing of the seriousness of this immedi- 
ate eruption, its sudden accession ; but the schooner carrying 


the news must have passed us in the night, from what Mr. 
Williams said. 

"We decided to rejoin the Snark, as it was too late to 
turn Mr. Williams out of his quarters, and we were set 
against this anyway. It was nearly nine when we climbed 
aboard, and there was only some tinned corn and boiled taro 
left from supper, as they had given us up. So I told 
Wada to make a little fire and scramble eggs with mush- 
rooms, for we were famished. Later, I heard the captain 
grumble to Martin: "Say you had a pretty nice supper, 
didn't you? Pity I can't get in on some of the good 
things!'' And he had had the same dish the day before, 
and always has the same fare we do, as he takes his meals 
with us. 

. . . The men are playing poker in the cockpit, and I 
have come up for a breath. There are several fish on deck 
aft, glistening in the now brilliant moonlight. Our de- 
lighted kanakas caught them over-stern early in the even- 
ing, and pronounced a silver disk-shaped one "maitai 
kaikai ' ' ; but over a large bright-red fish they wagged their 
dusky heads. In Tahiti it is a poisonous fish, and in Sa- 
moa is supposed to be harmless, according to Henry. I told 
him he would better try it before the rest of us, if he felt 
so sure it is innocuous in Samoa. Whereupon he showed a 
smileful of very white teeth and said, "All right I eat." 

This close view of the ruddy volcano is very impressive. 
It is a lesser peak, in the side of a mountain over 5000 feet 
high called Pule, meaning power, master. The crater was 
about 3000 feet at the first modern eruption three years 
ago; but Mr. Williams avers it has broken down at least 
a thousand feet. The overflow does not now come from the 
lip, but breaks out below no one knows just where, because 
most of the issue makes its way under the coating of in- 
cinerated earth which so quickly skins over. 


Matautu, Savaii, Samoa, 
Sunday, May 17, 1908. 

Before we had finished breakfast on deck, a boat arrived 
with a gift of flowers from the Administrator. They were 
ceremoniously presented by one of the khaki-coated fita- 
fitas, and were folded loosely into a green plaited cocoanut 
frond creamy blumerias, scarlet double hibiscus, and a 
fragrant fluffy mass of tiny blossoms and grasses and ferns. 
Now think how sweet a thing for a busy, worried man to 
do! I trimmed my big Cook Island hat with hibiscus, be- 
fore going ashore, and told Mr. Williams that it was a shame 
under heaven for some right woman to go lonely for such a 
husband. He has the kindest, gentlest ways and an eye for 
a pretty girl, too; but ''Bless me what would a wife- 
woman do here?" he girded. "Women like luxuries, and 
society, and diversion what! If a woman loved me, she 
would be happy here? Yes well, well; but where is the 
woman to love me ? ' ' . . . And a little later : * ' Besides, my 
children need me. They're all my children, these men and 
women and young folk. They call me Father, and Papa 
Williams yes, they do! And when they are naughty and 
are brought before me I stand them up and talk to them till 
I bring the tears to their eyes." He chuckled lovably at 
some remembrance, and in answer to a question went on: 
' ' How do I punish them ? Why, I say, ' Father, do you call 
me? Now what kind of children are you to act this way 
toward your father who loves you?' Say, they're like 
lambs. They nearly die of shame and contrition. I rule 
them by love I do! I have never struck a man of them 
since I've been in this position. But I had occasion to do it 
long ago, two or three times only (I've been here twenty- 
four years, you know). They have to realise that a man 
is strong, if he's going to get any respect out of them. 
Yes, I struck them two or three times long ago, and I did 
it well. They know I am strong, and they respect me. But 
I rule by love I rule them by love." He was silent for a 
minute, and no human being could doubt his next words : 


"And they love me, in their way not very deep, it's not 
in them; but it's lots of comfort to me. And they know I 
care for them. I've proved it to them before, in different 
ways, and I'm proving it now. I want like everything to 
take a trip with you folks, pilot you around the island 
we'd have a great time. But I can't leave, with this sure 
destruction coming upon their houses. They would lose 
heart, and get into a panic. It would be quite unexpected 
by them if I should leave at such a time. I rule them by 
love. Why, think! there are thirteen thousand people on 
Savaii, and not one prisoner among them in the lot. ' ' 

He beamed broadly at thought of this proof of his suc- 
cessful administration. When he passes a humble woman 
of the common people, he says, "Talofa lava, ta maitai!" 
which means, "Much love to you, lady." And the "ta 
maitai," lady, brings the pleasure into her eyes. The vil- 
lage Talking Man lowers his umbrella in respectful courtesy 
to the Administrator. And the act is without servility. 

"I haven't even looked at those letters you brought," he 
said. "Say I never read letters of introduction, until 
folks have left. Letters don't make any difference to me 
I don't want them to. I want to treat folks just the same 
as if they hadn't any recommendation," he twinkled. 
Then, with one of his irresistible gurgles: "I never had 
but one unwelcome guest. He made himself unwelcome. 
Never mind how. But I told him the second day that it 
would be much better for us to part right then than later. 
And he took the hint, and went. He's the only one we ever 
turned away, isn't he, Barts?" This to the tall trader with 
whom Pa Williams takes his meals. Mr. Barts acquiesced, 
and both men laughed reminiscently. 

Mr. Barts' cottage has several cosy rooms, and he turned 
over his large bedroom to us, taking a smaller one for himself, 
so that the older man is not turned out of his boat-house, 
after all. Every one seems satisfied, and we certainly are. 
Mr. Barts is an athletic, fine-looking German, with courte- 
ous manners, and quiet hospitality. Meals are served out- 


side on the porch, by a Nine Island cook, whom Mr. Barts 
oversees with a househusbandly eye. Everything comes out 
of cans all fresh green stuffs are ruined by sulphur fumes 
from the volcano, and we are learning new tinned delicacies. 

To-day we drove to the deserted village, behind a couple 
of gasping horses that became so uneasy with the heat and 
foulness of air that they had to be held when we left the rigs 
where lava had terminated the road. Retracing our last 
night's steps, we found that the lava had steadily advanced, 
burning several native houses. The fine frame one was as 
yet untouched, but the low wall of lava was almost up to it. 
Father Williams called to me to keep from under the cocoa- 
nuts, which were drooping perilously in the ravaging heat. 
The relentless molten rock surrounds and eats out their 
globular bases, and the fair and stately boles fall only to 
warp and scorch on the unsympathetic new surface of the 

It was a fascinating but doleful scene. Looking toward 
the mountain we saw only the blasted life of the jungle, 
"the wilderness of birds, the wilderness of God," the Chris- 
tian natives say dead, quite dead; and near at hand, in a 
little stone church, the people prayed for protection from 
the slow sure fate that was encroaching upon their happy 
groves and homes, now only a few yards away from the 
house of praise. Papa Williams looked sadly out of his 
Irish blue eyes at the pretty church, then at the ugly black 
bank inching over the green sward, urged from within by 
red and living force, and remarked dryly: 

"I'll bet on the lava." 

We stepped warily over the hot and brittle substance 
that had covered the ground we walked upon the night 
before, and I was in some trepidation lest my linen petticoats 
flame up from the fiery blowholes and crevices. We saw 
nature's cruel manufacture of tree-moulds such as they 
show on the slopes of Mauna Kea in Hawaii the mould left 
in the earth by the bases of trees burned in the quickly cool- 
ing lava. We peered into little hell-holes of vicious white 


heat that showed the sort of strata over which we were 
treading. "Step on the smooth, curling, molasses-like 
stuff," we were advised the pahoehoe lava of Hawaii. 

Last, we followed over a black and shining field that 
stretched seven miles before us the flow of 1905, much of 
it now being re-flowed over. Three years ago this August 
it was seven miles of almost continuous village grassy 
houses and nodding palms. This intense jetty blackness is 
shocking to the senses, used as we have been to the bright 
slopes of other islands even in Hawaii, the newer volcanic 
reaches are brown or dull red. Perhaps the most tragically 
impressive feature of all was a family graveyard in a patch 
of green but wilting grass. The mounds are made of coral- 
lime plaster of pinkish-tan hue, and the lava, by some freak, 
has piled up many feet on all sides, leaving several of the 
tombs untouched, while others are pushed against and 
cracked. We had to descend warm and brittle walls to 
reach the green oasis of the dead with its wrecked graves. 
The lime house of the family is not far off what is left of 
it; for the lava set fire to the woodwork, and did away 
with the roof, leaving only the walls, with baffled lava piled 
up twelve feet all around. In fact, we stood above and 
looked down into the open interior. The lava had been too 
sluggish to force into window-spaces or doors. We came to 
a church that had been burned a deserted sanctuary in 
which a native had begun to build his bamboo house, which 
was scorched but still standing. 

Our horses we found breathing hard with nervousness 
and sulphur, and as we drove home Mr. Williams talked 
about his life in Savaii and his association with the people. 

"Do you see this road?" he said, flicking his whip in the 
fine coral powder. "It's a fine road anywhere, a bicycle 
road, and it extended twelve miles, where now is the lava. 
But road-building in Samoa has its comical side as well as 
its serious side. The natives don't see the comical part, and 
it's my serious duty not to let them see that I think there's 
anything funny or unusual in their practices. It takes tact 


but tact is merely sympathy, after all, and they know I 
love them. That's the way I rule them, you see." (Would 
that all rulers could earn this continuous reflection!) 
"When I commenced getting the roads in order," he went 
on, "I would lay my course, as the sailors say, and set the 
men to work. All at once everything would come to a stand- 
still, and I would be called upon by the workmen, with some 
friend in tow: 'My father (or my mother, or my mother-in- 
law, or my first wife's daughter by her fifth husband) is 
buried where the road is digging. Can you not turn aside ? ' 
And bless their souls, I build around the reverend grave. I 
don't care if the road is as crooked as a cow's horn we're 
not going to run a tramway here, and it doesn't hurt any 
of us to let them have their way." 

I recalled some curious things about Samoan burials, al- 
though I don 't know if any of the old customs still prevail ; 
but there was a time when corpses were embalmed and 
exposed for months near the mourners' dwellings. Quite 
the contrary of the Egyptian practice, Samoan embalming 
was done mainly by women. One particular family of chief- 
women would be proficient in the art, and do all the embalm- 
ing for the community or at least for those of rank. There 
seems to have been little superstition connected with keeping 
the dead unburied. It was done more out of respect and 
affection, to have the deceased near to those dear in life. 
When a body was eventually buried, however, it was laid 
in a grave about four feet deep, spread with mats, and pro- 
vided with a raised bamboo head-rest. Now this was not 
entirely for the comfort of the departed on his heavenward 
journey, as is the case with the North ^American Indian and 
many another people, but for the very sanitary reason that 
the living feared contamination from the dead person's be- 
longings, preferring to forego them rather than take risks. 

"We'll go in here and have some 'ava," Papa Williams 
broke in upon my mortuary reverie; and we crossed the 
lovely river and turned into a group of fine thatched houses 
still unharmed. We bent low to enter a splendid fale, and 


mats were pulled down from the polished beams and 
spread for us on the tinkling white coral floor. The mem- 
bers of the household took their official positions about the 
interior, for it is a great matter in just what relation to 
certain central pillars this or that personage disposes him- 
or herself. 

After a smiling and bowing period broken by Father 
Williams' jokes in the native tongue, and the responsive 
giggles of the girls, he suggested the 'ava. It was made 
by two young taupous, she of this village and the other 
from the newly burned district. The fales of Fagamalo 
are crowded with refugees, four hundred having poured in 
since Wednesday. The Administrator has had to provide 
domiciles for fourteen hundred since August 14, 1905. The 
people spend most of their time praying and singing in the 
churches, trying to avert further disaster, and the older 
folk are wofully cast down over the erasure of old land- 
marks and traditional spots. The younger ones are more 
cheerful they find novelty living in new houses; but there 
is a shadow of soberness over them, and no dancing is per- 

Following lunch, we had a peep at the Administrator's 
38-foot lifeboat in the shed, and listened to how one time 
he sailed it back from Apia in six and a half hours forty- 
six sea miles. And he told us about the twelve-foot tidal 
wave of last October that made them all rush out and cut 
loose their horses when. the wall of water was seen coming, 
which raised a 400-gallon tank full of rainwater three feet 
onto another platform, without straining a hoop. Savaii 
would seem to be a stage for Nature's jugglery. 

We visited the office in the pretty house of undried walls, 
and drank 'ava and 'ava, and then 'ava and 'ava again, 
made by any chance passing maiden called in by Father 
Williams, a charming chief custom of Samoa. To-day, the 
girls happened to be from the latest burned village, and they 
were only too glad of a little diversion. In the serving of 
the 'ava, a young beau, prompted by Mr. Williams, an- 


nounced each receiver of the cup in turn, and was obeyed by 
the taupou. " 'The man who has no wife,' he says," 
chuckled our host, as the calabash was wafted to Mr. Barts. 
And when Martin's portion was held poised in the girl's 
brown hand, " 'Boss of the fire,'" interpreted the jolly 
Irish Administrator of a German province an allusion to 
Martin's occupation as engineer. "Frau Lindler is 'The 
Lady with the Golden Crown,' " Mr. Williams went on, 
referring to the yellow hair of a newly arrived visitor from 

' ' How many children have you ? ' ' he inquired kindly of a 
strange female who was peeping in at us out of a shower. 
"She says she thinks she has two!" he laughed. Then, 
turning to a perfect beauty who had strayed in, "I never 
laid eyes on this girl before. She's probably from the last 
burned village. She can't be a week over fourteen, but she 
looks all of twenty, doesn't she?" 

She certainly did, the ripe and sumptuous tropic creature, 
sitting quite at ease, calmly regarding the company from 
under curved lashes that veiled dark eyes made brown by the 
lights in her sun-tanned curly hair. Over a broad low fore- 
head, her hair was parted and rolled over the ears, and done 
in a loose coil at the nape of her round girlish neck. She 
was the most unsavage savage imaginable, this nut-brown 
maid of Polynesia who had never been off the island. She 
would have done credit to any assembly, with her graceful 
port, splendid pose of head, piquant profile, arch rise of eye- 
brows, and, above all, the self-contained, unembarrassed 
manner a born aristocrat. 

"I tell her you say she's the prettiest girl in the world," 
Mr. "Williams informed us, after some remarks to her in 
Samoan; and then he laughingly added, after listening to 
something the young lady said to him, "and she says ' Per- 
haps I am, I don't know.' " A literal reasoner, she. 

Handsome as are many of the Samoan women, to our minds 
they are not equal to their magnificent men, gods of the 
seashore who refuse to become slaves. No labour-ships come 


here no natural lord of Samoa is going to wear his heart 
out upon a foreign plantation. Let planters comb the seas 
elsewhere for "black boys," New Guinea, Solomons, New 
Ireland, New Hebrides. The men of Samoa 'Uma will 
swing their own mighty shoulders in their own way, upon 
their own strand, and praise be to them ! 

Monday, May 18, 1908. 

I am filled with unutterable disgust over the sleepless fate 
that sometimes although only just sometimes cuts me off 
from doing the things I wish to do. Arrangements were 
made for a horseback trip to the volcano to-day, but 
I was too tired from a wakeful night to face long hours in 
the hot sun. Martin was to have been my escort, for Jack 
has an uncomfortable sore on his foot, which worries us by 
its unhealable character, especially when we recollect 
Ernest's disease. 

So I sent the Administrator my apologies, and remained 
in bed most of the day, trying to sleep. Late in the after- 
noon Jack suggested a stroll, and we visited some of the 
houses, where we made the owners understand that we 
wanted siapos. We returned with arms full, and a boy or 
two beside to carry the overflow. They are the finest and 
largest siapos we have seen. In one fale we surprised three 
men building a long canoe, squatted on the mats hospitably 
laid for us, and enjoyed watching the adroit joiners. The 
best canoes are not the stiff dugouts, but these ones made 
in closely-fitted hand-hewn planks, bound and laced together 
with finest skill with cocoanut fibre. The Samoan is a clever 
wood-worker, and his " nails" are strong and beautiful 
sennit of cocoanut, cleverly bound and woven. 

Father Williams was called to Safoto, a village west of 
Fagamalo, to arrange about sending some of the refugees 
there. But the suggestion was not his. In the morning, 
boats came here bringing welcome invitation to the homeless. 
Jack and I saw these boats returning from inspection of the 


lava fine long whaleboats propelled by forty oars, their 
splendid crews, the cream of Polynesia, singing part-songs 
as they raced one another in deep water along the edge of 
the sand. These men are almost round-shouldered with 
powerfully developed muscles. But this muscle-training has 
come from labour of love, at paddle and oar and fishing, and 
not from degrading toil done for mere money and at com- 
mand of a master. And their lives show that their en- 
deavour is for the good of the mass rather than for selfish 
individual ends. 

Waiting on the porch near dinner-time for the return of 
Father Williams, we watched the men and women passing 
in their leisurely fashion, and exclaimed over and over 
at some remarkable type, Hebraic, Oriental, Greek they 
were all there noting again the physical superiority of the 
males in general over the females. These have not nearly 
the fine carriage and gait of their mates, and we could look 
in vain for the queens of the sex one sees at every turn in 
Hawaii. We kept nodding "Talofa" to the strollers, some 
of whom would stop at the gate, or come frankly in to shake 
hands, with renewed assurances of "Talofa lava." Among 
such neighbourly callers was a trio of half -naked young girls 
who pursued the not unusual course of talking at length 
regardless of discrepancy of tongues. After bowing and 
smiling a while at them, which only increased their flow of 
words, Jack adopted their method, and in a flatteringly 
genial tone took up the defensive: 

"Yes, yes I comprehend conclusively the unanswerable 
mathematical logical significance of your considerate equi- 
lateral triangulation ; but your deductions are unintelligibly 
misleading. " 

The maidens betrayed a hint of puzzlement, but rose to 
the situation and nodded and smiled while I died several 
deaths to hide my laughter. 

"Now, on the other hand," Jack went on gravely, "what 
is your unbiased judgment of the hypothetical transforma- 
tion of astronomical hypothenuses of nebulosity?" 


He paused long enough to control a smile at my interpola- 
tion that he resembled Zangwill's " dictionary in distress," 
then proceeded in an argumentative tone tinged with be- 
coming deference: 

1 'It is no use losing cognisance of the irrefragable per- 
tinacity of the lachrymal pabulum. Nevertheless, I consider 
that no indulgent incorrigible metaphysical matriculate will 
negate the anterolateral angelolatry of strategic Zoroas- 
trianism. ' ' 

It began to dawn upon the polite trio that perhaps they 
had been making the same mistake as he, and when my 
wicked man continued "Do you not realise, that your in- 
comprehension detracts lamentably from the evolving of 
my trigonometrical prestigitations ? " they faded softly and 
smilingly away, but without loss of dignity, their "tofa soi 
fua" uttered with perfect poise and calm. What an actor 
was lost when Jack London decided to write for a living! 

Then everybody came for supper, and my tender con- 
science was soothed by Frau Lindner's assurances that she 
had been rather glad I did not go to the volcano, as it gave 
her an excuse to stay behind! Martin and the rest of the 
party were weary and unsuccessful. They never reached 
the lip of the crater, for it rained hard on the mountain and 
there was no use going the rest of the severe climb through 
volcanic sand, only to miss seeing the inside of the crater 
on account of cloud and rain. 

After dark we visited the lava-flow, and passed scores of 
natives drifting in the same direction, bulking large and 
shadowy in the wavering crimson light. Mr. Williams 
stopped at a house and called out a little maid, taupou of a 
deserted village. Her name is Ufi, signifying The Yam, and 
she is sweet and wholesome as a whole garden of tropic edi- 
bles, with a flower-patch thrown in. It is fortunate she 
lives in a country where women are esteemed above food, 
or she might fare ill at the hands of some epicure of a high 
chief. Papa Williams had already told us he had the dear- 
est little girl in Savaii to show us. And never saw we a 


dearer. She is not more than fourteen, built squarely and 
solidly, with healthy hard limbs and firm virgin breasts ; and 
her neck is like a doll's or a baby's round and short and 
kissable, like her round brown cheeks that flush to blood 
pounded by a stout little heart. Taupou of taupous is Ufi, 
so lovable and healthy and deliciously, adorably young that 
Frau Lindner and I could not keep our eyes from her, nor 
our caressing hands. Our cart broke with its load at the 
bridge, and we walked on, the little frau and I on either side 
of Ufi, stopping to kiss her neck, her apple-cheek, or pat her 
wonderful coiffure the out-ended fluffy hair that measures 
at least eighteen inches across. She accepted our adoration 
composedly, in turn patting our white arms with tender lit- 
tle moans, saying * ' Lelei " in a soft, misty voice, and smiling 
affectionately at us. 

Terrible were the ravages of the eruption. Over yester- 
day's lava, well into the sea, ran new streams, issuing like 
tortured reptiles white with agony, turning to flame-colour, 
then rose, and crimson and wine, the blackening coming on 
slowly, as air and moisture reduced the moving matter to 
dead cinder. The men approached a curling coil of the in- 
describable impossible fluid, and plunged sticks into it, while 
shielding their singeing faces. The boiling-hot lava thus 
caught was stuck into the water, and came out black and 
steaming, brittle as blown glass. Of course we had to 
imbed coins in red-hot fragments which soon became jet 
black, ragged-edged curios; and when we could no longer 
endure the searing heat, we started back for Fagamalo, mak- 
ing love to Ufi en route. Half way, Mr. Williams led us 
into a spacious fale for 'ava. The family were nearly all 
asleep behind high partitioning curtains of siapo an ar- 
rangement we had never before seen ; but they were only too 
willing to entertain their beloved "Father" and his sisters 
and brothers, for so it pleased him to introduce us. I lay 
down, my head on Ufi's chubby tattooed knee, and when T 
murmured lomi-lomi, a bevy of small shapes rose in the 
changeful gloom, and I was surrounded by punching, slap- 


ping, kneading gnomes, their bright, mischievous eyes all 
that was distinct of them. Nothing would have suited me 
better than to stay behind with these soothing comforters 
in the big grass house. 

Tuesday, May 19, 1908. 

Fresh from a glorious night's sleep, bright and early this 
morning I walked through the green village among the 
grass houses, glancing into the cool shadow of the interiors, 
where the waking ones raised auburn-bleached heads from 
bamboo "pillows," and blinked good-naturedly in the red- 
gold sunrise. Under my arm was a bundle of white mus- 
lin twelve yards of it, bought of Mr. Barts; and I was 
bound to the fale of Andy Brunt, a half-caste trader, whose 
native wife had engaged to print my cloth in siapo design 
of indelible virtue. The handsome fafine sat on a mat, laid 
before her the carven mould and sent for her bottles of 
pigment made from bark of trees. Then she pressed scraps 
of cloth on the pattern and smeared them with other scraps 
dipped in the colouring stuff, until I found the tint I 
wanted. This afternoon the twelve patterned yards came 
back, and some day I shall startle my household with a gown 
of tapa that can go to the laundry without risk. The Brunts 
also had one of the remarkable rugs of "vegetable fur," 
such as we saw at Mr. Moors', and which he was unable to 
duplicate for us. The Brunts' one we bought for $20.00 
a very reasonable price. 

During the day the villagers trooped to our house with 
bales of siapos, and we held a bazaar surpassing that at 
Manua. And such goods as we found here in Savaii siapos 
of undreamed proportions a single one would hang the 
four walls of a room. And there were oblong calabashes 
wrought from a kind of ironwood, called ifilele. We 
selected only the best of everything, for we must not hamper 
our space aboard during our run to Fiji. 


At sea, from Savaii, Samoa, to Suva, Fiji, 

Wednesday, May 20, 1908. 

Things are not improved aboard the Siiark. And the fact 
that the sea is angry and that it looks like the beginning of 
a gale, does not help matters. Jack has now definitely de- 
cided to get rid of Captain Warren at Suva, and take over 
the navigating of the yacht. I am worrying about his 
weighing himself down with added work and responsibility ; 
but it seems as if his responsibility is growing anyway, cap- 
tain or no captain. Warren becomes more deliberately 
worthless every day, and we really do not feel safe with him 
in charge. Jack waited hours to-day to see if he would not 
take in the lifeboat, which was getting pounded by the big 
seas indeed, she was lifted a foot or so every time the 
Snark heeled down, and the resultant jerk threatened to 
carry away the davits. A suggestion was ventured by Jack 
that it might be well to swing the boat in on deck, but the 
captain resented this, and said very briefly that it was per- 
fectly safe. Poor Jack watched the imminent wrecking of 
his valuable property for a little longer, and at last said 
quietly but in a way that brooked no discussion, that the 
lifeboat would better be brought inboard. It was done ; but 
it took over an hour. Jack wanted to prove how long it 
would take in case of need, as he mistrusted certain Roscoe- 
like optimistic assurances that fifteen minutes would do the 
trick. It was an ungracious obedience accorded, and once, 
in the midst of the sweating endeavour, in answer to some 
remark of Jack's that had nothing to do with the work in 
hand, Warren snapped: 

' ' You told me to get the boat in, and I 'm getting it in ! " 

He snarled repeatedly at the boys, all of whom were help- 
ing, and when the boat was lashed on deck, we heard the 
following : 

"Where 're you going, Wada? Come up out o' that! 
Wet, are you? Well, I guess you're not the only one who's 
wet. I'm wet as you are ..." and here followed some ex- 
pressions of his feelings that I need not repeat. Wada, with 


recrudescent hate in his eye for which no one could blame 
him, dragged up the companionway and went forward. He 
was not needed on deck, he was needed below ; yet his master 
had to exert his own thwarted authority on some one, and 
Wada having been whipped and cowed once, was the only 
one he dared vent upon. Emotional maniac that's what 
he is. Why, one day in Papeete, he mentioned Wada with 
tears in his eyes, and his voice broke and trembled as he 
said: "That Wada is a man, sir he's a man, clean 

So poor Wada hung around on deck a few moments, and 
presently, standing at the companionway he called back to 
the cockpit in a tense, high voice : 

1 1 Can we go down now ? ' ' 

The captain sprang half over the cockpit rail. His venom 
went to his head like a strong spirit as he cursed Wada, and 
then, remembering me he apologised in his oily way : ' ' You 
can see how it is, Mrs. London he's getting out of hand." 

Oh, yes ; I could see how it was perfectly ; and I didn 't 
love J. Langhorne Warren of Virginia the last least little 
bit. Also, I knew that if he had not controlled himself, if 
he had got over the cockpit rail, Jack and Martin, backed by 
the kanakas, would have reached for him before ever he 
could reach Wada. 

But aside from the slack way the Snark has been run for 
months, we have an even sorer grievance, based upon the 
conduct of our captain ashore. As Wada once put it to 
Nakata, not knowing he was overheard: "The captain of 
the Snark ought go around like captain of gentleman 's yacht 
but no, he act like common sailor everybody laugh and 
talk about him natives they laugh." And this is true. He 
boasts frequently and proudly that he is "Captain of Jack 
London's yacht, the Snark/' but he does us no credit. At 
Fagamalo, he so vilely outraged the hospitality of our hosts 
and his, in ways that concern the high and strict moral cus- 
toms of the land, that our indecision as to disposing of him 
was forced to an issue. 


This morning we sailed out in a light breeze about nine 
o'clock, and cleared the land. Father Williams and Mr. 
Barts came aboard with us, also Ufi and her taupou mate, 
who had especially asked. We departed laden with fans 
and hardwood canes, Solomon Island spears and a debonaire 
little red god of those same islands, all gifts from the two 
gentlemen. We intended to sail yesterday; but some 
one suggested poker, and Jack delayed over night. The 
men played until midnight, and I slept peacefully in 
the next room, lulled by the blissful manipulations of two 
strange sweet damsels, sitting cross-limbed on the mattress 
on either side of me. When I am rich I am going to have 
about me relays of Polynesian lomi-lomi experts. 

Before we left the house, the Administrator went to 
the lava flow, and found the church banked high, all in- 
flammable material consumed. So his bet would have been 
good. The lava is working down toward Fagamalo, and 
Mr. Barts said he intended to begin packing his goods 
and belongings as soon as he saw us off. It made us very 
pensive to imagine this pretty village, in which we had been 
so at home, gone to the ruin of ashes and lava. "My poor 
people!" Father Williams mourned, again and again, un- 
derlip a-tremble. Hail! Father Williams you are a joy 
forever ; and long may you administrate Savaii. 

Thursday, May 21, 1908. 

The sea, which began rising early last evening and neces- 
sitated taking in the lifeboat, continued boisterous, with 
plenty of wind; then we found this morning that the 
barometer had dropped from 29 :95 to 29 :85. I am verging 
on nausea, and Jack has already been head-over-rail. His 
disagreeable sores are not improving. "For a man to live 
the way I do/' he grumbles, "and to catch things like 
this " Whereupon we recall French Ernest, and also look 
askance at Captain Warren's hands, which are unpleasant 
with sores that will not heal. That gentleman has hardly 


spoken all day, which renders meal-time very genial and 
sociable also other times. We have dubbed him The 
Blight. He sits and sits in the cockpit, sometimes steering, 
more often idle beside a man at the wheel, and glowers, just 
glowers. What can he be thinking of? There is no dis- 
cipline aboard, no work cut out for the men. Henry and 
Tehei sit and sit, doing nothing when they are not steering; 
no polishing, no scrubbing, no sailorizing. At first they 
hunted around for work, the willing pair; but few men are 
going out of their way to do anything for a master who re- 
quires nothing of them. 

The Apian turtle expired at nightfall. We weren't ready 
for him to expire, but he fooled us. Martin thinks the life- 
boat squeezed him, for about the time the captain was 
struggling with his temper and the boat, the turtle heaved an 
unearthly sigh, and to-day seemed very listless, with droop- 
ing eyelids. 

The barometer rose again this afternoon to 29:95, al- 
though the weather looks about the same. We are sailing 
fast, and the decks are awash amidships, but dry forward 
as usual. Wada has to keep his decklights screwed tight 
and has a warm time, although our thermometer is dropping 

In the slate and silver of twilight I was taking a brisk 
ride on the weather quarter, balancing on the broad teak 
and brass of the rail, and watching the surging whitecaps 
"flocks of Proteus" when the most extraordinary thing 
(for the Snark) happened. It took out of me all exhilara- 
tion in the rushing Trades, the speeding boat, and the bulky 
seas, when one of the latter, rising straight up alongside, 
was a little too quick for the Snark 1 's sleek avoiding stern, 
and broke over my head, curling down with surprising 
weight. It wasn't warm water, either. Of course I was 
drenched, and the shock and chill made me almost hysterical. 
But in a few minutes I was dried and clothed in oilskins, 
and Jack took me forward to the lee shrouds to watch the 
big waves. The water washed to our knees, clear over the 


rail, and we climbed higher. I wish I could tell of the 
glorious tang of life in these moments, when our brave little 
ship is holding steadily, stubbornly, through thick and thin, 
and we talk of our plans after Suva. Everything now is 
" after Suva." Jack looks cheerily at worn and neglected 
tackle (rings on the forestay dangling loose, lashing on 
mizzen boom jaws gone entirely, the peevish smouldering 
eye of the captain taking no care), and says, "When we get 
to Suva, I'll do so and so." After Suva, the decks over 
the galley will be washed first in the morning, so Wada will 
not have to prepare breakfast in that awful heat. Suva is 
our Mecca, and, after Suva, Paradise. 

Except to say that he would like the mainsail taken in 
that we might have some rest during the night, Jack has not 
further interfered with his captain's management. But 
there really is no management. 

Although this has not been a red-letter day, and some of 
our blessings would seem to be in disguise or saving for the 
future (e'en ''after Suva"), we are glad to be riding close 
to the mysterious ocean in our intimate small vessel, rather 
than borne aloft in a "modern wedge of steel," a "floating 
hotel," on which the sea is primarily a medium of conven- 
ience for getting somewhere like the undulating and beau- 
tiful earth under a fast automobile. Give us the small but 
doughty Snark, every time ! 

May 22, 1908. 

One hundred and twenty-seven miles in the past twenty- 
four hours, under jib, staysail and mizzen. The gale has 
moderated somewhat, but we haven't dared the mainsail as 
yet. The sun is perceptibly going north, and we notice a 
slight coolness of wind and water as we sag southwest. 

May 23, 1908. 

One hundred and fifty miles. 

We do not say much about the captain, but tacitly dis- 
trust him more and more, the farther we fare toward the 


mess of reefs we know is before us. We have a canny wari- 
ness of reefs by this time. 

Henry caught a bonita to-day on one of his own big pearl- 
shell hooks, and we had it served in various ways baked, 
with tomato dressing, and sliced raw, native fashion, with 
French dressing better than any raw oysters in Christen- 
dom or Heathendom; and chowder for supper. 

May 24, 1908. 

The Snark may shake herself into kindling wood for all 
the captain cares. To-day the main boom tackle parted, 
shortly after the mainsail was set, and the big sail jibed 
over always a dangerous contingency. Luckily the gale 
had eased. The poorly-lashed boats move and grate. 
Decks and tackle are untidy, and as we surge along we can 
hear the regular scraping rhythm of our large anchor, which 
is hanging outboard and knocking against the bow. The 
man must be crazy. He knows the anchor was not stowed 
on deck when we left Savaii which has always been done 
hitherto, as a matter of course and that it is wearing the 
planking thin. Surely is he stretching his length of rope 
that Jack has given him, for he realises there is no more 
rope. He was heard to-day muttering, "I guess I'll get my 
walking papers at Suva!" He is incredible. But we do 
not act as if anything were out of the way. We chat 
cheerily at table, play cribbage and poker and casino even- 
ings, quite as if he were normal and approved. 

. . . Land! Always new, always fresh, this illusion of 
discovery. Out comes the chart, and the sextant is ready 
to hand for the first rift in a stubbornly overcast sky. 

May 25, 1908. 

If we of the Snark are out for sensations, we certainly 
caught up with a few yesterday. The combination could 
not be surpassed a small boat entirely lost in a no- 


toriously bad tangle of deep-sea reefs, with a skipper who 
had not only lost his head completely, but who sat down 
with it in his hands, piteously admitted his befuddlement, 
and made no effort to brace up. 

Now, here is the situation: Nanuku Passage, the ship 
channel into this vast archipelago, is roughly sixteen miles 
wide, formed on the southeast by the islands Wailangilala, 
Naitamba, and Yathata, the northwestern side bounded by 
Nanuku Reef and islets, the small island of Ngamia, and a 
large island, Taviuni. We were sailing a southwest course, 
running before a breaking gale, and keeping a sharp look- 
out for the entrance islets. Captain Warren made a six- 
teen-mile miss in his calculations, so that in the middle of 
the forenoon, yesterday, he picked up the westernmost of the 
islets, the Nanuku Islets, whereas he thought them the east- 
ernmost, Wailangilala, Naitamba, and Yathata. On this 
disastrous basis, he turned and ran to the west of the west- 
ernmost, thinking he was entering the Passage, whereas he 
was running away from it. 

Swinging along fast and free, we were all interest in the 
pretty low land dots, covered with trees, when, above the 
rush of wind, like the crack of doom came a sudden crash of 
breakers and Henry's screech of "Breakers ahead!" They 
were so close that only a terrific spurt of intelligent and 
concerted energy on the part of every one on board (Jack 
waited not on any captain this time) saved us from annihila- 
tion. We just, and only just, evaded the creaming ledge, 
and doubled back on our tracks, literally very much at sea. 

Resuming our southwest course, we barely escaped an- 
other bursting ledge of coral, and turned back again. And 
every time we resumed our course, we got into trouble. In 
the early afternoon, running deeper and deeper into the 
labyrinth, no matter which way we steered, Jack, thor- 
oughly alive to the peril, suggested that there was only one 
thing to do, as the sun was showing signs of breaking through 
the grey sky to get our certain position by the Sumner 
Line. This is a very useful method, as we have proved before, 


when you are trying to find your longitude and are unable, 
on account of an overcast sky at morning and noon, to ob- 
tain your latitude. Warren was shaking, and said he was 
unable to take observations. Jack secured one at three 
o'clock and another at five, and asked Warren to work them 
up. He tried, gave over, saying he was too nervous ; so Jack 
turned to and did it himself, finding our position to be a 
little south of the Ringgold Isles. We had worked through 
and around the sunken tangle of Nanuku and Nukusemanu 
Reefs, which enclose a sort of long lagoon full of scattered 
dangers which we had almost miraculously avoided, con- 
sidering the lively breeze. 

It was well after five when the sights were worked out, 
and we seemed to be clear for the time being; but after a 
few miles, we discovered coral underneath us, too close 
for comfort. This was Budd Reef, about eight miles 
westward of the central part of the sunken reefs con- 
necting Nanuku and Nukusemanu Reefs. Budd Reef, ac- 
cording to the Sailing Directions, is thirty-three miles in 
circumference, much of it sunken, enclosing a deep lagoon 
with several islets in it. We sailed by two or three of these 
islets, heliotrope-green in the imminent twilight, and Jack 
saw what he thought a good anchorage. But Captain War- 
ren demurred, and we kept on, the coral visible at all times 
but a few feet under our keel. The swift twilight overtook 
us in this position, and it was decided to beat back and forth 
all night in the lee of these islets, and set our course for 
Suva in the morning. This was taking chances, but what 
else could we do ? Sympathetically we thought of the old ex- 
plorers, Tasman, D'Urville, Bligh of the Bounty, and of 
course Captain Cook, who wandered likewise in these forests 
of coral, and although we had charts, little good had they 
done early this day, with Warren's erroneous position. 
Small solace would have been ours, had we been wrecked 
here, to know we were not the first yacht that had been. 

It was a queer evening. Warren refused to dine, and kept 
at the wheel, tacking back and forth in a fairly moderate 

Port Resolution, Tana 

The Skipper, "After Suva 

The Puzzled Monkey- Brow 


sea; the rest of us finished supper, sat on deck a little 
while, watching the glooming islets, and when Jack and I 
went below, he unpacked his two old square grips that have 
been our familiars on many a trip, gave me one for myself, 
and repacked his with manuscript and notes, and his gold. 
I was blithely instructed to stow my own valuables in 
the other grip ; and, this done, we kissed good night and re- 
tired peacefully to our little bunks. I think we must have 
been tired, or resigned, or both; for never on the long voy- 
age of the Snark have we put in a better eight hours than 
on this risky night. 

The mornings are so wonderful, so various. There never 
was another in my life at all like this. Coming on deck at 
five, the trade wind flooded me through and through with 
unwonted coolness a coolness without bite, a coolness liquid 
and suffusing, with no hint of sharpness. The whole uni- 
verse was heliotrope, a flat tint laid upon the bowl of the 
sky where a gold sliver of new moon was painted above the 
two hilly islets showing softly green through their darker 
heliotrope. Small creaming waves rippled by on long swells 
that were grey-purple with a flush of red from the shallow 
coral. It was like some gently-coloured pastel, with the un- 
derlying details and colour growing as one gazed. 

Captain Warren looked a wreck. He is only a child ; but 
he is not a good child. In spite of his flunk the day before, 
he now regarded us with a white expectancy of praise for 
his wan hours of watching. "I never closed an eye all 
night I brought you through safe!" he quavered. Sheer 
luck it was that saved us, not he, for it had been simply 
hit or miss chance in the dark ; and even as he spoke, Henry 
at the masthead yelled " Breakers!" and we had to hustle 
mightily to skirt the streak of white water close upon us. 
(Jack has only now confessed to me that during the sixty 
days' traverse to the Marquesas, he more than once found 
Warren asleep at the wheel in the night.) 

At six the mainsail was hoisted, and in a fair breeze our 


intrepid keel cleared the uncertain lagoon and swept south- 
east for Somo Somo Strait, on our starboard Vanua Levu, 
next largest of all the Fijis, and Taviuni, fourth largest, to 

It has been a happy day. Jack has smiled all over, stepped 
merrily, and hummed at his writing; and more than once 
we have looked at each other and chuckled over the manner 
of our retirement last night. 

We breakfasted on deck, not wanting to miss anything; 
and then I brought my books to the cockpit, to study up a 
little on Fiji. I found that there are two hundred and 
fifty-five islands and islets of all constructions from low 
coral to high volcanic, in an area of 8000 square miles, and, 
dull slump from childhood horrific connotations of "Fi- 
jian/' that the natives are "nominally Christians," reformed 
of cannibalism and other sweet practices of less than seventy 
years ago, such as the binding of live human bodies to 
lengths of banana trees, for boat-rollers to launch great 
war canoes to the music of mortal shrieks accompanied by 
crunching bones and tearing flesh. But there were merciful 
impulses among the Fijians, as displayed in the following 
custom : When parents had lived so long that it was deemed 
a kindness to kill them, their devoted children affectionately 
bade them farewell with kisses, before wrapping the living 
bodies in fine (but not too fine!) mats, burying them alive, 
and faithfully treading down the squirming graves. These 
lovable deeds were invariably performed when the yam and 
taro were in season, so that great feasts might be enjoyed 
to celebrate the timely passing of the beloved. 

It is small wonder that few persons know the accepted 
spelling of Fiji. Here are several that England had to 
select from: Beetee; Fegee; Fejee; Fidjee; Fidje; Fid- 
schi; Feigee; Vihi; Viji; Viti and the natives call them- 
selves Kai-Viti. We civilised people are Kai-Papalanhi. 

The Fiji Islands grow sandalwood, tobacco, breadfruit, 
bananas, and all the rest of the tropical blessings, and in ad- 


dition are especially suited to cotton-raising. It is interest- 
ing to read that some of their cotton was used in our Civil 

The more I dip into the South Pacific Ocean Directory, 
the more I believe that to me it is going to take its place as 
the most fascinating of all books. Few volumes four inches 
thick are casually attractive; but once studying this one's 
pages, in connection with an adventure like ours, nothing 
can equal it for romance. The personal opinions of the 
compilers lend a pleasant spice of humour as, for instance, 
one writer, after noting that the Taviuni inhabitants were 
formerly the most cannibalistic of all the Fijians, with prac- 
tices quite too revolting to mention, tacks on the gratuitous 
observation: "However, they stand as records degrading 
to our nature." 

Somo Somo Strait is four and a half miles at the narrow- 
est. The big mountainous islands rise four thousand feet, 
hooded in rolling glories of tropic clouds. Here and there 
waterfalls drop their white plummets or blow rainbow veils 
across the green steeps. 

Not the least of yesterday's impressions was the absence 
of life on the islets among which we were lost, and this 
morning we saw our first Fijians. Well for our peace of 
mind that we knew them to be friendly, for the bushy- 
headed, negroid-featured, staring-black-eyed savages were 
not reassuring on the face of it. A cutter put out from a 
village on Taviuni, under a cloud of canvas, and as it drew 
near we could see the white flash of their grins as the men 
shouted and waved to us. We waved back, and put our best 
foot forward for a spurt with them, although knowing well- 
that the Snark's sail-plan was not for racing with sloop- 
rigged vessels. As the woolly piratical-looking crew gained 
on us, Captain Warren ordered Martin to start the engine. 
This did not strike us as a sporting proposition, and we said 
so ; but Warren coaxed, Jack shrugged, and Martin went be- 
low. We could see gesticulations of surprise on the driving 


cutter as we gathered speed, which changed to derisive point- 
ings and laughter as they finally won by in spite of our 
engine, and heard its chug-chug. 

Nearing the end of the warm afternoon, our breeze 
has dropped to a mild summer fan infinitely restful after 
days of buffeting. Jack is reading under the cockpit awn- 
ing, which is stretched for the first time since Samoa. He 
has finished his story "Chun Ah Chun," one of a collection 
of Hawaii yarns that he will entitle The House of Pride. 
I have completed the typing of it and, drawn by his subject, 
have put in a couple of hours on the shaping up of my own 
book of Hawaii. 

Koro Sea, Fiji Archipelago, 
May 26, 1908. 

In all our "Snarking," to-day occurred our first "gam- 
ming" exchanging calls with another vessel at sea. We 
were skating quietly over the Koro Sea, in the heart of this 
vast archipelago, the water smooth as a blue jewel, crusted 
in rough-cut gems these the distant summer isles of green 
and gold that encircled us. From one of these, Koro, we 
made out a speck of a white-sailed boat coming our way. 
It proved to be a* cutter much like the one we raced yester- 
day, but only a single shock-headed native was visible. He 
shouted and gesticulated, and a white man stuck his head 
up from below, rubbing his eyes sleepily. A yawn paused 
midway as he caught sight of us : 

"What ship is that?" 

"Snark, San Francisco!" Captain Warren returned. 

The man sprang to the rail and yelled excitedly: 

"Not Jack London's yacht!" 

Being assured by us, he fell into his small boat, while all 
hands were called to take in our spanker and spinnaker 
the latter set for the first time in many a long day. Then 
we lumbered ahead creakily under short canvas, and had a 
good deep-sea gossip with our Yankee visitor, Frank Whit- 


comb, who was so elated over meeting Jack evidently an 
idol of his that he could hardly talk coherently. Every 
time he started to answer questions about the islands, he 
would break off with something like: 

"Well Jack London! I can't believe it!" And again, 
"To think of my ever seeing Jack London and the Snark!" 
And over and over: "This is the greatest day of my life, 
I tell you!" 

He was enthusiastic over the lines and compactness of the 
yacht, and kept repeating, "Now this is a proper boat, this 
is." Or "My! but this is the kind of boat I'd like to have 
to cruise around here in!" 

He paddled back to his sloop, and returned with welcome 
potatoes, onions, yams, and some taro. Then, after an ex- 
change of addresses and some bottles of our Tahiti wine, 
and the promise on Jack's part to send him a Snark book 
when it is published, he departed, reiterating to the last that 
it was the happiest day of his life. . . . We may never meet 
the good-hearted fellow again; but this brief kindly contact 
will be unforgettable. 

Suva, the capital of the Fijis, on Viti Leva, the largest 
of the group, is a much visited port, so I shall briefly run 
through our delightful week there, on to the day when 
our new skipper, one Jack London, took the Snark out of 
Suva Harbor, bound for the difficult New Hebrides, with 
their cannibals and burning mountains. 

We received a most lovely impression of Suva as we 
throbbed through the reef entrance and crossed the long har- 
bour. The quaint English town rises terrace upon terrace 
against green hills, the houses smothered in splendid trees. 
Viti Levu is eighty-five miles long by fifty-seven wide, its 
beautiful mountains climbing to a height of 4000 feet, 
capped with the inevitable tropic clouds. 

The Harbourmaster, Captain C. Woolley, with open- 


armed hospitality came out to pilot us to an anchorage. 
Captain Warren, soiled, unshaven, unbelievably unkempt, 
insulted him with a cold shoulder and the ungracious sug- 
gestion that he guessed he could bring in the ship without 
any help. I saw Jack flush painfully ; but Captain Woolley, 
recovering from his surprise at such treatment from a yacht- 
master, smiled a little smile and said: 

"I am not going to charge anything for conning the 
Snark in, Captain!" and turned to Jack and me. He 
piloted us to a very convenient anchorage to the boat wharf, 
and made arrangements for Jack and me at Mrs. MacDon- 
ald's Hotel. 

Captain Warren went ashore shortly after our arrival, 
quite unconcerned over the condition of our pretty bow (the 
anchor had worn clear through the planking), and of vari- 
ous other inexcusable damages. He did not go near the 
yacht for two days, accumulated many drinks, and strutted 
around town like a pouter pigeon, meanwhile bragging that 
he was captain of the Snark. The first time he went aboard, 
it was to show off his command to a guest when he was 
informed by a delighted Wada that his things had been 
sent ashore to the hotel by Mr. London's order, and that 
there he was to report. He reported, and I confess I was 
eavesdropper to the interview that culminated in his dis- 
missal on the captain's part entirely a whine that Jack was 
influenced by the fact that he had been in the penitentiary. 
However, Jack left no honest doubt in his mind that that 
was the very reason he had been kept on from Papeete 
to give him his opportunity. Within a couple of days, 
Warren had secured a chance to work his passage on the five- 
masted schooner Samar, in port, bound for Australia. He 
quit us several hundred dollars overdrawn all of which 
was part of the "rope" Jack had given him. 

As we entered the harbour, the British Cruiser Cambrian 
steamed out, taking the High Commissioner of the South 
Seas, Sir Everard Im Thurm, on a tour of inspection to the 


west. Captain Lewes of the Cambrian, and his wife, Jack 
had met in Korea; and now Captain Woolley invited us to 
join a party the following day in a walk out on the barrier 
reef at low tide, the party to include Lady Im Thurm and 
Mrs. Lewes, the latter having stayed in Suva to keep Lady 
Im Thurm company at the Government Residence. We 
gladly accepted, and during that novel tramp learned things 
about reefs that made us more than ever anxious to avoid 
them in the Stiark. 

We occupied two cosy little English rooms at the hotel, 
with four-posters and candles, and Mrs. MacDonald made us 
feel quite at home. She has lived in the Fijis for many 
years, and distinctly remembers times when the natives were 
not nearly so "nominally Christian" as now; and many and 
absorbing were her tales over afternoon tea in her shady 
green balcony, of the sailing she did with her husband years 
ago to the various islands. 

The steward in the hotel dining-room is a diminutive Solo- 
mon Islander, called Johnny, who grew up here. I can see 
him yet, ludicrously dignified and condescending, forced, 
from briefness of stature, to look aloft when every instinct 
of his courteous hauteur calls for a downward glance. He 
has a funny thin-lipped mouth, big staring black eyes and 
a button of a snub-nose, his seal-brown countenance shad- 
owed by a tremendous black poll of inky wool sharp-carven 
as a wooden image. Johnny announces meal-time with a 
stately solo on a large cowbell. Meal-time! How we did 
consume the fresh vegetables, and real cream, and cheeses, 
to say nothing of good red English beef, broiled wild 
pigeons, and many kinds of fish. At our table sat a kindly 
old man, Mr. Watson, who has kept a curio shop here for 
many years. He found me a few fans and things, and clubs 
for Jack; but he had to make quite a search for them. 
Fans are especially scarce, as the natives, now they can buy 
white men's commodities, have almost given over fashioning 
the old-time articles. The Fijian fans are much heavier and 


better woven than any I have yet found compact and firm, 
with thick short handles. Jack's clubs are exceedingly fine, 
carved out of rich-coloured hard wood. 

At table, Jack had the seat occupied by Madame Melba 
on her last visit. Suva is a profitable port for artists. 
Madame Carreno is a great favourite, and I met one of her 
pupils at the Warden's one day. One of our most vivid 
memories of the place will always be Blanche Arral, the Bel- 
gian concert soprano, and her husband Herold Bassett, who 
were at another hotel, surrounded by the most entrancing 
''boxes" labelled "On Tour/' a French maid, a skurry of 
fluffy blue-blooded Skye terriers, and a cluster of blue-eyed 
Siamese cats presented the diva by the King of Siam. 
They are a fascinating combination, the Arral-Bassett ; and 
her tropical wardrobe I spent an entire afternoon of sheer 
delight in it. Suva was buzzing with enthusiasm over Mme. 
Arral's voice. 

The main street, along the water front, as seen from our 
balcony, was always alluring with its procession of strange 
life. The contract labour here is largely Hindoo, and the 
heavily be-turbaned men and heavily be-silvered women 
looked very foreign even among the natives. One conspicu- 
ous custom of the Hindoos is their public shaving at the 
shore edge of the street. 

The Fijians are very different from our Polynesian 
friends, sharing, as they do, in the Melanesian strain, which 
renders them darker of skin and negroid of feature. Our 
next islanders, the New Hebrideans, are sans Polynesian, 
and are rated as the lowest of the Melanesians to boot. The 
Fiji men struck me as far superior to their women. It is 
said, however, that the chief-women in Fiji, especially 
among the mountaineers, are strikingly beautiful; but we 
saw none of them. 

And through this driftage of varying blacks and browns 
up and down the long thoroughfare, the big equipages of 


elegant, luxurious Englishwomen clank by, and everywhere 
is the military neatness and impressiveness of English atmos- 

We worked hard in Suva, answering mail, and doing our 
regular work as well. One item of news from home was 
that The Pacific Monthly was to bring out serially Jack's 
novel Success, which they have decided to entitle Martin 
Eden. But our work did not prevent us from making some 
very pleasant social contacts. We were entertained at the 
home of Mr. and Mrs. Griffiths, of the Fiji Times (she is 
from Texas, and edits this bright sheet, besides bringing up 
her seven children), and they also took us on a pigeon- 
hunting expedition, where we saw many miles of the rich 
tilled and tillable lands of the island. Lady Im Thurm's 
and the Warden's and many another card were left at our 
hotel, and we met the townsfolk at teas and receptions one 
of them at the Government Residence; and there was one 
evening's dancing at the house of Lady Im Thurm's secre- 
tary, Mr. Rankin, where we saw a native dance which some- 
what resembles the Samoan siva-siva. 

It was very cool in Suva, so cool we were threatened with 
colds. There is dengue fever here, too, and Jack and I were 
of no mind to repeat our Florida sufferings with the same, 
which we knew under the name of Boo-Hoo Fever, from its 
ability to make one weep at the most trivial things. Earth- 
quakes are also among Fiji's attractions, and we had a good 
stiff one ; but there are no active volcanoes, alas ! 

Besides the pigeon-shooting trip, our only other exploring 
out of Suva was to Rewa Town, a famous native village up 
the Rewa River. 

We started in the morning on a little river steamer that 
made us homesick for the Sacramento, and, as we got under 
way, the schooner Samar was shaking out her sails for de- 
parture. Passing the Snark, we waved our hands at Wada, 
working on deck, and pointed toward the big schooner's 


preparations, for Wada knew Warren was to sail in her. 
Wada misunderstood our gestures, ran to the flag-halyards, 
and dipped the flag three times. Jack and I laughed, won- 
dering if Warren thought the salute was for him. Before 
we entered the river, the Samar was under way, every sail 
drawing, and that was the passing of our third and last cap- 
tain of the Snark. 

We were well conducted on this bit of tourist route, by 
our native guide, a natty youth with the fuzziest of head- 
dresses, brushed stiffly up and cut in the usual sculptural 
fashion. He wore a white shirt and a coat of very visible 
stripe, and carried a cane with a nonchalance that would 
have been impressive but for bare legs and feet, and his 
nether garment, which was a white lava-lava. 

Our attention was much taken up with the other passen- 
gers bushy-haired natives with leaf -tobacco over their ears, 
and a little Hindoo huddle of women and their delicate- 
featured, turbaned men. These little women bore gorgeous 
ornaments, for thus do they carry their own and their hus- 
bands' wealth. Silver is beaten into anklets, armlets, brace- 
lets, earrings, and every other conceivable decoration, and 
gold coins are immediately appropriated as ornaments. 
And thus the Far East toward which we are reaching, lures 
us on our way. 

It is twelve miles by steamer to Rewa Town, and I do not 
know which of the several mouths of the stream we entered. 
It was narrow, and edged with rooty mangrove swamps, and 
our little steamer poked her nose into them more than once 
and had to back out. The Big Water, as the natives call the 
main river, is dotted with fairy green islets, exquisitely 
reflected in the smooth stream, and we passed gay boatloads 
of natives. The river, now flanked by valuable sugar-cane 
plantations, rises some forty miles beyond Rewa Town, in 
the mountains very dangerous territory for explorers not 
so long ago. 

We landed on a flat bank of rich black earth at the vil- 
lage, and immediately noticed our old Samoan acquaintance, 


the sensitive plant, which shrank inhospitably from our 
feet. Eatu Joni E. Malaitini, the Roka, or Chief, of Rewa, 
took gracious charge of us. He is another specimen of the 
physical aristocracy head and shoulders above the common 
people, and straightens up with a proud ' * I am ! ' ' when 
asked if he is pure Fijian. We noticed the humble saluta- 
tions of the women to him as he paced along. 

The first point of interest was the English church built by 
the natives a beautiful structure with two square towers, 
like Westminster, and a rounding back, on the lines of Notre 
Dame. In the vestry we noted big savage war-drums made 
from logs now used for the peaceful call to prayer. 

Fijian houses are very fine in workmanship, the chief- 
houses having great beams covered with the finest sennit 
of cocoanut fibre. Roofs are sharply peaked, or gabled, 
and of immense height, the ends curving up, Japanese 
fashion, with black ridgepoles. The thatch is sugar-cane, 
and the outside walls of the houses are covered with some 
sort of dry brown leaves. Interiors are very dark, smoky 
from floor-fires, with but one door and a couple of small 
deep-set windows. After accustoming our eyes to the acrid 
gloom, we could see the lofty sennit-beamed ceilings, and 
judged some of the ridgepoles to be as high as fifty feet. 
Along the irregular paths among the houses rise occasional 
carven king posts, some of them thirty feet tall, of splendid 
hardwood. We longed to send one home as a souvenir. 

Into the most imposing of these remarkable buildings we 
were conducted with great ceremony, and presented, with 
still more form, to a shrivelled object in the centre of the 
long floor, disposed upon thick-woven mats. It was the old 
chief, Ratu Rabici, the most ancient thing I ever saw alive. 
He was shaking with years and alcohol, being a noted toper ; 
but in spite of his emaciated mummy-face, with its lack- 
lustre eyes, large ears, and a monkey-trick of scratching his 
protuberant ribs with a skinny claw, he managed to convey 
to us something of his unmistakable kingliness. I was dying 
to question what might be his honourable tally of human 


feasts, but realised that, even were I so rude, I would not 
get the right answer. 

It was good to be out in the blowing sunny air again, 
among the breadfruit and tree ferns, where we found women 
making pottery some of the older ones with a finger or so 
missing, it being an old custom to cut off a finger in token 
of mourning for the dead. 

In one of the more modern native houses, full of light 
and sun, reclining on deep-piled mats we partook of one of 
the best native feasts we had had south of the Equator. And 
while we ate and drank at our ease on the satin-smooth hand- 
woven mats, from somewhere came young voices singing 
Christian hymns. One of them was "Pass me not, gentle 
Saviour, ' ' and I smiled to think how old Moody and Sankey 
would have beamed to hear it in this outlandish environment. 

Aboard the SnarJc, Fiji to New Hebrides, 
Saturday, June 6, 1908. 

You might think that SnarJc departures had by this time 
lost their novelty. Not so. Our departure this morning 
from Suva had all the snap and go of a new adventure ; and 
rightly so, for it was literally a new adventure. Jack was 
captain, Henry (who had had desertion in his eye "before 
Suva") was now mate, and the newest thing aboard was the 
spirit that sailed with us. It was "After Suva," and Jack 
was happy. Every one was merry; every one had reason 
to be. The Blight had been wiped out, and Mr. London 
was skipper. Tehei for the past week was so happy over 
the prospect, that, when Jack raised his pay, the dear child- 
man begged to be allowed to work for nothing; but "Noth- 
ing doing!" was Jack's reply. Nakata was all teeth, and 
went about his work emitting happy little noises. Martin 
wore a face of extreme contentment ; and Wada hummed in 
his hot little galley. 

Anent Jack's taking command, Martin tells the following 


geress" of a hotel in Suva, who volunteered that she'd heard 
in town that the Snark was going to sail without Captain 
"Warren. Martin answered that this was true, but that Mr. 
London was going to be skipper. 

' ' I should think you 'd all be scared to death to go without 
a captain I would!" 

"But Mr. London is going to be captain," Martin re- 

"My goodness it doesn't seem right for a little boat like 
that not to have a captain ! ' ' she pursued, with feminine dis- 
regard of any one's speech but her own. 

"Well, we all think Mr. London is a better captain than 
any the Snark has had yet," Martin warmed up. "He can 
navigate all around Captain Warren, and " 

"Oh, it doesn't seem to me safe for you fellows to trust 
yourselves at sea in a boat like that without a captain." 

Martin ground his teeth and forthwith discovered he had 
business down street, leaving the woman to vapour over the 
dread future of the Snark. 

Our first memory and our last of Suva Harbor will always 
be of the unremitting kindness of Captain Woolley. He saw 
us safely out as he had seen us safely in, and rendered us a 
thousand other kindnesses. 

The northwest trade was blowing a youthful gale, and 
as our course was southwest, we boomed along before it. 
In order to make good time, and sail free of the honeycomb 
of reefs to starboard, Jack set the spinnaker. We rushed 
along with a corkscrew sort of motion, our copper heel in 
a churning cream of foam. Pretty work it was, steering 
through the blowing world of sea, and we were not alone in 
it, for there were many little white cutters in sight. 

... It's going to be a rough night, and we shall miss 
Mrs. MacDonald's fluffy, stationary beds. 


June 7, 1908. 150 miles. 

And it was. I fell asleep toward morning, and was 
dreaming heavily of a free-for-all fight of the Snark crew 
with Captain Warren, when I was shaken awake by Henry's 
laugh on deck a musical yet rollicking gurgle of utter con- 
tent, like an American negro's. And when I came on deck, 
gentle Tehei was singing a himine at his work. Henry un- 
earthed some hitherto unheard-of (by us) navigation books, 
and pottered with them at odd moments. The morning 
faces of all hands brought to our minds that this is the first 
time we've ever had a true "Snarking" crowd aboard. 

Jack slept but three hours, owing to a bad cold as 
well as the responsibility of the boat, and did not try to 
write to-day, but busied himself getting hold of everything, 
and, most important, brushing up on navigation. He gave 
us all a serious talk about our individual responsibilities, at 
the wheel, and such matters. Watching him to-day, it puz- 
zles me how he is going to accomplish all he has laid out, 
in addition to his writing. 

Nakata and I figured out additional little conveniences 
for Jack in his stateroom a pencil rack here, a book rack 
there. I took the chronometer time for him when he was 
making observations. I have a feeling that he has not been 
altogether satisfied with the way they have worked out. 

No land in sight, not even a reef. Wind increased until 
Jack ordered the spinnaker and headsails in, and in the 
afternoon we sped under mainsail and spanker. 

We are so full of plans. Adventure looms bigger than 
ever; and why shouldn't it, with our first cannibal islands 
but a few days away? and volcanoes. I shall take my vol- 
canoes in quite an easy matter-of-fact way ere long! Cap- 
tain Cook of course discovered Tanna, with its living 
crater, on August 4, 1774. Read what he wrote about it and 
wonder if we of the Snark are at all bored : 

"At daybreak, August 4, we saw a low island (Immer) to 
the northwestward . . . having passed close to it during the 


night, and a high one nearly east (Futuna) at the distance 
of eight or nine leagues. The large island (Tanna), toward 
which we still directed our course, extended from N.W. to 
S.E. and consisted of a high range of mountains. Towards 
the southeastern extremity, at the end of a secondary range 
of hills, we discovered a volcano, of which we had really seen 
the fire at night. It was a low hill, much lower than any 
in the same range, and of a conical shape, with a crater in 
the middle. Its colour was reddish-brown, consisting of a 
heap of burnt stones, perfectly barren, but it afforded a very 
striking sight to our eyes. A column of heavy smoke rose 
up from time to time, like a great tree, whose crown gradu- 
ally spread as it ascended. It is the most powerful volcano 
in the group. The whole island, except the volcano, is well 
wooded and contains abundance of fine cocoa-palms ; its ver- 
dure, even at this season, which is the winter of these re- 
gions, was very rich and beautiful." 

In 1872, Commander Markham visited the crater, which 
was found to be about 600 feet in diameter. The officers of 
H.M.S. Pearl, in 1875, found its height to be 980 feet. Mr. 
F. A. Campbell says: "This volcano is a splendid light- 
house ; there is no mistaking it ; the noise of its eruptions is 
heard distinctly upon Aneityum, fully forty miles away." 

Monday, June 8, 1908. 

The coolness of the weather has made us hunt for blankets 
at night and warm raiment by day. I have caught Jack's 
cold, a sore throat, and neuralgia in the face. 

There was a sharp squall in the afternoon, followed by 
calm, and the warmth was grateful to us with colds. 

The day has ended very joyously for Jack. "Without go- 
ing into technical details I should promptly be swamped 
if I did he has discovered why he was going wrong in 
working out his sights since we left Fiji. He had forgotten 
one very important factor: that a degree sixty miles is 
only sixty miles at the Equator ; and that the world is smaller 


and smaller around the farther one is from the Equator. 
Down here, in 19 South Latitude, he had been figuring 
sixty miles to a degree. As he says, any one who wants to 
break all speed records circling the world, has only to sail 
around in a fast steamer in the latitude of Cape Horn ! 

Just the same, Jack will not feel entirely satisfied until 
day after to-morrow, when, according to his calculations, we 
should see our first high New Hebrides island, Futuna. 

Tuesday, June 9, 1908. 

A shark! We lured him and caught him with all the 
customary excitement. He was a five-footer, and no one who 
ate a steak from him at breakfast had any criticism to make, 
either of meat or cooking. 

Quite calm all forenoon, with low rain-curtains on the 
eastern horizon. About 3:30 the wind came out of the 
southwest, and the sea made up. Barometer falling. 

We play three-handed Hearts evenings. But Jack and 
Martin are having everything their own way, while I mourn 
my bad luck. 

Wednesday, June 10, 1908. 

We're all a-tiptoe now, to see how right Jack is. Land 
must be near, for there is a lot of flotsam on the water, and 
many brown-and-white birds about. The night was rough, 
as the Snark shuddered into the big seas, but all slept well, 
except Martin, who has caught our cold. Wind lessened to- 
ward sunset, and barometer is 30:10 which we find is nor- 
mal here. 

We have been loafing about the cockpit in a burnished 
gold sunset, talking about our landfall to-morrow. Jack 
smiled his wise little smile at my jibes, and said: 

"That's all right, my dear; but you watch my smoke. I 
tell you that about six to-morrow morning you'll see the 
prettiest classic blue cone your heart could desire, rising a 
couple of thousand feet out of the sea to the southwest." 


He altered the course so that the Snark should pass Futuna 
ten miles to the northward, and the last thing he said on go- 
ing below, was to Wada: 

"Wada San, your watch to-morrow morning, you look 
sharp, you see land on weather bow." 

Aboard the Snark, 

Port Resolution, Tana, New Hebrides, 
Thursday, June 11, 1908. 

We are so proud of ourselves. Not that we mere mortals 
have anything to be proud of, except our godlike skipper, 
one J. L., whose mystical rites and figurings bore out his 
prophecy and guided our ''frail barque" into this turbulent 
harbour. Turbulent does not refer to the waters of Port 
Resolution, but to the bottom thereof. Not long ago, inside 
forty years large ships could anchor here, and now only 
vessels of our draft can float free. Each new survey has 
been put out of line by the upheavals of this restless island. 
And one is never for a moment unconscious of its instability, 
what of the intermittent dull rumble of the volcano. The 
1901 Sailing Directions are the latest we have ; and it would 
be more interesting than comfortable for us if it were now 
about time for the bottom of the bay again to heave up and 
strand us high and dry. 

The Snark logged a steady six knots all last night, but 
Jack confesses he slept little. He kept waking and think- 
ing: "Just suppose I am wrong, and run into the damned 
thing!" He went on deck at three, during Henry's watch. 
The log recorded forty-two miles. At 5:30 he went up 
again, and Wada, at the wheel, had seen no land. Jack 
planted himself on the cockpit rail and gloomily stared 
southwest. I rose at six, and joined him just an instant 
after he had spotted the dim but unmistakable high cone. 
And it was exactly where it ought to be! I could have 
wept with delight, but remained very still, for Jack was still, 
too, although pleased clear through, with that little half- 


bashful smile he wears when he sits under praise. It was a 
great moment, in its small way, and it is the small things 
that make great contentment. This was his first unaided 
landfall, as captain and navigator of his own little ship, 
with the burden of lives in his care. 

We could not go below, but sat and dreamed our 
dreams in the growing day. The west was all silver and 
rose, the east steel and lilac, with low clouds scrolled back 
like Gargantuan rolls of sleeping mats, and to the south 
Futuna grew like a mirage on a clear horizon, or a Japanese 
painting on grey silk. The ocean, grey and dull-glossy, and 
slow like a flow of lava, seemed to show the bulge of the earth 
between us and the island. The sun rose suddenly, an 
irregular molten nugget of intolerable brilliance bursting 
from a low grey cloud lined with gold. The cloud-mats be- 
came bales of precious stuffs of undreamed dyes. Then all 
dazzling hurt of colour and gilt toned into the soothing pearl 
and blue of broad morning, the sea into a rapture of azure, 
and we all woke to noisy congratulations over our fair pros- 
pect, at a ripping good breakfast of hoteakes and shark- 

Jack had said we would pass Futuna at ten miles. At 
eight o'clock he took its distance by the sextant and found 
it to be 9.3 miles away. It is a steep truncated cone, 1931 
feet high, ten miles around, and not peopled from the New 
Hebrides, but by some Polynesian canoe-drift. 

Henry, aloft, had sighted Tanna at seven o'clock, dead 
ahead, and during the day our steady six knots brought us 
into better and better view of the towering smoke of the vol- 
cano, Mt. Yasowa. To the south we had Anehenm, and to 
the north Aniwa. 

As we approached Tanna, Jack bade me take the wheel, 
sent Henry aloft and Martin below to be ready to throw on 
the propeller. With his glasses Jack swept the land for miles 
but could detect no opening in the crashing, unbroken rock 
coast. He took his compass bearings one of Futuna, an- 
other of Aniwa, laid them off on the chart, and found the 


Snark's true course to be straight for this apparent ruin. 
He had me hold on until we were not more than an eighth 
of a mile from the thundering surf, much to the concern 
of Tehei and Henry, who declared there was no entrance. 
Then I was directed to steer parallel with the coast. They 
were taut minutes, I'll own taking orders over that huge 
oily swell, so near to swift destruction. It was not as if 
this were a solid and dependable island of staid habits. Our 
only information about the reef passage was seven years old, 
and we did not know what had happened since, or when we 
mii/ht grind on disastrous bottom. 

But Jack kept on abreast, and presently we recognised 
certain landmarks described in the Directions a yellow 
sandstone bluff and a pyramidal rock; then, just where it 
ought to be, a narrow opening appeared, but outside of it a 
line of breakers. Henry and Tehei regarded it with troubled 
eyes. As we ran on, still abreast, we saw that the line of 
white water overlapped the line from the other side, and a 
narrow place showed where the sea was calm. I put down 
the wheel, Martin threw on the propeller, and to Jack's 
"Steady!" and hand-movements, I steered in, full of re- 
lief, while the boys took in sail. We rounded a little point 
and saw the mission station, and when Wada, at the lead- 
line, reported "Two fathoms!" I put the wheel down, Mar- 
tin shut off the engine, and the anchor-chain grated 
through the hawse-hole. It was five o'clock. Henry 
gravely paced a few measures of a hula, Nakata pirouetted 
and flashed his teeth, and then we were diverted by the 
things that were putting out to us from all directions. 

Tlif-y looked like an all-star troupe of comedians made up 
for a minstrel show. All were undersized, except one, a 
Futuna boy who was tall and large and handsome, with 
laughing eyes wide-set, and a mouth all smiling Polynesian 
curves. One Tanese, a spry, slender soul, with near-set 
black eyes, wore sideburn whiskers combined with a fierce 
moustache. Another, a holy-mannered, fanatical-eyed elder 
of the church on the hill, had a fringe of thin black whis- 


kers halo-ing his rotund countenance, the lower part of the 
fringe growing beneath the chin in a way that made him 
resemble an American backwoods farmer gone wrong. But 
he proved a lovable chap. The rest of the men were all indi- 
viduals of one kind or another of striking personality ; most 
of them spoke English of sorts, and all were connoisseurs of 
sea-biscuit and tobacco. 

And yet, five miles back in the bush, the savages are un- 
reclaimed ancestor-worshippers who eat one another to this 
day, although Mr. Watt, the missionary, assures us that an 
European is perfectly safe anywhere on Tanna. It is thirty 
years since a white man was killed here, and he was shot, 
and not kai-kai'd. He died in the house where Mr. Watt 

From the little station in a bight of the bay, came the 
Scotch trader, Mr. Wyllie, with gifts of fruit, and we kept 
him for supper. He is a vast ashen man, with ashen brown 
eyes very wide apart, ashen hair, mobile ashen mouth and 
a classic ashen nose. He looks as if the tropics have burned 
him to this ashen hue. 

Mr. Brown, a Christian native, "Joseph Brown, please," 
elder of the Presbytery, came out with a message from Mr. 
Watt, that owing to prayers ashore, the supper hour, and 
the lateness of our arrival, he and his wife had not come 
out, and hoped we could return with the bearer. Tehei, 
blissful and self-conscious, ran the launch for us. As we 
climbed up the perfumed twilight bank, a woman spoke to 
our guide softly and inquiringly from a gloom of bananas, 
then fled before, white-robed, laughing and calling back 
tantalisingly to him in a love-toned voice. 

Port Resolution, June 12, 1908. 

There's certainly something disjointed about it so lovely 
a land, and so low an order of inhabitants. The beautiful 
harbour, like a pale flawed emerald, reminds us of Taiohae, 
the painted-scene walls farther removed. Distant classic 


Mount Mirren rises opposite the narrow reef entrance, and 
the verdant flanking hills fold down on either side a most 
gratifying composition for a picture. The missionary's 
dwelling is on Point Resolution, and across the narrow bay 
boils a hot salt-water geyser, whence Mr. Watt and his fam- 
ily derive their bath water, in barrels per native canoe. 
This may be the very geyser where vanquished foes once were 
parboiled and devoured a different way of preparing ''long 

And the natives: As I write, near by but not too near 
(they may be clean but they don't look it), squat a half- 
dozen of the strangest human beings I ever beheld outside 
a feeble-minded institution. We had heard they were the 
lowest of the Melanesians, but they excel all expectations. 
Bodies are thin and unbeautiful, with bulges in the wrong 
places ; legs show thin and crooked, and their generally evil, 
low-browed malformed Black-Papuan faces are curiously re- 
pulsive. One old fellow, a trifle less unpleasant than the 
rest, has an expression that is intended to be benevolent, on 
a nut-wrinkly face with unsecret, sky-turned nostrils, the 
eyes most remarkable with the vacillating intentness of a 
monkey, while he endeavours to compose his attention on 
the typewriter, at which I have been working on deck. He 
is quite the nearest to a chimpanzee that I ? ve ever seen. The 
gaze focuses, wavers, comes back, and his lips narrow and 
widen with an undeveloped attempt at a human smile. The 
only way to fix an image like this, is to sit right down and 

Another old baboon is titillating in a hysterical rising- 
and-falling squat, aft where Jack is showing him a kaleido- 
scope. Nervous little lean brown arms of others are reach- 
ing for the thing, and there are lingering low cries over the 
changing figures. Jack looks a white giant among them. 
"And God made them!" he passed across their kinky heads 
to me just now vast contrast to the chiselled heads of 
Fiji and Samoa. Their talk matches their shifting eyes 
nervous, crafty little short sounds, and no arresting words. 


About twenty different dialects are spoken in the New 
Hebrides, sometimes several on the same island. As no 
steamers can enter here (they must lie outside if any one 
wants to land in a boat), the island is seldom visited. So 
we and our foreign vessel are a whole vaudeville show to 
these near-Simians. There is nothing even "nominally 
Christian " in the appearance of this gathering. New 
Hebrideans are all looked upon as treacherous, although the 
Tanese are milder than most. In the history of the islands, 
when the missionaries treated with the natives, the latter 
would only go so far as to promise that they would not harm 
them with their own hands; then they would hire other na- 
tives to do the murdering a grim observance of the letter 
of the agreement. Natives of the northern islands have 
been especially ferocious toward intruders, and the list of 
slaughtered missionaries is a long one. Mr. Watt has quite 
a congregation in his mission, but a good portion have the 
Futuna Polynesian strain. 

Mr. Watt is a big man of sixty, kindly and obliging, and 
has already this morning added to last night's offering 
of pleasant fruits and vegetables. He also offered us the 
use of his cool dark-room. Mrs. Watt is his second wife 
a buxom woman of forty. They have two young children, 
and all reside in harmony in a comfortable house almost 
in the shadow of an imposing white monument that marks 
the green resting-place of the first Mrs. Watt in the very 
house garden. The present Mrs. Watt called our attention 
to it on our stroll. Mr. Watt, from whom we naturally 
expected to drink endless absorbing reminiscences of early 
precarious years on Tana, either does not care to talk, or 
else has no imagination. Perhaps he is like Conrad's good 
skipper in Typhoon, who entered "Dirty Weather" in 
his log, after passing through the core of a great circular 

Later. . . . After another visit at the Watts' to-day, 
where we were refreshed with rose-apples, sour-sop and 
sweet-sop, cocoanut water, and saw breadfruit and banyan 


and banana trees in abundance, we went to the head of the 
little three-quarter-mile bay in Mr. Wyllie's flat-bottomed 
skiff and visited him in his store, on a tiny blue reedy la- 
goon surrounded by dense tropical vegetation. An old 
paralysed black heathen sat on the beach where we landed, 
and looked at me and my camera with sullen, unsympa- 
thetic gaze sans fear, sans interest, sans understanding, 
sans everything. It would seem that the only idea these 
people ever possessed was to kill. With that ambition 
quenched by the joint French and Australian colonies, they 
resolve into mere nonentities. Evidently all their craft 
went to the one passion; and their general lack of clever 
house-building or mat-weaving, or ornament-devising, would 
bear this out. Mr. Watt pointed to a coarse mat on his 
floor: "I taught a Futuna woman how to make it," he 
said, "and the Futuna woman was largely Polynesian/' 
Simple, suspicious, blood-mad people they were. Robbed of 
their natural quarry, they are rapidly decreasing. Mr 
Frank Stanton, a younger trader with Mr. Wyllie, told us 
to-day that right before you, in apparently ordinary con- 
versation, they can plot to take your life, using sentiments 
already agreed upon, about common things. This came out 
after a little incident that happened at the store. I was 
imitating cat-calls to mystify the fox terrier, and a small 
Tanese boy in a group outside elected to think I was mak- 
ing fun of him and his companions. You should have seen 
the black looks of the murderous mites ! Many a white head 
has been lost for less offence. 

. . . The bay is the tender milky green of absinthe with 
little vagrant flaws of wind ruffling the wavelets with spar- 
kling white. A softly flooding tide rocks my boat of 
dreams, and the air is full of intangible lights and subtle 
rainbow tints as sunset begins its painting of land and 
sea. It is good to be alive, on the highway of the sea, with 
its crowding waves upon the backs of waves ; and it is good 
to be snugly cradled at anchor inside the silver-rimmed 


Port Resolution, Saturday, June 13, 1908. 

Late afternoon, and I am dangling my feet in the water 
over the side of a skiff, to rest them after the unwonted 
heating and blistering they have had tramping to the vol- 
cano, six miles away. 

This morning we were roused early by natives dynamiting 
fish near by in canoes. Immediately following the blast, 
men dive overboard and bring up the stunned fish, while 
others spear the fish from the boat as they float up. 

While we were packing lunch for our trek into the 
"bush," the missionary came out with drinking cocoanuts, 
lemons, and two wild ducks, which made Jack very desir- 
ous for supper time. Mr. Watt was accompanied by two 
Aniwa housemaids, who wanted to see the Snark. 

One of our two thin-flanked Tanese guides was a " re- 
turned Queenslander " a native sent back from the plan- 
tations when Australia ''went white." He could not be 
convinced that the SnarJc is not recruiting plantation 

Each new wonder island I have thought the last word in 
beauty; but to-day's impressions eclipsed all others. We 
plunged into an abrupt wilderness of trees and hanging, 
creeping, trailing, veiling things so green, so spectacular that 
I was soon tired of exclaiming, and moved in a trance. 
There is almost as much child-time romance and glamour 
to me in a banyan as in a volcano or an atoll. And to- 
day I tangled in the incredible downward tentacles of in- 
numerable real, true banyans that covered broad spaces of 
the rich earth. Along the way grew little odourless white 
violet-things, and a running vine with a violet leaf and red 
berries, and there was a hardy vine with a morning-glory 
sort of blossom, pink-purple and white. It lies on the 
ground, clinging, and wickedly trips a tired foot. Another 
vine we called a "live wire," for it stings to sudden cau- 

We pushed aside giant brakes, and made our way under 

Houseboys at PenndufTryn 

A Dream of the Southern Seas 


the finest tree-ferns we have ever seen, even in Jamaica 
and one heavier and darker green variety here has a tall 
trunk spotted leopard-like, the spots being round indenta- 
tions at close range, and the fronds look as if stamped from 
deep-napped green plush. These are so abundant in places 
that, as Jack remarked, "One can't see tree ferns for tree 
ferns." There is a fine cane growing here, too, something 
like the Marquesan, and it flowers and feathers out like pam- 
pas ; and one species of palm showed bright and hard in the 
soft general green, with big fronds apparently clipped 
squarely off short of their legitimate points. Strange para- 
sitic, clambering, choking things veiled the forms of the for- 
est, and one of them fairly furred the limbs of the large 

The eerie stillness of the jungle was shattered now and 
again by explosive grunts of startled pigs, which, although 
nominally wild, are the known property of various natives. 
In fact, the whole jungle is a wild-pig run, the ground every- 
where, under the larger trees, thoroughly snout-ploughed. 
Trudging over the black-rooted, bountiful earth, we were 
aware of the slow flight of flying-foxes overhead, softly, 
heavily flapping their velvet wings. And at irregular in- 
tervals would come the growl and rumble and shock of vol- 
canic explosions. 

A big father of banyans marked where we should strike 
up hill to the right, and shortly we were in an altogether 
different environment volcanic sandy lands of coarse 
grass, interspersed with hot steam-geyser sections where we 
walked on a crunching crust. Once I broke through to a 
boot-top in natural red paint red-hot, too, it seemed to me 
and simultaneously burst a deafening reverberation from 
the crater as if I had pressed a button. I wasted no time 
getting that boot off. Coming home, Jack stepped into a 
nasty red-paint hole and the steam rushed forth so hot and 
strong that my helping hand was scalded. The guide pointed 
out a spot where a white man had heart-failure. I couldn't 
blame him, if his heart was weak, for I was unable to control 


the sting of nervous fright from heart to finger-tips, every 
time the monster let loose that awful roar. 

Off to the side we glimpsed pretty sandy sinks, and little 
round fairyland valleys where the trees were ferns, and 
threw lovely lacy shadows. The first views of the volcano, 
from some trick of atmosphere, were very unreal, and 
seemed an endless distance away. From the crater rose a 
milky-opalescent quiver of smoke, swirled by pearly puffs 
from some special impulse at the depths. There was some- 
thing uncanny about our progress. We traversed a little 
plain of iron-coloured sand, wind-rippled, bounded ahead 
by a rose-bed bank where mocking voices repeated our 
every word, word for word, but changing the inflections 
spiritless, bodiless, the like of which we had never heard be- 
fore nor shall ever hear again. 

I did not know our guide "boy" was plum-coloured, un- 
til I got him into surroundings of plummy-brownish old 
lava. Flesh, scant raiment, and lava-lava, all were plum 
even his eyes plum-purple. Once, returning, he went ahead 
down a narrow gulch defile where all the ferns were dead 
and red-brown and touched to Etruscan gold by the late 
sun, and the half-wild creature was likewise gilded. 

We did not feel the altitude it is less than a thousand 
feet to the top of the crater, which is nearly two miles 
around by now. Panting up the creaky final steep of 
coarse sand, to the crusty edge, Jack and I speculated as 
to just exactly what our judgment would be to do if the 
earth should suddenly shake and crumble in a real eruption, 
as it has done before and might do again. Jack said, "I'd 
grab your hand and hike down the slope as fast as God'd 
let me!" We had but just gained the ragged summit and 
made ready to peer into the maw as the smoke should clear, 
when there was the most infernal crash and burst and shake 
of ground. Without a thought but escape, we just exactly 
"grabbed" hands and went down that fearful, reverberat- 
ing, grinding incline on our flying heels for a dozen leaps or 
so, until we suddenly realised what a scream our involun- 


tary action was. We halted, looked at each other, and 
began to laugh. And we laughed and laughed until we 
cried, and sat down to laugh, and rolled with laughter, and 
laughed all the way up again. Partially we were com- 
forted by the fact that our two brown companions had fled 
faster and farther than we, and they have been here count- 
less times. One of them, indeed, refused to come back ; but 
the other, with a long feather in his wind-tossed, scraggly 
wool, looked no end picturesque on the sharp edge, with the 
far wall of the crater, smoky-dim, for a background. 

This time we were not to be driven away by any pyro- 
technics of old Yasowa, and waited hand in hand at the 
brink for the void of smoke to dissipate. And then, we 
gazed down unspeakable depths and glimpsed a ragged red 
ridge losing itself in the lower abyss of fumes and smoke. 
Dore would have revelled in it. Following around the crisp 
and crackling edge where the sand fell away from the hard, 
old lava, we began to realise with grim interest that our 
foothold was the uncertain roof of the main vent of the vol- 
cano, which curved down and back underneath. We could 
make out two holes, with a saddle-ridge between us and the 
smaller hole on .the opposite side of the crater. Now one 
would explode, now the other, and rocks would fly up 
swiftly, growing larger and larger to our vision, then sink 
apparently slowly, softly, or run down declivities where 
they had been shot. White smoke and steam would fill 
the great hot well, and we would sit and wait for it to 
clear. The only way to describe the sound is to suggest a 
titanic grumbling, gnashing being trying to free itself from 
pent chambers of earth; or, less fancifully cannon of all 
sizes and sounds, accompanied by musketry; then add to 
both fancies a violent thunder-storm breaking over the deaf- 
ening clatter of a busy day in a boiler factory. 

Our lunch was eaten sitting with backs to the crater, and 
we never lost the rhythm of mastication when the dogs let 
loose in the kennels underground. From here we could see 
the green world of island stretching out across blue-shadowy 


valleys to Mirren and the other high peaks. Tana is only 
seventeen miles long by seven in width, so we gained a 
comprehensive impression, with the blue-flushed horizon 
ringing us three quarters around. 

I was a footsore sailor as we followed down the mountain 
behind our savage guide with his triumphant cock-feather 
atop, and his swinging, slashing bush-knife clearing short 
cuts through dense growths. 

The Watts bade us in for tea ; and now I am going to climb 
aboard and ask my gentle friend Tehei to lomi-lomi these 
broken ankles; for to-morrow is another tramp, to a native 
village in the mountains. Jack's feet are tired also; but he 
is not making so much fuss about it. 

Sunday, June 14, 1908. 

We are tired again to-night, and Martin also, for we 
walked and climbed a twelve miles round trip to the bush 
village. The latter, in addition to scratches, is fuming be- 
cause the Reverend Watt quietly but firmly declined to lend 
his dark-room on the Sabbath, because of the deleterious 
effect it would exercise upon his congregation. Martin, 
muttering that he never heard of a native who wanted to 
work on any day of the week, no matter what the example, 
went to developing the day's films in the hot Snark bath- 
room; result, mostly failures. We are all heartbroken, for 
the pictures we took of the queer hairy human animals in 
the bush would have been invaluable to us. Martin will 
never forgive the missionary. 

Jack started the day with a hair-cut, Henry at the helm 
I mean the scissors. I put tapes around my lame ankles, 
and laced my walking boots tighter than yesterday. Said 
boots, a sailor shirt, broad hat, khaki riding breeks, and a 
22 automatic rifle for sport, made up my equipment. Mar- 
tin remarked with a smiling eye that Mrs. London looked 
"very pantesque this morning." Which rather personal 
observation may be indulgently allowed, for Martin has ever 


been the soul of impersonal comradeship and delicacy 
toward me. Indeed, the tacit taking of me as "one of the 
boys" has been one of the most charming things about the 
spirit aboard the Snark combined always with the ready 
hand to help and protect "the best man aboard/' as Dutch 
Herrmann would say. I remember, one time when I was 
railing to Jack about the way Captain Warren had thrown 
us down, Jack chided: 

"Yes, I know; but don't forget one thing: he was al- 
ways good to you, not only in his personal treatment, but 
in turning over to you any loot of any sort whether it was 
a mat some one had given him, or a pair of gold-lipped 
pearl shells, or a pearl." 

. . . We got away at nine, this time in care of Mr. Stanton 
a true-blue-eyed, serious mannered, clean young Colonial, 
the type of earnest, self-respectful Englishman, made of 
grit so much so that he can never grow fat. He has suf- 
fered terribly from the malignant, devastating malarial 
fever that all have to reckon with who dally long in Me- 

The country traversed yesterday was quite unpeopled 
so far as we could see. But to-day we passed occasional 
slovenly grass huts, some of them enclosed in pandanus- 
plaited fences the only decent workmanship of any kind 
that we saw. The women were deadly unfeminine nearly 
resembling the men in face and voice, ageless, sexless, dirty ; 
and they and their men displayed an ungracious inhospi- 
tality that made us think vividly and lovingly of the Soci- 
eties and the Samoas. In spite of the scant differentiation 
between the sexes, these men are notoriously jealous of their 
females, and special scrutiny of the latter on our part was 
met by ugly scowls. If any savage smiled, for any reason, 
it was momentary, monkeyish, and instantly over. 

Our way led to the left this time, and shortly I was forg- 
ing ahead, for I love to go first along a trail, first in a new 
vista with a sense of breaking my own trail. I fear there is 
little of the burden-bearing, heel-obedient squaw in my 


make-up ! We travelled beautiful ferny trails where we 
had to use both arms to press aside the enormous green 
fronds. But the woods were not so spectacular as on the 
volcano side, and many a time Jack and I could nurse a 
homesick feeling on the familiarity of this scene or that. I 
even discovered five-finger ferns. 

Flying-foxes drifted aloft, and we heard querulous little 
chatterings among parroquets we never glimpsed in the thick 
foliage ; and there were myriads of wee green canaries flitting 
and twittering among the lower leaves, and strange small 
black and white birds with snubby heads. 

The chief articles of export of the New Hebrides are 
copra, small shipments of coffee, bananas, maize, sago, and, 
in latter days, diminishing quantities of whale oil, sandal- 
wood, and beche de mer. Traces of gold, nickel and cop- 
per have been found, and Martin spied something that he 
declared was coal. We saw copra drying on patches of 
volcanic rocky ground hot in the sun. 

When we sat to rest in the shade, Jack and Mr. Stanton 
talked about wars, in Korea and South Africa, and 
swapped experiences. 

It is like wandering in Eden, to trip along in the wilder 
parts of this blossoming isle. As we began to ascend moun- 
tain fastnesses to the village, I wondered if Jack's and mine 
were the first boots up the uncanny runway, for Stanton 
went barefoot, and Martin emulated him. This runway 
was a matchless approach to a mountain stronghold, for the 
narrow perpendicular sides were above our heads, and the 
point where we emerged in a high meadow containing the 
village, would spell unavoidable death for every single per- 
son who should show himself, were the natives hostile. Stan- 
ton had assured us of our safety from any tricks, but based 
the assurance upon the fact that he knew the head man, who 
was in debt to him for certain favours, and we were ex- 
pected. Just the same, when we came in sight there was an 
alert movement ahead, of all the figures on the short fine 
grass where they lay about, and subdued exclamations from 


some grimy hovels of grass, mere roofs without walls, off 
to the right where we caught sight of the disappearing 
backs of women. 

I had never seen animal-hairy humans, and the score or 
so of naked men that gathered shiftily and uneasily to meet 
us, were for the most part very fuzzy indeed. It was al- 
most a fine black fur that matted their chests and limbs. 
They were better formed and fuller-fleshed than the salt- 
water natives, and their faces showed more diversity and 
character. It was rather startling to note that some of 
the faces were painted strange countenances reminiscent 
of old civilisations a notable sprinkling of a Phoeni- 
cian type; a decided suggestion of the Hindoo; and one 
bearded old patriarch, despite unspeakable encrustations of 
filth (" Sty-baked' ' Martin put it) was a veritable Moses of 
the old Masters in miniature, to be sure. 

After a protracted pow-wow on Stanton's part with his 
chief-friend and the council, it was granted that we might 
photograph the men but not the women. Any attempt of 
Jack or Martin to take a snap at them where they crept 
among the houses to look at us, was met with undisguised 
scowls and mutterings. I was allowed to approach the low 
plaited fence, but when I trained my pocket kodak, there was 
an instant disturbance behind me among the men. So I 
smiled and nodded submission and kept the lens in the same 
direction, but turned my own side toward the women, 
snapping them while I enthusiastically admired the pros- 
pect up-mountain. 

The women were shyly friendly with me, from over the 
plaited screen, and did a great deal of giggling. The 
chances are they had never seen a white woman, as it 
is very unlikely that they are allowed far from the village, 
and we are told that no white woman has been in the village 
before me. The babies were round and dimpled brown cu- 
pids, their ear-lobes scooped out and filled with hair-pins, 
bone rings, safety pins all sorts of " truck" brought home 
by the foraging fathers; and strings of shells girdled their 


pot-bellied little loins. These people are polygamous, and 
the wives are equally fond of one another's children, even 
in the same plural household. One old lady, fat and black 
and fuzzy, was the picture of a southern mammy. 

But the gathered clan of obscene, hairy men on the grassy 
meadow-slope, their only covering a string or a strap, and 
a wrapping or bandage of astounding phallic advertise- 
ment, was a far wilder sight. They were so uneasy, so shift- 
ing lying down, getting up, moving here and there and 
back again, like a band of monkeys, and never turning their 
backs to us a trick of caution that white men would do 
well to imitate in this corner of the world. We were quite 
aware that our unwilling hosts were armed, too, with spears 
and bows and arrows, and they evidenced their conscious- 
ness of our rifles by undisguised covetousness of them. 

We did not stay long, and I for one breathed easier when 
we were clear of the descending runway and in the open once 
more. We lunched under a banyan, took a good rest, prac- 
tised with our rifles on tiny leaves on top branches of high 
trees, and reached the traders' store in good time to pick 
up Mr. Wyllie for supper aboard the yacht. 

Aboard the Snark, 
Tana to Efate, New Hebrides, 
Monday, June 15, 1908. 

At three this afternoon Martin started the engine, I went to 
the wheel, Henry to his post at masthead, and Jack forward 
to con. We had intended to put in at Wysissi Bay, a few 
miles from Port Resolution, but changed our minds after 
we got outside, and set our course for the port of Vila, on 
Efate, or Sandwich Island. 

This forenoon Martin, Nakata and our two Polynesians 
took the volcano trip, all barefoot. Wada did not go, as he 
has developed a sore on his leg, from a cut he got on the 
cora l like the ones Jack had. They are known as Fiji sores, 
and Solomon Island sores, so the doctor in Suva told us. 


Some one called them yaws, but Stanton says yaws are a 
much worse thing. One's skin is thin and tender after a 
while in the tropics, and the least abrasion, say from scratch- 
ing a mosquito bite, is apt to become infected, most likely by 
flies, whereupon trouble begins, and the difficulty of healing 
is appalling. Jack and I had been so alarmed about his 
sores that we had privately talked about laying up the 
Snark in Fiji and taking steamer to Australia and the doc- 
tors. But Jack is not one to be idle while he waits. He 
read up in our little medical library aboard, found nothing 
like his trouble, closed the books, opened the glass doors of 
the medicine chest, and selected the most violent enemy he 
could locate with which to fight these malignant and active 
ulcers. "Corrosive sublimate " sounded more fiery and radi- 
cal than anything else, and he started dosing the five sores on 
his instep and ankles (where he had scratched Samoan mos- 
quito bites) with wet dressings of a solution of corrosive sub- 
limate, occasionally alternating with peroxide of hydrogen. 
Four of the ulcers were entirely well by the time we reached 
Fiji, and the last is almost closed up all of them thoroughly 
healed from the inside out. 

There are myriads of flies in Tana, and many of the na- 
tives who came aboard had ulcers, so it is probable Wada 
got his infection by these means. Jack has warned him, 
and Martin and the others, to use antiseptics on the fresh 
abrasions they got on the volcano trip, but they do not seem 
impressed. I am not afraid, for I practically never * ' catch ' ' 

... I was up early this morning, in time to see the sun 
gild the tops of the green, green hills, and light up the 
heliotrope of the bay. Mt. Yasowa boomed dully, and na- 
tives were dynamiting fish. Henry and Tehei went out to 
get some for our breakfast, and came back grinning from 
ear to ear, with small mackerel, and a long fish with a red- 
tipped sword on its nose. A bevy of low-chattering, watch- 
ful naked cannibals paddled out aboard, and one of them, 
who seemed a wag among them, a canny-uncanny wizened 


ape, insisted that he had seen Jack before, to our gales of 

Everybody came to see us off, and brought basketfuls of 
fruit and vegetables ; but so far as the kindly Reverend Watt 
was concerned, Martin remained unforgiving of his ruined 

We ran the engine for three hours, then set sail; but it 
soon fell calm, and we are now drifting, with plenty of lee- 
way. We are all very alert, for it is no joke to be wrecked 

Yasowa flared into the sky as dark came on, and then a 
big bright moon rose, so we have ample light for our night 

Tuesday, June 16, 1908. 

At six I was on deck, and our patent log told of thirty- 
six miles to the good since we stopped the engine yesterday. 
We lay west of Erromanga, called Martyr Isle, from the 
many missionaries horribly butchered by the cannibals, and 
were drifting on a flat, grey sea, with no wind. Behind 
the long black island, grisly mysterious in the half-light, 
the fires of the sun were kindling, lifting, flaring, fading, 
burning again, then changing into an unendurable splen- 
dour of blue and gold, in lateral bands, the massy clouds 
above shimmering gold and palest green, with palpitating 
purple shadows. Then followed broad fanrays of intoler- 
able gold. To the southeast, Tana was shrouded in a blue 
opal mist, throbbing with liquid rainbow colours. The 
whole universe palpitated in an excess of passionate colour. 

A little wind sprang up abaft, and we rippled ahead over a 
beautiful sea while the world resumed a normal appearance. 
Jack and I boxed in our bathing suits, treated each other to 
a salt pailing, feasted on hotcakes and Papeete honey, and 
put in a good day's work. About four the sea began to 
make, and we partook of Wada's wild duck and plum-duff 
dinner on a rolling boat. 


At sea, New Hebrides to Solomon Islands, 

Friday, June 26, 1908. 

This is the day we should have sighted San Christoval 
Island in the Solomons, but the weather has been so beastly, 
with such dense cloud and mist where land ought to be, that 
we have had to be very cautious lest we run into some un- 
seen peril of rock or reef. We have lain off and on all 
night, and heaved to at daylight to watch for a rift in the 
tiresome smoky cloud to show us the land. It must be near, 
for to-day a butterfly tangled in our rigging, and we have 
seen a number of white land-birds. 

Kemembering the Snark's refusal to heave to on that 
memorable night out from San Francisco, and in spite of 
better luck on a later occasion, we were a trifle apprehensive. 
This morning when I awoke and realised that the men were 
inducing this mano3uvre, I called up to Jack: 

" Won't she?" 

Came his puzzling response: 

"Isn't she?" 

I repeated: 

"Mate won't she heave to?" 

"Isn't she hove to, Mate?" he returned, and I scrambled 
on deck to find the little old tub safely and successfully 
hove to in a misty-moisty world of wet, and Jack grinning 
with achievement. 

While all eyes are straining for the four-thousand- 
foot outlines of San Christoval, for a landmark, the course 
we want to make is between two small islands near the 
southwestern end of San Christoval Santa Catalina and 
Santa Anna, four miles apart. Jack has decided to run in 
to Port Mary on Santa Anna, the western of the two, as 
the old sailing directions state there were a trader and a 
missionary there. We do not know what may have hap- 
pened since, but are going to take chances. Nakata is clean- 
ing the "arsenal," just to have it in efficient order. Mate 
is ill, and I can see he is anxious to prove his navigation cor- 


rect, for this is not a reassuring place in which to go wrong. 
He had little rest last night, for thunder squalls were almost 
incessant, from ten o'clock on. The thunder was sometimes 
like a steady drumming, or the thrumming of gongs, and 
the lightning burst the bonds of the dark with brazen con- 
tempt for everything human or made by human hands. 
The forked and streaked thunder-bolts rove high heaven 
and shot crashing into the sea. Oh one presses close to 
the nakedness and smallness of life at such times. Hour 
after hour the noise and illumination continued, and I caught 
myself in forbidden self-pity of nerve-weariness and eye- 
weariness. I had tried the cockpit floor, along with Jack, 
in our oilskins; then I fled to the dry white privacy of my 
stateroom, and pitied him wet and sick outside. I tried to 
sleep, but the lightning had crept inside my head, behind my 
eyes, into my very soul. 

... At Vila, I was too occupied trotting about to write, 
and have been working hard these seven days at sea since 
leaving Vila. We arrived there on Wednesday, June 17, 
in a fine rain so dense that Jack made port by judgment 
rather than sight. It was squally, with a rushing, foaming, 
following sea. The engine chugged away sturdily, for a 
change; I steered, and Jack peered ahead for breakers. 
The mists parted and dispersed only as we slipped into the 
green land-locked harbour, and we bit into good anchorage in 
thirteen fathoms, to discover ourselves with plenty of com- 
pany n i n e or ten small vessels, five of them ketches, the 
others sloops and schooners, scattered the mile and a half 
breadth of the bay. And, of all things, Jack's friend Cap- 
tain Lewes and the Cambrian had just steamed out. 

I noticed that the French Residence and a French 
schooner flew their flags at half mast, and I pulled ours 
part-way down. The grewsome result was that the French 
captain of police, Paul Mattei, put immediately out, expect- 
ing to find some one dead aboard! It turned out that the 
captain of the French schooner had lately died. 

Natives flocked aboard, a less scrubby lot than the Tanese, 


but not much to boast of. These Efate islanders are among 
the better sort, possessing a slight strain of Polynesian. We 
traded tobacco sticks and bead necklaces and things for 
rather fine- woven basket-bags, and a fluffy dancing skirt of 
shredded fibre dyed a plummy wine-colour. 

We called upon the Acting English Resident, Mr. 
Jacomb, an Oxford man, and upon the French Resident, 
Charles Noufflard. They returned our calls next day, also 
Captain Harrowell, English chief of the native constabulary, 
and we were entertained by them ashore. Captain Har- 
rowell seized Jack's hand in both his and cried: "And 
this is Jack London ! Why, he 's a household word in Eng- 
land ! ' ' We dined with him and Mr. Jacomb, all in faultless 
evening dress, with noiseless Chinese servants, and a white 
silk punkah waving overhead. 

M. Noufflard had us to lunch all charming apology be- 
cause he had just arrived and his household was not yet 
running smoothly. However, he had enough of his Parisian 
treasures unpacked to set a beautiful table, which was served 
by a shy native house-boy trained by Noufflard 's predeces- 
sor. At both of these meals ashore we were honoured with 
cocoanut-palm salad made from the very tip-top of the 
tree, which loses its life thereby. " Funeral salad," Martin 
cheerily dubs it. 

The English cruiser Prometheus arrived on the 18th, and 
by her courtesy we had her blacksmiths aboard to do some 
repairing, a broken spinnaker boom, and other items. And 
Jack and I went over with our chronometer to rate it. 

The British Colonial officials are strict, and our yacht 
license availed us nothing ; we were obliged to clear, like any 
merchant vessel. We did so, and got away on June 20, 
sliding out under full canvas, dipping our flag to the 
cruiser, which dipped and cheered in return. 

That night there was a red glow in the eastern sky, prob- 
ably Ambrym volcano. Next day we could see two beau- 
tiful smoking cones rising out of the horizon the most 
wonderful experience. One was Ambrym, the other Aoba, 


or Leper Island, 4000 feet high. Big Mallicolo, on our port 
side, tempted us repeatedly to put into its fascinating green 
baylets; but we were anxious to get ahead to the Solomons, 
where we might find a doctor. 

Jack has gleaned enough from our medical shelf to feel 
confident in diagnosing his trouble as fistula caused by he 
knows not what, unless it be some infinitesimal fishbone. 
He has a new crop of sores, too and ample company, for 
Martin, Wada, and Nakata, who disregarded all advice about 
corrosive sublimate, are all now nursing bad ulcers Nakata, 
especially, has our sympathy, for a large space on his calf, 
which he inadvertently burned with a hot iron, has become 
infected. Jack has his sores well in hand; but the others 
are praying for stronger and stronger cures, even corrosive 
sublimate being too slow for them. Wada talks in his sleep, 
and dreams of happy days in Papeete with his native sweet- 

But Henry and Tehei are gloriously healthy. Tehei has 
been catching fish big rainbow-bubbles of bonitas and his 
yells of joy as he lands them blobbing on the deck, are a 
tonic to all on board. Jack says it's worth a hundred dol- 
lars to hear Tehei catch a bonita. 

We sighted one of the Banks Group on the 23d. They 
were discovered by Captain Bligh, in an open boat on May 
14, 1879, during his remarkable voyage from Tofoa to 
Timor, after the mutiny of the Bounty. They did not dare 
land and expose themselves to the atrocities of the cannibal 
natives, preferring the perils of the open boat. 

Jack finished an article, which he calls The Amateur Navi- 
gator, and is now at work on a Hawaiian short story. He is 
certainly doing all a mortal man could accomplish. 

One evening we were playing cards in the cabin, when 
Jack, who was facing the open door into my room, exclaimed 
in a tone almost of awe: 

" Great God!" 

I went cold, and followed his bulging gaze, expecting to 
see nothing less than half the warm South Sea pouring in. 


What I did see was hardly more reassuring an enormous 
centipede, fully six inches, making unerringly up the bunk- 
side for my pillow. Martin nailed it with Jack's big office 
shears, and was so calm about it that I asked him why. 
"Oh," he said, "I don't mind them. In Tahiti, the first 
day I got up, after six weeks in hospital, I sat on one. It 
didn't hurt much." 

Our course from Efate had been nearly north; but pass- 
ing between the Banks Group to starboard, and big 5000- 
foot Espiritu Santo to port, we quit the New Hebrides and 
set the course northwest for the Solomons. We were con- 
tent to be well away from Santo, as it is treacherously reefy, 
and the natives bear an especially unsavoury reputation, 
being the very aristocracy and autocracy of the New Hebri- 
deans, athletic, strong, cruel, and well supplied with of- 
fensive weapons. 

Oh, it is a wild part of the world, this wild peoples, wild 
weather, and a wild boisterous sea at times. On the 24th 
we white ones all fell ill with violent headaches, as if we had 
been poisoned. Not the least of our comforts were Tehei's 
ministrations with his gentle hands, in hours of lomi-lomi 
his tauromi. To our repeated mauruuruu's he would nod 
and bob and smile with the most benevolent manner. 

It all wore off next day, but we felt weak and "rocky/' 
according to Martin. 

In addition to the myriad other things he is handling, 
Jack has a navigation class of two, Martin and Henry. I 
am glad of this, for we would be in parlous pickle if Jack 
were, say, too ill to navigate. While this is going on, I work 
with Nakata and Tehei at their English. Nakata is nothing 
short of brilliant, and has already gone far past Wada in 
our speech; but Tehei is despairingly an infant, and can 
hold nothing in his head over night. 


Aboard the Snark, Port Mary (Upuna), 
Island of Santa Anna (Owa Raha), 
Sunday, June 28, 1908. 

Curious Sabbaths these, at the ends of the earth. A week 
ago we were in the bush village on Tana, and now, here we 
are at last in our first port in the Solomon Group, inhabited 
by the most bloodthirsty and treacherous of any known 
savages head-hunters who prowl for prey by night, on land 
and sea, rarely attacking unless their victims are at their 
mercy without risk to themselves. And this is going on 
to-day indeed, on the next small island to the northwest, 
Ugi, where we are bound, the trader before the present 
one was surprised and murdered by a canoe-raid from the 
big bad island of Malaita the worst in the world. 

We are anchored in eighteen fathoms, with 250 feet of 
chain. In fact, the good old hook is in a hole in the sandy 
bottom ; and we are about four cable-lengths from the beach 
village. The bay is on the west side of the little island, 
which rises 500 feet and is beautifully wooded. 

Yesterday we were a tired and yawning lot of Snarkites, 
after another shouting night of thunder. The sky was ter- 
rific, brilliant intermittent flashes opening up deep heavens 
of illuminated cloudlands, followed by fierce hells of light- 
ning-bolts and pitchy dark. We lay off and on again that 
night of the 26th, and yesterday was calm and lovely as a 
day in the Doldrums, the ocean like a billowing breadth of 
woven blue fabric, so fine were the rippling wrinkles, strewn 
with tiny violet Portuguese men-o'-war. All day we could 
see San Christoval ; but our ' ' tempery ' ' engine saw fit to go 
on strike, and there was no wind. We worked as usual, and 
Jack was much gratified to find in his books a diagram of a 
different application of the Sumner Method, which he had 
already reasoned out independently for himself the previous 

At sunset Santa Anna pricked out of the horizon " Ex- 
actly where I wanted it," Jack affirmed. There was noth- 
ing to do but heave to again for the night, the isle of our de- 


sire melting in copper mist. Over the mainland San 
Christoval there were gigantic piles of smoky cloud, letting 
forth great bursts of sunset flame reminding one of mighty 
sacrificial fires of the gods of the Solomons at cannibal rites. 
Out of the gorgeous chaos of colour and fire, there upthrust 
a lofty cloud-pillar like grey marble, that slowly blossomed 
out two broad wings of gold from its head. Never was 
anything like it in the kaleidoscope of the sky. And off to 
the east a false beautiful sunset flaunted fanrays of vivid 
azure against a background of palest rose-tourmaline that 
burned to ashy crimson. Higher up grew fairy mountain 
ranges of pure gold and ruby, with delicate straight cloud- 
lines drawn across. Tradewind clouds puffed up like pink 
roses out of the soft purple and rose sea, and to the south a 
city of dreams glinted on the horizon. Close at hand myr- 
iads of fish leaped in the coloured flood, and subsided only 
when the brilliancy went out of the world. Then San 
Christoval bulked ominously in its cowl of cloud, and we 
could not but imagine the benighted bush-heathen in their 
mountain lairs, killing and eating, hating and loving with 
scant love fattening their little women and children for 
the feasting. There are some much-hackneyed lines in 
"Greenland's Icy Mountains" that come unbidden in the 
face of the facts of life in Melanesia. 

When morning broke, this Sunday morning, we found we 
had drifted slightly but made no headway. It is vast com- 
fort to find our sinned-against Snark doing the normally-ex- 
pected, and not the "inconceivable and monstrous !" 

Martin started the propeller at 6:30, and Jack set our 
course for Santa Anna, or where it should be, for only 
squalls could be seen in that direction. We "steamed" for 
seven hours, without a dissent from the engine, at first on 
a calm sea, and later with a brisk trade wind in addition. 
1 i Just see us kite ! ' y Martin panted from out of his diminu- 
tive hatch. The sparkling water was littered with flotsam 
seaweed, fruit, banyan-leaves, twigs, grasses, cocoanut 


We were puzzled by what appeared to be a long yellow 
shoal ahead, and I confess to a little prickle of nerves when 
our bow cut into the discoloured water merely a calm 
streak yellowed by a peculiar light effect from the sky. Over 
the long glassy swell of it we fared, flying-fish darting about, 
every one alert, and Henry and Tehei dropping vowelly ex- 
clamations, their eyes sparkling. One or the other was aloft 
all the time. Jack was tense and keyed-up, and I could 
see he was suffering physically ; but he was living high, just 
the same, and his eyes were blue and snapping. 

As we neared the channel between the two small islands, 
we noticed lines of black dots on the long low points reach- 
ing out from either island. Through the binoculars it 
was with a real, scary thrill I made sure that the ones on 
the port bow were moving back and forth restlessly. Soon 
the glasses showed them to be unmistakable human beings 
black, naked, gesticulating, and increasing in numbers. 
The dots on the Santa Anna point of reef proved to be 
merely rocks. I can assure you that every man of us in- 
cluding myself knew exactly where his gun lay. There 
is nothing too bad that the books can say about the Solomon 
Islanders, and from Samoa on, the word of mouth confirma- 
tions have been a-plenty, so we were wide-awake and cautious. 

No canoes put out, however, and we sailed on, I at the 
wheel, rounding the reef of Santa Anna and, finally, in a 
sudden, whipping rain-squall, passing through the narrow 
entrance. I'll never forget the picture, while I stole glances 
from the compass by which I was steering my very best, 
guided by Jack's hand-waved directions and frequent shout, 
over the noise of the engine: "Steady!" Across the 
jagged jumble of outer reef along which we slid looking for 
the passage, with a background of palms and lofty thatched 
roofs and a wooded hillside, rose stately the most beautiful 
canoes, more beautiful than Venetian gondolas elegant of 
body, with high graceful ends, carved, painted, outlined 
with white cowrie shells, and manned by woolly-headed, 
gleaming-bodied, excited blacks. It was all so savagely 


beautiful, so unreal so much stage-scenery faultlessly exe- 
cuted and acted. And we were hardly at anchor, directed 
to our present holding-place by a native who spoke a queer 
sort of English, than we could see a bevy of similar canoes 
approaching from Santa Catalina. It would seem that few 
vessels enter the Archipelago from the eastern end. 

The islander who piloted us to our anchorage, gave his 

"I Peter. I Christian. " 

But he looks it not. And it turns out that, being the 
worst of the boiling at Port Mary, and even now awaiting 
judgment from the Commissioner for threatening the man- 
ager of the Company (for whom he gathers copra) with a 
spear, he was the only one who mentioned his claim to re- 
ligion, or took the trouble to be decent to us. He does not 
know why we are here, or who we are perhaps to watch 
him, for all he can tell. Very ingratiating he is, very non- 
chalant and careless, in an elegant sort of way, and, as he 
is likely to be useful in finding curios for us, we meet him 
half-way. He has the most remarkable eyes, brilliant, 
shallow, wicked, with a soulless glitter of utter conscience- 

Peter explained, in what is called beche de mer English, 
that there was only one white man here, Tom Butler, whose 
shack we could see ashore, and that Tom Butler was away 
getting copra on the other side of the island, and would be 
back to-morrow. But Tom got wind of us and returned to- 
day, rowed by two black "boys," in a whaleboat. He is as 
near a dead man as a live man can be a ghastly object. He 
wabbled aboard almost helpless, a dead hand bumping 
against the gangway ropes some tropic ailment having 
robbed it of all sensation and power. 

" Lucky it's not your right hand," Jack sympathised. 

"But I'm left-handed," Butler quavered with a sickly 
smile on his bloodless face. He resembles a white-faced, 
snub-nosed, freckled Irish school-urchin, and his one ob- 
session is his friend the trader at Ugi "Jack at Ugi." All 


the sense he seems to have he expends in being kind to us 
with what is left of his Irish good-heartedness. After one 
becomes used to his graveyard personality and the wandering 
bluish gaze that slowly focuses as he gathers his faculties to 
answer a question, he does not bother one 's sympathies much, 
because what there is of him is perfectly self-satisfied. But 
conversation boils down to something like this: 

1 ' How 's copra here ? much of it ? " 

An eye-focusing pause. 

"Oh, plenty; but Jack at Ugi got out a hundred tons last 
Christmas. ' ' 


"So you have no missionaries here any more?" 

"No no but there's lots of 'em down at Jack's at Ugi." 

"Pretty snug little harbour this," Jack remarks. 

"Sure yes but there's a better one down at Jack's at 

Christmas is the one event of the year to Butler. He 
spends it with Jack at Ugi. He looks forward to it, and 
back upon it. Indeed, he practically never opens his mouth 
without working in some reference to Jack at Ugi. 

We went ashore with Tom Butler in the whaleboat to his 
shack a ragged wooden cottage with thatched roof. He was 
too weak to open his double-padlocked door, so I did it for 
him, and then poked about the premises seeing what I could 
see, while Jack, very much under the weather, lolled supine 
in a rotting canvas chair on the rickety porch. Then there 
dropped in the queerest bunch of callers I ever had stark 
naked women and girls, with close-cropped woolly heads and 
horrid blackened teeth. The young women had rather pretty 
figures, except for a peculiar horizontal elongation of their 
breasts; but any facial beauty they might have is sadly 
marred by their unlovely cropped heads, which make them 
resemble microcephalous idiots. One Neapolitan-looking girl 
from the other side of the island, must have been a sport, 
or had some Polynesian (she did not look like a half-caste), 
for she had fine, wavy brown hair several inches long stand- 


ing out all over her head, softly. The men allow their own 
hair to attain a sizable fuzz. Did I say the females were 
stark naked? The maidens usually wear a single strand of 
twine or cocoanut fibre around the waist, the matrons be- 
ing distinguished by the addition of a single string de- 
pendent in front. Very much overdressed wives attach to 
their waist-string a grassy fringe fore and aft, about six 
inches square. I tried to bargain for one of these ' ' dresses, ' ' 
but the woman shot a terrified glance at her man as she 
vehemently shook her head at me. Tom Butler explained 
that it would be a mortal offence for her to part with her 

Three slim virgins volunteered a dance, to the music (?) of 
a jew's-harp at the mouth of one a slow-stepping hula in 
which the dancers incline backward from head to knee, the 
lower-leg and feet angling to keep the curious balance. This 
performance took place surreptitiously in the cottage, as it 
seems the males do not approve of strange white men wit- 
nessing it. 

I have always idolised the human form filled my house 
with copies of Greek statuary, collected pictures of nudes, 
and revelled in the beauty of the cinctured native peoples 
we have seen on this voyage; but I must confess that there 
is a startle when one first sees women going about entirely 
naked. I shall become used to it in no time, I suppose; 
but the initial impression is a bit of a shock. The men 
here all wear a loin-cloth, no matter how short it may be 
of its purpose. 

These people are as different as can be from the monkey- 
ish travesties of human beings on Tana. They are well- 
sized, and well-formed, muscular, graceful. Their shoul- 
ders are peculiar, however massive enough, but lacking the 
squareness we admire. They round down upon the arms in- 
stead of outjutting. 

And oh, the ornaments! We have become more or less 
inured to the lovely practice of civilised women piercing 
their ears; but here, when you see the lobe-hole stretched 


until it accommodates a wooden disk eight inches in cir- 
cumference, it makes you think. 

. . . We have returned to the yacht laden with yams, 
cocoanuts and papaias. The bay is beautiful never did I 
see water so brilliantly, luminously turquoise with a daz- 
zling band of white beach that is not white but cream, not 
cream but pink, a rim of sparkling foam at the water's 
edge breaking against the ornate canoes hauled up, and 
lovely emerald arboreal foliage behind, palms, papaias, hau 
trees, and luxuriant thicket, broken here and there by the 
sombre, uncanny roofs of the canoe houses where dead 
chiefs are hung to dry. 

Monday, June 29, 1908. 

We had to keep anchor watches all last night, for it was 
squally, and the bottom is rather skaty. In case of drag- 
ging, we hoped the anchor would hold against the sides of 
that hole it is in. 

Also, it is well to keep watches here on general principle. 
While the natives of this outlying island are fairly well 
disposed, Tom Butler says that raids from Malaita are al- 
ways imminent, under cover of darkness and squalls, and 
nothing is more to the taste of the Malaitan head-hunters 
than to "cut out" a schooner laden with tobacco and other 

It has been drizzling stickily all day, and we have stayed 
aboard rocking gently to our long cable. But don't think 
that we have been idle. The word went forth that we would 
trade stick-tobacco for curios; and in no time it was easy 
to forecast that the oldest treasures of the village would 
soon go up in tobacco smoke, for although no women came 
out, their choicest ornaments did evidently seized upon 
by the men-folk and brought for barter. 

They wanted beads as well as tobacco ; and in short order 
we learned that the changing styles in adornment, of which 
we had been told, is no myth. Just now the fashion calls 


for a medium-sized bead a small-pea size, and the people 
have evinced a most unaccountable to us aversion to 
certain handsome necklaces of graduated turquoise-blue 
beads. They will accept them as a gift they'll accept any- 
thing that way; but if we indicate an exchange, they shrug 
and grin half-insolently. 

All day they have clambered over the side, eager, ava- 
ricious, bringing treasure undreamed in carved nose-rings 
of thick turtle-shell; baskets ("bastiks") ; shell-like flow- 
ers; garters of small white cowries on bands of finest 
cocoanut-sennit ; elongated black cannibal calabashes show- 
ing more than the beginnings of art indeed, the scrolls 
and figures on the ends are almost classic; beautiful giant 
"clam 1 ' shells with fluted lips, the insides like purest white 
marble polished to satin gloss full of delicious meat, raw 
or cooked ; and two actual clam-pearls one large and round, 
one acorn-shaped, the surfaces like porcelain ; bracelets from 
the island of Rubiana, of delicate-tinted, hand-wrought 
shell, finely etched in patterns each bracelet must have 
taken months to make with stone tools; armlets worked out 
of the big white clam shells, that Tom Butler avers it takes 
a black a year to do; and one native, an athletic young 
hunter, brought bush-pigeons, trading them for a delicate 
flowered silkaline kerchief, which he now wears dangling 
from a greasy belt, against a dingy and very dirty lava-lava. 

Jack took a fancy to buy back their beads of other days 
and modes, and we have a heap of rococo things such as 
armlets and broad girdles the large beads wrought into 
fine plaited sennit. One is all green beads, another bright 
blue, another red and black things beautiful enough to 
scheme a gown on. 

Many a curio we bought right off its wearer, this lending 
an added value in our eyes. I can see some early antisepticis- 
ing of the articles such as one irresistible bead garter that 
was untied from a sore leg! Tehei is even now washing 
our dozens of Rubiana bracelets and the turtle shell nose- 


These people are "Black Papuan," but not as black as 
the New Guinea Papuan, so say the books. And in their 
dark-skinned visages one sees as it were all the features and 
combinations of all the varied white races of Europe, as 
well as the Orient. A fattish old soul, contemplatively puff- 
ing away at a clay pipe, was the perfection of a stolid blear- 
eyed German, but for his colour. Another, for all the 
world a comical little Irishman, tried to palm off a very 
rotten calabash, and joined in the insane, brief cackle of 
merriment that went up from his fellows when we threw it 
aside. Still another was a typical Mexican all he needed 
was a sombrero. One boy was the image of any city rowdy, 
on whom we kept a wary eye; but the more we saw of 
him the better we liked him; he was merely a good 
1 'mixer." 

There was a pretty, impudent American-faced chap, of the 
weak and conceited sort that can get very nasty on occasion ; 
and there was every sort of Jew on earth. One Moorish 
old chief, too dignified to barter directly, went home and 
sent his ornaments by some one else. We even found strong 
resemblances to numbers of our American friends ! A thin, 
yellow-brown variation, with a few grey bristles on his lip, 
was the vegetable Chinaman of my childhood. 

Peter was much in evidence, excessively dandified, and on 
easy terms with us. We found another Tomi than Taiohae 
Tomi a good-looking, intelligent fellow, high with the chief, 
to whom we made presents, and who is also, with Peter, 
drumming up curios for us. Our private opinion is that 
they are a proper pair of villains, although too wise to get 
into any trouble with so well-armed and mysterious a craft 
as ours. 

And then there's the Devil. His diabolical face and 
body seem at variance with an unusually mild and harm- 
less disposition. Martin was just pouring an avalanche of 
stick-tobacco alongside Jack sitting on the deck-cot, when 
the Devil, in a canoe, squinted his basilisk eyes over the 
teak rail. * * My God ! ' ' said Martin, and froze to the vision. 


Jack looked at the thing and said: "I wouldn't call him 
that, Martin!" 

It came over the rail, and sat down upon it. It wore a 
soft, old felt hat, that drooped limply around the face. 
The eyes are what I call half -moon eyes the iris high on 
the ball, and partly covered by the upper lid. The thing is 
horribly near-sighted and squints its face into the most 
infernal expressions. On the top of the end of its nose 
is a tiny carved sliver of bone, set in a hole long-healed 
for the purpose, the sliver curving up like a diminutive 
rhinoceros horn, the sight of which makes one wrinkle one's 
own nose with involuntary and misplaced sympathy. Jack 
handed the Devil a small iron puzzle, and he snatched it 
with hooked fingers. I looked for a barbed tail, but found 
it not; and the feet were just as spraddly and hand-like 
as those of the rest of the spawn. He sat for hours over that 
puzzle, squinting ferociously. I was obsessed to decorate 
the creature, and hung about its neck the most delicate opa- 
lescent and blue beads. I took a picture of it, too, and 
then got it to remove its funny schoolboy hat. Lo! its 
hair was a yellow-bleached fuzz all over the crankiest coni- 
cal head ever born. 

Peter wears the nose-spike, too, and also one of the popu- 
lar nose-rings that hang over the mouth and is of consider- 
able irk when eating. 

In addition to the disks of wood or clam-shell in their 
strained ear-lobes, the men have found other rich possi- 
bilities of disfigurement. They pierce holes along the edges 
of the ear, and in the topmost hole thrust a stick of polished 
white wood the size and length of a pencil or a sturdy sec- 
tion of macaroni. From the other perforations in the tor- 
mented gristle depend little bunches of small beads and 
porpoise-teeth, dangling coquettishly and ticklingly into the 
hollows of the organ of hearing. This dainty custom ob- 
tains with both sexes. They scorn not the tin keys that 
come with canned goods, nor the wire handles of tin pails, 
nor yet large rusty nails. The weighted lobes frequently 


hang nearly to the shoulder, and some are torn clear through, 
hanging in two shreds. One haughty councillor of the chief 
struts unapproachably with a white door-knob bumping on 
his grimy chest. Another, high in diplomatic circles, has a 
really handsome thing on his breast a round flat disk four 
inches in diameter, of snowy clam-shell, worked thin by un- 
told labour, and etched deep with symbolic figures. I am 
simulating a careless and rather contemptuous attitude 
toward it, a feeble interest, for it is evidently of vast value 
to the owner. But I think that by weight of tobacco and 
beads cleverly displayed whenever he is around, the great 
man may talk business. 

They do not know what to make of the cameras, and are 
in dread that the black cases will go off. Nevertheless they 
brace up to the ordeal, although with an awful fixity of 
gaze. The deck, during the trading, was fraught with the 
most laughable un-misleading stage whispers concerning 
values of articles. It was very plain, among other things, 
that I was a great curiosity, and my comradely relations 
with my husband a source of wondering speculation. I 
believe they considered it surprising that the wealthy owner 
of so much tobacco should have but one wife anyway. 

And in all this melee, trading, sorting, cleansing, and 
packing away our clutter of curios, we were ever courteous, 
careful not to antagonise, and we unostentatiously avoided 
letting our visitors get behind us. 

Tuesday, June 30, 1908. 

Another squally night, another forenoon of trading under 
the awnings; and as Jack was feeling much better, we had 
a jolly time. One filthy native produced a gold sovereign 
and offered it for tobacco ; but that sort of thing is outside 
our sphere as a pleasure yacht, for we may only exchange 
commodities, and sell nothing. 

Nakata went ashore to do the washing, where we found him 
in the afternoon, near the trader's cottage, cross-legged be- 


fore a flat stone, scrubbing away, and opposite him two nude 
females likewise engaged, and all getting acquainted in beche 
de mer English. Wada, hearing of the social perquisites 
of laundering ashore, firmly but inconspicuously gleaned 
every washable article on the yacht, and departed for the 
chaste strand forthright. 

Jack, Martin and I wandered along a sylvan pathway 
under the palms, to the village, and found it quite unlike 
anything we have yet seen. The straggling oblong houses 
have very low sides and long-eaved roofs. Doors do not 
extend to the ground, but are reached across a waist-high, 
roofed platform resting on logs. There are no windows 
whatever, and the interiors are dark and smelly. Children 
squat and squabble on the platforms, while shy women lurk 
in the shadows behind. Tomi, whose house is rather su- 
perior, introduced us to his two wives the first plural 
wives I have ever met. They were appropriately gowned 
for our reception, in single strings of tiniest coloured beads 
on cotton thread. 

We noticed innumerable sores on both men and women 
mainly on the legs, which invite more abrasions ; and Martin 
groaned in disgust and sympathy, meanwhile spreading his 
shin-bandages a little wider, for there are myriads of busy 
flies. As the men gathered around, we noticed several who 
were minus a leg or an arm. 

"Him fella boy bite 'm fella shark," was the unmistak- 
able explanation. And the rascals deliberately advise us 
that swimming here is absolutely safe ! 

We are grappling valiantly with the current speech. This 
morning, having traded for a basket I particularly liked, 
Jack addressed the former owner as follows: 

"You catch me fella one fella bastik all the same along 
this fella bastik sayve?" 

And "How much you want along this fella or that?" is 
the beginning of a haggle. 

Tom Butler's conversation is largely composed of this jar- 
gon. He says "Man pig and woman pig," "Man fowl, 


woman fowl," and, in describing a short distance, "A long 
way a little bit." 

The women in general are very like the men in manner, 
after they have quickly conquered their bashfulness. They 
are beasts of burden, carry loads, and do heavy work, while 
the men "do the jamboree." And speaking of jamborees, 
we indicated in lovely beche de mer that we should appre- 
ciate a dance. By now, anxious to please the possessors of 
so much tobacco, beads and " calico," they were willing to 
let the women perform for us; so we were led to an open 
space, where we sat about on the grass (fervently hoping 
there were no sore-germs in it), and saw a strange weaving 
circle through the most remarkable and not unbeautiful 
gyrations. We could only guess at the various signifi- 
cances of it, the stealthy, graceful hunting-step of Peter 
and Tomi, the monkey-movements of the pot-bellied brown 
babies, and the delicate sensuous danse au ventre of the 
girls all to the quaint humming vibrations of the Jew's- 

We tendered appropriate presents to the dancers, and 
then Peter and Tomi stole Jack and Martin, Henry and 
Tehei (who had followed along), and took them to a couple 
of the big canoe houses long gabled roofs supported by 
carven posts. The sides are low, with equally low front 
walls, the big end-spaces above wide open. 

The nearest view I am supposed to get into these sacred 
edifices is from the water, for no female foot is permitted, 
on pain of unnameable punishment, or death, to defile even 
the ground in front. At the first house I went a little 
nearer than was prudent, in a vain attempt to filch a peep 
inside, but murmurs from my following of dark heathen 
made me turn leisurely away as if I had never thought 
of such a thing. Jack is teasing me because I am of such 
an inferior clay and sex that I cannot follow him. He did 
not see much, however the carved kingposts with obscene 
figures atop (there is one twelve feet high at a ''four 
corners" in the village), a handsome canoe or so, and a 

A Tambo Canoe House 



grisly package suspended from the ridgepole, said to con- 
tain evaporated remains of chiefs. Henry still insists: "I 
smell something that first place. " Jack says he only 
imagined it. But in the second canoe house (I did manage 
an angle where I could obtain a glimpse), there was ample 
odour of a fresher sort, for a pig, on its back, was being 
singed, with a lot of men bending over it in the smoke. 

I found more curious relics to-day, among them several 
black wooden trays, carved into fish shapes. I can picture 
a planked striped bass on one of them some day, in our 
Wolf House in the Valley of the Moon. We came upon a 
comically industrious group of artisans under the beach 
palms, working feverishly on new imitations of the ancient 
oval calabashes we like, as well as some small and laughably 
indecent wooden figures, which were being painted with 
natural pigments. The workers grinned sheepishly when 
we caught them manufacturing " antiques" with which to 
beguile our tobacco. Jack contemplated them for a while, 
then observed: 

" They 're like the man who was so greedy that when he 
was wrecked on an uninhabited island, it wasn't ten 
minutes before he had his hands in the pockets of the naked 
savages. ' ' 

There is no true hospitality nor generosity among these 
savages. It is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, quite 
literally sometimes. One old man, at the dance, asked for 
tobacco, got it, and later gave me a yellow-and-red fine- 
plaited armlet. It is the only gift we have received. This 
man, Butler tells us, is an unprecedented old murderer, a 
terror in the islands, and has killed more men than he can 
remember. And he, as well as others of his tribe, continu- 
ally warn us against Malaita Mala, they call the island. 

I washed my hands very thoroughly after returning to 
the yacht not because the hands I had perforce to shake 
were the hands of murderers and man-eaters, but because 
they were such unsanitary hands ! 

The Snark is a pretty vision from the beach, riding at 


anchor, shining white, scraped and brassy, all trig and 
trim, with long booms out on either side, and the life-boat 
and launch moored thereto. No natives are allowed aboard 
in Jack's absence, but there are always a few small canoes 
hovering about. 

We are reading A Naturalist Among the Head Hunters, 
by G. M. Woodford, and it is like a half fairy tale and half 
ogre tale. The Solomons, by the way, were so named be- 
cause their early discoverers believed them to be the source 
of King Solomon's wealth of gold. Mendaiia saw them 
first, only seventy-five years after Columbus discovered 
America. Woodford tells of the great beauty and variety 
of the flora, and the insects interested him vastly. This is 
not surprising, when one learns that the butterflies were of 
such proportions that to secure them he had to use a shot- 
gun of some sort. In the 80 's he sent home to England 
many skins of birds new to science rare pigeons, parrots, 
and so forth; and lizards and rats several feet long. And 
as for the people after years spent among them, he con- 
cludes that the longer he lives the more he realises that he 
possesses only the most superficial knowledge of them and 
their customs. It is as intricate a puzzle as Lafcadio Hearn 
encountered with the Japanese. 

Wednesday, July 1, 1914. 

Jack is so improved that we have been jubilant to-day. 
There was more trading in the forenoon Jack has not writ- 
ten, these Port Mary mornings, because of the rich oppor- 
tunity for curios; and Martin and I labelled the things 
and sorted them for packing. 

Wada reported, concerning his wash-day ashore : ' ' Those 
girl no like Papeete vahine no hair on head no good sing, 
no good that monkey-talk English." 

Henry and Tehei rowed over to join some natives who 
were dynamiting fish, and brought back a few plump and 
toothsome mullet; but Henry shook his head portentously, 
and explained: 


" Never I see such t'ing. Dynamite go, fish stun, I grab 
fish, shark he come quick like that! and take fish right 
out of my hand. No more for me ! " 

It is true the harbour sharks, instead of fleeing at the 
detonation, know it as a dinner-gong and gather to dis- 
pute the feast. 

Peter and Tomi, our two villainous but obliging col- 
leagues, got up a big dance ashore, and thither we went after 
dinner, laden with a sack of prizes. It was a very pom- 
pous affair, with a bevy of dancers and quite an orchestra 
of heathenish wooden instruments. The performers started 
in two long lines from a weather-beaten carved pillar, then 
moved around the clacking, intoning orchestra in opposite 
circling rings. The figures were much the same as yester- 
day's, but more elaborate. The dancers were all gay with 
cocoanut foliage and flowers, beautifully disposed in girdles, 
armlets, garters, and wreaths for their heads. The steps are 
very like those of the Igorrotes. Jack and I reclined and 
watched and dreamed, laughed at the frolicsome bronze 
pickaninnies, and were glad we were alive. 

After the distribution of presents, we returned along the 
sylvan palmy path to Tom Butler 's, where we paid our fare- 
well call. There is not much left of the old man, but all 
there is left is all good, and he has been more than kind to us. 
His last words to us were : 

"Now you'll see Jack at Ugi. My word, but he'll give 
you a good time plenty of milk he's got cows, you know, 
and better bullamacow than yours. Good luck to you 
and he waved his live hand. 

"Bullamacow" means beef. It is surmised that when 
the first bull and cow were brought to the islands, they 
were introduced as "a bull and a cow." 

Ugi, Solomon Islands, 
Thursday, June 2, 1908. 

This has been one long day of nature-beauty and human 
interest, with the ever present spice of anticipatory danger 


from earth and its inhabitants. "We have not apprehended 
the latter very much what most worries is the unreliable- 
ness of reef-charting, and uncertainty of nature in the mat- 
ter of tides and currents. The Solomons stretch northwest 
and southeast for nearly a thousand miles, with an area of 
15,000 square miles more than twice the area of Wales. 
There are nearly a dozen principal islands, and a lot of 
lesser ones. And in this long tangle of islands great and 
small, weather conditions and all other conditions are such 
that it would seem if a man could sail safely through them, 
he could sail anywhere. 

Jack was called at 5:30 this morning, and before Martin 
had coaxed the engine to work, we were half out of the reef 
passage under sail, and, once clear of Port Mary, picked up 
a good breeze which they call the Southeast Monsoon. It 
is stimulating to sail before a wind with a name like that. 

We breakfasted on pigeon and mullet, while engine and 
wind swept us along the green coast of San Christoval. 
Ugi, which is the larger of two, called the Isles du Golfe, 
lies to the north, about midway of the big island, and we 
wanted to make it before dark. Night sailing hereabout is 
very undesirable. All of us were unremittingly on lookout 
for rocks and shoals and reefs, and we saw them a-plenty. 
There was black weather ahead for a while, ugly squalls 
with whipped-white seas, and San Christoval was swathed 
in dun clouds. As the day cleared, and clouds lifted and 
melted away in the sunshine, the island unfolded a kingdom 
of hills and mountains, billowing and jutting up from the 
water's edge to over 4000 feet, the mist-wreathed valleys 
looping garland-wise among climbing green peaks that 
1 'stood up like the thrones of kings." There was a savage 
royal beauty about the land, as the clouds tore apart from 
the face of it "Ramparts of slaughter and peril, Blazing, 
amazing, aglow." 

Henry has learned who it is we quote so often, and this 
morning remarked sagely: 

"That man Kipling he good he know things." 


By noon all was veiled in mist and rain again, which in 
turn cleared away from the water's edge, lifting, lifting, 
like a slow curtain, revealing tier upon tier of rounded 
woodsy hills. 

After dinner, Ugi showed up ahead like a little blue vel- 
vet hat on the water, its top being flattened; and we made 
out some dots of islets on the starboard bow the Three Sis- 
ters. We glow with pleasure and reassurance when we can 
positively identify any landmark. 

About the middle of the afternoon we discovered a whale- 
boat coming from the mainland, and presently welcomed 
aboard Frederick A. Drew, missionary of the Melanesian 
Society, Church of England. Whalers once frequented the 
harbour of Makira on the western side of San Christoval; 
but now, on all this island, seventy-six miles long by twenty- 
three at the widest, Frederick Drew and one trader, Larry 
Keefe, are the only white men. Mr. Drew was a picture 
standing in the boat as she neared, rowed by three handsome 
San Christoval mission boys. He is the slight, strong, blond 
type of wiry young English rover who has grit enough to go 
anywhere and do anything. He met us with frank blue eyes 
and friendly smile, and immediately he stepped aboard 
everybody was laughing in the best of fellowship because he 
wore the familiar badge of Melanesia a white rag about the 
shin. Promptly arose a discussion between him and Martin 
as to the best cures, Mr. Drew backing Jack on corrosive 
sublimate, and Martin arguing for blue-stone, probably think- 
ing it more efficacious because of its exceeding painfulness. 

Mr. Drew 's three black youths are beauties, with soft, shy 
manners and chastened sweet expressions on pleasant- 
featured faces. One of them, with a strikingly Egyptian 
profile, wears a little crucifix "to keep a man from harm." 
I wonder what the foreign talisman really means to him. 

Of course we had them all aboard the black boys taking 
turns steering the whaleboat, which we towed. Mr. Drew 
showed us to the best anchorage off Ete Ete, the native vil- 
lage, and we shall celebrate the Fourth of July with a gen- 


eral try-out of our guns, hoping for a salutary effect upon 
the Ugi inhabitants, for the other side of the small island 
is peopled by the Malaitans who have killed many traders 
at Ugi. The long-ago first labour-trade ship that visited 
Ugi, the Colleen Bawn, disappeared there. In justice to the 
Ugians, however, the crew got no more than they deserved, 
for the doings of the slave-traders were not nice and pretty. 
"Jack," alas! was not "at Ugi," but Mr. Hansel Ham- 
mond, an Australian, is, and a good sort we found him, 
plucky fellow. We invited him and Mr. Drew for supper, 
and kept them painting local colour until after dark. 
"Jack," whose other name is Larkin, has only escaped prob- 
able butchery like his predecessors "at Ugi," to go away 
somewhere to die of heart disease, taking his native wife and 
half-caste child with him. Perhaps Tom Butler may pass 
quietly away without ever knowing. Half dead as he is, I 
am thinking the one thing that could hurt him would be to 
know of misfortune to his Jack at Ugi. On the other hand, 
so godlike to him is Jack at Ugi, that he might believe no 
mortal tale concerning him! 

Ugi, Fourth of July, 1908. 

We haled forth every dispensable bottle, match-box, piece 
of cardboard, cocoanut shell, and went at a demonstration 
of marksmanship that ought to make us taboo from any 
"monkeying" in these parts. Mausers, automatic rifles, 
Colt pistols, Smith & Wesson revolvers, and Mr. Ham- 
mond's Sniders, all proved whether or not they were rusty. 

Mr. Hammond keeps us supplied with generous gallons of 
fresh milk, rich and spicy-flavoured, white-man's vegetables, 
and papaias and limes. We have him to all meals, and yes- 
terday morning went ashore with him. Ete Ete village is 
off to the right of the well-kept, white-painted trading sta- 
tion on stilts, with a score of enormous bulls and cows 
browsing near by in long, lush grasses. We found the na- 
tive houses similar but superior to those at Port Mary, and 


the natives generally of a better class. All the "boys" look 
young, as if they had stopped aging at twenty until they 
are very old. It is hard to tell a youth of twenty-one from 
a man of forty. 

The old chief, Ramana, is a character. He told me with 
cackling glee and horrible grimaces, of the numerous white 
men he had killed in his day, when "him fella white man 
gammon along him fella mouth too much." But you can- 
not get any of them to admit they have "kai-kai'd" human 
flesh. They know our abhorrence of this practice, and look 
sheepish and silly when questioned directly. My introduc- 
tion to old Ramana was unexpected and rather startling. I 
approached the little canoe which he was hauling out on the 
beach, and took hold of the curved prow to examine its carv- 
ing. The slender curve broke off in my hands, and I 
jumped at the grunt the old man let out. But he laughed 
at me women are foolish cattle anyhow, he thinks. I must 
not shake his sacred hand (goodness knows I am not 
anxious!), for he is taboo to the touch of the lesser animals. 

We visited the old rascal in his house, almost as big and 
imposing as a Port Mary canoe house, and upheld by simi- 
larly wrought hardwood posts. Jack bargained with him 
through Mr. Hammond for eight of these pillars, for they 
are magnificent curios the figures Egyptian in effect, the 
carving wonderfully good. One represents a man sitting 
on the tips of a shark's open jaws, the square, well-carved 
hands resting on his knees. One old god laughably re- 
sembles our Dante-esque poet friend, George Sterling. 

Ramana wanted spot cash silver shillings for his goods, 
and his hoarse whispers aside to the trader, to put up 
prices and protect him, were very human indeed. He was 
well pleased with seven shillings for five of the posts, and I 
forget what we paid for the other three, one of which Mar- 
tin spoke for. There were several less ornate poles in the 
building, with capitals half-Gothic and some nearly Doric. 
But we had to consider our already cluttered space aboard, 
and reluctantly turned to smaller curiosities such as cala- 


bashes, nose-rings, bracelets, and kai-kai spoons that looked 
like beautiful shoe-horns of turtle shell, nautilus, and 

Ramana led us through quite a maze of little streets into 
a mysterious, dusky, musty old ruin, and, when we grew used 
to the unwindowed gloom, we made out, high on a shelf, 
an enormous black calabash with scrolled ends. They lifted 
it down, in a rain of dust and crawly things, and it was big 
enough to hold a whole roast man and probably had done 
so on more than one grisly occasion. But it was so very 
ancient that it fell into pieces when we turned it about. I 
was very loath to give it up ; but Jack convinced me of the 
futility of getting it home in any kind of shape. I was 
comforted presently when Ramana found another half as 
big and in good preservation. 

At every cross street in Ete Ete stands a tall kingpost, 
brown and weather-beaten, with an image on it. One of 
these has a face composed entirely of scrolls like an Eng- 
lish judge with his wig over his face. 

In some houses, it was explained to us, each supporting 
post is owned by a different "boy." I shall always be won- 
dering how long it will take for old Ramana 's depleted pal- 
ace to collapse. 

Plaited grass bracelets decorated the eaves of one dilapi- 
dated roof. Everything is falling into decay and disuse, 
and many of the places are empty, for the people are dying 
off slowly but steadily. There are few children born, and 
most of these have dreadful perforating sores. We saw one 
pretty baby sitting, actually sitting on buttocks that were 
nearly corroded off with running corruption. It turned 
whimpering from us on the high platform under the eaves 
and crawled away; and, as like as not, a healthy native 
was soon sitting in the filthy, infectious spot. 

A scant few of the natives have soft brown hair, like the 
girl on Santa Anna. The women here at Ugi wear a long 
chemise-like garment, but are otherwise much the same in 
type as the Port Mary ones. 


The village must have been very beautiful in its heyday, 
with its king-posted corners and handsome thatched houses. 
And there is a thatched fence enclosing the village, over 
which one goes on stiles made of logs. Men have their dogs 
here, too, a sneaking breed resembling the "dingo" of Aus- 
tralia, and looking to us like our California coyote. 

We dipped a little way into the woods, which were very 
lovely, all lighted up with red and yellow flowered trees, 
and warm like a conservatory, with little lizards rustling the 
stillness as they darted across the paths and up the viny 
tree trunks. 

In the afternoon of yesterday, Mr. Hammond took us fish- 
dynamiting around a point of the island. We rowed in a 
painted world of water and sky, the emerald and sapphire 
deeps so clear we could see the shadowy white sand below, 
and uprising from it entrancing coral gardens great hum- 
mocks of flowered colour, brown with blue tips, red and 
yellow. Certain of the bunches spread as high as forty feet 
from the bottom. Sometimes the forms branched, and some- 
times grew in mushroom shapes. In the lovely opal spaces 
between and underneath, all sorts of brilliant coloured fish 
hung, or darted about as we stirred the surface. One ex- 
pected golden-haired mermaids to swim out in the tinted 
underglooms of the coral. 

To-day, after our noisy forenoon, we have traded peace- 
fully on deck, the natives bringing out things they learned 
yesterday would tempt us. We have more of the Rubiana 
bracelets, and a couple of exquisitely fine basket-bags from 
the Santa Cruz Islands. Jack is happy over scores of 
beautifully wrought pearl-shell fish-hooks, great and small, 
and we have packed them into carved boxes of wood and 
etched bamboo, with sliding tops. These boxes are used for 
lime, which the natives carry and eat frequently. We saw 
one or two doing this at Port Mary. 

Jack has traded my much-jeered-at Apian lava-lava, the 
snaky horror of undulating coloured lines, to a tall fellow 


who went over-rail into his canoe and put it on in place of 
the dingy small-cloth, hung back and front, in which he 
came aboard. He holds the new lava-lava in place by a 
broad thin hip-band of shiny bark that makes him look like 
a bronze figure with a metal girdle close welded. 

Some of the men are pot-bellied and unlovely of line, and 
some are degenerate of feature, with small heads, and re- 
ceding chins with hollows underneath. But these are off- 
set by many fine specimens. One of them stood at the bow 
of a whaleboat, tall, lustreless black, supple, poised with a 
stick of dynamite in his hand, and we pleasured in the 
grace and precision of him in the throwing, and the per- 
fectness of his dive after the gleaming white-and-silver fish 
that popped to the surface after the detonation. 

When our guests were gone this evening, and the crew 
were breathing deep in slumber on the deck amidship, Jack 
and I stole aft and sat on the rail in the starred darkness 
of sky and water just sat and talked low of the romance 
of the adventure of ''Man, the most unseaworthy of all the 
earth brood," and we joyed quietly in our fortune that we 
care for "the old trail, the out trail, our own trail," that 
calls us over the world. 

Indispensable Straits, 
Sunday, July 5, 1908. 

We put merrily to sea again this morning, carrying five 
nationalities for Mr. Drew and his black boys accompanied 
us, and all took part in the working of the ship. The en- 
gine started off well, but exasperatingly quit shortly after- 
ward. "Adrift in the cannibal isles," Martin popped up 
from his tiny hatch, getting a breath of relief from the con- 
glomeration of gases below. 

There is an ill-concealed, amused interest being mani- 
fested toward me. An Ugi mosquito bite has refused to 
heal, and although I am obediently saturating it with cor- 
rosive sublimate, I do not believe it is a "Solomon Island 


sore." But Jack and the chortling, doctoring crew hold 
other views. 

... In a wonderful sunset of all the blatant colours of 
the East, Mr. Drew held High Church service, his black 
disciples taking part, with our Tahitians reverently kneel- 
ing by. Japan hovered on the edges, respectfully curious. 
The Egyptian scarfs in the sky faded to changeable silken 
veils, and we slipped along in a world of trembling azure 
isles, while the moon blossomed large and golden in the east. 
And then, in the midst of savagedom, there floated up from 
the phonograph in the cabin, "Guide me, Thou Great 

July G, 1908. 

Jack kept the deck all night, for we had the slightest of 
breezes, and treacherous currents almost carried us on Mura, 
an eighty-foot-high islet with a nasty reef. How we did 
strain our eyes on the dim dun shape, and strain our ears 
to the swish of the light breakers, and pore over the unre- 
liable chart on the cabin table! Morning found us about 
parallel with the northeast end of San Christoval and the 
southwest point of Malaita, which stretches over a hundred 
miles to the northeast. 

Looking over Captain Warren's log, I find that he never 
kept it after April 19, at Pago Pago, Tutuila and then 
only put down the date, without note or comment. 

If we should be wrecked now, what a floating museum 
would be all about, for we are laden with spoils, even to the 
life-boat on deck, which carries the precious old calabashes. 

A mild breeze came up in the afternoon and we set the 
spinnaker. Shortly after, Mr. Drew 's whaleboat line parted, 
and every one jumped to Jack's orders to take in spinnaker 
and work back for the boat with its apprehensive black 
steersman. It was surprising to find how scared he was; 
but Mr. Drew says these people get into a "blue funk" very 
easily, and are not to be depended upon in time of danger. 


Pennduffryn Plantation, 
Island of Guadalcanal, 

Solomon Islands, 
Thursday, July 9, 1908. 

Here I find myself, in the queerest situation, in a big 
house with a retinue of servants culled from cannibal tribes, 
on a copra plantation in the heart of the Terrible Solo- 
mons. I am guest of the English owner and his Aus- 
tralian-French manager, and my own man is gone across 
the water properly to enter the Snark at the port of call, 
Gubutu, on Florida Island (Ngela). Incidentally, this will 
be the third night Jack was ever away from me. As the 
Snark is to be left at Gubutu to be scraped by native div- 
ers, Jack must return in the whaleboat ; so both he and our 
host, Mr. Harding, convinced me to stay comfortably ashore 
and rest up, as the return trip in the open boat means two 
or three hours at best in blistering sun and glare. Such a 
life it is! We found night before last that we could not 
make Gubutu before dark, so dropped anchor in eight 
fathoms near this plantation house, which Mr. Drew 

Mr. Bernays, the manager, came out, and was mightily 
pleased to find we were the Snark, although he laughingly 
assured us he would be fined by the Government for coming 
aboard a vessel that had not entered at the port of call. 
While we were talking with him, the plantation cutter 
Scorpion rippled softly alongside, just in from some other 
island, and Tom Harding called across. Bernays explained 
us, and Harding, meanwhile voicing orders to his crew of 
black boys, invited us ashore for the night. A most pictur- 
esque figure is this handsome Englishman, of medium height 
and weight, with blue eyes and black lashes and hair, a 
cupid-bow mouth with even teeth and a small moustache. 
He is clad in white " singlet" and white lava-lava with 
coloured border, and barefoot. On his head is an enormous 
Baden-Powell, and in his ears are gold rings which lend a 
Neapolitan touch, while from his neck depends a gold chain 


with a locket in which he carries a miniature of his wife, 
the Baroness Eugenie, a Castilian. The lady is now in Syd- 
ney, and her husband has given me her rooms and her par- 
ticular servant, a bushy-haired brown Malaita youth of fif- 
teen, in singlet and lava-lava, a white shell armlet, and a 
string of blue beads around his neck. His name is Vaia- 
Buri, and he has a partly concealed superciliousness in his 
port that makes one speculate on what he might do if he 
weren't afraid to do it. Nakata, whom Jack left with me, 
is vastly interesting to the blacks. 

Mr. Harding 's partner, George Darbishire, is also absent. 
Their business is trading and copra, and there are some five 
hundred acres under cultivation. They have three vessels 
the cutter Scorpion, a ketch called Hekla, and the schooner 
Eugenie pride of Harding 's heart, built on his idea of 
American lines. 

The house is composed of four houses, two very large, and 
one small one off Mrs. Harding 's quarters, used as bathroom 
and dressing room. The cook house makes the fourth. The 
buildings are enclosed in a long "compound," and no 
strange "boy" is permitted therein. Also, no native boy 
except a house-boy is ever even allowed on the porches. 
"Can you trust your men on the Snark?" was one of Hard- 
ing's first questions to Jack. 

As a precaution against escapes from the plantation, or 
worse, our whaleboat had to be sent back to the yacht for 
the night. They tell us of shocking murders of late, sev- 
eral schooners having been ' ' cut out ' ' and burned, and their j 
masters killed. The latest outrage was early in June, at \ 
Marovo Lagoon on the Island of New Georgia to the north- ^ 
west, where the captain, Oliver Burns, was tomahawked, and 
his vessel destroyed. 

In my charmingly furnished boudoir there is a rack of 
rifles, always loaded and ready, and I am to keep my re- 
volver with me night and day. There is always danger 
from an uprising of the plantation boys. 

It would look as if we had really arrived. . . . 


Day before yesterday's sail was in a fair breeze, along 
the coast of this magnificent island, Guadalcanal, with dread 
Malaita looming to starboard, and Ngela, our destination, 
dim ahead. About noon we passed a little islet, Nura, 
which looked to be under cultivation. The water had lost 
its deep sea tones, and was sparkling grey under the hot sun, 
and in the late afternoon we saw a sharp demarkation ahead, 
as startling as that off Santa Anna. This time it was no 
trick of light, but actual discolouration from river waters. 
The plantation is bounded to the west by the Balesuna, a 
shallow tropical stream, and there is a sort of slough to the 
east, where alligator traps are always set. 

As we approached Pennduffryn that night, I hated to take 
the wheel and ponder the compass, night was so beautiful 
and there was so much to see. The mountains, away back 
on the other side of the island, rise to 8000 feet, the near- 
est peak, Lion's Head, thrusting up superbly into the sky. 
There was a deafening chorus of crickets from the shore, 
and I could hear the neigh of a horse. Harding has two 
slender thoroughbreds, by the way, and a shed outside full 
of saddles and gear. 

These four houses are high up on piling, with an arrange- 
ment of iron pans on the piles to keep out ants. Looped 
lengths of spare anchor chain, painted black, are slung on 
the floor-beams. Sometimes we can hear the horses fussing 
around underneath, out of the steaming sun. One lives in 
a succession of temblors, for every human step rocks the 
stilted dwellings. From the high verandas that encircle 
them, one can observe the immediate life of the compound. 
The three main buildings are in line, first the bathroom, then 
the house where are my quarters, a large drawing-room, and 
several other bedrooms, and the last house has the offices and 
a big men's room, one ell containing the long eating table, 
and an English billiard table in the main part. 

Jack and I slept late this morning in the Spanish lady's 
pretty room; and when we were ready for breakfast we 
summoned Vaia-Buri, who served breakfast on the veranda 


fresh soft-boiled eggs, coffee, and "scones" what we 
would call soda biscuits, and hard as stones. The Solomon 
cook has a terrible time with his memory. Never is he 
known to make anything twice the same, except split-pea 
soup, and the discouraged planters have it at every meal. 

Yesterday we brought all our curios ashore, to be boxed 
for San Francisco. We also added our phonograph to the 
three already in the men's room, and Claude Bernays 
threatens to wear out Caruso's record of the Brindisi Drink- 
ing Song. 

Although less than four years built, this establishment 
has an old and settled look. It must be because of the com- 
fortable scale on which it is conducted, and the luxuries of 
civilisation that crowd the drawing-room. In fact, the 
fine curios all about strike one as rather foreign ! And just 
about the time you are thinking that, a chorus of blood- 
curdling shrill yells raises on the beach, and you run to the 
veranda to see a whaleboat rushing out of the breakers and 
up to the compound, on the shining shoulders of fifty black 

Mr. Harding took me for a walk this afternoon about the 
plantation, a bewildering network of palmy paths among 
flourishing young cocoanuts, and little bridges over water- 
ways, for the ground is frequently inundated. The palms 
are young and squat, but extremely luxuriant. There are 
acres of Ceylon rubber trees as well. Little white cocka- 
toos flitted among rustling foliage so green it cast a green 
shadow. One field is given up to vegetables, tomatoes, corn 
and potatoes. Think of having corn on the cob again, and 
string beans! I saw the boys at work, and they did not 
look enthusiastic. I noticed a new kink in decoration 
pig-tails, freshly severed, pulled through the holes in ears 
and noses! They also wore in artificial orifices safety-pins, 
wire nails, metal hairpins, rusty iron handles of cooking 
utensils, and some had cheap "trade" penknives clasped on 
their woolly black locks for safe keeping. On the chest 
of one sweating labourer I noticed the brass wheel of a clock. 


These men work hard and long hours, on a fare of sweet 
potatoes (kumara), nothing but sweet potatoes, boiled. 
Some of them have to walk half an hour to the midday meal 
sweet potatoes. Sometimes they may catch a fish, or come 
by a few bananas. But sweet potatoes form practically 
their exclusive diet. Any stealing of cocoanuts is severely 
punished. It is the "rule of the strong hand," and one 
can only look and listen. Comment would be silly and 

I saw the barracks after working hours, the " Marys," as 
the women are known here, about the cooking of the dinner 
of sweet potatoes which, by the way, are not very sweet, 
but like a cross with a white potato, and of excellent quality. 
The men lay around resting, or were squatting in small low 
houses, some of them playing on plaintive little reed pipes. 
The Marys are not pretty, and are held in low esteem by 
their menkind, isolated in disgrace when sick, as things un- 
clean. A few pot-bellied babies sprawled about. Harding 
told me of a delegation of boys who came to him one day and 
demanded that the drinking-tank should be emptied, wasted, 
because a woman who was not sick had taken water for one 
who was sick. "One fella Mary, she take watter along one 
fella Mary she sick too much. No good ! ' ' Harding tried to 
treat the matter lightly, and faced mutiny. So the perfectly 
good contents of the tank were thrown out and the tank re- 
plenished with undefined water. 

Besides sores, and bush-poisoning, and a disease called 
bukua (pronounced buck-wah) that makes the skin grey 
and in a pattern like ringworm, the plantation hands are 
subject to an acute and terrible dysentery that takes them 
off fast. I saw the hospital a long thatched shed furnished 
solely with an inclined bed of hard board the full length of 
one wall. 

At sunset, before supper, Mr. Harding took me swimming 
down by the little jetty, where the sea spread white ruffles, 
frill upon frill, on the creamy-pink sand. We supped in 
the drawing-room, he and Mr. Bernays and I, all in even- 


ing dress. We were served by Vaia-Buri, who is very 
meek and lowly in the presence of "big fella marster be- 
long white man/' and another house-boy yclept Ornfere, a 
delicate-featured, poet-browed lad. Never did a formal 
dinner party hear such commands as Harding and Bernays 
gave the " niggers/' as they habitually style the boys. 
Harding desires a bottle of claret: 

"Vaia-Buri, you sawee go catch along him fella bottel be- 
long me fella quick!" 


"Ornfere, you fella go sing out along Vaia-Buri tell him 
fella he come along me fella. Sawee?" 

Sometimes a few extra "fellas" are peppered upon the 
commands, as if the speaker were determined at all per- 
sonal cost to make a complete maniac of the bewildered and 
scared idiot before him. Harding elucidates at length that 
it is the height of foolhardiness to be pleasant or apprecia- 
tive with them; that they regard kindness as fear or cow- 
ardice, and are likely to take serious advantage of it; that 
a Solomon Islander's first thought upon meeting a white 
man is: "Will he kill me?" And, if his judgment re- 
assures him, his second thought is: "Can I kill him?" 
They have a passion for head-hunting, and the next thing 
to a white one is to remove any other kind. If a recruit dies 
on a plantation, his tribe require a head from the planta- 
tion ; and it does not matter much whether it is a big fella 
marster 's head or that of some other recruit. They await 
their chance patiently, and frequently get their head. 

The recruits sign on for from one to three years, at 6 
a year. But when a man's time is up, he is more than 
likely to be in debt to the plantation store ("sittore") for 
tobacco, "calico," knives, and beads, or else to have forfeited 
his wages in fines for misbehaviour. 

Not unnaturally, they are arrant thieves, and appropriate 
everything they can lay their hands on. The boat-houses 
are kept locked at night to prevent the men from stealing 
the boats and running away. Harding told me of a native 


who died, and whom he buried alongside the boat-house, as 
the boys would not go near a dead body. Then there was 
almost a mutiny, the boys vociferating that devils were 
knocking at their door-posts and that the Marys had run 
away in fear, and the children were ailing. When they be- 
come restless on the plantation, no white fella marster is 
rash enough to combat their panic or their taboos tambos 
they say here. Harding had to exhume the corpse unaided, 
as no boy would touch it, and bury it in another place. 
Strange to say, the minute he began filling in the shallow 
grave, several husky blacks jumped in and began to stamp 
it down. 

But the most remarkable thing Harding has told me, is 
that a little way south of Guadalcanal are two islands, Bel- 
lona and Rennel, where the natives, of pure Polynesian 
blood, are still living in the stone age a very rare state in 
this day and year. To the north of the Solomons, also, are 
two islands, Lua-nua and Tasman, with a nearly pure Poly- 
nesian population, but these are in touch with civilisation, 
as steamers call there. Mr. Harding says that Jack and I 
will make the mistake of our lives if we do not stay around 
here a few months, making Pennduffryn our base for cruises 
that are unmatched by anything left in the world. I am 
so fascinated by the prospect that I have promised to do 
something I seldom attempt coax my husband. Now that 
Jack is feeling so well on the mend, the only reason we 
should hurry through the Solomons is to anticipate the bad 
weather season in Torres Straits, and get on up to Batavia 
and Java. 

Saturday, July 11, 1908. 

And my skipper says Yes. He is enthusiastic over the 
idea, and Mr. Harding offers to pilot us to Bellona and Ren- 
nel when we are ready to go. The Snark adventure is only 
just beginning indeed, to-morrow we do our first real ex- 
ploring, a trip up the Balesuna in canoes, to a village where 
no white woman has been, and, a few miles beyond, a place 


where no white man ever set foot. It was up a river farther 
to the west that the ill-fated Austrian Expedition explored, 
sent here on the Austrian man-o'-war Albatross only a few 
years ago. They penetrated into the foothills, made apparent 
friends with the natives, let them handle and grasp the sig- 
nificance of their firearms. The natives cunningly bided 
their time until the white men grew careless and confident, 
and then massacred all but two or three, who escaped to the 

The village Saarli is in sight of the foothills, but we do 
not plan to venture farther. And yet, the inhabitants of 
Guadalcanal are considered " friendly" compared with the 
Malaitans ! 

Harding has planned the trip for a long time, and is glad 
to make this the occasion. He has some sort of friendship 
with the chiefs of these two villages based, of course, on 
what they can get out of him in trade goods, and, for his 
part, on the protection their favour means. 

I could not help but scan anxiously for the returning 
whaleboat yesterday, and had a clear day for watching 
once so clear that we could see the sun-flash on the Resident 
Commissioner's house on Ngela. We are delighted to find 
that the Commissioner is none other than Mr. Woodford, 
author of the book we so often refer to. Mr. Woodford 
was unfortunately absent when Jack sailed into Gubutu, and 
he had to deal with a deputy who very tersely demanded 
the penalty of five pounds for our breach of quarantine. 
Jack says it is cheap at the price when he considers the six 
hundred extra miles he would have had to sail if he had en- 
tered properly in the first place, beat back to see Port Mary 
and then covered the return trip to Pennduffryn. We are 
going to frame the receipt for the fine. 

I killed a little hawk at eighty yards this afternoon, with 
my 22 Automatic rifle, greatly to Mr. Harding 's surprise, 
I think. He had been boasting of his lady wife 's fine marks- 


manship, and I said laughingly that being one-eighth 
Spanish myself, I should like to see what I could do. They 
wage war continually on these small hawks, which kill the 
pretty kingfishers that build about the place, and also an- 
other species that look like humming birds. 

Jack made the whaleboat trip from Gubutu in two hours, 
arriving here at six. When I saw his scarlet sunburn, I was 
glad I had not gone. 

Wednesday, July 15, 1908. 

The day after Jack's return, he came down suddenly with 
an attack of the vicious malaria one must battle with in the 
Solomons. Promptly he went out of his head, and after 
raving a while, fell asleep in the violent sweat we induced 
with blankets and hot-water bottles. In three hours from 
the time he was stricken, he was on his feet, weak but cheer- 
ful, and enjoyed a hearty dinner. Mr. Bernays played doc- 
tor and dosed the patient thoroughly with quinine. I was 
inclined to be alarmed by the suddenness of the attack, and 
the raving of the unconscious man ; but the matter-of-f actness 
of Bernays and Harding pulled me together. 

. . . There is such a glamour over the past three days that 
I hesitate to write about them. ' ' Sun he come up ! " was our 
pretty call from Vaia-Buri on Saturday morning early, and 
before sun he had got up more than a long way little bit, we 
were on the way up the cool green-arbour ed Balesuna in 
canoes paddled, or "washee'd," by kinky -haired servitors. 
Nakata was on his back with malaria, and could not go. 
Mr. Harding and I travelled in a canoe paddled by Ornfere 
and Forndoa, another house-boy, while Jack (reinforced with 
fifteen grains of quinine against a second bout of fever, and 
rather shaky with the medicine), along with Bernays and 
Martin, came next. A dinghy carried the outfit of tents, 
blankets and kai-kai. 

The river is too beautiful for words, narrow and tortuous, 

A Kingpost and a King (note Ear-lobes) 


green as a bower, the banks all painted sliding scenery of 
verdant jungle, trailed with vivid flame-red blossoms and 
vari-coloured morning glories, and mangroves reaching 
their fingered roots into the flowing green water with its 
bank reflections. 

We heard the light clatter of parroquets, and the sweet, 
querulous calls of strange birds. Once, the astounding 
resonant conch-boom of a hornbill broke the rippling still- 
ness. We saw magnificent breadfruit trees with their 
knobby, glossy fruit, and recognised our Hawaiian familiars, 
the hau and lauhala. Sometimes, through a break in dense 
woods we could glimpse the Lion's Head, "Tatuvi," reared 
into the everlasting tropic clouds. 

We sped fast against the slow current, and fought ex- 
citingly up occasional riffles; and more than once we hung 
on sandbars, where great black velvet butterflies, accom- 
panied by flocks of little blue ones, floated out to see the fun. 
The "boys" were certainly not lazy, and worked with a will 
to free the boats. Bernays blasted fish in a green pool at 
one side in a wide space, and, once, the fuse was too short 
and the stick exploded almost immediately it left his hand. 
His handsome sullen face went white under its deep tan. 
11 Every fellow that monkeys with the stuff gets his sooner 
or later," he observed carelessly after a moment. 

In a clearing on the right bank a group of wild women 
came hurrying, clad in full short ballet-skirts of dried 
grasses that bobbed and wabbled amorously at every move- 
ment. We were evidently a pure novelty to them, for their 
faces were studies in startled wonder. 

Finally arrived at Binu, late in the afternoon, we had a 
good supply of fish, and wild pigeons which we had shot on 
the way. There were few villagers about, and the men evi- 
dently expected us. They spoke the beche de mer English, 
and were friendly in fact, most of them are familiar with 
the plantation. It is the bush natives who seem to be un- 
tameable ; and the ' ' salt water ' ' peoples, who are not exactly 
angels of mercy themselves, are more scared of their bush 


relatives than are the white conquerors from England and 

While our three tents and kitchen arrangements were be- 
ing set up in a bosky grove, we looked about the village, 
which was notable principally for its inferiority. The 
dwellings lacked the imposingness of even those on Santa 
Anna and Ugi. There was one large house that we were 
barred from entering, and over the door a crocodile skull 
with all the teeth intact. I wanted the skull, and Harding 
broached the barter. There was considerable pow-wow, but 
the shillings won the day. The women were unapproach- 
ably shy, fleeing even from me, in a giggly panic and flurry 
of rustling ballet-skirts. The men whom Harding talked 
with shook their heads ominously when they learned we were 
bound for Saarli, and all but two or three resisted his prizes 
to join the trip. 

Harding and Bernays were begged to look at a sick man 
in a filthy hut. I was not invited, on account of the nature 
of the ravaging disease. Jack said it was a horrible sight. 

After our hearty supper of fish, pigeon, and roast sweet 
potatoes, we sat around a small but cheery white-man's 
campfire, and Jack and I listened to the outlandish experi- 
ences of our companions narrow escapes from the natives 
on the Malaita coast, and narrow escapes on reefs in bad 
weather. In fact, the whole of life in this "neck of the 
woods" Harding summed up when he concluded: "No use 
in any man saying he's safe in the Solomons, because he 

It was a weird place to spend the night. Every one slept 
but me, and I could hear the strange uneasy noises made by 
our native escort in their slumber. It was as if they never 
rested from fear, even in sleep. Then there were crawly 
things in the coarse damp grass outside, and queer sounds in 
the distance and in the trees and from the river, while, near 
at hand, the rasping song of fever mosquitoes made me glad 
of our net. But I did not lie conscious from nervousness 
something had flown in my eye around the campfire, and it 


hurt all night; so that when we struck camp early in the 
morning, I travelled with a thumping headache. 

The river was more shallow and riffly hence on, and 
the boys worked hard. The two or three who went on with 
us from Binu were augmented by a picturesque score at 
least, unable to resist the adventure. Some of them pre- 
ceded us, and every little while we would be startled and 
interested over a handful of woolly savages ahead on a 
sandy spit, or suddenly appearing on the bank, only to find 
they were from Binu, and wanted to go along. They 
looked as if ready to fight any common foe, armed with 
bows and arrows, spears, and naked trade knives stuck 
through bark or leather belts about their hips. Bernays 
assured us, however, that they were just as likely to desert 
as stay, in event of trouble. Bernays retains no illusions 
about the "niggers," as he invariably calls them. 

Some of these islanders are the biggest men we have seen 
since Samoa and Fiji indeed, the people of Guadalcanal 
are said to be the best bodied in the Solomons. I saw some 
remarkable types of other peoples, particularly of the Se- 
mitic; and one old man with a lofty mien and a beard, 
might have been a king in Babylon. 

It was a spiteful, squally day, and once we were driven 
to take refuge ashore under an umbrageous tree, where we 
ate a brief lunch of soggy scones and jam. When the rain 
eased, we climbed the steep bank, to learn what sort of coun- 
try our eyes, first of all blue eyes, would see behind the 
fringe of river vegetation. And what we beheld made Ber- 
nays and Harding curse under their breath with the rich 
wonder and possibility of it a boundless champaign of 
grassland, league upon league of it rippling in the wind, 
sloping almost imperceptibly to low foothills that flank the 
upthrusting mountains about the Lion's Head. The grass 
was very long and rank, green beyond description, and in 
the eyes of the planters as we stood there, long, and silently, 
were dreams of the wealthy future when not they, but those 
to come after them, should see their cane harvested on these 


illimitable plains and the sugar transported to waiting 
steamships at great wharves on the coast. 

We walked back quietly to the boats, Harding being 
especially overcome by what he had seen. "I knew it was 
there," he said; " I knew it had to be there; but I didn't 
dream the immensity of the savannah. " 

By two in the afternoon we were scaling a muddy river 
bluff to Saarli, which was only an excuse for a village, the 
scant inhabitants of which had a way of fading away when 
scrutinised too closely. The men recovered themselves, but 
the women remained bashful. Only my interest in the 
babies would stay them for more than a few minutes. 

My head was pounding so badly that I lay down most of 
the time. There was not much to see anyway it was 
mainly the fact of being there, the first white faces, that 
constituted the novelty. We walked to where we could 
again view the grass-waving savannah, and the natives shook 
their heads and contorted their faces over their atrocious 
brothers of the bush, when we pointed to the foothills now 
not far away, and made motions as if we wanted them to 
take us there. 

Harding 's brain was in a buzz over what he was seeing. 
He studied those hilly approaches to the mountain strong- 
holds of the head-hunters, and in the evening went so far 
as to suggest to Jack that they get up an expedition into 
the bush, some time during our stay at Pennduffryn. Jack 
said, ' ' Sure ! " in his easy way ; and then I was frightened, 
for this would mean a man-trip, and I would have to face 
being left behind to await nameless horrors; for know that 
the wily man-eaters of the bush have their paths and run- 
ways full of pitfalls and poisoned traps such as horrid 
contrivances where a man steps on something that lets loose 
a poisoned dart from a strung bow at the side, and various 
and crafty and deadly other manners of obtaining the heads 
of enemies or friends for the smoking. I said very little, 
only, "Would you go?" Women who would keep their 
men have learned in long ages gone not to stand in the way 


of heart's desire, even where it leads afield. Of Harding 
I learned more of the dangers than I had read in the books. 
He had burned himself out a little, perhaps, for presently, 
sensing my worry, he said: 

"I'll tell you I won't say anything more about it to 
Jack." I thought that very "decent" of him, as he would 
say, but turned it off with, "Oh, well, but if he wants to 
go . . ." However, aside from much interesting conversa- 
tion about general conditions in the interior, Jack has not 
pursued the subject. Oh it might be done, and safely; but 
it is a ticklish risk. 

There was rain during the night, and we had a damp and 
soggy time of it, with broken sleep. I for one was glad of 
the morning sunshine and a dry place with Jack in the 
dinghy, which followed Bernays' canoe. 

The Saarli natives were hugely pleased with the remainder 
of our kai-kai, and watched us from the bluff as we got under 
way. The morning was a bright Elysium, after the dank 
rain, the Lion's Head thrust through a cloud-wreath against 
a blue sky, and the abundant foliage on the river's brink 
shining and sparkling. We saw a hornbill on a high 
branch, and some one shot, but missed it. 

There were some close calls from capsizing in the riffles 
and on snags in our swift water-flight, and we often profited 
by Bernays' disastrous haps on ahead. Harding 's canoe 
hung up on a snag and came away with a hole in the bot- 
tom. From Harding 's face and eloquent fists we judged 
he was using language and that the boys were having a warm 
time of it. 

So fast did we travel, however, what of current and oars 
and paddles, that we were at the plantation in less than 
three hours. There we found George Darbishire, returned 
from Sydney by the Burns Philp steamer Moresby. Dar- 
bishire is a big blond Englishman, vastly tall, very pink, 
and so lovable a personality that to shake his long, kind, 
freckled hand is to find a friend. 

Perhaps the utter dissimilarity of Darbishire and Harding, 


physically and mentally, may account for the devoted 
friendship that evidently exists between them. They are 
very close, and, from certain signs, we fear they are in some 
trouble, concerning which * i Darby, ' ' as every one calls him, 
took the trip to Sydney. He brought bad news of the Eu- 
genie, too, having heard at Gubutu that she is on a reef on 
Malaita. Harding wears a very long face for so round a 
face, for the schooner is the idol of all his possessions. Jack 
has put the Snark at his disposal to take back to Malaita a 
bunch of "boys" who have finished their term on the plan- 
tation. Jack says I may go, but Harding strongly dis- 
approves has ideas about where "a woman" should go and 
not go wouldn't let his wife travel to Malaita on the 
Eugenie, nor would he allow me to do so. (We had sug- 
gested going on one of her recruiting trips.) I wonder how 
he reconciles his censorship with my many months on the 

Darbishire quotes Kipling voluminously, and is overjoyed 
that we love him also. We lounge in long chairs on the 
verandas, and watch through our eyelashes the occasional 
dim schooners and cutters plying the sparkling level of In- 
dispensable Straits, and listen to our favourite poems as Dar- 
bishire recites them, no matter how long, from Me Andrews' 
Hymn to the Recessional. 

From July 15 to August 8, we spent at Pennduffryn, with 
the exception of an abortive start for Bellona and Rennel, 
on July 24. Jack beat me to the fever, coming down sud- 
denly one day. The heat flared up in him, he went promptly 
out of his head and thus missed consciousness of the severer 
aches and pains, and in three hours was almost quite him- 
self again merely a little weak. A few days after I had 
a touch of it, but only a touch, which led me to hope I might 
escape any bad attacks. And I took the first quinine of 
my life ! 

Harding had implored the boon of piloting the Snark to 
Bellona and Rennel, and requested that we let him take a 


crew of his own boys, to which Jack consented, although 
he and I much preferred otherwise. 

The Snark got under way at six A. M., after waiting all 
night for a "land breeze" Harding said never failed after 
sunset. We were simply cluttered with the black crew, 
who, whatever they might or might not be on the Scorpion, 
were perfect numbskulls on the Snark. Harding 's temper 
was not improved by their stupidity before us under his 
orders, and their utter vacuity under Jack or Henry on 
their watches. I could hear exasperated inarticulate "lan- 
guage" of both the latter when they tried to accomplish 
anything with the stranger crew, especially in the fierce 
squalls we encountered. Although Jack had paid for the 
scraping of the Snark's copper by divers at Gubutu, she 
several times refused to come about, and he could only con- 
clude that she was badly barnacled which Darbishire later 
discovered to be the case when he sent his boys under to 

We did not get far, what of light adverse airs and per- 
verse currents, but beat our way around the first point, a 
few miles west of the plantation, where we went to anchor 
in the company of two other ketches that were in the 
same case. The Eugenie (the report of her going ashore 
had been a joke of Darbishire 's) bound with recruits for 
Malaita, sailed by, her larger sail plan enabling her to out- 
sail the rest of us. But she suddenly turned around and 
ran back to Pennduffryn, much to Harding 's discomfiture, 
for he had launched into praises of his pet. Later in the 
day we weighed anchor and went ahead a few miles, during 
which we encountered the squalls and had the trouble about 

Harding had a severe sick headache, and was anything but 
a cheerful comrade. His squally watch from eight to twelve 
that black night, with his scared and inadequate "niggers," 
was a rather pitifully ludicrous incident for us. Every- 
thing was at sixes and sevens, and the general disgust re- 
sulted in a change of course that blew us back to Pennduffryn 


in the early dawn. I went on deck at seven, and could not 
believe my eyes when I saw Darbishire and Bernays manip- 
ulating signal flags in the most absurd messages to us, which 
did not in the least cheer up poor Harding. 

We found the Eugenie at anchor, and on the veranda her 
mainsail was being mended of a bad rent. Wada was tot- 
tering around after an attack of fever that had kept him 
from the ill-fated Bellona and Rennel cruise, Nakata having 
taken his place as cook and acquitted himself splendidly. 
An observant stripling, Nakata. 

Next day, Wada was pacing the deck of the Snark in a 
blue funk over the fever, and over a skin irritation called 
ngari-ngari that itches and burns like a thousand attacks 
of poison oak. The native name means scratch-scratch. I 
have a touch of it myself, so I can sympathise. It is a 
vegetable poisoning, and we have learned that the Sophie 
Sutherland (Jack's old sealing schooner) which came to the 
Solomons some years back, lost her crew from ngari-ngari. 
They went into the hills, were poisoned by the bush, scratched 
themselves without control and without antiseptics, and 
ended in a terrible fester that caused their deaths. 

Nakata has suffered two severe attacks of fever, but con- 
tinues inexhaustibly cheerful. Henry had a milder attack, 
and refused Jack 's quinine capsules because they did not look 
like the tablets dispensed by the doctor at Tutuila. Martin 
was so downcast over his ulcers, that he was badly dis- 
affected and almost ready to quit the Snark at the prospect 
of several months in the Archipelago ; but he became so inter- 
ested in the social life ashore, the billiards, and poker, and 
various mild gambling, that he changed his mind. 

Ornfere's cooking lapsed to such an extent that Har- 
ding was glad for us to bring Wada ashore, until he went 
sick with fever and hypochondria. And the anxious, 
poetic-faced Ornfere's imitations of the Japanese's dough- 
nuts, dumplings, bread, and cake, were something ap- 

Jack has finished a beautiful South Sea story entitled 


The Heathen, based upon a noble and sublimated Tehei, and 
is now deep in a novel Adventure, with the stage of action 
right here on Pennduffryn Plantation. He warns me that I 
need not be surprised if he runs away with his heroine, Joan 
Lackland, as he is quite falling in love with her. Besides 
our steady work these past three weeks and over, we have 
boxed, ridden horseback, and swam at sunset, sometimes in 
tropic showers when the palms lay against the stormy sky 
like green enamel on a slate background with ever an eye 
for alligators. One was seen near the Snark, also a shark. 
Tehei has enthusiastically joined with Bernays in his trap- 
making and -setting, although with no better reward so far 
than sand-tracks and broken traps. Bernays seeks their de- 
struction grimly and unceasingly, for "They killed the best 
dog I ever had/' he says. Speaking of dogs, there is one 
here, a jet-black, large mongrel terrier of parts, who gaily 
answers to ' ' Satan ' ' whenever he is called to show off. Made 
of coiled springs, he can jump straight into the air to impos- 
sible heights for food or sticks, or unhusked cocoanuts which 
he incredibly strips with his teeth and claws in short order. 
He is the terror of the " niggers, " and a word to him clears 
the compound of an unruly crowd in less time than the 
spoken command. Jack is putting him and certain tales of 
his valour into Adventure. Sometimes we visit the "quar- 
ters ' ' after dark, armed, and escorted by Satan. 

Bernays' devotion to the Brindisi Drinking Song has in no 
wise abated; only, he now protects himself and the playing 
record with a tomahawk in one hand and a New Guinea club 
in the other. "New Guinea" reminds me that aboard the 
Makambo one forenoon where we went out to breakfast, we 
met a Mrs. Donald McKay, whose husband is exploring in 
New Guinea. I felt sorry for the lady, for she is presumably 
as happy and peaceful in her mind as I would be if Jack 
were in the Guadalcanal bush. 

We miss the pleasant fruits of Polynesia the oranges, and 
bananas, mangoes, and limes. And we should thrive better 
if we had them. Jack seems headed for another spell of the 


sickness of before and during our "discovery" of the Solo- 
mons, and I am afraid of the dysentery for him, as it has 
broken loose among the boys, and several are in the pitiful 
shack dubbed ' ' hospital. ' ' Jack took a look at them the other 
day. One, lying in pain and dissolution, had a weeping, 
frightened brother at his feet, who could not be made to 
understand that his noisy grief was deleterious to the sick 
man. And the masters are not happy over the loss of their 
boys. Bernays, who works hard, says bitterly: "They die 
on purpose, the brutes ! ' ' These islanders have no more re- 
sistance than a mosquito, no hold on life, and succumb men- 
tally as well as physically. 

On August 8, 1908, 'the ketch Minota dropped in, and Cap- 
tain Jansen renewed his invitation for the Malaita recruiting 
trip. We looked at each other, Jack and I, nodded, and 
packed our grips and the typewriter. Meanwhile, Jack ar- 
ranged that the Snark be taken to Gubutu, at which place 
we would join her in a week or ten days and sail her to 
Ysabel Island, where we had learned we could safely careen 
and make a raid on her barnacles. 

We rowed aboard the Minota after a gay and festive din- 
ner, in a lovely night of stars with a pleasant light breeze 
ruffling the spangled water, and slipped out to a string of 
Darbishire's ridiculous code messages winking from the sig- 
nal staff in the compound. 

The Minota was originally a gentleman's yacht in Aus- 
tralia a beautiful rakish thing of teak and bronze and lofty 
cedar, fin-keeled, very fast, and now owned by a wealthy 
planter of the Solomons, Captain Sven^on, a man famed 
for the number and success of his ventures in the Solomons 
and elsewhere. She was not much larger than the Snark, 
but her interior consisted merely of a main cabin, and one 
stateroom for'ard. Captain Jansen and the mate would 
have it that we take their quarters, and themselves turned 
in on the long bunks in the cabin. The door to our room 


still bore the tomahawk marks where the Malaitans at Langa 
Langa several months before broke in for the trove of rifles 
and ammunition locked therein, after bloodily slaughtering 
Jansen's predecessor, Captain Mackenzie. The burning of 
the vessel was somehow prevented by the black crew, but this 
was so unprecedented that the owner feared some complicity 
between them and the attacking party. However, it could 
not be proved, and we sailed with the majority of this same 
crew. The present skipper smilingly warned us that the same 
tribe still required two more heads from the Minota, to square 
up for deaths on the Ysabel plantation. 

Nakata and Wada accompanied us, the latter in a pale 
panic lest he lose his precious head, the former cannily 
alert ; and, besides the four/ whites of us, the ship 's comple- 
ment was made up of a double-crew of fifteen and between 
thirty and forty recruits who had served their three years 
on Ysabel and were being returned to their tribespeople. 
And what was my surprise, when I explored the dimly-lighted 
cabin, to meet the shy, half-wild eyes of a kinky-headed 
"Mary" peering from a dark cubby under the deck, behind 
the companion steps. Captain Jansen explained that a 
Malaitan chief, in return for some favour, or to curry one, 
had honoured him with the gift of his daughter Tesema a 
tidy morsel, should big fella marster belong white man choose 
to kai-kai the noble damsel for thus are the poor females 
disposed of at the whim of their ruthless kin. 

1 i She 's a very embarrassing parcel, ' ' the captain said, with 
a grimace of distaste, ' ' but I thought too much of my neck to 
refuse her. ' ' He called her out, and she came crawling 
obediently and stood before us, in a single calico chemise, the 
first garment she had ever known. 1 ' Look at her she 's got 
buJcua from head to foot ! ' ' And even as he spoke, her hands 
were busy scratching the dandruffy, ringwormy skin. Cap- 
tain Jansen was heading for a Mission as soon as he finished 
his recruiting. " It 's all I can do, ' ' he said. " If I leave her 
anywhere else, ten to one she'd be kai-kai 'd before I'm out 


of sight. The fleshy parts of a woman's forearm and leg are 
the favourite feast-bits. . . . But they wouldn't get so much 
off her, ' ' he concluded, looking at the slim, scared being. 

It was insufferably hot in our bunks, which were high, with 
the heated ceiling close. The deck was packed with blacks, 
who, when they were not sleeping in their brutish, restless, 
muttering way, chattered incessantly in staccato high eunuch- 
voices, a polyglot of native dialects and beche de mer, with 
frequent interpolations of "My word!" "Fella," "You 
gammon along me," "No fear!" that were comically start- 
ling. Jack laughed right out when one bush-boy, uncon- 
genial to the sea, who had been moaning in incipient nausea, 
exclaimed: "Belly belong me walk about too much!" 
Whereupon another falsetto piped up in sympathy, "Belly 
belong me sing out ! ' ' Then would come sudden breaks into 
light, short child-laughter. 

What could their meagre infantile brains find to talk about 
so interminably? A miserable black wild-dog puppy from 
the Ysabel bush, termed by Jansen "The Wandering 
Sausage," hunting for human kindness and nursing, wailed 
and yapped at the thoughtless pinches and pushes and slaps 
with which it was bandied about. Peggy, a blue-blooded 
Irish terrier of five tender but dauntless months, from Sven- 
son's famous breed on Ysabel, and the pride of Jansen 's hopes 
for a "nigger chaser," stirred up added ructions by bullying 
the weanling baby-dog. There was not a single minute of 
silence on the Minota that long, sweltering night. And yet 
it was wonderful to lie there, pistols and extra cartridges 
under our pillows, a rifle apiece alongside on the couch, 
realising the slashing riskiness of the situation, nothing be- 
tween us and danger except our wardfulness and our lucky 

When I came on deck, the "boys" were making their 
toilettes with native combs and cheap new trade mirrors, to 
an intermittent accompaniment of short bells, which struck 
whenever certain small trade chests were opened or shut. 
The "bokkis (box) belong bell" (a trade-box with a bell 


that rings when the lid is raised or lowered) is the pride and 
ambition of the plantation hand, and I can imagine is one of 
the fruitful causes of the scant remains of wages at the final 
expenditure when the working term is up. They were gab- 
bling and giggling like a lot of girls and singing in their 
emasculated voices, monotonous, but not unmusical, intervals. 

One person who affords great amusement is the mate of 
the Minota. He is a good-looking German, with large brown 
eyes, straight nose, and small mouth ; but he has a loose-seated 
way of wearing his baggy trousers that gives him a ludi- 
crously Dutch aspect. 

Our clean, swift hull had made good time in the smooth 
water, helped by a favouring tide, and Malaita was clearer 
in the opal-misty morning than was Guadalcanal astern. 
Nakata, industrious and full of quinine, was a picture of 
intentional cheer, I think partly to offset his weak brother 
Wada who, cooking for us four in the tiny open deck-galley, 
was reduced to just simply a white-livered sea-cook. It was 
shocking to see a Japanese so go to pieces. There was no 
"buck up" in him. But then Wada, despite his manifold 
virtues theretofore, always was suggestive of an Indian in his 

It commenced to look very much like business when the 
boat's crew went about rigging a significant double line 
fence of barbed wire above the yacht's six-inch rail, the only 
break being at the narrow gangway, which would be espe- 
cially guarded in port. 

Jack and I worked all morning in the stateroom. The 
captain, who had been led into a relation of certain tragic 
passages in his life (he had fled home and stepmother at 
eleven) threw himself down in the cabin and slept ''Just 
to forget, good folk that's what I am always trying to do." 
He came from New York State, of Knickerbocker stock, and 
is unconsciously Rembrandtesque in every posture of his 
fine body and blond Dutch face, pale-blue dreaming eyes, and 
an invariable small felt hat over an ear. 

Our first anchorage was to be at Su'u, on southwest Malaita. 


The chart presented an unbroken line ; but as we neared in 
the late afternoon, a small deep indentation pricked into the 
coast. The fifteen Su'u boys were eager children, scan- 
ning the dim land, never still a moment in their excite- 
ment, bodies or limbs or tongues, chattering like cockatoos 
and wildly gesticulating as they recognised landmarks at 
close range. And I know I shall never again hear the bell of 
a cash-register without being transported to the Minota's 
savage-cluttered deck, for every child-man incessantly hunted 
for the ghost of an excuse to keep opening his melodious 
bokkis belong bell. 

The Rembrandt skipper awoke his own care-free, happy- 
go-lucky self, passing in turn into an alert navigator, his 
light-blue eyes roving keenly about as ' ' Johnny, ' ' the pick of 
the boat crew, sounded along inshore. The bay might have 
been absolutely uninhabited for aught we could detect of 
man or evidence of man. Not even the whistle of a " watch- 
bird" broke the primeval stillness of jungle that grew to the 
water a warning that often acquaints the visitor of prowl- 
ers ashore. "You wouldn't dream that a hundred pairs of 
eyes or so were looking right at us now, would you?" the 
captain said. "They're not missing an eye-winker I know 
them, ' ' he finished grimly. 

"If I had a kicker, we'd go in closer," he remarked when 
the anchor rumbled down. "But you can't get out quick 
enough without it, if you have to. " 

The landing of the fifteen Su'us on a clear stretch of beach 
opposite the jungly side of the harbour was accomplished 
before dark without event other than the appearance of two 
or three of their people to greet them. The mate went in the 
boat, armed with Snider rifle and a formidable six-shooter, 
Johnny at the steering sweep, and the boat's crew rowing 
each with a Snider or a Lee-Enfield beside him on the thwart. 
Captain Jansen, gun ready for prompt assistance, sensed our 
tense interest, and posted us on the manoeuvre. When a re- 
cruiting boat nears shore, it is turned around and the landing 
effected stern-first, the crew resting on their oars, prepared to 


pull away at an instant's order if necessary. Thus, also, 
every man faces the enemy, and the blacks are more afraid of 
hostile tribes than are their white masters. Many a " pier- 
head" recruit, fleeing from his own village, is gathered in 
under fire. We saw the boys climb ashore, and the mate and 
Johnny talk with the strangers; then the boat rowed safely 
back, the mate reporting that we would get no recruits 
this trip, and that the men he talked with were ominous with 
trouble brewing ashore. 

The Minota's boat works under small security, for the 
size of the yacht precludes carrying the otherwise invariable 
"covering-boat" that hovers, well armed, about the boat 
that lands and takes off recruits. ' ' Captain Jansen certainly 
has his nerve with him, ' ' Jack commented admiringly to me, 
after that gentleman had explained the custom. 

After supper, a merry repast in which we made shift with 
two knives (" knife-fees"), two spoons and one fork (the 
Langa-Langa loot had not yet been replaced from Aus- 
tralia), Jansen fished up a tiny Edison phonograph, and we 
lay around aft on deck, listening blissfully to cracked and 
much worn records of "Narcissus," "Pirates of Penzance," 
"Marching Through Georgia," and "Red Wing," over and 
over, meanwhile teasing and fondling by turns the ubiquitous 
yellow-velvet Peggy, who never rested night or day unless 
from sheer inability to keep going. She picked a scrap with 
as much abandon as she adorably and stormily apologised 
when brought to time for her sharp needles of teeth, and 
when nothing else was doing for the moment, went stalking 
her low-born victim, the wild-puppy. Wada lay at a dis- 
tance, with drawn face and hopeless eyes, while Nakata rattled 
on affably with the blacks, doubtless going them one better in 
their outrageous English. Their shining black and white 
eyeballs, and the sweet face of the sick little Mary at the 
companionway in the lantern flicker, lent all the local glamour 
that one could ask. We felt the jab of our pistols at our 
belts when we turned on deck, and Jack whispered, ' l Quick, 
Mate! Where are you?" as "Red Wing" commenced again 


and the captain rolled over to peer between the barbed-wire 
strands toward a slight noise off-shore. It was a small canoe, 
and it came alongside where Johnny stood with his rifle at 
the gangway. A solitary naked youth brought word from 
the "friendly" chief Ishikola, that no white man must step 
ashore on the morrow. Jansen pondered as to the friendli- 
ness of this warning ' ' Or is he cuddling some crafty scheme 
of his own ? ' ' Suspicious lights could be seen all that night, 
blinking among the trees, trending toward Ishikola 's vil- 
lage for Jansen did not permit himself to sleep under such 
suspicious circumstances. ' ' That 's what my nap was for this 
forenoon," he reminded us. 

I slept heavily from sheer exhaustion, and opened my door 
just in time to see Peggy take a short-cut into the cabin from 
the deck an unbroken fall of eight feet and lie still where 
she landed on her tender spine. Captain Jansen dropped his 
razor and sprang for her, gentle as any woman, and felt her 
over for a broken back. It was five minutes before she 
showed signs of coming to, and we were all more affected 
than we cared to talk about until we made sure she was 

The lovely sun-dyed mists in wood and hill thickened into 
a drizzle. A couple of handsome high-ended canoes paddled 
alongside from hidden places in the mangroves, and in one of 
them Johnny's sharp eyes discovered a rifle. When the 
naked rascals fell to the fact that the captain was ' ' on, ' ' they 
pushed quickly away from the yacht and did not return. 
Jansen said three of them were the bad ' ' bush ' ' people, down 
from the heights to take the least advantage that might open 
up. They were strong-bodied, fit warriors, and their punc- 
tured and decorated crafty-sullen visages were the beau ideal 
of one 's fondest dreams of howling cannibals. ' ' The paddlers 
are salt-water," Jansen called our attention, " praise the 
Lord the bush boys can't swim. A bunch of good swimmers 
can steal upon a vessel and board her quicker than you can 
drop them off. A stick of dynamite is the only thing that will 
scatter them. You don 't have to light it, and even if you did, 


there wouldn't be a nigger in sight when it went off they're 
that slick." 

A smudgy smoke rose from the beach, and our boat went 
over, this being a sign of recruits. With the glasses we could 
make out three naked men and a pickaninny, and a cluster 
of spears leaning against a tree. Our men were especially 
wary, for the very air breathed treachery. Instead of re- 
cruits, when they backed up to the beach, old chief Ishikola 
himself embarked, and paid us a visit. Glancing up the 
gangway, he spied me fella white Mary, and immediately 
shrank into himself until a fathom of white "calico" was 
passed down. Arrayed in this modest drapery, he limped 
aboard, and after greeting Captain Jansen, turned to us 
strangers : 

"My word! you fella come long way too much big sea." 

Once a fine-bodied man, a downward deep thrust of spear 
in the left hip had rendered him badly crouched on that side. 
The dirt-encrusted old knave, squatting on deck and inform- 
ing the captain that big fella too much bad business was 
brewing for us from the bushmen ashore if we gave the slight- 
est loophole of carelessness, flirted brazenly with the white 
fella Mary he too good. He played deliberate peek-a-boo 
from behind the captain, leered like a good fella old devil, 
grimaced, and even winked in true white masher fashion. 
Captain Jansen, greatly diverted, and seeing the chief some- 
what puzzled by my bloomers (he had seen duck-skirted mis- 
sionaries), soberly assured him: 

"This fella no fella Mary, Ishikola; he fella boy my 

Ishikola 's jaw fell, and he thrust a blank face far out to 
study the phenomenon. Never did woman receive a more 
searching look-over, up and down and back again. I had to 
remember who and what he was in order not to feel em- 
barrassed. Slowly the wrinkle-cracked wooden face lighted 
up, and the jaw closed only to open in a grin that matched 
the laugh in his wicked smoky-black eyes, as he emphatically 
enunciated : 



He joined in our laugh ; but his dignity was wounded, and 
he paid little further attention to me. 

Our skipper embraced the occasion to try out the firearms, 
and we made the tight little bight reverberate. After which, 
Captain Jansen coolly invited us to go close in to the man- 
groves and dynamite fish for supper. The sheer impudence 
of it appealed. The debonaire brass of this south-sea sailor- 
adventurer is an amaze. 

We went. Bristling with rifles, every man of us (!) with 
a pistol in his belt, we approached to within less than thirty 
feet of a fallen tree out jutting from that soundless, moveless 
wall of mangroves, reversed the boat, and the charge was 
tossed into the water. And simultaneously with the explo- 
sion, like screen pictures on a prepared scene, there appeared 
a score of stark naked cannibals, armed to the eyebrows with 
every fighting device known to savage man, while one, who 
had leaped to the end of the fallen tree, held his rifle on us. 
And he and Johnny, who had as instantly sprung to position, 
stood muzzle toward muzzle. Absolute silence, absolute im- 
mobility, save for shifting eyeballs but the eyeballs of the 
two with guns never wavered for a long minute. Then the 
savage on the fallen limb slowly, slowly lowered his barrel, 
and his eyes fell as he smiled sheepishly. The anti-climax, 
when the whole kit of warriors laid down their weapons and 
dived with our boys at Captain Jansen 's invitation to help 
themselves to the white-bellied litter of floating fish, was 
positively painful. The snap of the string of curious intent- 
ness made me almost cry when I began to laugh at the comedy. 
And it was Captain Jansen 's pure, insolent bravado, based 
on his knowledge of primitive psychology, that made the 
prank possible. He knew nothing would happen; and yet, 
one false move ... he acknowledges this himself. 

"I don't know a white man who has gone ashore in here 
of late years. Things have changed with the recruiting, and 
with the return of the blacks from 'All-white Australia/ ' 
he told us. ' ' Count Festetics and his American wife landed 


from their yacht, but that must have been ten or twelve years 
back. They walked some distance in, and the only living 
things they came across were three or four Marys, with their 
bones broken, staked to their necks in running water, be- 
ing made tender for the roasting." 

. . . And all the time "Just Because You Made Those 
Goo-goo Eyes" and other equally apposite selections were 
bawling across the water from the Minota, where the pensive 
German mate, Snider beside him, handy if needful, beguiled 
the hour away. 

The following morning, 

August 11, 1908. 

We got away from Su'u at nine in a warm drizzle. In 
lieu of either wind or " kicker," the sweeps had to be em- 
ployed, for, once the anchor is broken out, no chance must be 
taken of going aground in a hostile neighbourhood. I could 
see the crew, as well as the remaining return boys, hold their 
breaths while they measured the distance between the vessel 
and any possible entanglement. They all know what it 
means to be on the wrong side of fate in such misadventure. 

Our course was northwest, along the coast to Langa Langa, 
where the Minota and her problematically faithful crew 
were to stop for the first time since Mackenzie's murder. 
The wind freshened and drove the rain away, the mate 
brought up a long cushion, and I lay, with a hot headache, 
watching through our barbed railing the slow unfolding of 
Malaita, hill and vale, and finally the green crown of Mt. 
Kolorat, over four thousand feet high. No sooner was the 
grand panorama fairly clear, than we began to notice waver- 
ing pillars of smoke that steadily increased in numbers scat- 
tered all through the bush region to the green summits. 

Our blithe buccaneer of a skipper stood with legs apart, 
carelessly intent, infinitely graceful, and relishing grapples 
with danger as the food of life, I do believe. 

" Signal fires," he indicated to us. "Not a mother's son 
on this side Malaita but knows this ship and is watching every 


move toward Langa Langa. I'll bet they're laying wagers 
on whether she'll dare to go into Langa Langa after the 
Mackenzie fracas. ' ' 

The wind blew up a small tempest by noon, and we did not 
fancy lunching below ; so we backed up against the skylight 
and managed our plates with one hand while we hung on with 
the other in the rolls. Johnny, at the wheel, more appre- 
hensive than efficient, demonstrated himself no artist at easing 
over the big seas ; and the biggest of three swept our dinner 
into the buried lee scuppers, along with my parasol and 
everything else portable on deck, and dipped several yards of 
the spanker canvas. The captain fetched up in a swashing 
entanglement of things against the barbed wire, and extri- 
cated himself with most picturesque language as the vessel 
righted, and a gallant apology to "the Missis." 

' ' Another thing you can 't teach the best nigger in the Solo- 
mons, ' ' he chuckled ruefully, after dodging a skating chest on 
the back wash, and contemplating his torn singlet, * ' is how to 
steer. They go to pieces when the least strain is put on their 
judgment. I'd trust Johnny anywhere but at the wheel 
and in a fight against his own people. You can't depend on 
any one of them for that strange to say, not even when 
they've good reason not to fall into the hands of their own 
village. ' ' 

Here Peggy, who had been moping aimlessly all morning, 
appeared wearily at the lurching companionway, gazing ap- 
pealingly out of flour-rimmed topaz eyes, her entire person a 
shapeless ruin of white flour. 

1 ( My word ! She 's been sleeping in the flour barrel ! ' ' the 
mate cried, reaching for her. But the next lurch was too 
quick for him, and he and Peggy rolled down the steps to- 
gether into an avalanche of sweet potatoes that had got loose 
below. The next time I descended, I found that the two big 
drawers under my bunk were opening and shutting with the 
rolls, and it was more funny than scary to discover that they 
were filled with dynamite, detonators, and ammunition. 

We made a five hours' run from Su'u to Langa Langa, and 


there saw our first reef villages. I had nearly forgotten what 
little I had read of them, and they impinged on my willing 
imagination with the charm and surprise of a dream come 
true. Who in God's white world ever heard of this great 
island of Mala, garlanded with palm-plumed little Venices, 
tiny sea cities builded upon outlying coral by the weaker 
brothers of the bush who long ago were driven beyond the 
beaches of their own land ? Very curious and beautiful are 
these snug strongholds against man and nature, close-walled 
with firm masonry of coral blocks to resist the smashing sea, 
the straight lines of walls broken by thatched village roofs 
and the graceful bendings and sketchy angles of cocoanut 
palms. The openings for canoe landings are narrow and 
rough and steep, as if cannon had tumbled in a thick section 
of wall, the sides waving with ferns. 

To such an outland citadel we were bound, Langa Langa. 
We made our way around a mess of reef into a passage the 
outer side of which was the reef village, and anchored between 
it and the near-by mainland. As we entered the passage, a 
canoe came out, and an excited salt-water native informed us 
of the not surprising coincidence that the Cambrian had just 
steamed out (Captain Lewes again!), and that her mission 
had been to locate the murderers of the Minota's master. 
We gathered that the officers with their men had marched 
into the bush a short distance, and, the criminals not being 
forthcoming, burned five suspected villages, and killed a few 
pigs, leaving with the ultimatum that if the men were not 
delivered up at the stated next visitation of the Cambrian, 
worse things would follow. Immediately the innocent burned 
villagers had pitched into battle with the guilty, and "hell 
he pop" was the order of the day up bush. Captain Jansen 
left no item of this intelligence dark to his crew, who, if they 
had had any notion of collusion with the shore, now could see 
that the Minota was fairly tambo for the time being. 

Fairy shallops, with great cocoanut fronds for sails, came 
skimming from every direction across the lagoon, which was 
flat as a mosaic floor of lapis lazuli, turquoise, and jade. 


They clustered about us a dozen deep, the natives, mostly 
salt-water, cackling subduedly about the Minota, and I 
could catch a bit of hastily concealed pantomime now and 
again, that showed they were recalling the tomahawking of 
her last big fella marster belong white man. Next to the 
ship, I seemed to be the attraction, and the paddlers stood up 
to get a look at me. Only one did Captain Jansen allow on 
board, a chief called " Billy," who was glibly effusive, and 
confidential about current affairs. When I say he was al- 
lowed on board, I must qualify. No sooner had he stepped 
on deck and started forward, than the captain halted him 
with a peremptory but kindly : 

"Hey! You! Billy you better drain overboard, my 

And then we saw that he had an enormous and very active 
ulcer on his buttock. He begged for medicines and applied 
them, over the edge of the rail, while he recounted all he 
knew of matters ashore. 

Billy was much taken with the chance to talk with a white 
Mary, having met some of the missionary women, and was 
very gallant despite his disadvantageous posture for social 
amenities. Thus did he bid me to his village : 

"You come along island belong me, to-morrow, Mary 
Missis ? ' ' 

"Yes, Billy, I come, sure." 

"You no gammon along me?" he quizzed. And, being 
reassured, he smiled fatly. ' ' My word ! You bring me fella 
wife soma tobacco ? " in a wheedling tone. 

"All right," I promised, "I bring tobacco wife belong 
you. But what present you big fella chief bring me, Billy ? ' ' 

Billy got around it nicely: 

"Me fella no have present for Mary Missis," he ex- 
plained. "S'pose you fella man, me give him fella present 
one spear belong me." 

And he made good, presenting Jack next day with a deadly 
poison-tipped spear that I could not bind up quick enough 
for fear we might abrade ourselves on it. 


Fancy the German planters in the Archipelago, who have 
never learned English, essaying beche de mer. It is said to 
be one of the funniest things imaginable. 

It was a treat to watch Jansen. Apparently nonchalant 
and unobservant, he had an almost unbelievable awareness 
of everything going on. "Hi! Whiskers! Get away from 
that rail ! " he would rap out, three quarters back toward the 
inquisitive climber. Aboard and ashore, he avoided risking 
his back near a "nigger," and cautioned us likewise. With 
the chiefs he was all easy affability, breaking off to give a 
command, or order some one off, in an unequivocal, even tone 
that even a raw savage, unless he were a born idiot, could not 

A few fowls were offered, with the question: "You fella 
want kokoroko belong me?" and became ours for stick to- 
bacco ; also a garfish or two, long-nosed fish with teeth, that 
go human aristocracy one better, for their very bones are 
blue! And glad we were for this fresh addition to a very 
much tinned larder. Sometimes I hoped I'd never see a tin 

The canoe people had magnificent brown muscled shoul- 
ders, round-sloping down the arms, and splendid torsos; 
but when they stood erect, their legs were comic, short and 
bandied, with warped and weazened calves. The reef 
dwellers have little walking to develop their underpinnings. 

We rowed over to the elongated reef city and looked about, 
the older women, unsightly, dragged-out hags, skurrying the 
young girls into the houses as we approached. We saw two 
or three who were comely, but the clipped heads, as usual, 
robbed all but the exceptions of their looks. They were 
mostly naked, old and young, and the heads of the little tots 
of pickaninnies were shaved all but a bleached tuft atop, 
which might have been left to handle them with. All ages 
were nose-ringed and bead-necklaced, and wore an endless 
choice of unlikely objects in their tortured ears. We saw a 
squatting group of Marys shaping and drilling " money "- 
tiny pierced disks of shell both pink and white, which are 


strung on cocoanut fibre. A fathom of the pink brings a 
golden sovereign. 

Of course it is not to be expected that these earth-edge 
mortals could raise any produce in such small and unfavour- 
able spaces. They must depend upon fish as their main 
staple. The bush people, on the other hand, desiring fishy 
sustenance, an armed truce obtains at frequent intervals, 
wherein the Marys of both factions hold a market on the 
open beach, under guard of their respective lords, and trade 
vegetables, fruits, and fowls, for sea food. One large fish 
brings twenty taro, for example. Just now, with the condi- 
tions up bush, the salt water folk were hungry for fruit, and 
we saw grimy little pickaninnies whimpering for their 
' * tucker. " " What name altogether you cry along tucker ? ' ' 
Johnny demanded good-naturedly of one disconsolate kiddie. 

A detached portion of the walled town was reached by a 
bridging tree-trunk; and here, as at Port Mary, Jack was 
able to crow, for even this white fella Mary was not allowed 
to profane it with her foot. Jack walked across with the 
other males, joking me as I was rowed by in the boat. As I 
stepped ashore blackness spread over everything. I com- 
menced to shake uncontrollably, and called to the others. 
''Fever," Jansen pronounced laconically, and I was taken 
back to the Minota. Followed three hours of racking nerve 
breakdown in a raging fever, during which Jack turned to 
nobly with blankets and hot-water bottles and steaming 
drinks brought by a pitying Nakata, to induce the sweat that 
is the only relief. 

"By the shivering fits which chill us, 
By the feverish heats which grill us, 
By the pains acute which fill us, 
By the aches which maul and mill us " 

I thought I knew all of it by the time I had been sponged 
off a heavenly process that marks an immortal bliss of 
easement. Jack allowed himself only one jibe that the 
fever was precipitated by shock at being excluded from the 


In the evening, burned-out and weak, but happy, I was 
on deck, listening to "Narcissus" and "Red Wing," 
cuddling a convalescent Peggy, watching the ebb on the 
black reefs, where red fires glowed in the villages. Single 
silhouetted canoes with their gondola ends, glided across the 
lagoon where a golden moon dropped golden pools in the 
night-purple tide. The mountains melted in soft luminous- 
ness, their summits frosted with light clouds. Never in all 
my years shall I hear the dear, foolish 

". . . moon's shining bright on pretty Red Wing, 
The breeze is dying, the night bird's crying," 

without a tightening of the heart. 

Thursday, August 13, 1908. 

Captain Jansen had by now accomplished several things 
that brought him here, such as recovering a spare sail 
from the village that had stolen it on the Minota's last visit, 
and collecting good gold from Chief Billy for two deserters 
of his tribal brothers from the plantation. As there was no 
chance of gathering any recruits from the troubled bush 
region, we set out for Malu, on the north side of the island, 
to land the last of the homing blacks and drum up a new 

Johnny, losing his head as we were getting under way, 
jammed the wheel in the wrong direction, and nearly 
crammed us on the inshore reef. It was an apprehensive 
moment, even Captain Jansen knitting his blond brows as he 
watched the inches finally widen between the boat and the 
milky-purple menace below the pale-green water. Even 
with the punitive Cambrian so shortly departed, for the 
Minota, of all vessels, to hang up at Langa Langa, might 
mean a concerted rush that would finish us all in smoke and 

We wove along the lagoon made by the tfuter and inner 
reefs, picking our way so swiftly among prismatic coral 


shallows in bright green water to the guidance of a man at 
the cross-trees, that the near coral islets and low lands of 
the mainland, belted with mangroves, produced the illusion 
of shifting in an opposite direction from the mountain be- 
hind. The low, continuous ivory-sanded reef to seaward 
showed the kind of "land" the natives have built upon, and 
now and again a tiny village broke the line. Beyond the 
narrow strip, across a white-crested indigo sea, to the west 
we could glimpse Ysabel Island, showing on the heaving 
horizon in a string of isolated hummocks. 

Four miles of this exquisite traverse brought us to Auki, 
a beautiful walled double-village on the reef off a bight in 
the mainland. An enormous banyan had taken root in Auki, 
and overhung the wall. Close alongside, as in a moat, a 
shell-garish war canoe rocked. We almost touched the mossy 
coral wall as we went about to head-reach out a narrow pas- 
sage to the open water. We could smell the salt deep-sea 
smell distinctly as we emerged from the lagoon. A little 
later, we spied a schooner anchored off shore, and Captain 
Jansen recognised it as the Melanesian Missionary Society's 
Evangel. They have a mission near by, and one at Malu; 
but not a trader has been able to stick on Malaita. 

It was ten at night when we came to anchor at the extreme 
northwest end of Malaita, between Cape Astrolabe and the 
tiny island of Bassakanna. Here Captain Jansen told us 
he had once been becalmed for four days, the tide carrying 
him back and forth against his will. And here, on another 
occasion, he had picked up the survivors of the Sewall ship 

The Eugenie was a short distance ahead, and she, too, went 
to anchor for want of wind. Captain Keller rowed aboard 
for a "gam" a good looking fellow of but twenty-two, of 
German descent, who seemed very young to be in command 
of a schooner in such waters. He volunteered that he had 
never learned navigation. 

And all this day, Jack had been kind enough not to jeer 
at me, for, at last, I had a well-developed Solomon Island 


sore just abaft my left outside ankle-bone. He saturated 
it with corrosive sublimate, for I was too shattered with the 
left-over of my fever to have the nerve to doctor the aching 
thing myself. But I tied a raffish bow in the bandage, and 
Jack said that even in my rags I was picturesque. 

August 14, 1908. 

With the aid of tide, and a mere zephyr, with steady work- 
ing of the sweeps, we rounded Astrolabe, entered Malu Bay, 
and landed the recruits outdistancing the Eugenie, which 
was too big to sweep. The missionary at Malu, Mr. J. St. 
George Caulfeild, came out, rowed by his mission boys, and 
told us the natives were in a subdued state, as the Cambrian 
had lately paid an admonitory visit. We were in turn able 
to give him the news of the Cambrian's actions at Langa 
Langa. He congratulated us upon getting out safely from 
both that port and Su'u, as the moral effect on the natives 
is very salutary to the white man hereabout. Any new dis- 
aster to a white vessel makes them bold, he explained. Mr. 
Caulfeild has stuck it out at Malu longer than any other mis- 
sionary. If the bushmen didn't get him, the fever did. 
He either died here, or fled to Australia. The first mis- 
sionary, in the early nineties, lived only five months. And 
Caulfeild goes about entirely unarmed, with the gentle belief 
that his faith, combined with the superstitious awe of his 
fearlessness that obtains among the people, will protect him. 
He even dares to interfere with some of their practices, going 
so far as to try to prevent contemplated bloody tragedies that 
he gets wind of. He came here with a deep-seated prejudice 
against taking quinine for fever, which he lived up to for 
some time; but he confessed that he had come to it finally. 
He is a slenderly built, sandy-haired man, one of the sweetest 
and most unaffectedly righteous souls we ever knew. On 
a high bluff, reached only by a slippery and difficult defile, 
so narrow and so beset with rock and root that one man 
could hold it against a thousand, we found the grass-plaited 


mission church, and the good man's tiny abode on stilts, with 
a little cookshed near by. 
It was not until the next day, 

August 15, 1908. 

A whistle was heard ashore that betokened recruits. We 
could see our boat, with the rowers resting on their oars, 
while Johnny talked from the stern to the beach. Every 
time a recruit stepped into the boat, a yell went up from the 
boys on the Minota. The new boys were innocent of cover- 
ing, and a white breech-clout was handed to each, before 
he came overside, awkward and shy as a wild animal. The 
bewildered and scared but willing captive was then hurried 
into the cabin, where his picturesque name, be it Kapu, 
or Nati, or Gogoomy, or Mgava, was written in a book, and 
his hand guided to affix a cross thereto. The deck then be- 
came his quarters, where he was promptly assimilated by the 
inquisitive crew. 

Never believe that the untutored heathen has good teeth. 
He hasn't. His teeth decay and ache and become unsightly, 
just as do our teeth, only we have the means of arresting 
disease. In addition to these ills, often brought about by 
lack of right nutriment, the islespeople 's custom of blacken- 
ing their teeth, before referred to, renders their mouths 
hideous. Only from Caulfeild at Malu did we learn the true 
inwardness abundantly backed by Johnny, and Ugi, Man- 
oumie, and Lalaperu, other stars of the Minota's crew of 
the process. We had always been assured by the planters 
that the discolouration arose from lime-eating and chewing 
betel nut. It seems that a certain mineral found in land- 
slides and erosions of the earth, is worked into powder, and 
put indelibly upon the teeth when young, the process taking 
an uncomfortable twenty-four hours during which the 
patient has no wink of sleep. 

Jack and I absorbed many significant items of Solomon 
life. Jansen mentioned to Caulfeild the murder of a planter 
in the Group : 


" Which murder do you mean?" mildly inquired the gentle 
disciple of peace. ". . . Oh, man, that was a month ago. 
I thought maybe you were referring to ... or ..." And 
then would follow the curdling details of one or more out- 
rages that had been committed in the interim. 

"They're careless they get careless, and let the beggars 
get behind them," Jansen would complain. "Mackenzie, 
poor chap, had no manner of business to be alone on this 
boat that day, or any day. A Mary did the trick, I under- 
stand a nice harmless female woman peaceably aboard with 
three or four men. Mackenzie 'd no business to be fooled." 

Caulfeild told with a shudder how a chief on one of the 
islands had stalked into a mission dining-room and tossed a 
white trader's freshly severed head down the long table a 
head that had once talked and eaten at that very board. 
And there were sanguinary tales of the reeking bush, such 
as what happened at one place on Malaita, where two hun- 
dred men were cut up by their enemies, and the women 
forced to carry the decapitated heads down to the beach, 
where they were themselves beheaded. Jansen had already 
recounted to us how, five months previous, thirteen boys ran 
away in a stolen whaleboat from Ysabel plantation, and dur- 
ing their voyage to Malaita killed a Guadalcanal boy, and 
one other, who were with them, and kept the heads under the 
sternsheets. Jansen, who had followed in the Minota, re- 
covered the boat, and saw the butchery mess, which, he as- 
sured us, was very "loud" by that time. All these months 
Chief Billy has been in possession of the mast, boom, and 
sail of this very boat, but Jansen has recovered them and they 
are snugly stowed below. It is nothing to find an arm or 
a leg, fresh or otherwise, hanging in a tree ghastly warning 
or signal of one tribe or faction to another. 

And in this atmosphere of merciless carnage, Jack and I 
performed our regular work, read books, played cards, and 
taught Nakata English. I embroidered on fine linen in odd 
moments, and nursed the drilling hole in my ankle, feeling 
still uncertain and rather vague from the fever. Nakata 


was our joy and luxury, helpful, interested, and appreciative 
of this rare opportunity to observe the fringe of the earth. 
He called my attention to the beauty of the woods ashore, 
where a river flowed across the pink-tan coral sand into the 
sea, and especially to the splendid depth of blue shadows 
among the enormous trees. 

Sunday, August 16, 1908. 

We were fortunate enough to witness a big "market" on 
the broad beach this forenoon. While I mingled with the 
women, at least two hundred of them, Jack guarded me 
from a little distance, and our whaleboat hovered just off 
shore for the same purpose. I could glimpse the bush men, 
with their Sniders, spears, and arrows, in the gloom at the 
edge of the forest, and the canoes of the beach people pro- 
tected their Marys in like fashion. The majority of the 
women were not large, perfectly naked, except for a string 
of sennit, and went about their exchange of comestibles in 
business-like fashion, with a great hubbub of dialects. I 
was less than a nine minutes ' marvel, so intent were they on 
trade. But before their little minds tired of me, they felt 
me over, examined my pongee, laughed at the bandage-bow 
on my ankle, and one old mother, all kindly pucker of 
wrinkles, looked at my hands, and rubbed her calloused ones 
against them, explaining, in unmistakable pantomime, that 
the softness of mine was because they had done no work. 

There was noticeable lack of variety in the food stuffs. 
Dried fish of half a dozen kinds, a limited choice of vege- 
tables and a few fowls, were all they offered. The mission- 
ary told us that there is sickness because the people have too 
little change. 

The bush women are physically superior to the beach 
Marys, well up to their stalwart warriors in size, for moun- 
tain climbing has developed them to fine proportions. Some 
of them have really beautiful bodies, with long, strong legs 
such as artists paint on Greek girls playing ball. Their only 
imperfection seems to lie in the unlovely, shaven heads. 


I had been conning over a fascinating plan to adopt some 
attractive pickaninny, and take her home with me. Visions 
of a perfectly trained treasure of a maid lured me on to 
inquire of Mr. Caulfeild if such a scheme would be possible. 
He thought ,it would be easy to get permission from the Resi- 
dent Commissioner, and I was sure I had found exactly the 
right girl at the mission a fine looking child of nine or so, 
with intelligent brown eyes, wide apart, pleasant mouth with 
good teeth, and a well-shaped head ringed with soft brown 
curls. Her euphonious cognomen was Fakamam, and I had 
busied my brain already with diminutives coined out of the 
unlikely material. However, everything was settled for me, 
when the little maid's cannibal aunties and uncles up-bush 
(her father was a convict in Fiji, and her mother's head had 
been smoked) took a hand, and refused to let her go, claim- 
ing that they had to be responsible to him for his daughter. 
Nakata, I think, was more relieved than was Jack at the out- 
come of my quest. Nakata was appalled into bold utterance : 

* ' Why, Missis-n, where could we put her on Snark f Your 
room too pickaninny altogether, and oh! Missis-n, she can't 
sleep out in cabin and you many times say would not have 
even little dog aboard Snark extra ! ' ' 

. . . Later in the day we sailed out of Malu, following in 
an easterly direction the inward curve of the land, to a 
couple of reef villages, Sio and Suava, where the natives were 
so frank and friendly that Jack and I waxed reminiscent of 
Polynesia. Their gentleness must have been the weakness 
that led them to flee to the land's end, for they are farther 
out than most of the similar settlements. Quite an expanse 
of navigable shallow lies between them and the mainland. 

We were promptly surrounded with a bevy of canoes, and, 
contrary to the other anchorages, young women and children 
flocked out, laughing and coquetting, chirping and twittering 
with excitement over me, all naked as the day they first saw 
the light, many of them very prettily formed. A score of yel- 
low-headed kiddies swarmed over our sides, and were not re- 
pulsed, for Jansen knew his ground here. We saw some 


funny ornaments and clothing. A young chief, Eiraba, 
wore an exceedingly short coat patched variously as a crazy- 
quilt and nothing else. And one older fellow, otherwise 
naked, was decked in a battered derby hat, with a broken 
saucer bumping on his unclean and matted chest. 
In the morning, 

August 17, 1908. 

Sinulia, big fella marster belong Sio, whose grey head and 
rugged features were startlingly like those of the actor, Louis 
James, paid us a call and invited us to inspect his village. 
His daughter, Vavia, sat in a canoe alongside, making mo- 
tions for me to come ashore a tawny-skinned, beautifully 
formed girl, apparently about nineteen, with hazel eyes and 
light soft curling hair, bleached, of course. As we entered 
the village, up the mossy, ferny break in the deep masonry, 
the golden princess Vavia took possession of me, while Jack 
and the captain were entertained in her father's house, into 
which no female might trespass. In fact, while the old man 
had been most affable to me, and liked to talk with me, he 
had himself made clear that he was tambo from the touch of 
any Mary, and I was therefore deprived of the dubious boon 
of shaking his dirty old hand. 

It had begun to drizzle, and Vavia hovered me in under 
the long eaves of a house, where, pressed from all sides by 
her nude maidens, I was subjected to the most searching 
examination I had yet encountered, Vavia putting up my 
sleeves to the shoulder, and caressing my flesh with her 
small hands, making little velvety cries and moans over 
the white surface and texture, and sniffing the length of 
arm as daintily as a child scenting the perfume of a flower. 
At this extremely close range I was shocked to find that the 
secret of her gold-tan hue was plain and simple bukua, which 
had ravaged the entire brown cuticle, and left her an even 
shade that matched her bleached hair and yellow eyes. Con- 
sidering the tint of the latter, however, I judged she must 
originally have been one of the lighter tones of the countless 


variations of black and brown that the Solomon Island 
''blacks" sport. I was rather shy of her contiguity, this 
warm and sticky-wet day ; but she seemed to have passed the 
dandruffy stage, and I was helpless anyway, unless I gave 
them all hurt by withdrawing. So I yielded myself to the 
experience of being adored by the little naked ladies of 
Melanesia, who were lavishly sweet in their attentions. And 
they bore such charming names Mahua and Lurilna, Rarita, 
Ema, Masema, Heura, and Kassua, and a dozen others as 
musical. They had seen the missionary women, so I was not 
an unmitigated curiosity. Vavia finally, by patient reiter- 
ation of signs and sounds, got me to comprehend that she 
wanted me to sing. I hummed a familiar hymn, thinking 
that would most probably be what she had heard. She laid 
her face near mine, and, fluttering her small hands, followed 
me note for note, in a soft humming voice, an almost inap- 
preciable interval behind, until I was sure she had heard 
the air before. Then I tried something that it was impossi- 
ble she could know, and to my delight and astonishment, she 
repeated her achievement in a perfectly true voice. She 
reminded me of Bihaura, in her serious application. And 
she was so very, very winsome and pretty, was Vavia, with 
her round-breasted, round-limbed body and the infantile fair 
curls on her round head. She made me pensive and very 
wistful, for I am sure she was more than a half-soul such 
as are the bulk of these evil, sub-human creatures who people 
her land. We were loath to let each other go, Vavia and I, 
lingering behind the rest at the end, with clinging fingers. 
How she wanted to learn, and how I should have loved to 
teach her. 

Sio is an exquisite gem of the sea, perched on the coral, in 
two sections, with a tiny lagoon between, wherein float canoes 
inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Great banyans grow among the 
thatched houses and overhang the low battlements of the 
walls, and the cocoanut palms are heavy and fruitful. The 
lanes echo to voices of plump pickaninnies, and we saw never 
a half-caste the grim reason being, so we were led to be- 


lieve, that any child showing white blood is destroyed at 

Tuesday, August 18, 1908. 

We returned to Main for the purpose of picking up a 
bunch of promised recruits on our way to Gubutu and the 
Snark. But no arrangement of one's activities in the Solo- 
mons ever eventuates as mapped out. And here was where 
Jack and I went through an almost classic experience, viewed 
with the Melanesian twist. 

Captain Jansen decided to lie at Malu over night, so we 
took advantage of the afternoon to see a little more of the 
shore. Mr. Caulfeild, who came out with generous offerings 
of fresh vegetables and bread, warned us that a bad lot were 
prowling about near the beach, led by a certain chief so 
notoriously pernicious and the author of so many murders 
that the government had been looking for him a long time. 
So we landed with eyes open and revolvers handy. My back 
had by now grown callous to the irk of the holster. Jack 
and I, in bathing suits, treated ourselves to a bath in the 
dark still river, overarched with lofty trees, some of them 
banyans that covered acres with their tentacles vegetable 
octopuses. The pink strand and blue-green bay, with the 
sparkling sunlit reef, was a dazzling contrast to the dense 
green gloom where we stood shoulder-deep in the cool slow 
flood of the river. Men from the Minota stood guard, and 
we were careful to hide our guns at a little distance from 
our heaps of clothes, as, in case the latter were taken, the 
savages thinking the arms would be in them, we ourselves 
could rush to the guns. It sounds lurid and spectacular, I 
know, but was all necessary commonplace. It was not a case 
of the horse-play theatricals sometimes practised on "new 
chums. ' ' 

After our dramatic ablutions, Captain Jansen took us for 
a walk through the mangroves alongshore, going ahead with 
pistol in hand. This was the first time we had ever tried 
to make our way among these remarkable roots. The earth 


was of a rich black, saturated, "squdgy, sludgy" quality, 
and where we turned uphill the bush trail reeked with 
dampness and mould. We felt very subdued in this atmos- 
phere of dark-souled savagery, spoke low and stepped warily. 
But Captain Jansen did not lead far even he, so unafraid, 
knew where special caution should enter in. If any human 
thing lurked in the jungle, we saw it not, and the silence was 
heavy and oppressive. 

By the time we were once more on the sunny hot shingle of 
coral and shell, the bad high-bush chief with his gang had 
come into the open, or nearly so, keeping just inside the edge 
of the trees a tall, lean, sneaking individual with cunning 
eyes set near together, and an unclean fringe of whisker. 
The smiling friendliness of our meeting with him was rather 
comic, as we all were patently pretending that we were not 
taking inventory of one another's weapons, and the mock 
armed equality was rather overborne when that engaging 
swashbuckler, Jansen, with the most ingratiating insouciance 
took the chief's old Snider and emptied the horrible, soft- 
nosed cartridges into my hand. 

"Nice little barn-door that would make in one's carcass, 
no?" he commented, returning the loaded gun to its owner, 
and taking another from one of the blacks. 

"Look at this old cartridge, all made over. This beggar 
is a returned Queenslander, and they're the worst of the lot, 
for they know firearms and teach the rest how to make this 
sort of thing. They smuggled guns back into the bush with 
them, and there's been the devil to pay ever since." 

He also referred to what we had already learned, that 
these people know nothing of marksmanship, and for this 
reason, and also to conserve their scarce ammunition, they 
shoot only at close range, and from the hip insuring the 
most awful abdominal damage to the victim. 

At Jansen 's sociable suggestion, as if for the special en- 
tertainment of the others, Jack emptied a few magazines 
from his Colt's Automatic, and the bushmen stared and 
emitted guttural sounds of astonishment and awe at the 


stream of lead the pickaninny fella gun belong white man 
could pour out. My modest Smith & Wesson, being in the 
hands of a mere Mary, impressed them to foot-shifting 
embarrassment. The fact that we can hit objects at a dis- 
tance also acts as a check to undue mischievousness on their 
part. And in view of later happenings, our bombast was 
lucky for us. 

Wednesday, August 19, 1908. 

At nine-thirty, after a wade in the river, we of the Minota 
set sail in an ebb tide for the final lap of our ' ' blackbirding ' ' 
cruise, with some forty new recruits on deck, to say nothing 
of a half dozen Marys bound for another port beyond Gubutu. 
The wind was baffling, and the current setting strong upon 
the ugly point of reef. Just as we were about to clear it, 
the wind broke off several points. We tried to go about, but 
the Minota for once missed stays. Jansen never had got back 
two of three anchors lost at Langa Langa, and he now let go 
the one remaining one, giving plenty of chain that it might get 
a hold in the coral. The bronze fin keel ground on the reef, 
and the main topmast, which we knew to be risky from dry- 
rot (although only four years old) angled from the upright 
mast in a way that threatened our skulls. A huge comber 
raised and threw us farther on the reef just at the instant 
the vessel fetched up on the slack of the cable, and the chain 
parted our only anchor gone. We swung around and 
plunged bow-first into the breakers, crunching deeper and 
deeper into the brittle surface of the adamant ledge. 

The instant the Minota struck, the boat's crew had sprung 
to their rifles and stood facing shoreward. This seemed to 
us a touch showy and unnecessary ; but in an incredibly few 
minutes the bay, which had been deserted except for a few 
desultory small fishing canoes, was thronged with boat-loads 
of eager headhunters, rifles and spears and clubs sticking out 
in all directions. The captain told us this springing of the 
crew to arms in such situation is drilled into them from the 


While the whaleboat started off with a tow-line in an at- 
tempt to keep us from smashing farther on the coral, and 
Jansen and the fever-shaky mate rigged up a scrap anchor 
from out the ballast, a dead-line of a hundred feet was estab- 
lished, and the hungry-looking savages hung there in their 
gorgeous war canoes, willing to wait any length of time for 
the Minota to break up and yield her loot of tobacco and 
stores, not to mention other, rounder prizes. 

The crew behaved splendidly, likely as not, in the main, 
more from deadly fear of the hostile bushmen than special 
sense of loyalty to their masters. Some of the recruits had 
sprung for the rigging and clung there frozen with fright; 
but the captain got most of them below deck, and presently 
had them hard at work passing the pig-iron ballast up on 
deck, where, as the tide fell and the vessel jammed down 
harder and harder on her keel and rolled over from side to 
side, the eighty-pound pigs hurtled dangerously back and 
forth. I came near losing a finger in one dizzy lurch. 

The missionary, whose boys had run to him with the news 
that we were * ' lost, ' ' hastened out in his whaleboat, and then, 
Jack with him, approached the dead-line of black canoes, 
where the two eloquently tried with much tobacco to bribe 
some native to go with a message to the Eugenie, five miles 
away, near Sio, either to sail to our rescue, or bring anchors 
and cable. Our first kedge to the reef-shallow on the other 
side of the passage had parted the line, and our plight was 
increasing momentarily, with a heavy surf in the squalls. 

At length, one old man, alone in a tiny canoe, despite 
murmurings from the others, fell to the bait of an entire half- 
case of tobacco a prince's ransom and forthwith started 
with Jack's note. He set out in a gusty squall, and it did 
not seem as if the frail shell could live in the smother. 

In the meantime, while work went on aboard, and divers 
tried to raise the lost anchor, and the shivering sick mate 
went aloft to try to chop down the tottering topmast, that 
good man Caulfeild, unarmed himself, harangued the 
malevolent dead-line in true militant fashion, telling them in 


thrilling beche de mer that they need not expect to get any 
tobacco from the Minota; that what they would get was bul- 
lets, close up too much, thick and fast, if they dared come 
any closer. So convincing was he, and so determined did 
we appear with our arsenal, and the advantage of the near 
Eugenie already being advised of our predicament, that the 
unpitying vultures finally dispersed their close formation, 
and lay around in the bay and off shore. ' ' They 11 get even 
with Caulf eild for this, I fear, ' ' Jansen said. 

Signal fires were sending up their bending smoke-pillars 
all over the steep mountains, and we could not fail to note the 
gathering of clans beachward; while the longest war canoes 
we ever saw were coming along the coast and entering 
the bay some of them paddling near and showing the 
faces of returned recruits we had landed at Sio. One big 
canoe, propelled by women, dipped out after a while, and 
was allowed to take off our Marys. This relieved the boat 
of weight, and Captain Jansen considered the situation well 
enough in hand for the moment to send ashore spare sails 
and other heavy gear, which were stored in a little shack 
he kept there for such things. The returning boat reported 
a restless and augmenting mob ; and the exodus from bush to 
beach was taken advantage of to hold a big market. The 
crew also brought back lengths of trees they had cut, to put 
under our keel for its protection from the coral, and our 
divers did some splendid work placing these logs. As the 
water lowered and wind increased in ugly squalls, the 
swelling breakers lifted our helpless hull repeatedly, crash- 
ing it down with terrific shocks, when it would roll the 
deck almost perpendicular only to duplicate the perform- 
ance to the other side. Everything broke loose, above and 
below, and the blacks, certain the bottom would cave in, 
made frantic crushing rushes for the deck, only to return 
laughing foolishly. The wretched Peggy screeched honestly 
and shamelessly, as she swept across the floor in an avalanche 
of potatoes, limes, flour, and bilge-water; the men yelled, 


breakers crashed, and it was altogether a nerve-racking 

And yet, I wasn't afraid. When one is in the midst of 
such a situation, the interest is so breathless, so absorbing, 
and so much there is to do, that an element of keen joy of 
living enters in. Right in the thick of the first trouble, not 
wishing to be in the way, I called Nakata (Wada was useless 
with fear), and we fought our way through everything below 
to the stateroom, where, alongside the banging drawers of 
explosives, we packed our belongings in compactest form 
and order manuscript, clothes, money, typewriter ready 
for prompt transportation in case we had to take to the 
whaleboat. My helper was cheerful, even enthusiastic: 

"Why, Missis-n, this more like old years with my father, 
in fish sampan in what-you-call Inland Sea oh, Missis-n 
big blowing, big trouble, many time!" 

It was fully three hours before the Eugenie's whaleboat 
surged into sight across the white-whipped peaks of surf, the 
yellow-haired master standing at the steering-sweep white 
man to the rescue of white man the world over. Jack and 
I were solemnly touched with the romance and beauty and 
bloodedness of it. Captain Keller with his men and ours 
worked for heartbreaking hours trying to kedge the Minota 
off with the new anchors. It was a stirring spectacle, the 
boys shining with sweat under the brassy midday sun, shout- 
ing and crying the invariable necessary accompaniment to 
their every endeavour. 

But the scene we shall always remember above all others> 
was when the missionary, after striving steadily with the rest 
to help us out of peril, said smilingly: 

"Well, we've tried and tried, one way; now I'm going to 
try the other way." 

He forthwith gathered about him his boys, who had been 
put in charge of certain of our rifles (the captain thought 
wiser to disarm several of the crew who hailed from Malu), 
and they descended into the wrecked cabin, finding foothold 


where they could, for the floor had been ripped up to get at 
the ballast. And down there in the dim light, with the ves- 
sel heaving, falling, crashing, the blue-eyed man of Christ 
uncovered his fair head and prayed aloud in the shouting 
din where above men toiled with fervent profanity, his meek 
disciples bending their brown faces on their hands folded on 
the muzzles of the guns. Ensued a moment of silent prayer, 
and then the child-men 's voices, led by the white man 's bari- 
tone, rose and fell in " Nearer, My God to Thee." 

And when it was ended, they returned soberly on deck 
to work with the heathen. 

Jack finally consented to let Mr. Caulfeild take ashore the 
typewriter and one suitcase of manuscript and notes, for fear 
of salt water below. Care was observed in not sending a 
noticeable amount of luggage, lest our enemies get an idea 
we were abandoning the ship. Nakata went along to carry 
the machine up the steep ridge; and when he came back, 
with the missionary, Jack had decided after all to make 
safe the remainder of our things, and I heard him say, 
''And Mrs. London will go ashore also." I was glad of 
this, for nine hours of the keen excitement, to say nothing 
of the violent pounding, had nearly exhausted me. Caul- 
feild assured us I would be certainly as secure in the 
tambo of his precinct as on the Minota; so I dropped into the 
whaleboat on a big swell, Peggy in my arms, and was rowed 
to a point on the beach nearest the trail. Jack sent Nakata 
and Wada with me, and we carried the ship's money and 
the mail. Willing hands of Christian boys helped us up, 
and Nakata bustled about making me comfortable in Mr. 
Caulfeild 's one-room shack, with a mere closet adjoining 
which contained his bed. Wada, with his spine of jelly, 
was of little assistance; but his countryman foraged in the 
vegetable garden and rustling cornfield in a little meadow, 
and served me a delicious and welcome supper. He is pos- 
sessed by the very spirit of loving service, that brown cherub. 

A letter home, written during that grave night, tells 
freshly how I spent the hours : 


"And here I am, at eight-thirty, alone on the windy ridge 
but for the two Japanese boys, and a small black Christian 
who is patrolling the premises on his own account in defence 
of the 'white Mary/ with a long strong bow and a quiver 
of arrows. He just now, on one of my scouting essays, 
told me quaintly in stage whisper that Malu beach is full of 
* wicked men' which means that the murderous bushmen 
are gathering in greater numbers, reinforced by neighbouring 
salt-water men of the worse sort. No man or woman ever 
knows what freaks of fancy may actuate the cannibal brain, 
so I think I shall not go to bed in the tempting nest Nakata 
has laid for my broken back and aching limbs and head, al- 
though I am dead tired from the long day of buffeting down 
there on the crashing reef. 

"I am writing at a little green-topped table on which lie 
my five-shooter and a Winchester automatic rifle containing 
eleven cartridges. Outside is an intermittent gale of wind, 
thrashing the banyans and palms, whipping the breakers 
into hoarse, coarse roaring, varied by blasts of thunder, and 
lightning of all descriptions ; and through the clamour I can 
just catch the pulling-calls of desperately hauling men on 
yacht and reef, as they work to clear the vessel at high water 
and I hope and strain hope until it hurts, that she is even 
now leaving the bed she made for herself in the coral, to float 
in the merciful deep water of the bay. I cannot see, I do 
not know; when I go out, every quarter hour, I can only 
glimpse a light far below on the reef, which is blotted out by 
the wet veil of a squall. I hear no shots, and am fairly cer- 
tain our crowd is not being annoyed by the scoundrelly man- 
eaters ashore. I am not exactly happy, with my man out 
there, tired and anxious and supperless; and the yacht, in 
spite of almost unbelievable staunchness, may break up in the 
night. They could get away in the whaleboats, but what 
would they meet if they tried to land on the beach the sav- 
ages knowing the ship had been deserted ! 

"My house reels and whirls, 'lifts and 'scends,' all but 
bumps. I came ashore for rest, and rest there is none, for 


the terrible swaying and pounding and grounding of many 
hours is in my brain, and I swirl and sway on solid ground. 

"How good Jack's face would look in the doorway. 

"My two boys are sleeping on the floor near by, Wada 
moaning and twitching in a light attack of fever, and Nakata 
dead-o, with a tired face. 

"9:05. Just HOW I went out reconnoitring, to the cau- 
tious edge of the bluff, but could detect through the glasses 
no change in position of the distressed ketch's light. Nor 
did I see the redeemed James on guard. I stepped quietly 
about in the dense blackness twinkling with fireflies, and saw 
glow-worms softly luminous in the damp wold. In a long 
silken thrall of lightning my staring eyes saw that one of the 
piles under the high cottage was of a peculiar bungling shape ; 
and I walked toward it with gun poised, ' singing out ' sharply 
in the vernacular : ' What name stop you fella ? What name 
belong you ? ' 

1 ' ' Jam-ees, ' meekly responded the uncouth post, and in 
the utter blackness my faithful policeman added: 'I walk- 
about look my eye belong me. ' 

"Fortunately I never was timid about being alone in a 
house, or I should be * properly, ' as they say here, scared out 
of my wits to-night, in spite of the missionary's assurances, 
for it comes to mind that I heard him say, before the Minota 
hung up, that last night he found footprints in a freshly 
made vegetable plot, where his own boys know better than 
to tread, and other signs of prowlers. 

"10:45. If only the earth would not seem to heave and 
plunge so! I am tired, tired, tired, and have been awake 
since three this morning, when, on board the Minota, the 
recruits began cooking their breakfast of sweet potatoes. 
The native cook, Bichu, had deserted at Sio. 

" Wouldn't it be funny if I actually should have to 
fire on some one ? Well, if it is necessary, I '11 call up a firm 
New England jaw, and go to it; and if I fire, I'll not miss, I 
promise ! 


"Thursday, August 20. 

"The missionary returned last night about 11:30, just as 
I was falling into a doze in spite of myself. I must have 
heard Nakata start for the door, for before I knew it, I was 
there ahead of him, and met that gentle soul, Caulfeild, re- 
volver in my hand, albeit with the muzzle pointed downward. 
He reported that they had failed to move the yacht at high 
water, because every line bent had parted at strain. (In 
twenty-four hours she had parted two anchor-chains and 
eight sturdy hawsers. ) She still stuck fast, and was striking 
hard, although there was no break yet in the bottom ; and he 
said he had left Jack asleep for the moment. He also said 
the beach was covered with armed bushmen. 

''I went to bed, first being sure that Nakata was making 
our good friend comfortable, and when I opened my eyes at 
6 :30, found I had not moved from where I fell asleep. The 
weather was still blustery, and the sky soiled with thunder 
clouds, but the sea had abated. Captain Keller had re- 
turned to the Eugenie during the night, and his whaleboat 
was washed on the rocks twice in squalls; but he made the 
schooner, and brought her to Malu in the forenoon her ar- 
rival was a beautiful sight that brought tears to our eyes. 
Her presence, coupled with the stubborn refusal of the 
Minota to become flotsam and jetsam, had a pacifying effect 
on the cannibal horde. 

"Last evening, Mr. Caulfeild carried a warning to the 
Minota that one of the new recruits aboard had a price on 
his head of fifty fathoms of shell-money and forty pigs ; and 
the modified desire of the baffled headhunters was to capture 
this valuable cranium. Jansen decided to take the offensive, 
and went in the whaleboat to the beach, where, interpreted 
by Ugi (the Red Jew we called him, from his fairness and 
a ruddy tone in his wool), he had told the sullen, uneasy 
pack a few things the essential one being that any canoe 
sighted that night within range, would be 'pumped full of 
lead.' Ugi warmed to a fine frenzy, and finally jumped up 


and down in the sternsheets, waving his arms and screaming 
shrilly that if they harmed a hair of his captain's head, he 
would drink his blood and die with him ! It was an amazing 
performance, proving the spark in the clay that will out. 

"Jack came ashore this morning. I met him on the trail 
in a shower of sunshine and rainbow from a breaking sky. 
He was very, very weary, but full of enthusiasm over indomi- 
table mankind that can fashion such a boat as the Minota, 
and fight so unwaveringly and cheerfully for endless, unsleep- 
ing hours. The mate, by the way, had been thrown into a 
fearful attack of fever, and had lain in the cabin, senseless 
and raving by turns, but had risen later on, weak and shat- 
tered, determined to go on working. 

"Captain Jansen kept some of his crew on guard at the 
storehouse all night. When Mr. Caulfeild came ashore near 
midnight, a bolder chief was trying to break through the 
guard. Caulfeild took him by the shoulders and threw him 
backward. And he and the muttering, scowling spawn did 
not dare touch the white man who blazed at them with his 
straight blue eyes not yet; but I fear, I fear. A shack 
on the beach under the bluff, belonging to one of the mission 
boys, was burned during the night, in retaliation for his 
helping the white men. 

"Small Nakata, with a parental arm half around Jack's 
husky shoulders, fathered him into the house, brought him 
every convenience of toilette that he could muster, the while 
setting the wan Wada at the preparation of a hot break- 
fast of rolls, eggs, and coffee and a steaming tender ear of 
sweet corn. How could one help loving such a creature, and 
being willing to live and die with him die for him, if need 

"This evening we packed our things back down the drip- 
ping trail, and were taken aboard the Eugenie. I was to 
voyage on Harding 's tambo idol in spite of him, and beyond 
choice in the matter." 

The Minota was not pulled free until the afternoon of the 


21st two nights and three days she withstood the punish- 
ment of sea and coral. Three whaleboats towed the gallant 
shell of her to an anchorage, and a great cheering went up 
from us in the schooner, with a "Hurrah for the Dutch!" 
our black boys dancing, and yelling "Hita! Hita!" in 
shrill falsetto. The Eugenie was to take us to Gubutu, land 
her raw recruits at Pennduffryn, and return as quickly as 
possible to Malu. Captain Jansen came aboard to shake 
hands good-bye, Jack said a few warm words for the wonder- 
ful time he had made possible for us, and Jansen reddened 
pleasedly, but only said, as they wrung hands : 

"That's all right, old man leave the change on the plate. 
And you, Mrs. London, won't you please leave Peggy for 
me at Meringe, and tell Schroeder to bite her tail off good 
and short, and I'll pick her up when I land the boys. She 
already hates a nigger the very spit of her mother! and I 
want her ready to train." 

Then, not wasting a minute of precious time in getting to 
work reballasting and patching up his raffle of rigging, he 
swung overside into his boat with a "Right so long, 
good people. ' See y ' in Liverpool ! ' ' 

The Eugenie sailed in the afternoon of the 22d, and, to 
make assurance doubly sure (she had already made one un- 
successful unaided attempt to get out), had three whaleboats 
tow her past the bursting surf. Then, a boisterous trade- 
wind and -sea favouring, we swept around the uttermost 
capes of black-hearted Malaita, and down to Florida (Ngela), 
sailing past the trading station at Gubutu, into the Tulagi 
anchorage near by, where is the government seat. An aeon 
of time might have passed over our heads in the race of man, 
for from primordial red savagery we crossed smoothly into 
the machine age. The harbour of Tulagi presented a most 
populous twentieth-century picture the Makambo, in from 
Sydney, the Cambrian, from anywhere and everywhere, and 
we dropped hook just astern of the Evangel; while a little 
distance off, we saw our own Snark, and the planters of 


Pennduffryn putting off in surprised haste at sight of Jack 
and me aboard their schooner. Harding 's face was a study 
when I grinned at him over the rail. 

We were lunched on the Makambo and the Cambrian, at 
last meeting up with Captain Lewes, who was the soul of 
kindness, sending his electricians aboard the Snark, and 
placing any and all things at our disposal. And we were 
invited aboard the Evangel, where we met the women and 
men who spend the best part of their lives going about these 
soul-slumbering islands. Miss Florence S. H. Young, the 
head of the South Sea Evangelical Society, twenty years ago 
became interested in the work through trying to civilise the 
Solomon men working on her father's sugar plantations in 
Queensland; and, when Australia voted "all white," she 
followed the expelled labourers and continued and enlarged 
her activities. 

We were bidden to the Residency on the shining, gardened 
bluff, by our Naturalist Among the Head Hunters, Mr. C. 
M. Woodford, and his good wife, who was over the water 
from England to see him. And he was no disappointment, 
this clear-eyed man who has served and studied the most of 
his life in "the terrible Solomons" a man of learning and 
of great personal charm, with valuable tomes to his credit on 
the subject of the flora and the insect life of the Archipelago. 

Jack had by now definitely concluded to lay up the Snark 
at Marau Sound, near Pennduffryn, with her crew, take a 
run to Sydney on the next following trip of the Makambo, 
and go into hospital for an operation. So we engaged passage 
ahead, with Captain Mortimer, and went aboard our blessed 
boat for the short cruise to Meringe Lagoon on Ysabel, with 
a run north to Lua-Nua (Lord Howe, the Ongtong-Java of 
the discoverer), and Tasman, for a few days. This would 
partially compensate for the failure of the Bellona and Ren- 
nel adventure, for Harding had backed and filled until Jack 
was possessed with one of his deep disgusts, and I knew that 
that particular picnic would never come off. On 


Wednesday, August 26, 1908. 

We left Tulagi, watered at Gubutu, and, with Tehei aloft 
to watch for coral patches, had just cleared the wharf and 
got well under way, when an unmistakable American voice 
shouted from an anchored ketch : 

' ' Long time since I 've seen that flag here ! ' ' 

' ' How long ? ' ' Jack demanded genially. 

"Oh, several years," the man replied. " I guess you 
knew the schooner, Sophie Sutherland Alec McLean! eh? 
How about that Sea Wolf!" 

And in the brief passing, we learned that he was a Penn- 
sylvanian, and that he wished there was room for him on the 
Snark. How many wished that! We did not blame them 
we were so glad to be there ourselves. And the happen- 
ings of our wonderful nine days on the Minota seemed very 
remote like the fulfilment of a long ago dream. 

We had an inspiriting brush with a big recruiting schooner, 
the Malekula, whose men we knew at Pennduffryn, until our 
engine, ever faithful in failure, broke down. After a night 
of brisk but steady wind and sea, in which Jack kept un- 
broken vigil (for there were coral shoals to dodge), in the 

August 27, 1908. 

We found ourselves rocking along the northern coast of 
Ysabel, her mountains all lovely colours in the dewy waking 
day. Meringe Lagoon is a passage formed by a garland of 
coral and islets off the mainland, the waves of which lap the 
roots of mangroves where, above the water, cluster very 
edible rough -shelled oysters. "Wait till we tell 'em at 
home that we have picked oysters off trees," Jack grinned, 
as the first one slipped down his throat. " Say, that 
tastes like another ! ' ' And a round dozen followed after. 

We came to rest in five fathoms, and were first greeted 
from the beach by a brace of enormous terriers, one red and 
rough and the other smooth as a sorrel horse. The pair 


trotted like a span of ponies, and barked with throats like 

U 0h, they're Prince and Biddy," Jack cried, and Peggy 
set up a hysterical howl, overbalanced, and plopped over 
the rail. Once in the water for the first time in her life 
instead of trying to get back, she made valiantly for the 
maternal bosom, where Biddy, beautiful with motherhood, 
raising and setting her narrow feet alternately in the edge of 
the tide, received her lost daughter with a thorough going 
over of tongue and paw, to see if she were clean and sound, 
while the interested but more dignified sire stood a little 
apart, occasionally wagging his shaggy stub-tail. I have for- 
gotten to mention that Peggy, most human of four-footed 
beings, had contracted at Tulagi a perfectly human and very 
painful malady urticaria. Pitiable as were her deep eyes 
of suffering, she was a mirth-provoking figure, for her poor 
little face, broad puppy-paws, and lank and as yet un- 
trimmed tail, were all shapeless with knobs. She tried to 
hide herself under canvas, anything but any contact, how- 
ever slight, made her shriek with sensitive agony. "I'm 
not surprised a bit at Peggy contracting a human disease," 
Jack had commented. He had had urticaria himself, and 
was in full sympathy despite his laughter at the asymetrical, 
unfinished form of her, like a partially thumbed dog of clay. 

Next arrived John Schroeder, and his assistant Mr. Mere- 
dith. Mr. Schroeder is brother-in-law to Captain Svenson, 
and manager of the plantation. He placed his house at our 
disposal, and regretted that he was minus a cook, so he 
could not ask us to lunch. We had both men eat with us, 
of course, and listened to advice about careening the Snark. 
At high tide we ran her aground on a steep-to part of the 
beach indicated, and strange enough it was to feel her fore- 
foot stop on the firm sand touching for the first time in 
her tale of many thousands of miles of sea-faring. As the 
tide went out, and the hull lay over, all hands and the cook 


went about removing the astounding accumulation of bar- 
nacles, working until ten at night. It was a wonder she had 
handled as well as she had. ''Gee! They're like oysters/' 
Jack delivered himself, trying to pry a large shell loose from 
the man-o'-war copper that we hadn't laid eyes on since the 
boat was launched from the ways in South San Francisco. 
Mr. Schroeder strongly advised that I sleep ashore, as 
the yacht would assume all sorts of unrestful angles. Jack 
begged me to comply, although he felt that he must stay 
aboard, as there was more or less risk to the boat in careen- 
ing on so sharp an incline. He sent Nakata along with me, 

August 28, 1908. 

When I arose at six, to the resonant boom of a wooden 
drum in the quarters of the Malaita boys, after eight un- 
troubled hours, I found the little man curled fast asleep 
before my door, where he had lain all night. He sat up, 
wide awake on the instant, rubbing his cheerful eyes. Al- 
ways he knows exactly where he is at the moment of awaken- 
ing no slow Oriental drowse in his return to consciousness. 

Wada, who had perked up considerably when he sailed out 
of Malu on the Eugenie, had lapsed when the Snark touched 
Ysabel. We explained what he could see with his own 
eyes that the Ysabel natives are of a better grade (they 
have a very slight infusion of Polynesian), that there are no 
bad bushmen. All to no avail; he knew the plantation was 
worked by Malaitans, and his terror augmented, throwing 
him into fever again. 

When Mendana, nearly four hundred years ago, discov- 
ered ''Santa Ysabel de la Estrella," he found the natives 
lived principally on cocoanuts and roots, and was beginning 
to think they lacked animal food, when a chief sent him a 
lordly present, a quarter of a boy, with the hand and arm at- 
tached, and was deeply offended when it was promptly 
buried. We trusted Wada had not heard this scrap of his- 


tory. As soon as he went down with fever, Nakata, to our 
surprise and pleasure, stepped gaily into the galley, and pre- 
pared a meal of which oysters fried in batter was but the 
appetizer. "Oh," he grinned, "I 'look 'm eye belong me' 
one year now, and I t'ink I can cook good 'kai-kai.' " And 
"Perhaps," he added musingly, "I shall be with you always; 
and I like to learn all kinds of work." 

To my delight and sorrow, when I thought of parting 
Peggy established herself my shadow, as if she considered her- 
self my particular property and devoted slave. Mr. Schroe- 
der had done his worst and best to her, as was eloquently 
attested by a gory bandage at one end and a plaintive voice 
at the other. Never was there such a puppy. Her brother, 
Possum, himself an adorable armful, appeared a mongrel 
beside this fine, super-soul of a dog, Peggy "Peg-tail" for 
the nonce. Martin earned indignant protest from Jack and 
me when he said, honestly : 

"She's a nice enough dog, I'll admit; but I can't see she's 
any different from any ordinary yellow cur. ' ' 

The only criticism of Peggy ever wrung from Jack was 
when, having wallowed instinctively and luxuriously and 
thoroughly in a rotting carcass on the beach, she tempestu- 
ously flung herself to cuddle in his neck, where he lay 
against a rock on the beach: 

"You brute you filthy imp Peggy, Peggy, I thought 
you were a white woman!" he concluded accusingly to the 
abject heap that cowered where he had involuntarily flung 

Well it was that Jack stayed by the yacht, for, having 
worked a little farther up the slope at high water, she nearly 
capsized outward at low. Jack went through a terribly 
anxious period as he observed that she did not right in the 
rising tide, and the water crept and crept over the rail, up 
the vertical deck, until it lapped the edge of the skylight. 
Then he acted, and things popped for a while as additional 
lines were carried ashore from the mastheads. It was nip 


and tuck for a time, but at last the heavy hull slowly began 
righting. Every one looked strained after the close call. 

For me, the two weeks at Meringe Lagoon were a stretch 
of almost unmitigated repose and beauty long nights of 
sleep, rainbow mornings on the curving pink north beach, 
on the way to the Snark, Prince and Biddy, those wedded 
comrades, racing and frisking along to a swim aboard, where 
they knew awaited them a bite or two of delicious fried 
pigeon, or broiled goat (Martin went hunting on a tiny 
reef island), or succulent, coloured fishes; happy hours of 
work aboard or ashore, romps with the pups, and an occa- 
sional swim always a risky amusement, what of sharks 
and crocodiles, both of which we saw from the yacht. Our 
stay was delayed beyond the few days we expected, waiting 
for bigger tides to careen the hull properly. 

I had been looking forward for months to finding turtle 
shell, and here the natives brought a " scale" or so aboard, 
the armour of the huge Hawksbill turtle, some of the pieces 
eighteen and twenty inches long, and broad in proportion. 
But Mr. Schroeder, learning my desire, opened up a box 
of specially selected pieces, already sealed for shipment, 
and told me to select the best of his best. Of course, Jack 
would not listen to a gift of such value, for the choice shell 
brings a large price in Sydney, and our friend at length, 
overborne, consented to talk business. It was the thickest and 
most beautifully marked shell we ever saw, and Jack revelled 
with me in picking out a goodly pile. Already I was sketch- 
ing designs for combs and pins, and dressing-table boxes, 
while Nakata, fired with enthusiasm, could hardly wait to get 
where he might buy tools and learn to work the enticing 

Martin tramped to a hill village, but we did not go into 
the interior. Only one trip we made from the Lagoon, and 
that was to a dot of uninhabited islet, Kiaba, a few miles 
directly north, to shoot the pigeons that home there after- N 
noons from their mainland feeding. Mr. Schroeder took us 


across the indigo summer sea in a nineteen-foot open cutter 
with a large sail. Kiaba is nothing more or less than a round 
miniature sea-girt garden of Eden, a dozen feet high and a 
third of a mile across its sanded floor, ringed with a gleam- 
ing beach of disintegrated coral, a handful of which looks 
like ground colours. The woods are a breathless Paradise 
of big white-shafted trees and lightsome foliage of banyan 
and bamboo, tendrilled with lacy creepers. The stillness was 
broken only by the coo and rustle of pigeons and the stir of 
strange forms that clung to trunk and limb. It seemed a 
shame to discharge a gun in such environment until we had 
a good look at our first iguana, three and a half feet in 
length. "Gee! look at the alligator up a tree!" Martin 
gasped; and I wondered if this could be one of Woodford's 
"lizards several feet long." At any rate, so utterly evil 
is the appearance of an iguana, so absolutely is it a conven- 
tional devil in shape and style, that it invites destruction. 
We played it was the Serpent, and blew off its horny head. 
Yet it is as harmless as it is horrible, the poor iguana. 

Martin and I, with much yelling and laughter, chased a 
frightened shark in the reefy shallows off shore, trying to 
hit it with our pistols. On the jewelled beach, where our 
every step flushed a clatter of tiny hermit-crabs, Schroeder 
found a turtle 's nest, from which we gathered a hundred eggs 
like ping-pong balls, buried eighteen inches in the sand. I 
never ate anything better, in way of an omelette, than those 
Nakata made from the tiny soft-shelled eggs. The con- 
sistency was as if they had been mixed with a pinch of fine 
corn-meal, and the flavour was excellent. 

There must have been too much excitement for me, or it 
might have been the extra coolness of the day, for I was 
stricken suddenly with fever, and went through a novel 
sweating swathed in the boat 's canvas, and laid on the beach 
in the sun, with my head shaded. How touchingly kind and 
tender men can be ! They carried me back to Ysabel in the 
bottom of the cutter, weak and with a racing pulse, but noisy 
and optimistic. Fever grows to be all in the day's work 


here Wada to the contrary; and Henry is not as yet re- 
signed to its recurrences. 

Seventeen pigeons were all we bagged, and Jack had been 
hugely put out at finding that the smokeless cartridges he 
had ordered were black powder. But it was a red letter 
day anyway. 

The Southern Cross dipped behind a towering height of 
Ysabel as we ran homeward, and a silver moon two days old 
sank into the fainting rose of the west. Soon the bright 
sky clouded over, and our placid day of sun and smooth 
sea was followed by a night of rain and squalls the "dusty" 
weather that comes with the moon's first quarter. But be- 
fore the wind blew up, we gave the shore and ourselves a 
treat with the searchlight, fish leaping by thousands out of 
the illuminated water, where the reflections of our mooring 
cables wrinkled like black snakes. 

The upshot of the outing to Kiaba, in spite of caution, was 
bush-poisoning for us all the excruciating " scratch- 
scratch," ngari-ngari, that did for the Sophie Sutherland's 
doomed crew. Jack had it the worst, Martin and I ruefully 
admitted while we vainly tried to keep our hands quiet. 
Nakata had caught it on Guadalcanal, and to our great sym- 
pathy confessed that he had not sat down for a month, and 
that he was now obliged to tie his hands at night. We all 
pitched into the lysol, and added another kind of doctoring 
to our list, alternately dosing Solomon sores with peroxide 
of hydrogen and other things our bottle of corrosive subli- 
mate solution having been finished on the Minota, and our 
main supply of tablets left at Pennduffryn. Jack, who had 
now completed his article " Cruising in the Solomons," set 
to work on another, "The Amateur M.D.," wherein he ex- 
ploited his medical experience from pulling teeth on Nuka- 
Hiva to abating "scratch-scratch" on Ysabel. 

On September 7, Wada, terrified by light recurrent attacks 
of fever, parted with his last vestige of common sense, and 
with the Snark. I was not on board when he announced his 
intention to quit. It followed the serving of a very much 


overripe goat-stew with a cup of inexcusably weak and dish- 
watery tea, all of which Jack pushed aside. Wada was some- 
what taken aback by the way Jack accepted and accelerated 
his resignation. "Very well, Wada pack up your things 
quick, while I get your money; and, Henry, you have the 
boat ready. " 

Months of wages were due, and an extra regular allow- 
ance or present Jack had credited him ever since the beating 
up Warren had meted him altogether an unwise sum for 
a lone Japanese to carry about on his person should the 
natives get wind of it. Poor muddled mortal he had a 
notion he could walk right into the plantation kitchen, as he 
had heard Mr. Schroeder say they were distressed for want 
of a cook; but direly as that true gentleman needed one, he 
met Wada's shameless proposal with cool refusal. 

Nakata helped his friend pack and land, then came imme- 
diately back to the Snark, stepped into the galley and said he 
would be glad to cook for us any length of time it might take 
to get another cook. But he made it plain that no salary 
could tempt him to cook permanently. ' ; I t 'ink sea-cook all 
get crazy in head ! ' ' he smiled his reason. In return for his 
help in the difficulty, Jack promised him the steamer trip to 
Australia, a new suit of clothes, and other emoluments. 
There was more than a touch of pathos in the boy's sturdy 
attempt throughout to be loyal both to us and to his coun- 

After Schroeder 's turn-down, Wada declared he would go 
a-tramping in the bush, albeit he was scared of his very life. 
But it was discovered that he was hiding in a near-by native 
hut, in hope that Schroeder 's mind might change when we 
were safe out of ken. 

A conviction had been growing in my brain that it would 
not be good for Peggy and myself to part. The little super- 
animal clung to me night and day, and, when not in actual 
contact, sat and regarded me with fathomless great eyes of 
love and speculation that made me almost apprehensive. So, 
when the day of sailing came round, I left a letter for Cap- 

The Impact of Civilisation 

Crew of Snark at Pennduffryn 


tain Jansen, stating the case clearly that I could not yet 
bring myself to separate from Peggy, and would deliver her 
over to him when we returned to Pennduffryn. . . . Jack 
watched me curiously I had merely stated my intention and 
asked no advice. I suppose he concluded that, doing such 
an unusual thing for me as to steal another person's 
property, I must be acting in the only way I could act. 

Thursday, September 10, 1908. 

Jack says he never shall know just what did happen when 
we attempted to get away from Meringe Lagoon or, at least, 
the cause of what happened. The yacht was floated at 3 A. M., 
and lay at her largest anchor, which was properly provided 
with a tripping-line to make sure it could not foul. At 
eight, when we began heaving, the thing would not hoist, and, 
at the same time, seemed to be dragging, as if it had got 
caught under a cable. The boat with her skating hook was 
drifting fast toward a ledge of inshore reef, and our friends 
on the beach began to look anxious. The anchor still failing 
to break out, still dragging, we hove until we parted the big 
main hawser and the tripping line. 

"Find it, and you can have it!" Jack shouted shoreward, 
once he was clear of entanglement. Fortunately we were 
not really crippled by the loss, as it was an emergency 
anchor, say for on a lee shore in a blow ; but we were sorry to 
let it go. 

There was a heavy cross-sea outside, which, with the brisk 
easterly wind, made every soul of us sick except Henry, who, 
like Herrmann of old, is blessedly immune. We have logged 
no less than a steady seven knots all day in the adverse sea, 
and figure, at this clip, to see Lua-Nua (Lord Howe) early 
to-morrow forenoon one hundred and fifty miles north of 

We parted with some of our stores to Mr. Schroeder, as the 
non-arrival of the Minota, by way of Gubutu, has left him 
short ; and today Nakata, creeping about after a tussle with 


fever, announced with concerned and puckered visage that 
we had kept no flour for ourselves. Martin exploded "Im- 
possible!" But his search of the snug forepeak was fruit- 
less or flourless. However, toward night, when we all began 
to sit up and feel hollow, our stout pilot bread was as satisfy- 
ing, we thought, as Nakata's hot soda-biscuits that we didn't 

The weather is very smoky, and we are wondering if it 
betokens a trade gale. 

September 11, 1908. 

Wind dropped, and, to make sure of port to-day, the engine 
went to work at nine and a half knots, acting the best it ever 
has yet. Jack roughly calculated our distance from Lua-Nua 
at 6 A. M. to be twenty miles. Everybody felt better, and 
Nakata's fever had burned out. He was even chirpy enough 
mildly to criticise some of Wada's galley practices, the while 
he whipped batter for shrimp fritters. 

The island failed to show at the anticipated time, but the 
sky was clear enough for Jack to take a morning sight. Then, 
alas, when he came to work it out, he found he had left at 
Pennduffryn the corrected tables he had so laboriously made 
up. Hence, also out of practice these many weeks, he was 
forced to dig his results the hardest way. And such results ! 
According to them we have sailed right over Lord Howe, and 
no explanation can be deduced for being so out of our course. 

We beguiled ourselves with Peggy, who was very dull yes- 
terday probably seasick. In spite of our declaration never 
to risk pets on so small a boat, we now find ourselves with 
this fragile-boned creature, and a still more fragile feathered 
one, a white cockatoo with strawberry-pink crest and round 
dilating yellow-and-black eyes, which Martin mutinously 
brought from Tulagi. As its wings have been abbreviated, 
it is in as much peril about the ship as is Peggy more, for 
it cannot get out of the way so quickly with its two legs. 
Peggy is jealous of the cockatoo, and droops dispiritedly 
when she hears our gales of laughter at the canny bird's 


pranks. When he cannot get what he wants, after storming 
up and down the deck and ruffling his indignant feathers he 
changes tactics, climbs up our wincing arms, lays his flat- 
tening crest against our ears, and caresses and wheedles in 
the most ingratiating upward inflection : 

"Hello! Cock-ee/ Cock-ee/" 

Something seems to tell Peggy that she will be hurt if she 
tampers with the sharp-nosed beak or prickly toes; and 
something also warns her that any annihilating rush at the 
despised biped would be an infringement of our property 
rights. Peggy is taught more from within than without. 
Which reminds me that to-day, in five minutes, she learned 
to "speak," and in the same five minutes grasped that 
she must speak like a lady, * ' ever gentle, soft, and low, ' ' and 
not like wild-dog puppies from the unregenerate and vulgar 
bush. To carry chicken bones to the painted covering-board, 
whence they must not be worried off to the white-scoured 
deck planking, will require two lessons not because she 
fails to compass the idea, but because, with a ravenous grow- 
ing-appetite, she forgets in her eagerness. And she does 
apologise so generously with her snuggling black velvet 
muzzle and great speaking eyes, the while she wags the un- 
lovely rag on her violated tail. 

It was a strange sweet evening we spent on deck, in our 
puzzling frame of mind, the softly piled clouds, lighted by a 
drifting moon, casting white reflections in the dark grey sea. 
Jack hove the yacht to (she handles "like a witch" with her 
clean hull), and lay on his side on a cot, with the blissful 
puppy curled in the hollow of his arm ; and Martin, tired from 
hours in the engine room, and feverish in addition, flattened 
out on a deck mattress, with the cockatoo, head-under-wing, 
on his chest. I nestled under the light covers of a cot beneath 
the awning, and hummed Hawaiian airs to my thrumming 
ukulele, until the men all were breathing deep, except Tehei 
who had taken Martin's watch. 


September 12, 1908. 

Did ever a yacht's company spend such a day? Land 
there should have been, and land there was none. It is the 
season of especially unsettled weather, even for the Solomons, 
wherein the southeast trade changes to the northwest mon- 
soon, and everything is topsy-turvy. Jack got a most unsat- 
isfactory observation, which again attested that we had fabu- 
lously sailed over the dry land and shallow waters of an enor- 
mous atoll. Our patent log seems to be in perfect condition, 
and we can only wonder if the chronometer is out of order. 
Martin, who has been with the Snark continuously si&ce we 
left Pennduffryn on the Minota, swears by his budding beard 
that he has never neglected the daily winding. Can tho equa- 
torial current be setting us off our course ? With the worry 
of this unaccountable situation, with fever threatening, and a 
new crop of small sores eating into his nerves, I don 't see how 
my husband can be so merry except that he relishes a set-to 
with adventure and the unknown. On top of everything, he 
inadvertently got a bad sunburning on his back, while reading 
at the wheel in a net singlet, and I have been soaping it at 
intervals, which has drawn the heat and brought great relief. 

Martin tried to run the engine, collapsed, and had to 
lay up. Peggy sustained a fall which would have been a 
header if she hadn't curved and landed on the end of her 
outraged appendage, to an accompaniment of piercing shrieks 
which Cockee accurately duplicated. As if the general at- 
mosphere were too surcharged for any thinking bird, the 
cockatoo has muttered and stuttered and nearly burst himself 
the livelong day, trying to say something besides "Hello, 
Cock-ee/" Once, when Jack had persistently replaced the 
spoon in his tea (of which Cockee is inordinately fond), after 
the bird had removed it repeatedly with great pains and was 
ever about to sip, there was no mistaking the fervid swear- 
tone that filled his throat, although no words could he muster. 

I took the second dog-watch for Martin, and enjoyed once 
again the two hours of solitude in a black and unstable world. 


It was squally, with a rough sea. Full many a month it is 
since I have stood a watch, and my only steering has been 
when making entrances and departures. 

September 13, 1908. 

There has been very little of the conventionally enjoyable 
in to-day 's programme. As if there weren 't novelty enough, 
we three white ones have been deathly sick the forepart of 
the day, undoubtedly poisoned from tinned cabbage, although 
we had hardly swallowed any of it before deciding it was 

Weather variable, with a mean, seasicky swell. Jack se- 
cured three sights, seven o'clock, nine, and ten, but no noon 
observation to follow; nor could he obtain any latitude yes- 
terday. He is trying to hold his weatherly position to the 
east beating to wind 'ard under short canvas and heaving to 
at night, until such time as he can secure a good sun- or star- 
observation in order to find his latitude. This determined, 
he will head by log to the latitude of Lord Howe, and run 
both that latitude and the island down together to the west- 
ward. We humorously think of ourselves as in one of "the 
outermost pits of the sea/' where sun and stars and all sta- 
bilities have deserted us. Once, to-day, we saw an ominous 
black cloud, while under it a waterspout formed and spiralled 
the first I ever witnessed. 

. . . 'Tis the twitching hour of midnight, when tired wives 
yawn ; and I have just watched Jack fall uneasily asleep in 
a copious sweat, after a raving period of intolerable fever- 
burning. The blast of fever struck him after supper, just as 
we vociferously won to victory over Martin in a rubber of 
dummy whist. Our vanquished opponent, who was suffering 
the tortures of the unredeemed with corroding bluestone on 
his shin-sores, and had preceded the playing by wiping up 
the cabin floor with his writhing person in the first agonies of 
the fearful application, lost his temper at our noisy victory. 


This being the only time since the Snark's keel was laid that 
we had ever seen our blond friend's temper disturbed, I 
think it must have been the shock that overthrew Jack's equi- 
librium ! 

With the exception of the man on watch, I am the only one 
awake, and I am very much awake. This is a commonplace 
of my life to be in a state of luminous consciousness in the 
dark hours, while all else is normally reposing. But every- 
thing becomes commonplace where there is no standard of 
commonplaceness. Consider us here, aimlessly adrift in a 
black and starless world of water above and below, the land 
of our objective sunk beneath the sea for aught we can dis- 
prove, calmly going about our work-a-day business quite as 
if we weren't lost. 

. . . Jack is sleeping with one eye half open, and I wish he 
would either close it or wake up, he looks so ghastly. The 
past two weeks have been very wearing on him the responsi- 
bility of the ship careened on that risky incline, the loss of 
rest, and the shocks of fever. But he takes his attacks easier 
than do I, for at their height his mind wanders, and in the 
easement of temperature he falls asleep, and so misses the 
conscious nerve-suffering that I endure because I cannot go 
out of my head. 

September 14, 1908. 

The first I heard through the skylight (it had been too wet 
to sleep on deck) was an inexcusable punning exclamation 
from Martin: 

"Lord! Howe did we miss that island!" 

And that was but the forerunner of similar combinations, 
which I leave to any imagination foolish enough to dwell 
upon their possibilities. Even poor little Nakata, moaning 
and turning in violent malaria, while we steamed and grilled 
him in the hot cabin, gave forth little cackles in his conscious 
moments at our brilliant competition (American humour is an 
open book to Nakata), and finally poked a scarlet face from 
a blanket scarce as red, and finished us all with a trembly: 


"Lord! Howe I wish there was no fever in the Solomon 
Islands don't I?" and then wept at his own quip, from 
sheer nerve-rack and weakness. 

Yes and what a pity that so wonderful a space of great 
islands, so rich in promise, should be so variously unhealth- 
ful. But never mind such things are beaten out slowly 
the day will come when, along with the wondrous savannahs 
on Guadalcanal, all these lands will be brought under scien- 
tific cultivation and control, the striped mosquito that is the 
author of so much suffering and disability shall be destroyed, 
there shall be no devastating ulcer-poisoning and filthy flies 
to carry it to flesh that is no longer unantisepticised a time 
when the islands will lie blossoming under the light of ap- 
plied knowledge, and disease and unnecessary death shall be 
no more. As we of to-day cannot gaze upon this certain 
reality of the future, it is good to see it in the mind's eye. 

Eain, rain, rain; and the barometer rises and falls as if 
indicating the insanity of the universe. There is no sun to 
dry out above and below, and we must endure, with what 
fortitude we may, the encroaching mouldiness and staleness 
and stuffiness of our quarters. I peer into lockers, fingering 
the wax-paper wrappings of my perishable clothing to see 
if they are intact, for these are disastrous conditions for silk- 
stuffs and gold threads, and the very atmosphere implants 
indelible rust-spots in linen and cotton. 

Tehei cooked to-day, and Martin was barely able to help 
with the dishes ; while Jack, in his stateroom, hot and sealed 
against the torrential downpour, added new items to his 
"Amateur M.D." There was no chance for a noon sight, 
and a late partial observation proved of little value. Coming 
below to put away his sextant, he smiled brightly at me and 

"The most remarkable thing about our whole remarkable 
situation, Mate Woman, is the way you, most sensitive of 
women, nearly transparent from lack of sleep, go about doing 
anything and everything, and actually enjoying it all. The 
more I see of you, the more I marvel at you, ' ' 


I was really taken aback, with surprise as well as pleasure, 
for it hadn't occurred to me that I might be otherwise than 
happy-hearted, despite tiredness and the unresting gnaw of 
two small sores that have taken hold on my instep. I am 
happy ; I am having a good time the time of times ; for I am 
doing what I want to do, in the company I crave, with * ' life 
and love to spare, " and too absorbed in the potentialities of 
being to be more than superficially arrested by the flip of 
little irks or fears. Believe me there 's been more vital snap 
of interest in the few hours of waging war with Jack's fever 
yesterday and Nakata's to-day, than in a month of placid 
existence in well regulated conditions. And then, think of 
coming up for a breath of squally air, and taking a turn 
barefoot along the streaming deck, wondering the while if it 
has settled down for weeks of rain, or how near we can come 
to missing Roncador Reef to the south (called The Snorer, 
and 18 miles in circumference) , or if we may drift far enough 
south and east to encounter Bradley Reef both deep-sea 
banes of mariners or how many other reefs there may be 
that are uncharted. 

Happy ? I never was so happy in my life, take it all round, 
nor with more reason. Jack says we are 

'*. . . those fools who could not rest 
In the dull earth we left behind, 
But burned with passion for the West 
And drank strange frenzy from its wind." 

September 15, 1908. 

Driven out at six by the insufferable stickiness, I found 
Jack at the wheel all glowing in a deep red sunrise, with 
Martin and Nakata laid out completely, while Tehei puffed 
and perspired in the suffocating galley, and went about the 
cabin work. 

"My Lord, Howe bluff you look in that good sun!" I ven- 
tured to Jack, who came back at me gaily, nodding to the 
tragic spectacle on deck: 

"With our sick beneath the awnings 
On the road to . . where?" 


1 1 Don 't know, and don 't care, ' ' expressed my feelings, for I 
had slept well, if briefly, and the sun was drying and cheer- 
ful, if hot. Jack was able to get morning sights, but noon 
was cloudy and he failed of his latitude. 

Martin 's illnesses are of an exclusive sort unlike the com- 
mon fever. I can't make it out. He absolutely declines to 
admit that he has fever, and will take no quinine, and as a 
matter of fact, I cannot see that he is especially feverish. 
He is up and down, supine for hours, then recuperates and 
sails into a whist-game with dash and ambition. It may be 
that he is subtly poisoned by the chain of bandaged ulcers 
on the lean blades of his shins. 

When other interests flag, there are always the cockroaches. 
I go on still hunts for them, whopping the daring ones that 
scout from the overhead sliding boxes in the cabin, and occa- 
sionally taking down those same boxes and raiding the shell- 
backed pests that have grown too large to scout, and which 
finally die imprisoned. But no cockroaches on the ^Snark 
approach in size the enormous night-frights we had on the 
Minota, when they debouched in myriads in the dark and 
spread wings at being disturbed. Ours do not seem to have 
developed wings ; but they have teeth, and steal nibbles at our 
toes while we sleep. 

. . . There is more than a vague depression among us this 
evening, in spite of Tehei 's nice supper, an exciting rubber of 
whist and my efforts on the "baby guitar" to 'liven 
things up. 

"The hospital ship Snark," Jack summed it up, and there 
was a little catch in his voice, for on my bunk lay Peggy the 
Beloved, pulling at our heartstrings in her pain, one leg 
apparently useless from a fall through the skylight into my 
room the eager child could not wait to go around ; and on a 
cushion in Martin's bed a limp cockatoo that has grown 
strangely dear, with his affection and intelligence and his 
sense of humour, breathes with difficulty and half-closed, filmy 
eyes. Tehei, with a dozen things to do at dinner time, rushed 
to drop the skylight in a sharp rainsquall, and shut it on the 


napping bird roosting under the edge. The frail frame of 
him seems to be crushed, but we want to give him every 
chance. Just now we feel guilty that we ever broke our rule 
about pets on the voyage. 

Tehei has been touched by the over-animal consciousness 
displayed by Peggy and the bird, and shakes his head again 
and again, with his sweet Polynesian smile: 

"No dog no fowl I no can say. They got somet'ing in 
here, and here, like you, like me, ' ' tapping his breast and fore- 
head. These two denizens of earth and air have met with 
and grown to us with all there is in them of common likeness 
of entity. 

We are hove to ' ' under a bright and starry sky, ' ' but there 
is no sight nor sound of land. 

Wednesday, September 16, 1908. 

This is my day to feel dumpy and dull, with neuralgia in 
the head to enliven the dulness. But Martin, Nakata, Peggy 
and Cockee have brightened, and Tehei is glad to return to 
deck duty. Henry replenished the board with a baby shark 
and a fine bonita. The heat of the clear day calls to mind 
that we are nearer the Equator by a presumable two degrees 
or so although Jack declared in the morning that he might 
be several degrees north of the Line for all he knew ! But he 
was able to take a perfect noon observation, and steered for 
the latitude of Lord Howe. At six in the afternoon, he told 
us he figured we were about seventeen miles from the island. 

September 17, 1908. 

This afternoon the engine was set going, and, with perfect 
trade-wind weather assisting, we surged due south. The sea 
was like dark-blue crinkled satin, and sun and wind freshened 
the boat and all on it with new life. I climbed up on a shroud 
and let the flowing liquid breeze blow through me as it seemed, 
and was possessed with an enchanted sense of detachment and 


the illimitability of the cloud-land and the world of water. 
Solid land does not exist in such exaltations. 

Henry and Tehei, as the sunset wore, kept insisting that we 
were near land perhaps they smelled it unconsciously; and 
we were taking one last sweep of the waving purple horizon, 
when Tehei, who had gone aloft, screamed like a child : 

"Lan* ho!" 

We could not see it from the deck, but Henry climbed up 
and verified the glorious find, while Jack noted the bearings, 
west by south, one-half south. The grand little Snark hove 
to beautifully, even working to wind'ard a little under stay- 
sail, jib, and mizzen. Jack glowed at the excellent per- 
formance " The old girl eh?" 

Our immediate joy was short-lived, and a small but real 
grief fell upon us all. The lovable cockatoo, who had rallied 
in the forenoon, had been wilting perceptibly, and it was 
plain that the only kindness would be to end his misery. But 
who was to do it ? Martin, whose bird he was, backed down 
with a sick face; Tehei begged off, with tears; Nakata said, 
"I'd rather not," and Jack, with misty eyes looking at the 
poor thing caressing his hand with its gentle crest, said to 
Henry : 

"I'll do it, Henry, if no one else will, because it must be 
done ; but how do you feel about it ? " 

Henry, grave and concerned, came up nobly: 

"I no like, Mr. London. . . . But I do for you. Give 

The last sound our pretty white pet ever uttered was when 
I took his broken body for a moment and laid it against 
my neck. 

"Cock-ee/' he said in the shadow of his sweet and whee- 
dling tone that ended in a little rasp. Just a wisp of sentient 
down, he was, with a modicum of plucky spirit; but he left 
his mark on us all, and we separated very quietly and mourn- 
fully for the night. 


Lua-Nua (Lord Howe, or Ongtong Java Atoll), 
Friday, September 18, 1908. 

Not only are we rocking at anchor after eight days in an 
apparently chartless void, but we are encompassed by our 
first atoll, albeit this rosy coral ring is so big we cannot see 
the far low side of it. A one hundred and fifty mile hoop 
gives a brave diameter. 

Hove to, we drifted S.S.W. during the night, at five o'clock 
set sail north, and shortly sighted land again, three miles to 
west'ard. But just when a good position had been attained 
for the reef opening, a succession of squalls overtook us, and 
we dared not risk an entrance that could not be seen; so 
Jack hove to the obedient little ship until the watery 
swift tempest abated, when he put me at the wheel, 
Martin at the engine, and Henry aloft, and we raced through 
the swirling passage into the choppy sea of a fresh squall. 
From outside we had glimpsed two white cutters across the 
line of reef, but the first craft to reach us was a welcome 
outrigger canoe, the sight of which filled our cannibal-cau- 
tious souls with sense of rest and security ; while Henry and 
Tehei gurgled and glowed with delight and anticipation, 
eager from their hearts to find if they and the gentle-faced, 
tattooed strangers (who, by the way, were of much smaller 
stature) could speak a common tongue. They could, al- 
though with various garnishments borrowed from their own 
slight strain from the southerly ; and we white ones met them 
with beche de mer and our mild mixture of Polynesian patois 
while Nakata's language, all his own combination, was 
entirely adequate. As soon as we looked into the inquisitive 
but friendly faces of the three paddlers, came the realisation 
how little affection we had learned for the western breeds 
our feeling for the people of Melanesia was one of fascinated 
interest, but developed no ties such as now pulled when these 
dusky men of Lua-Nua clambered over-rail. One, a benevo- 
lent middle-aged fellow with a tuft of curly hair over each 
ear and a straggling beard touched with grey, seemed to be a 


' ' How do ? Me fella Bob. I pilot I take you Lua-Nua 
right 0. I like you any amount." 

' ' Any amount " is a favourite expression of old Bob 's, and 
it is infinitely entertaining to hear his musical husky voice 
saying, "My word!" " Right 0!" and other exclamations 
gleaned from English and Australian traders. 

Old Bob 's two companions took our breath away with their 
beauty princes of youth, heads a-toss with sun-touched 
ringlets, eyes sweet and long-lashed, and mouths fine and 
small, curling lovably over white small teeth. 

Bob, after the exchange of greetings, became very im- 
portant in his role of pilot, and, with austere face and 
solemn arm-weavings in the mist, warded off the rain; the 
young princes the while reciting measures of warning incanta- 
tion to the gods of ill weather. We were thus poetically 
guided to an anchorage near the village, which lies snug 
under beautiful tufted palms. 

These people are in one respect like the bird family. Their 
beauty is mostly vested in the males. When we came to 
observe the girls and women, there was no comparison, and 
they were still further set at disadvantage by cropped skulls, 
one of several un-pretty Melanesian customs that have crept 

Harold Markham, trader for the Company, a husky sailor- 
built blond Australian, had started out in his cutter through 
a smaller passage, but lost us in the wet gusts that blotted 
out everything. He now followed in the way we had come, 
and, among other things, recounted how the big schooner 
Malakula, on her last trip, entirely missed the opening and 
had to enter forty miles away, at the next entrance. 
Markham took us ashore, where, in his neat high-pillared 
house, the first notable incident was the meeting of Peggy 
with a good-humoured, lumbering, white bull-pup. Our 
patently inadequate terrier advanced stalkingly on thin, stiff- 
stilted legs, her back ruffed like a wild boar's, and when the 
unsuspecting bull tipped her over at the first friendly on- 
slaught, she came up in a still frenzy of outraged dignity, 


lips tight-snarled, and stood over the abject flattened white- 
jelly puppy with blood-curdling growls of menace. 

"The big bull has no chance altogether," chuckled 

Next, we met the lady of his choice of Lua-Nuans, a healthy, 
beaming bronze girl of seventeen or so, of whom he is un- 
affectedly proud and fond. He explained frankly the un- 
faceable loneliness of a life like his, at the ends of the earth, 
and how happy ' ' I and my wife ' ' are together ; planned trips 
with her to other islands in leaves of absence ; and, dropping 
into her vernacular for a moment, accompanying his words 
with free pantomime, he laughingly translated her pleased 
exclamations over the pretties he was promising. It did 
give me a queer little start, though, when, with the most un- 
embarrassed air in the world, he told how he had paid ten 
gold sovereigns to the parents for their daughter, who, he 
added with utmost childlike pride, was of high degree. 

"An' she's a sight better off with me right as rain," he 
confided. ' ' You '11 soon notice she 's entirely deaf in one ear, 
an' the other side nearly so. The vahines would plague her, 
but as my wife she's protected from all that my word! I 
should say so. Also, a woman that can 't hear don 't talk one 
to death, and she can't squabble with the other vahines, 
either. An' she don't take to clothes at all," he went on, 
with charming naivete. "All she wants is a new fathom of 
gay calico an' a change of beads ... an' soap: she's daffy 
over soap. "Whenever I don't see her around, I only need 
look under the shower I fixed outside there on the veranda, 
an ' she 's there latherin ' herself from head to foot. ' ' 

The modest young matron, with not a stitch above the 
waist and only a scarlet-patterned pareu below, smiled con- 
tentedly and affectionately at her lord, as his gestures told 
her the matter of his monologue. 

The whole spirit of the situation was so clean, orderly, and 
natural, that I decided I was having the oddest, maddest, 
merriest time of all our "Snarking" in the unswept corners 
of earth, and planned no end of good fun with the girl when 


I could get her aboard to surprise her bright eyes with gar- 
ments such as she had never seen, and, perhaps, dress her up 
as one would a new doll. There is no danger of bankrupting 
Markham by my foolishness, because I find these primitive 
minds grasp but a bit at a time, and are shocked into only 
the briefest interest in things complicated. I would back 
the speed of Peggy's reasoning against that of a large per- 
centage of these natives. And, if a dog's logic reaches its 
limit at a given period, so does the savage 's. One thing more 
than reconciles me to my inability to adopt Fakamam they 
tell me that the average maid of Melanesia reaches her apogee 
of mental development somewhere along in her mid-teens, 
and is a burden thereafter. 

The third and last member of Markham 's household is a 
mild-faced Solomon Island cook, who, despite his deceptive 
weak prettiness, is deservedly serving an aggregation of sen- 
tences that cover eight years, for murders, escapes in hand- 
cuffs, thefts of whaleboats a history of bloodcurdling 
crimes and reprisals too long to go in here, but which so 
tickles Jack's fancy that he intends making a short story of 
it, to be called "Mauki," and including it in his collection 
South Sea Tales. 

There was quite a gathering around the tiny compound 
when we came out for a walk, gracefully formed, gracefully 
moving men and women, and a tumble of cherubic kiddies. 
Among them we saw two or three albinos. They were rather 
weird and ghastly white human beings on the face of it, 
and yet not white. Their eyes were not pink, but very faded, 
and their pinky-white skins blotched with light freckles. 
The hair was almost white. 

"We found there were two villages instead of one, at some 
little distance apart. No maiden may cross from her village 
to the other, except to marry; and it is compulsory to wed 
men of the opposite community. Even with this precaution 
fairly close inbreeding must obtain, for there are but five 
thousand inhabitants on the entire coral circle. 

It was sheer bliss to pad along the soft pathways under 


thick palms, all in a green-golden atmosphere, and be accosted 
courteously and unaffectedly by a beautiful race with whom 
smiles are currency and love the password. Into the lofty 
gloom of the king's house we were ushered, and there pre- 
sented with grave pomp to a man who lost none of his magnif- 
icence because he was not great of stature. Henry and 
Tehei, six feet in bare soles, seemed gentle giants loom- 
ing in the cocoanut-scented twilit spaces. A small fire 
burned in the centre, sending up an aromatic smoke. The 
rest of the large floor was covered with coarse, clean mats, 
while finer ones were laid for us by the hands of the king's 
two wives. Children flitted about, lovely curly-pated cupids. 
We duly submitted our offering of tobacco, with bead neck- 
lets and bracelets for the "queens," and in true Polynesian 
spirit a return was ready to hand a shark's jaws, with row 
upon row of jagged teeth. 

As our eyes grew accustomed to the half-light, the beauty 
of the king shone out more and more ; and in the corners and 
mid-distances of the interior, groups were disposed, leaning, 
crouching, sitting, standing, in lovely unconscious composi- 
tions, while the doorways framed sweet faces with tumbled 
curls that were touched with the gilt of afternoon sunlight. 
The forms seemed perfect, with skins of satin, unhidden save 
for small loincloths, and the men moved like actors, deliber- 
ately, unhurriedly, with calm, sure eyes in which there was 
no boldness. The colour of their tattooed skins is variously 
bronze and copper, but many rub in a yellow oil with a certain 
leaf that turns them a greenish hue which is less unpleasant 
than curious like the mellow greening that copper and 
bronze attain. 

On returning to the yacht, we found Bob had already 
drummed up trade for us, and before the blue and silver 
sunset I had filled a large fine-woven basket-bag, the gift of 
Mr. Caulfeild, with turtle ornaments, string upon string of 
' ' money, ' ' and wide girdles made of ' ' money, ' ' both shell and 
cocoanut wood, and an assortment of shells, the most impor- 
tant ones being two "orange-cowries" of splendid colour, 


rare and much coveted by collectors, who pay for them in 
Sydney five pounds a pair. There were little tiaras of shark- 
teeth, with tie-strings of sennit, and, to Jack's delight, some 
fine specimens of whale-teeth. The fans submitted were 
exactly like those in Samoa. . 

' ' Man-fowl and woman-fowl he stop, ' ' Bob introduced the 
chickens, a man-fowl bringing about eight and a half cents 
to its owner, and the woman-fowl a little more, what of her 
capacity for " pickaninny he stop along woman-fowl too 

September 19, 1908. 

Jack says "Lucky we were not at sea last night," for it 
blew worse than any time in the Snark's history. It was 
quite rough enough inside, and one of the blackest nights in 
our experience. The sky seemed to press down. But it was 
not so black in the early evening as Martin adjudged. He 
came up from the lighted cabin and gazed overside. * ' My ! 
I never saw it so black ! " he said. Jack and I, who were al- 
ready on deck and our eyes better focused, began to laugh, 
for within six inches of Martin's face hung a pair of heavy 
blue-flannel bloomers of mine, winter wear put out to 'air. 

Our men-fowl crowed me awake before five, and a rainy 
forenoon was not specially inspiriting. But the pleasant, 
eager traders 'livened things, and I became possessed of three 
new clam-pearls. Jack turned some small iron puzzles over 
to the visitors, who were like a lot of holiday children, bobbing 
their ringlets and crying over and over : ' ' Ah he he ! Ah he 
he ! Ah he he ! " " Wow-ow-ow! Wow-ow-ow!" and laugh- 
ing heartily with me at my amusement. 

The Tongan Wesleyan missionary, Mr. Nau, with his wife 
and daughter, and his Tongan associate, Mr. Bolgar, paid us 
a call big, gracious Polynesian love people, all of them, 
with whom Henry and Tehei were overjoyed to talk. Tehei 
has been under the weather all day with headache, but we 
cannot discover any fever. 

Peggy, still uncertain on her off hind-leg, took another fall, 


and lamed the nigh fore-leg, so that she is neither seaman- 
like nor silent in her meanderings. But meander she will, as 
long as any brown-skinned human stranger is aboard her 
ship, although she seems to divine the difference, undoubtedly 
from her association with our two Polynesians, between the 
Lua-Nuans and the burly, Semitic-faced Solomons. 

Jack is a bit shaky with fever, and a peculiar swelling 
has appeared in his hands, the sensation being similar to 
chilblains. It hurts him to close them, and the skin peels off 
in patches, with other skins readily forming and peeling 
underneath. I do not believe his nervous system was ever 
made to thrive in the tropics. 

. . . Just now, as I write in bed, there came a fluttering of 
wings, distinct through the ripping of thunder, against the 
ventilator, and Jack, roused out of his first drowse, dropped 
from his bunk and went up in the rain expecting to find a 
bat. Instead, his hands encountered a white bird that had 
stunned itself on the rigging. He straightened it out, and 
it presently flew away. When Jack came down again, he 
put a damp and towelled head through our tiny doorway 
and blinked smiling at me : 

"It's a royal life we lead, isn't it? There's nothing in 
the world to equal it ! ' ' 

September 20, 1908. 

Tehei has fever at last, and is very languidly and pallidly 
interested in himself and his symptoms, with a sweet smile 
watching Nakata pull together and return to the galley. It is 
now three weeks since my last attack; and Jack's threatening 
state yesterday proved only a slight cold. 

Markham brought his lady-love aboard, and I dressed her 
up in stays and lingerie and an evening gown and sent her on 
deck, to the huge entertainment of the men. But it was as I 
thought beyond the gift of some scented toilet soap, a string 
of beads, and a gay pareu, she was not at all covetous 
although I have a suspicion that steady association with a 
certain huge powder-puff would tempt her. 


Ashore in the afternoon, we were treated to a big dance, 
called "sing-sing." The women hula'd in dresses of grass 
and leaves and gay calico, and a bevy of naked girl-babies 
mingled, dancing amorously with unwitting faces, tiny 
point-fingered hands on swaying hips, while King Kepea and 
his councillors watched us to see how we took it; for they 
seem to have gathered a notion, probably from the enlightened 
Tongans, that the hula is not a white man's dance. One 
cross-eyed infant, girdled in flowers, danced herself into a 
frenzy of contortions of body and plump limbs, until her 
mother caught her up amidst shrieks of laughter from every- 
body, and held her kicking on high. 

The incongruity of actions among these simple folk (who 
are far more comely and gracious than the general run of 
one's white acquaintances), when they become absorbed in 
trivial and childish affairs, is rather rude on one's imagina- 
tion. We had brought a half sack of sweet potatoes for His 
Majesty, and a big square tin of assorted "lollies," and the 
handsome chief kept a keen and frequent-dropping eye and 
hand on these treasures as did some of his court who sat 
around on hand-wrought four-legged stools of hard wood. 
And / had my eye on the king's seat, which was the best of 
the lot, and which I intended to possess sooner or later. The 
dignified and graceful acceptance by the lofty-miened prime 
ministers (Bob among them), of a single potato or a sticky 
handful of lollies, sorely tried our gravity. Some inimitable 
young prince, flaunting his love-locks in the sun, made bash- 
ful eyes at us behind a slanting palm, until he was beckoned 
to come up and receive a fistful of the garish-coloured dainties 
at which a coquettish hoyden swayed close to him from a 
dance figure, snatched his prize and broke into a run, he 
after her, and both laughing shrilly. There were practically 
no dances new to us, even the "jumping widows" of Taiohae 
being represented by various vahines who bumped stiffly up 
and down in the midst of a weaving circle. 

Old Bob was general of affairs, and fearfully important. 
When the entertainment waned, he called our attention to a 


half dozen fowls lying bound beside the king, who looked 
uneasy, as if he were afraid we might depart before he could 
get something off his mind. And then his high Majesty 
majestically suggested that we buy his six "woman-fowl"! 
The descent from sublime to ridiculous was so abrupt that 
Jack and I stood open-mouthed for an instant, and Martin 
made an actual shy away from the august presence. "Well, 
what do you know about that!" he breathed "well I'm a 
son of a seacook!" (Martin's words often contain the spirit 
if not the sound of his emotions.) 

Oh, we bought the chickens, never fear; and as the ele- 
gancies of our language are not understood here, Jack's genial 
and respectful ' ' Good-bye, you old robber ! ' ' and my ' ' Fare- 
well, you magnificent skinflint ! ' ' carried nothing but pleasure 
and sense of well-being to the soul of the sovereign. Henry 
looked aghast at our temerity; but as nothing fell from 
heaven, and as not even the astute Bob suspicioned the mock 
homage, our big Rapa Islander smiled his whimsical three- 
cornered smile and chuckled all the way to the beach. Henry 
hasn't spent most of his years on white men's boats without 
learning a bit of their humour. He was about to toss me over 
his great shoulder (he has relegated to himself the duty of 
passing "Missis" high and dry from beach to boat and vice 
versa), when a hubbub arose ashore, and there was an exodus 
of the crowd across the belt of land. Something was up, and 
we joined the rush, praying against hope that we might be 
about to witness the drawing ashore of a lost canoe drifted 
from some far palmy isle. This drift peopled Lord Howe 
and Tasman, Bellona and Rennel, and at long intervals, still 
other canoes are cast up. Sometimes the voyagers are all 
dead we are possessed of several spears from such a funeral 
canoe that was once washed on the reef. But think of the 
meeting when the strays from fabled lands are still breathing, 
and are welcomed and resuscitated by their saviours ! It was 
not to be that we should gaze upon such a scene ; far from it, 
what we saw was a steamer plying slowly outside the reef 
toward an opening farther west, and Markham told us it was 


the Sumatra smallest of the North German Lloyd fleet, 
which makes more or less regular trips among the German 
islands for copra and to bring stores ; and he said we would 
take a run down to her in the cutter to-morrow, with our 
mail, as she does not like to come to the shallower waters at 
this end. 

On our walk to-day, we found the breadth of this coral 
band to be not more than three hundred yards at the widest, 
and could realise how easy it must have been for the first 
white men who came here to subjugate the natives. Although 
in the main descendants of a purely Polynesian drift from 
the eastward, they had a leaven from an occasional Melanesian 
contribution in the season of the northwest monsoon, and 
were hostile to white invaders. They fought well and 
bravely, but learned their bloody and heartbreaking lesson, 
and the entire population of the atoll is as peaceable as we 
see them here. The story of their trimming by the "inevi- 
table white man" is so stirring that Jack will add it also to 
his collection, calling it ' l Yah ! Yah ! Yah ! ' ' which was the 
gleeful slogan of one of the reckless white mariners who took 
an important hand in the trimming. 

Owing to bad weather, we had not been tempted much 
inshore since our arrival, and now took occasion to examine 
the Lua-Nua cemetery the most remarkable thing in its 
way that we have ever come across itself worth a voyage to 
this great atoll, which, in spite of contiguity and control, 
belongs to the Solomons neither geographically nor ethno- 

This burial ground, wandering along for some distance, is 
really very beautiful, although it is hard to say exactly why, 
for it is comparable to nothing in the world. Through the 
emerald-green forest of luxuriant palms, you come upon 
what most nearly resembles a miniature ruined city all in 
white coral, tipped and decorated with rose-red pigment a 
little Pompeii with painted walls and silent streets. The 
buildings are rows of tombstones, the graves are covered with 
fine white coral sand, and widows and widowers sweep these 


graves regularly every day for hours, over periods that en- 
dure according to the devotion of the bereft. Once I acci- 
dentally stepped on a square of wood lying in the way. 
Markham's girl drew me aside quickly. "Make," she whis- 
pered the Hawaiian word for "dead." 

The "widowers' (and widows') houses" stand at intervals 
on the other side of a sort of avenue running parallel with the 
city of the dead, and we saw the mourners (more women than 
men) wrapped to the eyes in what looked to be literally sack- 
cloth, of an ashen and dusty dunness. They answered our 
i ' alohas ' ' with most unbecoming cheer and merriment. 

We passed several turtle-pools small dark holes criss- 
crossed with logs, in which the captives slowly grow new 
houses for their backs after the harvest of shell has been 
cruelly ripped off. 

In some of the homes we visited, sweet-faced vahines gave 
me presents bead-necklaces and bracelets, and fans. I had 
my own pockets and Jack's full of pretty trade articles, and 
made them happy in return. 

During the latter part of our stroll, Peggy disappeared, 
and I reached Markham's house in a panic. Markham sent 
several natives to look for her, and they met a curly-headed 
youth hastening beachward with the puppy, who, when her 
eyes lighted on us, went into a perfectly feminine hysteria. 
A ship 's dog, unused to regular exercise, is very likely to run 
amuck when it discovers endless pathways for the chasing. 

September 22, 1908. 

At nine yesterday we started with Markham in his cutter 
with the impossibly huge sail and absurdly short tiller, and 
two leaf-chapleted sons of high men in Lua-Nua, Matukea 
and Tunaka beauties, both of them, in face and form, and 
as stupid of wit as they were beautiful. They appeared to 
have no judgment whatever in handling the cutter, and 
Markham was obliged to watch them every minute of the 
thrilling traverse. No use scolding them they only look 


puzzled and grieved, then smile irresistibly with a flash of 
teeth and dimples, and return to their singing and de- 
claiming for fair weather. 

We were bound for the station Nuareber, miles away, where 
the Sumatra was anchored, and the cutter raced along like an 
ice-boat with her enormous canvas spread to the squalls. 
Time and again it seemed we must capsize, and Markham's 
cheering assurance that there were only fish sharks in the 
lagoon did not make me any less desirous of keeping up on 
the windward rail. As we had started in the rain, I had not 
changed from bloomers, and merely added an oilskin and a 
pongee parasol for sun or rain, packing a skirt with Jack's 
inevitable book and magazines. There was quite a swell as 
we ranged alongside the black side of the steamer, and I en- 
tertained visions of courteous Teutonic officers reaching to 
help the white lady aboard. A couple of Black Papuan 
sailors looked lazily down upon us, and made no offer to as- 
sist. Jack prepared to board the ship in order to give me a 
hand up, when a door opened and two immaculate plump 
pink Germans looked frowningly out, then, to our amaze- 
ment, closed the door again. "What are we to them?" Jack 
laughed, landing on the deck at the next rise of the cutter. 
"Up with you! they took you for a boy." 

Markham found Captain Miileitner, and soon everything 
was ours, the two officers profuse with apologies, saying they 
had seen only the native boys in the cutter. We gave our 
mail to them, for the Sumatra expected to connect with an 
Australian steamer shortly. Of course, with our delay in 
reaching Lord Howe, we knew we should miss the Makambo, 
and now planned to take her next following trip, six weeks 

We had a capital lunch with our hosts, the captain explain- 
ing in his broken English (not beche de mer, alas!) the 
various German delicacies. But the sauerkraut and noodles 
and Pilsener and Rhine wine needed no interpretation, and 
the ship was able to spare us an assortment of things for the 
Snark sausages, Camembert cheeses, sauerkraut, fruits, 


cakes, and toothsome potpourris of German tidbits in gay 
tins. We were served by slender young Chinese with refined 
faces and soft manners, and beautiful hands. The sailors, 
Black Papuan from New Britain, were blacker than any 
Solomon Islanders, and we could not but compare their lean, 
asymetrical bodies and round, knobby, sloping shoulders with 
our shapely cupids on the cutter. 

After lunch, the weather being fine, with an untroubled 
lagoon, Captain Miileitner announced that he wanted to see 
the Snark and would take us back. Jack was glad of this, 
especially as he was very anxious to rate our chronometer. 
But our scheme failed early, all because of the inability of 
those love-children in the towing cutter to steer after the 
Sumatra's stern. The cutter capsized, and was dragged 
under, coming up and submerging repeatedly before the 
steamer could be stopped. One of the Lua-Nuans went 
free after the first immersion ; but the other, as if from sheer 
inability to let go, hung on to the stern and came up blowing 
prodigiously each time. Fortunately he did release his hold 
before a final twist drew the dismasted cutter clear under the 
Sumatra's propeller. We saw everything in the clear water 
the pretty hull sink and twist beneath and then float to the 
surface on the other side, bottom up. The boy was now 
astride a trade chest, with other litter around him, including 
my parasol, his eyes bulging with fright, while his com- 
panion swam frantically to join him. And presently, hear- 
ing our chorus of mirth at their panic, the pair were laughing 
with us between panting breaths. 

The loss of time occasioned by the accident was so consid- 
erable that the captain said he would entertain us over night 
instead of putting us aboard the Snark, while the Sumatra 
went on with her business and Markham got the cutter, whose 
hull was intact, in shape at Nuareber. We spent a luxurious 
evening lounging in hammocks and big rattan chairs on the 
long, canopied after deck, listening to a variety of splendid 
operatic records on a big phonograph. Jack slept here, along 
with the others ; but the captain insisted, with elaborate bows, 


The Squall off Lord Howe 

A Cannibal Venice 


that "Frau London" occupy his stateroom, a large and 
handsome apartment, well stocked with firearms. Mr. Timm, 
chief engineer, sold us some New Britain and New Guinea 
curios. One was a long spear, jagged with rows of sharks '- 
teeth, encased in a woven sennit sheath a very choice acqui- 
sition. He told us stories of these wild countries that sent 
our thoughts far beyond the trip to Sydney, when we should 
return to join the Snark and fare westward again. 

At nine this morning, we set sail for the Snark, and it took 
six long hours beating to windward to cover the distance we 
had sped in an hour the day before in the running cutter. 

Monday, September 28, 1908. 

For a week we have lain here, just pleasuring in the life, 
and because we have ample time on our hands. Also, and 
most important, Jack has been lying in wait for observations, 
so that he could settle the little matter of the chronometer. 
He has tested it by longitude sights, and discovered it to be 
something like three minutes out a very grave total error, 
when it is considered that each minute is equivalent to fifteen 
miles. By repeated observations, he rated the chronometer, 
finding that it had a daily losing error of seven-tenths of a 
second. Nearly a year ago, when we left Hawaii, the thing 
had the same losing error. That error was always added 
each day, and has not changed, according to these Lord 
Howe observations. So what in the name of all watch- 
makers made our chronometer put on speed and catch up 
with itself three minutes ? There is no explanation, unless it 
was allowed to run down in our absence, and was wound 
and corrected by some chronometer at Tulagi. But Martin 
stoutly avers that nothing of the kind took place. It is very 

Tehei, frightened by his fever, begged leave to spend a 
couple of days ashore to visit and pray with the Tongan mis- 
sionaries. He came back more optimistic, but is very self- 
centred in the observation of symptoms. I once had a male 


relative-by-marriage who eternally searched for symptoms 
and found them so that he was always ill or on the verge of 
becoming so. Tehei reminds me of him. 

Jack's hands have not improved in fact, he is sorely 
bothered by them even holding a pen is uncomfortable, 
and a pull on a rope is positively painful. 

Nakata, flouting all symptoms, although he has not been 
entirely free from fever for some time, goes about the cook- 
ing without complaint, and many's the delicious odour that 
floats out from his galley steaming clam-meat from fluted 
marble shells, sizzling small-fry brought by the natives, 
wholesome boiling or frying taro. The people here and in 
the Solomons are largely tambo in respect to clam-meat, as a 
devil-devil resides therein. So we, who are especially fond 
of it, raw or cooked, have difficulty in obtaining all we want. 
Henry has come nobly to the rescue, with indulgent amuse- 
ment at the superstition of the lesser breeds, and dives over- 
side when, in the clear brine, we locate on the white bottom, 
sixty feet below, a desirable shell. Slowly filling his deep 
lungs, he leaves the rail feet-first, then, well under, turns 
over and swims down leisurely, as leisurely picks up the 
shell, and rises very slowly, in order not to change the atmos- 
pheric pressure too abruptly, which is the cause of the ter- 
rible "bends." He is quietly pleased over our praise, al- 
though he knows we know he has only done half the depth 
of his old-time record. Henry hasn't that slightly de- 
pressed chest for nothing. 

Jack and I have done a little swimming around the yacht, 
and the other day, while he was resting on the rail with a 
dripping and solicitous Peggy beside him, both watching me 
under water, he saw not fifteen feet below me a long shape. 
Then I saw it, too only a fish-shark warranted not to bite 
. . . but I made my record climb up the gangway ladder. 

I do not feel well any of the time am tired and listless; 
but a strange elation of happiness possesses me, and all's 

Every day Bob, who affectionately calls me "Mamma," 


and assures me I am the first white Mary who has visited 
this end of the island, comes out with something we want, 
whether tattoo-sticks pointed with sharks '-teeth, or strings of 
little carved-wood cups, wooden or stone poi-pounders fine 
specimens from the Stone Age brought here by the canoe- 
drift from the high islands or broad bead girdles of gor- 
geous hues. And I lie on a cot under the awning and listen 
dreamily to the musical-husky voices and the soft lapping of 
little waves against our tumble-home sides, and look out 
across the warm blues of the lagoon to the isle-dotted pink 
reef, and am just . . . happy. 

Or at night, on deck, we watch the searchlight on shore 
and water, fish leaping to the illumination, screaming terri- 
fied white birds fretting the brilliant green foliage, while 
weird cries and shouts rise from the villagers, and groups of 
naked brown forms dance singing on the gleaming sand. 

One evening we went fishing with Markham and his girl 
on the inside reef by lantern light. There had been an 
astounding sunset, crude blue-and-pink fanrays out of a 
brazen green-orange horizon band, the reef islets picked out 
in dead black. The swift passing of all the riot of rude 
colour was succeeded by a purple night-sky spangled with 
enormous electric stars, low-hung; and as we glided across 
the warm water, down out of a sudden blot of cloud shot 
crackling a round red ball that died through red and rose to 
pale nothingness ere it reached the sea. A ferine chorus of 
panic yells went up from the beach at the meteorite, and two 
scarlet-cinctured, curl-crowned amphibians in our canoe 
emitted queer little guttural cries and with their arms wove 
magic spells against devil-devils. 

It was a wonderful night. Great stars, reflected in the 
lagoon, made a strange blue light, softened by fleecy vagrant 
clouds that also met their reflections in the waveless water. 
The girl beside me caressed my tired body and limbs with 
the everlasting blessing of lomi-lomi, and the brown prince- 
things sang and laughed in undertones at their fishing. The 
water was so quiet that we could see by the starlight the 


moony gleam of the sandy bottom, broken with grey fanciful 
shapes of branching coral. A low groan and growl from the 
outer surf came across the palmy strand, but we hung mo- 
tionless in a magic still circle swept softly by perfumed airs. 

. . . And to-morrow we hoist anchor for Pelau, at the 
other end of the atoll, thence straight north for indefinite 
two-score miles to a ring of reef not a seventh the size of 
this Tasman, or Niumano Atoll. 

At sea, Lord Howe to Tasman, 
Friday, October 2, 1908. 

To the south Lord Howe has sunk beneath a waving hori- 
zon of cobalt blue, and the dear old bowsprit is questing 
northward where Tasman lies but a fraction over four de- 
grees below the fervid Line. And fervid enough it is aboard, 
despite a flowing breeze. 

On the morning of Tuesday, the 29th, we sailed for Pelau 
accompanied by two natives, Kelango, a nephew of Bob's, 
and Boonaa, the very picture of an Abyssinian. The two 
put in their time on the bowsprit, guiding us among the 
brilliant coral patches in the rippling lagoon. 

King Kepea rendered a farewell largess of one hundred 
young drinking-cocoanuts, and that coveted four-legged 
"throne," which shall be my pet footstool some day in our 
Wolf House on Sonoma Mountain. He also sent a score of 
fowls, these, as we had come to learn, to be paid for. 

Mr. Markham came out, and the girl was a sumptuous 
vision, swathed in sky-blue pareu held by a wide blue- 
beaded band close around her bronze body under the breasts. 
But she was entirely put in the shade when there hove over- 
rail our friend Bob, who had spent good money at the store 
on a coarse white cotton chemise (surmounted by an em- 
broidered frill), that reached below his lean knees. Imagine 
the bewhiskered, fuzz-tufted, benevolent old fellow in this 
outrageous rig, stiff with pride in his unimpeachable cor- 


rectness and our struggle not to shout with laughter. And 
at the last, tarrying with us until he became separated from 
his canoe, he dived overside and rose waving a lean brown 
arm out of its embroidered puff -sleeve, before he struck for 
shore with a "Good-bye, my mamma! Good-bye, my 

Jack trusted Henry with the wheel and went below to 
start his story "Mauki," which has greatly stirred his imag- 
ination. I spent most of the day fitting up our tiny state- 
rooms with yielding depths of fine mats on the floors, 
others soft-folded on the bunks, and rearranging things gen- 
erally. They are such clean comfort, these native weaves, 
in this melting temperature. 

At 5 :30, with an hour of the engine, we came to rest in 
sixty feet of green-crystal water, and our eyes could follow 
the chain link by link to where the anchor hid under a dull- 
blue coral-hummock. Rosy rock-cod and dun fish-sharks 
could be clearly seen hovering in the shadows cast by sea 
gardens or gliding from tree to tree out of the violet glooms 
into opalescent sungleams and back again, and large beche 
de mer slugs lay like blots on the wavy white bottom. 

Before the natives commenced to swarm out, Mr. Bolgar 
(Mr. Nau and he had preceded us to Pelau) paid us a call, 
and more to our amusement than surprise at first, warned us 
against the natives, whose breeding includes a streak of 
Malayan as well as Melanesian. "S'pose you frien's look 
out along Queenslander fella," he explained. This we per- 
fectly understood, as the presence of a "returned Queens- 
lander" would make us keep an eye out for at least small 
failings, although nothing worse in this safe environment. 

There is not a white face in Pelau, and we quickly com- 
prehended the variance of the people from those at the other 
end. No lovely youths here these were very like Solomon 
Islanders in shape and feature, although as elaborately if 
not as finely tattooed as any Samoan. All over their faces 
the patterns stray, and it makes one's flesh creep to look at 
heavy designs on the tender skin under their eyes, so 


exquisite must have been the torture of the artist's handi- 
work. The children are well sketched on their little chests, 
and childless wives and the men wear irregular knicker- 
bockers of intricate drawing. Some of them had " fella 
muskets" limned on their satiny torsos. 

Early next morning the roar of surf outside roused me, 
and I dived for a cool swim with Jack before breakfast, as 
the sharks really seemed to stay on bottom near the fish. 
Imagine lying face-downward on the tepid beryl floor of 
water, eyes open to the coral groves and lazy-shifting life of 
the lagoon, and trying to spy a hide-and-seek anchor at the 
end of a chain that partly lies in irregular lines and loose 
coils in the slack of the tide; or, coming up for a lung of 
fresh air, leisurely swimming under the beloved copper hull 
of your boat, and turning face-up to look at her iron keel 
before rising on the other side. It is all so indolent-easy. 
If Jack and I did everything in the tropics as moderately 
as we live in the water, I am beginning to believe there would 
be little sickness for us. 

A strange canoe with upright carved ends ranged along- 
side while we were having our fresh-laid breakfast-eggs on 
deck, her paddlers equally strange two Mongolian-faced 
men under broad Chinese hats. One of them submitted a 
large, perfectly round clam pearl, at which I tried not to 
look too possessively, for he held it at a price that would 
have commanded a true oyster pearl. Jack advised : ' ' Let 
him wait a day or two he'll find his mistake and come 
down." But he never could be convinced that it was not a 
proper "poe" (Tahitian for pearl), and we sailed without 
it, as I preferred to hoard the price against our pearl-junket- 
ing in Torres Straits. 

Mr. Nau and Mr. Bolgar sent out an invitation to visit 
them, and under their commodious oblong roof, as we rested 
on thick mats, we met the royalty, King Pongavali of Pelau, 
and drank the good health of His Majesty and his wives and 
prime ministers in endless libations of tender cocoanuts. 
Many of the types were curious not like the Solomons, not 


like anything 1 we knew stern visages set around with Faun- 
tleroy locks, faces slow to smile, their watchful black eyes 
lid-dropping when too closely scrutinised. 

Mr. Nau 's sweet vahine piled in my lap several fine Samoan 
mats, one of them thickly fringed with vari-coloured wor- 
sted, an especial treasure in her eyes. While we were under 
shelter a heavy shower cleared the oppressive air, and we 
walked about the green island, where I was allowed to go and 
come unchallenged in rickety devil-devil houses such as 
Jack and Martin had never seen, nor even Henry and poor 
weak Tehei, who could not resist coming ashore. 

The Pelauans are not so fastidious as the Lua-Nuans, and 
these devil-devil houses are noisome with a clutter of offer- 
ings of dirt-encrusted turtle shell, native kai-kai spoons of 
the same shell and of mother-of-pearl, malodorous ragged 
garments I saw a grimy plaid shawl dog-skulls, sharks '- 
jaws, repulsive strings of fish-tails, and, under one conse- 
crated thatch, a week-dead black cat swayed and swung and 
perfumed the breeze. At all times watchers squat or lie in 
these twilight temples unpleasant creatures, some of them 
with loathly skin diseases. 

We picked up a few fine curios Jack was especially 
elated over several adzes of petrified shell that were routed 
from obscurity by the ancient fathers of the tribe, wrought 
years before white men introduced the first iron. 

When we returned aboard, a large crowd saw us off, and 
then dispersed to sleep away the heat. Just before sunset, in 
what I suppose one might call the cool of the afternoon, we 
roused from our deck-mats and brought to light some foolish 
miracles to astound the gathering that paddled out to see 
what it could see. Some were absorbed in " tuppenny " wire 
puzzles until the marvelling murmurs of others called them 
to where stupid paper wafers spread into coloured lilies in 
pans of water, or Japanese flowers burst into swift blossom- 
ing in little pots, or harmless grey lumps of clay turned into 
writhing snakes of fire at the touch of a match. Next day 
the King, being indisposed and bored, despatched a courier 


with request that we bring or send similar wonders for his 
amusement. It was too hot to leave the awnings, so we sent 
the things. We noticed that no reciprocal gift was forth- 
coming. How radically different peoples in the same part of 
the world can be! The missionary's wife was ill, so the 
household did not come to dinner as arranged. Very few 
canoes paddled out either we must have gleaned all the 
curios, or else we had nothing the population wanted. 

By the time we were ready to depart, our anchor chain, to 
say nothing of the anchor, had become so involved in the 
coral groves that we had to send native divers down to disen- 
tangle them, and could watch their every movement. I 
steered out the narrow reef entrance under power, snapping 
breakers close on each hand. 

Jack, in addition to writing and navigating and general 
captaining, is studying up everything on the medical shelf 
relating to Tehei's sickness, and is treating him very care- 
fully; for blackwater fever undoubtedly it is, and black- 
water is no joke. What a terrible thing a death on the 
happy Snark would be! But we are not dwelling upon 
death, but life and recovery. Unfortunately, Tehei's mind, 
whether conscious or wandering, works directly against our 
efforts. He seems sweetly determined to become an angel, 
and meets all cheer-provoking suggestion with patient smiles ; 
while all his childish-lisping talk is in the missionary nomen- 
clature. His worship leads curiously into the channel of 
aitu observance. To-day I overheard him whispering; "0 
God, don't kill me! God, don't kill me!" But we have 
simply got to pull him through. 

Saturday, October 3, 1908. 

Except for making safely out of Lord Howe at three yes- 
terday, we did not employ the engine, but sailed on in the 
warm-blowing afternoon, through a glorious equatorial sun- 
set, and into a scintillating night of electric moon and stars 
and phosphorescent water, until, at half past ten, Martin 


sighted Tasman low-lying not far off. Jack hove to, but 
was up and down all night to be sure of holding his weather 
position. He looked very tired-eyed this morning, and I 
could see his burning, stinging hands gave him no respite. 
Happily, his natural curiosity is such that the study and 
working through even his own physical misfortunes (let 
alone others') nearly offset the personal pain and irk. 
Hence, his temper is equable, and no one else is forced to 
suffer unduly on his account. 

Under power, once near Tasman, we skirted her purling 
reef, all strung with deep-green wooded islets, Henry at 
masthead, bald and hatless under the roasting noonday sky. 
Martin was triumphant above all Solomon sores at the way 
his smooth-running masheen was "sewing" on distillate; 
and Tehei, deciding to live until he beheld one more frag- 
ment of this mundane sphere, crept on deck and eased him- 
self on to a mattress. Peggy, gallant soul, sat beside me, 
golden ears pricked, restless of paw, while I turned for the 
southeast entrance. A dun squall-curtain that had been 
swinging toward the opening swerved away and left fair 

"The dear old tub I love every plank and sheet and 
pulley!" Jack laughed to me from the bow where he was 
directing my course. 

"This is an atoll what is," was his next call, for at last 
we were gliding into the fairy ring of our dreams, re- 
stricted enough for one to realise its bounds at a circling 
glance. Here the water is deep, and no coral patches could 
we see. 

Out came Mr. McNicoll, a small, hard-bitten Scotsman, 
who holds power of life and death over the rapidly dimin- 
ishing handful of almost pure Polynesians on this privately- 
owned island. He is here only temporarily, having come 
to help the manager, Mr. Oberg, to suppress an uprising of 
the natives consequent upon a scourge of dysentery intro- 
duced by Oberg 's Black Papuan boat crew. So autocratic 
has Mr. McNicoll become in his long years of lording it over 


the dark races, and doing the thinking for their dull wits, 
that it never occurs to him that he cannot exercise unques- 
tioned authority with other persons' brown boys. Hence, 
there were at least surprised looks on the faces of Henry and 
Nakata when our caller ordered them around quite as a 
matter of course. Henry's triangular smile took on a twist 
of resentment, but Nakata saw the humour, and was all 
polite respect and obedience to the quondam "bossing." I 
thought it was exceedingly funny, until the interesting char- 
acter squarely kicked Peggy, merely because she happened 
to be standing between him and the mongrel he desired to 
kick. Peggy's tear-dimmed eyes wrung a protest from me, 
whereupon McNicoll was all apology for his thoughtlessness, 
and jokingly remarked that he fancied Peggy's tail had 
been bobbed "so's to make room for her on the schooner." 
Then he relieved his embarrassment by kicking the right 
dog with the threat that he'd throw a leg o' Moses at him if 
he didn't keep out o' way. 

But McNicoll was solid at heart, and displayed every con- 
sideration, sending out fruit and vegetables to ''Captain 
London and the Mate," bringing his sturdy, lawful native 
wife to see us a stolid New Ireland woman in decent 
muslin wrapper and their three-year-old son, the most 
beautiful child I ever saw. Other and older sons and daugh- 
ters are being educated elsewhere. McNicoll is evidently a 
man keen to his responsibilities as a parent. He is full of 
story and anecdote, and will ever stand out in my memory, 
if for no other reason than that he is the first white man I 
ever talked with who has eaten human flesh, or, rather, ad- 
mitted the same albeit this one swears he did not know it 
was human flesh until afterward. "Man, man, I was fair 
blowed, I was, any amount, I tell you, by Jove!" he de- 
claimed; then, to my question: "It was nigger meat, any- 
ways, and . . . well, you might say it's more like pig-flesh 
than anything else, fine-grained, y'know ..." and he 
trailed off into hair-lifting tales of his years in New Guinea, 
New Britain, New Ireland where the natives are blacker in 


body, and soul, if that be possible, than the Malaitans. A 
missing thumb on his left hand was torn out by a winch 
when he, alone, hoisted overboard sling-loads of five hun- 
dred coolies dead from cholera, somewhere on the China 

McNicoll has lately buried twenty-three of the inhabitants 
here, dead from dysentery. There remain but ninety-three 
natives, thirty-six of whom are women, and there are only 
two children in the whole community. 

This man verified Jack's diagnosis of Tehei's condition, 
and told dreadful instances of the mortality from black- 
water. As to Jack's hands, he examined the peeling upon 
peeling that was visible, and the painful, dry, hot swelling, 
and said he had once had something like it, but had got over 
it; didn't know what it was maybe the salt, maybe the sun, 
and that Jack's and his own were the only cases he had ever 

Niumanu, Tasman, 
Sunday, October 4, 1908. 

The rain pelted all night, and the men were driven from 
their deck mattresses; but I, under a flap of canvas, stuck it 
out, with Peggy, who had been rudely detached from Jack's 
side when he was washed out, curled beside me. Peggy 
loves me more and more, but when night falls she hunts the 
shelter of Jack's arms, and, if he has to desert her, she goes 
to Martin, whom she has won to her in spite of himself, and 
who now considers her "a pretty good little yellow dog." 

This forenoon McNicoll placed his whaleboat, manned by 
magnificent Black Papuans, at our disposal for the day. He 
also ordered a dance, in a space among tall dense trees the 
most ideally primitive and savage dance we ever watched. 
Men and women were clad in bushy ballet-skirts of grass 
and leaves and feathers, dancing angularly with quick jerks 
and flirts of the undulating fringes. One man was a small 
satyr among his wood-fellows, and as they all moved hither 
and thither into the twilight, fireflies wove like shuttles 


among them and shot in and out the dark pillars of the 

A small, sweet, listless people are these Niumanus, soft- 
voiced, soft-mannered, without ambition enough to persist as 
a race. A wonder it is they gathered sufficient impetus to 
protest against the dysentery ; but it was little more than an 
hysterical protest against fate. 

The village is very picturesque, smothered in tufted, laden 
palms full of birds, and we saw only one devil-devil house, 
from the door of which a coffee-coloured little Mephisto 
peered. The rapidly dwindling female members of the pop- 
ulation are the most comely we have seen in this part of the 
South Seas, despite their cropped skulls. What hair they 
have lies in tender, tawny-tipped ringlets. We did not see 
the pitiful remnant of Niumanu's childhood. 

And the burying-place that is even more curious than 
Lua-Nua's, although quite different. The import of the 
relics that decorate the rickety graves was very stimulating 
to our white imaginations. One tomb, plastered with pink 
lime, bore the rusted wraith of an old musket; another, a 
bronze rudder-pintle, green-crusted; a group of graves 
bristled with bayonets corroded to mere uneven toothpicks, 
while rust-splintered marlinspikes and crowbars stuck up at 
intervals, and one lone mound boasted an almost unrecog- 
nisable sauce-pan indeed, here were all the copper and 
hardware that had been taken from two New England whale- 
ships that the once adventuresome people of Tasman had ' ' cut 
out" more than a century ago. One of these ships, the 
Sailing Directions says, they captured inside the lagoon, but 
the other they went out after in their canoes. 

McNicoll happened to remark that some of the older graves 
near the reef had been washed open by the surf. Martin 
departed forthwith to see if he could find a skull. He was 
not allowed to get away with it for nothing, however, the 
natives, first shocked, then covetous, considering it worth 
three sticks of tobacco. "Some cheap head!" Martin com- 
mented, turning the ghastly trophy in his hands. 


Monday, October 5, 1908. 

This would have been one of our loveliest days in the 
tropics except for the heat that boiled our white blood. I 
have been frantic with prickly heat that rose in a rash, and 
Jack suffered greatly with his turgid hands. And I do not 
think our breakfast of tinned sauerkraut and frankfurters 
was the most approved diet for the climate! At any rate, 
we enjoyed an inactive day, indolently discussing the possi- 
bility of missing the next steamer to Sydney. Fancy being 
so moderate that one misses sailings five weeks apart! 

Nakata seemed possessed with good spirits, and his vibrant 
Japanese lilts soared out and upward from the galley to a 
low accompaniment of self-pitying groans from Tehei, one of 
whose aberrations is that we over-persuaded him to come 
on the Snark. Martin was indignant, and reminded him 
sharply of the five different refusals Jack had given when 
Tehei began first to hint and then to beg to be allowed to 
sail with us. Jack gave the demented child a good talk- 
ing-to, in the hope of bracing him up, but such result is not 
apparent. He turns an obstinate face to the wall and says 
no word. Meanwhile his fever is well in hand under Jack's 
unremitting treatment ; but Tehei has long since decided that 
the only way to abate his homesickness is by way of steamer 
from Sydney, since there are no connections to be made from 
the Solomons; and gloom has settled upon his soul. This 
evening, to my ukulele, Nakata and Henry danced a merry 
figure or two on deck in the moonlight; but Tehei stuck it 
out in the hot cabin and would not be beguiled. 

Tuesday, October 6, 1908. 

Early in our first sleep last night we were aroused by a 
low warning rumble from Peggy, and almost before we could 
locate the canoe, three womanish, ringleted men, with great 
soft eyes, were perched upon our rail, explaining that they 
wanted to ship on the Snark. It was all part of the recent 
panic the poor things want to get away. 


This morning we were under way about nine, Mr. Oberg 
and his crew helping us break out the anchor and hoist the 
canvas. Jack says these blacks, although willing enough, 
are very awkward sailors compared with the Polynesians. 
There was a certain relief in getting away from this anchor- 
age, as the reef to the west was a trifle too close for mental 

And so we have left our first atolls rosy garlands flung 
upon the sapphire sea and are pointed for the Solomons 
again, which, while we do not love them, are more like home 
and headquarters than any other place in this wild region. 

Tehei is almost laughable. Without deigning to notice 
Jack and me, or even Henry, he languidly ordered break- 
fast of Nakata, who offered us something very like a wink 
as he humoured the sick man. I think Tehei would have 
liked the last hen (the rest have flown overboard), but he 
did not have quite the courage to suggest it. The hen, by 
the way, a small brown person, is conducting a most scandal- 
ous flirtation with a sleek drake that McNicoll gave us. 

This evening I took my watch. We are short-handed, 
with Tehei laid up and Wada gone. After I had turned in 
on my deck-cot, the squalls set in. Such rain ! Such blasts 
of wind! Such sudden going-over of the hull, until the lee 
rail and half the launch were buried! And such rushes to 
the main-sheet! Henry handles the boat well, without or- 
ders, bringing her up into the wind and keeping the head- 
sails shaking just enough. He has a fine feel of a boat. 

Wednesday, October 7, 1908. 

It is one year to-day since we picked our way out 
among the floating islets of lilies in Hilo Harbor. I spent 
this forenoon on my cot, in a dead calm, trying to make up 
sleep. We are a little less than one hundred and fifty miles 
from Manning Straits. After the calm, came light airs, but 
only just enough for steerage-way. 

Martin went at the forepeak, and gave it a " turning out," 


aired our precious saddlery, and discovered three tins of 
flour, along with two dozen tins of oysters and some fine 
dried apples, peaches and apricots. 

And we saw two big dolphin the first since before Nuka- 

Thursday, October 8, 1908. 

So tired, so tired . . . spent forenoon in bed. But my 
passive illness is nothing beside the active stress of Jack's 
lamentable hands. Sydney is becoming very desirable, with 
its advice and help. 

Last evening I took my watch although Jack had ar- 
ranged otherwise. Had good weather, but the next watch 
was fierce with squalls from black curtains on the horizon, 
and the mizzen had to be lowered. The awning was taken 
in, and the Snark looked bared for action. We ran fast, 
wary of the big mainsail jibing over in the "hummers." 
The worst squall came from two directions almost simulta- 
neously. There was no sleep until nearly four. We were 
glad to be no nearer Manning Straits, which are imperfectly 
charted, and treacherous with reefs and warring currents. 

Tehei went quite "luny," in a calm before dawn, took his 
best suit of clothes on deck, threw it overboard, and was 
preparing 1 to follow, when Martin caught him. He evi- 
dently desired to enter the isles of the blest in pleasant rai- 

Friday, October 9, 1908. 

I have heard Jack tell of the sun-dogs in the Arctic, and I 
surely never expected to see my first sun-dogs on a hot day 
under the Equator! But that is just the novelty which 
greeted us from this forenoon's sky two soft blobby false 
suns, one on either side the true luminary. Another un- 
usual occurrence was Henry's taking the chronometer time 
for Jack's morning sight. Henry has been working very 
faithfully of late at his navigation. 


Later in the day we could see the dim blue tops of Ysabel 
rising from the horizon to the southeast, and a tangle of 
islands ahead that made our senses prick with caution once 

This being Martin's birthday, we made Cupid stew (see 
Jack's play, Scorn of Women, for recipe) of the flirtatious 
brown hen, and opened a bottle of the Sumatra's Rhine wine. 
The Snark logged along slowly and evenly, into a lovely sun- 
set of lavender and rose and gold, with glorious piled clouds 
on Ysabel's peaks, and woolly puffs dotting the horizon. 
Before the huge crimson sun had touched the western waves, 
like a pale reflection the full moon had grown in the low 
sky opposite, so silvery delicate that it seemed a transparent 
gossamer hoop through which the ineffable colours drifted 
and filtered. 

Jack hove to for the night, and while we drank in the rest- 
ful beauty, and cooled in the evening air, the anthropomor- 
phic Tehei, below, called upon his concept of the Deity not 
to kill him. Henry, his sneer almost a triangle, called down 
in his husky staccato : 

"Hey! Tehei! You killing you 'self ! God, he no Solo- 
mon to kill you you kill you 'self, I tell you!" 

I cannot reconcile this futile, febrile thing with the 
old Tehei. He is behaving according to his lights of 
course; but methinks they are rushlights, and burn but 

. . . Midnight: I feel quite weak from relief. Nakata, 
a little less careful than usual, had eaten some salmon that 
was past virtue. Shortly before nine, when all were asleep, 
the little man became violently ill with ptomaine poisoning, 
and for three hours Jack and I wrestled for his life with 
every means at our command and won. He is sleeping 
now like a tired baby. It was terrible, fighting one rigid 
convulsion after another, conquering, and watching the at- 
tacks grow less frequent. Nakata 's last observation before 
he drifted into sleep, was: "Never I want to taste mustard 


Saturday, Oct. 10, 1908. 

Blue sky, blue water, snowy surf, low woolpacks on the 
blue rim of the world, light breeze, mountains of Ysabel to 
port, and the blue velvet hills of Choiseul to starboard 
and you think you have it all, a picture of peace and security. 
But the two hours I steered this morning, nine to eleven, 
through torrential currents and tide-rips that brimmed and 
followed and seemed ever about to roll over our stern, was 
one of my most exciting experiences. 

We saw our way largely through the eyes of Henry, aloft, 
who called down to Jack, forward, who in turn shouted 
instructions to me above the racket of engine and rushing 
water and impact of wind. The steering gear was stiff, and 
Jack told off Nakata to help me at the wheel if I found it 
too much for my strength. But I managed it unaided from 
start to finish. There is a wicked reef off Ysabel, in Man- 
ning Straits, and the tide-rips look like surf on reef, so that 
I needed quite desperate nerve at times to obey orders and 
steer unswervingly straight for a toothed line of white 
water. Some day I shall learn never to question Jack's 
judgment, no matter how secretly, in matters of the sea. In 
spite of two charts, which, in addition to being frankly in- 
adequate and unreliable, flatly contradicted each other, in 
spite of phenomena that to the rest of us, even Henry, 
appeared convincingly disastrous, my blue-eyed sailor ex- 
ercised his everlasting unerring judgment in this intricate 
maze of rock and coral, shoal and crazy current. "Oh 
just my luck!" he will say; but I know better. We who 
sail with him are not born to be drowned ! I have observed 
him too much to have any doubts. 

My happy heart! My brave boat! The tonic of explor- 
ing in uncharted places, wondering each moment if the 
keel will not bump on a hummock of coral in the watery, 
swirling plain of shallows! A few remembered words of 
advice and reminiscence from men who have been here, or 
know others who have been, is all we have to go by ; the rest 
is guesswork and judgment. 


" Watch out lively! We're going into another rip!" 

And I watch meeting with all my weight on the brassy 
teak wheel the shock of the combing, fighting water; and 

"Mate Woman!" 


"Keep her off keep her off!" 

And keep her off I do, noting Henry's warning wave as 
well, as he sees a coral peril near at hand. 

With the engine working full power, and every stitch of 
canvas drawing in a bright gale, we sail like mad; but the 
adverse current pulls so strong that, looking overside into 
the blue-green water, we see coral patches standing still so 
far as our progress is concerned. Nakata, peering over, 
sees, looks up at the marble-hard sails, and down again, in- 
credulously : 

"Snark stand still!" 

But slowly, slowly, almost inch by inch, we win through, 
and are slashing along in gentler water, the contrary cur- 
rents left behind, all sense of danger sloughed off in the 
whirling background. Henry descends and stretches him- 
self, and recounts a tale of ripping tides where two strong 
men were needed at the wheel; then, three, and the vessel 
swung around in spite of their combined effort. Henry's 
imagination makes his broken English very dramatic; then 
he trails off with liquid chucklings in his veiled voice, while 
his black eyes shine with old Paumotan memories. 

And through all the tumble and activity of the Straits, 
I am conscious of the pleasure of the keen whip of wind on 
bare calves and feet and the sting of spindrift on my 
cheeks, and, greatest of all satisfactions, the sense of doing 
my part, of being needed and making good in my station at 
the helm. 

1 ' Can you beat it ! " would come the laughing shout of my 
skipper, who waves both arms in entire forgetfulness of his 
painful hands. Fine mental healing, this ! 

We had hooked a long, slender fish on our troll line as we 


were negotiating a succession of rips, and the silver-blue 
sword was dragged from crest to crest of the creaming rollers 
by the combined speed of the yacht and the warring current. 
Not a moment before, Nakata, who was quite himself after 
his sickness, had broached the puzzling problem of dinner; 
and now, out of the chaotic passage, the little man served a 
delicious platter of that fish, dressed over with tomatoes and 
onions, and accompanied by German beer. 

New Georgia is visible dead ahead, and all is plain sailing. 
Jack has fallen into a doze, and I yearn over his face, gone 
tired and sick as he relaxes. And I love the gear about him, 
the gear of his sea avocation the spread chart, held flat with 
the dividers and parallel rulers; the binoculars, the sextant 
in its case, and the perpetually low-ticking chronometer. 

Sunday, October 11, 1908. 

A bad squall took us aback last night. Henry, alone at 
the helm, rang the bell to the engine room ; I yelled to Jack, 
who landed on his feet at one bound, and started through 
the cabin. He stumbled over Martin, who had struck the 
floor on all fours, while Nakata, falling upon Martin from the 
upper berth, was saying " Excuse me!" in mid-air. The 
squall nearly buried the launch on the port rail, and the 
wind came from every quarter, accompanied by a deafening 
and blinding electrical display. The main sheet and main 
peak halyards carried away, and things were very tense for a 
while. During the night the mizzen was taken in twice, and 
hoisted as many times. Just a sample of night sailing in the 
Solomon Archipelago. 

Monday, October 12, 1908. 

Last evening, during my watch, I had the one, grisly, hair- 
raising scare of the Snark voyage. It was an eerie night to 
be alone on deck. The lightning was almost continuous, and 
in rocking calms between windy puffs, the intermittent rat- 
tle and patter of loose blocks, and the whine of boom- jaws 


against tortured masts, were extremely uncanny. Then 
would burst the squalls, with the clouds spitting flame, and 
the sharp rat-tat of reef -points and the taut hum of the rig- 
ging, and the unearthly swish of unseen waves, were no more 
soothing to my strung nerves. I am not overly timid, but 
for once I was not in tune with the responsibility of my post. 
Jack, coming up for a look around before turning in, must 
have sensed my distress, for he said: 

' ' This is a nasty night. I '11 stay up with you. ' ' 
With him, I found the night very wonderful, and we 
amused ourselves counting the seconds between lightning 
flash and crack of thunder. Sometimes they were almost 
simultaneous, so close were the bolts. Then again, we counted 
several seconds. It was in a particularly long period that I 
received my terrifying experience. There was no breath of 
wind. Jack sat beside the rudder box, while I stood before 
him, facing aft, and rubbing his hot hands. There had been 
a blinding blue flash, an awful illumination, right in my 
face, and the moon at my back, veiled in a blue cloud, shed a 
ghostly gleam on Jack's upturned face. Then something 
seemed to be happening to us. Jack was staring horribly, 
and I leaned nearer, myself staring, fascinated by what I 
saw. It seemed that some spell was laid upon us, separating 
us as if all space intervened, and that we knew it, each to 
each, and were powerless to help ourselves. He seemed 
striving vainly to speak, his mouth open, and my horror- 
stricken eyes saw his jaw fall. I thought all the thoughts of 
my life, quickly, distinctly. I felt the voiceless tragedy of 
this ending to our exceptional life and of our existence on 
the Snark. I thought we were both dying, that some un- 
learned manifestation of electricity had taken possession of 
us and the end had come. Then, as I gazed and strove to 
hold our ebbing lives together, consciousness began to wane, 
and with a great effort I tried to let go Jack's hand from my 
two, saying: "Let go! Let go!'* In my half -trance, the 
idea persisted that we had established some sort of "circle" 
that was paralysing our faculties. Also, I consciously stood 


clear of the iron wheel and other metal in the cockpit. Then 
Jack spoke : 

" What is the matter ?" 

I came to myself and found, with relief that was a pang, 
that he had merely been counting the seconds, with his mouth 
and eyes open, and the whole million years I had suffered 
were encompassed in the space of eight seconds. I was 
shaking all over, but my ego succeeded in gasping : 

"But I did behave with presence of mind, according to 
my lights, when I let go of your hands ! ' ' 

"You behaved with judgment enough, I'll admit, " he 
joked; "but your physics were darned bad!" 

I agreed with him ; but the freezing horror was still in my 
blood, and it was some time before it seemed to flow warmly 
again. The remainder of the night was fine, and we slept 

The engine has been chugging away all this day, but we 
have made few knots, what of head-sea and -wind. Every 
one seems fit ; even Tehei, evidently deciding, as Jack put it, 
that his tactics were * ' buying him nothing, ' ' greeted me with 
a smiling : ' ' Good morning, Bihaura, ' ' and ' ' Good morning, 
Tehei, " to Jack. After which Jack haled him, gently 
enough, to the wheel, despite protest, and made him steer. 
The S nark's course was erratic in the extreme, for Tehei was 
weak as a cat, and wabbled badly. But the method worked 
the man was stung to interest in life and to appetite, and ate 
a hearty dinner. Jack let him rest well, then helped him to 
the wheel again. "I'll make a man of him yet," he bragged 
to me. 

It is high time we connected with Pennduffryn. Our 
kerosene is getting low ; we have bread for but one more day ; 
yeast and flour are gone; our last rice was consumed three 
days ago. We are pretty well down to our German tins, 
with their enormous duty. 


Pepesala, Cape Marsh, 
Pavuvu or Russell Group, 
Tuesday, October 13, 1908. 

Not much headway in the night, with light wind and north 
current. This morning Nakata came down with fever, and, 
in one of his lucid moments, made all of us, except Tehei, 
laugh when he chattered whimsically : 

" Please, Lord, don't kill me!" 

To assist Henry, I peeled the onions (our last vegetable) 
while I steered, under power, with my feet, and I smiled to 
hear the Rapa Islander 's picturesque language as he struggled 
with can-openers on cans that had been intended to yield to 
their ''keys/' which had futilely broken off. 

Into West Bay, or, more poetically, "The Bay of a Thou- 
sand Ships," the Snark glided before noon; and out to us 
came George Washington, or some one very like Mr. Kiss- 
ling, trader here at Cape Marsh. We had him to our midday 
meal, and found him a mine of interest. Twenty-three years 
in the South Seas, he bears many a mark of his prolonged 
tussle with nature and with man's devices. His great chest 
is coral-scarred, deep, to the bone, from some battle with the 
breakers. One leg was dynamited, and, while he can walk on 
it, the rended tissues have developed into a chronic sore. 
Mr. Kissling knew Stevenson, and loved him for his cheer 
against odds; and he remembers Lord Pembroke, who, al- 
though his income was half a million a year, preferred to 
roam rather than spend conventionally, and lost his yacht 
Albatross in the Ringgold Group not far from the scene of 
our close call. 

We had tea and dinner ashore, and I found a little organ 
in the trader's living room. Amongst other things he had 
once been a church organist ! 

Peggy had us in tears of laughter over her pompous ap- 
proach to a monster mastiff, a good natured, indulgent soul 
who was awkwardly nonplussed by this intrepid insect that 
braced up so menacingly to him. Her superiority once 
established, she made friends with him and with a fat terrier 


of her own persuasion that was playing with an enormous 
Maltese tomcat grown lean with lizards. A family of guinea 
pigs caused Peggy to bark her head nearly off; and the 
sheep . . . But she respected the two big white cows, and 
we had already taught her that ducks and hens are taboo. 
She doesn't even see them as she stalks by, although I think 
I can detect a slight lop to one ear. 

A walk about Levers Pacific Plantation showed us a very 
beautiful as well as unique island, for a slanting up-thrust of 
coral formation has created a basin that forms a lovely lake 
of fresh water. Looking seaward through the oblique pillars 
of feathered palms, in the blue lagoon with its purple coral- 
shadows, and in the waters beyond, we could see innumerable 
green islets, each a ' ' fragment of Paradise. ' ' 

In company with Mr. Kissling, and Messrs. Hickie and 
Birley, two young Englishmen in charge of the estates here, 
we saw the plantations, and were greatly struck with the 
deforesting that had been accomplished a large area cleared 
of all but the grotesque stumps of colossal " board-trees, " 
like those of Upolu. The great bases still stand, flanked by 
their satin-grey bastions. 

"We are now looking forward almost eagerly to Penn- 
duffryn, to get our mail and make ready for the steamer 
to Sydney, which leaves Aola, a station to the east of 
Pennduffryn, on November 5. We have sojourned in these 
Solomon Islands long enough for" the present too long for 
our good. Glorious earth monuments of verdure that they 
are, yet, in their existent state, they are no place for white 
men and women. Indeed, their own aborigines do not thrive j 
what with fever, ulcers, skin diseases and worse, bad teeth, 
and innutrition, they are a sorry lot in the main. And a 
Polynesian fares little better here than a white man. When 
we return from Australia, all mended and fresh for a new 
start, we shall go aboard the Snark and immediately fill away 
to the west always west, and north of west, and south of 
west, the round world 'round until we are bound at last 
around Cape Horn and north to San Francisco .Bay. 


Thursday, October 15, 1908. 

On a "windless, glassy floor," engine purring fault- 
lessly, we slipped out of the Bay of a Thousand Ships and 
by the fantastic green litter of the Pavuvu islets, like leaves 
strewn on a peacock-blue mantle; on, hour after hour, past 
Savo, the volcano island, where the water appeared dusty, 
as if from volcanic ash; along beautiful Guadalcanal, her 
mountain-laps cradling the mist; flying-fish scudding from 
our sleek forefoot and tripping over the top of the absinthe 
water. Tehei, contentedly munching a ripe guava, steered 
for an hour or so. Jack was in great fettle undoubtedly 
with sense of safe ending to a voyage in such adverse en- 
vironment. Coming toward me with his merry walk, he 
stopped to listen to the regular throb of the engine, and said 
very quietly, stating the mere fact: "I have figured that, 
counting repairs, Martin's salary, and so forth, that that 
engine has cost me one hundred dollars for every mile she 
has run. But what of it?" he added brightly. "We're 
here, aren't we?" Which same is his invariable cheery 
conclusion to all irking propositions. 

"Look at Peg," Jack remarked softly just now; and I 
raised my gaze to see the little slender golden thing sitting 
before me on the deck, very upright on her thin, aristocratic 
toes, regarding my face in the same searching, boding 
manner as when we neared the end of our stay at Meringe. 
There has been nothing unusual going on aboard, save that I 
got out a box of handsome ribbons and made wide girdles for 
summer gowns in Sydney. How does she fore-sense change ? 
Even if she could understand our speech, there has been no 
speech how can I talk about the possibility of relinquishing 
her? By all right of sentiment, she is my dog. Her eyes 
. . . here they are before me, and I cannot describe them 
. . . up-cast, large beyond all eyes of dogs stirless, stead- 
fast, so deep, so deep . . . there is no plumbing the warm 
brown of the pure pools, where little golden lights play up 
like live things ; not little devils though they could be such 


but glints of feeling made visible, love-lights from heart 
and brain. For Peggy loves with all of her, profoundly. 
How did the Creator come to house such great capacity of 
lovingness in so lowly a frame? 

. . . Safe at anchor once more off Pennduffryn, and as 
there is a crowd of guests ashore, we shall sleep aboard to- 
night, and sail early for Tulagi, for our mail is being held 
there for us. 

The cruise came near a disastrous ending. After dark, 
and before the moon rose, we headed in for what tallied with 
the signal lights we knew so well, and in relation to which 
we knew our anchorage perfectly. We discovered, and none 
too quickly, that we were at Boucher 's Plantation, some miles 
to the west, and that he had adopted the same system of 
lanterns rather a disturbing factor on this perilous coast, 
where the Pennduffryn lights are the only ones described in 
the Admiralty Directory. The warm night seemed suddenly 
to chill when we found our position, but, all working in uni- 
son, we swung around just in the nick of time, and soon 
afterward rumbled down the anchor in its old place off the 
tiny quay at Pennduffryn. A ghostly schooner, the Lily, 
rustled by under sweeps in the misty moonlight, and passed 
the word o' night. 


THERE is little more to tell. We did not dream that 
these were our last hours of travel on the Snark. The 
three weeks at Pennduffryn we put in busily despite illness. 
Days were spent in the shady grove of piles under the build- 
ings, sorting, labelling and packing in great cases our vast 
accumulation of Melanesian curios for shipment. Jack wrote 
daily, except when the violence of fever attacks laid him 
low. His various ailments grew steadily worse. His hands 
alone were enough to drive a man wild eleven skins peeling 
off simultaneously, one above another. Out of my own 
fever, and the anaemic and neurasthenic condition I had 
fallen into, augmented by worry over Jack, came moods of 
despondency, most unlike my happy-go-lucky wont. And 
instead of inviting repose, I foolishly worked harder than 
ever, and developed a siege of insomnia. 

The life of the plantation at this stage in its downfall would 
make a romantic story in itself. The little Spanish Baroness 
Eugenie, Mrs. Harding, who had returned from Sydney, hid 
under forced gaiety, innate charm and loveableness, and the 
most enchanting of wardrobes, the tragedy of the disappear- 
ance of her own fortune as well as her husband's and Dar- 
bishire 's. When she married Harding, in South America, she 
forfeited all but her title, the baronial jewels, and a mere 
modicum of her rightful fortune ; and the latter had melted 
away in the failing plantation. 

"I will show you my coronet and jewels some day," she 
mused, in a confidential moment, her incredibly large black 
eyes very wide. ' ' They are in the Bank and I cannot sell 
them, alas!" 

The entertainment was lavish perhaps this sort of thing 
was at the bottom of the failure to make things go ; but they 


Snark Careened at Meringe 

The Rembrandt Skipper 

A. Polvnpsifln 


died game and gay, all of them. Two dining-rooms ran full 
blast. The house was packed, among the guests being three 
men of different nationalities, taking moving pictures for 
Pathe Freres, and at many a meal eight languages were 
spoken all of which Mrs. Harding understood, even to 
Swedish, and nothing could be passed about and escape her 
quick ear and brain. There were fancy dress and masquerade 
evenings, horseback rides, musicales, all night poker, billiards 
anything and everything that two women and a dozen men 
could devise to enliven a house party, and make every one 
forget that the establishment was in its last days. It was 
admirable, and very pathetic. And splendidly English. 

The schooner Eugenie had been chartered for Bellona and 
Beimel by some nitrate people, and had never returned to 
the Minota at Malu. The mate of the Minota, who had now 
left her, told us the ketch had got safely away for Tulagi for 
stores, thence to Meringe ; and he further reported that Cap- 
tain Jansen had been "wild" when he discovered Peggy 's 
loss, but had been pacified when he read my letter. When 
he came to Pennduffryn, before we sailed for Sydney, he 
formally presented me with what he could see was entirely 
mine own, saying, with a twinkle in his Dutch blue yes: 

"She's spoiled for a nigger chaser anyway, now. My 
word! I couldn't make anything out of such a lady's- 

Peggy helped me wondrously through all those feverish, 
sick days in the hot northwest season. Never a night, no 
matter how late, did I leave the drawing-room, but the little 
velvet form, outside on the porch, was pressing against me, 
seeing me to my netted cot in the grass bathroom on stilts. 
No awkward age was ever hers; she was a thing with the 
grace of God in her, mentally and materially. And she gave 
all her big and gallant soul in love. 

With Captain Jansen, on the Minota, came Wada, landed 
back upon us despite his wishes or ours, by the very 
law of the land. He could not stay in the islands because 
no one would be responsible for him; he could not leave, 


because there was no one to put up the hundred pounds bond 
required in Australia on any dark skin. Mr. Schroeder, to 
save the boy's life when he was very low with fever in a 
native hut, took him in, and when he was better, had him 
cook, without wages, until the first chance to get him away 
from Ysabel, which was on the Minota, where in the galley he 
worked his passage. Meekly he came aboard the Snark to 
cook without wages until such time as we should return from 
Sydney, and sail to some port where he could take leave 

How blindly we plan. How little we thought, that starry, 
musky night under the Southern Cross, when we paid our 
farewell call on the Snark now in charge of the Minota' s 
mate that this would be the last time we should ever descend 
her teak gangway ladder in these waters. 

Martin as well as Nakata took steamer for Sydney, as there 
was purchasing for him to attend to, and he wanted to see 
doctors himself. Jack and I, in Captain Mortimer's roomy 
quarters, actually loafed . on the twelve days of the M a- 
kambo's stormy voyage to Sydney, both of us suffering 
greatly and additionally from a prickly heat that boiled up 
in a fiery rash which in turn burst into water. 

During the five weeks when Jack lay in a private hospital 
in North Sydney after an operation for, not one fistula, but 
two, his surgeon, Dr. Clarence Read, flanked by several skin 
specialists, puzzled and studied and theorised over his pitiful 
hands, the like of which they had never seen nor even heard. 
All agreed that the trouble was non-parasitic, and there- 
fore concluded that it was entirely of nervous origin. And 
a different skin malady showed on his elbows, which they 
recognised as psoriasis, truly and actually the leprosy 
of the Bible, the ' ' silvery skin, ' ' cures of which occur spon- 
taneously, but of which no other cure is known. 

One day, during my reading aloud to the convalescent, I 
said tentatively and it had taken much thought and self- 
abnegation to come to it: 

"If you think we'd better give up the Snark voyage ..." 


' ' Oh, nothing like that, ' ' Jack answered brightly. ' l We 're 
going around the world in the Snark, you know. ' ' 

But the unhealing weeks went by, and one day Jack gave 
me the result of his consideration of his case: that the one 
thing that would set him straight would be to return once 
more to his own habitat, to California, where his nerve equi- 
librium had always been stable. This, of course, meant the 
ending of our voyage. Although I had not ceased from 
thinking along these lines, the actual facing of the issue was 
too much in the low state of my nerves, and I broke down 
and sobbed unrestrainedly. This precipitated fever, and for 
days I lay in a little bed in the same room with Jack. 

In short, Martin was sent back to the Solomons, accom- 
panied by an old skipper, Captain Reed, to bring the yacht 
to Sydney, where she would be put up for sale. 

In the meantime, we rented an apartment in Sydney, and 
worked and played as best we might, among other trips taking 
in the wonderful Jenolan Caves. But it was not all pleasure, 
for Jack's hands did not improve, but went on swelling and 
peeling prodigiously. The only relief was in massage, which 
caused them to break into wringing perspiration. His toe- 
nails became affected, growing as thick