(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The strange adventures of Captain Quinton; being a truthful record of the experiences and escapes of Robert Quinton during his life among the cannibals of the South seas, as set down by himself"

THE STRAW 
ADVENTURESfeOF 






CAPTAIN QUINTON 










GIFT. OF 




' 


^' 



THE 

STRANGE ADVENTURES OF 
CAPTAIN QUINTON 



Being a Truthful Record of the Experiences and 

Escapes of Robert Quinton during his Life 

Among the Cannibals of the South Seas 



AS SET DOWN BY HIMSELF 




PUBLISHED BY 

THE CHRISTIAN HERALD 
BIBLE HOUSE, NEW YORK 









Copyright, 1912 
The Christian Herald 



Printed by The Christian Herald Press 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I. AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND ..".... i 

H. AMONG THE MAORIS 12 

III. NATIVE DANCES AND TERRIFIC GEYSERS .... 23 

IV. THE OVERTHROW OF A FALSE PROPHET ... 36 
V. TONGA, SAMOA, NEW HEBRIDES AND LIBERTY ISLANDS. 45 

VI. ATTACKED BY SAVAGES 56 

VII. DEVIL-FISH AND SHARKS -. 68 

VIII. WEIRD CUSTOMS IN NORTHERN QUEENSLAND . . 80 

LX. HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE 88 

X. DANGERS FROM SKY, SEA AND LAND .... 99 

XI. PERILS AND PEARLS. AUSTRALIA AND JAVA . . . 114 

XII. NEW GUINEA AND THE TROBRIAND ISLANDS . 126 

XIII. FURIOUS FIGHT WITH A DEVIL-FISH 139 

XIV. NATIVE THEOLOGY OF THE FIJIANS . . . . 151 
XV. FEROCIOUS AND TREACHEROUS TRIBES OF THE SOLOMON 

ISLANDS 164 

XVI. ON THE WAY TO INDIA 175 

XVII. ASTOUNDING EXHIBITIONS 185 

XVHL A SCRIMMAGE OF TIGERS, PIGS, DOGS. CROCODILES AND 

MEN 197 

XIX. A NIGHT IN THE JUNGLE 207 

XX. HUNTING BUFFALOES AND TIGERS WITH A DEADLY BOA 

FOR COMPANY 218 

XXI. MORE FAKIR MAGIC AND A HUMOROUS RHINOCEROS . . 230 

XXII. TIGERS, CROCODILES, MONKEYS AND BISONS . . 238 

XXHI. SIGHT-SEEING IN JAPAN 257 

XXIV. IN WEIRD KAMCHATKA 269 



265591 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER 

XXV. THE CURIOUS ISLAND OF PANOPI. FIJI AGAIN 

XXVI. STRANGE PAGAN ECHOES OF SCRIPTURE NARRATIVES . 

XXVII. A BATTLE WITH RUBIANA HEAD-HUNTERS 

XXVIII. NARROW ESCAPE FROM SOLOMON ISLANDERS 

XXIX. DUK-DUK AND OTHER CRUEL SUPERSTITIONS IN NEW 

BRITAIN 

XXX. SPORTS AND FAITH IN NEW GUINEA .... 

XXXI. AUSTRALIA AGAIN 

XXXII. WAYS AND WISDOM OF THE SAVAGES .... 

[XXXIII. BUFFALO HUNTING IN NORTH AUSTRALIA 

XXXIV. DANCING BIRDS AND DANCING FISH. A FIGHT WITH a 

MANTA 

XXXV. OUR VESSEL BOARDED BY A HORDE OF DEVIL-FISH 

XXXVI. IN THE PHILIPPINES ........ 

XXXVII. WHERE FLASH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS .... 

XXXVIII. ALASKA AND THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS . . 

XXXIX. WITH THE HAWAHANS AGAIN 

XL. AMONG THE PEOPLE OF TRUK 

XLI. BACK IN THE SOUTH SEAS AGAIN WITH QUEER MATES . 

XLIT. PELEW ISLANDS, ALASKA AND HOME . 



PAGE 

279 
298 
3i9 
329 

340 
354 
365 
375 
387 

403 
411 
420 
429 
440 
450 
462 
47i 
479 



FOREWORD 

In 1690, Daniel Defoe, who had never been out of England, 
sat him down, and from the depths of his imagination evolved 
Robinson Crusoe, a book that will probably remain forever 
enshrined in the hearts of adventure-loving mankind. 

In 1912, Robert Quinton, who had traveled the world over, 
sat him down, and, without drawing on his imagination at all, 
wrote a history of his experiences in the Crusoe seas that is 
entitled to be placed beside the more famous book. 

Much has been written of the South Seas, but 'The Strange 
Adventures of Captain Quinton" is one of the most compelling 
records of a life spent for the most part under the equator 
that has yet been written. It reveals a new world of adven- 
ture that is amazing to contemplate. Stanley, Livingston and 
Peary all together could not have had so many thrilling moments, 
so many escapes from death as had this unassuming sailor-man 
whose simple and convincing story is as the essence of truth. 

Open the book at any place, and you will find him encoun- 
tering one or more of innumerable perils canoeing on a boiling 
lake; escaping under a shower of poisoned arrows; battling 
with cannibals; racing through the tropical night in a launch, 
pursued by crocodiles; imprisoned in a ship's cabin by a horde 
of monster devilfish; spending the night in a tree with a 
leopard; battling hand to hand with head hunters; being pur- 
sued by angry monkeys; running a gauntlet of war canoes. 



These are sanguinary experiences which must be read with 
bated breath, yet they are not more thrilling in their way than 
are the exquisite descriptions of treasure-chambers in caves 
lurid and beautiful as a dream of Arabian Nights; of a wave 
dance in which tribes of cannibals with an uncanny sense of 
beauty and rhythm represent with their bodies the ocean 
dashing high on imaginary coral reefs; of a silvery night spent 
in tropical tree tops in order to witness the stately dawn-dance 
of birds of paradise. The very multiplicity of incident is over- 
powering, but it must be remembered that the experiences of 
over thirty years are crowded into this book. 

Assuredly Captain Quinton's truth is stranger than any fic- 
tion possibly could be, and the spirit of the South Seas is in it. 

THE CHRISTIAN HERALD 



The Strange Adventures of 
Captain Quinton 



CHAPTER I 



AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND 

From my boyhood I had always had a strong desire to visit 
Australia, that far-off land of which at that time we knew so 
little. The stories which, from time to time, 
I had heard told of this vast continent, and of 
for a t ne countless islands scattered over the broad 

Far-off Land. Pacific, only increased my longing to pene- 
trate the great unexplored territory inhabited 
by head-hunting and cannibalistic black men, beasts and fish 
hitherto unknown, filled with rare flowers, and birds whose 
beauty and song could not be matched elsewhere. 

Scarcely more than a boy, I happened one day down into 
South Street, New York, that once famous docking place 
for sailing clippers engaged in far eastern foreign trade, and 
came upon a British bark displaying a sign that read: 

KANGAROO LINE FOR AUSTRALIA 

Promptly climbing on board the bark, which was named 
the Thames, I sought the captain and asked for a chance to 
ship as one of the crew. As a youngster I had gained some 
little experience of sea life, which stood me in good stead, and 
after the usual preliminaries were gone through with it was 
with no little satisfaction that I found myself upon the ship's 
articles for a voyage to the land of my dreams. 



2 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

Within a week's time we bade good-by to New York, 
which I, for one, was not to see again for many years, and 
were towed down the harbor and out into the open sea. We 
soon encountered heavy weather, which lasted several days ; 
then the seas went down and the Thames made good time 
under her great stretch of canvas. Nothing very worthy of 
note occurred until we were passing the West Indies, and here 
the night dews were so heavy that the water dripped from 
our sails like rain. 

The first land we sighted was Fernando de Noronha in 
latitude 3 50' S., longitude 32 25' W., or about seventy 
leagues from Cape St. Roque off the Brazilian coast. The most 
prominent characteristic of Fernando de Noronha is the fa- 
mous Campanario or Belfry, a rock rising to the height of a 
thousand feet and so peculiarly formed that the summit far 
overhangs the base. Shortly after passing it we ran into a 
"pampero/' one of the frightful storms for which this coast is 
famous, and were driven back within sight of Pernambuco, a 
matter of a hundred miles or more. But the weather soon 
cleared and we witnessed those nights of matchless tropical 
splendor when the phosphorescent effects of the ocean are 
weird and beautiful beyond dreams. 

Far as the eye can see, the water appears like 

Like the one vast sheet of molten silver, the dazzling 

Golden splendor of which eclipses the starry radiance 
Streets of the f . , . tt . . , , . . ^1 

New ^ *ke t> ri l nant tropical sky overhead. The 

Jerusalem. wake of the vessel may be clearly traced for 
miles astern in a glittering pathway of shim- 
mery white water barred with brilliant orange, and golden 
greenish lights beautiful enough to be the apocalyptic vision of 
the golden streets of the New Jerusalem. Porpoises dart like 
lightning through the waves ; a whale at play will perhaps leap 
clear of the water, falling back with a splash and churning the 
sea into a glittering mass of foam, for all the world like an 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 3 

ocean of fire; a water-spout may go whirling past, towering 
aloft a pillar of flame in the sunset glow, and the beholder 
stands awed before the glory of God. 

But we soon ran out of the region of fine nights, and kept 
away to 47 28' S., partly in order to avoid the strong current 
which sets toward the westward around the Cape of Good 
Hope, and partly to catch the strong winds which blow for- 
ever from the westward clear round the globe in the latitude 
of the "roaring forties." In this wild southern ocean the 
waves sweep clear around the world unobstructed by land, 
and here they attain a maximum height of forty feet and 
average nearly fifteen hundred feet in length. On August 9 
we sighted Kangaroo Island, and next day towed into Port 
Adelaide, seven and a half miles from the city of Adelaide in 
South Australia. 

We had brought a general cargo from New York, and 
after discharging it we loaded wheat and sailed for Sydney, 
New South Wales, which we reached after experiencing the 
usual dirty weather in Bass Strait. Approaching Sydney 
Heads ships appear to be sailing head on to a wall of solid 
rock, rising to a height of 300 feet and apparently without a 
break. It is not surprising that Captain Cook, most careful 
and observing of navigators, sailed past it without even dis- 
covering the entrance. 

A little way south of the entrance is a depression in the 
wall, called "The Gap." A large English emigrant ship named 
the Dunbarton was caught in a terrific easterly gale just out- 
side the "Heads" some fifty years ago on a dark night and, 
instead of standing off till morning, as he should have done, 
the captain determined to run in ; mistaking "The Gap" for the 
entrance, he ran his ship on the rocks. Only one man out of 
the several hundred passengers and crew was saved. 

As the vessel approaches, the rocky wall seems gradually 
to open up and reveals the most beautiful bay in the world, 



4 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

with the possible exception of Avatcha Bay in Kamchatka. 
This magnificent harbor was discovered by Captain Arthur 
Phillip, who was sent by the British Government to found a 
penal colony here after the close of the Revolutionary War, 
when the English had lost the American colonies and found 
they could transport no more convicts to the plantations in 
the Southern States of America. Captain Phillip first landed 
at Botany Bay, but shortly after, on January 26, 1788, he 
founded Sydney. 

In the center of the harbor is a small fort of gray stone, 
called Fort Pinchgut, though the authorities have recently 
changed this name to Fort Donelson. In convict days pris- 
oners obnoxious to the authorities were confined here and 
actually starved to death. 

To the terrible ill-treatment of the native con- 
The v * cts k v tne British was due the Australian 

Australian bushranger. Many people wrongly imagine 

Bushranger, that all bushrangers were desperate highway- 
men and murderers. This is not so. The 
name was applied to all convicts who, at this time, escaped 
from prison and torture and took to the bush. Many of them 
died of starvation ; others gave themselves up and were cruelly 
flogged for escaping; some joined tribes of native blacks and 
lived and died among them; still others supported themselves 
by rude farming far from civilization or became petty thieves 
or bold highwaymen. Some of the most desperate of them, 
who had been unjustly convicted and were so brutalized by 
abuse that they regarded the whole human race as their ene- 
mies, systematically robbed and murdered wherever they went. 

A fair sample of this character of bushranger is the case 
of the renowned Martin Cash, most celebrated outlaw in the 
history of Australia. Cash, who was a free settler or emigrant 
(not a convict), was what is called in the colonies a "carrier," 
that is, a teamster employing from one to any number of teams 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 5 

carrying all kinds of merchandise between small bush towns 
where there is no railroad. Mrs. Cash, his wife, lived with 
the wife of the governor as cook, and, from all accounts, the 
governor and his wife were modern types of the ancient Ahab 
and Jezebel. 

The governor himself was bad enough, but his 

The w ^ e ^ ar out distanced him in cruelty and was 

Story of constantly urging her husband to practice 

Martin Cash, greater severity upon the prisoners. She was 

taken ill one morning just as Cash was about 
to start on a journey with his team, so he stepped into the kitchen 
of the governor's house and quite complacently cooked some 
breakfast there for his wife. The wife of the governor was 
very angry at this ; but cunningly dissembling her wrath, she 
smilingly asked Cash to deliver a note for her at the jail on 
his way to town. The letter was stamped with the governor's 
seal and was an order to the authorities "to flog and imprison 
the bearer of it for impertinence and robbery/' Cash was 
accordingly given a terrible flogging and sentenced to several 
years' imprisonment. When his term was served and he was 
finally released he found that his wife had died several years 
before, and the property which he had acquired by his own 
industry had been confiscated. He was penniless, branded as 
a criminal, and subject to police supervision. Sufficient to 
add, he took to the bush and became leader of the worst class 
of Australian desperadoes. 

As I was desirous of seeing the smaller South Sea Islands, 
I left the Thames at Sydney and shipped in the bark Nardoo, 
of Melbourne, carrying coal from Newcastle to Port Chal- 
mers, in the southern part of New Zealand. It was the be- 
ginning of summer (about the end of our November), the 
weather was chilly and it rained nearly every day during the 
six weeks we lay off Lyttelton, a beautiful town on a slope 
between high hills and the bay. 



6 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The amount of shell-fish which the natives can procure 
at this place by simply digging in the sand is beyond belief, 
and the very hills are covered with small sea-shells as though 
they had once been the bottom of the ocean. It is interest- 
ing in this connection to note that in 1847 the hulk of an 
ancient ship was found 650 feet inland from the village of 
Lyttelton, and far above high-water mark. The main harbor 
is divided into several small bays. The one in which we first 
anchored bears the Maori name Kaitangata, which interpreted 
means, Lord of loving kindness. 

Kaitangata's servants built a very beautiful 

A Strange house for him and his father Rehua (the 

Maori Legend. Maori name for the star Sirius) in the tenth 

heaven, but one of the beams, being badly 

fitted, fell upon Kaitangata's head and killed him. The Maoris 

believe that his blood stains the sky red at dawn and evening, 

and they speak of a red sunset as Te Rangitoto (the Sky of 

Blood). 

The Maoris, who possessed considerable knowledge of 
astronomy, believed that the gods were constantly creat- 
ing new worlds in the far distant realms of stellar space 
beyond the Milky Way, and as each new world was 
completed it took flight to the place assigned to it in the uni- 
verse. Following this law Rehua suddenly burst in splendor 
through the southern sky beside the Southern Cross when 
passing from the place of his creation to the place which he 
now adorns to the eastward of Orion. 

The place where Rehua burst through the sky still remains 
the strange black spot in the Magellan Clouds, commonly 
known as the "Coal Sack," which is always so conspicuous 
below the Southern Cross when all the rest of the southern 
sky is perfectly clear and cloudless. Even the most casual 
observer cannot fail to notice this phenomenon as it appears 
in the lonely night watches of the sea. It is really a vast 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 7 

space in the stellar system in which there is not even an atom 
of stellar dust to shed a single flicker of luminosity. 

Returning to Newcastle, we took a cargo of coal back to 
Lyttelton, which is also on the eastern coast of New Zealand, 
but farther north, so the climate is considerably warmer than 
Port Chalmers. Lyttelton is a fine town situated on a gentle 
slope between the hills and the bay; a walk to the top of the 
hills behind the city affords some of the views for which New 
Zealand is justly famous. On the one hand, the thriving city 
of Christchurch stands in the beautiful Canterbury Plains, 
which are many miles of fertile land devoted to wheat-growing 
and sheep-farming. On the other spread the dark blue waters 
of the vast Pacific. On the top of the hills, I noticed, the 
ground abounded with small sea-shells, as though it had once 
formed part of the bed of the ocean. 

One of the most interesting exhibits in the 

large Museum at Christchurch is the remains 
TFiic .Extinct p <*! 

Moa of a moa, an enormous bird which once 

roamed the New Zealand forests but is now 
extinct. The skeleton is over sixteen feet 
high, its legs are as long and as strong as those of a camel, 
measuring more than a yard in length and more than twelve 
inches in circumference. The feet and toes appear to have 
been as strong as those of a tiger and were well adapted to 
the work of digging up fern roots, the principal article of 
food upon which the moa lived. While it is surmised that this 
giant feathered tribe was in existence in New Zealand when 
Captain Cook visited these waters, there is no record of the 
time when the species last appeared, beyond a Maori tradition 
to the effect that the last living moa was killed many years 
ago in the Poverty Bay district, on North Island. 

Tradition also says that its habit was to sleep standing 
on one foot with its beak turned to the wind. Its extermina- 
tion is probably due to the desirability of its flesh as an article 



8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

of food and to the beauty of its plumage, which was of regal 
splendor. The moa was such a desperate fighter that it was 
considered an act of great prowess and honor even to have 
taken part in the killing of one, since a moa in the vicinity 
usually meant the death of several natives. The moa, strange 
to say, was closely related to the tiny kiwi bird, still so plenti- 
ful in the New Zealand bush. 

I often walked a couple of miles inland to a Maori village 
from which many inhabitants used to come down to Lyttelton 
in two large canoes on certain afternoons and perform their 
hideous and savage war-dances. 

Shortly after clearing Cook's Strait on our 

My First return voyage to Newcastle, we were caught 
Glimpse one night in a "southerly buster" during the 

of Death. middle watch (12 to 4 A. M.). It came up 
suddenly from the southward and blew with 
hurricane violence. A fellow from Denmark and I went up 
one breezy night to furl the foretopgallant sail, and as he was 
shorter than I, I told him I would pick up the weather leech 
while he unbent the gasket and stood by to reeve it as soon as 
I got the sail on the yard. I had managed to get half the sail 
in place, when suddenly the vessel luffed up in the wind, the 
sheet tore away instantly from me and filled aback like a bal- 
loon. There were no beckets to hold fast to, and the jackstay 
was so close to the yard that it was impossible to get my fingers 
around it or I might easily have hung by my hands under- 
neath the yard and allowed the sail to fly over my head. But 
I could only crook my fingers over the jackstay, and as the 
sail flapped violently against my face and breast, tending to 
force me backward off the yard, I held on for dear life until 
the muscles in my back and shoulders burned like fire. In 
spite of all my efforts to hold on I felt my grip failing, and it 
presently occurred to me that there was no escape. I was 
bound to be killed. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON g 

I believe it is an established fact that no one is afraid 
when he feels death to be inevitable. However that may be, 
all at once a most intense curiosity about the other world 
came over me. In a few moments I should be there and see 
it for myself, thought I, and then I wondered whether any of 
the other men on the ship would be killed and whether we 
would be in heaven together or would I find myself there 
alone. 

While these thoughts passed rapidly through my mind, I 
was suddenly thrown backward off the yard, and the wind, 
dead ahead, carried me aft. Throwing out my arms as I 
came down I caught on a craneline between the shrouds and 
backstays and, as I pulled myself up onto the yard again, the 
Dane was holding fast to the lift and staring straight into the 
darkness at the place in the water where he supposed I had 
disappeared. When he saw me on the yard again he started 
so violently that he nearly fell overboard, and he afterward 
told me that he was sure I was drowned and imagined he saw 
my ghost alongside him. In the meantime, the captain, who 
was at the wheel, kept the ship off a couple of points and we 
had no further difficulty furling sail. 

Soon after this I shipped in the schooner 
A Sea Hinemoa, which set out for Auckland, on 

of Extinct the northeast coast of the North Island. 

Volcanoes. Auckland is situated on the south side of 
Waitemata Harbor, a beautiful expanse of 
water opening into Hauraki Gulf, and the town and harbor 
present one of the most beautiful scenes in the world, espe- 
cially when viewed from the top of Mount Eden, an extinct 
volcano 700 feet high and situated between Auckland and 
Manukau Harbor. All around may be seen the craters of 
extinct volcanoes, three of them within a radius of five miles. 
Majestic Rangitoto, with its triple cone, is at the entrance to 
the harbor. Far out to sea on a clear day can be distinctly 



io THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

traced the bold outlines of Great Barrier Island, sixty miles 
away. 

The charm of Auckland lies in its picturesque bays and 
islands and beautiful emerald green surroundings, including 
the sixteen extinct volcanoes that encircle the town, each of 
which is covered with grass to the summit. The verdure is 
almost tropical. The rainfall averages thirty-nine inches, and, 
although the temperature rarely rises above 80 in the shade, 
the climate is delightfully warm. The rich volcanic soil, humid 
atmosphere, and warm sunshine combine to produce an abun- 
dance of fruit and flowers. Every hillside is covered with 
suburban villas, half hidden among trees and flowers and 
vines. The thrushes, larks, vireos, and other song-birds im- 
ported from Europe have multiplied in the congenial climate, 
and their entrancing music fills the air and greets the traveler 
everywhere. Almost every spot in this beautiful country is 
associated with romantic Maori legends, in which fierce bat- 
tles and cannibal feasts hold a prominent place. 

Waitemata Harbor takes its name from the Maoris in 
commemoration of a bloody battle which took place on its 
waters between a large fleet of war-canoes belonging to the 
Nga Puhi tribe, under command of the celebrated chief 
Hongi, and a rival belonging to the Nga Timaru tribe of the 
Auckland district. So many men were killed in this battle 
that the Maoris commemorated it by naming the beautiful 
bay on which the conflict took place Wai-temata (Waters of 
Affliction). 

In those days the narrow peninsula upon which Auckland 
now stands was a very difficult and dangerous place to hold, 
because it formed the boundary line between the fierce Nga 
Puhi tribe on the north and the warlike Waikato tribe on 
the south, and was constantly raided by both parties during 
the desolating wars which these savage antagonists waged. 
Mount Eden itself was a famous stronghold and the remains 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 11 

of the terraced fortifications of the Maori warriors are plainly 
visible on its sides. In days gone by, the Maoris regarded 
righting as the main object of their existence; but since there 
has been a stop put to their incessant warring their chief 
amusement is in canoe races, deep sea fishing, and war-dances. 



12 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

CHAPTER II 

AMONG THE MAORIS 

During the year and a half which I spent around the coast 
of New Zealand, I was almost constantly in touch with the 
Maoris and learned many interesting things 
The about this splendid race, which belongs to the 

Splendid same Polynesian stock as the Tongans, Sa- 
Maoris. moans, Hawaiians, and Tahitians. These 
branches all show their descent from a com- 
mon ancestor, by similarity of features, manners, customs, 
legends, traditions, and language. 

One of the first characteristics which strike the observer 
among the Maoris is that unquestionably they are a mixed 
race; the chiefs, for example, are an entirely different type 
from the common people. All the various branches of the 
Polynesians believe that their chiefs have immortal souls, while 
the common people, in their opinion, have no souls at all. In 
explanation of this, they declare their chiefs to be lineal de- 
scendants of a divine race that came from a sacred land 
far away toward the setting sun, to which their souls return 
after death. The common people, they believe, are descend- 
ants of the slaves whom the chiefs brought with them or 
conquered in New Guinea, Rongerupe, Rangitahuahua, and 
other islands where they stopped on the way from their 
original home, which they claim was submerged during a 
terrific cataclysm which changed the entire face of the Pacific. 

Now, singularly enough, Professor Agassiz, after careful 
investigation during a six months' cruise in the U. S. Fish 
Commission steamer Albatross, proved to his own satis fac- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 13 

tion that a veritable sunken continent lies almost due west of 
South America and covers an area of 200,000 square miles. 
The eastern edge of this continent begins about 600 miles from 
the west coast of South America and extends north from the 
Galapagos Islands to a little south of Easter Island. Its 
western verge is believed to extend nearly to the eastern 
Paumotu Islands. This would place it exactly in that part 
of the Pacific Ocean covered by the Maori legend. 

According to the same ancient traditions, the ancestors 
of the Maoris were at war, as usual, when a Tohunga, priest 
and general wise man, named Te Kupe incurred the displea- 
sure of the ruling chief and was compelled to escape for his life. 
With a few attendants he sailed away in a canoe, landing 
in a bay between Taranaki and Wanganui, on the southwest 
coast of the most northerly island of New Zealand. About a 
year later he returned and gave such glowing accounts of 
the wonderful new country which he had discovered, abound- 
ing in huge forests, burning mountains, steaming lakes, fertile 
fields, and gigantic animals and birds, that he caused intense 
excitement among his people. The chiefs promptly felled 
great trees out of which they built seven giant canoes, the 
legend says, which were called Amatiatias. Each canoe carried 
one hundred men, besides their women and children, and was 
three-masted. When the fleet was provisioned and about to 
sail the chief in command of the fleet sent his first man, 
Ruaeo, ashore on pretext of bringing something to him which 
had been forgotten and then sailed away with his wife and his 
children, leaving Ruaeo alone on the forsaken island. Hence 
arose a saying constantly to be heard among the Maoris to 
this day, "No te uru o te Arawa koe," you belong to "the 
three-masted fleet you are a cheat, a liar." The Maori chief 
and his fleet landed at Maketu on the Bay of Plenty, and 
proceeded up the coast to the mouth of the Mokau River, 
forming settlements along the way. 



I 4 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The island of Rarotonga, on which the ancestors of the 
Maoris fitted out the seven canoes which carried them to New 
Zealand, is situated in latitude 21 13' S., and longitude 159 
50' W. It lies to the northeast and is about 1,560 miles dis- 
tant from the place where they landed. 

I have seen statements in print that the Maoris have no 
traditions and are supposed to have originated in Samoa 
or in the Hawaiian Islands. But, in my opinion, nothing can 
be more misleading, for many of the traditions of this race 
are preserved with marvelous accuracy. 

In the Wanganui district the Tohungas, or Maori priests, 

maintained sacred colleges which they dedicated to their gods 

with sacrifices of human beings. These colleges always faced 

the east and were deemed so sacred that none 

A Heathen but the purified could approach them. Boys 

Ceremony prO perly fitted for these colleges were care- 
Baptism. * u % instructed in astronomy and agriculture 
and many useful arts, but, above all, in the 
history and traditions of their race. 

Schoolboys preparing for these places of instruction were 
baptized with much pomp and ceremony. The priest, with 
a sacred branch of karamu, sprinkled their bodies with the 
water from the river and repeated the words : 

"Baptized in the waters of Tu, 
Be thou strong 

By the strength of the heel of Tu 
To catch men, 

To climb the mountain ranges. 
May the power of Tu be given this boy; 
Be thou strong 
To overcome in battle, 
To enter the breach, 
To grapple with the foe. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 15 

Be thou strong by the power of Tu 

To pass over the lofty mountains, 

To ascend the mighty trees, 

To brave the billows of the ocean, 

To battle with its might. 

Be thou strong to cultivate thy food, 

To build great houses, 

To make war canoes, 

To welcome visitors, 

To complete thy works. 

There comes strength from the land of Death 

To bear me to the northern strand, 

To the place where spirits depart into night. 

Ah! What know I further?" 

These boys were obliged to study from sunset to midnight 
during every night of the autumn and winter for five con- 
secutive years. 

A girl was baptized as follows : 

"Baptized in the water of Tu, 
Be thou strong by the strength of Tu. 
To get food for thyself, 
To make clothing, 
To weave flaxen mats, 
To welcome strangers, 
To carry firewood. 
To gather shell-fish. 
May the strength of Tu be given this 
daughter." 

At regular intervals all the Tohungas and their pupils 
met in public assembly and each one had to repeat aloud 
historical traditions in the hearing of the whole company, so 
that others might correct him if he made the slightest mis- 



16 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

take. There is a striking resemblance between these meetings 
of the Maoris and the Keltic Eisteddfods, which have been 
celebrated among the Welsh from time immemorial. 

The history of the race is also preserved in innumerable 
historic wood carvings, somewhat resembling the totem poles 
of the Alaskans. A very important lawsuit involving a large 
tract of land was once being tried in Auckland when a Maori 
claimant brought into court an elaborately carved stick bear- 
ing the proof that his clan had owned the disputed land for 
upward of five hundred years. A very little research into 
Maori carving readily impresses one with the resemblance 
that it bears to the carvings of ancient Egypt and Mexico. 

Unlike most heathens the Maoris never make idols to 
represent their gods. Each god has a toko, or symbol, which 
is set up in his temple and before which sacrifices are offered. 
These tokos are sticks of equal length surmounted with a huge 
knob. The Maori year is divided into thirteen months and 
begins with the first new moon after the star "Pu-anga" begins 
to be visible in the morning. 

Like all illiterate people, the Maoris are firm 

Witchcraft. believers in witchcraft. If a priest cannot 
diagnose a case of sickness, for example, he 
conceals his ignorance by looking very wise and declaring that 
the arch-enemy has bewitched his patient. He then studies 
over the names of all who are likely to have a grudge against 
the ill man or woman, and having once settled upon a suspect 
that so-called guilty one is doomed to die. In such cases it 
is common for the relatives of the doomed person to demand 
compensation for his death, which is always readily paid, and 
everybody is perfectly well satisfied. 

One of the most common proceedings in cases of illness 
is to dig a small hole in the ground and invoke the spirit of 
the victim to appear. The spirit appears over the hole in 
the form of a faint bluish-green light and the priest solemnly 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 17 

prays that its eyes may drop out, its tongue may wither in 
its mouth, etc. 

If you ask what possible harm or good such a childish 
ceremony can possibly do anyone, all I can answer is, the 
Maori's view of it is very different from ours. The medicine 
man who works the spell takes care that the suspected one 
shall hear the curse set upon him, and often the victim im- 
mediately gives up all hope and dies of fright. It is strange 
that the Maoris, who are brave to the point of madness, and 
who will go into battle as though life were of no value to 
them, will yet die from sheer terror in the belief that some old 
hag or wizard has bewitched them. 

The natural intellectual powers of these people fitted them 
to attain the highest degree of civilization, but the incessant 
warfare in which they have passed their whole existence de- 
graded them to the lowest depths of savagery. 

The favorite weapon of the Maoris in battle has always 
been the war-club. These clubs are usually made from the 
wood of the ake tree, which is excessively hard and strong 
and variegated black and white. The club is usually five feet 
long, the handle being about an inch and a half wide and an 
inch thick, while the paddle-shaped blade is usually about four 
inches at the widest part and both edges are exceedingly 
sharp. A powerful man can deliver a terrific blow with 
such a weapon, and having been trained to it from childhood, 
the Maori warriors can fight and fence so skillfully that often 
their war-clubs have proved more than a match for British 
bayonets. 

When the English General Cameron, who commanded one 
thousand three hundred men, besides artillery, once attacked 
Orakau Pa, that famous fort contained about four hundred 
Maoris all told, including women and children. The savages 
had nothing to eat but a few gourds and raw potatoes and 
not a drop of water. They were armed with war-clubs only. 



i8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

Notwithstanding this they fought the English off for two 
days and nights, when General Cameron received strong re- 
inforcements, and sapped the walls ; he then called upon them 
to surrender, declaring that their lives might be spared if they 
would stop fighting; but the heathen chief Rewi jumped upon 
the fortification, shouting in the flowing Maori tongue, "We 
will fight to the end, forever, forever, forever." General 
Cameron then called upon the women of the tribe, signaling 
them to come out so that they might not be killed, but they re- 
plied that they would fight, too. Finding it was impossible to 
hold the fort any longer, the warriors invoked Ta Whakaheke, 
their god of destruction, and cried out to him to stand by and 
help. Savage men and women then charged like demons 
upon the British lines and, though they met a wall of bayonets 
and were exposed to a tremendous fire, a great number cut 
their way through the lines and escaped. 

These indomitable fighters carried on war on the water 
as well as the land, and took great pride in their huge war- 
canoes, which were usually constructed of kauri pine, which 
grows from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and sixty 
feet high and from ten to twenty feet in diameter at the base 
and eighty to one hundred feet to the lowest branches. The 
canoe is usually hollowed out of the trunk of this tree in a 
solid piece. The bow and stern are high and elaborately 
carved and decorated, mostly in human heads with a tongue 
extended to its utmost, and huge goggle eyes. The spaces 
between the figureheads, which are on both stem and stern, 

are carved in graceful waving lines and the 

Shark war-canoes are usually painted vermilion. 

Hunting. Many of them are over eighty feet long and 

carry from fifty to sixty warriors. 

All South Sea Islanders are expert canoe men, but the 
Maoris surpass them all in this regard, and there is no occasion 
when their skill is more conspicuous than during their an- 



OF CAPTAIN QU1NTON 19 

nual shark-hunting expeditions, extending from about the 
middle of January to the middle of March. At this time 
countless millions of young fish swarm the numerous bays 
and rivers in these parts, and naturally attract multitudes 
of sharks, who prey upon them, while the Maoris flock from 
far and near to prey upon the sharks. 

We were loading kauri pine in Kaipara, on 

A Good tne northwest side of North Island, where 

Shark Fight, the tide rises and falls from eight to fifteen 

feet. The harbor is full of shoals and sand 
banks left bare at low tide, with numerous deep channels and 
lagoons between them, into which the fish crowd, while an 
army of sharks hover on the outside to prevent the fish 
escaping. They take turns in guarding their prey while two 
or three dart like lightning among the frightened fish, which 
leap into the air, where their brilliant scales flash like burning 
silver in the bright rays of the sun. 

The first shark fight that we witnessed was especially in- 
teresting because, just as hundreds of frightened fish leaped 
into the air to avoid the ugly ravenous jaws of the sharks, 
they were picked up by an immense flock of equally ravenous 
seagulls, which seized and flew away with them. Some blacks 
in a whaleboat about ninety yards off our starboard side 
harpooned a large hammerhead, one of the gamiest of the 
shark family. In his frantic efforts to escape he first leaped 
out of the water to a prodigious height ; then, diving, took a 
course which led directly under our keel. Quick as a flash 
one of the black men lifted the bight of the line out from 
the bowchock and held it a few feet abaft the bow on the 
starboard side. This threw their boat's head to port and 
she shot past like an arrow without touching us. The shark 
towed them in all directions for fully half an hour, when 
they managed to haul him up under their stern and stunned 
him with a shower of heavy blows on the snout from their 



20 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

clubs. They then stabbed him where the head joins the body, 
a thrust which disables the strongest shark in an instant, as 
it severs its spinal .cord. It is difficult to say whether it in- 
stantly kills or only paralyzes, but the moment he receives it 
he becomes as inert as a log of wood. 

A little later we saw them catch a fourteen- 
A Fourteen- footer, but the line parted as they were haul- 
Footer, ing him in and the game monster darted away 
with a sharp hook in his jaw and a few fath- 
oms of line hanging to him. This was a signal for a general 
attack from all quarters and, though he fought desperately, 
other sharks bore down upon him from all directions and 
literally tore him to pieces, frequently leaping completely 
over him in their efforts to kill him. The furious struggles of 
the fishes churned the water into a sea of foam. 

Although New Zealand is one thousand one hundred miles 
long, it is so narrow that no part of it is over seventy-five 
miles from the sea and the Maoris who live in the interior 
have fishing-camps which they visit every summer, the same 
that their ancestors have used from time immemorial. This 
custom of shark-fishing in the season was so religiously re- 
spected that it was not interfered with, even in time of war. 
After the sharks are caught and cleaned and their heads are 
cut off, they are hung up by their tails in the sun for three 
or four weeks until the meat becomes as hard and dry as 
wood. They are then wrapped in native mats and carried 
to the Maori villages in the interior. 

An Englishman and I made a special trip 
Off to through North Island for the purpose of see- 

North ing the hot lake district and the beautiful 
Island. Wanganui River, because we had heard many 
extravagant accounts of the great beauty of 
these parts. We traveled principally on horseback, camping 
at night in the bush. Our first stopping place was the Oroha, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 21 

where there are twenty-one mineral springs alkaline, acidic, 
sulphur, and magnesia five of which are icy cold. The tem- 
perature of the others varies from 86 to 150 Fahrenheit. 
From here we proceeded to Tauranga, on the east coast, to 
see the Maoris in their home surroundings, and to visit some 
of the historic scenes of numerous battles between them and 
the English. 

We made the acquaintance of a fine old Scotchman. He 
had served through the wars in which these savages had so 
gallantly fought the white men. Like every one else with 
whom I talked on this subject, he had the warmest admiration 
for the Maoris and referred to them always as "that noble 
race." Their courage in opposing danger, their skill in retir- 
ing from it, and their magnanimity under all circumstances 
might well serve as an example to many who have fairer skin. 
Unlike the American Indians, the Maoris never tortured their 
captives, though they frequently killed them by the blow of a 
club and feasted on their dead bodies. 

Upon one occasion a company of Maoris captured a con- 
voy of provisions from the English army, so the old Scotch- 
man told us, and immediately they released it and permitted 
it to proceed to its destination, on the ground that it would 
be cowardly and unmanly to deprive their opponents of nec- 
essary food and thus render them incapable of fighting. At 
the celebrated attack on Fort Gate Pa, near Tauranga, the 
English force numbered over two thousand men and the fort 
contained less than two hundred Maoris at the moment of 
attack, but the savages were clever enough to plant their flag 
one hundred yards forward of their fortifications among tall 
bushes. This deceived the enemy and led them to fire many 
volleys in the immediate vicinity of the flag, thereby wasting 
much ammunition before they discovered the trick. By dint 
of bullets and shot the English reached the fortification at 
last and stormed it with heavy artillery, but the Maoris still 



32 (THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

beat them back even after they had carried the outer defenses. 
Then the cunning savages pretended to run away and. thus 
thrown off their guard, the English soldiers swarmed into 
the recently vacated position and began gathering up mats, 
spears, and various other objects which had been purposely 
left lying about to excite their cupidity. This trick, too, 
worked to perfection, for the white men, grown too confident 
of their ground, suddenly found themselves exposed to a 
terrific fire which cut them down in great numbers, though 
it was impossible to perceive whence the shooting came. The 
Maoris had concealed themselves in rifle pits at their very 
feet and successfully lured the enemy to their destruction. 
Next morning the English again attacked the fort but found 
it was deserted. 

It is touching to relate that the Maoris, who escaped dur- 
ing the night, had shared the scanty remains of their own 
provisions with the wounded English prisoners, and had 
taken the time to make each one as comfortable as possible. 
They had even placed a cup of water beside each suffering 
victim, although they had been obliged to procure the water 
by penetrating the English lines at the risk of their lives. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 23 



CHAPTER III 

NATIVE DANCES AND TERRIFIC GEYSERS 

Scarcely anything could be more enjoyable than a summer 

trip through North Island, if only to see the magnificent 

plumage and hear the wonderful music and 

Matchless peculiar calls of the many birds which abound 

^efutifu? there ' The mak - mako bird that sin S s like a 
Trees. nightingale in the long twilight, and the war- 

bling tui or parson bird, with notes like those 
of the American thrush, cease their singing at sunset only to 
resume it lustily at break of day. The beautiful notes of the 
korimako or bell bird break softly on the air like silver bells 
exquisitely tuned. They are ever a strong contrast to the shrill 
sunset cry of the small night owl known as the ruru. Fiercest 
of all birds in New Zealand is a species of goshawk known as 
the kahu. It is very like the European goshawk in size and 
general appearance. The kahu has been known to descend 
with the swiftness of an eagle and carry off a chicken or a 
rabbit from the dooryard at the very feet of the owner. 

The kea parrot, which is found in the mountainous region, 
is a curious example of a vegetarian changing to a carnivore. 
These birds are said to have once lived solely on vegetables, 
but learned to devour the carcasses of dead sheep which were 
frequently found in the immense sheep-runs ; and from that 
they acquired the habit of attacking living sheep for the sake 
of the kidney fat which is their favorite portion. 

Unlike Australia, New Zealand is almost entirely free 



24 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

from snakes. The only known venomous things on the island 
are small black katipu spiders, the bite of which is deadly. 
In some parts of the bush, huge aki vines covered with bright 
scarlet flowers run over the tops of the tallest trees. The 
ground is covered with lovely native daisies, besides fragrant 
small white flowers called pototara and fine blue lilies. One 
day we were caught in a rain storm and stopped for the night 
at a Maori shelter. As the sun went down and the night came 
slowly on, the fallen trees and the flowery surface of the 
ground sparkled in a thousand places with the phosphorescence 
of decayed vegetable matter. The scene was as weirdly 
beautiful as an acre of fairyland might be. Most of the trees 
are lofty and the foliage is densely matted with creeping vines ; 
the trunks and branches are thickly covered with filmy, lace- 
like ferns, mosses, lycopods, and orchids. 

Shortly after daylight one morning we were disturbed 

by the excited barking of the dogs, and upon investigation 

discovered a pitched battle raging between one of our ship 

dogs and an ugly green lizard measuring about thirty inches, 

with a row of short pointed spikes along its back and neck. 

The lizard fought fiercely and the dog was rapidly getting 

worsted when a black man with a noosed stick ran out and 

captured the angry reptile and dragged it away. Even when 

tied very tight in the noose it still fought and struggled until 

it dropped into a small well at last, where, sinking from sight, 

it remained submerged for several hours. This species of lizard 

differs structurally from all known lizards and 

A Happy-Go- seems to be a solitary and degenerate descen- 

Lucky dant of the huge reptiles of the Saurian Age. 

People. it is accounted sacred by the Maoris. 

Roto Ita is a lovely sheet of water connected 
with Rotorua by a winding river about a mile long. The 
shores are indented with innumerable bays and coves, and 
presented an ever-changing panorama as we paddled along 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 25 

it in our borrowed Maori canoe. The water is so deep and 
the surface so calm that the woods fringing the shores are 
clearly mirrored there. At the head of the Roto a solid rock 
called Matawhero rises like a wall to a height of eight hun- 
dred feet and is completely clothed from base to summit with 
most exquisite ferns and clinging woods. 

At the extreme eastern end of the lake we came upon a 
Maori village beautifully situated on a low, shelving beach, 
completely surrounded with woodlands and splendid with 
flowering vines, giant tree-ferns, and brilliant shrubbery, with 
the dark-brown summit of the Matawhero rising grandly in 
the background. As we approached the shore the inhabitants 
saluted with cheery shouts of welcome. We stopped for the 
night among them and were regaled with a feast of sweet 
potatoes, maize, flounders, eels, and I know not how many 
other things all stewed together in the same pot. 

After supper we went to hear the native clergyman preach 
in his own language. His sermon was an excellent one, 
from the text "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet 
of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that 
bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that 
saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth." Isa. 52:7. 

The moonlight was clear and beautiful, every object shone 
out as distinct as at noonday. The natives were variously 
occupied, some fishing from their canoes or setting funnel- 
shaped wicker baskets for catching eels; others were chatting 
in little groups here and there or seated about their houses 
singing at the top of their voices. I could not help contrasting 
the lot of these happy-go-lucky people with that of the poorer 
classes in civilized life who are compelled to toil early and 
late, or starve. Very little labor enables these people to 
procure abundance of food, so they eat, sleep, dance and 
laugh their happy lives away, with never a care for the 
morrow. 



26 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

Next morning we went by a charming bush-road to Roto 

Ehu, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, with many 

arms stretching in various directions and sur- 

Ent ranee rounded by rolling hills clothed with magnifi- 

to the cent f o ii a pr e to the water's edge. The lake 

Infernal .. r v r 

Regions. an< ^ surrounding country is full of romantic 

legends of bygone glories of the Maori race. 
Proceeding westward we reached far-famed Tikitere, a deso- 
late valley of mud volcanoes, solfataras, and boiling springs, 
all in furious activity and blanketed with a dense cloud of 
vapor. The entire surface of the valley is covered with hissing 
steam holes and sulphur incrustations, the repulsive odor from 
which is overpowering. Near the summit of a hill we came 
upon "Great Fumarole," a hole in the earth's surface through 
which steam roars as though it came from the escape valve 
of some mighty boiler. 

The most thrilling part of our journey, however, was 
traversing a narrow pathway between two boiling lakes of 
hissing, seething mud, a passage appropriately named the 
Gates of Hades. The odor of sulphuretted hydrogen threat- 
ened to suffocate us as we cautiously felt our way over ground 
that trembled violently from the tremendous power of infernal 
forces below, through dense clouds of vapor which only at 
times opened sufficiently to afford us a fleeting glimpse of 
the boiling waves of mud which licked our path on either side. 

Passing through the Ohau channel we reached the village 
of Hamurana, on the northern shore of Rua, and proceeded 
up this beautiful stream to the immense fountain from which 
it issues. Water, cold as ice and clear as purest crystal, flows 
over a bed strewn with beautiful water flowers intermingled 
with glistening rocks and snow-white sand. The stream is so 
clear that a canoe on it seems suspended in mid-air and the 
brilliant rays of the sun shining through the water produce 
one of those strangely beautiful scenes to be found only in 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 27 

the South Seas. The banks of the streams are clothed with 
willows and cherry trees mingled with pines, ferns, and beau- 
tifu" flowering vines. After our visit to the infernal regions 
of Tikitere, this was Paradise. 

Our next stopping place was the island of 

The Holy Mokoia. This is the holy isle of the Maoris, 
Isle of where the Tohungas preserve the sacred relics 
the Maoris, which their ancestors brought with them from 
the lost continent of Hawaiki. Mokoia was 
the seat of the ancient religion of the Maoris, just as the 
Holy Isle of Anglesey was of the ancient Druids of Britain, 
and even during the time of fierce warfare it was always scru- 
pulously respected. This island, rising six hundred feet above 
the water level, is mostly covered with long grass and very 
tall trees. 

When we reached the pretty little town of Rotorua, near 
the southern extremity of the island, my partner very truly 
remarked that it was surprising how any one could retain 
his health in the vile smell of sulphur and brimstone which 
permeated the atmosphere. On every side were pools of 
boiling, blubbering mud, spouting geysers and mineral springs 
varying in temperature from lukewarm to two hundred and 
twelve degrees. 

Interesting it is to note the various uses which the natives 
make of these pools. It is a common sight, for example, to 
see them sitting for hours together in them with nothing 
but their heads visible above the water, smoking black, short- 
stemmed pipes. In the cold season they keep comfortable 
by sitting all day long in the warm water. Should it rain 
they lose no time in raising bamboo umbrellas by way of keep- 
ing their heads dry. When cooking potatoes and other vege- 
tables they tie them in crude sacks which they drop into the 
boiling water and sit around like fishermen, hauling them up 
when they are done to a turn. We saw one family cooking 



28 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

a pig in an old packing case with the bottom removed and a 
rude grill substituted. This was placed over a steam jet, 
covered with old sacking, and on the whole it made a pretty 
good oven. For washing clothes the women use a smooth, 
flat stone precisely as white women use a washboard. 

On certain appointed days the Maoris give 
Like a a ser * es ^ dances beginning with the hideous 
Dance of Kanikani, in which the performers sit side 
Lost Souls, by side, each one endeavoring to make the 
most frightful grimaces, which are accom- 
panied with excruciating groans, shrieks, and yells. The spec- 
tacle of these dark-skinned performers groaning and wailing 
like lost souls and writhing apparently in the most frightful 
agony, in the midst of the steam rising from the ground in 
every direction and the strong smell of sulphur in the air, 
might well lead the onlooker to believe he had finally reached 
the infernal regions. 

In strong contrast to the hideous Kanikani, the Poi dance 
which usually follows is exquisitely pretty. The Poi consists 
of two little reels of gay-colored flax fiber connected by a 
short cord. This they twirl rapidly about, so as to make them 
act in unison with the motions of the dancers. The cue is 
taken from a leader and the accompanying air is sung with 
graceful precision, while the performers go through intricate 
and graceful evolutions, with a short rest between each divi- 
sion, though the deft manipulation of the Poi is kept up 
without ceasing. 

But of all the dances I witnessed among the 

The Fierce Maoris the crowning dance of all is the fierce 

Haka Haka war-dance, in which the fury of canni- 

War-dance. bal days is revived. The faces and bodies 

of the warriors were painted with red ochre. 

They formed in three lines facing the leader, their weapons 

spread on the ground before them. At the first command 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 29 

of the leader they began a rhythmic song and stamped lightly 
with the right foot, keeping perfect time by slapping their 
thighs with the palms of the hands. At the next order they 
seized their weapons and the dance immediately became wild 
and fierce, though every movement was executed with the 
regularity of clock-work. The shouting and yelling grew 
wilder and fiercer as they excited their naturally passionate 
natures to the highest pitch, contorting their faces, thrusting 
out their tongues and yelling taunts of defiance to imaginary 
foes. Their eyebrows were painted in arches raised almost 
to the roots of the hair and, with eyes rolling until only 
alternate black and white were visible, they looked like fiends 
incarnate and the scene was absolutely demoniacal. That the 
entire tribe had gone stark mad seemed certain. They leaped 
so high into the air and came down with such terrific force 
that their stamping reverberated like strokes of a pile-driver, 
while the women and children onlookers whooped and shrieked 
as if demented. After an hour or more of this the dancers 
gave a single frenzied shout of triumph, leaped nearly their 
own height into the air, and as they dispersed broke into good- 
natured laughing at their own performance. 

It would be difficult to find more beautiful surroundings 
than Rotorua presents. The clear blue lakes and crystal 
trout streams, woody ranges gay with clusters of crimson 
rata flowers, emerald islets dotted here and there and 
joyous songs of birds are bewilderingly beautiful. The pic- 
ture of these care-free savages at work in their patches of 
sweet potatoes and grain, the smoke rising from their little 
huts, canoes drawn up on the silvery beaches, their home- 
made fish-nets hung up to dry, and the hum of women's voices 
was a specially pleasing and restful picture of peace and 
plenty. On every side we were greeted by the people with 
friendly cries, in strange, liquid syllables, of "Good luck to 
you, friend white man." 



30 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

It was Sunday, so we attended a native missionary service, 

as impressive as it was interesting. The text from which the 

Maori clergyman preached an excellent ser- 

Thc Lord's mon was "For God so loved the world that 

Prayer He gave His only begotten Son, that who- 

in Maori. soever believeth on Him should not perish, 

but have everlasting life." 

The Maori congregation joined devoutly in repeating the 
Lord's prayer, as follows: 

THE LORD'S PRAYER IN MAORI 

E to matou I te Nangi, kia ton ingoa tukua mai tou 
rangatiratanga. 

Kai meatia tou hiahia ki te wenua me tou hiahia i te Rangi. 

Homai ki a matou aianei to matou kai mo tenei ra. 

Marau mo matou o matou hara, me matou hoki e muru 
ana mo ratou e hara ki a matou. 

Kaua matou e kawea atu ki te wakawainga, oliia wakaor- 
angia matou i te kino. 

Nau hoki te rangatiratanga, me te kaha, me te kororia, 
ake', ake', ake. Amine. 

Our next stop was at Whakarewarewa, south of Rotorua, 
where we made a special trip to Te Horo, a well of boiling 
water from fifteen to twenty feet in diameter. The water is 
constantly leaping to a great height and ac suddenly falling 
again. It boils furiously and sends up dense clouds of vapor. 
When the cauldron is nearly full thousands of great bubbles 
rise to the surface and immediately break into a succession 
of beautiful fountains, dancing and leaping in the air. Lost 
in amazement we did not notice a loud roaring, resembling 
a heavy blast in a quarry, which sounded beneath our feet. 
The native informed us quite casually that Te Pohutu (the 
splasher), only a few yards away, was about to "go off." 
And the ground on which we stood rocked and trembled as 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 31 

a magnificent column of clear steaming water rose majestically 
into the air to a height of more than one hundred feet. The 
vapor accompanying this powerful discharge rose hundreds 
of feet higher and vanished in various fantastic shapes against 
the sky, while the glittering rays of the sun brightened 
them up with every rainbow color. We watched the display 
for over two hours until we began to fear that the earth might 
give way and let us down into the boiling mud beneath. 

It is extremely dangerous to go among the 
G geysers at night, on account of the mud vol- 

"Porridge canoes, the sides of which are as precipitous 
Pots." as walls. White people call them "porridge 

pots" because the mud in them boils with a 
dull flop, flop, exactly like thick porridge. These mud vol- 
canoes are of different colors, ranging all the way from pure 
white to black, and the boiling springs just a little distance off 
are blue, yellow, brown, red, and green. 

One night we stopped at a hut where the Maoris were 
holding a wake over a dead man. According to immemorial 
custom all the friends and relatives of the family from far 
and near had assembled to mourn for the departed as long 
as the bereaved family could supply them with food. The 
guests wore green boughs on their heads the Maori sign of 
mourning. The women shrieked and carried on in a heart- 
rending manner. As each grew tired of shrieking and wav- 
ing her arms frantically in the air she sat down and gorged 
herself with food as though she had not tasted a mouthful 
for a week, while another, just finishing the gorging act, 
would immediately take her place and scream and fling her 
arms about in apparent agony. It is a point of honor to out- 
screech each other and to add one's utmost effort to the 
uproar. Some of the mourners chanted a funeral ode enu- 
merating the virtues of the deceased and the friends and rela- 
tives all rubbed noses with the corpse before it was buried. 



32 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

Of all the strange trees that grow in the forests of New 
Zealand the rata is the strangest. It displays something so 

closely resembling intelligence that it is not 

Strangest to ^ e won dered at that the Maoris regard it 

of all with superstitious awe. When growing by 

Strange Trees, itself the rata is just a beautiful tree, usually 

from sixty to seventy feet high, which, in tHe 
height of the season, flames with gorgeous crimson flowers 
resembling the passion flower in shape. The wood of the 
tree is dark red and commonly called ironwood. The wind 
scatters the seeds of the rata, which alight, like the mistletoe, 
in the forks of other trees, where they take root and send down 
long tendrils into the ground. These tendrils soon increase 
in size and encircle the root stem, which sends out lateral 
roots at right angles. These root stems gradually become 
united by laterals until they embrace the tree in a close net- 
work and kill it. We saw many instances where the support- 
ing tree had completely rotted away, leaving nothing but 
a hollow cylinder of flourishing rata root stems. The upper 
side of each leaf of the rata is dark green, the under side 
downy white, and when the wind tosses the branches the 
contrast between the white and green leaves and blood-red 
flowers is so startlingly lovely as to be awe-inspiring. To the 
Maoris the rata is sacred to the memory of fierce sea dragons 
that once inhabited the South Seas. They associate it with 
the dead and believe it to be possessed of supernatural powers. 

After crossing Roto Tarawera we embarked 
We Go in a small canoe upon a lake of boiling water. 

One part through which we passed boiled so 
Boiling Lake, fiercely that our small boat tumbled about like 

a cork in the seething foam, and we freely 
speculated on what our fate would be if we capsized or fell 
overboard. But we landed safely at last and viewed the 
"Terraces" that are constantly forming from the mineral 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 33 

deposits which wash down from the hot springs above them. 
These exquisitely beautiful Terraces, which, by the way, were 
destroyed by the earthquake that devastated this region on 
the night of June 10, 1886, extended in rippled gradations, like 
vast steps draped with delicate lace and filigree work. They 
rose to a height of seventy feet and immediately above them 
were azure springs boiling fiercely to the accompaniment of a 
loud and roaring noise. On the opposite shore the Terraces 
were of the softest pink. The springs which formed them were 
of a cooler temperature than those which form the white 
Terraces of which I have just spoken. In strong contrast 
to these beautiful and fairy-like formations, the rocky cliffs 
bordering Rotomahana close by, covered with steam- jets and 
blow-holes belching fire and boiling mud, are as suggestive 
of the infernal regions as any spot on earth. 

Another thrilling sight in this thermal region 

A L k * s Black Geyser, which, I believe, is the larg- 

Sinks Out of e st active geyser in the world. The crater, 

Sight. which is three hundred and nineteen feet long 

and one hundred and eighty-two feet wide, 
lies at the bottom of surrounding hills, and at intervals boiling 
water mixed with huge stones and mud rises from it to an 
incredible height. Some idea of the heat of the water thrown 
out of Black Geyser may be inferred from the fact that the 
water is still intensely hot after it has flowed two miles or 
more from the crater. At first all we could see of it was a 
pond of water boiling furiously below us, and the guide begged 
us to leave the brink of the chasm and keep close to the shel- 
ter shed, as he knew by some subtle signs, which were not 
apparent to us, that a heavy explosion was about to occur. 
Before we had reached the shed an immense volume of water, 
mud, and stones was hurled higher than our heads without a 
moment's warning, but it fell back into the crater without 
even a stone from it reaching us. Another explosion fol- 



34 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

lowed with about the same result and we advanced a little 
closer to the crater to watch the phenomenon. 

"The next one will be worse," the guide 

I Escape shouted, and we ran back toward the shelter 

with shed, but before we got inside the door there 

My Life. was a terrific roar, as though several tons of 

dynamite had exploded, and the earth shook 
as if from a violent earthquake. I hesitated and looked 
back and was surprised to see the boiling mass sink 
down almost out of sight in the yawning abyss; but 
the very next instant an immense column of red-hot stones 
and seething mud was hurled with terrific force over every- 
thing in sight, the air grew dark as a dungeon, and 
through the din I followed the shouts of my two com- 
panions who were inside the shed and reached the door. For- 
tunately the shelter shed was very strong or the stones and 
boulders which descended upon it would have demolished it. 
It was several minutes before we could see anything and 
when we left the shed we beheld a vast cloud of pure white 
steam and silvery mist floating at an immense height and 
showering everything with a fine diamond-like rain which 
the sun converted into the most beautiful rainbow tints. We 
had no means of judging the height of the explosion which 
we had just witnessed, but I venture to say it was fifteen hun- 
dred feet, exclusive of the clouds and steam. 

One morning we saw some Maori boys catch- 
Catching m % w ^ ducks in a way which white boys 
Wild Ducks might imitate where the nature of the current 
by Hand. permits. Having covered their heads with 

brushwood, they clasped hands in couples and 
drifted down with the current in an upright position, so that 
no part of the body was visible and not a ripple appeared 
on the surface of the water. As the small heaps of brushwood 
drifted through the flocks, there were several suppressed 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 35 

"quacks" as duck after duck suddenly disappeared beneath 
the surface, when the entire flock finally became alarmed and 
flew away and the boys emerged, each with the heads of several 
ducks tucked under his belt. On another occasion we saw 
two men hunting wild pigeons with light four-pronged spears 
of tough tawa wood thirty feet long at least. These spears 
were placed upon rests and bait was placed upon a branch 
where the birds were in the habit of alighting. The men 
were completely concealed and when a bird lighted beside 
the bait they would instantly transfix it with their spears. 

A few miles before reaching Pipiriki we approached the 
Ruapehu caves, which are situated upon the right side of 
the river bank. The largest one is truly magnificent and the 
view of the entrance, embowered in delicate ferns and flower- 
ing lichens, is beautiful enough for a fairy scene. The first 
cave opens out into an immense natural hall, at the furthest 
end of which is a waterfall about twenty feet high. It is 
supposed to derive its origin from the snows of Ruapehu 
several miles away. Every spot along the beautiful Roto 
Tarawera is famed in Maori song and story, but I was partic- 
ularly interested in viewing Moutoa Island, eight miles below 
Pipiriki. Of all the places surrounded by the halo of legend 
and romance in this beautiful river, perhaps none can equal 
the interest excited in the mind of the Pakeha visitor by the 
memories of Moutoa Island, though the story of the battle 
which has rendered it forever famous in New Zealand history 
appears to be entirely unknown outside of the land in which it 
took place. The incidents surrounding this battle seem far 
more like a chapter from the history of the Crusaders or some 
medieval romance than sober historic facts. 



36 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER IV 

THE OVERTHROW OF A FALSE PROPHET 

A very worthy and self-sacrificing Episcopal missionary 

named Rev. W. Grace had labored for many years at Poukawa, 

near Tokaanu and the Waihi Pa, and had not 

A B ttl only succeeded in turning many hundreds of 
to the the surrounding Maoris from heathenism to 
Teeth. Christianity, but had also taught them many 

useful mechanical arts. About the begin- 
ning of 1864 a Maori named Te Ua, who had previously pro- 
fessed Christianity, suddenly announced that he had received 
a special revelation from their own gods to destroy Chris- 
tianity, restore cannibalism, drive the Pakehas from Aotea 
Roa, and establish a new religion which he called Pai Mariri, 
which was a singular mixture of some elements of Chris- 
tianity, Judaism, original Maori heathenism, and nature-wor- 
ship. 

The means by which Te Ua gained his ascendancy over 
the Maoris was rather curious and worth relating. When he 
first claimed to be inspired, he acted so strangely that he was 
taken to be a dangerous lunatic and was confined with a very 
strong chain, but he broke the chain apparently without the 
slightest effort. He was then confined with very strong ropes 
made of harekeke, but he broke all the ropes which they could 
put upon him and displayed such superhuman strength that 
the superstitious Maoris believed him to be gifted with a 
miraculous power and accordingly followed his leadership. 

The followers of Pai Mariri are best known in New Zea- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 37 

land history by their common nickname of Hau Hau (Hau 
meaning wind), from the frantic cries which they uttered 
during their heathen worship, which consisted chiefly in danc- 
ing madly around a sort of May-pole which they called Tongi- 
tongi (Staff of life) and shrieking like maniacs. Like most 
new fads, the religion spread rapidly. Mr. Grace was forcibly 
driven away, and the rapidly increasing numbers and intense 
fanaticism of the Hau Haus soon rendered them formidable 
not only to all the surrounding tribes, but also to the British 
authorities. They sent the word out to the British inhabitants 
that they would not only eat the heads of all the Pakehas in 
Aotea Roa, but they would also eat the heads of all Mihanere 
(the Maori word for missionaries and applied to all who 
accept Christianity). They made a formidable attack upon 
New Plymouth and besieged the city of Wanganui, the most 
important missionary settlement. The most intense excite- 
ment prevailed. The Hau Haus committed the most horrible 
excesses by murdering and devouring outlying settlers, and 
it seemed as though all the northern savage tribes, converts 
and all, were on the point of joining them. 

The British authorities were thoroughly 
War of alarmed and set about making the most ex- 
Extermina- tensive preparations for a war of extermina- 
tion, tion, when the whole course of events sud- 
denly changed in a most remarkable way. 
The Maori tribes residing along the Wanganui River were 
nearly all Christians, and after holding a public meeting at 
which to discuss the situation, they promptly dispatched their 
chief orator to the camp of the Hau Haus, challenging them to 
settle the impending conflict and prove the merits of their 
new religion by selecting one hundred of their best warriors 
to meet one hundred Christian Maoris upon Moutoa Island 
where the Hau Hau warriors might invoke the aid of their 
false gods and fight in defense of them while the Wanganuis 



38 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

would call on their Christian God and fight in defense of Chris- 
tianity. The result of this battle was to prove whether Chris- 
tianity or Pai Mariri was the true religion. Nothing could 
be fairer or more acceptable to the mind of the Maori than 
such a challenge as this. The Hau Haus promptly accepted 
it, and on the morning of May 14, 1864, the rival war parties 
landed from their various canoes upon Moutoa Island, and 
many Maoris who were about persuaded to accept the new 
Hau Hau belief gathered from far and near to watch the 
issue and witness the grand triumph of Pai Mariri over Chris- 
tianity. 

The Maoris are among the best natural-born orators in 
the world. The emissaries on both sides proceeded to make 
stirring speeches in defense of their respective beliefs. Te Ua 
performed his heathen incantations and ceremonies, which he 
assured his followers would protect them in battle and render 
them invincible, invulnerable, and victorious. "It is only nec- 
essary," he added, "for you to rush forward calling Hau Hau 
like dogs and hold up your right hand, palms turned toward 
the enemy, and you will stop all the Wanganui bullets with- 
out the slightest injury to yourselves." He pronounced the 
most solemn curses upon Christian Maoris, railing down upon 
them death and destruction. Although these curses and in- 
cantations may seem childish and nonsensical to us, it must 
be remembered that the Wanganuis, who had only recently 
forsaken heathenism for Christianity, had always been taught 
to regard them with most superstitious terror. It required 
great fortitude on the part of these dark-skinned champions 
of the Cross to boldly defy all the traditions of their race and 
the vengeance of their ancient gods, believing that if they were 
defeated in the coming battle their whole tribe would be ex- 
terminated or carried into slavery. 

While the heathen chief was performing his heathen rites 
and ceremonies the chief of the Wanganuis prayed to the true 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 39 

God to vindicate his worship by giving them the victory over 
their heathen enemies, who were now seeking to destroy their 
Christian beliefs. 

Each party then sent forth an advance guard of fifty men 
to engage first, while fifty more on either side were held in 
reserve. Mete Kingi commanded the advance guard of the 
Wanganuis, and Haimona Hiroti commanded the reserves, 
while the great war-chief Metene commanded the advance 
guard of the Hau Haus and the false prophet Te Ua com- 
manded the reserves. 

It is not surprising that the Wanganuis more than half 
believed the Hau Haus to be invulnerable as they rushed for- 
ward barking like dogs and defying the enemy to touch them. 
The Christian Maoris were seized with such superstitious 
terror that every one of their shots went wide, which only 
served to strengthen the belief that Hau Haus were invulner- 
able. But soon there came hand-to-hand fighting with spears 
and tomahawks, when the Wanganuis quickly discovered that 
their opponents were not invulnerable, nor invincible either, 
and they joined with all their might in the combat. 

Mete Kingi was slain early in the battle and two other of 
his chiefs who succeeded him in command met the same fate 
almost instantly. A young chief, Wirimu Tamihana, then took 
command of the Wanganui advance and with the most des- 
perate and heroic efforts attempted to retrieve the fortunes of 
the day. With his double-barreled gun he killed two Hau 
Hau warriors and was in the act of reloading when two 
minor Hau Hau braves singled him out and attacked him. 
Tamihana ran the first one through the body with his spear 
and clove the skull of the second with his tomahawk. He 
rallied like a hero and was leading the Wanganuis on in gal- 
lant style when two bullets from the Hau Hau clan struck 
him simultaneously and killed him on the spot. The death of 
four of their leaders in such rapid succession discouraged the 



40 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

Wanganuis and awakened their superstitions. Their line 
wavered and then broke and Te Ua shrewdly perceived that 
the critical moment had now arrived, so promptly he brought 
up the Hau Hau reserves, believing he would achieve vic- 
tory. 

All was now apparently lost to the Wanganuis, but in this 
deep emergency Chief Haimona proved himself worthy the 
reputation he bore. Rallying the retreating Wanganuis he 
commanded them to fall in behind the reserves, who were 
fresh and eager for battle. Then, following a custom old as 
the Maori race itself, he planted his spear, which was an 
heirloom in his family, in front of the Wanganuis, declaring 
he would never retreat from the spot where it was planted but 
would win the battle or die there. This stand is always the 
last desperate resort of a Maori chieftain. His followers 
would die to the last man before they would desert him now. 
It is a declaration that the battle will be one of extermination ; 
no mercy will be shown. Then shouting to the Wanganui re- 
serves to follow him, Haimona led the way onward toward the 
spot where the Hau Hau clan was advancing. The Wanga- 
nui reserves, eager for vengeance, followed lustily and made a 
terrific charge in wedge formation, after the. manner of the 
ancient Romans. The Hau Hau warriors stood their ground 
and both parties closed in a deadly hand-to-hand combat with 
spears, tomahawks and clubbed muskets in which no quarter 
was asked or given. At this desperate moment a Wanganui 
champion suddenly dashed single-handed in the midst of the 
Hau Hau fighters and, cutting down all who opposed him, 
captured a heathen banner and carried it away in triumph. 
Still another Wanganui warrior slew Metene as he was cheer- 
ing on the heathen reserves, and after a short but desperate 
battle in which both parties fought like demons the Hau Haus 
were entirely routed, defeated and beaten down, leaving up- 
ward of fifty men dead upon the field, and almost all the others 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 41 

were killed or captured as they attempted to escape by swim- 
ming through the stream. 

The false prophet Te Ua, seeing that all was 
"Behold l st to tnem > was among the first of the Hau 
the False Haus to leap into the river and endeavor to 
Prophet!" escape. Haimona, of the Wanganuis, saw him 
swimming away and, calling a warrior to him, 
pointed to Te Ua, shouting, "There is the false prophet." The 
Wanganui instantly fired after Te Ua, but missed him; then 
dropping his gun and grasping his tomahawk he leaped into 
the stream and started in pursuit of him. Te Ua gained the 
bank first and started running away like a deer, but the Wan- 
ganui overtook him and brought back the heathen chief's 
head and laid it at the feet of his own Christian chief. 

The assembled Maoris were amazed at the re- 
A Battle suit of the battle, for incredible as it may 

u b *?" cen , sound the Wanganui had lost only twelve men 
Heathen and ' 

Christian an d thirty were wounded, while the Hau Hau 
Maoris. warriors were about exterminated. The im- 
portance of this battle must not be estimated 
by the small number of men engaged in it; for it must be 
understood that the Maoris regarded it not as a combat be- 
tween two rival tribes, but as an actual and deciding conflict 
between Christianity and heathenism. The battle terminated 
so overwhelmingly in favor of the Wanganuis that the Chris- 
tianized tribes for miles around regarded the result as miracu- 
lous, and Hau Hauism had received its death-blow, for as is 
usual in such cases its followers fell away as rapidly as they 
had joined. 

Nothing could be more entrancing than the Waitomo caves 
situated about one hundred and thirty miles due south from 
Auckland on the west coast. The Waitomo River runs through 
them and they consist of a series of wide and lofty stalactite 
chambers in the heart of a heavily wooded hill. One entrance 



42 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

is at the point where the river emerges and the other through 
a rocky portal high on the hillside in the midst of a thicket of 

trees and underbrush. The caves abound in 
Treasure romantic treasures. Vast domed ceilings and 

winding corridors upheld by symmetrical 
Maoris. white pillars sparkling with beads of moisture 

and faintly lighted with myriads of glow- 
worms form a scene to make one fairly catch breath with 
wonderment at loveliness so unearthly. In a series of caverns 
named the "courtrooms" there are luxurious formations ex- 
actly resembling heavy hangings and many stalagmite forma- 
tions so much resembling human figures as to startle one 
on entering, and it is little wonder that the caves abound in 
romantic and fantastic traditions. 

The scenery along the western shore of Topomana is most 
striking. The immense basaltic cliffs of the Western Bay, a 
sheer wall rising to a height of fifteen hundred feet, present 
an ever changing panorama. We made a twenty-five-mile 
trip across the bay in a Maori canoe and landed at a small 
settlement at the extreme southern end, at the foot of the ex- 
tinct volcano Kakaramea. Here our attention was called to 
a broad strip of red earth which still marks the course of the 
terrific landslide of boiling mud which descended in May, 1845, 
completely burying the little settlement of the great chief Te 
Heu Heu and fifty-four of his people at the very moment when 
the great Maori leader was defying all the powers of volcanoes 
to harm them. 

The most singular of the boiling springs in 

Boiled tms vicinity are three large circular basins 

to Death. situated very near together, and in which the 

water rises and falls at uncertain intervals, 
changing in temperature from cold to boiling point. There is 
a legend that some Maoris paying a friendly visit here were 
taken to bathe in one of these basins on the evening of their 



OF CAPTAIN QViNTOtt 43 

arrival. The following morning before dawn they went again 
for a bath in the same place and, ignorant of the variable 
temperature, jumped in and were at once scalded to death. 

Our journey from this point to Taumaranni, our next stop- 
ping place, on the upper reaches of the Wanganui River, was 
through a vast forest of totara, rimu, and kahikatea, rare and 
beautiful ferns, orchids, white clematis and the brilliant crim- 
son flowers of the rata. The liquid notes of the larks, black- 
birds, finches, thrushes, and starlings, which have been im- 
ported from Europe, ring through this forest from earliest 
dawn to twilight. Every spot in the surrounding country has 
its legend of battle or cannibal feast during the wars which 
raged between the tribes which owned it and the fierce north- 
ern tribes which claimed it. 

At every turn fresh scenes of interest succeed each other 
like the shifting figures of a kaleidoscope. The stream sweeps 
around cliffs rising five hundred feet straight up in the air 
and expands into a lake, calm and still, like a sheet of clear 
glass. Picturesque gorges open through cliffs delicately criss- 
crossed with frail network of light and shade, while the sur- 
rounding hillsides blaze in a crimson glory of constantly re- 
curring rata. Every now and again we passed a village, and 
the inhabitants, dressed in every color of the rainbow, invari- 
ably waved their mats and clothes at us, saluting us always 
with friendly shouts. At one point, suddenly rounding the 
bend of the river, we came upon some native merry-makers 
dressed in unusually brilliant costumes and singing at the tops 
of their voices, grouped under a magnificent natural arbor of 
rata flowers, a waterfall flowing like threads of silver from 
the forest-clad hills in the background. They saluted and 
pressed us to join them, but we glided silently on. 

One of the most beautiful sights of Wanganui is Mount 
Taranaki, which stands alone like a sentinel rising to a height 
of 8,260 feet, strangely beautiful when the sun tinges its 



44 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

snowy shroud with crimson. I was brought up on the banks 
of the Hudson River, and have since seen the finest rivers in 
the world, including the majestic Columbia River in Oregon, 
but I never have seen any that equaled in beauty the Wan- 
ganui River in New Zealand. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 45 



CHAPTER V 

TONGA, SAMOA, NEW HEBRIDES AND LOYALTY ISLANDS, 

I next sailed from Sydney in the barkentine Agnes Edge- 
hill, and our first stop was at Nukualofa, the capital of the 
Tonga Islands. It was Sunday, and the mate 

T ou- r an d I went to church, where we heard a mis- 

1 onip for 

Tonga and sionary preach to the natives from the iden- 
Samoa. tical text we had heard a converted savage 
preach from on the Bay of Plenty, in New 
Zealand, a few Sundays before. 

The congregation squatted upon the floor, while several 
men with long bamboo poles walked up and down, now and 
again rapping over the head a member who did not pay strict 
attention. We seated ourselves among the native worshipers, 
but the old chief, squatting upon a raised platform facing the 
congregation, sent one of his serving-men, who, extending 
his hands on a level with his face, palms turned toward us, 
exclaimed, "Faka moli moli, Papalangi, hau kohina," which 
means, "I beg your pardon, white man, come here." We fol- 
lowed him to our appointed places on the platform beside the 
chief. When the congregation was dismissed the women quite 
naively removed their long, loose calico dresses, which they 
had put on in deference to the missionaries, and walked home 
with them rolled up under their arms. 

There is an especially interesting stone monument near 
Nukualofa known to the islanders as Tuba Tui. It consists of 
two large rectangular blocks of dressed stone set upright and 
facing each other, like the gable ends of a house. These 



46 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

blocks support a horizontal slab extending from one to the 
other like a rooftree. Each end of the slab is neatly mortised 
into the center of the top of one of the perpendicular slabs. 
A huge stone bowl lying on the ground near by has in all 
probability fallen during an earthquake, from its position in 
the middle of the horizontal slab. This bowl is similar to 
stone bowls on the island of Tinian, in the Mariana Islands, 
three thousand miles away. 

The island of Tuba Tui is of coral formation and only 
slightly elevated above the sea. It contains no stone similar 
to that of the monument just described, showing clearly that 
these blocks must have been carried here on ships. The 
stones also show the handiwork of a people possessed of cut- 
ting tools made of steel or tempered copper, and we are told 
that the ancient Phoenicians and Egyptians alone possessed the 
secret of tempering copper. 

The town of Apia, in which nearly all the white people 
in Samoa reside, consists of one street along the beach and 
was our next port of call. In approaching from seaward the 
first prominent object that strikes the eye is a silvery water- 
fall which gleams conspicuously against a background of 
dark volcanic rock. This gleaming water can be seen for so 
many miles out to sea that it is used as a lighthouse, and navi- 
gators entering the harbor are instructed to keep the water- 
fall directly in line over the tall spire of a church in the vil- 
lage, this alignment assuring a safe passage through the reefs. 
Some of the residences present a delightfully attractive ap- 
pearance in their setting of tropical trees and 
Gigantic flowers. 

of at thc The distinguishing characteristic of the 

Polynesians. Polynesian islanders is their gigantic size. I 

have seen specimens of nearly every race in 

the world, including Patagonians, but I have never seen a 

people who compared with the natives of Tonga and Samoa 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 47 

for immense stature and muscular development, and the chiefs 
not only are taller, but are considerably lighter in color than 
the common people. 

Upon one occasion I was about to remove my shoes and 
wade ashore from our small boat, which had grounded a few 
yards from the beach, when a chief with whom I was ac- 
quainted rushed into the water, picked me up on one arm 
precisely as a woman would gather up a baby, and carried me 
high and dry to land. I am five feet eight and one half inches 
tall without my shoes, but I appeared like a pygmy beside the 
Samoan chief, who measured all of seven feet and was splen- 
didly proportioned. He is a fair example of this giant race, 
which reminded me constantly of the description of the 
Canaanites that the spies brought back to Moses after their 
journey of reconnoiter in the Promised Land. "All the people 
that we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw 
the giants, the sons of Anak which come of the giants: and 
we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in 
their sight." But these natives are as indolent in disposition 
as they are large in size and cannot comprehend the white 
man's way of working hard every day in order to make a 
living. 

The island produces finest coffee, cotton, tobacco, cocoa 
and vanilla, and the Samoans, who are still in possession of 
the greater part of the island, have more than they need. 
Most of the soil is so uneven that it can be worked only by 
hand. The native Samoans are far too proud and indolent 
to work for others, so when I was there the foreign culti- 
vators were compelled to import wild cannibals from New 
Britain, New Ireland, the Solomon Islands and New Hebrides 
to work on their large plantations. 

The employment of this imported labor meant that spe- 
cial cruises must be made to engage new workmen and return 
others. We were commissioned to make such a cruise, and 



48 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

as labor vessels were always liable to attack by the natives 
owing to the fact that they carried miscellaneous cargoes of 
cheap, gaudy articles acceptable to the cannibals for trading 
purposes, we shipped a large crew of Tongans, Samoans, 
Fijians, besides the white officers, all of whom were armed 
to the teeth. 

After an uneventful run we brought up at Aneiteum, most 
southern of the New Hebrides. It would be difficult to imag- 
ine a more striking contrast than that between the Polynesian 
islanders and the inhabitants of Aneiteum. In appearance, 
language, color, manners, and customs they are entirely op- 
posite. The people of Aneiteum paint their faces and bodies 
in various brilliant colors and wear their long hair hanging in 
matty tresses or tied in a knot at the back of the head. Their 
houses are nothing but hovels made of branches of trees stuck 
into the ground, fastened together at the top and thatched 
with leaves. As a rule these huts are not more than four feet 
high and six feet wide, while the length of the house depends 
only upon the number of people who sleep in it. 

The men of this tribe devote infinitely more time to hav- 
ing their hair dressed than to any other single occupation, and 
for this reason the native barber is a very important member 
of the community. The barber carefully separates their kinky 
locks into small tresses, binding each one separately with a 
thin pineapple fiber, and he continues this binding process at 
intervals as the hair continues to grow. 

These people divide themselves into four tribes, which lived 
in a state of constant warfare before the missionaries came. 
But the missionaries in a few decades have taught their con- 
verts to live in peace, and to worship the true God instead of 
demons. 

In common with the other South Sea Islanders they be- 
lieved absolutely in a future life in a paradise situated far 
away to the west. The unconverted still believe in demons, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 49 

whom they endeavor to placate by sacrifices. Their chief god 
is Matmase, whose dwelling place they firmly believe is in 
the sky. 

After securing a few recruits here we sailed for Tanna, 
in the Loyalty Islands, one of the easiest of all the islands of 
the Pacific to locate on account of the perpetually active vol- 
cano of Yashur, situated near the southern point. Long be- 
fore the land is visible dense clouds of flame and smoke can 
be seen ascending from this natural lighthouse which rises 
nine hundred and eighty feet above the sea level and is visible 
at a distance of fifty miles. 

Arriving at Port Resolution, about eight 

Earthquakes m ^ es to t ^ ie eastward of the volcano, we came 
and Flourish- to anchor. The formation of this harbor has 

ing Towns, been considerably changed by three tremen- 
dous earthquake shocks which occurred on 
January 10, February n, and August 15 of the year 1878. 
The natives said that previous to each eruption the volcano 
was unusually active. With the first eruption a new volcano 
burst out between the old volcano and the bay and a tidal wave 
swept in from sea, roaring far inland and causing death and 
destruction on all sides. Villages were wiped out and in a 
moment's time nothing but rack and ruin marked the sites 
of several flourishing towns and plantations. After the wave 
had receded quantities of sharks and other fish were left high 
and dry upon the rocks and what had been the bottom of the 
harbor to the westward was forced above water level for a 
distance of three hundred feet. With the second earthquake 
another expanse of harbor bottom appeared above the surface, 
further blocking the entrance. Entry to the harbor can only 
be made to-day by most careful navigation, the passageway 
being very narrow. 

Tanna is extremely fertile, and even the highest moun- 
tains are clothed to the summits with tropical vegetation. 



50 THE STRANGE 'ADVENTURES 

Yams, which the natives sell to passing ships, are 0ver three 
feet long and weigh more than forty pounds, and all other 
vegetable growths are in proportion to this. 

The natives of these islands are dark in color, 

Fashionable f medium stature, well built and very active. 

Head-dress. Their noses are flat, their eyes brown and 
their bodies are covered with fine hair. The 
women wear their hair short and arranged in hundreds of 
erect little curls. The men wear their beards in ringlets and 
the chiefs stick pieces of polished shell or ebony through the 
septum of the nose. It is said to require five years to dress a 
man's hair in the fashionable style, but it is dressed only once 
or twice in a lifetime. Parents cut holes in the lobes of their 
children's ears and insert pieces of rolled-up plantain leaf, 
which, by the force of expansion, stretch the lobe. They 
then load their ears with huge rings of tortoise-shell and other 
ornaments until the elongated lobes are sometimes drawn so 
far down as to lie upon the shoulders. They go practically 
naked, but upon full-dress occasions array themselves in kilts 
of bladed grass very neatly and handsomely woven. They 
also wear bracelets of polished shell and the wonderfully in- 
tricate carving upon these baubles shows a high order of 
artistic skill. 

The favorite ornament of all is a necklace of whale's teeth 
or the teeth of human beings that the wearer has killed in 
battle. Most South Sea Islanders look upon whale's teeth 
in very much the way civilized people regard diamonds. It 
is extremely dangerous to wear a necklace of whale's teeth, 
and none but a valiant warrior would venture to do so, for it 
is an open challenge to murder. On the other hand, a neck- 
lace of human teeth is considered valuable only to the slayer 
of the men whose teeth he wears as ornaments. 

During the occasional intervals of peace the men paint their 
faces jet black with a mixture of oil and powdered charcoal. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 51 

Upon this background they place various patterns of red 
ochre. Before going into battle they spend much time devis- 
ing most grotesque combinations of colors with the idea of 
terrorizing their enemies. We saw some with forehead 
painted bright red, one cheek white, the other black and the 
chin a brilliant blue. Others had lines of red and white radiat- 
ing from the nose like the spokes of a wheel or the sun rays 
on the Japanese flag. The outward sign of their conversion 
to Christianity consists in wearing clothing and giving up 
their heathen style of head-dress. 

A savage named Nelwang and a woman 

A Christian known as Yakin had embraced Christianity. 

Savage They wished the missionary to marry them, 

Wedding. and the bride determined to show the depth 

of her Christian spirit by the amount of cloth- 
ing she carried upon her person. She forthwith arrayed her- 
self in every article of European apparel that she could beg 
or borrow. Her bridal gown consisted of a man's drab over- 
coat over her own native grass skirt, tightly buttoned and 
reaching down to her heels. Over this she had a waistcoat 
and a pair of men's trousers, the body drawn over her breast 
and a leg dangling gracefully over each of her shoulders and 
down her back. Fastened to one shoulder also was a red 
shirt, and to the other a striped shirt, which waved about like 
wings as she sailed along. Around her head she had twisted 
another red shirt like a turban, and one of the sleeves hung 
over each of her ears. She looked like a moving monster 
loaded with a mass of rags. The day was excessively hot 
and the perspiration trickled down her face in little streams. 
The missionary shortened the service as much as possible in 
order to afford the bride relief from her sweltering costume, 
which had excited the unbounded admiration of the native 
audience. 

One night it was my good fortune to witness a social tribal 



52 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

dance about six miles north of Port Resolution. The men 
danced in an inner ring and the women on the outer side of 
the ring. The dancers supplied their own music by shouting 
at the tops of their voices and clapping hands in perfect time 
with the measure of the dance. The dance itself consisted of 
many highly intricate and graceful evolutions executed with 
the machinelike precision characteristic of all savage dances. 
Their naked figures, painted in every bright color, wheeling 
and turning, cavorting and gyrating in the fitful gleams of 
the firelight, and the perfect time which they maintained, yell- 
ing savagely every minute, made a spectacle almost as great 
as a corroboree among the Australian blacks. 

The canoes and other craft of this tribe are 
War Clubs ratner ru de and clumsily made, but the ar- 
Spears and rows, spears, tomahawks, and war-clubs are 
Tomahawks, carved and adorned in the most elaborate and 
graceful manner. War is the main object of 
their existence, and for this reason they give much time and 
attention to making weapons. Like almost all woolly-haired 
races they make their war-clubs round; straight-haired races 
make them flat. The typical weapon is about four feet long 
and shaped much like an Indian club. It is considered the 
greatest disgrace to lose the club in battle. Their spears are 
beautifully made and no other Pacific race affords finer speci- 
mens of savage art. The typical throwing spear is from eight 
to ten feet in length, the thickest part of the shaft being less 
than an inch in diameter. Instead of being barbed on two 
opposite sides the barbs are put on in six whorls of four barbs 
each. They also use a long and heavy "pike" in hand-to-hand 
combat. Strange to say, they never use shields, but for that 
matter shields are not used east of the Solomon Islands. 

The famous kawas or killing stone of this people is made 
of bluish-gray rock so strong and tough that no rough usage 
will break it. Varying from fifteen inches to nearly two feet 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 53 

in length and from an inch and a half to an inch and three- 
quarters in diameter, it is so perfectly round and straight as 
to look as though it had been turned in a lathe. 

History tells us that ancient Roman legionaries first hurled 
their javelins at the enemy, then engaged them hand-to-hand. 
In like manner the Tanna warrior first hurls his kawas with 
unerring aim at his enemy, then rushes upon him with his 
ponderous two-handed club and kills him. 

They believe that the efficacy of their weapons depends 
quite as much upon magical charms and spells which have 
been cast over them as upon the dexterity with which they 
are wielded. The sorcerer of the tribe makes an easy living 
performing incantations over new weapons and endowing 
them with such magical powers that every wound they after- 
ward inflict is guaranteed to be deadly; whenever a weapon 
inflicts a mortal wound it is believed to be owing to the effi- 
cacy of the spell which the sorcerer cast upon it a sort of 
"Heads, I win ; tails, you lose" arrangement. Every settle- 
ment has at least one sorcerer or sacred man, who not only 
casts spells upon weapons, but also is believed to have the 
disposal of life and death by the practice of witchcraft. 

The ancient Egyptians made gods of so many 
Superstitious bJ ects > animate and inanimate, that a Per- 
and Strange sian king who invaded Egypt remarked, "It is 
Beliefs. easier to find a god in Egypt than a man." 
The same thing might be said of Tanna, for 
the natives make gods of fish, snakes, birds, trees, rocks, in- 
sects, springs, streams, departed spirits, heavenly bodies, vol- 
canoes and so on. Their chief worship is paid to Karapana- 
mun, the great evil spirit who is said to dwell in the volcano 
of Yashur. They believe in a heaven called Aneai, though 
their notions in regard to it are confused, for, like all savages, 
they have no idea that conduct in this life could affect con- 
ditions in the next. 



54 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

When a native is taken ill his family and friends rush out 
of his hut blowing a conch shell, by way of informing the 
supposed enemy who is causing the illness that they are get- 
ting ready to come and fight. The sorcerer of the village is 
then called in to diagnose the case and discover who the 
enemy is. The sorcerer proceeds to look wise and study the 
case, performing the while magical rites which always pro- 
duce a profound impression upon the family. Should the sick 
person recover it is always credited to the superlative merits 
of the sorcerer's magic. Should the patient die it is invari- 
ably because his friends blew upon the conch shell too loudly 
or not loudly enough. 

They mourn for the dead with savage expressions of grief 
and place food for them upon little platforms by the graves. 
Upon one occasion we witnessed a wake over the body of a 
man killed in battle. The mourners had painted their faces, 
arms and breasts jet black and showed the depth of their af- 
fection for the deceased by the vehemency of their lamenta- 
tions and the severity of the wounds which they inflicted upon 
themselves. They dashed themselves violently upon the 
ground, knocked their heads against trees and gashed them- 
selves with bamboo knives until they were covered with blood. 

We were still recruiting in Port Resolution when two 
tribes held a love feast near the beach, as a farewell to their 
friends who were engaged to go with us. The natives seated 
themselves in two large parties, facing one another, with im- 
mense piles of roast pigs, fowls, fish, yams, breadfruit and 
cocoanuts piled up between them. About fifty of the chiefs of 
each tribe advanced to the center of the open space, standing 
for a moment facing each other in two lines some ten feet 
apart. The center of each line remained stationary, while 
the ends advanced until they were about three feet apart. The 
men at the extreme right of both lines then faced inward, 
closing the gap at either end. They stood silently for a full 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 55 

minute in this position, then simultaneously every man knelt 
upon his right knee and extended his right arm in front of 
him while he bowed his head to the ground. A chief began 
chanting in a low tone, raising his voice gradually as he 
slowly rose to his feet, until finally, with a blood-curdling yell, 
he stood erect. The two lines of men immediately repeated 
the performance and all stood erect at last yelling in a horrible 
and fiendish way. Their voices rose then and fell with strange 
ease and rapidity in a peculiar chant, and the performance 
finally ended with a long-drawn wailing howl. Each man ex- 
tended his right hand in greeting the other and, returning to 
their respective places, the provisions were distributed and all 
hands began eating ravenously as though they had not tasted 
food for a week. 



56 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER VI 

ATTACKED BY SAVAGES 

The island of Tanna is twenty-two miles long and eleven 
miles wide, and strangely enough the inhabitants of so small 
an area comprise several different tribes, all of which speak 
languages so radically different that the inhabitants of one 
district cannot understand those of another district, and each 
tribe is so intensely hostile to the other that any native who 
goes beyond the boundary of his domain does so at peril of 
his life. This state of constant warfare with its concomitant 
atrocities is chiefly the work of cannibal priests and sorcerers, 
who use every effort to encourage belief in war and witch- 
craft. The natives cultivate excellent crops in the valleys 
running between the hills and the mountains, \\_-ich are cov- 
ered to their summits with forests of finest woods. 

After securing laborers at Tanna we set sail for Erro- 
manga, about eighteen miles to the north, and anchored in 
Dillon's Bay. The small woolly-haired natives of this island 
are more related to the negro race than any other islanders of 
the group. The women tattoo the upper parts of their bodies 
and wear girdles made of leaves. The men go absolutely 
naked. We could not do any business here owing to recent 

troubles between the natives and several other 

Pirates s ^ ips en g a g e( * in "blackbirding," as the kid- 

and napping of black laborers is called. It is not 

Slavers. surprising that the natives despise all white 

men and are ready to attack a ship on slight- 
est provocation, for most white men engaged in the trading 
business are little better than pirates and slavers. They stop at 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 57 

nothing, it matters not how cruel it may be, so long as they are 
enabled to kidnap natives to work upon their plantations. It 
was common for a labor vessel to pretend to be a missionary 
ship. The crew would sing a hymn to attract the natives on 
board, the hatches would be left open and tins of biscuit in 
great plenty would be placed in the hold. The natives would 
gradually come on board and were directed to help themselves 
freely to the biscuits in the hold. When a sufficient number 
had boarded the vessel the hatches were closed and the ship 
suddenly sailed away. 

Another trick is to attract natives in their canoes along- 
side the ships by offering them knives and trinkets. The ship 
would suddenly run down two or three canoes and men in 
small boats would capture the black fellows as they struggled 
in the water. I have seen men armed with rifles stand by on 
the ship's deck and fire at the struggling natives if they 
showed fight. If "blackbirders" came upon canoes at firing 
distance from the shore they would open up a fusillade upon 
them until they all surrendered, allowing themselves to be 
captured and carried away. There was great rivalry between 
the crews of the pirate ships because they were paid a stipu- 
lated sum for every native they captured. Should two vessels 
meet on the same recruiting ground the respective crews would 
fight it out in deadly earnest on the beach while the natives 
looked on in amazement. The members of the defeated crew, 
however, were obliged to leave the field to their rivals. It was 
common for a captain to form an alliance with the chief of a 
tribe and assist him in destroying some hostile tribe on condi- 
tion that he would furnish the captain with 
Labor laborers either from his own tribe or that of 

Outrages. the enemy. 

The outrages connected with the labor trade, 
became so notorious that the British authorities intervened and 
placed the trade under strict regulation, which put an end to the 



58 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

worst of the abuses and assured some degree of justice to the 
natives. 

We had little success at Erromanga, so we proceeded to the 
Vates. The Vates are the most beautiful group of islands in 
the entire Pacific. They afford a magnificent panorama of lofty 
mountains clothed in rich vegetation and splendid forests 
of rich timber, besides vast plantations of cocoanuts, 
bananas, sweet potatoes, sugar cane and other tropical pro- 
ductions. 

The inhabitants are tall and well formed. For clothing 
the men wear a kind of wrapper made of matting several 
inches wide and wrought in graceful pattern of red, white and 
black. Their long hair is gathered in a huge knot on top of 
the head and bleached yellow with lime. Their ears are greatly 
distended from the habit of wearing very heavy earrings of 
tortoise-shell or white seashell. They also pierce the septum 
of the nose, in which they insert an ornament of white stone. 
Many of them have raised scars upon the arms and chest ar- 
ranged in definite patterns somewhat after the style of the 
Australian blacks. Their armlets and anklets are ingeniously 
and beautifully wrought of polished seashell and cocoanut 
shell. The women wear a woven belt seven or eight inches 
wide made of fiber, into which patterns have been woven. 
The women as well as the men practice making raised scars 
upon their bodies and arms. 

The weapons of these people are remarkable 
for their beauty of carving and finish. They 
Weapons of are p ro bably the finest to be found within the 
Worfana^hip. ran g e of the entire Pacific. The barbs of the 
arrows, for example, are neatly and elabo- 
rately carved and at the junction of the head 
and the shaft is much beautiful ornamentation made of platted 
fiber. Their spears are the finest I have ever seen. It is no 
wonder they set so high a value upon them, for it requires an 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 59 

immense amount of labor to construct such specimens of sav- 
age warfare. Many of them have designs resembling finest 
Gothic ornamentation. These beautiful barbs are always poi- 
soned, and when not in use for fighting are kept in sheaths 
made of banana fiber to protect them from injury. 

Strictly speaking, they have no idols or images, but they 
have many objects and many places connected with events and 
people, which they hold to be sacred. They believe in a future 
life in a paradise called Lakinatoto, which they locate far 
away in the west somewhere. They worship the spirits of 
departed chiefs and renowned warriors, but their chief god is 
Supu, whom they revere as the creator of all things. Their 
houses are good-sized and comfortable. One community build- 
ing which served the double purpose of temple and council 
chamber was one hundred feet long by twenty-five wide. One 
side of it was entirely open, but the interior of the roof was 
covered with bundles of bones which hung from rafters. 
These islanders not only practice cannibalism, but they also 
bury their old and infirm people alive; and parents think 
nothing of burying new-born infants alive if they do not feel 
inclined to rear them. 

We secured very few laborers here and the captain began 
to feel somewhat anxious about the success of his voyage. 
Altogether we had obtained only about two-thirds of the num- 
ber we expected to take back, and we proceeded to Api Island 
in the New Hebrides, and anchored in Yemyu Cove. This 
cove has gained a notorious reputation on account of the very 
savage character of the natives and their attacks upon labor 
ships. This cove is a favorite retreating ground and is com- 
monly known as Bushman's Bay ; a name which requires some 
explanation. Many of the natives who live in the bush, or 
interior, have never seen the ocean. The beach natives would 
murder any bushman who ventured within their territory, just 
as a bushman would murder a beachman who ventured in the 



60 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

interior. Yemyu Cove is the only exception to this rule. The 
bushmen of the interior come to this point to trade or ship in 
labor vessels and, although they and the beachmen are ready to 
cut each other's throats upon all other occasions they willingly 
unite their forces for the purpose of attacking the white man 
whenever they see an opportunity to do it. 

The morning after our arrival we lowered 

Ashore boats and pulled into shore to where a large 

among body of natives were assembled on the beach. 

the Natives. They appeared to have few weapons, but this 

was no guaranty of safety ; they often appear 

unarmed when they meditate attack. We secured twenty 

laborers unmolested and the chief assured us that his tribe had 

captured many prisoners, enough to complete our cargo, whom 

he would have transferred to us the next day. 

During the night many large canoes arrived at the cove 
and hauled up on the beach. We could see through the glasses 
that they were filled with armed men. By daylight the beach 
swarmed with natives, and as soon as we signaled that we 
were ready to receive them the canoes put out and paddled 
rapidly toward us. Not only were these boats loaded with all 
the men they could carry, but contrary to the usual custom of 
peaceful trading many of them were armed, so the captain, 
who understood a little of their language, called out that he 
could not allow so many to come alongside at once. He also 
inquired why they were armed, and insisted that all who ap- 
proached must first pass their weapons into some of the other 
canoes. For answer Nataio, the chief, stood majestically up 
in his own canoe and, seizing two of the men by the topknots, 
hauled them to their feet, pointing out that their hands were 
tied and explaining that these were the captives whom he had 
promised, and explaining further that it was necessary for 
some of his men to be armed in order to guard the prisoners 
and prevent resistance on their part. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 61 

Nataio's explanation was plausible if not convincing, so we 
prepared for all contingencies. The galley and forecastle doors 
were closed and locked, all hands mustered aft 
A and armed with rifles and, as a further pro- 

Treacherous tection, a boarding netting made of barbed 
Attack. w j re was triced up across the deck in front of 
the crew, who had taken up their position aft 
on the quarter-deck. This netting was five feet high and the 
material used and method of securing made an ideal barrier 
against any combined rush on the part of the savages. 

The canoes drew alongside and three or four had already 
discharged their loads of bound captives on the deck of the 
vessel when a fierce wrangle broke out among them. The 
warriors who had remained in the canoes sprang for the deck, 
where they flourished their clubs threateningly over the heads 
of the captives, but no blood was shed, though all hands ap- 
peared to be much excited about something which we could 
not comprehend. During the wrangle the mob of yelling, 
gesticulating blacks had gradually swayed up to within a few 
feet of the netting, where they spread out in such manner 
that we could not observe what was transpiring on the for- 
ward part of the deck. 

Under cover of this excitement two canoes loaded with 
armed warriors darted in under our bows and the warriors 
clambered aboard. In the meantime the other canoes had 
gradually edged up on both sides of the vessel, as though 
maneuvering according to a prearranged plan, and the war- 
riors aboard them suddenly broke out with a chorus of wild 
yells and assailed us with a volley of arrows and several shots 
from their trade guns. We instantly returned their fire, and 
the canoes being so close up, practically every one of our shots 
told. While our attention was occupied with the men in the 
canoes the warriors who had lately been wrangling over the 
prisoners also set up a yell of defiance and, rushing aft in a 



62 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

body, endeavored to beat down the netting with their heavy 
clubs. At the same time the "captives" who had been brought 
on deck dropped the cords that bound their wrists and joined 
eagerly in the attack, a supply of weapons having been passed 
aboard for their use, we learned later, by the armed warriors. 
The whole affair, needless to say, was a well-arranged plot 
to capture the vessel, but in this case they had certainly reck- 
oned without their host. Many of the assailants in their 
ignorance rushed blindly on the barbed wire, only discovering 
their mistake when they found themselves torn and lacerated 
upon the sharp points. The captain and the main body of the 
crew met the front attack from the deck, where was the cen- 
ter of fighting; the mate and two of his boat's crew opened 
fire on the canoes which were trying to board us on the port 
side, while I opened fire from the starboard side. At this 
moment, while my attention was engaged with the savages in 
the canoes, the chief, who was leading the attack on my side 
of the deck, suddenly lifted one of his men and threw him 
bodily over the wire netting in such a manner that he de- 
scended right where I was engaged in picking off the attack- 
ing force with my rifle. 

The assault was so sudden and unexpected 

I Wrestle t ^ lat we ^^ crashed to the deck, where we 

with a rolled and wrestled in our individual efforts 

Savage. to get the upper hand. In the scuffle the black 

aimed at my head with his tomahawk, but 
only succeeded in landing a glancing blow which inflicted a 
scalp wound. While I was slashing at the savage with my 
knife a powerfully built Tongan, seeing my predicament, ap- 
proached and, drawing back his rifle, suddenly drove it into 
the ribs of my opponent with such force that it entered his 
body, killing him on the spot. I sprang to my feet in time to 
see the enemy's ranks waver and break. While those nearest 
the netting were trying to beat it down with their clubs those 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 63 

in the background had been hurling volleys of arrows over 
their heads and had managed to wound some of the vessel's 
crew, for they have a peculiar way of hurling spears over a 
barrier so that they will descend point first on the other side. 
In the short time we had been fighting the enemy had suf- 
fered severely, so we were not surprised to see them become 
panic-stricken, retreat under cover of the galley and spring 
overboard. 

"Mbuka! Mbuka!" (fire! fire!) cried a Fijian at this mo- 
ment, pointing to the galley, which was enveloped in a cloud 
of smoke, for the villains had battered down the door and set 
it afire, with the idea of burning the vessel and securing the 
cargo. With the deck partially cleared the netting was hastily 
cut down and a general rush made to put the fire out. A num- 
ber of natives who had taken refuge on the forward part of 
the deck met us with a shower of spears and arrows, but re- 
ceived a well-directed volley from our rifles in return before 
they had time to escape. A Rotuma man who happened to be 
beside me received an arrow through his body and fell mortally 
wounded, but the next moment the native who shot it threw 
both arms in the air and went plunging over the bow with a 
bullet through his chest. 

During the melee the natives had battered in the door of 
the forecastle with the object of looting it, and several of 
them now emerged to find their retreat cut off. They fought 
desperately with their clubs and tomahawks in their effort to 
reach the vessel's side, but were all cut down or captured. 

The fire was quickly extinguished with buckets of salt 
water, although it would soon have been beyond control had 
the natives kept up the fight a little longer. The galley fire 
had been carefully extinguished before ever they were allowed 
on board; so it became quite evident that they brought the 
fire with them. Their ordinary method of carrying fire about 
consists in lighting the inside of a dried cocoanut husk. This 



64 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

will smolder for an hour or two, but never burst into flame. 
When they wish to kindle fire they place the lighted husk 
under some dried fagots and blow it. 

Some of the canoes which had been badly riddled with 
shot were now floating waterlogged and deserted, while others 
withdrew as fast as their occupants could paddle them out of 
the way. The greater part of the natives took refuge behind 
rocks on the beach, hauling their canoes behind them. 

We were pretty anxious to get away and we could see that 
a light breeze was starting, so we hove up anchor and tacked 
out of the harbor. A Samoan, a Fijian and one Rotuma man 
on our ship had been killed outright in the skirmish and all 
the rest of the crew were more or less severely injured. The 
natives whom we secured the day before undoubtedly expected 
to join in the attack; but the hatches had been successfully se- 
cured with heavy gratings which allowed sufficient light and 
air but prevented them from getting onto the deck. 

Just before dark we anchored in Southwest Bay in lati- 
tude 16 20' S. and longitude 167 25' E. 

The natives, like all other inhabitants of the New Hebrides, 
are evidently a mixed race, which accounts in a measure for 
the vast variety of types which one sees here. The main stock 
is unquestionably Papuan, and many of them would pass as 
natives of darkest Africa. Each village has a hamal or sacred 
temple which also answers the purpose of a council house. It 
is large enough to contain all the men of the village; these 
sacred hamals have high ridge poles, high pointed gables and 
tiers of windows in the gables. The gable end next to the 
water is provided with one or two lofty boards narrowing 
toward the top and evidently intended for the passage of the 
large war canoes. 

In one of these hamals I saw a great number of human 
skulls ranged upon shelves around the sides of the building, 
besides many mummies of chiefs arranged upon carved wooden 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 65 

beams, painted red and blue and hanging from the rafters. 
The walls also were hung with paddles, bows, arrows, spears, 
war-clubs, adzes, etc. 

Besides the hamal every village has a jgreen, level clearing 
called an amil, upon which to worship the spirits of the dead. 
The amil, which is usually about a hundred yards long, con- 
tains a sacred stone which represents a god, and either a row 
or a semi-circle of upright logs carved to represent some deity. 
The upper end of each log is carved into a grotesque carica- 
ture of a human face, and each image is hollowed out from the 
back or side. These idols differ a good deal in some respects. 
Almost every one has a large bird hollowed out of wood as 
a sort of guardian angel, poised in the manner of a hawk 
pouncing on its prey. 

The devil dance is a religious ceremony in 

The Devil honor of the dead. Music men armed with 

Dance of ponderous hardwood clubs arrange them- 

Malekula. selves behind these hollow idols and each man 

beats his idol as though his salvation depended 

upon the vigor of the blows. 

I attended two of these strange ceremonies, one of which 
was held at night and the other in daylight. The dancers 
were all men armed with bows, poisoned arrows, spears and 
war-clubs. They drew up solemnly around the idols and 
began a very serious dancing chant to the music men's furious 
attack upon their strange instruments. By degrees the danc- 
ing grew faster and faster until it became furious and the 
chanting was little less than blood-curdling howls and yells. 
The black demons with feather-bedecked hair, their faces 
painted black and red and pigs' tails thrust through their 
ears, flittered and gyrated like thick black shadows under the 
flickering light of a fire as they ran at full speed around 
their idols, sometimes standing erect and brandishing their 
weapons above their heads, then suddenly wheeling and turn- 



66 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

ing and executing rapid and complicated evolutions apparently 
in the most inextricable confusion, but in reality with the 
precision of clockwork. Sweat dripped from musicians and 
dancers alike, and their eyes took on a look of madness as 
they wheeled and whirled and capered about belaboring their 
drum idols with sledge-hammer blows. 

One of the principal figures of the dance represented birds 
swooping upon their prey, for the dancers ran with their heads 
bent down and arms outspread, looking for all the world like 
birds of prey. The most amazing feature of the entire per- 
formance was the physical endurance of those who took part 
in it. Their strength increased rather than diminished, their 
chanting grew louder and wilder, and they scampered around 
those hideous idols hour after hour. Wrapped in the mys- 
terious gloom and deathlike stillness of the surrounding for- 
ests, the whole scene was wild and weird enough to make 
shivers creep up and down one's spine. 

Before the evening was quite over the prin- 

A. cipal chief performed a solo dance with a 

Pig Dance, large squealing pig across his shoulders. A 

native explained to us that the pig was to be 
sacrificed to the god Namatas at the conclusion of the cere- 
mony, and the chief through the squealing of the pig was an- 
nouncing to the spirits news of the fine feast which had been 
provided for him. In return for this hospitality he reminded 
them by the medium of the same pig that he expected 
them not only to protect the inhabitants of the village from 
sickness and to send them good crops, but also to grant them 
victory over their enemies. The sole object of the uproarious 
ceremony was to placate evil spirits, consequently everything 
must be of most joyous character in order to win their ap- 
proval and protection. The poor pig was supposed to dance 
and sing with delight at the prospect of being put to death to 
furnish part of a feast for the spooks. His ear-piercing shrieks 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 67 

were interpreted by the savages to be his particular method 
of contributing to the general hilarity by singing with all his 
might and main in the only way he knew how. 

This tribe especially regard the pig with superstitious 
veneration. A native chief is neither brave nor in fashion 
unless he has a pig's tail thrust through a hole in each ear, a 
boar's tusk hung upon his breast and a pair of armlets made 
of the bones of the pig above his elbows. 

I never remembered seeing any place outside of India 
where caste separations are so strictly enforced as they are 
among the natives of Malekula. No man may eat food which 
has been prepared upon a fire belonging to a lower caste than 
his own ; nor may he even light his fire with a brand from it, 
but must make new fire for himself. 

We got under way out of Malekula Harbor as soon as pos- 
sible, and after rather an uneventful run all hands were glad 
to anchor once more in Apia Bay. 



68 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER VII 

DEVIL-FISH AND SHARKS 

During my enforced delay at Apia I spent the time in look- 
ing up the ancient traditions and curious religious beliefs of 
the Samoans. Although most of them now profess to be 
Christians they still retain a regard for the ancient mythology 
which their ancestors preserved with zealous care for count- 
less centuries before the coming of the white man. 

I started out with a native guide one morning to visit 
some prehistoric stone ruins upon the mountains. War was 
raging between the native tribes, so we went well armed. 
Every native we met carried a knife about twenty inches long, 
and had an uncomfortable habit of walking a few paces be- 
hind us, apparently out of idle curiosity. Our course lay 
along the Vaisingani River, which flows by Apia and forms 
innumerable waterfalls on the mountainside. The scene is of 
surpassing loveliness. 

The ruin, which the Samoans call Fale o le 
The Fe'e, meaning house of the octopus, consists 

House o a i ar g e s tone inclosure laid out on exactly 
Octopus. tne same lines as the ancient Jewish Taber- 
nacle, with outer and inner courts and the 
holy of holies in the center. The walls consist of upright 
blocks of black basalt. In the center of the building stands a 
large stone pillar which in some way connects with the Samoan 
tradition of the race of giants which once traded among these 
islands. 

It must be remembered that the Samoans have not lost all 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 69 

faith in their ancient gods. When they are in trouble and 
require assistance one or more chiefs repair to this mysterious 
ruin and sit with their backs to the upright stones, remaining 
in this position until one of them receives inspiration from 
some god still hovering about the temple, who delivers in some 
miraculous way advices which are received by the chief who 
acts as oracle and implicitly followed. 

The Samoans are excellent canoemen, with many types of 
watercraft ranging from a small dugout for carrying one per- 
son to a very large double canoe capable of carrying over one 
hundred men. It is picturesque to see Samoans fishing from 
their canoes at night. With flaming torches of dry cocoanut 
leaves they attract the fish in large numbers. Some use hooks 
and lines, others stand gracefully ready with spears and the 
moment a fish comes within range they hit it with lightning 
quickness. While some are fishing others amuse themselves 
dancing on the beach, this dance usually being performed in a 
sitting posture with hands, arms, head and body all in motion. 
The men are generally tattooed from the waist to the thighs. 
The implements used in tattooing are sharp-pointed little 
combs made of pieces of human bone. The tattooer first 
pricks the pattern on the skin, then places the comb exactly on 
the line and drives the teeth through the skin with the blow 
of a little mallet. At every second stroke he dips the comb 
into a paste made of charcoal and water. 

The pain is so great that only a very little 
Excruciating tattooing can be done at a time, and while it 
Tattooings. is in progress the friends of the victim sit 

beside him and sing at the top of their voices 
by way of drowning any groans which he might utter and 
which would be considered unmanly. At first I supposed 
that all tattooed patterns were exactly alike among them, but 
there are many important differences, revealing not only the 
particular island and tribe to which the man belongs, but even 



70 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

his family, and the family of every chief has its own tattoo 
symbol or coat of arms, as it were. A man who has per- 
formed some great feat often has an additional sign made to 
his tattoo in commemoration of the event, and it is surprising 
to see how readily the natives can tell the nature of the feat 
from the marks which are presented. 

A favorite amusement of the Samoans is shark-hunting, 
which they do in several ways different from those of any other 
tribe. I have seen one man go out in his canoe with a baited 
shark hook and line and much offal, while other men on the 
beach held on to the other end of the line. The man in the 
canoe throws pieces of bait into the water to attract the sharks 
and when he sees a particularly large one he lowers the baited 
hook, then draws it slowly back again. Smaller sharks are 
apt to keep at a respectful distance, while the larger gulp the 
bait ravenously. As soon as he has swallowed it the man in 
the canoe gives a sudden jerk on the line to fix the barb in the 
shark's throat, then lets go the bight of the line. The men 
on the shore immediately set up a yell and haul on the rope 
with all their might while the shark leaps wildly in the air, 
lashes the water furiously with his tail and darts madly in all 
directions in his efforts to escape. 

The natives assert that it is only fair to give 

Astonishing ^ e s ^ ar ^ a cnance > an d as soon as they suc- 

Tcnacity ceed in hauling him into shoal water they 

of Life. d r0 p the line and rush into the water and 

attack him with their clubs. The scene which 

follows baffles description. A shark will fight with the last 

spark of his life; and the ferocity with which he defends 

himself is only equaled by his astonishing tenacity of life. 

He can twist himself until his head and tail meet, and a full 

stroke from the tail of a large shark will instantly kill a man, 

and should he secure a hold upon any one even death itself 

will not make him relinquish, for his jaws will retain that hold 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 71 

even after his head is severed from his body. I saw a native 
boy cut out a shark's jaw three hours after the shark's head 
had been severed from his body. During the operation the 
jaw closed on his hand like a vise and had to be pried apart 
before the boy could be released, and even then his hand had 
to be amputated to save his life. Sharks have a habit of re- 
tiring at intervals into the submarine caves in the coral reefs ; 
then the natives catch them in this way: Several men armed 
with war-clubs and whale-spades paddle along the reef; one 
man carrying a slip noose drops into the water and, diving 
into the cave, slips the noose on the tail of a shark and jerks 
the line as a signal to the men in the boat to pull him up. 
The bewildered shark rises rapidly to the surface, where the 
battle for his life begins. I have frequently noted that a shark 
never seems to struggle until he reaches the surface of the 
water. If he comes close to the canoe they haul his tail out 
of water and immediately he appears almost helpless. Should 
he come up some distance away he struggles frantically to 
escape and generally charges furiously at the canoe. It re- 
quires the utmost skill to repel the attack of a very large shark. 

One night I was with two natives who were 

Surprised fishing from a canoe on the reef. In the 

"D *U" darkness one of them hooked something 

Himself. which he mistook for a shark. He hauled it 

to the surface and was leaning over the gun- 
wale to examine his catch when a large devil-fish suddenly 
threw some of its arms around him as its hideous slimy body 
appeared alongside the canoe. The bleary eyes of the monster 
gleamed with malignant rage as he bit savagely at the side of 
the canoe with his ugly maw and the remainder of its arms 
splashed about in the water like writhing serpents. With the 
canoe for an anchorage the great fish secured a firm hold on 
the terrified native and was dragging him overboard when 
his comrade grasped the situation and entirely unarmed sprang 



72 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

upon the head of the monster fish and, driving his thumbs into 
its eyes, destroyed its sight. Instantly the fierce brute relin- 
quished its hold, writhing and plunging in intense agony and 
emitting a strong musky odor which almost overpowered us. 
We were pulling away when suddenly one of the long arms 
brandished again in a final effort of revenge. It fell on my 
shoulder like the stroke of a club and clung there until I 
hacked it off with my knife. Finding itself pretty well worsted 
the gamy brute gave up the battle and sank out of sight. 
The black man was badly hurt and in great pain, for wherever 
the suckers had fastened to his body the flesh had puckered 
and blistered frightfully. It was two months before he re- 
covered, but the scars, like burns, remained permanent. 

The Samoans also find amusement hunting 

The Gamy ^ e ^ erce wn *d pigs which ravage their crops. 

Wild- The first time I accompanied a party of na- 

Boars. tives on a wild-pig hunt the pig ran directly 

across an open space and would have dis- 
tanced his fleet pursuer, but just as he was about to enter a 
thick scrub on the opposite side of the clearing another hunter 
dashed out of the bushes and, wounded him slightly with his 
spear. Like a flash the boar wheeled with an angry "Woof! 
Woof!" while the native hastily aimed the point of his spear 
at the boar's neck. Quick as lightning the animal caught the 
spear sidewise in his mouth and before the man had time to 
turn about the boar was upon him and gored him so horribly 
that he died almost immediately. Before the boar could make 
his escape into the thick scrub, however, two dogs came up 
and, following the usual tactics of these cunning animals, one 
of them attacked in front to distract his attention while the 
other secured a viselike grip on his hind legs. The first dog 
sprang to the boar's side to avoid the sweep of his tusks and 
seized him by the right ear. It was a cunning ruse on the 
dog's part, but success was only momentary, for in less time 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 73 

than it takes to tell it the dog, like the native, was dead. The 
boar then, despite the fact that there was a dog hanging fast to 
his leg, faced with undaunted courage another native who had 
joined in the attack. The native, taking warning from his 
tribesman, pretended to drive his spear into one side of the 
animal's neck, then drew it back and drove it with all his 
might into the other side. It was a clever trick, and although 
the native was a giant the boar actually forced him back by 
main strength and tried to work its body up on the spear in 
order to gore him. Even when the rest of us came up and 
speared him from every side the brave beast fought desperately 
to the last and expended his dying efforts in trying to drag 
himself over the ground to attack us. 

I left Apia shortly after this and took passage to Vavau, 
in the Tonga Islands, where I entered into a trading partner- 
ship with a white man and remained for some time. 

The Tongans, like the Samoans and Fijians, are very fond 
of drinking kava. Kava is an infusion of the root of a species 
of pepper-plant and the singular thing about it is that it intoxi- 
cates the legs and not the brain. Several cups of it will make 
a man stagger and fall if he attempts to walk, but his brain 
stays perfectly clear. The kava bowls used at feasts and war- 
dances are very beautiful. Some of them are three feet wide 
and deep in proportion, made of hard, dark-red wood, which 
takes a beautiful polish. With use the inside becomes smooth 
as glass aand shines with a play of delicate colors equal to 
those of the finest opal. 

Scarcely any of the tribes in the South Sea 

The Islands have more varied dances than the 

Paddle Dance, Tongans. One of the prettiest is the paddle 

etc. dance, in which the performers carry in their 

hands light, ornamental paddles. The chorus 

sits in a circle around the dancers, chanting and beating 

drums and applauding the various stately evolutions of the 



74 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

performers. Faster and faster the dance proceeds and more 
and more complicated the steps and figures grow until as a 
grand climax the dancers sway their bodies violently from 
side to side and end the performance of innumerable and 
graceful evolutions. This really beautiful dance finishes with 
a fiendish and terrific yell. 

Another dance which we enjoyed seeing is the Otuhaka. 
The chorus sat in a single line around the dancers and both 
chorus and dancers wore reeds of brilliant scarlet hibiscus 
flowers. The drums beat lustily for a few moments, then the 
dancers in silence began to execute a series of the most intri- 
cate movements in which their eyes, heads, mouths, arms, 
fingers, legs, knees, feet and even their toes all performed their 
separate parts with marvelous precision and unity of move- 
ment. The strenuous performance ends with a long-drawn 
note from all hands amid plaudits of "Malio! Malio!" (well 
done) from the audience. 

Most spectacular of all is the Doula, or night dance, per- 
formed with torches. The quick and graceful movements of 
the dancers, the soft cadences of their accompanying songs 
and the flashing of the torches as they flit like shooting stars 
here and there make a scene beautiful enough for a midnight 
dance of woodland fairies. 

These curious people have odd ideas in regard to wearing 
European clothing. I once attended a dance in Vavau, where 
one of the women was dressed in her own short skirt made 
of ti tree leaves and barely reaching to the knees. Over this 
she wore an old-fashioned hoop skirt and nothing else. And 
one man was dressed in one leg of a pair of sailor trousers 
and had his own leg painted blue to match. 

I have rarely seen a lovelier spot than the Liku district in 
the north of Vavau, which is a kind of playground for the 
natives. A path leads through a panoramic succession of low 
hills clothed with magnificent forest. Deep ravines blaze with 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 75 

fragrant and beautiful flowers and rocky precipices rise like 
walls of medieval castles. The only sounds that disturb the 
sylvan retreat are the cooing of wood pigeons in the tamanu 
and toa trees and the ceaseless roar of old ocean breaking 
upon the rocks below. 

The Tongans are inveterate shark-hunters, 

Shark-Hunting and upon this particular occasion a large 

party of natives making elaborate prepara- 

Language. tions for a shark-hunting expedition asked me 
to go along, and I went. Four huge war ca- 
noes over sixty feet long, six feet beam and five feet deep 
,were stripped of their outriggers, lashed together in couples 
and supplied with provisions, fresh water in cocoanut shells, 
also plenty of rope, several long spears and many war-clubs 
and axes. We got under way shortly after daylight next 
morning, and most of the inhabitants of the village came to 
the beach to give us a rousing send-off. Some blew conch 
shells and others chanted, the chant being taken up by the 
rowers as they paddled away. 

Upon reaching the "hunting grounds" the canoeists made 
an outlandish uproar by rattling empty cocoanut shells and 
yelling like demons, thus arousing the curiosity of the sharks, 
who already had commenced to circle around us. A few 
pieces of fat pork were thrown overboard, while other pieces 
were dangled in the water on short ends of rope held by some 
of the hunters who were perched upon poles extended be- 
tween the canoes and who depended only upon their agility 
to dodge the wolf-like snaps of the sharks' jaws. 

Soon the greedy man-eaters swarmed thick about us. One 
huge fellow ran his head through a rope noose, snapping 
viciously at a piece of pork, and some of the men made the 
mistake of hauling the line tight about his head with loud 
cries of "Hiki, hiki!" (pull, pull) before the other line was 
properly secured about the tail, and one man drove a spear 



76 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

into his side and another aimed a premature blow at the back 
of his neck with an ax. The angry shark leaped clear of the 
water, breaking the spear short off and carrying off the line 
which held him. He got about fifty yards away, whipping 
the surface of the water into foam with his tail, then with a 
long sweep he turned and darted straight as an arrow for our 
canoe. His cavernous mouth was open and six rows of huge 
teeth were displayed in warlike array. Whether he intended 
to ram the canoe with his head or to leap on board and crush 
it with his weight, as these voracious brutes sometimes do, I 
do not know. When he got within a few feet of us two 
strong spears were driven straight down his throat and he was 
received with such sudden and terrific sledge-hammer blows 
that his face and upper jaw were beaten almost to a jelly. 
Instantly he snapped the heads off of the spears, however, and 
dived under us, striking his back so violently against our keel 
that several of us were thrown off our feet. Then he reared 
his huge head out of the water on the other side, where two 
strong nooses were thrown over him and the battle recom- 
menced. He snapped savagely at every object within reach 
and struck such terrific blows with his tail that the canoe 
would have stove in but that the force of the blows was 
broken by large wickerwork fenders which we instantly hung 
over the side. At the same time his head was hauled partially 
inboard over the gunwale, thus turning his tail away from the 
canoe, and those of us who could get within reach of the 
struggling monster united in a general attack upon him with 
any missile that came to hand. 

Watching his opportunity one man dealt him a killing 
blow on the neck with an ax, severing his spinal column, and 
with one convulsive shudder the huge body of the beaten 
shark relaxed, vanquished at last. He was quickly hauled on 
board and disposed of in the bottom of the canoe. 

Another large fellow was almost immediately secured, 



OP CAPTAIN QUL\TOX 77 

three nooses being deftly adjusted this time before any one of 
them was hauled tight. The moment he felt the ropes tighten 
about him he darted away, dragging us after him and bringing 
us in violent collision with the two other canoes, whose crews 
were engaged in a lively battle with a man-eater on their own 
account. We cleared the canoes without accident, hauling the 
tail of our own catch so tightly that he could not lash it about. 
But he could still use his teeth, so he snapped like a bulldog 
at the occupants of each canoe alternately. One man named 
Taviti, standing beside me, leaned far over the side and was 
endeavoring to throw another noose when Mr. Shark suddenly 
jerked in our direction and catching the outstretched arm of 
Taviti in his jaws bit it off at the elbow as clean as though 
it had been cut with a sword. The wounded man collapsed 
into the bottom of the canoe, where a comrade bound up his 
arm while the rest of us continued the battle. 

We then proceeded to noose shark number 
Q UJ . three, one of the largest ever caught in that 

Largest vicinity. The natives cried out with delight 
Catch. a t sight of him. At a given signal four strong 

nooses were flung over him and hauled tight. 
Baffled at his first attempt to dive away he allowed himself to 
be hauled supinely to the surface and without the slightest 
opposition. He remained motionless for several seconds as 
though studying out the situation. Then with unexpected 
suddenness he declared battle, lashing out right and left with 
the fury of a thousand demons and taxing the utmost ingenu- 
ity and strength of everybody. During the melee which fol- 
lowed a native named Onitu was knocked overboard, landing 
directly on the shark's head. Instantly he bounded off and 
dived like a porpoise under the canoe and was hauled aboard 
on the other side. This was regarded in the light of a casual 
incident. The shark had dived after him but, missing his 
prey, he seized the keel of the canoe in his teeth and shook it 



7 8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

violently by sheer main strength. It was afterward discov- 
ered that the keel was bitten half-way through. 

The crews of both canoes made a general attack upon the 
giant, and finding it impossible to deal it any mortal wounds 
from the boats one man, with never a word of warning, boldly 
leaped upon his back and endeavored to stab him in the neck 
with his knife. He was tossed aside like a bothersome trifle 
and only by the narrowest margin escaped the jaws of an- 
other shark, which his comrades beat off with their heavy 
spears. Finding that our gigantic captive called for unusual 
measures we gave the line attached to his tail a couple of 
turns round one of the stout poles connecting the canoes, thus 
raising his tail clear of the water. 

In this position he got madder and madder, 
We Are stru g"g^ n g so furiously that the pole broke 
Knocked away, carrying the line with it and stripping 

Senseless. the flesh from the fingers of those who held 
it. In another instant the freed tail swept 
over the canoe and descended on us like a battering-ram, 
sending us in struggling heaps to the bottom of the boat. 
Breathless and almost insensible, I extricated myself from the 
mass of tumbled bodies to survey the damage. Several na- 
tives were insensible, anether lay helpless with a broken leg, 
still another had been killed outright, and I also noticed the 
canoe was leaking heavily. 

There was not the slightest thought of relinquishing our 
fight with the shark, however, so in spite of disaster the "sur- 
vivors" fastened another running bowline to the one already 
tied, and the noose, hauled wide open, deliberately, as if by 
some magic touch, slipped into position. One of these two 
tail lines was passed to each canoe and the crews pulling in 
opposite directions prevented a repetition of the recent catas- 
trophe. Realizing his utter helplessness, at last the captive 
attempted to dive, and finding this impossible, renewed the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 79 

fight, making intelligent efforts to leap aboard first one canoe 
and then the other. In his struggles one of the lines attached 
to his head slipped. Quick as a wink he seized one man by the 
breechclout, stripping the flesh from his hip as though dagger 
points had been drawn through it. This turn of affairs gained 
the monster a new lease of life, while we, on the other hand, 
were becoming exhausted with extended battle. A rolled-up 
mat was finally thrown as a bait. He snapped at it, and while 
his teeth were thus entangled a powerful black dealt him a 
heavy blow on the back of the neck with his ax and the battle 
was done. The great carcass was loaded in one of the canoes 
and we returned to our settlement. 

The very next day a couple of these natives 
Enough and myself were diving off of a fringing reef 
u u when one of them suddenly cried "Anga! 

for Once. anga !" (shark, shark), and a big man-eater 
swam slowly between us and so close we 
might have touched him with our hands. We adopted the 
only course in our power, which was splashing the water and 
yelling like madmen. This had the effect of driving him off 
a little way and we swam for our lives. The very moment 
we gained the edge of the reef he came at us with such a 
rush that he stranded himself and stuck there for a while be- 
fore he got afloat again. I, for one, had had enough of sharks. 



8o THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER VIII 

WEIRD CUSTOMS IN NORTHERN QUEENSLAND 

My trading experience at Vavau being rather unfortunate, 
due to my partner having lived so long among the natives that 
they took full advantage of his propensity for making presents 
of the various articles of our stock, for which, by the way, I 
only had paid, I accordingly decided to return to Australia, 
and making my partner a present of what was left of the trade 
goods, took passage in the bark Meteor to Sydney. 

At Sydney I shipped in an old vessel called the Result, 
carrying coal from Newcastle to Wallaroo, in South Australia, 
but she was in such bad shape that we were obliged to jettison 
some of the cargo to prevent sinking in a gale, and, needless 
to say, on our return to Sydney all hands lost no time in leav- 
ing her. I then sailed for some time in a steamer, the Alex- 
andra, running from Sydney to Brisbane, Rockhampton, Mac- 
kay and other ports on the east coast of Queensland, later 
being transferred to the Egmont, of the same company. 

About this time a company was being formed for the pur- 
pose of cutting cedar along the rivers of Northern Queens- 
land, and as the blacks were troublesome and would probably 
not hesitate to attack the South Sea Islanders who were en- 
gaged to do the cutting, several whites, myself included, 
accepted the company's offer to go along, and on very good 
terms. Our destination was a little place called Cardwell, on 
the mainland opposite Hitchinbrook Island, but we called at 
Cairns, about eighty-five miles farther north, to pick up our 
native laborers. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 81 

Shortly after our arrival the blacks in the district gave a 
corroboree in honor of a treaty of peace with a neighboring 
tribe with whom they had been carrying on a desultory war- 
fare, and two of us walked through the bush one evening to 
see the ceremony. 

They sent up smoke signals to recall mem- 

Thc bers of the tribe who were hunting in other 

Challenging parts of their territory, and other smoke sig- 

Signal. na ^ s as a challenge to the enemy, who 

promptly replied in like manner. We went to 

the battle-ground on the morning of the expected encounter 

and found the two hostile tribes camped within a few hundred 

yards of each other, both busily engaged in overhauling their 

weapons. The warriors were fantastically painted in streaks 

of red and white the signs of war. 

When the signal was given both parties drew up in line- 
of-battle array about four hundred feet apart and began 
reviling each other, while boasting of their own prowess and 
the great deeds they were now about to perform. The women 
and children, ranged at a safe distance in the background, 
howled on their warriors to annihilate the enemy, taunting 
them with cowardice for not immediately doing so. 

At length one man on our side hurled a spear, and the 
battle had begun. Showers of spears and boomerangs whizzed 
through the air as each man engaged his selected opponent, 
while the frenzied shouts of the warriors and screeching of 
the non-combatants arose in one prolonged clamor. As the 
missiles began to grow scarce the warriors resorted to throw- 
ing stones, this ammunition being supplied by the women and 
children, and it was astonishing to see how adroitly a war- 
rior could reach for and throw the stones while warding off 
with his shield the stones aimed at his own head, body and 
legs. 

At last a young warrior received a spear through his body 



82 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

and fell, mortally wounded, which terminated the battle. Fol- 
lowing the battle preparations were immediately begun for the 
celebration of the period of peace now entered on by holding 
a corroboree, in which all even those who received frightful 
wounds took part. 

Meanwhile the death of the young warrior of our party 
was held as proof conclusive that one of our tribe had be- 
witched the warrior whose death had brought about the battle, 
so after a consultation the doctor and the old men of the tribe 
settled on the guilty man, who thereupon was challenged by 
the brother of the dead warrior. The duel consisted of each 
combatant in turn stooping and allowing his opponent to de- 
liver a tremendous blow on his head with a waddy, and ter- 
minated when the challenger eventually went down under the 
succession of blows. It is remarkable that the loser in the 
duel was only slightly stunned from the blows any one of 
which would undoubtedly have brained a white man and in a 
few minutes was actively engaged in assisting in the prepara- 
tions for the corroboree. 

A corroboree is always held at the full of the 

Full moon and usually begins about half an hour 

M on before sundown. The ground or stage upon 

Corroboree. which the corroboree takes place is smooth 

and level and at the end of this one there was 
a rude hut built of branches in which the performers attired 
and painted themselves for the dance. The natives took no 
notice of our arrival, but their dogs did, for a whole pack of 
the starving brutes made a general attack upon us, and it was 
not until nearly a dozen of them had been laid out for good 
and all that the natives approached and drove off the re- 
mainder with stones and abuse. Half a dozen fires were 
burning brightly and the corroboree opened with three fan- 
tastically painted men who came out and danced until the sun 
went down. Meanwhile doctors and sorcerers of the as- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 83 

sembled tribes crooned a magic chant around one of the fires. 
One of them took his stand on the top of a little knoll to 
watch for the rising moon, others took burning sticks from the 
fire and deposited them carefully on the extreme outskirts of 
the corroboree clearing, as a warning to perambulating devils 
to keep off the sacred spot and not defile the ceremony with 
their presence. 

The old man on the hillock signaled the moment he could 
see the moon and the other actors immediately filed forth. 
Their hair was arrayed in halos, adorned with red flowers and 
cockatoo feathers, but their utmost skill had evidently been 
expended in painting themselves with red and white stain and 
yellow ochre in patterns varying in detail, but in general the 
design was in imitation of skeletons. Foreheads were white 
with broad circles around each eye, a white streak on each 
cheek and a white band along each rib. Their legs were fan- 
tastically painted in zigzag lines of white and red and tufts 
of gum-tree leaves encircled their ankles. 

The leader stood facing the dancers and was similarly 
painted, except that he had ornamented his head with the 
horns of a goat. If he had only supplied himself with a long 
red tail and cloven hoofs he would certainly have been a strik- 
ing likeness of the devil. 

At a given signal the women began a monotonous chant 
supposed to be descriptive of the particular part of the dance 
which the men were about to perform. At the next signal 
the dancers sprang forward like one man, placing their arms 
akimbo and spreading their feet as far apart as possible. They 
then made the muscles of their thighs quiver rapidly and gave 
utterance to a series of sounds like those which a horse makes 
by blowing through his closed lips. The music grew faster 
and louder and dancers and spectators worked themselves up 
to a pitch of frenzy ; dogs howled as though they would split 
themselves, the eyes of the dancers glared wildly through the 



84 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

heavy painted circles and every savage in the clearing began 
a leaping and swaying and yelling that was fiendish, though 
every sound and movement was in perfect unison and dis- 
tinctly the result of much practice. The black skins of the 

natives were invisible against the dark back- 
Pandemonium, ground of the gloomy forest and the fitful 

light of the fires and the moon falling upon 
their rapidly moving forms gave them an appearance 
as of skeletons endowed with life. The scene was weird 
and ghostly beyond description. Pandemonium was cer- 
tainly loose. This violent dancing continued amid the 
wailing chant of the women, the howling of dogs, until at 
a given signal three terrific yells indicated the end of the 
first act. 

The next act represented a kangaroo hunt. Two men 
adorned with long thick tails in imitation of kangaroos hopped 
about and pretended to eat grass. At intervals they started 
up, looked carefully about them, scratched themselves and 
wiggled long ears in perfect imitation. Two men representing 
hunters followed them with spears, advancing from the sur- 
rounding bush as noiselessly as shadows when the kangaroos 
pretended to graze. Having finally worked within range of 
their game both hunters discharged their spears simulta- 
neously and struck the kangaroos, that bounded away, 
carrying their hands precisely as the kangaroo oarries his 
forefeet in running. The hunters started after in hot pur- 
suit, yelling loudly the while, but the animals fell at last 
and were picked up and carried back to the fires to be 
cooked; when a shrill cry from the manager announced the 
end of the act. 

The next act represented a party of blacks attacking the 
house of a white settler. A small shack was speedily run up 
and roofed with pieces of bark. Pour actors elaborately 
painted to look like white men appeared, carrying sticks which 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 85 

looked like guns. Their bodies were painted to represent 
white men's shirts, their legs were painted in imitation of mole- 
skin breeches and their legs from the knees down were cov- 
ered with rushes to represent leggings. Their appearance was 
indescribably fantastic. 

After looking carefully about they entered the hut and 
were supposed to go to sleep. Armed blacks then appeared 
and cautiously advanced, but one of the "white men," looking 
out of the window, caught sight of the approaching enemy 
and gave the alarm. All four white men instantly appeared 
at door and window and pointed their imitation guns at the 
approaching blacks, who instantly hurled spears at the hut. 
Some carried torches, which they threw upon the frail struc- 
ture, setting it on fire, then bounding through the flames a 
hand-to-hand struggle followed. The whites fought as 
white men will, but were overpowered and carried to the 
fire to be cooked, while the spectators manifested un- 
bounded satisfaction, and everything ended in a merrymak- 
ing. The corroboree was carried on all night with an 
occasional feast between the acts, but we left after this 
act. 

These savages are, in their way, intensely musical and 
poetical, and the corroboree is their opera, ballet, and drama 
all in one. It is also their method of preserving and teaching 
the history of the tribe to the younger members of it, and 
features great events in the history of the tribe, or ancient 
legends which they wish to preserve. Every tribe has a 
dramatist and tribal poet who invents new corroborees and 
drills the tribe in their performance as carefully as a stage 
manager drills an opera company. This tribal playwright also 
sells his corroborees to other tribes and buys others from 
them. 

In many respects the savage inhabitants of Australia are 
as clearly distinguished in mind and form from all other 



86 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

savage races as its flora and fauna are different from those 
of other lands. Their coming must have been very remote, 
for their descendants are now found settled in every part of 
this vast continent. It is a curious fact that Australia is the 
only country in which no ruins or monuments are found to 
afford clue to its ancient history. 

One night we heard a terrific howling in a 

Witchcraft native camp near our own and learned that a 
Again. great warrior named Gurugan had died sud- 
denly of witchcraft during the night. He had 
gone only a short distance from the camp fire when he gave a 
sudden cry of alarm. Two warriors instantly snatched up 
torches from the fire and went to his assistance, but he died 
almost immediately. The body of the old warrior showed 
every symptom of death from snake poison, but the natives 
scornfully rejected this explanation, declaring that his death 
could only be the result of magical incantations of a hostile 
tribe. 

They interspersed their lamentations for the dead hero 
with loud cries for vengeance upon the treacherous tribe. 
The dead warrior was laid on his back with his knees drawn 
up to his body and wrapped in an old opossum cloak. A kind 
of funeral pyre was built of saplings and covered with many 
thicknesses of bark. Several of the most distinguished men 
of the tribe raised the body in position with the feet turned 
to the east as usual. Then a large piece of fresh bark was 
fastened over the body to protect it from rain and flesh-eating 
birds. The mourners burst into heart-rending shrieks at the 
end of the ceremony, beating their heads and faces with 
boomerangs and sticks, until the blood trickled down their 
dark skins. This tribe carefully avoid a place of burial for a 
dozen moons or more until the body is completely shriveled. 
They then remove the remains to a hollow tree, which is its 
final resting place. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 87 

We visited the native camp about half an hour after day- 
light next morning to witness the "ordeal of spears," which is 
a peculiar ceremony conducted according to 
The Ordeal strictest rule. To begin with, the tribal doctor, 

of Spears. an old gray-headed man, but wiry and active 
as a wildcat, stood up and faced two much 
younger men who were appointed to hurl spears at him. 
The old man had no weapon, but was allowed a small shield. 
In most instances the victim was compelled to depend upon 
his agility for his life. The younger men were armed with 
two spears and a boomerang apiece, and they stood at a 
distance of sixty yards. The first one carefully adjusted 
his spear and hurled it with unerring aim, but the old doc- 
tor parried it. Another missile quickly followed, but like- 
wise fell harmless to the ground. Others were hurled with 
like result. At last the young warrior seized a war-boom- 
erang, a far more difficult missile to avoid because its course 
is so erratic that it is impossible to tell where it will strike, 
frequently twisting around the shield and striking the par- 
rier in spite of his utmost skill to evade it. The game old 
fellow, over-confident of his prowess, with a short quick step 
to the right warded the boomerang successfully, but to our 
surprise, this most mysterious of weapons carried around the 
shield and laid his arm open to the bone as clean as a knife 
cut. The gallant old tribal doctor paid no attention to his 
wound, but standing up, with consummate skill, escaped the 
missiles of the second warrior, and the ordeal of spears was 
ended for that time. 



88 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER IX 

HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE 

The most distinctive and characteristic weapon of the Aus- 
tralian blacks is the far-famed boomerang. This most mysteri- 
ous of all weapons is made of various kinds 
The ^ nai "dwood and is always made from a nat- 

Mysterious ural crook. Many are not aware that there 
Boomerang. are two separate and distinct kinds of boom- 
erangs ; the return boomerang, which returns 
to the thrower, and the war-boomerang, which does not re- 
turn. This unique savage weapon consists of a thin, flat 
piece of wood curved in the shape of a parabola, varying from 
a right angle to a crescent. The underside of a return 
boomerang is perfectly flat and smooth, while the upper side 
is slightly rounded. 

A war-boomerang is alike on both sides and is longer and 
narrower in the center than a return boomerang. The chief 
difference between them is that the arms of the "return" have 
a slight twist in opposite directions to the center, while the 
"non-returns" have no twist at all. The twist is made on 
exactly the same principle as the arms of a windmill or the 
blades of a propeller, the screw motion naturally tending to 
raise the boomerang as it rotates rapidly in its flight. 

Boomerangs vary in size as well as in shape, but they 
average from two to three feet in length; the ends and edges 
are sharp and the force with which they can strike an object 
is equal to the stroke of a sword. I have read many ridiculous 
stories about boomerangs : for example, that one of them will 
strike an animal or an enemy and then return to the thrower. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT OX 89 

When a boomerang of any kind strikes a solid object it falls 
to the ground precisely as any other missile does. 

The astonishing feats which a black fellow can perform 
with the weapon are quite wonderful enough, without resort- 
ing to exaggeration. A scientist who visited our camp and 
witnessed some boomerang warfare said in his report : "These 
savages perform feats which science declares impossible/' One 
man's very common performance consisted in hurling the 
boomerang in such a way that the underside touched the 
ground lightly about forty paces away, rebounded and con- 
tinued its flight at an angle of forty-five degrees until it 
reached a great height, when it suddenly curved again and 
came back in a straight line to the thrower. I have seen the 
same man hurl the same boomerang in such a way that it 
ricocheted along the ground the way a flat stone will do on 
the surface of the water. It struck the ground and rebounded 
three times in succession at intervals of about twenty yards. 
The third time it rose almost straight up in the air and sailed 
back to within a few yards of the man who had thrown it, 
when suddenly it again changed its course, rose in a curve 
over his head, and landed a few feet in front of him. 

Still another common feat is to throw the weapon in such 
a way that it makes one, two, or even three loops in its flight. 
I have seen a native throw his boomerang in such a way that 
it rose nearly straight into the air to a great height, when it 
suddenly curved inward, sailing over his head, then, with a 
downward drop as though it were coming straight toward 
him, it flew outward and began again to rise, this time to 
about twice its original height, when it described another loop 
like the first, rose still higher in the air, and at last descended 
in a straight line to the thrower's feet. The astonishing feats 
performed with boomerangs are almost endless and, in spite 
of the manifold theories which have been advanced to account 
for the wonderful powers of this strange weapon, the Aus- 



90 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

tralian boomerang remains a fascinating scientific problem. 
On the native Australian bills of fare snakes are an im- 
portant item and are considered a great 
The Natives luxury. When a native hunter encounters a 
Eat Snakes, fine specimen which is not poisonous, he spears 
it at once and makes ready to eat it. Snakes 
are cooked in various ways. When several men are traveling 
or hunting together they make a fire, level the embers, and 
coil each snake very carefully, securing it with long skewers 
of wood; after which they place it in the embers and keep 
turning it until it is cooked to a nicety. 

Apropos of eating snakes, an amusing incident occurred 
near our camp. A couple of native families were about to 
begin a feast of roasted snakes when a large flock of crows 
suddenly swooped down upon them, bent on carrying off 
their dinner. Men and women sprang to their feet and with 
waddies killed or wounded many of the intruders. The dogs 
made short work of many more, but, in spite of the vigorous 
resistance which those crows encountered, some actually did 
succeed in carrying away part of the feast. The audacity of 
these crows is something marvelous. Not only will they steal 
food while it is being cooked or eaten, but they will hover 
menacingly around a solitary traveler in the bush and fre- 
quently try to peck out his eyes, especially if he appears ill 
or disabled. In some districts they are destructive to sheep, 
especially little lambs, and they have no hesitation in attacking 
a dog. They are formidable enemies, for they always go in 
flocks, and nothing frightens them. 

Australian savages have not only invented 

"Coo-ee!" ^ e f ar -f am ed and unique boomerang, but 

"Coo-ee!" their method of hailing will bear the palm 

"Coo-ee !" over a u others. The coo-ee of the blacks is 

far more musical than most of the calls of 

civilized people, and it can be heard at a great distance. This 

call is used today among both whites and blacks from one 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 91 

extreme of Australia to the other, and the sailors who run 
on the coast use it in hailing as a preliminary to giving the 
regular signals when wishing to board a vessel off shore. The 
first syllable is very loud, full, and prolonged, and the second 
is prolonged and piercing. Besides being a call and a signal 
it is also a salutation and a warning. Ignorance of its use has 
caused most of the deadly encounters which have taken place 
between white travelers and the Australian blacks. Every 
tribe has its own territory and regards the banks of rivers, 
lagoons and water-holes in their vicinity as their own and are 
jealous or suspicious of any one venturing to approach without 
complying in every detail with proper formalities. Aboriginal 
etiquette strictly forbids any one to approach water reserves 
without receiving permission from the owners. A breach of 
this general rule is not an insult merely, but is almost a dec- 
laration of war. 

About this time I shipped as second mate of the bark 
E. M. Young of Melbourne for a voyage to Hong Kong and 
return. Our boat lay alongside of Sandridge Pier and some 
carpenters were employed in repairing the starboard bulwarks, 
which had been stove in by a typhoon in the China Sea. We 
sailed from Newcastle, where we loaded coal and steered 
N. N. E., passing between the Kenn and Bellona reefs, Mellish 
and Pocklington Reefs, then between New Ireland and Bou- 
gainville Island, thence westward of Pelew Islands and direct 
to the Ballintang Channel. We made the run from Newcastle 
to Hong Kong in forty-five days. 

While passing to the westward of the Pelew Islands we 
picked up a canoe containing two men and a woman nearly 
dead from hunger. They had sailed from the Pelew Islands 
two weeks before and were caught in a squall which dis- 
masted their boat. The wind and current had drifted them so 
far that they were not able to paddle back. A few days 
after this one of the men mysteriously disappeared and we 



92 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

supposed that he had fallen overboard in the night. After 
two days we found him hiding in an empty cask and he ex- 
plained his disappearance by saying he feared we intended to 
eat them. 

We entered Hong Kong harbor through Lyee-Moon 
Passage, which is nearly one quarter of a mile wide at its 
narrowest part and is so strongly fortified that it seems ca- 
pable of defying all enemies. The city, which extends three 
miles along the shore of the bay, consists chiefly of stone and 
brick houses perched in terraced rows on the steep hillside, 
and Victoria Peak, which rises abruptly in the background, 
seems to overhang the city. The average temperature of 
Hong Kong is trying to white residents, so the finest homes 
are on the top of Victoria Peak, where it is cool and com- 
fortable the year round. 

The principal business street is Queen's Road, 
All and it is doubtful if any other place on earth 

Nationalities could make such a re m ar kable show of dif- 
in Queen's . _ 

Road. ferent nationalities. Here may be seen Chi- 

nese in every variety of costume, from single 
breechclouts to costly silken robes; Malays in gay-colored 
sarongs ; Japanese women in obi and kimono ; Parsees in long, 
somber robes of black and queer-shaped brown silk hats; 
Sikh cavalrymen in white uniforms and red turbans; solemn- 
looking Turks who seem never in their lives to have smiled, 
some in semi-European costume, others in long pale green 
robes and turbans, showing that they have visited Mecca; 
corpulent Hindoo merchants and money-lenders, their fore- 
heads bearing the white caste-mark or idol-mark; Ceylonese 
merchants in short coats and petticoats, their long hair parted 
in the middle and fastened with tortoise-shell combs ; tall wild- 
looking Afghans, besides Arabs, Javanese, Burmese, Siamese, 
Tamils, Eurasians, South Sea Islanders, and many others 
whose nationality is probably known only to themselves and 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 93 

the recording angel. The diversity of languages which may 
be heard here reminds a foreign visitor of the scene which 
must have taken place around the Tower of Babel on the day 
of the confusion of tongues. 

On a certain Chinese holiday I went ashore at 
"Mad Dog!" Hong Kong to buy some curios to send home. 
"Mad Dog!" Rose, the ship's dog, begged so hard to accom- 
pany me that I took her along, but I must 
confess she spent most of her time exchanging angry growls 
with the queer-looking Chinese dogs that were apparently quite 
as much astonished at her appearance as she was at theirs. When 
we reached a large and fashionable Chinese store on Queen's 
Road a little above the Clock Tower I told Rose gently but 
firmly to wait for me outside, and she obediently sat down on 
the sidewalk. Among a number of shoppers that evidently 
had come ashore from some of the large steamers was an 
immensely fat lady leading a dog by a string. Instinctively 
I glanced backward and saw Rose sitting quietly enough, 
though she was critically surveying the other dog. I had 
just finished my purchases when, to my dismay, the two dogs 
suddenly closed in mortal combat. The fat lady gave a sort 
of choking scream and, turning around to discover the cause 
of the racket, turned the wrong way. The string attached to 
her small canine became entangled with her feet and, as the 
two dogs rolled against her, she suddenly and heavily sat 
down upon the floor. 

In the effort to save herself she got hold of 

A Shower of a ca b met of costly bric-a-brac which came 

Costly down in a general shower of ruin upon her- 

Bric-a-brac. self and the dogs; the wretched beasts were 

so astonished at the sudden bombardment of 

crockery that they immediately ceased hostilities and sought 

safety in flight. Rose, in her effort to escape, darted toward 

the rear of the store, coming in swift contact with the shins 



94 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

of a Chinaman who was looking on in open-mouthed amaze- 
ment but who made a heroic effort to detain her by seizing 
hold of her tail. Rose promptly retaliated by tearing a mouth- 
ful from his silken pantaloons, whereupon the bewildered Ce- 
lestial uttered a loud "Hi-yah," leaped nimbly over the coun- 
ter and climbed the shelves at the back with the agility of a 
circus acrobat. At this juncture some idiot raised the cry, 
"Mad dog! Mad dog!" and then it did seem that pandemo- 
nium had indeed broken loose. Loud cries of "Mad dog," 
screams of terror, Chinese expletives, and unmistakable 
Anglo-Saxon oaths mingled with the crash of breaking 
glass as one excited shopper after another escaped from the 
scene. 

Some people see great amusement in such situations. I 
confess it appeared anything but amusing to me, in view of the 
fact that I might be arrested and compelled to pay for all 
damages. Besides, the fat lady was still reposing upon the 
floor and appeared to be dead. Not knowing but that I might 
be charged with murder in addition to a few other miscellane- 
ous crimes, I was looking for an avenue of escape, when Rose 
solved the problem by trying to hide behind a party of women 
who were huddled together in a screaming chorus. Seeing 
what they believed to be a mad dog coming open-mouthed 
for them, they dropped their umbrellas and innumerable par- 
cels and joined the stampede for the door. It is scarcely nec- 
essary to add that I was well ahead in this race, for, whereas 
the others were running from a purely imaginary danger, 
I was escaping from a real one. A minute later, on looking 
around to see what had become of Rose, I caught sight of her 
tail disappearing around the Clock Tower, at a pace that 
defied pursuit, so I disappeared with equal agility in the oppo- 
site direction. On reaching the boat landing I was not at all 
surprised to see Rose come up to me with the usual penitent 
look which she knew so well how to assume after the per- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 95 

petration of some particularly choice piece of villainy; but, 

needless to say, I took care not to take her on shore again in 

Hong Kong, and about a week later we sailed for Singapore. 

The splendid harbor of Singapore can be 

Singapore. approached in three directions and without 
the assistance of a pilot. The city is situated 
upon a low plain facing the harbor, and hills crowned with 
tropical foliage rise in the background. The Singapore River 
divides the town in two. The striking contrast between the 
Chinese quarter on the west side of the river and the Euro- 
pean quarter on the east is most noticeable. The harbor is 
filled with shipping from all parts of the globe and the city 
front comprises six miles of wharves, docks, and shipyards. 
This is one of the busiest places in the world, and the enor- 
mous amount of business is the logical result of its matchless 
commercial situation and system of free trade. 

By far the most attractive parts of Singapore are the Es- 
planade, shaded with beautiful trees and affording a magnifi- 
cent outlook upon the harbor and surrounding islands, and of 
the botanic gardens, which are among the finest in the world. 
The peerless collection of orchids to be seen in these gardens 
surpasses anything of the kind I have ever witnessed ; no lan- 
guage could properly convey a true description of their 
strange forms and brilliant colors. It seems strange that 
Singapore appears to be little known to orchid hunters. 
The island, which is twenty-seven miles long and eleven 
miles wide, abounds with them, and many rare and beauti- 
ful specimens can be bought from the Malays and Chinese 
for a trifle. 

Lordly wealth and squalid degradation exist in strong 
contrast in Singapore. On the outskirts of the city handsome 
private residences of government officials, wealthy Arabs, 
Chinese, European merchants stand in haughty seclusion, em- 
bowered in tropical palms, ferns, and trailing orchids from the 



96 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

lowly dwellings of the Malay and Chinese fishermen built of 
wood and palm leaves and standing upon piles over the water. 
Most of the business is in the hands of the Chinese and in 
the background of all of their shops there is an altar to To 
Pe Kong and his coterie of attendant demons, with joss sticks 
always smoking in front of it. 

The Malays are natural-born pirates and have not only 
been the scourge of the Eastern Seas since they first became 
known to history, but they have also been in the habit of raid- 
ing all the neighboring coasts very much as the ancient Vikings 
ravaged the coasts of Europe during the middle ages. It is 
a mistake to suppose that Malay piracy is entirely a thing of 
the past. It still flourishes on the coasts of Borneo, the Sulu 
Islands, and the Philippines, in spite of all the efforts of the 
Spanish to suppress it. 

On Christmas Day the mate and myself went 

Christmas ashore to see the sights. Among other places 
Day in of interest we visited a Hindoo Temple in 

Singapore. which priests were offering sacrifices to idols. 
The chief priest took a wreath of flowers 
from the neck of one of the images and presented each one 
of us with a red and yellow blossom from it. In return he 
demanded that we give him money and assured us that we 
should participate in all the benefits accruing from the sacri- 
fices which had just been offered to the idol. We had been 
obliged to remove our shoes and leave them outside the inner 
temple in which the sacrifices were offered. I had been so 
intently watching the proceedings that I had not noticed that 
the mate had left and I was alone. One of the priests, who 
spoke fairly good English, assured me that we had taken part 
in the sacrifices offered to their god, since we were present 
at the ceremony, and I must pay a rupee for each member of 
the party. I assured him I had no desire to share in sacrifices 
offered to demons and therefore would give him nothing. He 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 97 

evidently translated this reply to the other priests for they 
placed themselves between me and the door and, although I 
did not understand their language, I knew by their angry 
demonstrations that they were determining among themselves 
to have the money by hook or crook. One of them attempted 
to seize hold of me but I hit him on the head with my walking 
stick and made my way to the door amid a volley of curses. 

As we were going along the street a little 

The Azan. while later we suddenly heard a shrill cry 
immediately over our heads. It was a muez- 
zin calling the faithful to prayer from a little balcony sur- 
rounding the minaret of a Mohammedan mosque. He was 
walking around it with both hands raised to the height of 
his head, the open palms turned to the front, while he called 
the Azan in the usual shrill voice peculiar to most Asiatics. 
We foolishly attempted to enter the mosque without remov- 
ing our shoes, but this created such a sensation among the 
faithful that we were glad to retire. Outside the door we 
met with some Arabs whom we knew and they gained admit- 
tance for us. We were obliged to remove our shoes, however, 
and bathe our hands and faces in a tank of holy water, which, 
by the way, was so filthy that it seemed more likely to create 
a plague than to promote cleanliness. They reminded us to 
be careful to put the right foot first over the threshold and 
not under any circumstances to remove our hats. The wor- 
shipers all faced toward a niche in the wall, called the Mih- 
rab, which- indicates the direction of Mecca, and paid strictest 
attention to the prayers. They bent over and reverently 
touched their foreheads to the floor during the longer prayer, 
after which a priest delivered a kind of sermon, then all 
united in prayer again and quietly dispersed. 

It is interesting to watch how every Mohammedan in- 
stantly stops in the midst of his business, however urgent 
it may be, the moment the muezzins begin to call the Azan. 



98 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

He shows that all business interests are subordinated to re- 
ligious duties, and whether he is in his shop or in a public 
street, instantly he kneels down and prays with his face toward 
Mecca, the birthplace of his religion, at the simple cry of 
"Azan." 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 99 

CHAPTER X 

DANGERS FROM SKY, SEA AND LAND 

After leaving Singapore we sailed south through Banka 
Strait, between the islands of Sumatra and Banka. Banka 
Island has been famous for its tin mines from time immemorial. 
We anchored in the strait for the night because navigation 
is dangerous here and we were likely to be becalmed. 

Next day we called at Anjer, a village on the extreme west 
coast of Java, and sailed close to the small volcanic island of 
Krakatau, the main volcano of which caused such terrible 
destruction in this vicinity only a little while later. 

Several days after clearing the Strait of Sun- 
Narrow da we had a perilously narrow escape from a 
Escape meteor that plunged into the ocean and nearly 
Falling buried us at sea. I had been on watch for 
Meteor. four hours along with another member of the 
crew and the night was singularly clear, as 
nights are wont to be in the southern ocean, when all at once 
an extraordinarily bright light flashed across the sky coming 
directly toward the ship and leaving behind it a wide train 
of fiery sparks. The light became so dazzling that we covered 
our eyes to protect them from its blistering rays. "It will 
strike us," cried the terrified sailor as we stood spell-bound, 
and I, too, firmly believed that it would. It flew directly over 
our heads, plunging into the ocean not two hundred yards 
off our starboard quarter. A roar 'like an explosion and the 
loud hissing of water reached our ears but the blinding light 
had so dazzled our eyes that for the moment we seemed to be 
in utter darkness and could see nothing. When we recovered 



ioo THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

our normal sight everything was as serene and peaceful as 
it had been the moment before and we could not help reflect- 
ing that, had the great bolt struck us, we would have been 
numbered with the countless ships that have put out to sea 
and have never been heard of again. 

An opportunity which I had long looked for came to me 
at last, and I shipped as second mate on the schooner named 
the Coorong, which was fitting out at Sydney for a voyage 
among the pearl fisheries in Torres Strait, between northern 
Australia and New Guinea. Although the salary was small 
I was glad to go on this voyage, because it would take me 
to a locality which I had never visited. 

The crew consisted of the captain, mate and myself and 
six Australian blacks. One of the blacks was named Callama 
and belonged to the Chingallee tribe in the northern territory ; 
another belonged at Port Darwin and was named Yaragoo; 
the other four, whose respective names were Burragool, Gool- 
wa, Yalgoon, and Karradook, belonged to the Kogai tribe, 
which inhabits a certain district on the east coast of Queens- 
land. In addition to trading with the pearl fisheries the captain 
made a business of picking up native weapons and other curios 
which he sold to travelers at a large profit. 

After a somewhat uneventful run we entered the Mary 
River, five hundred and fifty-six miles north of Sydney, and 
anchored at Maryboro. We found the blacks gathering for a 
corroboree on the east bank of Tinanna Creek, which flows 
into the river opposite the town. Already we had noticed 
small parties of blacks all traveling toward Tinanna Creek 
and in several instances we saw young men carrying older 
members of the tribe upon their backs. It is the invariable 
rule, it seems, for every member of the tribe to attend a cor- 
roboree, and, when any of them are too old and weak to 
walk, the younger ones carry them carefully to the scene. 

I suggested to the mate that we take a stroll to see the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTOX 101 

blacks in their camp, but he peremptorily refused, reminding 
me that he had no love for tramping in the bush either by 
day or night. As it turned out, this fellow was mortally 
afraid of kangaroos, although these curious animals are really 
as inoffensive as sheep, except, of course, the 
A Dangerous "boomer," which is an old male kangaroo and 
Foe. a dangerous fighter. The word "boomer" is 

a corruption of a native name, as buma is 
from the same root as boomerang, which means to strike and 
kill. A boomer is emphatically both striker and killer when 
brought to bay. This I happened to know from sad experi- 
ence. 

A good-sized boomer stands from six and a half to seven 
feet high, weighs something over two hundred pounds, and 
has phenomenal strength and agility. He will back up against 
a tree, rock, or thick clump of bushes and beat off all the 
dogs and people that can attack him from the front. Each 
of his hind feet is armed with a long, dagger-like claw, which 
in close quarters he can use with terrific effect. Balancing 
himself upon his powerful tail, an angry boomer deals light- 
ning-like blows at his assailants with his hind legs. Attack 
him near the water and he will bound into it, for he feels 
especially safe and is a powerful swimmer. Boomers have 
been known to drown men who attacked them in the water. 

It was toward evening that we fell in with a family of 
half a dozen natives bound for the corroboree. One stalwart 
warrior stalked along in front with a very old man thrown 
across his shoulders, much as he would have carried a sack 
of flour; another followed with an old woman in the same 
position. Yalgoon, who accompanied me from the ship, en- 
tered into conversation with them and was getting details of 
the approaching war-dance, when a boomer suddenly started 
up in front of us and went bounding away at a great pace. 
The blacks and their dogs uttered simultaneous cries of de- 



102 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

light. The two men carrying the old people unceremoniously 
dumped them upon the ground and one of them launched a 
war-boomerang at the bounding kangaroo. Exactly at the 
moment it left his hand, the boomer with a magnificent bound 
leaped into the air and the boomerang flew wide of him. 
Evidently thinking he had outwitted his pursuers he deliber- 
ately stopped and gazed back at them, but, before he realized 
his mistake, the dogs creeping through the bushes brought 
him to bay. He wheeled and with a single blow laid one dog 
dead, bounded over the heads of the others and made straight 
for the bushes. It was a magnificent feat that one of these 
black fellows performed at this instant. Taking deliberately 
careful aim he sent his spear whirling through the air and at 
a distance of fifty yards transfixed Mr. Kangaroo. The raven- 
ous dogs instantly precipitated themselves upon it for a square 
meal, and though mortally wounded the brave animal reso- 
lutely fought off the pack until, exhausted from lack of blood, 
he had to give up. 

After leaving Maryboro our course lay outside 

Great ^ e Great Barrier Reef, which extends along 

Barrier the coast of Queensland from Sanda Cape to 

Reef. Torres Strait, a distance of about twelve 

hundred and sixty miles. The channel be- 
tween this immense reef and the mainland varies in width 
from ten to a hundred and fifty miles and has an average depth 
of twelve fathoms, but it is so beset with rocks and reefs that 
it is dangerous sailing. It is also dangerous to sail too close 
to the outside of the reef, because the wind is apt to die away 
at any moment, leaving the vessel completely at the mercy 
of the prevailing rapid currents of these tropical waters, which 
are liable to set the ship directly on a reef and destroy her. 
We next brought up at Port Moresby, New Guinea. We 
reconnoitered here a few days collecting some curios, and 
sailed on to Lavau. Our object in calling here was chiefly 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 103 

to secure a cargo of sandalwood. Canoes loaded with natives 
surrounded us the moment the anchor was down and the cap- 
tain immediately commenced a lively trade, the two favorite 
articles of the natives being salt and tobacco. 

We engaged a chief named Paura to help us procure the 
sandalwood and next morning I went ashore with four of our 
crew and a host of noisy natives to start cutting it. We went 
well armed, for the natives are treacherous and it is dangerous 
to rely on them. 

On the morning of the third day after our arrival we had 
scarcely more than started cutting when loud yelling suddenly 
resounded from the direction of the beach. Our natives in- 
stantly darted away and we followed after them to the beach 
and discovered that the captain had hoisted the ensign with 
the union down as a signal of recall. There was great excite- 
ment among the trading canoes owing to the sudden appear- 
ance of four large double war-canoes which had entered the 
harbor north of Lavau and were approaching our ship. Each 
canoe contained many armed warriors, some of whom were 
paddling, others blowing upon conch shells challenging the 
enemy, while others danced and yelled and brandished their 
weapons upon queer-looking platforms that connected the 
canoes in couples. We lost no time in getting out to the ship. 
Meanwhile the captain, mate, and crew had loosened the sails 
and hove short, ready to get under way in case of an attack. 
We hoisted the sails and manned the windlass but the breeze 
died away and it became worse than useless to trip the anchor. 
The trading canoes all paddled rapidly toward 
A Short but tne beacn > where they stopped and shot arrows 
Brisk at the war-canoes. The challenge was 

Fight. promptly returned and arrows began to fly 

thick and fast between them. The little 
canoes edged closer toward the beach and the big war fel- 
lows made a sudden dash to intercept them, but the little 



104 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

"traders" reached the beach first, abandoned their canoes and, 
jumping ashore, shot back at their pursuers while they re- 
treated toward the bush. The enemy ran their war-canoes 
as close to land as they could and then leaped into the water 
for the purpose of destroying the little boats. No sooner had 
they quitted their brave canoes than a powerful force of 
armed men suddenly appeared from the bush and, letting fly 
a volley of arrows, rushed upon them with their spears and 
war-clubs and both parties joined in a short and savage hand- 
to-hand battle. When a second war-party slipped out from 
another part of the bush armed with unerring spears the bully- 
ing invaders beat a hasty retreat into their great canoes and 
quickly paddled out of range. 

The beach by this time was swarming with armed natives 
shouting insults to their assailants and challenging them to 
come back and fight it out, but the war-canoes had drawn 
together in council of war. As a light breeze had sprung up 
we hove anchor and got under way, but immediately they 
started in hot pursuit. Their canoes skim so lightly over the 
water that with all ease they can sail around a ship. 

We were standing toward the south channel 

We Repel on the P ol ~t tack, when it became evident that 

Boarders. the canoe on our lee bow intended to close 

with us and keep us engaged while the others 

came up. At about a hundred and fifty yards from us they 

suddenly let fly a volley of poisoned arrows, all of which stuck 

in the sails or flew harmlessly over the deck. The captain 

immediately ordered the helmsman to luff a couple of points 

as if trying to avoid them, at which maneuver they gave a 

shout of triumph because they believed we were trying to get 

away. They changed their course to head us off and when we 

were less than fifty yards from them the captain shouted to 

the helmsman, "Port the helm and run them down!" Next 

moment the schooner stood about and striking a double canoe 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 105 

amidships cut straight through the pair of them as clean as 
a knife. Some ten or twelve warriors caught in our martin- 
gale shrouds and gained the forecastle head but we instantly 
attacked them and those who were not cut down were glad 
enough to save themselves by jumping overboard. 

By this time the canoe on our weather bow had come 
within range of us and sent a shower of arrows flying from 
under cover of their shield. We put about and tried to run 
them down, too, but warned by the fate of their comrades, 
they avoided us and successfully got out of our way. In 
doing this, however, they exposed their broadside and our 
mate, who was an excellent shot with a rifle, took careful 
aim and fired. The man steering the canoe threw both arms 
in the air and fell head-first overboard, and we soon left the 
canoe far astern. We sailed out to South Channel and 
anchored at Maiva, a few miles to the southward, where we 
secured a considerable quantity of sandalwood. 

The villages of the Maiva tribe are built inland upon piles 
eight or ten feet high. This permits the air to circulate freely 
under each house and their villages are kept scrupulously 
clean. The men of each village meet at the house of their 
local chief for the purpose of discussing tribal affairs, so the 
chiefs house is a kind of town-hall which consists of a plat- 
form floored with split bamboo, covered with a cupola, and 
open on all sides. The country surrounding the villages is 
an alluvial plain heavily covered with cocoanut trees, bananas, 
sugar cane, and sweet potatoes. In the dooryards between the 
houses many rare flowers and shrubs are cultivated. Back 
of this cultivated district is the jungle. The trees are of 
immense size. The soil is of the very richest variety and 
could support a very large population. 

We left Maiva and sailed for Thursday Island, Lat. 10 
35' S., Long. 142 13' E., and for the next long "spell" our 
course lay to the southwest through endless labyrinths of 



io6 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

rocks, reefs, shoals, and small islands, requiring the most care- 
ful navigation. These islands are inhabited by strange tribes 
which it would be difficult to classify. 

Although Thursday Island is small, commerce there is so 
lively that a thrifty town has sprung up directly on the beach, 
the inhabitants representing every nationality to be found in 
the vast reaches of the Pacific. 

The surrounding seas abound with pearl oy- 

Vast Pearl sters an ^ the army of pearl fishers plying their 

Fisheries. dangerous trade in these waters bring back 

tons of most valuable pearl shell, and often 

pearls of great value. Millions of dollars' worth of shell and 

pearls have already been gathered and there is room for almost 

endless expansion in the trade. 

The pearl and beche-de-la-mer fishing brings Queensland 
over $500,000 every year. The pearl shells are far larger 
than the shells of the common oyster. A pair of South 
Sea Island shells spread out often measure a yard in diame- 
ter. The shells vary in price, the best running up to a thou- 
sand dollars a ton. The coral reefs abound in beautiful sea 
caves. In these sea caves pearl oysters are found hanging in 
clusters from the roof. The finest of all pearls are found loose 
in the flesh of the oysters. A single oyster will sometimes 
contain a dozen small and perfect pearls. 

After trading a few days at Thursday Island 
We Build a we set sail for the Gulf of Carpentaria, and 
Hut and Qn tne ^[^ we anc hored there in a small 
Natives Visit 

Us. cove on the west side of Vanderlin Island 

of the Sir Edward Pellew group in latitude 
15 41' S. and longitude 137 4' E. We built a hut about 
ten feet high on the beach because a white man cannot stand 
the heat and glare of the tropical sun. Natives visited us and 
because we treated them well they promised to bring many 
men of their tribe to help us fish 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 10? 

Meanwhile, we discovered much excellent sandalwood on 
the island and all hands were set to work to cut it and raft 
it to the vessel. True to their promise our black visitors 
soon returned with a hundred members or more of their tribe. 
All were fully armed with spears, shields, waddies, and boom- 
erangs, and their appearance was so wild that we instantly 
realized we must be on guard every minute, for it would be 
like them to attempt to capture the ship. 

This is the great reef fishing district and the natives are the 
greatest divers in the world. The tides rise from four to 
seven feet and, as it ebbs, many miles of reef and sandy bot- 
tom are left bare, with innumerable pools of water in which 
fish are left imprisoned. 

The blacks wade into these pools and feel for the beche- 
de-mer with their feet. They also carry fishing spears and 
spear the fish for food. The beche-de-mer, which they throw 
out upon rafts, is nothing more nor less than a large slug 
averaging about eighteen inches long and from four to six 
inches wide. The Chinese call it trepang, and it is the prin- 
cipal fish of commerce in these islands. Some of it is eaten 
in Japan, but the rest goes to China. When the tide goes 
down the trepang is hurried to a smokehouse, where it is 
thrown into large copper boilers and boiled for twenty minutes 
in sea water. It is then split open, cleaned and dried, and 
spread upon wire netting, where it becomes perfectly hard. 
The Chinese boil and dry the trepang to a thick jelly and claim 
it is a most nourishing article of food. 

I noticed one day a great commotion in the 

A Living water in the fishing quarters and found a 

Trap. large shark had been caught and held in the 

shell of a tridacna gigas, or giant clam. The 

shark's head was out of water and it beat the surface and 

snapped its teeth in impotent rage, but the giant clam held 

it fast and it is impossible to say how the struggle would 



io8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

have ended had these strange antagonists been left to fight 
it out, but some natives attacked them, beating the shark to 
death with their waddies and securing the tridacna gigas, 
after which they gorged themselves to their hearts' content 
upon the carcass. 

This giant clam is a serious menace, for it lies with its 
shell open and the moment anything touches it the halves of 
the shell come together like a bear trap. The soft part of it 
weighs as much as twenty pounds and frequently the shell 
weighs five hundred pounds. It is often three feet long by 
two feet wide and the shell is so hard that the natives make 
knives and axes out of it. 

I was wading upon the reef one day when I came upon 
a huge tridacna lying with its shell open and I ran a spear 
into him. The spear had an iron head twenty inches long and 
the serrated edges of the huge shell closed instantly upon the 
iron like a vise. I wanted to see how the clam would act, so 
held the spear perfectly motionless; in a few moments the 
shell relaxed and the fish made a perceptible effort to expel 
the intruding weapon. I tried the same experiment several 
times and invariably discovered that the fish retained its 
death-like grip so long as I struggled with it but always 
relaxed its hold when I ceased to do so. In this they act ex- 
actly like their cousins of our American rivers. 

Many people have the erroneous idea that sharks are the 
most dangerous enemies which divers have to encounter. This 
is a mistake; there are other enemies more dangerous than 
sharks; yes, even more dangerous than tridacna gigas. A 
diver who goes down without armor has much to fear from 
poisonous sea-snakes. I myself have been down a few times 
and have seen these intensely venomous and belligerent crea- 
tures bite savagely at the thick plate glass in the front of the 
helmet before the eyes. I have had one twist about my leg 
and bite at the diver's suit. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT OK 109 

These creatures are as beautiful as they are deadly and 

their motions as they swim about in search of prey are lovely 

to see. Their necks are long and thin, and 

The Deadly frequently they are to be seen swimming along 

Sea-snake. the surface, gracefully turning their heads 

from side to side, alert to dart at any prey that 

may appear. The longest one we caught was eight feet. 

Frequently we cut open sharks and found one or more of 
these poisonous reptiles in the stomach. One day I was look- 
ing over the edge of a coral reef at the brilliantly beautiful 
fish swimming among the coral caves when a lurking sea-snake 
suddenly darted his head from a grotto and seized a good- 
sized fish with sharp spines, four or five inches long. The 
snake poison killed the fish instantly, for its fins at once re- 
laxed and were compressed against its body as the snake pro- 
ceeded to swallow it head first. The enemy of these sea- 
serpents is the sea-eagle. It is common to see one of these 
birds descend like a thunderbolt, seize a snake at the back of 
the head in such a position that it cannot bite, and then fly 
away to some overhanging crag. 

Poisonous serpents, man-eating sharks, and 
The Octopus gi ant crabs, and all other enemies which a 
or Devil-fish, diver encounters sink into insignificance, how- 
ever, when compared to the terrible cuttle- 
fish, or, as more generally known, devil-fish. A devil-fish 
has a body resembling a huge gray sack, at one end of which 
is a triangular-shaped steering fin which acts as a rudder. 
Ten long arms grow in a circle around the mouth of the 
sack, which consists of a thick circular lip and a huge parrot- 
like beak, with which to tear any prey which the long arms 
convey in. This beak is partially out of sight when not in 
use. 

The arms of this curious sea monster are very thick and 
powerful near the body but they taper toward the ends. Two 



no THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

of the arms are twice as long as the rest and are of a different 
shape. To within about two feet of the tip they are smooth 
and rubber-like but they flatten out like the blades of an 
oar and are very strong. Along the edges of each are from 
one to four rows of saucer-shaped sucking disks. Each sucker 
has a movable membrane stretched across it and the instant 
the monster twines its slimy arms about any living thing this 
membrane retracts, creating a vacuum under each sucker. A 
large cuttle-fish has upwards of two thousand of these suck- 
ers. Immediately back of the arms are two enormous black 
fiery eyes with white rims almost as large as dinner plates. 
In the darkness they shine like cat's eyes, and the lambent 
gleams which they emit often betray the creature's presence. 
To add to its sinister appearance it appears to have the power 
of changing color, so that, when lurking in a coral cave or 
among rocks watching for prey, it harmonizes so perfectly 
with the surroundings that it is impossible to detect its pres- 
ence. When a cuttle-fish is alarmed or irritated it changes 
color from gray to brick red and from white to mottle black. 
The two long arms act the part of scouts and when lying in 
wait for prey they are stretched among the rocks and sea- 
weeds, while all the other arms are carefully coiled out of 
sight. The largest recorded specimens of cuttle-fish which 
have been captured in these waters measured over seventy 
feet and weighed two tons. Powerful and destructive as they 
are, they, too, fall victims to enemies more powerful than 
themselves. The sperm whale and the grampus, or killer, 
both devour the cuttle-fish as relentlessly as the cuttle-fish 
devours the other denizens of the ocean. Their method of 
defense is characteristic of these repulsive monsters. On 
the approach of a sperm whale or grampus they will eject 
large quantities of a dark fluid, enveloping the assailant 
in a cloud, under cover of which the great mollusk hopes to 
escape. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON in 

Large fish of this variety sometimes attack boats and en- 
deavor to devour the occupants. I have known them to sud- 
denly board our schooner at night and drive all hands below, 
where we stayed until after daylight, because it was too dan- 
gerous to attack the creatures in the dark. It is decidedly 
possible that these ocean monsters have caused the destruction 
of many a small ship that has gone to sea and has never 
afterwards been heard of. 

Had any writer of wild romance invented the 

The Mystery tale of the barkentine Marie Celeste he would 

* ^ e have been credited with a very vivid imagina- 

Celeste. ^ on indeed. But truth is ever stranger than 

fiction, and for the benefit of those who are 
unfamiliar with the facts of the story it may be explained here 
that the Marie Celeste sailed from New York for European 
ports in the year 1887 with thirteen souls aboard, including 
the captain's wife and child. Two weeks later an English 
bark sighted her with all sails set drifting aimlessly about the 
Atlantic Ocean. This was such an unusual sight that the 
English bark ran close to her and hailed, but received no 
answer, and the officers could discern no signs of life on 
board. They immediately lowered a boat and boarded her 
but found not a living soul there. 

Everything was in its place ; the boats were securely lashed 
to the davits ; the hull was not in any way damaged, the cargo 
untouched; spars and rigging were intact; an awning covered 
the poop ; the crew's weekly washing hung over the forecastle 
to dry; binnacle, wheel and rudder were ship-shape; part of 
the crew's dinner remained on the table in the forecastle, and 
a half-eaten meal was on a dining table in the cabin. It 
was evident that the captain's wife had been sewing a child's 
garment, as, half-finished, it remained on the sewing machine. 
The cabin clock and chronometer were ticking away, showing 
that they had been recently wound, and the cash box in the 



ii2 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

cabin was not touched. Even the log-book was written up to 
within less than forty-eight hours of the time the vessel was 
discovered, and showed they had had good weather. There 
was no sign of a struggle, yet every living soul had vanished 
as by a miracle. 

Our government spared no pains or expense in trying to 
solve the mystery, but to this day the fate of the crew of 
the Marie Celeste remains one of the most inscrutable of old 
Ocean's secrets. Many theories were advanced to account 
for it. One was that pirates had murdered all hands, but this 
was clearly impracticable, because there had been no pirates 
in the Atlantic for many years ; moreover, pirates would cer- 
tainly have looted the ship. Another theory was that the cook 
might have poisoned every one on board and jumped over- 
board in a fit of remorse. But the half-consumed food found 
in the cabin, galley, and forecastle was carefully analyzed and 
showed not the slightest sign of poison. Finally it was ad- 
mitted as the most plausible theory that sea monsters might 
have crawled on board and attacked the watch on deck and 
when others ran to their assistance, as they naturally would 
do, the monsters had dragged all hands overboard to destruc- 
tion. In confirmation of this theory there were found newly 
made cuts of a hatchet on the rail as if some of the crew had 
been striking at the monster even while they were being 
dragged overboard. 

A certain class of stay-at-home naturalists solemnly tell 
us there is no fish in the sea that could do these things. They 
gravely assure us that all the strange monsters which have 
been seen in so many parts of the world exist only in the 
excited imagination of intemperate mariners. But every man 
who has followed the sea knows it is common to see (though 
dimly) hideous creatures plunging and wallowing about the 
ship, especially during fine weather in the tropics. 

Another monster which is a terror to divers is the giant 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 113 

ray, variously known as the sea devil, sea bat, blanket ray, 
or blanket fish. 

Divers call it manta (Spanish for blanket) 

A Winged because it bears a resemblance to an outspread 
Monster. blanket. No one knows how large these rays 
may grow, but I have helped to capture one 
which measured twenty-two feet across the tips of its wings 
and four feet thick through the middle. We had no means 
of ascertaining its weight. The manta has a long whip-like 
tail armed with dagger-like spines, double edged, with rows of 
saw-like teeth projecting backward. This ocean monster has 
a mouth large enough to swallow a man. Inside the mouth 
there are flat teeth, resembling paving stones, for the purpose 
of crushing the shell-fish upon which it largely feeds. It is 
black above and white below and propels itself through the 
water by gracefully waving wings or side fins, precisely as 
a bird flies through the air. 

The South Sea Islanders have no fear of any shark that 
swims and will readily dive into the water to attack the 
fiercest man-eater, but they all fear the manta as they do the 
devil. 



n 4 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

CHAPTER XI 

PERILS AND PEARLS, AUSTRALIA AND JAVA 

The day after our arrival at Vanderlin Island a Malay prau 

of about twenty-five tons, carrying a score of men, anchored 

in the bay less than a mile away and began 

A Lot of fishing for trepang. The men were armed to 
Cut-throats, the teeth, and I never saw a more venomous- 
looking lot of cut-throats. They picked up 
great quantities of trepang on their large spears with handles 
from twenty to thirty feet long. 

The prau is a clumsy-looking craft like a Chinese junk. 
The sails are made of matting and most of the ropes and 
hawsers are plaited rattan. The masts are of bamboo and 
light poles are lashed from them to the rigging in such a way 
as to form ladders upon which the crew mount when they 
hoist or roll up sails. Every prau has two rudders, one 
on each quarter. Their anchors are made of hard wood with 
a large stone attached and when the anchor is let go it is 
common to send a man down to see that it is properly fixed 
in good holding ground. The bow is very low, the stern very 
high ; consequently the usual way of getting on board is over 
the bow, which is close to the water's edge. 

The deck is generally of split bamboo worked together 
with fiber and can be rolled up and laid away. The cabin 
doors are just large enough to allow a man to enter by crawl- 
ing on all fours and the places where the crew sleep are little 
more than pigeonholes. The galley consists of a large iron 
pan containing a sand pile upon which to light the fire for 
cooking and food is almost entirely rice and fish. They also 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 115 

use a great deal of cocoanut oil and a coarse sort of sweet- 
meat made of molasses and boiled rice firmly pressed into 
hollow bamboos. Most Malays have the most villainous faces 
imaginable. Their filthy habit of chewing betel nut adds to 
the repulsiveness of their appearance by staining their lips a 
bright red and their teeth jet black. 

Every prau is armed with many murderous- 
The Malay looking spears, most of which are poisoned, 
Kriss. and every man on board is certain to have 

one or more krisses. The kriss is the most 
characteristic Malay weapon. It is of peculiar workmanship 
and is a terrible war instrument in the hands of those familiar 
with its use. The blade of an ordinary kriss is about a foot 
long, though they vary in length from six inches to over two 
feet. This blade is invariably waved, or flamboyant, with the 
handle at right angles to it. It is double-edged, dull, rough, 
and full of long curved grooves. They are said to be made 
of finest steel wire so loosely welded together that they appear 
to be almost on the point of separating. The kriss makers 
produce this effect by steeping a new blade in lemon juice. 
They claim that European steel is useless for making these 
fine weapons. Very true it is that notwithstanding their rough 
and corroded appearance they are of marvelous excellence 
and the finest European weapons cannot compare with them 
for hardness and elasticity. The more valuable krisses have 
beautifully ornamented handles of ivory, silver, or gold. A 
Malay holds his kriss in much the same way a cavalryman does 
his sword. I have often noticed a black line about a quarter 
of an inch wide along the edge of the blade. The Malays tell 
me these black lines are poisoned. They soak the blades in 
pineapple juice before going to a fight. The action of the 
juice on the blade when introduced into a wound causes acute 
blood poison. 

The kriss is surrounded with many superstitions and de- 



ii6 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

scends from father to son, from generation to generation, as 
the most valued of their weapons. The Malays are called 
the Arabs of the sea, for their hand is against every man 
and every man's hand is against them. Their swift piratical 
praus were long the terror of the Far Eastern seas and they 
spread death and ruin far and wide, wherever their raids 
extended. These fierce pirates met their match only when the 
English, French, and Dutch cruisers not only drove thern from 
the sea, but chased them to their lairs. They are still ready 
for smuggling or any lawless business, however, when there 
is a reasonable chance of escape. For example, every vessel 
that undertakes to fish for trepang or pearl shell from the 
Australian coast is supposed to pay some tax for the privilege. 
It is common for a Malay prau to run into a bay or a creek, 
lower the mast to escape notice, secure a full cargo and sail 
serenely away. 

The Malays in the bay built a hut on the beach for drying 
their fish and one morning before dawn, when I had gone 
fishing with a couple of the crew, we were startled to see their 
smoke-house burst into flame and a large party of naked 
savages issue forth, dancing and yelling like fiends about the 
burning building. 

Several Malays who slept in an adjoining 

Another ^ut rus ^ e( ^ out > attempting to cut their way 
Shipment of through the yelling blacks with long, heavy 

Savages. krisses, while those aboard the prau jumped 
into little boats and hurried ashore to 
the relief of their comrades. As soon as they reached 
the scene they were divided, and a frightful scene en- 
sued as the sun came up over the bay. It was soon ap- 
parent that the waddy of the black tribe was no match 
for the Malay kriss, and the blacks broke and ran. The 
Malays instantly hurried to their boats, but one man fell be- 
hind because a stone had struck him in the leg and lamed him. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 117 

He soon regained his feet and started after his companions, 
but a powerfully built black man ran forward and intercepted 
him before he reached the water's edge. The black man, twice 
the size of the Malay, guarded himself carefully with his 
shield and raised his waddie high over his head as the Malay 
rushed at him. The Malay suddenly stood straight at bay and 
raising his kriss high above his head aimed a sweeping cut 
at the head of his enemy. Instantly the black fellow held up 
his shield to ward off the blow, but quicker than lightning the 
Malay drew back his kriss and, stooping until his head was 
almost on a level with his knees, drove the razor-edged weapon 
through the fellow's body. The victorious Malay was in the 
very act of jumping into the water to swim out to the boats 
when a spear pierced his back and he fell dead. The blacks 
quickly outnumbered the visiting Malays and swarmed rapidly 
over the prau while her defenders retreated to the hold. 

Our captain was lucky in securing many 

I Escape a curios and large quantities of trepang at this 

Death place; but his trading was brought to an 

abrupt close by an incident which filled 
everyone with horror and dread. 

We were in the habit of spearing fish on the reefs at night 
with the aid of torches, and the natives had expressed great 
delight at the dark bulPs-eye lantern which we sometimes used 
because it would throw an intense light and still keep the 
spearman completely concealed. I had accompanied a party of 
blacks to the reef, where the water was not over two feet deep, 
and, in flashing the light around to see that there was no 
danger in walking over the edge of the reef, it disclosed a 
fish close to our feet. A native named Yurragal poised his 
spear when, without a moment's warning, a long arm shot out 
of the water and instantly coiled itself around him. The at- 
tack was so unexpected that the poor fellow had barely time 
to utter a single cry of terror as he was dragged struggling 



n8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

over the reef and under the surface of the quiet water which 
concealed his treacherous foe. I instantly sprang backward to 
avoid a similar fate, and not a moment too soon, for the very 
next instant another arm darted out, quivered for a moment 
over the very spot where I had been standing, but was quickly 
withdrawn. A momentary gleam of phosphorescent light 
marked the spot where the deadly cuttle-fish had dragged 
Yurragal down to his frightful death. His companions, help- 
less to render assistance, could do nothing but withdraw. They 
would have had no hesitation whatsoever in attacking the 
monster by daylight, but these savage fish have every ad- 
vantage at night because they see clearly and then are par- 
ticularly bold and brazen. Not only will they pursue their 
prey into shallow waters, but they will venture on to parts 
of the reef that are high and dry, shuffliing about it with a 
clumsy gallop, the ugliness of which is impossible to put into 
words. 

The blacks were convinced that either the lantern or I had 
bewitched the man who had lost his life and we found it 
difficult to do any further business with them. A few days 
later we sailed away and brought up at the town of Broome 
on Roebuck Bay, in Northwestern Australia. 

Roebuck Bay is one of the finest harbors on this entire 
coast, but great care is necessary in entering. It is eleven 
miles long by eleven miles wide, and at high water it appears 
to be a spacious, clear, well-protected sheet of water, land- 
locked everywhere except to the westward. At low water it 
presents a different aspect; though it still affords plenty of 
good anchorage, it is full of shoals and sandbanks and is the 
best place I know of for beaching ships. 

Dampier Creek flows into the bay from the east. Pearling 
vessels use this creek not only for the purpose of heaving 
down but also as a place of refuge during the strong north- 
west gales which occur here in the summer season. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 119 

Broome is only a shanty town, nevertheless it maintains a 

fleet of over 400 pearling vessels, and is the headquarters of 

the great pearl fishing trade in these regions. 

Broome the Strong northwest winds begin about the end 

Notorious. of October, bringing rain and bad weather 

which lasts till the end of March and puts 

a stop to pearling during that time. Consequently, all the ships 

return about the end of November and are laid up in Broome 

for five or six months. 

People imagine that the chief object of pearl fishing is 
to obtain pearls. They will probably be surprised to learn 
that the pearls are little considered in the matter at all and 
that the calculations are based upon the pearl shell alone. 
Pearlers may open hundred of shells without obtaining a pearl 
of any value, though any day they may open a shell contain- 
ing a jewel worth thousands of dollars. ? Such incidents are 
regarded as mere accidents. 

Few lines of business render such large returns as pearl- 
fishing, even without obtaining any pearls at all. The owner 
of each vessel counts on clearing $3,500 over and above ex- 
penses each season with a few good pearls as extras. 

The sudden transformation which Broome 
The Illicit undergoes during the period when the pearl- 
Pearl ing ships are laid up and their crews are on 
the beach, is positively magical. A more re- 
pulsive-looking crowd of thieves and cut- 
throats than those sailors parading the streets and crowding 
the drinking and gambling dens can scarcely be imagined. 
Trading in stolen pearls, drinking, gambling, shooting, stab- 
bing, foot-padding and other concomitant villainies flourish. 
The divers are somewhat chary doing business with any one 
they do not know, for there are plenty of spies and detectives, 
and should a diver show him a valuable pearl he may compel 
him to give it up or have him arrested for stealing it. The 



120 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

divers are wonderfully quick in getting the measure of a 
stranger even while appearing not to take the slightest notice 
of him. They show ingenuity in concealing their thefts as 
they do in committing them. Even the black men sometimes 
offer for sale a valued pearl which they obtained by mur- 
dering the original thief who stole it in the first instance. 
Again, I have seen a black fellow sell a valuable pearl for a 
bottle of liquor. 

Broome is in telegraphic communication with the rest of 
the world, for the submarine cable from Singapore via Banju- 
wangi in Eastern Java reaches to Roebuck Bay, and coasting 
steamers call at Broome at intervals of two and three weeks. 
Meat is plentiful but vegetables are scarce. Almost everybody 
appears to go about armed in Broome and carousing and 
gambling go on unchecked all hours of the day and night. 
In all other parts of the world which I have visited the year 
is divided into summer and winter or wet and dry seasons; 
but in Broome the year is divided into the live and the dead 
seasons. The rich Kimberley gold mines are located only a 
short distance northeast of Broome and, on the whole, this 
is one of the richest districts in Australia. 

Sir Walter Scott informs us in the Lady of the Lake 
that it was customary for the Highlanders to extend hospi- 
tality to any stranger ; but feuds were so common among them 
that it was considered churlish to inquire his name or that 
of his clan, lest he might happen to belong to a hostile clan. 
In Broome it seems to be taken for granted that nearly every- 
body in the place is either a criminal or else engaged in some 
nefarious pursuit; and it is considered extremely bad form 
and sometimes extremely dangerous form to inquire too mi- 
nutely into any one's business or antecedents. 

We had been anchored in the harbor about a week when 
a boat came quietly alongside one night and put two men and 
their belongings on board. We spent the next forenoon 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 121 

in replenishing our water supply and sailed in the afternoon, 
although the weather was still threatening. One of the men 
who had come on board was so severely wounded that he 
required the utmost care and it seemed doubtful if he would 
survive to reach port, but he and his companion kept entirely 
to themselves and none of us made any inquiries into the 
circumstances of the case. We were obliged to beat to the 
northwestward, between the Rowley Shoals and Lynher Reef, 
and after clearing these dangers the captain informed us that 
our destination was Sourabaya, on the north coast of Java. 
We passed through Lombok Strait, between Bali and Lombok, 
then toward the northwestward between Takat Reef and a 
number of small islands lying off the eastern end of 
Madura, and anchored in Sourabaya Harbor on the tenth 
day after leaving Broome; though we could have made the 
run in considerably less time had the weather not been so 
rough. 

We had to proceed a little over twenty miles up a broad, 
muddy river to reach the town. It is considered the best land- 
locked harbor in Java, but most of the surrounding country 
appears to be little more than a marsh overgrown with man- 
grove and various other tropical trees and bushes. The dull, 
vapory heat which arises from this watery jungle is excessively 
depressing, and the Chinese appear to be about the only ones 
who are able to work in it. 

The Dutch authorities have constructed a network of 
tidal canals through every part of Sourabaya, and especially 
through the European quarter called Simpang. This is in 
order to prevent stagnant water ; and the houses are all lo- 
cated amid groves of stately shade trees to protect them from 
the intense heat of the tropical sun. The rise and fall of the 
spring tides is from six to eight feet, but the ground is so 
level that this leaves a wide expanse of mud between the 
town and the bay at low water. Soft mud is about the most 



122 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

difficult thing in the world to traverse, but the native fishermen 
manage to do it in a most extraordinary manner. 

Each fisherman carries a board about five 
Extraordinary or six feet long, two feet wide, and turned 
Method of at ^ f orwar d en( l. When he wishes to 

Getting Over , . , 

Mud cross the mud between his boat and the town 

he places his left knee in a slight hollow in 
the exact center of the board, and holding fast with both 
hands to two little handles, kicks backward with his right 
foot against the mud. In this way he can travel a good deal 
faster than he could walk, but the maneuver requires more 
skill than may appear necessary at first sight. He cannot stop 
or his board would begin to settle in the mud, and should 
it sink even an inch there is no possible way of starting it 
again. Should he lean too far to either side he will capsize, 
and then nothing could save him from being smothered in 
the mud. These boards are carefully oiled or greased, and 
the fishermen never allow mud to harden upon them. 

Our two passengers left us here and stated that they 
intended to go to Tosari, the chief health resort of Eastern 
Java, which is located upon a spur of Mount Tengger, 5,850 
feet above sea-level and only one day's travel from Sourabaya. 

It struck me that the sickly, steaming heat of Sourabaya 
would soon finish even a white person who was in robust 
health, to say nothing of an invalid. The sweltering heat 
of the place compels the inhabitants to live in open houses, 
and, as a natural consequence, burglary is rampant in spite of 
severe penalties which the Dutch authorities inflict upon any 
one convicted of this crime. The sentence of death is rigidly 
enforced upon any burglar who is caught with a weapon upon 
his person, and an unarmed burglar is compelled to serve 
twenty years in chains. 

At intervals of about a mile or so throughout the city 
and suburbs there are guard-houses, each of which is pro- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 123 

vided with a very large gong which can be heard at a great 
distance. They have a splendid system of transmitting sig- 
nals by means of these gongs ; and should a thief endeavor to 
escape by running, the gong in the nearest guard-house sig- 
nals the direction in which he is going and the police run out 
from every direction to intercept him. 

The natives live in little wicker-work houses 

Natural somewhat resembling large baskets, and rice 
Irrigation constitutes almost their only food, as it does 

Method. i n a u countries of Southern Asia. The best 
kind of rice is grown in water, and here the 
natives cultivate water-crops on the sides of steep mountains, 
accomplishing this result by terracing the sides of the moun- 
tains exactly like steps, the width of each terrace being in 
proportion to the steepness of the ground. The outside of 
each terrace is built up with a bank of hard clay about two 
feet wide, and the water inside this bank is about six inches 
deep. They regulate the depth of water in each terrace by in- 
serting bamboo spouts through the banks of clay, and when 
the water rises to the level of these spouts it flows through 
them into the next terrace below. The young rice looks 
very much like rank grass, and when the grain is fully matured 
they cut off the heads with a sort of knife called ani-ani. 
They thrash these heads by placing them in a hollow log and 
pounding them with the end of a heavy piece of hardwood 
called tumbukan, very much after the style of churning. Of 
course, they cultivate rice on level ground as well as on hill- 
sides; and each flooded rice field is used not only for culti- 
vating rice but also for raising goldfish, precisely as the 
Hawaiians raise goldfish in their flooded taro beds. These 
goldfish are excellent eating and frequently attain a length 
of eighteen inches. 

Instead of boiling rice as we do, they steam it in a bam- 
boo basket, called a kukusan. This basket, which is cone- 



124 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

shaped, is hung point downward on top of a brass or copper 
kettle called a dang-dang, which is filled with boiling water, 
so that only the steam penetrates the rice. During this steam- 
ing process the basket is kept carefully covered with a lid of 
bamboo or crockery ware. 

Like the natives of India, they use a great deal of curry 
and pepper along with their rice, and those who live near 
the coast can always secure plenty of fish for the labor of 
catching them. Both whites and natives are equally fond of 
the pisang (banana), one of the most nutritious vegetables 
in existence. 

There are also plenty of wild pigeons which might be 
easily trapped or shot, but the natives never seem to trouble 
about them, although their flesh is very good to eat. The 
native men and women both indulge in the common Malay 
practice of chewing betel nut wrapped in betel leaf and dusted 
over with lime, with the result that their lips and teeth are 
stained a dark ugly reddish brown. 

The chief article of clothing for both sexes is the sarong, 
a piece of figured cotton six feet long and three feet wide ; and 
both sexes wear it in the same way, by drawing it tightly 
around their hips and tucking the ends together in front. 

Like the South Sea Islanders, they have what may be 
called a chief's language called kromo (high), which they 
always use in addressing any one of higher rank, and another 
called ngoko (low), which they use in addressing those of 
lower rank. In addition to the kromo and ngoko they have a 
third language called madyo, which is used only between the 
most intimate friends. The most convenient native words for 
a stranger to know are "Mana?" (where?) "Brapa?" (how 
much?) "Apa nama ini?" (what is the name of this?) 

There are many beautiful orchids and other flowers in 
this place, and travelers who penetrate into the bush either for 
the purpose of hunting, collecting orchids, or examining the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 125 

numerous ruins, generally provide themselves with a frying 
pan and a straight sword called a golok, which is one of the 
finest implements in the world for cutting through thick 
vines and bushes. The best time to see the flowers in bloom 
in this country is during the rainy season, from November to 
March or April, when northwesterly winds and bad weather 
prevail. The finest orchids do not bloom during the dry 
southeast monsoon, which prevails from April to November, 
though this is the coolest and pleasantest time of the year and 
a light shower occurs every day. 



126 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

CHAPTER XII 

NEW (GUINEA AND THE TROBRIAND ISLANDS 

Having disposed of the passengers, the captain purchased 
a cargo of rice and returned to Broome. While passing 
through Lombok Strait the wind suddenly died out and we 
narrowly escaped drifting ashore on account of the strong 
and erratic currents which run in this locality. Shortly after 
clearing the Strait we encountered one of the strong southerly 
gales which occur in these seas during the months of January 
and February, after which we had strong northwest winds all 
the way to port. The captain disposed of his cargo to excel- 
lent advantage in Broome and returned to Thursday Island, 
where he learned that a party of miners were waiting in Cook- 
town (in northeastern Queensland) to be conveyed to New 
Guinea. Accordingly he proceeded to Cooktown and loaded 
a cargo of mining supplies, together with a number of miners, 
after which we sailed out through Lark Passage in the Great 
Barrier Reef, in latitude 15 07' S. and longitude 145 45' E. 
We passed through Jonard Entrance, just west of the Louis- 
iade Archipelago; through Goschen Strait, between Norman- 
by Island and New Guinea; then through Ward Hunt Strait, 
south of Morata Island, bringing up in the mouth of the 
Mambare River, in northeastern New Guinea. 

The miners whom we met told us that they 

Gold in found gold in paying quantities up the river, 

Paying but they suffered a good deal from malarial 

Quantities. f ever an( j f rom t h e hostility of the natives as 

well. They assured us that the natives were 
so uncertain and treacherous that no one could depend upon 
them. They would profess the utmost friendship for a white 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 127 

man and help him in every way they could ; but the very next 
day they would try to murder him without any known cause, 
and several miners had lost their lives in this way. The na- 
tives are not only inveterate cannibals, but are also frightfully 
cruel. At first we were inclined to doubt the stories which 
the miners told of their fiendish cruelty; but we changed our 
minds when we saw them roasting pigs alive over a slow fire, 
because they claim that meat tastes much better when cooked 
alive. 

The tribes are continually at war, and they capture their 
enemies alive in order to cook them alive for a cannibal feast. 
I afterward learned that more than one white man had been 
captured and slowly roasted to death. The miners had re- 
taliated by destroying some of the native villages. Some of 
my readers might believe that these are simply idle stories 
which I gathered from the miners, but they are not. I learned 
these facts, not from the miners alone, but from missionaries, 
natives, government officials, and officers of an English 
cruiser who had been called upon several times to punish the 
natives for such atrocities. They all declared that the women 
were the chief instigators of these cannibal orgies because 
they were in the habit of taunting the men with cowardice 
if they did not bring home prisoners to be cooked and eaten. 
The consequence was that when the miners attacked a native 
village, they acted upon the principle of "equal rights without 
regard to sex" by killing men and women alike. The mis- 
sionaries stated, however, that the primary object of the 
natives in roasting prisoners alive was not so 
Strange much for the purpose of torturing them as to 

Weapons. make their flesh more tasty. Their weapons 
consist of spears, shields, and war-clubs. The 
war-club has a hardwood handle and a stone head very neatly 
made in the manner previously described, and looks formid- 
able enough to smash the skull of an ox. They use long, 



128 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

barbed spears made of some kind of hard and remarkably 
strong wood, and a lighter and shorter spear which they hurl 
like a javelin. Their shields are a little over a foot wide and 
about three feet long, so that one of them covers a warrior 
from the neck to about the knees. 

Although the natives are expert in throwing their light 
spears or javelins, they are not nearly so dangerous as the 
natives of German New Guinea, which begins immediately to 
the westward of the mouth of the Mambare River. The na- 
tives of British New Guinea (the southeastern portion) have 
no missile weapons except the javelin, while those of the 
German (or northwestern) portion use bows and arrows as 
formidable as were those of the English archers before the 
invention of gunpowder. It seems strange that the natives 
along the Mambare have never learned from their enemies to 
use bows and arrows in their own defense; for the natives 
of the neighboring German territory often descend upon them 
and spread death and destruction far and wide in their fierce 
raids. In case of a pitched battle between them, the natives of 
German territory are invariably victorious on account of the 
superiority of their weapons, unless the Mambare natives 
manage to surprise them. 

These circumstances render the northwestern natives so 
fierce and arrogant that they are far more dangerous and diffi- 
cult to deal with than those of the British territory; and a 
white man who goes among the former must exercise constant 
vigilance to guard against an attack, which is apt to be made 
at the most unexpected moment. 

When bound on a raid or a warlike expedition of any kind, 
they always paint their faces red and black (the sign of war), 
and generally wear an ornamental head-band adorned with 
the huge upper mandible of the hornbill. The bill of this 
curious bird is so long that it looks like a horn springing 
out of the warrior's forehead; and it struck me that it must 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 129 

interfere to some extent with their vision, for the tip extends 
down almost to a level with the point of the chin. Painting 
the face red and black appears to be the accepted signal of 
war among all the different tribes along this coast, and when 
any party of natives appear with their faces painted in this 
way, they are always looking for a favorable opportunity to 
make an attack, no matter how strongly they may profess 
friendship. They bear a considerable resemblance to the na- 
tives of the New Hebrides both in appearance and customs, 
and I noticed that they have the habit of preserving the skulls 
of the victims whom they devour, which is common through- 
out a large part of the Pacific Ocean, but especially among the 
Malays of Borneo. 

I visited a couple of native villages, and in the center of 
one was a raised platform covered with rows of ghastly-look- 
ing human skulls and piles of human bones. In the center 
of the other village was a tall post elaborately carved and 
painted and bearing some slight resemblance to the drum-idols 
of the New Hebrides, though it was solid instead of hollow 
and was adorned with a fringe of small pennants or streamers 
near the top. Around this were some shorter posts set in 
the ground and supporting horizontal poles which were hung 
with human skulls and jawbones mixed up with the bones 
and heads of pigs and crocodiles. All these were hung close 
together and, as far as I could learn, it seems to be the cus- 
tom to keep the poles always full and to throw away the old- 
est ones as they secure fresh supplies of each kind to take 
their place. 

In spite of their dark skin and kinky hair, it is a curious 
fact that all the tribes show a strong Hebraic cast of features 
in all parts of New Guinea. They live in houses built upon 
piles and cultivate crops of sugar cane, sago, taro, bananas, 
cocoanuts, etc., which grow luxuriantly on account of the 
extreme fertility of the soil. 



I 3 o THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The Mambare River discharges through three mouths, and 
the western mouth opens into Mambare or Duvira Bay, in 
which we were anchored. The river is in 
A River with ^^ during the summer months of Decem- 
Thrce ber and January on account of the rains; but 

Mouths. during the balance of the year it is too shal- 
low for anything but boats, although it is quite 
wide. The delta of the river is low and swampy and the 
water fairly swarms with sharks and crocodiles. 

The natives asserted most positively that the crocodiles 
devour the sharks, and wishing to test this statement, the 
captain hung a piece of fat pork over the stern more than 
five feet above the surface of the water. About a couple of 
minutes later a large shark appeared upon the surface and 
after circling round and eyeing the pork for a few moments, 
suddenly leaped half out of the water and disappeared with 
bait and part of the line, which it snapped like a thread. The 
captain repeated the experiment, and the same shark returned 
and was evidently about to repeat his part of the performance 
when a large crocodile also appeared upon the scene and en- 
deavored to secure the bait by raising his huge head out of 
the water and snapping at it until his spike-like teeth clashed 
together like the jaws of a steel trap. He then seemed to 
catch sight of the shark for the first time, and the two savag 
brutes began circling around and regarding each other with 
most malevolent looks. 

The captain suddenly lowered the bait to 
Shark and within about a foot of the water, and both 
Crocodile instantly darted at it from opposite directions. 
Fight. The crocodile seized it first, but just as he 

did so the shark seized him by one of his 
forelegs. The reptile instantly relinquished the bait and man- 
aged to twist his head sufficiently to one side to secure a grip 
on the body of the shark. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 131 

The two powerful brutes began plunging and lashing about 
in the water so furiously that it was impossible to follow their 
gyrations; but when they separated the shark had bitten the 
leg clean off the crocodile, while the crocodile had torn a 
huge mouthful of flesh out of the side of the shark. A shark 
appears to be almost insensible to pain, and notwithstanding 
the deep wound which he had received, he seized the bait 
and was making off with it when the crocodile made a dart 
at him and caught his tail. It is difficult to say how the battle 
might have terminated, for the commotion and the blood in 
the water had collected a number of sharks and crocodiles, 
and the presence of blood excites these fierce brutes as a red 
rag excites a bull. They came swimming up from all direc- 
tions and darted about in a state of great excitement when 
the captain hung another piece of pork over the stern by way 
of bringing them all together in a bunch, then dropped it in 
their midst. This was the signal for a battle royal indeed. 
In an instant the surface of the water for the space of an 
acre was transformed into a mass of flying spray, lashing 
tails, and snapping jaws, as each maddened brute endeavored 
to catch the pork or take a mouthful out of his nearest neigh- 
bor. Some were actually torn to pieces and devoured ; others 
gradually became separated as they found no more bait for 
which to fight; though a number of them continued hover- 
ing about the vessel for the remainder of the day. The New 
Guinea river mouths, creeks, and swampy inlets fairly swarm 
with alligators. 

The captain obtained a good many curios of the natives, 
after which he sailed for the Trobriand Islands, where he 
expected to do some trading before returning to Sydney. We 
ran a little to the southward of east till we picked up the Tro- 
briands in latitude 8 18' S. and longitude 150 5' E., and 
entered a channel between Kiriwina Island on the east and 
Kaileuna Island on the west, in latitude 8 32' S. and longi- 



I 3 2 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

tude 150 58' E. This channel, which is a little over a mile 
wide, has a mean depth of from six to eight fathoms and 
leads south into a land-locked harbor about seven miles wide 
and eleven miles long. This harbor is protected from all 
winds and has a depth of from six to nine fathoms, but 
in some parts contains a large number of dangerous coral 
patches. 

We received an official visit from the head chief of the 
group, who resided in the village of Emarakana, and the cap- 
tain took care to secure his good graces by means of gifts, 
after which he conducted a good trade with his dusky 
subjects. 

All the islands of this group are low but extremely fertile 
and the inhabitants are evidently of the same race as those 
of New Guinea. The islands are densely wooded and con- 
tain many valuable kinds of wood. I have never seen such 
quantities and quality of ebony in any other part of the world ; 
in fact, ebony is so plentiful that most of their weapons and 
implements are made of it. They use long, heavy spears 
which are sometimes fifteen feet long and made of solid ebony. 
They also use formidable ebony swords which are short and 
very heavy, but have a fine edge which cuts almost like 
steel weapons. 

They have one peculiar kind of wood which I have never 
seen in any other part of the world and the name of which I 
have never been able to learn. We called it ivory wood, be- 
cause it looks so much like ivory that it would be difficult 
to tell them apart. The wood is clear white and seems to be 
almost as hard as bone and takes a most lovely polish. I 
noticed particularly that it does not seem to grow darker 
from exposure to the air as so many light-colored woods do, 
and it struck me that it would make excellent piano-keys 
among the many other uses to which ivory is now put, and to 
which it might be applied. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 133 

Although the natives belong to the same race as the na- 
tives of New Guinea they are a far finer and more intelligent- 
looking people and wear their hair in ringlets 

Excellent over tne * r shoulders instead of in huge mops 
Native like those of the larger island. They are also 

Craftsmen. f ar superior as craftsmen, and the captain 
could easily have loaded the ship with beauti- 
fully carved ebony swords, spears and implements of various 
kinds, together with a great variety of really beautiful orna- 
ments which showed a high degree of artistic skill. This skill 
is conspicuously displayed in their canoes, which are probably 
the handsomest to be found in any part of the Pacific. 

Up to quite recently they used their beautiful canoes as 
pirate boats, and they are not to be trusted too far even at the 
present day. Like all South Sea Island and Chinese pirates, 
they are particularly liable to attack any vessel that may be 
becalmed in the neighborhood of their islands. 

These islands are so extremely fertile that they produce 
immense crops of the finest yams, cocoanuts, bananas, and 
other tropical productions. It is their custom to send two or 
three canoes alongside of a ship ostensibly to trade, but in 
reality to discover whether the crew are off their guard. Of 
course these canoes apparently are all loaded with provisions 
only, no weapons of any kind being visible, unless the crew 
express a desire to trade for weapons, when a few swords and 
spears will be brought out for trading purposes only. Fol- 
lowing the invariable custom of all treacherous natives who 
contemplate an attack upon a vessel, other canoes will gradu- 
ally edge up one by one, completely surrounding the stranger 
ship, and unless the crew are on their guard and constantly 
compel them to keep at a distance, under some pretext or other, 
such as passing up bunches of bananas, baskets of yams, etc., 
as many as possible of the savages will get on deck and en- 
gage the crew in trade in order to distract their attention until 



134 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

the chief gives the signal for attack, when they overwhelm 
the crew by a sudden rush and general slaughter. In such 
attacks they use long, heavy spears, and not only slaughter 
the crews, but afterwards feast upon their bodies, when they 
loot the ship at their leisure and burn her to conceal their 
crime. 

I am often asked if there is any danger of a vessel being 
attacked at the present day in any of the South Sea Islands. 
Evidently many people imagine that such piratical attacks as 
I have described are entirely a thing of the past, but this is a 
great mistake. The Solomon Islanders are as dangerous as 
ever and are never under any circumstances to be trusted. 
The natives of many other South Sea Islands as well are al- 
ways ready to attack a foreign ship if they see an opportunity 
to surprise the crew. On the other hand, the natives of some 
groups of islands may be trusted, and even the most ferocious 
are not quite so bad as they were in years gone by, thanks to 
the severe lessons which they have received from English, 
French and Dutch cruisers, and also from American whalers 
which they attacked. 

A number of natives who belonged to the 
Another village of Kaibola (which is located upon the 
Slaughter northwest side of Kiriwina Island) came on 
Self-defense, board our ship to trade one day, and one of 
them who could talk a little broken English 
engaged our attention with telling us that a large party of 
them once attempted to capture an American whaler while 
supplying her with provisions. Several large canoes man- 
aged meanwhile to get alongside of us and a number of others 
remained about a hundred yards away, ready to dash in and 
take part in the fray as soon as hostilities should commence. 
The captain warily purchased a large quantity of bananas, 
yams and cocoanuts, after which the natives asked permission 
to grind some iron tomahawks which they possessed upon our 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 135 

grindstone, which the captain granted. Then, watching their 
opportunity, they made a sudden attack upon the crew and 
killed two of our men, but the rest of us attacked them 
furiously in return and opened a rifle fire upon the outstand- 
ing canoes, so disabling them that the natives had to abandon 
them and swim for their lives. 

Under ordinary circumstances the natives do not appear to 
have the slightest fear of sharks ; but these brutes are always 
dangerous to any one when there is blood in the water, and 
it is curious how it seems to attract them even from a con- 
siderable distance. 

We traded chiefly with the villages of Kavatari, Taiava, 
and Oburaka, which are located upon the eastern shore of the 
harbor in which we were at anchor; and the inhabitants of 
these three villages treated us to a torchlight dance and en- 
tertainment a few nights before we sailed away. Upon land- 
ing we found the natives assembled in large numbers upon the 
village green at Taiava, and their savage appearance would 
certainly have formed an interesting study for a painter who 
desired to depict man in a primitive state. They regard every- 
thing in the shape of clothing as a useless encumbrance; but 
every man seemed to have exhausted his utmost ingenuity in 
painting his face in the most grotesque combination of colors 
which his fancy could suggest, and in ornamenting his hair 
with bright-colored feathers and the brilliant flowers of the 
scarlet hibiscus. 

The entertainment began about an hour be- 

Sham * ore dark w i tn a series of sham fights be- 

Fights. tween champions of the different villages. 

Some fought with spears and shields, others 

with swords and shields; but they defended themselves so 

skillfully that it is not surprising that so few of them are 

killed in an actual battle. In some cases one champion was 

armed with a sword and shield, the other with a spear and 



! 3 6 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

shield; in such cases the latter would endeavor to induce his 
opponent to strike a heavy blow at his shield, when he would 
skip nimbly out of the way and allow the swordsman to ex- 
haust his strength by striking at the empty air. Two bodies 
of warriors representing rival war-parties engaged each other 
and fought so determinedly amid the encouraging yells of 
their friends that it seemed as though the friendly contest 
would terminate in actual battle. But everything was con- 
ducted with the utmost good nature and with the strict ad- 
herence to established rules which is characteristic of all 
savage entertainments, and when a loud yell announced the 
end of this act the audience testified their approval of the per- 
formance by bursting into a loud laugh. 

The most attractive feature of the entertain- 
The ment was the torchlight dance which took 

Torch place some time after dark. The dancers con- 

Dance, sisted of about three hundred men, who drew 
up in two bodies facing each other about ten 
yards apart, and each party was in charge of a leader who 
carried a lighted torch. At a given signal each leader applied 
his torch to that of the man nearest to him, and the light was 
passed rapidly along each line till the whole body of gaily 
painted dancers stood out in bold relief under the ruddy glow 
of the tall torches which rose above their heads. At the first 
roll of the drums they began to advance and retire in slow 
and stately evolutions. Their movements gradually increased 
in rapidity while the boom of the drums grew louder and the 
droning chant of the orchestra rose in a strange and weird 
effect amid the deep silence of the surrounding forest. The 
whole scene was singularly picturesque and would have af- 
forded a magnificent view of savage life had it been possible 
to depict upon canvas the rapidly moving torches which flitted 
like shooting stars against the impenetrable gloom of the lofty 
forest as the waving lines of dancers wheeled and gyrated in 



OF CAPTAIN QULNTOX 137 

swift and graceful evolutions. The endurance which savages 
display under such circumstances is something phenomenal, 
and every movement was executed with the marvelous pre- 
cision which is the result of lifelong practice. 

The musical chant of the orchestra and the reverberating 
boom of the drums seemed to grow wilder and louder, the 
dancers fairly flew over the ground as though they were in- 
capable of tiring, and the torches went flitting to and fro in 
rapid and ever-changing convolutions like the shifting views 
of a kaleidoscope till the scene took on the appearance of a 
midnight revel of gnomes or fairies. The violent exertions 
of the dancers seemed only to add new vigor to their move- 
ments, and the dance went on with undiminished ardor until 
a loud yell announced the end of the piece and the audience 
broke into a loud laugh of approbation as the dancers retired 
to enjoy a well-earned rest. 

The next act represented a scene which was undoubtedly 
common in the lives of these warlike natives. Part of the 
warriors lay down and pretended to be asleep around the 
fires when another body of warriors were seen stealing noise- 
lessly out of the bush for the purpose of attacking them. A 
man who was supposed to be acting the part of a sentinel gave 
a loud yell of alarm, whereupon the sleepers instantly sprang 
to their feet and, giving a yell of defiance, met their assail- 
ants in a vigorous hand-to-hand fight. The spectators became 
wildly excited as though they were watching a real battle in 
which their existence was at stake as they watched the com- 
batants surging back and forth; but the battle ended in the 
defeat of the assailants and the capture of several of their 
number, who were carried back to the fires amid the tri- 
umphant yells of the victors. 

It may be necessary to explain that the wooden swords and 
spears which they use in these mock battles are not sharp like 
those which they use in actual fighting. Nevertheless the 



138 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

swords are capable of inflicting severe bruises, but the natives 
pay no attention to such trifles and they defend themselves so 
skillfully with their shields that it is seldom one is wounded. 

We sailed next morning at daylight, and while standing 
to the southward, between Kitava and Kiriwina, hove to to 
trade with several canoes which came out from the village of 
Wawera, on the east coast of Kiriwina. They wanted to- 
bacco, and in return for it the captain obtained a number of 
very fine spears pointed with obsidian, together with hatchets 
and daggers of the same material, though I believe that all 
these weapons originally came from the Admiralty Islands, 
500 miles to the north and westward. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 139 

CHAPTER XIII 

FURIOUS FIGHT WITH A DEVIL-FISH 

While trading with the natives in the Trobriands our cap- 
tain learned that a schooner, the name of which we could not 
determine,, had been wrecked upon Murua 
A Wreck on (Woodlark) Island, which lies about eighty- 

Woodlark three miles to the southeastward. A party of 
Island. natives who had just arrived in a large canoe 
from Murua declared that the wrecked ship 
contained a valuable cargo of tortoise shell and pearl shell, 
and one of them volunteered to go along with us and point 
out the wreck, expecting a reward, of course, if his informa- 
tion was correct. 

The captain accepted his terms and next morning we 
anchored in the harbor of Guasopa, near the southeast ex- 
tremity of Woodlark Island. The harbor lies inside a de- 
tached portion of the barrier reef about a mile and a half 
long, in the center of which is a low island called Vavi-ai, 
which is about half a mile long and covered with trees from 
forty to sixty feet high. The entrance is three hundred and 
sixty yards wide and both the fairway and the inner harbor 
have a depth of eight to twelve fathoms, which decreases to 
about five fathoms near the village of Guasopa, some four 
miles eastward of Vavi-ai. 

Almost immediately after anchoring we received cere- 
monious visits from the chiefs of the villages of Guasopa and 
Dabanu, which are located at the eastern head of the harbor, 
and Omdamuda, which is two miles northeast of our anchor- 
age. The captain established friendly relations with them by 



i 4 o THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

means of some small gifts, after which we got the diving 
apparatus into a small boat and proceeded to the scene of the 
wreck. The native piloted the way to a reef off from the little 
island of Nubara, which lies about six or seven miles to the 
eastward, and sure enough our diver found a valuable cargo 
on board the sunken ship just as the native had said. 

The natives, who are excellent divers, had 
In the stripped her upper works, but had not 

broached the cargo in the hold, simply because 
Devil-fish. tnev cou ld not remove the hatches. The 

captain hired a large canoe to carry the cargo 
to the schooner and I remained in charge of the boat. 

It was probably an hour after the captain left with the 
first canoe-load, and everything was going on as usual, when 
suddenly I felt a frantic pull on the life-line, which is the 
signal to haul the diver to the surface. While one man con- 
tinued turning the crank of the air-pump all the rest of us 
seized the life-line and hauled with all our might, and con- 
trary to all expectations the diver came up without resistance. 
As he approached the surface we all strained our eyes to dis- 
cover what was the matter, and as soon as he came within 
sight we noticed that something was clinging to him. As his 
head emerged from the water we were horrified to see him 
locked in the embrace of a huge devil-fish, which had its 
loathsome tentacles wound in a death grip about his body and 
limbs. 

One of its tentacles had been cut clean off, but in spite of 
this the hideous beast still retained its hold, and its huge, 
staring eyes gleamed with indescribable fury. I instantly took 
a turn with the life-line to hold the diver and shouted to the 
men to attack the monster with their knives, for it was dan- 
gerous to use a hatchet for fear of wounding the diver. In 
an instant the men drew their knives and with a resounding 
war-whoop they leaped upon the monster in a body and began 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 141 

cutting and slashing him like maniacs. The savage beast 
unwound some of its arms from about its victim and made a 
most determined effort to beat off the assailants. The con- 
fused mass of ghastly, corpse-like arms shot out like lightning, 
quivered for a moment in the air, and descended upon the 
men like coiling boa-constrictors, while its horny, parroty 
beak suddenly rose up from the midst of its writhing arms 
and seized the gunwale of the boat. 

The monster endeavored to drag the men into the water 
or within reach of its great beak, while they retaliated by cut- 
ting its snake-like arms to pieces and gashing its body, which 
resembled a huge, shapeless sack. Although the savage crea- 
ture was nearly hacked to pieces, its remaining arms still re- 
tained their hold until the men succeeded in driving their 
knives into its eyes, when it began to writhe in agony and 
snap its beak in impotent fury. Even in its death agony it 
managed to secure a grip around the neck of one man and 
actually dragged his head under water, nearly drowning him 
before the others succeeded in rescuing him by cutting off the 
arm which held him. 

Most of its arms had been cut off by this time, and some 
of them remained in the boat, and there was something sick- 
eningly repulsive in the way in which these slimy arms writhed 
and twisted about precisely like wounded serpents. I watched 
a man pick up one of them in his hand ; it twisted about his 
arm after the manner of a snake. We quickly removed the 
diver's helmet and found that he had been severely squeezed, 
and the claws of the devil-fish had badly lacerated one of his 
hands. 

For the benefit of the uninitiated it may be explained that 
a diving dress in those days consisted of a single garment 
made of rubber and canvas about half an inch thick. The 
diver gets into it feet first, and it covers him from the feet 
to the neck, and a large brass helmet is screwed on over his 



142 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

head and neck and the sleeves are secured around his wrists, 
thus leaving his hands bare. 

He explained that the wrecked vessel lay on her starboard 
bilge, and only a faint light entered by the main hatch under 
which he was at work; all at once the hold became darkened, 
and at the same instant something seized him by the leg. He 
turned to see what it was, and beheld the huge eyes and snake- 
like arms of the loathsome, slimy reptile entering the open 
hatch. He instantly drew his knife and slashed off the ten- 
tacle which had seized him, but quick as a flash several other 
arms shot out and locked around him. While he was slash- 
ing at the arms which held him fast the creature seized the 
hand which held the knife and in the struggle the weapon fell 
from his grasp. Providentially the savage brute had anchored 
itself to the deck outside the hatch ; and, as it drew him out of 
the hold for the purpose of tearing him to pieces with its 
terrible beak, he managed to seize the signal line with his left 
hand and give the signal which saved his life. At the same 
time he made a desperate effort to free himself and noticed 
that the monster had let go its hold upon the deck and wrapped 
all its arms around him, and it was so intent upon securing 
its prey that for the moment it did not notice that it was being 
drawn upward toward the surface, though it quickly threw 
out a couple of its arms to secure a hold upon the ship, but 
it was too late. When one of these brutes secures a hold 
upon anything solid it will allow itself to be torn to pieces 
before it will let go its hold unless it is wounded in the eyes. 
Had it retained its hold upon the deck it would have been 
impossible for us to save the diver's life in any way except 
by sending another man to assist him by stabbing the monster 
in the eyes. 

Pearl-fishers consider the Australian blacks the best men in 
the world for this kind of business; for they are almost as 
much at home in the water as the devil-fish himself, and will 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 143 

not only dive to great depths, but will attack anything that 
swims so long as they have a good strong knife at hand. Al- 
though the men had vanquished the devil-fish, they had not 
come off scatheless by any means, for the hideous fish had in- 
flicted horrible wounds upon their naked limbs and bodies. 
As previously explained, the arms and tentacles of the cuttle- 
fish and octopus are covered with disks or suckers on the 
inside ; and each sucker is armed around the edge with a circle 
of sharp claws which dig into the flesh of any living thing 
which it seizes. The natives have very tough skins from their 
habit of going naked ; but wherever one of these suckers had 
touched any of them the flesh was puckered and blistered. 
We returned to the ship at once and treated the wounds with 
such remedies as we had in the medicine chest, but it was over 
a month before any of them healed, and every one left a per- 
manent scar resembling a burn. 

I have often heard divers declare that a short spear with 
a sharp steel point is the best of all weapons for meeting such 
attacks, but the difficulty is that a spear is not so handy to 
carry as a knife, and the attack of a devil-fish is so marvelously 
quick that a diver is liable to find his arms pinioned before he 
has time to use it. It is quite common for a number of these 
savage fish to congregate in one place and render diving 
highly dangerous; in such a case the pearlers get rid of the 
brutes by exploding a charge of dynamite among them. 

Our diver being temporarily laid up, one of 

A Second tne other men took his place, and everything 

Attack. went on as usual for a couple of days. On 

the morning of the third day we had been at 

work about an hour when I received the signal to "haul up," 

but all our efforts failed to move the diver. Goolwa instantly 

volunteered to dive down to his assistance ; and having hitched 

the lanyard of his knife to his right wrist and taken a few 

long breaths, he leaped into the water and disappeared. The 



144 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

moments seemed like hours, but actually in a very short time 
we felt the diver yield to the strain which we kept on 
the life-line, and a moment later Goolwa's head shot out 
of the water like a porpoise. "Mingangurrin" (good), he 
cried triumphantly, reverting to his native language as the 
blacks frequently do when excited. "Me killum plenty 
quick." 

We found that the diver himself was not injured, but his 

diving suit was cut almost entirely through in several places 

where the claws of a devil-fish had fastened upon it. The 

diver said he had scrutinized the surroundings very carefully 

before entering the hatch, and saw no sign of any lurking 

devil-fish. It was evident that the monster had taken up its 

quarters in the hold, where it was too dark to see it. He said 

he was working in almost complete darkness 

In the Grip wnen ne was seized by the legs, and the sud- 

of a den jerk threw him off his feet. He, too, 

Devil-fish. had taken the precaution to have a knife se- 
cured to his right wrist, and immediately be- 
gan cutting at the monster arms that held him, but finding it 
very difficult to regain his feet he gave the signal to be drawn 
up. The monster had anchored itself in the hold, so all our 
efforts were useless. One of its arms seized tight hold of the 
hose which conveys the air from the pump to the diver; and 
knowing that his life was at stake, the diver succeeded by a 
desperate effort in cutting off the limb before any serious 
damage was done. His knife was as sharp as it could be 
made, but he said the creature's arm was almost as hard to 
cut as sole leather. 

All this had occupied a very short time, and the fish had 
been slowly but steadily advancing upon him until its head 
came into plain view under the square of the hatch, though it 
took care to keep some of its arms anchored within the hold. 
Fearing that the brute might seize the hand in which he held 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 145 

his knife he extended it behind him and watched for an op- 
portunity to plunge it into the fish's eye as it drew him to- 
wards its beak. At this moment Goolwa entered the hatch, 
and began slashing at the monster with all his might in order 
to attract its attention. Goolwa drove his knife up to the hilt 
into one of its eyes and immediately shot upward again. The 
monster at once relinquished its hold and began writhing and 
twisting in agony, as these savage creatures always do when 
wounded in the eyes, and the diver was drawn up without 
further difficulty. 

The captain concluded after this to abandon the enterprise 
on account of the irreparable injury to the diving suit, though 
he spent a few days in trading with the natives, whose chief 
weapons are swords and spears which, like nearly all their 
implements, are very neatly made of the finest kind of ebony 
and bone. 

This island is not only well supplied with ebony and other 
fine wood, but is also abundant with alluvial deposits of gold, 
as we learned from a white miner whom we carried from here 
to Sydney. This miner showed us a quantity of gold which 
he had taken out by panning, and said the greatest drawbacks 
to obtaining it were the thick vines and dense scrub which 
covered the ground and the scarcity of water due to the 
ground being too porous to retain it. He believed that these 
difficulties could be overcome and was on his way to Sydney 
for the purpose of organizing a company to mine on the 
island. 

We reached Sydney after an uneventful run, and in a few 
days the captain sold his entire cargo of curios to a number 
of European tourists at a figure which left him a handsome 
profit. In fact, he stated that he made more on the sale of 
the curios than he did on all the rest of the cargos that we 
handled during the entire voyage. 

In Sydney I met a captain whom I had known in Tonga. 



146 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

He asked me to ship with him as mate of his schooner trad- 
ing between Auckland and the South Sea Islands. 

The captain had cleared the same day and meant to put 
out to sea at daylight, but we hove up our anchor the minute 
we got on board and quietly set sail; but the wind was light, 
so that we could make little headway, and off Rangitoto it died 
out completely. We hailed a tug which towed us past Tiri- 
tiri Island, where we caught a steady breeze and were well off 
shore by daylight. We ran north to the Fiji Islands, dispos- 
ing of our cargo at various points throughout the group. The 
captain obtained a charter from a merchant in Levuka on the 
Island of Ovalau to collect a cargo of best Fijian timber to 
send to England. The charterer made a contract with Tui 
(King) Thakau, chief of the powerful Thakau Ndrovi tribe, 
to send a large number of his men to cut the timber and raft 
it to the vessel. Most of this tribe reside upon the island of 
Vanua Levu (Vanua, land; Levu, big, or great), and ac- 
cordingly we anchored in Nathava Bay, on the east end of 
this island. 

Among the various kinds of timber which we collected was 
one species known as ndakua (damara vitiensis), which grows 
quite tall and is from six to seven feet in diameter. The wood 
bears a strong resemblance to the fine kauri pine of New 
Zealand and, like the kauri, contains large quantities of gum. 

One of the most beautiful woods is a species of greenheart 
called vesi (afzelia bijuga), which resembles mahogany and 
grows to a diameter of four feet. The tree has white bark 
and small, scaly leaves, the wood is very strong, hard and 
heavy. It is fitted for all kinds of uses; for it is remarkably 
durable and takes a beautiful polish which makes it ex- 
tremely ornamental. The ndamanu is a very fine timber and 
makes handsome furniture. It is the favorite wood for masts 
and spars, for it is very strong and tough, while at the same 
time it is not too heavy, as many of the other timbers are. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 147 

Yasi (true sandalwood) is still found in these islands, 
though it is getting scarce owing to the reckless way 
hi which it has been destroyed; but there are large quan- 
tities of a very fragrant kind of bastard sandalwood called 
thevua which grows from one to two feet in diameter and 
is probably quite equal to yasi. The wood, which is strong 
and very hard, is a bright yellow like satinwood; it has a 
close, silky grain, and takes a very fine polish. Makita wood 
is strong and tough and is the favorite wood for making 
spears. Male (wild nutmeg) is used for bows, though the 
favorite wood for this purpose is the root of the mangrove. 

The most beautiful flowering tree in the 
A group is the kau sulu (ixora), which I after- 

Gorgeous ward found growing in Ponapi, where it is 
Tree. called katiu. It seems to be always in bloom 

and is covered with a gorgeous display of the 
most brilliant gold and scarlet flowers. The golden yellow 
'stamens bear such a striking resemblance to the crest of the 
head of a peacock that the Malays call this flower bunga 
waruk (peacock flower). The wood, which is dazzlingly 
white, is so tough and elastic that it is often used for bows 
and spears. Without any exception it is the most beautiful 
flowering tree that I have ever seen in any part of the world. 
The nokonoko (casuarina) is the toa of the Polynesian 
Islands and the she-oak of the Australian bush. The wood 
of this tree is so strong and tough that war-clubs and wooden 
swords are usually made of it. The most durable wood of all 
South Sea Island woods is the mbiiambua, a species of box- 
wood which grows to a gigantic size. The wood, which is 
extremely fragrant, resembles boxwood in color and texture 
and is almost as hard and heavy as stone. It answers ad- 
mirably for all the purposes of ordinary boxwood and is 
practically indestructible. There is a tall, tapering tree of 
majestic appearance, with large, glassy leaves handsomely 



I 4 8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

veined with red and white, which the natives call kau kara. 
The slightest contact with the leaves of it produces a fright- 
ful itch which is maddening. The most effectual cure for 
the intolerable poison is powdered charcoal. 

Almost all nations associate some particular tree with the 
dead, and the Fijians plant the red-leaved ngai tree upon the 
graves of their departed friends as yew trees are planted in 
English graveyards. The ngai is a species of dracaena and 
is intimately associated with their heathen superstitions, espe- 
cially with the unearthly Vilabila Irevo or Fire-walking Cere- 
mony, as will be described further on. 

The natives generally make their canoes of uto lolo (bread- 
fruit tree) or a kind of cedar called mbau vundi, which is 
strong, easily worked, and very durable. Of course niu 
(cocoanut) trees are plentiful near the beaches. Papaws are 
plentiful near the villages, but the natives never seem to make 
any use of the fruit except to feed it to pigs. The papaw 
is one of the most remarkable trees in existence, for the 
toughest kind of meat becomes perfectly tender if wrapped 
for a few hours in the leaves or cooked with a little of the 
juice of the fruit. If a few of the huge leaves are soaked 
with soiled clothes they do away with the use of soap. 

Cacao trees are cultivated and constitute one of the best 
paying crops in the islands. They are small trees and gen- 
erally divide into four branches near the ground. The tree 
bears very pretty flowers of a deep orange color and smooth, 
dull green leaves about four inches long. The fruit is shaped 
somewhat like a cucumber but more deeply furrowed on the 
sides. The fruit is green in tfie immature state, but some 
turn to a pretty shade of yellow when ripe, while others turn 
to a sort of purple shade with pink veins. The fruit, which 
is from six to eight inches, contains from twenty to thirty 
kernels shaped very much like almonds and consisting of a 
shell resembling parchment. These seeds or kernels are 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 149 

dried in the sun and afterwards manufactured into the choco- 
late of commerce. 

Savaira mbunindamu is a fine dark redwood 

Trees of which takes a good polish, though inferior 

Many Kinds, to yaka and mbau ndina in point of beauty. 

It is remarkably tough and strong, and is 

easily steamed and bent into the most fanciful shapes for 

chairs, boat timber, wheels, and other purposes. 

In addition to the great variety of wood to be obtained at 
this place there is no lack of food in the bush for any one who 
knows how to find it. The ivi tree grows everywhere and 
produces abundant crops of excellent chestnuts; while the 
ntavola, which is equally common, furnishes abundant crops 
of fine almonds. Mbatata (potatoes), kumala (sweet pota- 
toes), ndalo (taro), and uvi (yams) grow wild everywhere, 
and several kinds of delicious berries. 

A stranger might readily recognize the yams by the tops, 
which grow in the form of slender climbing vines with tri- 
angular leaves like those of the morning glory. There is also 
a tall, slender, parasitic plant called wa yaka, the root of which 
is baked or boiled and has a sugary taste very much like 
liquorice root. The large root of the ngai, which often weighs 
forty pounds, is baked and tastes very much like the root of 
the wa yaka. Vundi (bananas) and ntovu (sugar cane) grow 
everywhere, mostly in cultivation, but sometimes wild. Among 
the many other tropical productions of these islands is a thick, 
rope-like liana which furnishes excellent drinking water when 
cut. 

The rainfall is so copious that the islands are full of water- 
courses, and the land is so unusually rough and mountainous 
that these streams form innumerable waterfalls, which consti- 
tute one of the most charming features of these islands. Noth- 
ing could be more beautiful than these silvery waterfalls set 
in dense jungles of giant flowering trees, variegated shrubs, 



150 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

mottled crotons, and lovely ferns. The gigantic trees which 
tower far above these lonely streams support immense fes- 
toons of most lovely climbing ferns, the delicate, lace-like 
foliage of which forms a scene of such exquisite beauty that 
the natives call this particular species of trailing fern God's 
fern. 

The vicinity of these waterfalls is the favorite resort of 
large orange-colored spiders which remind me of those I had 
seen in the Australian bush. Strange to say, they were wet 
with the spray from the falls, although most land spiders dis- 
like water. Occasionally a solitary kingfisher flits along the 
surface of the water, while green and crimson parakeets and 
orange and rainbow doves flying about flash like jewels in the 
sun, and the falling of the water is the only sound that breaks 
the silence of these solitudes. 

Savage races all seem to have a craving for 
A Queer semi-putrid food, and the Fijians are no ex- 
Delicacy, ception to the rule. They bake or boil great 
quantities of taro root, which they knead with 
their feet, wrap in leaves, and bury in the ground for many 
weeks until it is in a very advanced state of decomposition. 
They then dig it up and feast upon it with great gusto. The 
horrible stench and disgusting appearance of this highly rel- 
ished delicacy were, I must confess, too much for me, and I 
always kept at a respectful distance when I happened to be in 
the vicinity of a feast of it. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 151 



CHAPTER XIV 

NATIVE THEOLOGY OF THE FIJIANS 

The Fijians have an elaborate system of theology. Ndengei, 
who occupies the form of an enormous serpent, lives with a 
single attendant named Uto in a rocky cavern called Raki 
Raki, and, notwithstanding the tropical climate of Fiji, he 
always keeps up a fire composed of two logs, one of which 
is thirty miles in circumference. 

Next in rank to Ndengei are his two sons, Tokairambe 
and Tui Lakemba Randinandina, who act as mediators be- 
tween him and the human race and transmit the prayers and 
supplications of all worshipers to their father. 

Offerings of food of any kind are always acceptable to 
Ndengei, but the most acceptable of all offerings is mbokolo 
(meaning literally "long pig"), which was nothing more or 
less than a human body baked ready for eating. The god is 
supposed to feast upon the spiritual or immaterial part of the 
offering and the priests and worshippers eat the material part. 

If the prayers are not answered the priest is always ready 
to explain that the failure is owing to some subsequent sin or 
failure to fulfill the conditions on the part of the suppliant. 

It would occupy too much space to give a list 
Devil f an " tne devil-gods which they worship; 

Gods. they are invariably represented as monsters 

of infamy whose greatest pleasure is devour- 
ing the souls of human beings. Their god Walu-vaka-tini, for 
example, had eighty stomachs and is always hungry for hu- 



152 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

man souls with which to fill them. Their god Thangwalu is 
believed to be sixty feet in height, with a forehead six feet 
high, and a huge mouth like a cave armed with teeth like 
the points of spears. Another monster named Roko Mbati 
Ndua (the One-toothed Chief) has one tooth in his lower 
jaw, but it is so large that it projects above his head and is 
used for rending every victim he can lay hold of. He has 
wings instead of arms, and these wings are armed with sharp 
hooks or claws for seizing his victims. He rushes through 
the air with incredible speed and emits sparks of fire as he 
passes. 

Formerly the Fijians believed that nothing was more an- 
noying to the Fijian gods than noise, and during the month of 
December everybody was strictly forbidden to make the least 
noise of any kind on pain of death. The reason for this is that 
Raitumaimbulu, the god of life and of crops, is supposed at 
this time to come to earth in the form of serpents and cause 
all fruit trees to blossom and crops to flourish. During his 
stay the people in olden days came from all parts to present 
soro (offerings) and implore him to give them good crops. 

They are very particular to celebrate the ceremony of 
Sevu (Firstfruits) by presenting the first fruits of the yams 
to Raitumaimbulu in the month of February. They are in 
many places still in the habit of celebrating a mandrali 01 
thank offering to the gods for success in any enterprise, de- 
liverance from danger, or a recovery from disease. While 
Christian missionaries have done much to stamp out many of 
these ancient beliefs and superstitions, there are many tribes 
where they are still the tribal religion. 

It seems strange to find the same beliefs among people so 
widely different as the Australian blacks, the Fijians, and other 
islanders who are entirely distinct from them. The Fijians 
believe that every one of their gods resides in or is symbolized 
by some natural form such as plants, trees, fish, birds, crabs, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 153 

reptiles, but above all serpents. Every man, woman and child 
in olden times among them was considered under the special 
protection of some particular god, and it was sacrilegious for 
any one to eat the fruit, fish, bird, plant or animal in which 
their protecting deity was enshrined. 

The members of every profession, such as 
A God for canoe-builders, fishermen, agriculturists, club- 
Every Trade, makers, etc., worshipped the god who pre- 
sided over their particular calling, and the 
worship was performed in sacred groves as it was in ancient 
Palestine. Large shooting stars were believed to be traveling 
gods, but the smaller ones were supposed to be the departing 
souls of human beings on their way to the abode of Ndengei 
to be judged; though this latter belief seems inconsistent with 
the idea that the souls of the dead traveled in a canoe. There 
is a sacred fruit tree called tarawau which bears very fragrant 
flowers, but they consider it far too sacred to interfere with 
because they believe that the spirits of the dead plant it 
throughout the islands. Like all unenlightened people, they 
employ figurative language in speaking of the dead; and in- 
stead of saying that a friend or relative has died, they in- 
variably say "Sa laki tei tarawau ki Nai Thombo Thombo" 
(he has gone to plant tarawau in Nai Thombo Thombo). 
Nai Thombo Thombo is the northern headland of Mbua Bay, 
on the west side of Vanua Levu, and here the souls of the 
departed are supposed to embark for the abode of Ndengei. 
The natives were in the habit of making pilgrimages to Nai 
Thombo Thombo to mourn for their departed 
A Sacred fri ends. 

Gathering These untutored natives are far keener stu- 
Place. dents of nature than white people are likely 

to suppose, for the scenery of Nai Thombo 
Thombo is so strikingly grand and beautiful that they re- 
garded it as the sacred gathering place of their gods when they 



154 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

mysteriously came from their celestial home in Mburotu to 
regulate the affairs of their worshippers. The deep blue of 
the ocean forms a pleasing contrast with the white sandy 
beach and the bold, towering cliffs clothed with bright tropical 
vegetation. Beyond the cliffs the ground is covered with a 
majestic forest of gigantic trees festooned with the most 
lovely ferns and creepers, which envelop the lonely forest 
aisles in solemn twilight gloom, and the only sound that 
breaks the deathlike silence is the droning roar of the ocean 
swell breaking upon the distant coral reef. 

Up to a quite recent date, when a Fijian chief 

Mb 1 died, most of his wives were strangled in 

the Fiji order that they might accompany him to the 

Heaven. spirit land; and a certain number of slaves, 

proportionate to his rank, were either clubbed 

to death and buried in his grave or else buried alive in it. 

The friends of the dead chief also placed his best war-club in 

his right hand in order to enable him to fight his way, and 

hung a number of whales' teeth around his neck. On the 

way to Mbula the soul of the chief had to pass a number of 

demons or gods who were stationed as guards at various 

points along the route, and if he could not answer all their 

questions satisfactorily they would kill him or turn him back. 

Therefore the souls of the slaves or kaisi who had been buried 

with him were supposed to precede the soul of the chief, and 

while the demons were examining them the soul of the chief 

would endeavor to slip by unnoticed. 

Whales' teeth are to this day considered by far the most 
valued of all possessions and occupy the same position with 
the Fijians as diamonds do with us. They believe the god 
places an equal value upon whales' teeth, and therefore bury 
a number of them with a chief in order to enable him to bribe 
his way where he cannot succeed by fighting, lying or dodging. 
The dead body is never carried out through a door, but always 






OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 155 

through a hole specially cut through the wall, this hole being 
always carefully filled up again as soon as the body passes out. 
The reason for this is because they believe that a ghost can 
return only by the same way as it left. It is surprising to 
find how many uncivilized races hold this belief. 

The reason for murdering his wives was to prove that the 
deceased was a married man, for the spirit of a bachelor is 
never allowed to reach Mbula. One of the gods named Nanga 
Nanga always seizes the soul of a bachelor, dashes it to pieces 
upon a large black stone, and devours it. The spirit of a de- 
ceased chief never, according to Fiji superstition, goes direct 
to Nai Thombo Thombo, but repairs to a conical hill named 
Takiveleyawa, a few miles from Nai Thombo Thombo, and 
there waits until the spirits of his wives and slaves join him. 
Superstition dies hard among these natives, and even the 
Christian natives regard this solitary hill with such dread that 
it is difficult to induce them to approach it. It is composed of 
the hard red clay which is so common in these islands, and 
the natives assert that the black boulders which crop out of 
the surface are evil spirits which were turned to stone when 
their former worshipers became Christians. 

As soon as the souls of the murdered wives and slaves 
rejoin the soul of the chief the whole party repairs to Nai 
Thombo Thombo, where they embark in a canoe and a current 
carries them towards the abode of Ndengei. Before reaching 
it they must needs, according to fantastic Fijian belief, cry out 
with savage yells and demonstrations by which the inhabitants 
were warned to open all doors and allow the spirits to pass 
through their houses; for spirits can travel only in straight 
lines, they say, and all the houses have their doors directly 
opposite to each other in order to allow the spirits to pass. 

There is a curious analogy between this curious custom 
and the Chinese belief that evil spirits cannot turn corners, 
but must always travel in straight lines. This is the reason 



156 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

why the Chinese make their roads so crooked in order to pre- 
vent evil spirits from passing along them, and also why they 
never let the roofs or sides of two adjoining houses come 
exactly in line. This is in order to prevent any evil spirit pass- 
ing from one to the other. 

Mbula is the Paradise into which none but 

Deceiving chiefs and their wives are supposed to be ad- 

the Gods. mitted; but some common men succeed in 
beating their way in by lying so skillfully 
under cross-examination as to deceive the gods and gain admit- 
tance under false pretences. 

Only a few favored mortals of the very highest rank are 
ever admitted into Mburotu, which is the true Heaven and 
abode of the immortal gods. When human souls succeed in 
reaching the heavenly shores of Mburotu they come to a 
stream or fountain called Wai ni Mbula (Wai, Water; ni, of; 
Mbula, Life) by a speaking tree called Nakau ni Mbula (Tree 
of Life), and upon drinking of the stream and eating of the 
fruit of the Tree of Life they at once become immortal and are 
believed to be forever free from sickness, pain, and sorrow. 
In this blissful region every man is supposed to grow to the 
stature of a giant and live in a magnificent house situated in 
the midst of a beautiful garden which he cultivates and which 
produces the finest kinds of crops and rarest flowers. 

It is strange to find an absolutely identical tradition in re- 
gard to the Isles of the Blest, in Ireland and the Fiji Islands. 
When I was a small boy I heard my father relate the popu- 
lar Irish tradition that on a clear day the inhabitants of the 
west coast of Ireland could see the towers and palaces of a 
magnificent city rising from the Atlantic far away towards the 
westward; but although mariners had often sailed for months 
in quest of this city they had never been able to find it. Many 
years afterwards I found that the Fijians had an identical 
tradition in regard to Mburotu. As they sail westward from 



OF CAPTAIN QWNTON 157 

the Lau or Lakemba Islands toward Suva or Kandavu they 
sometimes catch sight of an indescribably beautiful city on the 
far western horizon; but though they have frequently loaded 
some of their largest war-canoes with provisions and sailed in 
quest of it the beautiful hills fade away as they approach and 
appear to be still further and further away until at last they 
vanish from sight. This is Mburotu, where the gods are be- 
lieved not only to roast and eat the souls of the kaisi (common 
people), but also to inflict various punishments upon the souls 
of chiefs who have displeased them. The most degrading pun- 
ishment of all is inflicted upon the soul of the chief who has 
not killed any one. Such souls are condemned to spend all 
eternity in beating a heap of filth with a war-club. All whose 
ears are not pierced must go about forever with the kind of 
log, upon which women beat, lashed across their shoulders. 
If any woman has neglected to be tattooed, other women who 
had reached Mbula cut her in pieces with sharp shells and 
made her into bread for the gods ; or else they constantly chase 
and cut her with sharp shells whenever she attempts to rest. 
They bury the dead in graveyards which they call Ai 
mbulu mbulu (Place of graves) ; and, like the Tongans, the 
nearest relatives cut off a joint of the little finger as a sign of 
grief, while others exhibit their sorrow by wounding them- 
selves in various ways or by cutting off their hair or beard. 
They apply the name loloku to everything done out of respect 
for the dead, though the word was formerly applied chiefly 
to the strangling of the wives and slaves of the deceased. 
Each friend and relative who comes to the wake is supposed 
to bring a present to the family of the deceased; and as they 
present their gift each one bestows a farewell kiss upon the 
corpse and joins in lamenting his death and extolling his vir- 
tues. This custom, which is called ai rengu rengu, from the 
word rengu (to kiss), is said to have been the means of 
spreading various contagious diseases among the natives. Like 



158 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

the Maoris, they consider feasting a very important part of 
mourning ; for the two go on together under the name of Kana 
mboji (feasting till evening). These mourning feasts last from 
ten to twenty days, according to the rank of the deceased. 

On the fourth day after the death of the de- 
Feasts ceased the mourners display the most intense 
S T ^ an d join in a wailing ceremony called 
vaka vindiulo (jumping of maggots), because 
the decomposition of the body is then supposed to have fairly 
set in. Yet with the inconsistency of such races they quickly 
change from sadness to gaiety, for on the evening of the fifth 
day the friends gather and endeavor to cheer the bereaved 
family by giving a series of farcical entertainments called vaka 
ndrendre (causing to laugh). The period of mourning winds 
up with a general feasting which goes by the ambiguous name 
of mbongi ndrau, which means a hundred. 

I noticed one curious difference between the Fijians and 
the other South Sea Islanders, and that is that whereas all the 
other islanders with whom I have come in contact, as well as 
the Australian blacks, have an intense aversion to mentioning 
the name of a deceased person, the Fijians not only have no 
objection to mentioning it, but even endeavor to preserve the 
name from oblivion very much as we do, by dedicating a new 
house or a new canoe to the memory of a loved one and calling 
it by his name. This custom in heathendom is called law a ni 
mate (memory of the dead), and in the old heathen days it 
was common to bury aged people alive and afterward preserve 
their memory in this way. In fact, it was considered a filial 
duty for children to kill their aged parents or bury them alive, 
and sing at the wake or funeral : 

A mate na rawa rawa; 
Me mbula na ka ni thava? 
A mate na thengu 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 159 

(Death is easy; 

Of what use is life? 

To die is rest). 

This seems to us like the most revolting and unnatural cruelty, 
but the Fijians regarded the matter in a very different light. 
They believed that every one appeared in the spirit world in 
the same condition as he left this; consequently they did not 
want their parents to become too feeble and infirm before go- 
ing there, and believed that they were doing them the greatest 
kindness by strangling them. 

The high chiefs have their finest turbans 

The made from the fiber of the leaves of a species 

Enchanted of plantain called vunda vula, which is spun 

Scarf. an( i WO ven into a sort of gauzy cloth as soft 

as satin and fine as a spider's web. This cloth 
is highly prized and a common tribesman would be clubbed to 
death for wearing it. Should a person accused of a serious 
crime refuse to confess it, the chief takes a scarf of this fine 
cloth and threatens to catch away his soul in it unless he con- 
fesses. Should he still refuse to do so the chief waves the 
scarf back and forward a few times over his head until the 
victim's soul is supposedly caught in it. The chief then rolls 
it up and has it carefully lashed to the bow of his canoe and 
goes away with it. It is a foregone conclusion that the ac- 
cused person would certainly pine away and die for want of 
his soul; therefore he almost invariably confesses and takes 
his punishment no matter whether he is guilty or innocent. 

When a tribesman or woman sneezes it is the custom for 
any or all who happen to be present to say, "Mbula" (life to 
you), and the one who has sneezed replies, "Mole" (thanks). 
This graceful custom appears to be common to nearly every 
race in the world. It would be interesting to discover how it 
came to be so universal. 



160 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The natives of these islands have two slightly differing 
traditions of the Deluge. One is that once a good man built 
a very large decked canoe upon a mountain 
The Deluge, top far from any water and loaded it with 
provisions as if for a long voyage. His friends 
and neighbors imagined that he had gone insane and laugh- 
ingly asked him how he expected to launch his enormous ca- 
noe. He and his family, numbering eight persons in all, 
then took refuge in the canoe and carefully closed the hatches. 
Immediately the rain began to come down in such torrents 
that the canoe slid down the mountainside and crushed people 
to death in its course. (This was the origin of the old Fiji 
custom of launching all war-canoes over the bodies of a cer- 
tain number of people, all of whom were crushed to death 
beneath it.) As soon as the great canoe began sliding down 
the mountain the sea suddenly rose and drowned everybody 
in existence except the occupants of the canoe and a few 
people who had gone up a mountain to gather yaka plants, the 
fiber of which makes best fishing nets. The yaka gatherers 
retreated before the rising flood to the very highest pinnacle 
of the mountain, when they cried to the gods to save them 
and the floods were stayed. They had things to eat with them, 
but no water. So they nearly perished for want of fresh 
water to drink, for the water surrounding them was all salt. 
In their distress they cried again to the gods to send fresh 
water, and the gods sent a chief who bade them follow him. 
They followed the chief to a rock which he struck with his 
staff and a stream of fresh water instantly flowed out of it 
and saved their lives. Meanwhile the great canoe with its 
cargo floated upon the ocean until the waters subsided, when 
it settled upon a mountain on the little island of Mbenga, a 
few miles south of Viti Levu. 

It is worthy of note that the people who were saved in the 
canoe numbered eight, precisely as the Bible tells us that eight 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 161 

persons were saved in the Ark. The people who were saved 
upon the mountain became the ancestors of the kaisi or com- 
mon people, but those who landed upon Mbenga became the 
ancestors of the aristocratic class and speak of themselves as 
"Ngali thuva ki Langi" (Subject only to Heaven). 

One story is that the Xa Ivilankata priests of Mbenga 
have ever since celebrated the unearthly Vilavila Irevo, or 
Firewalking Ceremony, on their island in honor of the de- 
liverance of their ancestors from the Flood ; but I have heard 
different accounts of the origin of this strange ceremony, 
which I will tell about further on in the account of our voyage 
to Mbenga. 

The other tradition of the Deluge relates how the god 
Ndengei had a favorite bird named Turukawa, and his two 
grandsons killed it. Ndengei called upon the culprits to make 
atonement for their offence; but instead of doing so they 
defied him in the most insulting manner. They then raised a 
large army, with which they fortified their town and declared 
themselves independent of him. Ndengei spent three months 
in mobilizing a vast army which he sent against the rebels, 
but the latter fought so hard and so well that it could not 
conquer them. Ndengei then withdrew his army and caused 
a mighty flood to overwhelm the earth for the purpose of 
drowning his enemies. He still called upon them to repent 
as the waters rose higher and higher, but they retreated be- 
fore the rising flood to higher territory and still defied the 
old chief. At last when they had reached the highest point 
of land in the world, and saw their great army drowned be- 
fore their eyes and the flood still rising, they cried to ont of 
their gods to help them. The god came to their rescue and 
showed them how to build a canoe in which four men and 
four women escaped ; and as the flood subsided the canoe was 
stranded upon the Island of Mbenga and the eight persons 
in it became the ancestor's of the present inhabitants. 



1 62 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

One splendid Fiji legend says that some common people, 

shortly after this great flood, formed a settlement near Na 

Savu, on Vanua Levu. Being ignorant of 

The Tower tne eight souls who had been saved in the 
of Babel. canoe, they imagined they were the only peo- 
ple in the world; and so they determined to 
find out if there were people in the moon, and if there were, 
to communicate with them. Many years were spent in piling 
up a vast mountain of earth and stones which was to form the 
foundation of a tower which would reach the moon. They 
then cut down and squared an immense number of huge trees 
and, having dragged them to the top of the mountain, built an 
enormous tower which reached to within a short distance of 
the moon, and just as it was on the point of completion the 
enormous weight proved too much for the foundation and the 
whole vast structure collapsed, killing many of the workmen 
and scattering the rest over all the islands. 

The striking resemblance between their traditions and the 
story of the Bible is far too close and circumstantial to be the 
result of mere accident or coincidence. Many of the Fijians 
show a strong Semitic cast of countenance, their laws of 
tambu (which are practically identical , with the tabu of the 
Polynesian Islanders) are very similar to the laws of Moses, 
and the practice of circumcision prevailed throughout all these 
islands. 

The Fijians are unquestionably a mixture of the tall, 
straight-haired Polynesians to the eastward of them and the 
dark-skinned, woolly-haired Melanesians to the westward ; and 
the more carefully any thoughtful person studies their tra- 
ditions, laws, manners, and customs the more firmly he be- 
comes convinced that the ancestors of the Fijians and Poly- 
nesians were in intimate contact witfa the inhabitants of Pal- 
estine in long-past ages. I have often spoken of this to white 
men who have lived for many years among the islanders I 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 163 

have mentioned, and they have invariably replied that they 
believe these natives to be the descendants of the "Ten Lost 
Tribes." 

I may say in advance that I do not believe this exactly; 
but there can be no doubt that they received their traditions 
of the Creation and the Flood, their laws of tabu, the cere- 
mony of offering the first-fruits of their crops to the gods, and 
the ceremony of "passing through the fire" from the sacred 
land of Palestine. 



1 64 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER XV 

FEROCIOUS AND TREACHEROUS TRIBES OF THE SOLOMON ISLANDS 

After spending several months trading in the Fijis the 

captain secured a charter to carry a load of island laborers, 

whose time had expired, to their homes in 

Among the ^ e Solomon Islands. Most of them were 

Solomon from Taviuni Island, lying southeast of 

Islands. Vanua Levu, which is the garden spot of the 

Fijis, and we took on the laborers at Vuna, 

which is the principal settlement of whites and is located at 

the southwestern end of the island. 

It was the season of the southeast trade winds which blow 
regularly from the beginning of May to the end of October, 
so we were pretty sure of fair wind in running to westward. 
This is known as the fine weather season because it is not 
quite so rainy as during the season of northwest winds which 
prevail from November to April. 

We passed south of Tucopia Island between the Santa 
Cruz Islands on the north and the Banks Islands to the south. 
We anchored in Selwyn Bay, on the southwest side of Ugi 
Island, on the eighth day after clearing the Fijis. 

The little island of Ugi, which is situated four miles off 
the north coast of the large island of San Cristoval, is only 
six miles long and about two and a quarter wide. Selwyn 
Bay is the only anchorage in the island. Some of our pas- 
sengers belonged to this little island, so we put in to Selwyn 
Bay and laid in goodly supplies of yams, water, wood and 
other necessities. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 165 

One remarkable characteristic of the people of the Solo- 
mon Islands is the excellence of their artistic skill in wood 
carving. Considering that they have few tools and the wood 
is laboriously scraped away with sharp shells and pieces of 
bone, their work is amazingly beautiful. Their best crafts- 
men are usually set to carving and decorating the village coun- 
cil house, which is often ornately decorated with elaborately 
carved figures representing gigantic human beings and many 
open-mouthed sharks and sea monsters. These people worship 
the shark and devil-fish as minor gods, and though they are 
cannibals they have an intense and sensitive love of flowers. 
Their villages are commonly embowered in masses of lovely 
orchids, climbing ferns and flowering shrubs, and are among 
the most beautiful of all savage settlements. 

After leaving the island of Ugi we sailed along the south- 
ern shore of Guadalcanar, then stood to the north and west- 
ward until we reached Gatukai, where we hove to, and landed 
at the village of Peava, in latitude 8 48' S. and longitude 
158 14' E. The tribesmen whom we landed were welcomed 
with the most extravagant expressions of affection and delight. 
A stranger would have found it incredible that people capable 
of such affectionate demonstration are among the most in- 
veterate head-hunters of the whole Solomon group. They re- 
gard the larger island of Vanguni as their particular hunting 
ground, and when they want a fresh supply of human heads 
the large war-canoes of Gatukai make a mysterious and sud- 
den descent upon the island and slaughter every native they 
can find. These sudden and desolating raids of the head- 
hunters have driven the natives of Vanguni Island to seek 
refuge in the thick forests which cover the hills in the interior 
of the island, where they have much better chance to defend 
themselves, for the Gatukai head-hunters believe in making a 
sudden raid and getting away before their victims can gather 
in sufficient force to attack them in return. 



i66 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

As soon as we entered canoes came from all directions to 

trade. The lagoon in which we anchored is studded with a 

great number of pretty coral islets, all of 

Canoes Come which are flat-topped, densely wooded, and 

Toward Us a i most precisely alike. The islands have the 

from all , t 

Directions. peculiar appearance of having been hauled up 

from the bottom. Proof of this, according to 
geologists, is shown in the case of Mboli Island, the northern 
end of which shows a remarkable gallery on the face of a 
limestone cliff many feet above the present high-water mark, 
which at one time formed the waterline. In some places this 
overhanging gallery is deeper than others and stalactites and 
stalagmites in every stage of formation may be seen among 
them. There are many native villages known as Bili Lupa 
picturesquely built in these overhanging galleries. 

After witnessing a funeral ceremony late in the day on the 
island of Mbulo I strolled a short distance into the bush and 
was surprised to see a clearing in which were a great number 
of graves, each one covered with weapons and other curios. 
The odds and ends which I saw in that savage burying ground 
would have stocked a large museum. I would have been glad 
myself to carry off some of them as mementos, but I resisted 
the temptation, for the natives would kill any one who dese- 
crated the graves of their heroes. 

The Solomon Island canoes are the finest and most pic- 
turesque in the entire Pacific. The tomako or large head 
hunting canoes vary in length from fifty to seventy feet, and 
one of them will carry upwards of sixty men. They are so 
well balanced as to require no outrigger. They are never 
rigged with sails, but are propelled at a very rapid rate with 
narrow, short-pointed paddles, and are elaborately ornamented 
at bow and stern with wooden figureheads. The entire upper 
portion of the canoe, especially the high prow and stern, are 
usually neatly inlaid with mother of pearl and nautilus shell 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 167 

and are apt to be garlanded with cowry shells around the outer 
edge. The last touch on the prow is usually a human skull. 
Just above water line on the bow there is apt to be a gro- 
tesque figure of a god, who is supposed to keep lookout for 
rocks, reefs and enemies. Sometimes this god is represented 
with two heads, one looking forward, the other backward, so as 
to enable him more thoroughly to look after the safety of the 
canoe. 

I took a small boat ashore one day to fill some of our water 
casks at a little stream above the village of Repi, and I stopped 
to watch what was apparently the magician of the tribe per- 
form the ceremony of first fruits. At first he would not allow 
me to come too close, but I quickly settled his scruples with 
a stick of tobacco, which amply paid my way. He placed some 
breadfruit upon small altars and also upon the points of many 
sharp-pointed sticks which he planted in the ground. He 
then stood up and muttered incantations. Fire was obtained 
by rubbing two pieces of wood together and applied to the 
altar, the priest repeating incantations all the while. The 
purport of the strange chant, I afterward learned, was an 
invocation to the devil to accept the first fruits of the bread- 
fruit crop and to grant them an increase of the crop in the 
future. It was a strange experience and worth a trip to the 
island to see. 

The inhabitants of the Solomon Islands are commonly of 
moderate height, well proportioned and very strong and active. 
The color of their skin varies from copper color to almost jet 
black, and their eyes are deeply sunk under heavy, projecting 
eyebrows. Their lips are thick, noses short and chins reced- 
ing. They wear no clothes and perhaps to compensate for 
their lack in this direction they load themselves with a savage 
array of belts, combs, feathers, bead hair ornaments, armlets, 
necklaces and streaks of paint. 

An ornament which ranks of great value among them con- 



1 68 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

sists of an armlet laboriously and ingeniously cut out of the 
tridacna gigas shell or giant clam. This shell looks like 
marble and is so hard that often it is ground into axes and 
adzes with which they hew the planks in building their canoes. 
It requires an untold amount of labor to make a clam-shell 
armlet, and they are valued solely for the amount of labor 
bestowed upon them. 

Another valuable ornament which is worn 
Valuable suspended upon the breast consists of a large 
Ornaments. shell ring overlaid with delicate tortoise shell 
fretwork and ornamented with pendants. The 
wearing of these ornaments is almost a challenge to murder 
and is quite as dangerous as it would be for a white man to 
frequent the haunts of criminals with many thousand dollars' 
worth of diamonds openly displayed upon his person. They 
are the cause of endless wars and murders, yet for some mys- 
terious reason they can be left openly upon the graves of 
chiefs and warriors, where no one dares to disturb them for 
fear of incurring the wrath of the evil spirits who are be- 
lieved to guard the abodes of the dead. 

It is common among them to offer sacrifices to the devil 
for the recovery of a sick person, especially a chief or great 
warrior, and human sacrifice is considered by far the most ac- 
ceptable. Among some of the tribes it is customary to nurse 
a sick person as long as there is any apparent hope of recov- 
ery, but when the case is deemed hopeless they take the pa- 
tient into a little house erected for the purpose, and place some 
food and water beside him and leave him to live or die. 

The Solomon Islanders believe in a paradise 
which exists far away to the westward, and 

Fantastic offer sacrificial feasts to demons in order to 
Belief. induce them to permit the souls of their de- 

parted friends to enter there. They also fan- 
tastically believe that the singularly large and beautiful fire- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 169 

flies which flicker like fairy lamps amid the trees at night are 
the souls of departed tribesmen who in this way revisit the 
scenes of their earthly career. When I asked for an explana- 
tion of this strangely romantic fancy a chief explained to me 
that a departed soul is possessed of little, if any, more power 
than it had in the body: but once it has been admitted to the 
happy land it becomes gifted with the power of metamorphos- 
ing itself into the form of a firefly and revisiting the place of 
its birth and looking after the welfare of its friends and rela- 
tives. 

It is customary to bury common people in the sea, but 
different sections have slightly different ways of disposing 
of the remains of those who belong to higher ranks. In some 
cases the bodies are buried; in others, exposed until the flesh 
is entirely removed from the bones, when they are cleaned 
and placed inside of a large wooden mold carved to represent 
a porpoise, a shark or a swordfish. 

Like the Fijians, they believe that all inanimate objects 
such as canoes, tools, weapons, etc., have souls as well as liv- 
ing things. The soul of the wooden mold containing the 
bones of the dead chief is believed to carry the soul of the 
man to paradise. 

We next brought up in Rendovax Harbor 

Most with its two entrances. We entered by the 

Ferocious t littl islets { Kuru Kuru on th west 
Tnbes in the 

World. an d Aumbari on the east. Probably the most 

ferocious tribes in the world are gathered 
around this beautiful bay. 

We had scarcely more than anchored when large canoes 
began to crowd around us again, and, though no weapons 
were visible, we knew perfectly well that canoes in these parts 
never go anywhere without being manned and armed to the 
decks. A few natives came on board to greet their returning 
friends among the crew and to hear accounts of the strange 



170 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

lands they had visited. Some of them handed up long- 
handled hatchets and tomahawks, requesting permission to 
sharpen them upon the vessel's grindstone. One of the in- 
terpreters whom we had taken on at Ugi Island excitedly 
pointed to the many canoes hovering round and whispered, 
"No good, no good. Bimeby plenty fight, make plenty killa 
man ; no good, no good." 

It required considerable show of force to keep the canoes 
away from the ship; but they all drew back like frightened 
birds at the approach of a large superbly decorated craft con- 
taining a chief whose upper arms were completely covered 
with shell armlets, showing that he was a chief of very high 
rank. He came on board in a very stately fashion and in- 
formed us in broken English that his name was Ingova and 
that he was the king of the Rubiana Lagoon. The captain 
got his good will with presents of matches, a butcher knife 
and a carpenter's chisel, in return for which he sent us gifts 
of rams and fish. He also sent some of his men to assist us 
in getting fresh water. 

The only way to do business with such dangerous natives 
is to immediately make friends with the chief and transact 
all business through him. Our captain had intended loading 
up with sandalwood, but the natives brought such splendid 
samples of ebony, rosewood and lignum vitae that we decided 
to load up these woods as well. We found that the small 
islands of the group are overrun with wild pigs. 

These natives are as uncertain as children, 

Native anc ^ ^ or some reason that was not apparent to 

Treachery. us Ingova ceased his visits to our vessel and 

other natives began to show unmistakable 
signs of hostility. We soon discovered that the chief was 
away on one of his murderous head-hunting raids and the 
natives in his absence had determined to do a little pirating 
on their own account. By hook or crook we got rid of the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 171 

last of them and the captain concluded to pull up anchor and 
get under way before daylight. Early as it was two large 
canoes had already entered the harbor and were swiftly ap- 
proaching us. Their actions were most sus- 
picious, and they separated in such a way that 
we would be compelled to pass between them, 
and kept their canoes turned end toward us 
as they always do when contemplating an at- 
tack. Within hailing distance they turned both canoes slightly 
and, holding up two axes, indicated that they wished to come 
alongside, offering us the axes as gifts. This of course was a 
blind, for each canoe was loaded with warriors who undoubt- 
edly would overpower us if they succeeded in getting near. 
The captain, through an interpreter, told them to keep their 
axes and their distance or we would fire into them if they came 
any closer, whereupon the savage head-hunters set up a yell 
and came on full speed, but when they were within a few yards 
of us the captain suddenly slewed the schooner around, send- 
ing her bow smashing through the canoe to the leeward of us 
and capsizing her. The crew of the other canoe yelled defiance 
and instantly assailed us with a volley of poisoned arrows and 
bullets, some of which struck our bulwarks and others passed 
through the sails or flew harmlessly overhead. They were 
so close we could scarcely miss them with our guns, but they 
held their shields at a sharp angle for the purpose of deflecting ^ 
the bullets and presented as small a target as possible; the 
only objects visible outside of the tall prow were the shields 
of the savages. Taking careful aim we fired. Several shields 
were thrown into the air and as many warriors went plunging 
overboard. The canoe promptly fell astern and it was soon 
practically impossible for us to hit them. Two other large 
canoes loaded with warriors appeared around the south end of 
the nearest island and paddled rapidly towards us. Their 
course exposed their broadside to us and we fired several 



172 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

shots at them. They instantly checked their way and pointed 
their prows at us to avoid being hit. Finding themselves 
repulsed by our firearms they kept at a respectful distance 
and we got safely away. 

Blanche Harbor, which lies between Mono Island on the 
north and Sterling Island on the south in latitude 7 24' S. 
and longitude 155 33' E., was our next stopping place. 

Sterling Island is only three miles long with an average 
breadth of half a mile, but it rises to a height of about two 
hundred feet and has the general aspect of having been up- 
heaved from the bottom of the ocean like so many other is- 
lands in the Solomon group. Canoes belonging to the vil- 
lages of Faveke and Falamai surrounded us before we had 
time to anchor. A few small presents established friendly 
relations at once and our experience here was more or less 
peaceful. 

I paid several visits to the near-by villages, and one day I 
was persuaded to go some distance in the bush with half a 
dozen natives who were hunting wild pigeons with bows and 
arrows. They moved about noiselessly as cats and could read- 
ily detect a bird in foliage where it was perfectly invisible to 
the untrained eye. At one place a monster lizard five feet 
long suddenly started up in front of us and darted up a large 
tree to what he considered safe height, when he stopped and 
looked down upon us. One of the natives promptly brought 
him down with an arrow, and though the fall alone seemed 
sufficient to kill him he fought savagely until the native broke 
his neck with a blow from his bow. 

A short distance further on a black man be- 

"Nifi! Nifi!" hind me cried "Nifi! Nifi!" and pointed to 

the ground not two feet ahead of me. At 

first I could detect nothing, but the native darted his spear 

among the creepers and quickly drew it back with a venomous 

looking snake hissing and writhing upon the point of it. Its 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 173 

triangular head was dark brown, its back was covered with 
rings of white and reddish brown. Its belly was white as milk. 
It is the habit of this variety of reptile to conceal itself in the 
vegetation and strike at any one who approaches its place of 
concealment. 

I have never seen such splendid butterflies as I saw that 
day. Many of them measured as much as nine inches across 
the wings and they were purple and yellow and green and 
brilliant peacock blue. At night the forest was brilliant with 
myriads of fireflies which flit like fairy lamps among the trees, 
and the oppressive silence which reigns by day was broken by 
the ceaseless chorus of tree frogs, bullfrogs and the ghostly 
hoots of the night owl. 

One night we were fishing in the boat a little way up the 
Mulamabuli River beneath the giant trees which overhang 
the stream, when a long streak of pale phosphorescent light 
approached the boat, in perfect silence and without creating 
so much as a ripple in the water. "Umau" (crocodile), whis- 
pered a native who was with us in the boat. It approached 
until its head was within about six feet of the boat, where it 
stopped to take observations ; and the moment it stopped it 
became invisible because the phosphorescent light which be- 
trays its presence shines only while the creature is in motion. 
I had brought along a shot gun in the hope of being able to 
shoot some wild ducks which are plentiful in the streams ; and 
aiming in the direction of the crocodile, I told a Fiji man to 
throw a fish where we judged the crocodile's head to be. 

The sudden phosphorescent swirl which the 

A Phosphores- crocodile gave in grabbing the fish clearly 

cent Target, revealed his presence, and I fired as nearly as 

I could at his eyes. The next moment the 

brute gave a funny snort and deluged us with a shower of 

spray as he began wheeling rapidly round and round, lashing 

up the water into sparkling foam. We quickly pulled to a 



174 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

place of safety, for a single stroke of his tail would have re- 
duced our small boat to kindling wood. The natives declared 
that the crocodiles not only attack people in small canoes at 
night, but also that they prowl around the villages and run 
off with sleeping pigs, dogs, or human beings whenever they 
find a favorable opportunity to do so. They also confirm a 
story which I had often heard in the Australian bush to the' 
effect that these savage creatures are far bolder and more 
daring at night than in daylight. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 175 



CHAPTER XVI 

ON THE WAY TO INDIA 

Singapore and Hong Kong are the centers of the sandal- 
wood trade, and after completing our cargo in Choiseul Ba} 
we sailed for Singapore, where the captain hoped to dispose 
of the ship and cargo. Our course lay through Jonard En- 
trance, between the Louisade Archipelago and a multitude of 
small islands off the extreme southeastern end of New Guinea ; 
thence through Torres Strait, the Arafura Sea, the Banda Sea, 
the Floris and Java Seas and Carimata Strait to Singapore. 

Shortly after clearing Torres Strait a large 
A Strange shark began to follow the vessel. At first we 
Convoy. took no notice of him, for such an occurrence 
is far too common to even merit attention, 
[t is quite common for a shark to follow a ship for several 
iys at a time; but after he had followed us persistently for 
>ver a week we began to look upon him in the light of a com- 
inion in spite of the traditional enmity which exists between 
the sailor and the shark. Day after day and week after week 
he followed us over the entire course until the very day that 
we entered the harbor of Singapore. 

We really felt a sort of regret when we finally missed him. 
The question is often asked, "Do fish sleep?" This shark had 
followed us for three weeks over a distance of 2,500 miles, 
id during this time he certainly had no rest and so far as 
we could see never ate anything except the few scraps that 
we threw overboard, and which were not worth considering. 



176 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

I think it is no exaggeration to say that the physical endur- 
ance of a shark surpasses that of any other living creature; 
and the greatest compliment which the Maoris can pay to the 
memory of a slain warrior is to say that he "died like 
a shark." 

The captain disposed of the cargo to good advantage, and 
his curios also sold well. The ship was purchased by four 
Russians, who contemplated a general cruise in the Pacific, 
partly for amusement 'and partly for the purpose of collecting 
curios and orchids. They also contemplated a visit to Kam- 
chatka, to investigate an alleged gold discovery. But the 
season was so far advanced that they concluded to spend the 
winter months hunting big game in India and visit Kamchatka 
in the spring. Being anxious to visit the islands where we had 
been, they engaged me to go in command of the ship. They 
also purchased a steam launch for the purpose of towing the 
vessel in and out of the harbors where the sailing was diffi- 
cult and dangerous. 

We provisioned and fitted out at the little 
I Take island of Pulo Penang (Arecanut Island), 
Command which lies off the west coast of the Malay 
of a Ship. Peninsula, about 370 miles from Singapore. 
The harbor, which is always full of shipping, 
is really the channel between Penang Island and the mainland, 
and varies from two to five miles in width. Nearly all the 
business here is in the hands of the Chinese, who raise pigs, 
poultry, cattle, etc., in great numbers. The capital city, which 
is also called Penang, though the English officials call it 
Georgetown, is situated on a low, level point of land which 
projects from the northeast extremity of the island toward the 
mainland. This favorable situation enables the town to enjoy 
a fine sea breeze, while the rest of the island, which is mod- 
erately high and densely wooded, is sweltering under the rays 
of a southern sun. 






OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 177 



One day the native Klings who were bringing provisions 
to us announced that they could not work for two days, be- 
cause they were about to celebrate a Harvest 
A Horrible festival which they called Kar-a-day, and 
Harvest which is held always in September in honor 

Festival. o f their god Sammi. The comprador, who 
spoke good English, invited us to attend the 
festival, and assured us that over twenty of the priests would 
walk barefooted upon a huge fire, while others would torture 
themselves in various excruciating ways in order to secure the 
favor of Sammi for the coming year. They spent the next 
day in bathing, shaving, etc., for it is an article of faith with 
them that every worshiper must be perfectly clean, and, al- 
though few of them wore anything except a loin cloth, the 
latter was always new or freshly washed. 

On the second day we went ashore to witness the fire- 
walking festival, and I can only say that the repulsive sights 
furnished an eloquent lesson on the horrors of heathenism. 

It is a part of this belief that no one can expect good 
crops nor good fortune unless he undergoes some kind of 
torture to please Sammi, and the greater the torture the better 
the fortune of the victim who endures it. The general rule 
is that each worshiper must bring to Sammi some offering 
representative of his occupation, and the offering must be 
brought to the place of sacrifice, not in his hands, but sus- 
pended from silver skewers stuck through some part of his 
anatomy, such as the face, tongue, breast or back. 

We soon sickened of looking at the disgusting sights, and 
the comprador led the way to a fire pit in which a huge fire 
was burning. The heat from the fire was so intense that we 
did not attempt to approach near enough to gather any idea 
of its dimensions, but as nearly as I could judge the pit was 
about ten feet wide and thirty feet long, and filled with hard- 
wood logs laid close together like a corduroy road, and it 



178 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

must have been quite deep, judging from the large bank of 
earth thrown up around it. The comprador assured us that 
twenty-five devotees would walk barefooted through the mid- 
dle of the fire from one end of the pit to the other without 
receiving the slightest injury from it. Some of our own party 
sneered, and declared that anyone who approached close to 
the fire would be burned to death in short order. "No fear," 
replied the comprador, "they pray to Sammi, and Sammi won't 
let the fire burn them." 

Gradually the devotees assembled near one 
Walking end of the fire, where it seemed to me that 

Barefoot on t h e h eat was sufficient to destroy an ordinary 
Blazing . * f 

Coals. human being, and we heard a faint hum of 

voices like a low chant. The natives stand- 
ing around became as still as statues as the chant ceased, and 
one man deliberately stepped into the pit and on to the blazing 
coals. He wore nothing but the ordinary cloth which the 
poorest class of natives wear around their waists, and, believe 
it or not, he walked through that fire the whole length of the 
pit as unconcernedly as though he were walking along a coun- 
try road. Each of the other devotees then took his turn 
(there were twenty- four of them), and walked slowly and 
unconcernedly through the fiery furnace without showing the 
slightest trace of suffering. The whole performance was 
weird and sinister. 

I have since had numbers of stay-at-homes assure me that 
I must have been mistaken, because no one could pass through 
such a fire alive ; "it was all an optical illusion, a trick," and 
so on, they say. The people who make these assertions in 
regard to matters of which they are ignorant would do well 
to explain the "perfectly natural means" of which they talk so 
glibly. Of course, a stay-at-home scientist has an immense 
advantage over a traveler; the traveler can only relate what 
he has seen, frequently without being able to account for it, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 179 

whereas the alleged scientist settles the whole difficulty to his 
own satisfaction by squaring the facts to suit his theories. 
The fact is that this fire-walking stands on a par with many 
other mysteries of the Far East which are performed every 
day in the presence of hundreds of keen and intelligent ob- 
servers, who are looking for the slightest sign of fraud, yet 
the brightest intellects in Christendom have never been able to 
comprehend or explain them. For my own part, I believe that 
the Klings worship the devil under the name of Sammi, and 
I believe the weird performance which we witnessed is a 
survival of the sinister heathen ceremony of "passing through 
fire" which flourished in Syria and Palestine three thousand 
years ago. I did not think to inquire whether the performers 
who passed through the fire were a separate class who were 
specially gifted or whether every worshiper of Sammi pos- 
sessed the same mysterious power. 

Leaving Penang we passed through Preparis South Chan- 
nel in latitude 14 30' N. and longitude 93 30' E., and we 
had a straight run to the mouth of the Hooghly River, on 
the Bay of Bengal. Our first view of the mouth of the 
Hooghly River was certainly not attractive. Far as the eye 
could see a mass of trees and tangled brushwood reached, 
apparently rising out of the water and forming the huge delta 
known as Sunderbuns. 

Late in the day we anchored in front of Cal- 
Calcutta! cutta, so named in honor of the hideous Kali, 

goddess of destruction, whom the Hindus 
delight to honor. One of the most interesting sights of the 
city is the botanic garden, extending one mile along the river, 
and containing two hundred and seventy-two acres, beautifully 
laid out in tropical trees and flowers. The orchid house alone 
is worth a visit to India to see. In the center of the garden 
is a pond filled with a great variety of water plants. One huge 
banyan tree, which is a hundred years old and more, has a 



i8o THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

central trunk more than fifty feet in circumference, and a 
whole regiment of men could camp comfortably under its 
wide-spreading branches. 

The native bustees (villages) on the outskirts are of 
huts built of mud and straw, and each one clusters round 
a tank of filthy but sacred water in which they bathe. The 
rule seems to be that the water increases in sanctity in exact 
proportion to the amount of filth with which it is contami- 
nated, and the traveler ceases to wonder that the country has 
always been the home of cholera. Almost every house is pro- 
vided with its "thakoor barri" or idol shrine. The greatest 
antiquity in the place is the famous Kali Ghat, in which the 
hideous monster Kali is worshipped with rites too repulsive 
for description. 

One day we were compelled to take refuge 

The from the rain in the courtyard of a hotel 

Snake- where a snake-charmer was giving an exhi- 

charmer. bition of his skill. His stock in trade con- 
sisted of two baskets of poisonous snakes 
and a sort of flageolet called a tubri. He removed the lid 
from one basket, and, squatting in front of it, began to play 
a low, plaintive tune on his pipe. In a few seconds the head 
of a deadly East India cobra slowly rose above the rim of the 
basket. It began swinging its head in time to the music and 
made several feints at striking, but always recoiled. The music 
suddenly ceased, and the performer made a rippling sound, 
which made the snake angry. Its slender neck puffed out on 
either side in the form of a hood, on the back of which ap- 
peared two very prominent oval-shaped marks like a pair of 
spectacles. It crawled out of the basket and attempted to dart 
away, but its master deftly caught it by the tail and jerked it 
back, whereupon it became so enraged that, hissing loudly, it 
made several swift darts at him, but he easily evaded the 
savage attacks. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 181 

Well knowing that the slightest miss meant death, he nar- 
rowly watched the enraged reptile, and suddenly caught it by 
the neck with a motion almost too quick for the eye to follow, 
and the next instant he leaped to his feet, holding the snake 
at arm's length toward the spectators. It was all done so 
quickly that we gave an exclamation of horror, supposing the 
snake had bitten him and was hanging fast to his hand. The 
serpent only struggled desperately to get free, however, lash- 
ing the air with its tail and twining itself around its master's 
arm. The man then brought the cobra's head to within a few 
inches of his face, and began a low crooning song, keeping his 
eyes firmly fixed the while upon those of the snake. The 
effect was magical, for the writhing reptile suddenly became 
limp, and hung down like a piece of rope in its master's hand. 
He laid it upon the ground, and it remained perfectly motion- 
less in whatever position he twisted it about. 

Some of the spectators then remembered they had heard 

that the serpent was not dangerous to handle because its poison 

fangs had been extracted, and openly said as much. The 

Hindu smiled quietly, asked if they would give him a chicken, 

and when this was brought made some passes with his hands 

and uttered some sounds which quickly aroused the snake to 

its former state of belligerency. He then threw the chicken 

on the ground in front of it. The cobra 

Death to the darted at the chicken like lightning and 

Chicken. seized it by the breast. After a little while 

it let go and crawled quietly away, and the 

man picked it up and threw it into the basket. The liberated 

chicken gave a few cries of terror, ran a few steps and fell 

dead. 

He also showed us a snake-stone which is supposed to 
cure any kind of poisonous bite or sting. This sounds like 
a fairy tale, but I have seen numbers of white people who 
declare they have seen it tried, and they all agreed in stating 



182 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

that it did all that is claimed for it. They said the stone was 
placed upon the wound and held there for a second or two, 
after which it adhered of itself for a few minutes until it had 
absorbed as much poison as it could contain and then dropped 
off. It was then placed in a pan of milk, which drew the 
poison out of the stone, and the stone then sank to the bot- 
tom, while the poison floated on top in the form of yellow 
scum. In color the stone was dark brown or black, and its 
hard surface was polished apparently from long usage. 

But the most remarkable part of the performance was kept 
until the last. The Indian drew a long, ordinary leather strap 
from a basket, and passed it around for every one of the com- 
pany to examine. We all examined it very carefully, and cer- 
tainly it seemed to be nothing more than a common leather 
strap. It must be remembered that the snakes had been re- 
placed in their baskets and the ground was bare. The last 
man who examined the strap threw it on the ground ; the per- 
former stepped forward, picked it up in his right hand by one 
end, then suddenly flicked it in the air like a whip and threw 
it on the ground. The spectators fairly gasped with astonish- 
ment when they saw that strap which they had just examined 
suddenly become a live, hissing cobra. 

Not willing to trust his eyesight, one of the party poked 

the serpent with his cane, and it bit savagely at it. It must be 

remembered that the performer wore no 

How Did It clothing but a breech-clout, and could not 

Happen? possibly have a snake concealed anywhere 
about him; moreover, every one of the spec- 
tators was keenly watching for the least indication of fraud, 
and would have been ready to expose him had they been able 
to detect it. 

I have often read that all poisonous serpents have triangu- 
lar heads, but it is certainly not so with the cobra. I noticed 
particularly that their heads were not triangular but cylindri- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 183 

cal, though they expand the neck (not the head) in the form 
of a hoed when they are very angry. They range from four 
to five feet in length and about five inches in circumference. 
I afterwards killed and helped to kill several cobras, and thus 
had an opportunity to examine their teeth, and was surprised 
to find that the two poisonous fangs were not hollow, as I 
had always understood them to be. The opening from each 
poison gland is at the base of each fang, not through the 
fang, consequently the cobra is obliged to hold fast to its 
victim for a moment after biting in order to allow the poison 
to reach the two punctures which the fangs have made. 

This peculiarity renders the cobra far less 
Safety in dangerous than it would be otherwise to per- 
Clothing. sons wearing clothing; the fangs themselves 
will penetrate through thick cloth, but the 
poison will be deposited on the outside of the garment, even if 
it is only moderately thick, and no harm will result if the poi- 
soned clothing is removed from around the wound before the 
poison has time to soak through. I have seen several varieties 
of poisonous snakes strike at their intended victims, but the 
cobra's method of striking differs from that of all others, for 
it springs into the air as it strikes. After striking it holds 
fast to its victim for a second or two, as described, and twists 
its head rapidly from side to side, after the manner of a dog 
worrying another dog. This act of jerking its head to one 
side helps squeeze the poison gland on the side toward which 
it turns its head. The two poison fangs are curved backward 
like the teeth of a crocodile, and immediately back of the fangs 
are two rows of teeth in the upper jaw. The rest of the upper 
jaw is like the mouth of a shark ; each successive row of teeth 
is smaller than the row in front of it. When one of the poison 
fangs happens to be broken off another soon grows in its place. 
I noticed in the case of the snake-charmer that the cobra's 
mood varied with every change in the music. When the latter 



184 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

was quick and lively it swayed its head rapidly from side to 
side in the most graceful curves and in perfect time, while 
soft, dreamy music seemed to lull it almost to sleep, and loud, 
inspiring notes, again, would rouse it to the utmost enthusiasm 
and cause it to exhibit every symptom of the most intense 
delight. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 185 

CHAPTER XVII 

ASTOUNDING EXHIBITIONS 

Next day we visited a place a few miles north of Cal- 
cutta, where the natives made gods and goddesses. Any one 

may make an idol of almost any material, but 

^ it is of no account until a priest gives it 

Idol power by pronouncing a proper formula over 

Factory. ft and anointing it with sacred paste made of 

sandalwood. An idol made of wood is en- 
dowed with many powers, and is believed to fulfill many wishes 
of the worshiper. It seems difficult to comprehend how any 
reasonable person could ask for more, but an idol made of gold 
is warranted to give its owner salvation, and one made of sil- 
ver will insure him heavenly bliss. An idol of copper is calcu- 
lated to bestow long life upon its worshiper; one of metal 
symbolizes peace ; but an idol made of clay may bring all these 
blessings and more. The clay must not be burned but dried 
in the sun, then covered with two or three coats of chalk, 
and when this is thoroughly dry the whole figure is painted 
with the various colors required. The idol must be free from 
any defect or deformity or it will bring misfortune upon its 
owner. Gods are sold at all prices to suit all pockets, and you 
can buy a common, every-day god, warranted to give satisfac- 
tion, at prices ranging from eight to twenty-five cents of our 
money. 

Next day we visited the Temple of Kali. The way led 
through several very narrow streets, lined on both sides by 
shops, in which were sold the various kinds of cheap foods 
upon which these poor people manage to exist, also tobacco, 
clothing, gods, pictures of gods and various other things. 



1 86 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The hovels in which the people live are huddled together 
without the slightest attempt at sanitation or drainage, and 

this, combined with the intense heat of the 

The sun, is the reason why India has always been 

Temple t ^ e } lome o f plague and cholera. As we ap- 

Kali. proached the temple we came upon hundreds 

of beggars, who formed one of the most piti- 
ful yet repulsive sights which I have ever witnessed. They 
showed about every variety of horrible deformity, for, be it 
remembered, many parents disfigure their children in the 
most frightful manner in order that their misfortune may 
excite pity and enable them thereby to obtain a steady income. 
The door of the temple was crowded with worshipers 
who were constantly coming and going, and there was some- 
thing peculiarly sinister, even fiendish, in the appearance of 
each departing worshiper, marked, as they all were, with a 
smear of blood between the eyes, which is the mark of Kali. 
The hideous goddess has ten arms, and her face, neck and 
arms are painted a brilliant yellow, while her head is adorned 
with a very elaborate mukuta or head-dress. Close by is the 
place of sacrifice, where her worshipers try to appease her 
wrath by sacrificing sheep and goats in her honor. The 
heads of many sheep and goats were piled on one side, and 
the ground was fairly soaking with blood, which formed little 
pools here and there, while the officiating priests were busy 
marking each worshiper with a religious sign in the shape of 
a smear of blood between the eyes. 

The day following the visit to the temple of 
A Kali we had an opportunity of witnessing the 

Mystifying feats of one of those jugglers whose mys- 

Perform- . J , 

ance. terious powers transcend all deductions of 

science, and must be seen to be believed. 
Unlike the alleged spirit-mediums of our own country, they 
do not perform their feats in the dark upon their own prem- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 187 

ises, but in the full light of day in any situation and in the 
midst of any number of spectators, every one of whom is 
keenly watching for the slightest indication of fraud or 
trickery. We seated ourselves upon chairs arranged in a 
semi-circle under a huge tree in a courtyard. Shortly after 
we were seated the magician appeared in company with a 
boy who carried his simple paraphernalia in a basket. 

He took his place about twelve feet in front of us and 
began to entertain us with some clever but commonplace 
tricks, after which he requested each one of us to write some- 
thing on a piece of paper and keep it concealed in our hands. 
Without changing his position he told each one in turn, word 
for word, what he had written. I held a piece of paper in 
such a position that no one could possibly see it and wrote 
on it in Fijian, "Sa ndro na Singa; malua marusa." When 
he looked at me he gave a quiet smile and said: "You did 
not write yours in English." "In what language is it writ- 
ten?" said I. "Sahib," he replied, "if you will look at the 
paper which you have crumpled in your hand you will read 
the English translation of what you have written, and also 
the name of the language in which you wrote it." 

I opened the paper, and could scarcely credit my own 
eyes when I read on it in English, "The day is vanishing; 
procrastination is destruction (Fijian)." 

The Fijian words which I had written had disappeared 
completely, and the English translation appeared in the same 
spot, and written in my own handwriting. Scarcely willing 
to trust my eyes, I asked a white man who sat next to me 
to read what was on the paper, and he read the translation 
as given above. "Sahib," said the performer to me again, 
"will you fold the paper for a moment and then unfold it 
again?" After taking another look at the paper I crumpled 
it in my hand again and held it fast for a few seconds, and 
upon opening it once more I was amazed to read the two 



i88. THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

former sentences in Fijian, precisely as I had written them in 
the first place. 

Not being quite satisfied with this, I retired within the 
house and wrote upon a piece of paper "Ika tonu taku ihi i 
runga i taku whenua." No one could possibly have seen 
what I wrote, and I immediately folded the paper and held it 
fast in my hand as I returned to the courtyard, and, as soon 
as I had taken my seat, the Indian asked me to open the 
paper. I opened it forthwith, and instead of the words I had 
written, I read the correct English translation as follows: 

"My fire has been kept burning upon my land" (Maori), 
which was the exact translation of what I had written. It 
is a common expression among the Maoris, meaning that their 
enemies have never succeeded in driving them or their an- 
cestors off the premises which they hold. I showed the paper 
to some of the others, and they read the words as given above. 

Several others tried the same experiment by writing sen- 
tences in Russian, Persian, Turcoman and Yakut, and in 
every case the words were correctly translated into English. 

At the magician's request we now placed our 
A chairs in a circle around him, to enable us to 

Wonderful see everv movement, while the house-servants 
Experi- 
ment. an d others who were attracted to the scene 

crowded close together around us. He first 
spread a white cloth on the ground and made the boy sit 
down in the center of it, then turning to the audience he said : 
"Will any gentleman write a note, seal it carefully in an enve- 
lope without letting any one see what is written on the paper, 
and place it under the boy's turban?" 

Some one immediately did this, and with his own hand 
placed the sealed envelope under the boy's turban. "Sahib," 
said the Indian to our host, "will you lend me a sword?" 
A servant promptly brought a sword, and the performer handed 
it around, requesting us all to examine it. Then he and the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 189 

boy conversed for a few moments, after which he covered the 
youngster with the basket and resumed the conversation, the 
boy replying to his questions from the inside of the basket. 
In a little while the magician pretended to become greatly 
enraged about something or other, and spoke in a threatening 
way, while the voice of the boy could be heard apparently 
pleading for mercy. Suddenly the man seized the sword 
which we had been examining, and drove it to the hilt through 
the center of the basket. A loud scream came from beneath 
the basket, and the spectators gave an involuntary cry of 
horror as he drew back the sword, dripping with blood, and 
plunged it again and again through the basket. 

The cries of the boy soon ceased, and the performer coolly 
wiped the blood-stained sword upon one end of the white 
cloth. He then pushed the end of the cloth, which was drip- 
ping with blood, under the basket, and covered the whole 
thing, basket and boy, with the other end of the cloth, which 
was clean. After muttering something which sounded like 
an incantation he threw back the cloth and raised the basket. 
We were amazed to see that the boy had vanished as com- 
pletely as though the earth had swallowed him. Moreover, 
there was not a speck of blood on the white cloth, although 
a moment before it was dripping with it. He also held up 
the basket and asked us to examine it, and there was not the 
slightest sign of a cut on any part of it, although we had 
distinctly seen him drive the sword through it several times. 

After giving us time to examine this carefully, he turned 
around and called the boy. There was a movement among the 
spectators who stood around us, and the next instant the boy 
made his way out from among them and salaamed politely to 
the company, then, raising his turban, drew out the letter 
which had been placed there, and presented it with a bow to 
the one who wrote it. 

The necromancer then turned to our host again and said, 



i 9 o THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

"Sahib, will you let one of your servants bring a small flower- 
pot and a couple of handfuls of earth ?" When these were 
brought we made sure that the pot was empty by feeling 
inside of it with our hands, for by this time we had begun 
to doubt all evidence of our own eyesight. He filled the pot 
with the earth which the servant had brought and planted a 
small seed of some kind in the center of it. One of the com- 
pany now requested permission to take a photograph of the 
pot as it stood, and the performer instantly granted the re- 
quest. He next poured some water on the pot and covered it 
with the white cloth previously mentioned, after which he 
brought out what he called a tubri simmil, consisting of a 
sort of pipe flaring at one side and having a large bulb in the 
center. Squatting in front of the pot, he began to play on 
his small musical reed pipe (which these magicians all carry) 
in a low, droning tone, but soon started playing faster. After 
a little we distinctly saw the center of the cloth begin to rise, 
while the player kept his eyes fastened upon it and played with 
might and main as though his lungs would split. Suddenly 
the frantic music ceased and he raised one side of the cloth. 
We all were more than astonished to see a plant about four 
inches high growing in the center of the pot. 

He calmly replaced the cloth and began playing as before; 
but instead of playing in an even tone he played faster and 
faster, until the music became a continuous long, screaming 
sound; he would suddenly lower his tone from time to time 
and begin again in the low, monotonous tone in which he first 
started to play. All at once he ceased his music, laid aside 
his pipe and sat with his arms folded gazing intently at the 
cloth, which continued rising in the center by almost imper- 
ceptible degrees until it was nearly a foot above the edge of 
the pot, when he again took up his flute and began to play 
the same wild music as before, whereupon the cloth began 
promptly to rise until it had attained a height of about thirty 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 191 

inches, when the cloth gave a strange tremor, as though some 
one were moving it, and then remained perfectly stationary. 

He ceased his music and sat staring at the cloth for a few 
minutes, then lifted it up, and we beheld a plant apparently 
about thirty inches high, covered with bright green leaves and 
beautiful red and yellow blossoms. The man who had taken 
the first photograph asked the juggler for permission to take 
another picture of the plant. "You are not only welcome to 
take as many photographs as you like," replied the Indian, "but 
you are welcome to pick the flowers off the plant and keep 
them." I need not say that every one of us eagerly availed 
ourselves of this permission, and the plant was quickly stripped 
of its beautiful flowers. I secured two of them, which I kept 
for several years, but finally lost in the course of my travels. 

I have since heard some people say that this 
More i u gl er must have hypnotized us and led us to 

Indian imagine that we saw objects which had no 

Jugglery. rea i existence. Without stopping to discuss 
this, it is sufficient to say that he could not 
have hypnotized the camera with which the first photograph 
was taken, before he covered the flower-pot with the cloth, 
and the second photograph after the cloth had been removed. 
The first photograph showed the pot containing nothing but 
a few handfuls of earth ; the second showed a plant over two 
feet high covered with leaves and flowers, and with our own 
hands we picked the flowers and leaves. 

We engaged a couple of native hunters named Cassim and 
Ghoolah Khan, who were familiar with the Sunderbuns, and 
we also purchased four large, shaggy, dark-brown hunting 
dogs which looked like a cross between a St. Bernard and 
a wolf, with a strain of hyena. These are the best dogs in the 
world for hunting dangerous game, for they are as cunning 
and sagacious as they are brave. They are particularly valu- 
able in protecting hunters from the mad attacks of wounded 



192 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

animals. They rush in and bite so savagely at the hind legs 
that the angry beast is compelled to turn upon them in self- 
defense, but nine times in ten they elude him. 

I was anxious to get down the river before the rising of 
the spring tides, which occurs from two days before to two 
days after the full May moon. These tides raise a bore which 
rises like a wall from twelve to fifteen feet high, and rushes 
up stream with tremendous force and noise, carrying every- 
thing before it. A bore in this river usually consists of three 
great rollers following each other in quick succession about 
five or six yards apart, and traveling at the rate of twenty 
miles an hour. The bore in the Hooghly occurs in May and 
again in October. 

After taking on a supply of water and pro- 
Thc visions we left Calcutta and dropped down 



Wildest w ith the strong river current to the ocean. 
on It was about the middle of the afternoon 

Earth. when we passed Pilot's Ridge Lightship, and, 

knowing that the Sunderbuns is far too dan- 
gerous a place to approach at night, we kept to the southeast 
in order to avoid being set on the mud flats by the terrific 
tides which occur at the change of the monsoons. For the 
benefit of those who do not understand the nature of the 
Sunderbuns, it is well to explain that it consists of a region 
of forests, jungles, swamps, creeks and rivers extending 
nearly 200 miles east and west, with a breadth of about 80 
miles, and is situated at the head of the Bay of Bengal. It is 
probably the wildest place on earth, and swarms with wild 
boars, crocodiles, tigers, leopards, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, 
wildcats, deer, monkeys, serpents and birds. 

We intended ascending the Raymangal River, so we stood 
well to the eastward, longitude 89 15' E., and then moved 
due north to the mouth of the river. 

In approaching the mouth of the river from seaward, trees 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 193 

seem to rise directly out of the water, obstructing every 
possible entrance, and it is difficult to tell where land begins. 

We found the current so strong that we were compelled 
to tide all the way up to our anchorage, even in spite of the 
steam launch, which made little headway against it. 

We towed about fifteen miles up the Ray- 
Where mangal River, then turned a little to the left 
Crocodile to ayoid mud flats and anc h O red for the 

King. m g nt > taking care to moor the ship both 

stem and stern, and with her head to sea- 
ward on account of the terrific tides which sweep up these 
tropical rivers. 

In the morning we retraced our pathway a short distance 
and started to tow up the Hariabanga River, and had not 
proceeded far when we sighted a tiger swimming rapidly 
across the stream just off our bows. He had nearly gained 
the opposite bank when suddenly he uttered a loud, terrified 
cry, and disappeared from view. A moment later he came to 
the surface again in a cloud of spray, and we saw that he 
was fighting for his life with a crocodile which had seized 
him. The crocodile had secured a grip on the tiger's hind- 
quarter, while the tiger, true to his instinct, fought desper- 
ately to tear out the eyes of his dreaded assailant. At that 
moment we grasped the meaning of the expression, the liv- 
ing terror of the jungle, and would willingly have helped old 
tiger had it been in our power to do so. But in deep 
water a crocodile is more than a match for any land animal 
living. They seem to know that it is only necessary to 
hold their prey under water long enough, and the water will 
do the rest. The tiger fought gallantly, but in a few seconds 
was dragged down, and only a slight commotion in the water 
marked the scene of the combat. 

We towed about twenty-one miles up the Hariabanga 
River, then turned to the right and re-entered the Ray- 



194 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

mangal. After proceeding several miles we ran the ship 
up a creek which opened on the west side of the river, and 
again moored her stem and stern, with her head toward the 
main river. 

I happened to be looking over the bow as the anchor was 
let go, and almost immediately a large crocodile appeared 
under the bow, lashing the water into a foamy surface with 
its tail. The anchor had probably excited his wrath by falling 
upon his back. 

The banks of black mud all the way up both the Hooghly 
and Raymangal Rivers were alive with these brutes. It would 
be difficult to imagine anything more repulsive than the sight 
of so many of them gathered together. The full-grown man- 
eaters range in length from fifteen to eighteen feet. They 
have broad, flat muzzles, with large uneven teeth of odd sizes 
and shapes, and the outline of the closed jaws shows protrud- 
ing teeth interlaced, which gives to the crocodile its ferocious 
aspect. They attack fearlessly all large animals which come 
within their reach, but it is a well established fact that they 
always let go of their prey, whatsoever it may be, if some- 
thing is thrust into their eyes. I could never quite under- 
stand how it was that these rivers are invariably so full of 
fish, since so many crocodiles are constantly devouring them. 

Some natives who were in our crew pointed 
The out w **k S reat P r ide and interest the sundar 

Beautiful tree, from which this region takes its name. 
Sundar Tree. The name sundar, or sundari, means vermil- 
ion, and the wood of this tree is a beautiful 
clear reddish color. It is a gloomy looking tree, however, and 
is easily distinguished among all the other trees, even at a 
great distance. It is found wherever the tide inundates the 
land. The leaves of the sundar are dark green on one side 
and silvery white on the other; the bole is usually about two 
feet in diameter, and often it reaches a height of thirty feet 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 195 

from the ground to the lowest branch. The wood is very 
valuable, though in Calcutta it is used for fuel. The United 
States Government made extensive tests, and discovered that 
charcoal made from sundar wood is the best in the world 
with which to make gunpowder. It was also discovered that 
while the rangoon teak, famous for its durability, broke under 
a weight of eight hundred and seventy-six pounds, the same 
size log of sundar wood sustained a weight of one thousand 
three hundred and twelve pounds. It is probably the strong- 
est and most elastic wood in the world, and is used where 
great strength and extreme elasticity are required. Wood 
cutters generally kill this tree one year before felling it, and 
season it in water before using it for mechanical purposes. 
The wood is perfectly straight-grained and easily worked. 
The sundar is sometimes called red mangrove, and lately there 
is some talk of a cure for leprosy which is being made from 
the bark. 

We were anxious next morning to start off on a hunting 
expedition inland, but the barometer was falling rapidly and 
all the signs of the weather indicated a storm, so we turned 
our attention once more to the crocodiles. We had excited 
their curiosity, and it was quite a common sight to see one 
of them swimming the entire length of the ship with his nose 
pressed against the side, as if trying to investigate us very 
seriously. We rigged a running bow line on the end of a 
three-inch manila rope, and let the bight hang down well be- 
neath the surface of the water, keeping one side of it pretty 
far off the ship's side with a boat hook. We had not long to 
wait before an inquiring crocodile came nosing along, but in- 
stead of putting his head through the noose, as we expected 
him to do, the crocodile began biting the line, which lay 
against the ship's side. It was difficult for him to get hold of 
it, however, because it lay so close to the ship's planks. Fearing 
he might make a success of it at last, we let down a piece of 



196 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

fat pork and dangled it several feet in front of his nose. Then 
as he leaped forward to secure it we hauled the noose around 
his head. He uttered an angry cry as his head was hauled out 
of the water, and jerked himself from side to side like a wet 
dog in his frantic efforts to bite the line which held him. The 
strength of these brutes is amazing, and he lashed about so 
furiously that I feared to have him hauled on board, for he 
would seriously injure the ship with the blows of his tail. 
Nothing seemed easier than to hang him by the neck until he 
should die, but the brute proved more cunning than we ex- 
pected, for, finding that he could not turn his head far enough 
to reach the line upon which he hung, he sank into the water 
until his body was straight up and down, thus bringing his 
jaws close to the line. Then by a quick lateral motion he 
caught the rope in his teeth and bit it in two just as we sent 
two rifle bullets into his head. But he disappeared from view 
and we never saw him after that. 

When hauled clear of the water the crocodile makes a 
loud, hissing noise, and emits a strong, musky smell, then 
locks his jaws with an angry hiss that is horrible to hear. 
After we began firing among them they dispersed, and many 
of them went to the bottom of the river. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 197 

CHAPTER XVIII 

A SCRIMMAGE OF TIGERS, PIGS, DOGS, CROCODILES AND MEN 

About sundown of the same day the wind began to blow 
a strong gale, which increased toward midnight until it was 

blowing with hurricane violence, but our 

A sheltered position protected us somewhat. 

Stormy The incessant crash and roar of the thunder 

Night. was so terrific that the ship quivered beneath 

each violent concussion, while the lurid glare 
of the lightning illumined the whole sky and the surrounding 
forest with blazes of blinding light that were appalling. When 
the storm was at its height it really seemed as though both 
earth and sky were on fire, and the roar of the thunder made 
all other sounds inaudible. I remained on deck until daylight, 
when the worst of the storm was spent, and we were fairly 
safe from danger, unless a bolt of the still vivid lightning 
should happen to strike us. 

Shortly after I turned in the watchman reported that the 
dogs were excited and growling angrily. He could not make 
out what it was all about, so I went on deck to investigate, 
and found them barking at the forecastle and uttering low 
growls. We examined the place carefully, but could see noth- 
ing there but an old tub, so I was greatly puzzled, for these 
dogs seldom make mistakes. At daylight Cassim crawled 
under the forecastle head, but quickly drew back, crying, 
"Snake ! Sahib, Snake !" We hauled out the tub with a boat- 
hook, and immediately behind it was a full-grown hooded cobra, 
with its head reared about two feet up from the deck and 
hissing angrily. A couple of blows from the boathook killed 
it, but we were puzzled to know how the dogs had been aware 



198 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

of its presence in the dark, when they could not possibly have 
seen it. Cassim and Ghoolah Khan explained that cobras take 
very readily to the water, and often crawl up the anchor chain 
and into the hawse pipe of a ship at anchor. It seems strange 
that dogs who will readily attack a tiger or a wild bull buffalo 
are afraid to approach a feeble snake, which any one of them 
might easily kill, yet all dogs seem to comprehend perfectly 
the nature of a poisonous snake. Toward noon the storm 
ceased, but the forest was so dripping wet that we did not 
attempt to go hunting that day. 

Next morning we started for a day's outing in the steam 
launch, and took the dogs along, although Cassim and Ghoolah 
Khan both solemnly assured us that crocodiles are sure to 
attack a small boat when dogs are aboard. This was good 
advice, for a crocodile will run almost any risk to obtain dog 
meat. We were feeling pretty fearless, though, and really 
enjoyed the prospect of an attack from crocodiles, and 
promised ourselves to give them a lively reception. The coun- 
try through which we passed was- not really swampy, as I 
had been led to believe it would be, although it is crossed by 
many creeks and rivers. The low banks are almost perpen- 
dicular and the ground is covered with most luxuriant vege- 
tation, owing to the extreme fertility of the soil, which con- 
sists entirely of silt. Occasionally we would pass a solemn 
looking heron standing motionless on the edge of a stream, 
reminding us of the familiar Maori proverb, "As lonely as 
a white heron," and in strong contrast to the brilliant and 

beautiful kingfishers which darted past with 
Crocodiles an a ^ ert > inquiring look, in pursuit of their 

and finny prey. 

Tigers. xhe abundance of crocodile life was beyond 

our wildest expectations. The guides first 
called our attention to numerous dark specks like pieces of 
wood floating upon the water or moving slowly before a very 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 199 

faint ripple, every one of which was the nose or the eye of a 
crocodile on the lookout for prey. We had not gone more 
than a few hundred yards from the ship when we sighted a 
long, black, loggy-looking creature sixteen or seventeen feet 
long, lying asleep on the bank. Mud-covered and slimy he lay 
there with his head downward toward the water, and his huge 
mouth opened to its widest extent, displaying a disgustingly 
red throat and a long wavering line of wicked looking teeth. 
If it had not been for his open mouth he could easily have 
been mistaken for a log which the tide might have washed up 
on the bank. 

Two shots were fired at him, and it was very evident that 
they struck him, for the next instant he bounded into the air 
and went through a series of violent contortions which no 
one would have believed possible in such a sluggish and clumsy 
looking beast. He bent and twisted his body in every direc- 
tion and snapped his jaws in impotent rage, but disappeared 
in the water before we could catch up with him. 

We were now approaching a place where the stream nar- 
rowed slightly, when we saw a tiger swimming rapidly across 
in front of us, with a crocodile in close pursuit. The tiger 
managed to land, and was in the act of springing up the bank 
when the crocodile snapped and caught one of his hind legs 
and jerked him backwards. Quick as a flash the tiger turned 
and thrust his claws into the eyes of the crocodile, which 
promptly released his hold and swam away. The tiger was in 
the act of turning away to spring up the bank when a second 
crocodile, which had evidently been asleep in the bush, jumped 
open-mouthed down the bank and gripped the tiger's neck. 
The momentum of the onrush was so great that he carried 
the tiger to the water's edge, and a pretty fight ensued. The 
tiger was caught in such a way that he could not reach the 
crocodile's eyes or throat. So, in spite of his struggles, he 
was quickly dragged down and drowned. 



200 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

We next came to an open place, where we decided to land 

and explore. Several crocodiles splashed into the water at 

our approach, and we discovered a long row of the brutes on 

the bank a few yards from where we landed. Wishing to 

examine them at close range, we crept silently through the 

bush close enough to have a good look. They were of all 

sizes, from babies three feet long to big fellows of sixteen and 

eighteen feet. I was surprised to see that some had had both 

eyes torn out, which in a measure accounted 

The for their docility. It is surprising how these 

^ ame > blind ones manage to make a living in such 
and the a strenuous state f existence. Many had 

Blind. broken noses, others had lost the tips of their 

tails and some of their toes, while others were 
minus a leg or two. The intervening bushes sheltered us 
from their view, and at a given signal we all fired our guns 
among them. The sudden volley caused the wildest commo- 
tion. Some instantly plunged into the water, others snapped 
savagely at everything within their reach, while still others 
got tangled up with their neighbors as they rolled about and 
tumbled into the water, where most of them immediately dis- 
appeared. 

Leaving the two sailors in charge of the launch, we started 
along an open glade that led almost at a right angle to the 
stream. The dogs led the way, as they usually did. We had 
gone only a short distance when a slumbering crocodile sud- 
denly wakened, and, slipping out of the scrub, charged open- 
mouthed at the dogs, which were a little way ahead. I 
promptly shot him in the side, whereupon he instantly left the 
dogs and charged at me. I fired down his throat and jumped 
to one side in the nick of time to avoid his attack. He turned 
quickly and lunged at three others of the party who hap- 
pened to be standing close together. But they made short 
work of killing him. 



OF CAPTAIN QVINTON 201 

It was late in the afternoon when we emerged upon the 
bank of a small but deep stream, on the other side of which 
a wild sow and her little half-grown pigs were contentedly 
rooting among the rank sedge in a small opening surrounded 
by dense jungle. 

"There's a fine chance for some excellent roast pork," said 
one of our men. 

"Yes, if you could only reach it," replied another. "It 

would be easy enough to shoot them, but I would rather be 

excused from swimming across the stream to 

A Jungle secure them after they are shot," and he 

Pastime. pointed to the ugly snouts of some crocodiles 
which were moving slowly along in the mid- 
dle of the stream without so much as causing a ripple on its 
surface. It was curious to notice that the dogs had observed 
the projecting snouts, and were watching them as intently as 
a pointer watches a bird, although a casual observer might 
have thought they were nothing but pieces of wood drifting 
with the current. It was of no use to shoot the pigs, since we 
could not secure them without a boat, so we were about to 
leave when a tiger suddenly leaped from the nearby bushes 
and struck one of the young sucklings dead with a blow of 
his paw, and, picking it up in his mouth, trotted away to 
begin his repast. 

The rest of the pigs meanwhile had set up a terrific squeal- 
ing, and, as if in answer to their cries, a magnificent boar 
broke from the jungle and confronted the tiger. The tiger 
dropped his prey, and for a moment the two savage antago- 
nists surveyed each other in menacing silence. The tiger beat 
his sides with his tail and uttered a coughing growl, to which 
the boar replied by tossing his powerful head and uttering a 
loud "Woof! woof!" of resolute defiance. The tiger then 
began circling around his antagonist for the evident purpose 
of attacking him in the rear, as these beasts invariably attempt 



202 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

to do when about to attack a really dangerous enemy. The 
boar as resolutely faced the tiger, and as cleverly maneuvered 
until they were about three yards apart, when the boar, with 
a sudden "woof ! woof !" made a particularly vicious lunge at 
the tiger. 

It has been well said that when a wild boar makes a charge 
nothing but death will stop him; it proved to be true in this 
instance. I was surprised to see that the tiger did not spring 
upon the boar, as I had always read that these beasts did ; 
instead, he crouched low until the boar was within his range, 
then, leaping nimbly to one side and rising on his haunches, 
Mr. Tiger aimed a blow at the boar's hindquarters, where he 
would be most easily disabled. But the boar wheeled like 
lightning and the blow landed upon the upper part of his 
shoulder, where the hide is almost as impervious as if it were 
sheathed with boiler-plate. Before the tiger could recover the 
boar dashed underneath his guard, as a prize-fighter would say, 
and actually bore him back by main strength. The tiger 
cried out with pain and rage and fought with teeth and 
claws, while the tusks of the boar were cutting him through 
like sword-blades. The tiger tried to get clear of the boar, 
with the evident intention of fighting at longer range, but 
the boar, grim and silent, stuck to him as relentlessly as death 
itself. In a short time the tiger was so fearfully gored that 
he endeavored to crawl away from his antagonist, but the boar 
followed him, and never stopped attacking even after every 
vestige of life had vanished from the almost shapeless remains 
of the tiger. Finally the boar paused, and, after looking care- 
fully over the remains of his enemy, as if to make sure that 
he was dead, crawled away and lay down to rest. We all 
agreed that it would be far more merciful to shoot him than 
to leave him to perish slowly of his wounds and scratches, 
but none of us had the heart to do it after he had so gallantly 
defended his family, but even while we were debating the 



OF CAPTAIN QUIXTOX 203 

matter he pulled himself off into the thick jungle, where the 
rest of his family had disappeared. 

The noise of the combat attracted the crocodiles, for we 
now counted dozens of them swimming toward the scene of 
conflict. One of them got up on the bank ahead of his com- 
panions, and, seizing the remains of the tiger, was about to 
indulge in a comfortable meal when two or three others closed 
in on him and fought for the prize. It was easy then to form 
some idea of the strength of these monsters from the blows 
which they dealt each other with their tails. These bumps and 
blows resounded like the strokes of a ship-carpenter's maul 
upon the side of a ship, though they seemed to produce little 
effect upon the ironclad hides of these savage fighting 
crocodiles. 

It was now late in the day and we made all speed to return 
to our headquarters, especially as the mosquitoes were terribly 
troublesome. We had got about half way when all of a 
sudden a whole family of wild pigs plunged pell-mell into 
the stream on our left and began swimming for the opposite 
bank in great haste to escape pursuing crocodiles. 

The pigs understood perfectly well the risk 

Wild Pigs they were running, and several long, con- 

Un verging lines of ripples showed that croco- 

Gauntlct. diles were pursuing them. We slowed down 

for the purpose of intercepting the pigs and 

securing one or two of the young ones, which are very good 

eating. They were nearly abreast of the launch when one of 

the smallest ones gave a pitiful little squeal and disappeared 

from view. Two of the ubiquitous crocodiles had evidently 

seized it. Fearing that if we shot one of the pigs it would 

sink and be lost, we ran close to them, and Cassim dexterously 

seized one by the hind legs and hauled it on board just as the 

ugly head of a crocodile emerged from the water, and the 

huge jaws snapped together like a steel trap within about a 



204 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

foot of the squealing pig. Before the hideous thing had time 
to withdraw Korovin fired with the muzzle of his revolver 
almost touching the monster's jaws, and blew off the top of 
his nose, while some one else shot him in the side. The next 
moment we were deluged with spray from the monster's tail 
as it struck the water with a force that would have stove a 
hole in the launch had we not been going fast enough to 
avoid it. But now an unforeseen difficulty confronted us, 
for the squealing of the pig attracted crocodiles from every 
direction to the launch, and excited them to such an extent 
that it really seemed for a while that they would make a com- 
bined attack upon us. It was difficult to shoot the pig, 
or even to cut its throat in the bottom of a launch, and no 
power in nature could apparently stop its perfectly appalling 
squeals. The more it squealed the more it excited the croco- 
diles. In the meantime all the other pigs had scrambled up 
the bank and disappeared. The squealing pig in the launch 
also excited the dogs and they began to bark. This added the 
finishing touch to the general excitement. Crocodiles now 
started pursuing the launch in the same way they had been 
pursuing the pigs, and it was a thrilling moment. 

"Look out for their tails," cried the two 
Thc Hindoos together, "they are liable to sweep 

Hunters us and knock some one overboard." They had 
Hunted. scarcely more than spoken when an unusually 
large one raised his head and rested it upon 
our gunwale, then opened his jaws to the fullest extent and 
snapped savagely at the nearest man within his reach. But 
we blew most of his head to pieces with rifle shots, and saved 
the man he would have hauled overboard in a twinkling. The 
whole party of us opened a fusillade upon the reptiles by this 
time, and were inclined to regard the matter as fine sport, al- 
though Cassim and Ghoolah Khan both declared that if our 
machinery broke down and the launch were disabled the 



O/< CAPTAIN QUINT OX 205 

crocodiles would swarm on board and sink us in spite of all 
we might do to prevent it. 

We slowed down for some time, and soon noticed that 
the crocodiles around us were rapidly increasing in numbers 
as well as in boldness. Under ordinary circumstances they 
seem to fear the report of firearms, but the squealing of the 
pig evidently made them reckless. One man was resting his 
rifle on the gunwale in the act of aiming at a crocodile a few 
feet away, when another of the brutes suddenly raised his head 
close alongside, and, seizing the rifle with his teeth, jerked it 
overboard, very nearly carrying the owner along with it. The 
brutes now seemed to have lost all fear of firearms, although 
the wounded were violently plunging and contorting in every 
direction. The situation assumed a more serious aspect when 
some of them began to poke their snouts over the side of the 
launch and snap at us. So we started up full speed for the 
ship. To our utter dismay the whole herd of crocodiles not 
only came along with us, but others seemed to spring up 
on all sides and join in the pursuit. 

It was now near sundown, and would be dark before we 
could reach the ship, because in the tropics the darkness fol- 
lows almost instantly upon sunset. We knew that crocodiles 
are far bolder in the dark than by daylight, and that they 
would stay with us as long as we had the pig. 

I believe the brutes could smell the pig in the bottom of 
the boat, for they followed us all the way to the ship, and 
became so aggressive that w r e were obliged to drive them off 
in a somewhat novel way before getting the pig and dogs 
on board. We poured a quantity of kerosene on the water 
all around the launch, and, as they usually swim with their 
eyes on a level with the surface, the stuff got into their eyes, 
and annoyed them to such an extent that they kept at a 
distance, and we got safely away. 

The young pig which we had captured still showed traces 



206 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

of the stripes which distinguish them in youth, for the color 

of these wild pigs varies greatly according to age. A very 

young one is brownish-yellow with lighter colored stripes, 

but this color gradually darkens until it becomes almost black 

when the pig is a year old. They attain their full growth in 

five years, and the color is then a blue-black, 

Most but at the age of eight or nine they begin to 

Dangerous g et gray. A full-grown boar weighs a great 

Animal in 

the Tropics. deal less than a roll-grown tiger; neverthe- 
less, a boar in the prime of his life is a match 
for any tiger living. A full-grown boar weighs about three 
hundred pounds, stands about thirty-eight inches high at the 
shoulder, and is nearly five feet long. His tusks are as for- 
midable as a pair of 'daggers, and his immense strength, in- 
credible ferocity and lightning-like quickness make him one 
of the most dangerous animals in the tropics. 

These wild pigs have a curious way of protecting them- 
selves from the heat in the middle of the day. They cut a 
quantity of coarse, rank grass and spread it upon the ground, 
after which the whole family crawl underneath it and sleep 
comfortably until it is time to go forth and feed. They are 
more destructive to crops than any other animal, but the na- 
tives have a very cunning way of keeping them out. In the 
settlements in the northern part of the Sunderbuns the natives 
surround their farms and villages with impenetrable hedges 
of giant bamboo and betel nut planted in zigzag fashion. When 
full grown the stems are so close together as to form an im- 
penetrable barrier as solid as a stone wall, and no animal 
living, not even a rhinoceros, could force its way through. I 
have seen these hedges so thick that it seemed to me that it 
would be impossible for even a snake to wiggle through them. 
Moreover these hedges are very beautiful to look at. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 207 

CHAPTER XIX 

A NIGHT IN THE JUNGLE 

We were particularly anxious to go hunting for wild buf- 
faloes, and next morning started on a tramp through the 
jungle in quest of them. The dogs, which 
Our were a little in advance, suddenly began to 

First bark excitedly, and the next moment a bull 

Rhinoceros, rhinoceros crashed through the bushes and 
charged upon the dogs, scattering them right 
and left. Three of us fired, and evidently struck him, for he 
instantly turned from the dogs and charged straight at us like 
a runaway locomotive. The dogs valiantly closed in upon 
him and bit at his hind legs, but of course their teeth 
had no effect upon a hide which is proof against the claws 
of a tiger. He was only about ten yards away from us, and, 
realizing that a rhinoceros always rushes in a straight line, 
we leaped aside just in time to avoid his rush and fired two 
more shots at him as he passed. He fell heavily to the 
ground, and we ran up to examine him, when suddenly he 
sprang to his feet, and, giving a loud snort, ran smashing 
and tearing through the bushes for a distance of about fifty 
feet, and then dropped dead. 

These animals are fearfully dangerous, for they stand or 
lie among thick bushes and give no indication of their 
presence until the unwary hunter approaches their place of 
concealment, when, without a moment's warning, they charge 
upon him like a thunderbolt. They fear no living animal, and 
invariably attack anything that excites their attention, no 
matter what it may be. Their eyesight is poor, but their sense 



208 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

of smell is excessively keen, and enables them to locate an 
enemy at a great distance. If a rhinoceros possessed the 
cunning of a wild boar he would undoubtedly be the most 
formidable beast in the world; but he is as stupid as he is 
ferocious, and seems scarcely to be conscious of what he is 
about. 

I noticed one peculiarity about the dead rhino which does 
not appear to be commonly known, and which may help to 
account for their ill-temper. The creases and other sensitive 
portions of his skin were alive with ticks and small leeches, 
and the biting and burrowing of these pests, together with the 
mosquitoes, must be maddening. 

We always managed to find our way back to the launch 
through a jungle in which there were no trails by cutting a 
young tree half through at intervals about four or five feet 
from the ground, and bending the upper portion horizontally 
across the path, a plan which I had often seen used in the 
Australian bush. 

We were proceeding in single file, and Koro- 
vin, who happened to be in advance, was 
Jaws of pushing through some bushes, when a tiger 
a Tiger. sprang up suddenly almost from under his 
feet and seized him by the right shoulder. 
The attack was so sudden that his rifle was knocked out of his 
hand before he had time to use it, and, although we all rushed 
to his assistance, the tiger was dragging him in such a way 
that it was difficult to shoot the tiger without the risk of shoot- 
ing Korovin. All hands were excitedly shotting in several dif- 
ferent languages, and nobody knew exactly what to do, when 
the dogs suddenly darted after the tiger and seized him by 
the hind legs with such ferocity that they actually jerked his 
feet from under him and brought him down with a thud. The 
tiger let go his prey with a harsh, rasping cry and made a 
lightning charge upon the dogs, but they dodged his attack 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 209 

with marvelous agility. Korovin endeavored to regain 
his feet, but Cassim and Ghoolah Khan shouted simulta- 
neously, "Lie still ! Lie still ! Don't move, the dogs will draw 
him away from you," and also shouted words of encourage- 
ment to the brave dogs in a language which they understood. 
It was a matter of agility now; they scattered whenever 
the tiger charged, then quickly wheeled, snapped fiercely at 
his hind quarters, and were off again like the wind before 
he could turn to attack them. One dog would deliberately 
present himself in front of the tiger and bark furiously to 
attract his attention and induce him to charge, but the moment 
he did so the other dogs closed in and bit him so savagely 
that his hindquarters were bleeding as though they had been 
cut with knives. The dogs had cunningly drawn the tiger 
some distance from Korovin, when the poor frightened crea- 
ture jumped up and escaped. Watching our opportunity we all 
fired together and the tiger fell, apparently dead. 

The dogs were now about to rush upon him again, but 
Cassim and Ghoolah Khan excitedly called them off, and also 
shouted warning to us not to approach too close, as he was 
not dead, but only shamming, though he lay as rigid as a log 
of wood, and certainly looked dead as the proverbial doornail. 
The dogs were much excited, and in spite of the warning 
cries of the two natives, one of them rushed in and began 
worrying his fallen enemy, when like a flash the tiger sprang 
to his feet and laid him dead with a single stroke of his paw. 
Two of our men instantly fired more bullets into him at short 
range, and he gave one convulsive bound and fell dead. 

Korovin's shoulder proved to be badly lacer- 

Nativc ated, though not as badly as we expected, 

Surgery. and the next question was to know what to 

do for it. Cassim and Ghoolah Khan de- 
clared that they had seen several such cases, and that it 
was an established fact that the best of all remedies known 



210 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

for such a bite was fresh wood ashes applied while hot. They 
explained that this remedy caused great pain, but was the 
best antiseptic known, and was sure to prevent any serious 
after effects; otherwise a tiger's bite is liable to cause blood 
poison. The natives are generally right in such matters, and 
we could do nothing better than follow their advice, especially 
as we had no other remedy at hand; but our chief difficulty 
was to light a fire where every thing was so damp. The 
two natives managed to find some half-dry sticks, which 
were whittled into kindling with our knives, and after a 
great deal of trouble we succeeded in getting up a fire by 
burning up all of our spare clothing. After washing the 
wound with some of the fresh water we had brought along, 
Cassim unwound his turban and bound a quantity of ashes 
upon Korovin's shoulder, while the rest of us prepared a lit- 
ter, which we lashed together with bark and vines. We did 
not waste time in skinning that tiger, but before leaving 
we scooped out a grave and buried the dog, after which 
we took turns at carrying the wounded man back to the 
launch. 

Continuing the hunt was now out of the question, so at 
daylight we towed down the river and returned to Calcutta 
to put Korovin under the care of a doctor. The fresh wood 
ashes which had been applied to his wounds caused him great 
suffering, but the medical authorities whom we consulted in 
Calcutta assured us that it was the best possible remedy which 
under the circumstances we could have used. They also as- 
sured us that it would not be safe for Korovin to leave the 
hospital for a month or six weeks, and since they did not wish 
to proceed without him the other members of the party had 
no alternative but to await his recovery. 

Incidentally the doctors gave us some good advice on the 
subject of malaria. They said that the Sunderbuns was the 
hotbed of miasmatic fever, and that the chief reason why 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 211 

none of us had suffered from it was because we always slept 
on board the vessel instead of sleeping ashore. 

During the enforced delay which followed the other mem- 
bers of the party proceeded to Port Canning, at the head of 
the Mutla River, about twenty-two miles southeast of Cal- 
cutta. They traveled by rail from Calcutta to Port Canning, 
and upon their arrival they found the Mutla River so favor- 
able for hunting that they sent me word to bring the ship 
around to Port Canning, which I did with the assistance of 
a native pilot. We still retained Cassim and Ghoolah Khan, 
although some of the party blamed these two men for the ac- 
cident to Korovin because they were not leading us at the time 
of the occurrence. But Korovin, like a hero, exonerated 
them from all blame and declared it was his own fault for 
pushing so far ahead of the rest of us. In reality the best 
plan in these hunts is to let the dogs lead the way, which 
they are always more than willing to do. The intelligence of 
these animals is wonderful, and it is only necessary to point 
out to them the direction in which you wish to go and they 
will spread out in front of the hunters and examine every 
clump of bush so carefully that nothing really dangerous es- 
capes their observation. 

The second day after the arrival of the vessel 

We Spend we determined to spend the night in the trees 

9. Night on the bank of the stream, where wild animals 

in Tree*. were in the habit of drinking. Each hunter 

took care to provide himself with a piece of 
mosquito netting in which to swathe his head, as mosquitoes 
are dreadfully troublesome at night, and we rubbed our hands 
with some native preparation which in a measure prevents 
these pestiferous creatures from biting, and in pairs took our 
positions in trees, which we climbed by means of the large 
vines hanging from the branches. Darkness followed almost 
immediately upon sunset and the alternate eerie noises and 



212 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

death-like silence which pervade the lonely forest by day gave 
place to a weird chorus of unearthly cries and growls and 
prowling noises as night approached. Darkness had scarcely 
fallen when a jackal set up a series of hideous yowls close by 
our place of concealment, though the brute himself was en- 
tirely invisible to us. The water-fowl kept up an incessant 
clatter all night long, and it seems strange how these crea- 
tures manage to escape the crocodiles, which not only swarm 
in all the streams, but also hunt their prey at considerable 
distances inland during the hours of darkness. 

Low, moaning sounds seemed to float in the 

A Thrilling a * r an( ^ occasionally a wilder call resounded 

Night in from the depths of the jungle. I was watch- 

the Jungle. i n g the ground near our tree when I noticed 

the faint outline of some large animal moving 
toward the stream as noiselessly as a shadow. I touched my 
companion, who was a little higher up in the tree, and silently 
directed his attention to it, and a moment later* we saw a 
tiger steal silently across a streak of moonlight which streamed 
between the trees. We both took aim, but he instantly disap- 
peared in a deep shadow. Presently he came into view again, 
and in shifting my position to get a better aim I happened to 
make a very slight noise. Slight as it was it attracted his at- 
tention, for he instantly wheeled halfway round and glanced 
warily about him but did not look up, for it is a singular fact 
that wild animals very seldom look upward. The uncertain 
light rendered aiming somewhat a matter of chance, but fear- 
ing that he might disappear again I took hurried aim and 
pulled the trigger of my gun. 

Simultaneously with the report of the rifle the tiger 
emitted a furious, angry cry, and sprang directly up the trunk 
of the tree where we were perched, and almost touched our 
legs. It is impossible to say whether he would have succeeded 
in climbing it or not, for my partner immediately fired straight 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 213 

down the trunk and killed him on the spot. The report of 
the rifles and the ear-splitting roar of the tiger seemed to 
rouse the savage denizens of the jungle, and for miles around 
it was as though pandemonium had broken loose. Savage 
cries and shrieks of fear resounded in a prolonged uproar 
from every direction, mingled with the sound of heavy bodies 
breaking through the bushes in a frantic race for safety. 

The uproar was at its height when we heard three sharp, 
whistling snorts and a rhinoceros came warily through the 
jungle, but stopped short and began sniffing the air exactly 
as though he had detected our presence. Four of us fired 
right into him and he fell, but almost instantly regained his 
feet and, with more snorting and wild-eyed astonishment, 
rushed headlong through the bush like a runaway loco- 
motive. 

Two members of the party who were posted in a tree 

nearer the water had a more serious adventure which came 

very near ending in tragedy. Seeing what they supposed to be 

a tiger stealing by the foot of their tree, one of them fired 

and wounded it, whereupon it set up a most appalling series 

of blood-curdling yells, screams and roars, showing that it 

was a leopard and not a tiger. It turned out that there were 

two leopards instead of one, and the wounded 

Treed animal, which happened to be the female, 

by sprang into a deep shadow which concealed 

Leopards. her from view after receiving her death 
wound. While the two hunters were peering 
down and trying to discover her whereabouts her male com- 
panion nimbly climbed the tree on the opposite side, and the 
hunters only became aware of his presence when he thrust 
his head around the trunk and yowled in the ear of the 
lower man. As almost any one may imagine, that man wasted 
no time turning his rifle around to shoot the beast, just as the 
creature was clutching at him with its claws. But in doing 



214 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

so he either lost his grip of the rifle or the leopard knocked 
it out of his hand, for it fell heavily to the ground and the 
man instantly sprang farther out on the branch upon which 
he was perched and, although he had no time to turn himself 
around, drew his revolver and began firing backwards just as 
his companion, on a branch higher up, fired and mortally 
wounded the beast. Although wounded to the death the leop- 
ard managed to retain his hold for a few moments amid the 
thick branches, and the screams he set up roused his mate 
to the utmost fury. It happened that she had only been shot 
through the flank, and hearing her male companion screaming 
in his death agony she bounded up the tree and was fairly on 
the hunters before they realized it, clutching one of them by 
the calf of the leg, so that her dagger-like claws cut through 
his canvas legging as though they had been slashed with a 
knife, inflicting a long, though light scar upon the skin be- 
neath. The man with the rifle pressed the muzzle close to her 
face in order to make sure of his aim, her jaws closed on the 
barrel just as he fired, and she was killed instantly. 

A little later my companion fancied that he 

A Hideous saw some animal moving near by and reached 

Snake Climbs out his hand to pick up his rifle, which he had 

Up to Us. laid across a couple of branches close to the 

trunk of the tree. He screamed with sur- 
prise as his hand came down on something cold and clammy, 
and a loud angry hiss warned us of the proximity of a serpent 
of some kind. We both crawled a little farther out on the 
branches and tried to locate the lurking reptile, but it was too 
dark to see clearly enough. We were inclined to think that 
it was a boa constrictor, though the guides had warned us 
that numbers of the poisonous snakes also habitually climb 
trees, and in the darkness one was about as dangerous as the 
other. It was evidently crawling over my partner's rifle, con- 
sequently I handed him mine and told him I would light some 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 215 

matches while he stood ready to crush it with the butt of the 
rifle. 

Although we spoke in a low tone our voices seemed to 
irritate the reptile and it gave another loud hiss apparently 
nearer to us than the preceding one. I struck some matches 
and the light revealed the body of a large snake slowly as- 
cending the trunk of the tree while its head was stretched 
out on the branch on which my partner sat. The light went 
out as he was about to strike it, and I hurriedly struck some 
more matches and my partner quickly brought down the butt 
of the rifle, crushing the reptile's head. It writhed and lashed 
itself about in the most violent manner for some time, then 
slowly relaxed and slipped to the ground. 

The shots seemed to have frightened the rest of the game 
from our immediate vicinity and for the remainder of the 
night we caught only a few fleeting glimpses of animals steal- 
ing noiselessly by, though we frequently heard the sound of 
larger prey forcing their way through the bushes. 

As soon as daylight appeared we examined 
The *^e dead snake, which lay where it had fallen, 

Deadly and were rejoiced to find that it was a fine 
Hamadryad. specimen of the hamadryad, or ophiophagus 
elaps, the largest poisonous serpent in the 
world. The native guides called it a sunerkor and declared 
it the most dreaded of all serpents of India, not only on ac- 
count of its deadly venom, but also on account of its fierce 
and aggressive disposition, for it unites the venom of the 
cobra with the strength of the boa constrictor and is always 
more ready to fight than run. It was not of the largest size 
by any means, although it measured twelve feet. A stuffed 
specimen which we afterwards saw in the museum in Cal- 
cutta measured sixteen feet. 

The one we killed was dark olive green above, with numer- 
ous V-shaped cross-bands of dirty white or whitish yellow 



216 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

converging towards the head, and the belly was a uniform 
pale green. It had large shields or scales surrounding the 
back of the head, and these shields, together with the scales of 
the neck, the hinder part of the body and the tail, were light- 
colored in the center and edged with black. Its head ap- 
peared to be round, rather than flat and triangular, like the 
heads of many poisonous serpents, and I was surprised to see 
that its fangs were comparatively short. At first we supposed 
that its fangs had been broken, but upon examination we 
found that the gun had descended upon the neck instead of 
the head and had almost severed the head from the body. It 
had a thin, tapering tail, which measured about one-fifth of 
its entire length. I afterwards learned that its poison con- 
tains about ninety-five per cent, of nerve-destroying and about 
five per cent, of blood-destroying elements, and the fatal bite 
causes scarcely any suffering. The poison of the viperoids, on 
the other hand, contains about ninety-five per cent, of blood- 
destroying and about five per cent, of nerve-destroying ele- 
ments and causes untold agony. The only good thing that 
can be said in the hamadryad's favor is that it lives upon 
other serpents, which it readily overcomes by means of its 
great strength and deadly venom. 

The natives attended to skinning the snake 

After the and the other creatures which had been shot, 

Wounded while the others started to follow up the 

loceros. wounded rhinoceros. There was no difficulty 

in following him, for he left a trail which 

looked as though a cart had been forcibly driven through the 

jungle, and it was surprising to see the thick bushes which 

he had broken off in his stampede. We followed the trail for 

about two hundred yards, when it suddenly turned off at a 

right angle to the left and a little further on we found the 

rhinoceros lying dead beside a bunch of trees. It struck me 

that the senseless practice of slaughtering inoffensive animals 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 217 

is little short of criminal, although it undoubtedly is right 
enough to kill animals which are dangerous to human life. 

We were on our way back to the launch when we noticed 
something moving towards us through the grass and bushes 
and stopped to investigate. It was a large crocodile evidently 
returning home after a night of hunting. We were between 
him and the stream, and we knew that no matter where a 
crocodile may be placed he always, with unerring instinct, 
makes for the nearest water. 

The crocodile lunged open-mouthed at the man who hap- 
pened to be nearest him. Two of us fired at his side as he 
rushed past and one of the bullets penetrated his side just 
back of the foreleg, where a wound usually proves fatal to a 
crocodile. 

The blood was streaming from his mouth and he was un- 
doubtedly mortally wounded, but in spite of all he turned so 
quickly upon my partner that the latter only saved himself 
from the savage snap of his jaws by leaping nimbly aside. 
But a crocodile is equally dangerous at both ends, and the 
savage brute aimed a blow at him with his tail in passing, 
which undoubtedly would have broken both legs, if indeed it 
had not killed him outright. Seeing that it was too late to 
get out of the way, he had the presence of mind to throw him- 
self flat on the ground just in time to avoid it. 



2i8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER XX 

HUNTING BUFFALOES AND TIGERS WITH A DEADLY BOA FOR 

COMPANY 

It was at this stopping place in our strange travels that we 
acquired a tame mongoose for a pet. The shy little animal 

did not prove as friendly as we expected, for 

A Battle ** ^ ve< ^ * n a state * bto er hostility towards 

of Mongoose the dogs and regarded them always as intru- 

and Cobra. ders. We were obliged to exercise constant 

vigilance in order to preserve peace between 
them. The movements of the little mongoose were quick and 
serpentine like those of a weasel, and when excited it scam- 
pered about so rapidly that the most active squirrel would ap- 
pear slow and clumsy by comparison. Always anxious to 
accompany us on our hunting expeditions, it would dash and 
flash through the bushes in quest of prey, but would always 
return promptly to us when we called it. 

One day when we landed from the launch and had gone 
a short distance inland our little friend the mongoose darted 
like lightning into a thick clump of bushes, and a moment later 
a large cobra came out from the bushes hissing and dancing 
in front of him. Instantly it coiled into a fighting attitude, 
its head reared a couple of feet from the ground. Its hood 
was distended and its forked tongue darted like slim tendrils 
from its mouth, while evil gimlet eyes glared in suppressed 
fear and anger. The mongoose crouched deftly before it; 
nose close to the ground and hindquarters erect, its tiny red- 
dish eyes blazing like coals of fire. The cobra swayed its 
head and the upper portion of the body lithely from side to 






OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 219 

side as a feint to lure the intent enemy within range of its 
deadly fangs. The mongoose remained motionless and keenly 
alert. The cobra then changed its tactics and swiftly swayed its 
head backwards and forwards with evident intention of dart- 
ing at the little fellow. Cunningly it increased the length of 
its oscillations by almost imperceptible degrees until at length 
into the air it sprang and darted at the mongoose. Quick as 
the cobra was the mongoose was quicker, springing just far 
enough to evade the strike of the deadly fangs. Instantly the 
cobra recovered its former attitude. The illusive mongoose 
again crouched in front of it. In our opinion the advantage 
at this point was entirely with the mongoose, for it seemed 
almost to be resting while the cobra was exhausting itself by 
the tremendous exertion of holding over two-thirds of its 
body erect. Watching its opportunity the cobra made an- 
other swift dart and another and another, but each attack was 
easily evaded. The mongoose then changed its policy and be- 
gan dancing and leaping around the cobra with such quick- 
ness and agility that it was difficult for the eye to follow. 
The cobra swayed just enough to be constantly facing the 
enemy, but it made no attempt to strike and presently both 
resumed their first watchful attitudes. Slowly and deliber- 
ately the cobra swayed its head backwards and forwards as be- 
fore, when the mongoose, with a sudden spring, pretended to 
seize the reptile by the throat. The cobra as promptly met 
the expected attack. The mongoose once again leaped aside 
and then, quicker than the eye could follow, jumped upon the 
reptile from behind, seized the back of its head in a vicelike 
grip in which the cobra was helpless. It writhed and twisted 
and wound its body around the mongoose, but the plucky little 
animal retained its hold. They struggled in battle royal for 
a short time, but the little victor planted one of its forefeet 
on the cobra's head and held it down the way a dog would 
hold a bone and quickly dispatched its enemy with its teeth. 



220 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The little enemy to the deadliest of all reptiles was so ex- 
hausted after the hard fight that we sent her back to the 
launch, where she coiled up and slept for hours. 

We were still anxious to secure some heads 

of the wild buffalo which are found hereabouts 

Hunting . . 

Wild m the swamps, not having found any trace 

Buffaloes. of such big game in the first places in which 
we had landed, so we returned to the launch 
and proceeded further up the stream until we sighted a herd 
of big fellows feeding on the edge of a swamp. We ran the 
launch close in to the bank and were then obliged to wade 
through deep mud overgrown with long grass. This was a 
dangerous situation, for the mud came to our knees and these 
savage brutes are so perfectly at home in swamps and mire 
that it is impossible to phase them. More than this, we had 
no place of concealment in case they charged at us. We 
stealthily made for firmer ground within a short distance of 
the herd and fired into them. Two of the largest bulls fell 
and the others charged instantly at us. We set out with might 
and main for the boat, and as we reached it they were so 
close upon us that one of the native hunters tripped and fell 
and was killed by the maddened animals. Safe and sound on 
the launch we shot two more of them, while the rest of the 
herd retreated, snorting with rage and shaking their heads 
in what looked like baffled fury. As soon as they were out of 
sight we landed again, however, and it was necessary to use 
the greatest caution in doing so, for these wild buffaloes are 
as cunning and treacherous as they are fierce and intelligent 
in attack. 

When one of them is wounded or conscious of being 
hunted and discovers that he cannot reach the hunter any 
other way, he will run straight ahead for some distance and, 
returning by a detour, conceal himself in bushes close to the 
trail which he has left, and remain there still as a statue until 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 221 

his pursuer approaches, when he charges like a thunderbolt at 
him, and oftener kills him than not. 

We had advanced some distance when we heard a shot in 
front of us and a sudden rushing of one or more large ani- 
mals through the jungle near by. After this all became quiet 
again. Cassim and Ghoolah Khan, the natives with us, led the 
way a couple of hundred yards further, where suddenly they 
stopped, and pointed to a buffalo bull standing motionless in 
a clump of bushes about thirty yards away. We took careful 
aim at him and fired. Two bullets struck him back of the 
shoulder ; and though he was mortally wounded he charged at 
us and we jumped aside only in the nick of time to avoid his 
charge, just as he received another bullet, this one in the 
heart. He ran twenty yards further, wheeled and charged 
at us again, but fell with a groan that was half bellow and 
died almost at our feet. 

These formidable brutes are considered much 
More more dangerous hunting than the tiger, for a 

Da than US tiger rarelv attacks a man un^ss he can steal 

Tigers. upon him unawares, whereas the buffalo will 

lunge at either man or tiger without any 

provocation whatsoever. The tiger will devour buffalo calves 

whenever he has the opportunity, but he fears the full-grown 

buffalo even as he fears his dreaded enemy the rhinoceros. 

We cut off the heads of the slain buffaloes and carried them 

to the launch by slinging each one on a long pole. We also 

saved the hides, which were highly valuable. 

Some hunters shoot these buffaloes solely for the sake of 
preserving their magnificent horns. The method which they 
adopt for cleaning the head of a buffalo or crocodile is as 
simple as it is effective. They simply leave the head near an 
ant hill. The ants remove every particle of flesh and skin in 
a very short time. 

Buffalo horns furnish the favorite material for bows 



222 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

throughout Asia, especially in the southern and eastern por- 
tions. The elasticity of these bows is little short of wonderful 
and they retain their vigor and elasticity indefinitely instead 
of deteriorating as wooden bows do. The war bows are 
nearly six feet long. They are much lighter than a wooden 
bow and are so enormously strong as to require a pull of sixty 
to a hundred pounds. This is the bow which made the fero- 
cious Tartar savages the terror of the heathen world. It is 
by means of this weapon that the Tartar hordes spread death 
and destruction from the shores of the China Sea to the Baltic, 
to the Mediterranean and the Nile and from Delhi to Mos- 
cow. Asiatics draw the bow-string principally with the thumb. 
They wear a broad thumb-ring made of ivory or bronze or 
even gold, according to the rank of the wearer. The ring has 
a groove on the inside for holding the bow-string. When the 
archer seizes the string with his thumb he bends the fore- 
finger over it to strengthen his grip. They claim that this 
method enables them to release the arrow without disturbing 
the aim as the European method tends to do. The arrows 
are fitted with barbed steel points, and winged with three 
small feathers, and for the most part are tipped with deadly 
poison. 

Wishing to test such a bow and arrow in actual hunting 
we took one along with us one day in the launch and the 
guides led the way up one of the numerous streams where 
wild animals were in the habit of drinking. We followed a 
poorly defined trail into the jungle and soon reached the point 
where it divided. Following the trail to the right we soon 
emerged upon the bank of another creek where an unusually 
large crocodile lay apparently fast asleep on the opposite bank. 
Strange to say, his head was not turned towards the water, 
and his cavernous mouth was opened to its fullest extent. 
The carrier of the bow and arrows quickly placed a poisoned 
shaft and taking careful aim discharged it at the sleeping 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 223 

monster, striking him squarely in the throat. Startled at so 
rude an awakening he snapped his jaws together and lashed 
his tail as he bounded down the bank and plunged into the 
water. Soon he reappeared upon the surface. That he was 
suffering great pain was most apparent from his actions. In 
a twinkling he turned over belly uppermost and undoubtedly 
sank to furnish a meal for his cannibalistic companions. 

It was still quite early in the morning, the 
Hunting time when wild animals are in the habit of 
LaF 4ith G a me drinkin S before retiring for the day. Fearing 
War-bow. ^ est our shooting might have alarmed any 
game which might be in the neighborhood we 
moved on a half mile further up the creek. All wild animals 
except the most daring fear to drink where the banks of the 
stream are covered with scrub or thick forest. Some instinct 
tells them that enemies may be hiding there and they will 
travel great distances to find an open place. After searching 
for some time we found a promising place in which to conceal 
ourselves, opposite what seemed to us a good drinking place 
for wild animals, and from which two or three trails radiated 
into the jungle. Scarcely had we taken up our position when 
a family of pigs under the leadership of a huge gaunt boar 
came down to the stream and began to drink. We sent a 
poisoned arrow clean through a half-grown pig and the rest 
of them set up a loud squealing, while the valiant boar held 
himself erect, uttering his defiant "Woof! Woof!" and look- 
ing eagerly about for some enemy upon which to wreak ven- 
geance. His frightened brood crowded close together, when 
suddenly a second arrow from our hidden cover brought down 
another. At this the rest broke and ran, the courageous boar 
bringing up the rear, and as long as he was in sight he kept 
wheeling from side to side challenging the unseen enemy to 
come forth to mortal combat. Cassim and Ghoolah Khan, 
who were still with us, swam across the creek and recovered 



224 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

the young pigs that we had killed. They placed the entrails 
in thick bushes about thirty yards away on our side of the 
creek. Many small wild animals and one or two deer came 
to drink, but we did not trouble them, because the crocodiles 
were gathering thick and fast in the stream and it was too 
late and too dangerous to attempt to cross it. 

Before long a solitary buffalo bull marched down and 
slaked his thirst, and proceeded to roll himself in the mud and 
water, utterly indifferent to the crocodiles. His mud bath 
over, he leisurely emerged within a few yards of our hiding 
place and suddenly became alert, sniffing the air inquiringly 
and shaking his head as though he had detected the presence 
of enemies. Ghoolah Khan aimed an arrow, which struck him 
behind the shoulder. Up he leaped into the air, bellowing, 
and much to our astonishment fell down heavily on his side. 
Almost instantly the poisoned animal regained his feet, how- 
ever, and darted into the jungle. We knew that he was mor- 
tally wounded, so we followed him for about half a mile and 
found him kicking and struggling on the ground in great 
agony. We shot him through the brain and ended his suf- 
fering. We saved the head and left the carcass to the tigers 
or other carnivorous animals and posted ourselves in trees to 
watch for more game. Within a very few minutes a jackal 
sneaked out of the jungle, glanced cautiously about and began 
feeding upon the bull carcass. We were about to frighten 
him away when Cassim whispered that his presence would 
surely attract any tigers that might be round about. Sure 
enough, the jackal continued eating ravenously for a little 
while, then suddenly stopped, gazed fixedly into the jungle 
and a moment later a tiger and a tigress cautiously emerged. 
The sight of the jackal enjoying such a sumptuous meal 
apparently filled them with wrath, and they stole towards 
him, but he promptly bounded into the jungle and disap- 
peared. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 225 

The tigers, naturally suspicious, glanced warily around, 
sniffing the air apprehensive of danger. The fact that the 
jackal was there probably allayed their fears and very soon 
they, too, began a feast upon the hindquarters of the buffalo 
bait. At a given signal every member of our party fired 
simultaneously and both tigers fell, mortally wounded; but 
while we were climbing out of the trees the tigress regained 
her feet and bounded into the jungle. We followed her trail 
and came upon her in a clump of bushes, and though she was 
wounded mortally she was still full of fight and attempted to 
charge at us, but we shot her down at short range. 

We secured the skins of both the tigers and pitched camp 
in a cool, shady place during the hottest part of that day. 
Cassim and Ghoolah Khan cooked a young pig for our lunch- 
eon and while we were resting Ghoolah Khan regaled us with 
interesting reminiscences of the manners and customs of the 
people of ancient India. 

While we were listening to Khan's strange 

In the stories Cassim suddenly called our attention 

Coils o to some thing moving through the grass not 

constrictor. ^ ar awav - W G got up and looked, and to our 

horror discovered it to be a large boa-con- 
strictor. It attempted to glide away at our approach, but 
finding its retreat cut off it began to hiss loudly and endeav- 
ored to escape by coiling itself up into a tree. We wanted its 
skin in as good condition as possible, so we endeavored to 
break its neck with sticks. The ugly creature anticipated us 
and darted like a streak of lightning at Cassim, coiling itself 
around him in such a way as to completely disable him. He 
must surely have been crushed to death had no one been near. 
Cassim raised his hand to protect his face, and the boa had 
just sunk its fangs into his hand when every man of us rushed 
in and seized him. The hideous writhing thing struck out 
savagely with its tail and I received a blow across the shins 



226 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

which felt exactly like the blow of a club. We dispatched 
him and Cassim was saved from a hideous death and the skin 
of the boa was added to the day's collection. 

Late in the afternoon of this most eventful day we re- 
turned to the launch, and the two sailors who had been left 
in charge of it reported that many wild animals had come 
there to drink during our absence. An unusually fine buffalo 
bull stepped out of the jungle on the opposite side of the 
stream almost on the moment of our return and was in the 
act of drinking when I fired and hit him. Instantly he wheeled 
around and disappeared in the long grass. We hurried after 
him, Ghoolah Khan climbed a tree to discover his where- 
abouts. He saw him standing motionless in a clump of bushes 
about a hundred and fifty yards further on and a little to the 
left of the trail which he had been following. We made a 
slight detour and advanced noiselessly for a distance of about 
a hundred and thirty yards, when all of a sudden he made a 
dash for us, charged like lightning at us, but every man, bent 
on self-preservation, leveled his gun and fired a volley which 
brought him down on the spot. 

While the two natives were removing the hide and head 
I noticed the grass moving very gently in the distance, so I 
slipped behind some bushes and watched to see what it meant. 
I was scarcely out of sight when a leopard loomed into view, 
moving as silently as a shadow and stopping occasionally to 
sniff the air. Obviously he was making towards the carcass 
of the buffalo, of which he had evidently caught the scent. 
Reaching a convenient tree, he sprang up into it as lightly as 
a cat and stretched himself along one of the branches, from 
which he could carefully watch the natives at their work. 
Vastly interested was he in the skinning process and patiently 
waited to secure a meal as soon as everybody had retired. I 
leveled my gun, took the most careful aim I knew how to 
take, and fired. Almost simultaneously with the report of the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 227 

rifle he bounded into the air and set up a series of blood- 
curdling shrieks and screams as he clutched wildly at the 
branch and fell heavily to the ground. He tore up the grass 
beneath the tree in his ravings until another shot from my 
rifle entered his brain and finished him. 

The natives in this region suffer great losses from cattle- 
killing tigers and 'leopards, yet they seem to be incapable of 
comprehending that it would be cheaper to buy firearms with 
which to kill the marauders than to lose their cattle. It seems 
useless to argue with them on the subject, since every man 
moves in the same rut as his father did before him, and such 
a thing as initiative or an independent action is utterly incom- 
prehensible to them. 

One day during our sojourn a deputation of 
Spearing settlers visited us and begged us to kill a 
Tigers. certain tiger that had devoured so many of 
their cattle that they were afraid to drive 
them to pasture. They offered as reward an ample meal of 
curry and rice for all the neighbors who would volunteer to 
act as beaters, and to the hunters themselves. Enough curry 
and rice was prepared to feed two hundred people and we 
volunteered the services of our steam launch to tow native 
canoes as near as possible to the scene of action, where we 
found an assemblage of upwards of eight hundred natives who 
declared they had tracked the tiger into the jungle close by 
and they believed that he was still concealed there, because 
there were no tracks leading out of it. Nets were spread in 
a semi-circle on the edge of the jungle and a deputation of 
men remained in charge of them while others surrounded the 
section of underbrush in which the tiger was thought to be. 

At a signal from the leader the huge company of beaters 
began blowing horns and beating tomtoms and yelling like 
bedlam let loose as they slowly advanced in a great semi- 
circle. We had brought along a number of rockets, thinking 



228 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

to assist the natives with them, and we had taken up our posi- 
tions near the net, keeping a sharp lookout to guard against 
surprise and accident. All at once we caught sight of the 
tiger crawling through the underbrush stealthily and evi- 
dently planning to break through the line. We discharged 
two of the rockets, which struck the ground in front of him 
and he hastily plunged back into the long grass and low bushes 
from which he had emerged. The uproar from the shouting 
beaters continued until suddenly the bewildered tiger found 
himself in the meshes of the net. It was necessary, of course, 
to close down the ends as quickly as possible before he discov- 
ered that he was in a trap, so there was a general skirmish to 
close in stealthily, because if he discovers that he is trapped, 
the tiger is sure to make a desperate charge to regain his 
liberty. As it was he took swift refuge in a small clump of 
bushes in the center of the enclosure and the ends of the net 
were closed in without further difficulty. The spears, which 
the natives had ranged around the outside of the semi-circle 
enclosed by the net, were more than twelve feet long with 
steel heads shaped like a double-edged dagger and sharp as a 
razor. Promptly seizing their smaller hand spears the blacks 
ran about shouting and blowing crude horns to further terrify 
the tiger. Then almost as though they were drilled to it they 
formed in close order and presented an unbroken circle of 
short spears while a few "outsiders" tried to drive him from 
his retreat with enormously long bamboo poles. We rallied 
to their assistance by again discharging half a dozen rockets 
into the bush, and this time two ferocious tigers sprang out, 
charging open-mouthed into the net. If it had not been tre- 
mendously strong and securely fastened the tigers would have 
torn it to shreds in short order, but it was so loose and so well 
managed that it yielded to their impact and they soon became 
almost hopelessly tangled up in it. Those of the natives who 
were stationed directly in front instantly attacked the tigers 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 229 

with long spears and before they could escape they were pretty 
badly cut up. They succeeded in extricating themselves, how- 
ever, and once more retreated to the bushes, whence a fresh 
discharge of rockets again drove them forth. This time one 
tangled again in the net, and the other sprang on top of it, 
bearing down the upper edge until it was less than four feet 
from the ground. A shout of alarm went up from every one 
as they instantly realized this unexpected danger, and instantly, 
from all quarters, we rallied to one point of attack. The tilt- 
ing animal freed his forequarters and in less time than it takes 
to tell it cleared the net, and the force of his jump knocked 
half a dozen net-holders off their feet. Determined to escape 
this time, he put up as fine a fight as I ever witnessed, and 
even seized one of the pointed spears in his mouth, snapping 
it clean off at the head. Brave as he was that magnificent 
fighter was no match for the circle of long spears, and though 
he fought desperately to the very last he fell dead beside his 
companion, who lay in the net defeated and utterly exhausted 
with her efforts to escape. 

When the fight was all over the natives performed a curi- 
ous ceremony of dipping their hands into blood of the slain 
tigers and smearing it on their foreheads, muttering an in- 
cantation to their gods begging them to endow the victors 
with the strength and courage of the tiger. 



THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER XXI 

MORE FAKIR MAGIC AND A HUMOROUS RHINOCEROS 

The two days before setting sail from this point we spent 

ashore in Port Canning, and Ghoolah Khan insisted that we 

see the best-known fakir of the port perform 

The Startling the startling trick of cutting a boy to pieces, 

Trick of immediately mending him up and restoring 

C Boy n ?o a him t0 life a S ain ' We had heard of this 
Pieces. trick frequently, and seized the opportunity 

of actually witnessing it. In prompt order 
Ghoolah Khan turned up, accompanied by a very dirty, gray- 
haired old man and a boy, neither of whom wore anything in 
the way of drapery but the usual turban and loin cloth. The 
old one promptly threw down upon the ground a large sack 
which he carried and both man and boy salaamed profoundly 
before us. The boy then seated himself upon the ground while 
the old man opened the bag and extracted from it a large ball 
of common twine. Holding the loose end of the twine in his 
hand, he threw the ball straight up into the air, and it rose 
rapidly until it disappeared entirely from sight. He then let 
go the lower end, but the twine remained hanging perpendicu- 
larly as though the upper end were fastened to some object 
up yonder which we could not see. A light breeze was blow- 
ing, and I noticed particularly that the twine was perfectly 
motionless. The wind had absolutely no effect upon it. 

After muttering some perfectly incoherent words the old 
man seized the twine with one hand and tried to pull it down ; 
finding it did not yield he grasped it with both hands and ap- 
peared to pull with all his might. He then feigned to become 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 231 

very angry because he could not recover the ball and said 
something in his own language to the boy who, without a 
word, seized the string with both hands, pulled himself up 
from the ground and deliberately climbed hand over hand 
upon the string until, like the ball, he, too, completely disap- 
peared from view. 

The twine still hung limp in the air and the fakir stood 
staring upward for a minute or two as though expecting to 
hear something from the boy. He called to him several times 
at the top of his voice and apparently became more enraged 
every moment at receiving no answer. At last, losing all con- 
trol over himself, he ran to his bag, took out a murderous- 
looking curved knife, and placed the back of it in his mouth, 
then, seizing the twine, he also climbed rapidly up it until he 
disappeared from view. In a few minutes we heard a piercing 
shriek which sounded as though it came from a very great 
height and, looking up, we saw something falling through the 
air slowly. It struck the ground within a few feet of where 
we stood, and we all gazed at it, amazed and horrified to see 
that it was the head of the boy covered with blood and still 
wearing the turban. As we looked in speechless horror a 
bloodstained arm fell beside it, and in another moment the 
other arm followed. Then down came each of the legs in turn, 
and last of all the dismembered body fell with a heavy thud 
and rebounded on the ground. The fakir then deliberately 
climbed down the twine, the knife, bloodstained, between his 
teeth, and throwing it upon the ground quietly pulled down 
the twine and rolled it into a ball without the slightest diffi- 
culty. He proceeded quickly to gather up his bag, which had 
been lying spread out on the ground, and in it he placed the 
fragments of the boy. Then facing us and covering his face 
in the usual way with the palms of his hands he bowed very 
low, threw the bag over his shoulder and started to walk away. 
Before he had gone a dozen steps something inside the bag 



232 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

began to kick and struggle. The old man stopped and with 
well-feigned surprise opened the bag, whence the boy stepped, 
wreathed in smiles and perfectly sound, showing not the 
slightest trace of injury of any kind. 

By this time we had begun to doubt the evidence of our 
own senses and, fearing to trust our eyes, we felt of the boy 
to make sure that he was really a human being and not a 
spirit or a shadow. The fakir smiled at this evident high ap- 
preciation of his performance. We attempted to question him, 
but the attempt was useless, and he declined to say anything 
about his performance. 

I have been asked a great many questions about this spe- 
cial trick, but it is utterly useless to discuss the matter, for the 
simple reason that no satisfactory explanation of it seems 
possible. Had we been the only white people to witness it I 
would not attempt to tell of it here, because I should be pooh- 
poohed. Thousands of people have seen it, to be sure, but so 
far as I know no one has ever explained it satisfactorily. I 
even had some photographs of it in my possession until they 
were destroyed in the great San Francisco fire. Even if a 
fakir could hypnotize the spectators it is absurd to say that 
he could hypnotize the camera. Moreover, I do not believe 
that we were hypnotized, nor do I believe, on the other hand, 
that a boy was cut to pieces. After studying the matter over 
for years I am still unable to reach any satisfying conclusion 
concerning this marvelous piece of jugglery. 

We met another fakir one day, and for fun 
Another told him that one of us would conceal a coin 

Trick that which he was we i come to if he could tell 

Astonished . 

Us. which one had it. He was placed in such a 

position that he could not possibly see what 
took place; we all sat in a circle and one man placed a coin 
on his knee, covering it with his hand. We all sat with our 
hands on our knees looking absolutely unconcerned, and with- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 233 

out a moment's hesitation the fakir pointed to the hand which 
covered the coin and, furthermore, declared it to be a Russian 
ruble (which it was), though it is not likely he had ever heard 
of such a piece of money before. It has always seemed 
strange to me to come in actual contact with men who appar- 
ently possess faculties bordering on the miraculous and re- 
alize that they lead such wretched lives as they do, content to 
perform feats astounding to the brightest minds in Christen- 
dom for the price of a pound of rice. 

We passed through Siberoet Strait, immediately north of 
the island of the same name, and anchored in the mouth of 
the Padang River. The picturesque town of Padang, which 
is the chief settlement of the Dutch on the west coast of Su- 
matra, is situated on the north side of the river, and the land 
on this side is low and marshy, while the south side is bold 
and lofty. The district surrounding Padang is called Menang- 
kabau, a corruption of Menang Karabau. It is interesting 
to note that the gable ends of the native houses hereabout are 
built to represent the head and horns of the big game of the 
district, the native word for which is karabau (water buffalo). 

A romantic tradition to which is probably 

A traceable the origin of this name is as follows : 

Savage The tribe inhabiting Menang Karabau had 

Tug o' War. t^en at war with an island tribe for many 

years until most of the best men in both 
parties were killed off and the tribes had been reduced to the 
verge of starvation, principally owing to the fact that each 
feared to plant crops lest the enemy, attracted by them, might 
come at harvest time as marauders. The chiefs of the warring 
tribes held various consultations, at last agreeing to settle 
future differences as follows : Each side might select an animal 
and pit it against an animal chosen by the other tribe. The 
two animals were enclosed in the corral and left to fight until 



234 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

one had killed the other ; the tribe whose animal won were de- 
clared to be victors and the other tribe must submit to what- 
ever terms the enemy dictated. The inhabitants of Menang 
Karabau invariably chose a water buffalo, while their enemies 
chose a tiger. The battles were fierce and bloody and both 
parties watched the issue with intense solicitude, realizing that 
the fate of the entire tribe depended upon the result. 

We made several trips into the interior to investigate valu- 
able deposits of gold, tin, copper, coal and other minerals 
plentifully scattered throughout this island. We also visited 
an extinct volcano, Mount Talang, which has three craters, 
one of which is filled with the finest variety of sulphur. We 
soon realized that while Sumatra is one of the most beautiful 
islands in the world it is also one of the most unpleasant on 
which to travel. The average rainfall is fifteen feet, the heat 
is frightful and mosquitoes, leeches and flies make life a burden. 

It is possible to guard against the mosquitoes and even 
flies, but there seems to be no way of escaping the pestiferous 
leeches which infest the leaves and underbrush through which 
one is obliged to pass. They will hurry towards you from 
every quarter, it matters not how quietly you go, and the mo- 
ment they touch -you they crawl rapidly over your clothing, 
managing quickly to get beneath it, where they suck blood 
until they are full and drop off. Strange to say, the bite of 
this pest is not apparent at first, nor can you feel it until the 
blood trickles down your arms and legs and you wonder what 
is the matter with you. 

We camped for one night in a clearing, be- 

A Rhinoceros cause we na d learned by experience that it is 

Has a bad policy in this vicinity to camp under 

Little Joke, trees ; for not only noxious insects, but snakes 

also have a habit of dropping from the 

branches upon sleepers during the night. We built a large 

fire of logs, though it was difficult to get them to burn on ac- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 235 

count of the great dampness, and the natives promised to keep 
what aboard a vessel would be called "anchor watch." Dogs 
and all slept inside the tent on account of the. big rain, and 
it was some time after midnight that these faithful animals 
aroused us by their sudden and excited barking. Appreciating 
that hunting dogs never bark unless there is pretty good cause 
for it, we all sprang up to see what was the matter. We got 
outside just in time to see a rhinoceros dash out of the jungle 
and charge upon our fire, sending some of the logs flying into 
the air. The dogs attacked him, endeavoring to bite his hind- 
legs, but their teeth had no effect upon his hide and he paid 
not the slightest attention to them. Without pausing in his 
lumbering career in our camp he delivered a sidelong blow 
with his horns, cutting one side clean out of the tent and then, 
to our astonishment, plunged back into the jungle, where we 
could hear him smashing and tearing about in the usual 
blundering way peculiar to these beasts. 

All this had occupied but a very few seconds. He had 
ruined our tent, partly demolished our fire and was gone be- 
fore any one had time to fire a shot at him. It was like an 
ugly dream, and since it poured rain in torrents we had no 
alternative but to crawl under the remains of our tent and 
shelter ourselves as best we could until daylight, trusting to 
the dogs to warn us again in case the rhinoceros should pay 
us another visit. 

By daylight we got up and repaired the tent as well as 
we could, returning to Pa dang by a circuitous route that took 
us three days. On the first day we came upon a Dutch planter 
who, with a number of coolies, was engaged in building a 
large tiger trap for the purpose of trapping the tigers which 
were nightly devouring both his cattle and coolies. The trap 
was fourteen feet long and just wide enough to permit a tiger 
to enter. It was made of strong bamboo sticks set deeply into 
the ground and securely lashed together with rattan. They 



236 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

tied a goat inside to the far end of the trap. The other end 
was left open except for a few light sticks lashed across it as 
a blind. Should the end of the trap be left entirely open the 
tiger would be likely to suspect danger and might decline to 
enter. The light sticks look to him as though they had been 
placed there to protect the goat which he hears bleating 
inside, and accordingly he smashes through the sticks with a 
single blow of his paw and unsuspectingly enters the trap. 
A strong bamboo door instantly closes behind him and holds 
him a helpless prisoner. This kind of trap is commonly used 
in this country when the object is to capture the tiger alive. 
Where the object is simply to destroy him it is common to set 
a bear trap close to the entrance of the bamboo box and cover 
it over with leaves. The tiger cannot enter the box without 
stepping into the steel trap which is firmly secured to a con- 
venient tree with a very strong chain, and even should he 
succeed in dragging the chain from the tree, the end of it is 
provided with a grapnel or four-fluked anchor which would 
amply detain him by catching in all kinds of obstructions. 

The next night we camped in a small opening 

Still More on ^ e ^ an k of a stream and once again were 

Tigers about to drop off to sleep when the dogs 

Visit Us. barked excitedly at a short distance from the 

tent. Naturally supposing it to be another 
rhinoceros every man of us seized his rifle and ran out to 
their assistance. But this time we found the valiant fellows 
surrounding a tiger which was growling angrily and charg- 
ing first at one, then at another, as they ventured near. It was 
difficult to shoot him owing to the uncertain light and the 
rapid movements of both the dogs and their enemy, but we 
brought the old tiger down at last with two bullets that must 
have killed any ordinary animal. That tiger seemed to think 
the dogs had dealt him the wounds he had just received and 
he rallied enough to fight them further. Once again it was 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 237 

a brave fight that we saw in that fading light of our camp 
fire. Another volley from our rifles felled the tiger and the 
natives turned to and skinned him and, after cutting off as 
much flesh as the dogs could eat as a reward of merit, they 
dragged the carcass some two hundred yards from the tent 
and we all turned in. 

We were serenaded the rest of that night with an almost 
incessant chorus of howls, snarls, yowls, whines and growls 
from the direction of the carcass, and about two hours be- 
fore daylight the uproar became unbearable, so we got up, 
shouldering our guns, and stole as noiselessly as possible to 
within what must have been some thirty or forty yards of the 
chorus of voices ; and although we could not see the chorus- 
makers we fired helter-skelter and all together in the general 
direction from which the sound proceeded. Almost simul- 
taneously with the report of our guns came a wilder chorus 
with the sound of a retreating stampede into the jungle. After 
this things were comparatively quiet until daylight. 

Before decamping in the morning we examined the re- 
mains of the tiger and found the bones stripped clean, while 
close beside it lay an unusually large wildcat which we had 
shot through the body when we fired in the dark. The na- 
tives carried the tiger skin to the ship by hanging it over a 
pole with the inside turned to the heat of the sun. It would 
have spoiled in a single day had it been otherwise folded. 



238 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

CHAPTER XXII 

TIGERS, CROCODILES, MONKEYS AND BISONS 

We left Pedang and proceeded by way of Sunda and 
Banka Straits to Singapore, there to replenish our provisions 
before proceeding further north. While out- 
All Races fitting in Singapore we visited the Chinese 
Assemble quarter of the city and witnessed a Sem ba 
at Singapore, yang, which is a great Chinese feast for the 
spirits of the dead. We found a long line of 
tables extending for fully two hundred yards along one side of 
the principal street. These tables were literally heaped with 
every kind of food and drink known to the Orient, and im- 
mense bouquets of orchids and every other tropical flower 
were very neatly and tastefully arranged in bunches and fes- 
toons around the edges. Although the Chinese predominated, 
the street was crowded with multitudes representing every 
race of the Far East arrayed in every conceivable color, while 
overhead hung millions of bright paper lanterns which ren- 
dered every object as clear as day, imparting to the whole 
shifting panorama the appearance of some fantastic fairyland 
as beautiful as a dream. 

Goats, pigs and fowls were roasted whole and stood in 
rows, and at either end of the table were placed an especially 
large-sized goat and pig with their mouths stuffed full of the 
joss-sticks which play so important a part in all Chinese re- 
ligious observances. A long broad bench was placed across 
the lower end of the table. This we were told was for the ac- 
commodation of the visiting spirits and there were no seats of 
any kind along the sides. The Chinese believe that the spirits 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 239 

of the departed feast upon some immaterial part of the pro- 
visions which they offer and when they are satisfied it is per- 
fectly proper for the living to feast upon what seems to them 
to be the material part which remains. 

After leaving Singapore we proceeded to the mouth of the 
Pahang River, about one hundred and fifty miles further north 
on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. We entered the 
river at high tide and anchored near the town of Pekan, which 
is the residence of the High Sultan of this district. The sur- 
rounding country is low and flat and extremely fertile. It 
would probably have been thoroughly developed long before 
this had the river been deep enough for ships to navigate; 
but owing to the soft alluvial nature of the soil the river is 
so shallow that only vessels of lightest draught can navigate 
it. We paid our respects to the Sultan of Pekan and pro- 
ceeded to engage promptly a number of natives and their 
large canoes for a voyage upstream. We got well under way 
next morning about two hours before daybreak and with a 
fair wind proceeded at a record rate to the Sungai Cheni, a 
small stream which opens to the south from the apex of a 
sharp V which the Pahang takes about thirty miles above 
Pekan. Like all tropical rivers the shores 
Up the f tne Pahang are lined with thick mangrove 
Sungai Cheni. forests for several miles from its mouth; but 
as we ascended the stream these gradually 
gave way to stately tropical woodlands and reedy jungles. 
Many small islands, sunken snags and whirlpools render navi- 
gation hereabouts dangerous. The surface of the water is 
dotted with many small objects resembling lumps of wood 
lying either motionless or moving slowly almost without a 
ripple, and we were well aware that every one of these ap- 
parently insignificant objects was the nose of a deadly croco- 
dile. The river is full of fish in spite of the crocodiles, and or 
the banks were many adjutant birds which stand motionleso 



240 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

on the river's edge awaiting their finny prey. In the trees 
perched innumerable buzzards waiting for anything eatable 
that they might discover. 

We anchored the canoes about twenty yards from the land 
at the mouth of the Sungai Cheni and our sudden appearance 
caused a great commotion among a troop of dark-brown 
monkeys who whistled and chattered like so many excited 
magpies as they peered at us from the tops of the trees that 
overhung the river at this point. We slept in the canoes at 
night, and there was no need to warn the Malays to keep a 
sharp lookout, for they were well aware of the immediate dan- 
gers that surrounded us. Not only do the crocodiles fre- 
quently go aboard canoes and devour their occupants, but 
prowling tigers and poisonous reptiles are apt to crawl aboard 
small ships at anchor. The mosquitoes would have been in- 
tolerable had we not provided ourselves with a mosquito 
curtain. 

We were sitting under our curtain admiring the beautiful 
scene and listening to the strange subdued sounds which came 
from the depths of the forest near by when all at once the 
long, quavering cry of a tiger rose loud and clear from the 
bank near our anchorage. Every man seized his rifle and 
watched for a good shot, but though the roar was repeated 
many times with startling distinctness we failed to see the 
beast himself. 

It is strange that an animal which depends upon hunting 
for a living as the tiger does should disclose his presence by 
roaring, nevertheless he frequently does so, especially just 
before sunset, which reminds me of the Japanese police who 
sound a large rattle as they walk their beats at night to warn 
evildoers that they are coming. 

At first we paid no attention to the crocodiles swimming 
around us, but as the night advanced we were no little dis- 
tressed to see the repulsive beasts gather around the canoes 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 241 

and constantly increasing in numbers. We could not imagine 
what it was that attracted them, but long afterwards came to 
the conclusion that it was a kind of relish which the Malays 
use with their rice and fish, and of which they had a consider- 
able quantity on board the canoes. This mixture, which they 
call blachang, is a sort of paste, the smell of which was so 
appalling that one would suppose any self-respecting crocodile 
would swim with all its might out of range of it. 

As had happened so often before, we had 

A been asleep but a short time when a sudden 

Familiar general uproar broke in upon our slumbers 

Guest. an( j aroused all hands. As might have been 

expected, a crocodile had come up under the 
stern of one of the canoes and, placing his four feet on the 
gunwale, was masterfully climbing on board. He attempted 
to seize the lookout, who promptly drove his spear down the 
yawning throat, and the rest of the crew made a general at- 
tack with their long spears. It was only a matter of a few 
moments when the wounded brute fell back into the water 
with a gurgling groan that made us shudder. It was far too 
dark to see much of what was taking place, but the commotion 
in the water indicated the arrival of more crocodiles. They 
came surging around the canoes in a most menacing way, and 
we concluded the only way to get rid of them was to shoot 
as many as we could manage to shoot in order to furnish the 
others with something to eat. This required some cunning 
on our part, for it is a bad policy to wound a crocodile if his 
tail is within a few yards of your boat, for he is almost certain 
to knock some one overboard or do other serious damage with 
his tail. I lighted a dark lantern and flashed the light across 
the water while the others prepared to shoot. The light had 
a singular effect upon the crocodiles, for they remained per- 
fectly motionless with astonishment as though hypnotized. 
We shot several of them and the others turned to devouring 



242 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

their dead or wounded companions. We soon discovered, 
however, that our troubles were increasing rather than grow- 
ing less, because such an uproar no one ever heard here be- 
fore and all the crocodiles in the world seemed swimming up 
to us, each one more anxious than the other to secure his 
share of something, we could not make out what. 

A particularly bold one snapped at the muzzle of a rifle 

resting on the gunwale and jerked it overboard, although this 

was a familiar trick by this time. In his sudden surprise the 

gunner held fast to his gun, as a person would naturally do, 

and would have gone overboard along with it if another man 

had not had presence of mind to catch hold of him and keep 

him from it. Quickly as possible we hauled up anchors and 

paddled for the beach; but although it was only a few yards 

away the brutes jerked two of the paddles out of the hands of 

the rowers and we had to pull for the shore as best we could. 

The Malays built two large fires which almost 

Night surrounded our temporary camp on the shore, 

and a chiefly to guard against further attack from 

Campfire. the crocodiles. These brutes are far more 

cunning than is commonly supposed, and if 

a victim gets beyond their reach on the bank of a stream it is 

common for them to resort to a flank attack, when they will 

travel some distance inland, crawling quietly down upon their 

victim until they get close enough to see him, and by a sudden 

jump carry him into the water. 

Simong, the head man among our Malays, now proceeded 
to show us how we in turn might have revenge upon the 
crocodiles for the trouble and fright which they had given us. 
We cut up a number of pieces of hardwood in twelve-inch 
lengths and sharpened them at both ends. Then taking a 
strip of bark we lashed one of these sticks crosswise on the 
end of a light board about twenty feet long. We then fastened 
some bits of meat on the sharp-pointed crosspiece for bait. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 243 

Approaching the water as near as we dared we held the im- 
provised bait within a few inches of the surface and instantly 
a crocodile opened his jaws and closed them on the tempting 
morsel with a contented snap. The crosspiece was held verti- 
cally so it passed through both his upper and lower jaw and 
the surprised monster leaped half out of the water at first 
and then actually turned a complete somersault in its pain 
and rage. It plunged about, ploughing the water into foamy 
waves, in its effort to get rid of the torturing obstruction in 
his jaws, until it finally disappeared from our sight. Simong 
tried the same trick upon others with similar results. It was 
a curious sight to see so many crocodiles with eyes like glit- 
tering stars in the flickering unsteady light of our camp fire. 
The dogs, which had previously crouched in the bottom of 
the canoes, now shrank back as close as possible to the fire 
and whimpered with terror, and they seemed almost humanly 
aware that a crocodile will risk almost any danger in order 
to feast upon a dog. 

We took turns sleeping and keeping watch during the re- 
mainder of that night, and in the morning proceeded by 
canoes to the head of the Cheni. 

One of the principal objects of our expedition to the Cheni 
was to hunt the sladang, or seladang, an unusually fierce and 
wild bison found on this peninsula. The natives assured us 
that this was the best locality in which to find them. We 
made our way through a jungle of enormous trees interlaced 
with rubber vines and rattans often several hundred yards long 
and so thick that the natives who led the way were often 
obliged to cut a path through the brush with their axes and 
parangs. 

The natives have three different kinds of spears or parangs, 
two of which are intended solely for fighting. The one here 
referred to is virtually a pointed double-edged sword which 
weighs over two pounds and measures about twenty inches in 



244 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

length. The blade is triangular and cross-sectioned; in other 
words, one side of it is flat while the opposite side is beveled 
from the central ridge to both edges. The blade is a little 
over two inches wide, tapering to about three-quarters of an 
inch near the hilt. Either edge can be used, and it cuts right 
or left-handed much on the same principle as the edge of a 
carpenter's chisel. 

The dogs started several small deer, but we 

We are ^id not snoot at them * or * ear * alarmm g 

Followed larger game. We were strongly tempted, 

by Monkeys, however, to shoot at a troop of dark-brown 

monkeys which followed us in the treetops 

and kept up an incessant chatter, sufficient to alarm any animal 

within the radius of a mile. Watching his opportunity, Dola, 

one of the crew, wounded with a freshly poisoned arrow one 

of the pursuing monkeys, and although it instantly hid in the 

thick foliage its cry of mortal agony was pitiful to hear, while 

the others wailed a dismal monkey chorus, but their voices 

died away gradually as we left them behind in the trees. 

In many places the jungle was so thick that we could not 
have seen an animal a dozen yards away, and we were all 
suffering from the bites of leeches which swarm in this tropi- 
cal vegetation. The jungle became more open as we ad- 
vanced, and we found some of the most beautiful orchids in 
varieties I had never seen before growing upon decayed trees. 
The cicadas kept up an incessant chorus of strident cries 
and I was particularly surprised to hear at intervals a 
long musical coo-ee that was strongly suggestive of the 
coo-ee of the Australian bush, and the Malays explained that 
it was the ordinary cry of the stealthy and beautiful argus 
pheasants. 

The Malays called our attention to the many buzzards 
hovering in the air a short distance away and explained that 
a tiger or leopard was surely devouring some animal directly 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 245 

beneath them. We kept the dogs in the rear and made a de- 
tour in order to approach from the lea side lest the animals 
we were in quest of should scent us. After advancing about 
three hundred yards we found a flight of fifty or more buz- 
zards hovering closely over a clump of bushes so dense as to 
seem impossible to penetrate. We discovered, however, a 
tiger feasting upon the carcass of a small deer. His head was 
turned away from us and we were advancing very quietly 
when I stepped on a dry twig which snapped with a slight 
report. Slight as the noise was the tiger instantly wheeled 
and with a low angry growl advanced in our direction, lashing 
his furry sides with his tail. Fearing he might dart away in 
the jungle and escape, four of us fired together and the tiger 
fell dead. Two of the bullets had pierced his head, another 
struck him in the chest, while the fourth grazed one of his 
forelegs. The Malays removed his skin and hung it inside 
out on a high branch in order that we could see it and find it 
upon our return. It was still quite early in the day and as 
we resumed our tramp through the dense jungle Simong ex- 
plained that the sladang travel in herds from ten to thirty 
strong and, like most other jungle animals, they feed in the 
morning and evening and rest during the day. 

They led the way toward a small sulphur spring, a favor- 
ite drinking place for sladang, and we noticed that our guide 
became very nervous as we approached the spring, for they 
hung back and begged that the dogs be sent forward to range 
in front and guard against sudden surprise. But this we re- 
fused to do for fear of the dogs alarming the 

At Last! g ame > f r numerous tracks could be seen 
A now through the long grass. We were 

Sladang! tramping in single file along a narrow trail 

which led directly to the spring, when a short, 

angry bellow sounded close by from a thick clump of bushes 

from which, even as we looked, emerged a magnificent bull. 



246 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

With not a moment's warning he charged full speed upon 
us. I shall never forget the yells of terror with which those 
natives stampeded to the nearest tree, up which they ran 
like monkeys. The dogs met the charge of the angry bull like 
heroes, closing upon him from opposite sides and biting his 
heels savagely enough to cause him to wheel and strike at 
them with his long horns. This gave us time to aim and fire 
simultaneously, and in the same instant the noble old beast 
threw up his head and fell down heavily with scarcely a strug- 
gle, whereupon Simong, ever the leader among the guides, 
hastened up and seized what he supposed to be the dead bull 
by the tail, and the others were in the act of turning him on 
his back for the purpose of skinning him when, like the shot 
out of a gun, the beast sprang to his feet, scattering the sur- 
prised crowd from right to left as he charged from side to 
side with his last remaining strength. Simong had the un- 
canny presence of mind to retain his hold upon the tail as the 
bull whirled round and round in his efforts to hit him, and it 
became a most difficult problem just how to shoot the beast 
without risking shooting the man as well, as they circled 
around together. Before any one had time to decide upon 
the course of action the sladang staggered and plunged ahead 
for a few paces and fell dead. 

Such experiences seem incredible, but one grows to regard 
them as a part of every day in savage lands where they are 
made little or nothing of. It is scarcely to be wondered at, 
however, that the Malays, armed with their inferior weapons, 
regard the sladang with such abject terror. This one was a 
truly magnificent beast. His color was a dark coffee brown 
with forehead and legs of dirty white. The hair was short 
and thin, especially upon the hindquarters, where the skin was 
almost bare. A high ridge ran from the middle of the neck 
to the middle of the back, where it dropped abruptly about 
four or five inches to the loins. The highest part of this ridge 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 247 

was between the shoulders in the center of the back which 
formed a kind of hump, but it bore no resemblance whatso- 
ever to the flabby hump on the backs of hump cattle of India. 
The hoofs were small and the legs neat and tapering. It 
measured five feet ten inches from the hoofs to the shoulders, 
and although we had no means of weighing it it is generally 
known that full-grown bulls of this class weigh anywhere from 
a ton to a ton and a half. Its horns, which turn slightly in- 
ward at the tips, were immensely powerful and measured 
thirty-four inches on the inside from the base to the tips, 
forty-one inches on the outside, and were twenty inches in cir- 
cumference at the base. Its ears drooped slightly and the 
skin was more than an inch thick upon the back and the sides. 
The vitality of the beast was unbelievable, for we discovered 
that every one of the bullets had struck him in the body and 
one had gone clean through his heart. The Malays removed 
the skin and hung it in the sun to dry and then we sat serenely 
down in the shade of a spreading upas tree and ate our lunch- 
eon. After all the excitement I found myself quietly reflect- 
ing upon all the solemn nonsense which I had read concerning 
the upas tree: how birds fell dead if they flew over it and 
animals dropped senseless if they but ventured beneath its 
branches. The natives warned us to turn our faces away lest 
some sap might strike our eyes and then they chipped away 
some of the bark and showed us the poisonous sap which is 
viscid, milky and of a yellowish color as it flows from the tree, 
but it soon turns brown from contact with the air and hardens 
into a gum very much like resin. 

While the Malays were preparing camp the white members 
of the party strolled about exploring the immediate vicinity. 
We gradually became separated and noticing some very beau- 
tiful orchids growing upon the bole of an old tree some twenty 
feet from the ground I climbed up and secured them, roots 
and all, by chopping a piece out of the side of the tree. As I 



248 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

started to return to camp with the orchids I heard several 
shots fired to the right of the course which I was following 

and turned to go in the direction from which 
At Close the sounds came. I had just entered a small 
Quarters opening in the jungle when I heard a rum- 
Buffalo, bling bellow and caught sight of a buffalo 

heading for me, his tail in the air. The 
orchids dropped mechanically from my arms, and scarcely 
knowing just what I was about I caught my rifle and fired. He 
merely tossed his head, and with a still angrier bellow darted 
toward me, with what seemed to be the speed of a train. My 
rifle was a single shot and there was no time to reload. I 
jumped into a bunch of trees and avoided a charge, and no man 
that has not been there can realize what it meant to me when I 
discovered that even by turning his head sidewise and striking 
at me with one horn my position was such that he could not 
reach me, though I instinctively stepped backwards to avoid 
the charge. I was in the act of inserting a fresh cartridge 
when I heard a warning hiss at my feet. Glancing downward, 
I beheld a venomous snake ready to strike, and instantly 
dropped the butt of my gun on its head. All this had occu- 
pied only a few seconds, and the bull, finding he could not 
reach me from where he was, wheeled and darted to the op- 
posite side of the trees. As any one may easily imagine, I 
fully realized it was up to me to shoot him in a vital place. I 
aimed at his eye and the bullet passed through his neck, and 
although the blood streamed from the wound it only increased 
his anger and vigor. In his next attack he turned a side toward 
me and I shot him back of the shoulder, where a wound is 
generally fatal, but he only bellowed more loudly and dashed 
his head, stupidly, I thought, against the tree behind which I 
stood. He then retired a couple of paces or more and began 
to paw the ground, regarding me the while as though he in- 
tended to besiege the position until he compelled me to come 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 249 

out where he could successfully get at me. These animals 
have been known to besiege an enemy in a tree for twenty- 
four hours at a time. While he glared at me I took as de- 
liberate and careful aim as I ever took in my life and shot 
him in the left eye. He uttered an ugly kind of a moaning 
bellow, reeled and fell, but I was still unwilling to trust to 
appearances, so I fired another shot through his head and an- 
other and another before leaving him, and then crept out of 
my retreat and started for camp, meeting on the way some 
of the other men who had come to investigate the noise of the 
firing. 

Towards sundown a tiger approached the spring to drink, 
but catching sight of our camp he bounded lithely into the 
jungle and disappeared before we had time to fire at him. 
Several deer also came to the spring, but we did not molest 
them. 

Just after sunset Dola, one of the bravest and 
A Poisoned finest of our natives, and two white men con- 
Tiger, cealed themselves in the branches of a tree 

close to the carcass of the first sladang that 
we had killed. About half an hour after darkness set in 
two tigers stole from the jungle as silently as shadows and 
began to feast upon the dead body. Dola quietly lodged an 
iron-pointed poisoned arrow in one of them. The beast started 
and snarled angrily, but soon began eating again. In a few 
moments, however, it began moaning as if in great pain, and 
rambled off into the jungle. Its mate the white men killed 
with their rifles. In the morning they followed the trail of 
the other tiger for about two hundred yards and found it in 
the grass and bushes lying dead as though it had died in great 
pain. The Malays offered to skin it, but the white men would 
have nothing to do with it. They actually feared to handle 
anything in which a poison so deadly as that used upon this 
arrow was concealed. 



250 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

We had intended to remain a few days in our present 
camp, but the Malays told us of a hill called Bukit Duri 

which lay a few miles southeast of us at 

Wc the head of a stream called Sungai Duri, and 

Scare up declared it was an excellent place for hunting 

Rhinos. the various kinds of game peculiar to this 

vicinity, but more particularly the rhinoceros. 
So we returned to our canoes, which we had hauled up, and 
proceeded to follow the blacks to Sungai Duri, the entrance of 
which is nearly three miles east of the entrance to the Sungai 
Cheni. We had gone some nine miles or more when we 
reached Bukit Duri and camped on the bank of the stream 
which flows along the base of the hill on its western side. 
During the night we discovered several pairs of glary eyes lev- 
eled on us through the darkness, but we dared not shoot for 
fear of disturbing any game that might be close by. About 
midnight the Malay lookout who was on guard over our sleep- 
ing camp quietly awakened us, calling our attention to a lurk- 
ing crocodile staring directly at us not ten yards away pre- 
cisely as though we had hypnotized him, but he quickly slipped 
into the darkness terrified at the volley of blazing sticks with 
which we assailed him. The same thing happened over again 
just before daylight, and in each instance it seemed as though 
the lurking brutes must have remained staring at us all night 
if we had not flamboyantly driven them away. The fire seemed 
to possess some irresistible attraction for them. They were 
both fascinated by it and terrified at it. 

Leaving a couple of natives in charge of the camp, we set 
out after breakfast towards the open to which the natives had 
referred as good hunting grounds, and had not gone far when 
we came upon a fresh trail of a rhinoceros which we immedi- 
ately started to follow. The natives were rather nervous and 
Simong especially said that it would be a bad place in which 
to encounter either a buffalo or a rhinoceros, for the jungle 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 251 

round about was so thick that one of the beasts might easily 
be in hiding and charge upon us before we could possibly see 
it. The dogs were sent ahead to scout and nothing exciting 
occurred until we reached a place where the thick jungle 
grass was three or four feet high. While rounding a small 
clump of bushes we came suddenly in full sight of a rhinoc- 
eros quietly browsing some hundred yards away. We were 
moving very stealthily and he could not possibly have seen us, 
for his head was turned away, so we instantly leaped behind 
the bushes. But in spite of our precaution he grew suddenly 
apprehensive of our presence, for he promptly wheeled around, 
facing us and sniffing the air suspiciously. He turned his head 
most intelligently a few times as though trying to locate his 
enemies, then reaching his great head as high in the air as he 
could, he swiftly ran away at right angles to the course we 
were following. Meanwhile all the Malays except Simong 
had taken refuge in the nearest trees and Simong excitedly 
whispered so we all could hear : "He run round like this in 
circles till he pick up smell, then he come quick like the light- 
ning." 

Sure enough, the beast stopped when he got exactly to lee- 
ward of us, then charged furiously up the wind and went 
breaking his way through some of the very bushes in which 
we were concealed. He ran some fifty yards further and, 
finding that he had lost the scent, he stopped, sniffed the air 
inquiringly and again began trotting around in a circle. We 
let the dogs loose now for the first time and they closed in on 
the rhinoceros. He charged upon them in self-defence and 
one of the boldest of them barely escaped with his life, for 
while the rhinoceros is one of the most clumsy looking of 
animals it can twist and turn and attack with an agility that 
is astonishing. While he was occupied chasing the dogs we 
stepped out of the bushes with our guns leveled. At that very 
moment he caught sight of us and, scattering the dogs right 



252 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

and left of us and giving an angry snort, he charged at us 
headlong, but our volley of bullets knocked him out and soon 
he was stretched out dead on the ground before us. 

While the Malays carried the hide of our 

Carrion fi rst big game in this vicinity back to the 

Buzzards. camp we once more concealed ourselves 

among the bushes and held the dogs in check, 
hoping that tigers might smell out the carcass and come to it. 
Simong, who remained with us, explained carefully that it 
was best not to disturb the buzzards which gathered upon the 
carcass, because, he added in quaint English, tigers follow 
buzzards precisely as buzzards follow tigers. Sure enough, 
in less than half an hour a tiger stole up to the dead rhinoc- 
eros and after glancing warily about began to feed upon it. 
The buzzards flopped heavily out of his way but settled 
thickly upon the dead meat wherever they could manage to 
reach it without coming in range of the tiger's claws, while 
the tiger on his part appeared not to notice them. He was 
facing us and had just raised his head to glance about him 
as these wary animals are in the habit of doing while eating, 
when a couple of well-aimed bullets struck him in the breast 
and with a convulsive jump he dropped dead in the midst of 
the astonished buzzards. 

The day was so intensely hot that we sought shelter under 
the branches of a large tree near by and remained under 
cover until late in the afternoon. About an hour before sun- 
down another tiger crept from the jungle and began to feast 
upon the remains of the rhinoceros, but almost instantly some- 
thing aroused his suspicion, for he suddenly stopped eating 
and looked terrifiedly round about him. One of our crew 
quietly stepped out of the bushes and was in the act of aiming 
his rifle at the wary animal when it caught sight of him, 
but before he had time to move the rifle cracked, the tiger sat 
straight upon his hind quarters and throwing out both fore- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 253 

paws to either side fell over backwards, quite dead. We ran 
up to examine him and found that the bullet had struck him 
fairly between the eyes and passed through his brain, killing 
him instantly. 

Soon after daylight we set out for our ship. We had 
passed less than three miles north of the camp when we came 
to a place where the stream makes a bend to the right. A 
party of Malays in a smaller canoe about a hundred yards 
ahead of us had just rounded the bend, when suddenly they 
stopped paddling and began gesticulating and pointed excitedly 
ahead. We hurried up to join them, and discovered a water 
buffalo struggling fiercely near the edge of the stream where 
the water was not more than three feet deep; while the long, 
scaly tail of a large crocodile could be seen churning the water 
into islands of foam as the hideous reptile endeavored to drag 
the noble beast into deeper water. Both combatants were so 
intent upon their life and death struggle that they paid no 
heed to our approach. We discovered that the crocodile had 
secured a monster grip on one of the forefeet of the buffalo 
and was dragging him into deeper water for the purpose of 
drowning him, of course, while the buffalo was trying his 
utmost to back out of the stream and also to hook his scaly 
antagonist with his formidable horns. Handicapped as he 
was, the great strength of the buffalo enabled him to back 
slowly to the bank, though the crocodile clung to him with 
the grip and tenacity of a bulldog and the buffalo could not 
get his horns into an effective position, partly on account of 
the water and on account of his short length. A bullet sent 
through the hind quarters of the crocodile only set him plung- 
ing madly about snapping his jaws, while several long con- 
verging lines of ripples showed that other crocodiles were 
coming up to take part in the fray. In one of his frenzied on- 
rushes he came up open-mouthed to our canoe and poked his 
long, heavy snout at us over the gunwale, but instantly we 



254 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

filled his throat with bullets and he sank out of sight never 
to be seen again on the surface. In the meantime the buffalo 
had struggled out of the water, but he was in a pitiful condi- 
tion; for the teeth of the crocodile had stripped the skin and 
flesh off his left foreleg so that we shot him down and put a 
quick ending to his sufferings. 

Shortly before reaching the junction of the 

A Strange Duri and Pahang we sighted a tiger crossing 

Enemy. the stream just in front of us. I fired and 

wounded him just as he merged upon the 
right bank. We immediately landed and had followed his 
trail less than five hundred yards when the Malays, who were 
in the rear, uttered a low exclamation of absolute terror and 
darted back over the trail along which we had come, as though 
evil spirits were pursuing them. Simong, who was close be- 
hind us, cried in a low, excited tone, "Run back for your 
lives !" and without stopping to explain darted after his flying 
comrades. At first we were inclined to laugh at him, for we 
supposed they were in terror at the thought of the tiger 
charging back upon us; but Simong as he ran pointed to 
something over our heads and, looking in the direction indi- 
cated, we saw a swarm of hornets hovering over us darting 
angrily about from side to side in the way these fierce insects 
do when excited. 

The moment we realized the real nature of the danger we 
followed the Malays at our best speed until we came to 
Simong hiding under some thick underbrush and, looking 
back, we could see some of the hornets still hovering im- 
mediately over our trail, though it was evident they had aban- 
doned the chase. It is little wonder the natives regard these 
ferocious insects with such abject terror, for they are almost 
as large as locusts, and many a person, both white and native, 
has died in fearful agony from the effect of their poisonous 
sting. They are so vicious and aggressive that they almost 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 255 

invariably attack, with or without provocation, any living- crea- 
ture that approaches them. We concluded that the wounded 
tiger had disturbed them, and had it not been for the Malays 
we should never have noticed them before they had attacked 
us, in which case they must almost certainly have stung us to 
death. Needless to say we abandoned the pursuit of the tiger 
and returned to the ship. 

The Malay peninsula is the most extensive 
Mount storehouse of tin in the world and gold and 
Ophir. silver also occur there plentifully. The mem- 

bers of our party set out for the purpose of 
investigating the gold and tin mines especially, but not being 
interested in mining I did not care to accompany them. 

The early Portuguese navigators were so firmly convinced 
that this was the site of the Ophir of the Bible that they be- 
stowed the name Mount Ophir upon one mountain near the 
west coast of Sumatra and also upon another mountain on 
the peninsula. It is a matter of history that commercial in- 
tercourse has been maintained at intervals between the Arabs 
and the Malays from very early times. It is interesting to 
note, also, that Sumatra and the Malay peninsula were the 
first of all Eastern countries to adopt the Mohammedan faith 
and customs, and a great many Arabic words are found in the 
Malay vocabulary. An Englishman who had lived for many 
years in this section called my attention to the fact that Su- 
matra and the Malay peninsula are the only places in the 
world which could have supplied all the various articles men- 
tioned in II -Chronicles 9:21. Everything mentioned in this 
verse is found here in abundance, while silver and peacocks 
are not to be found at all in Africa, where some people at- 
tempt to locate Ophir. Peacocks are found only in India and 
on the Malay peninsula, and in the language of Orang Benua 
(the aboriginal inhabitants of the peninsula) the word for 



256 THE STRANGE^ ADVENTURES 

peacock is shim, which is the exact termination of the Hebrew 
name tuchim, meaning peacocks. In Ceylon at the present 
day the peacock is called tokei. Hebrew commentators state 
that the algum timber mentioned in the loth and nth verses 
of the same chapter and also in I Kings 10:11, 12, is the same 
wood which is found in southeastern Asia and also in the 
South Sea Islands. 

I call special attention to these rather impressive facts be- 
cause all the years which I have spent among the South Sea 
Islands have convinced me that the ancient Phoenicians or 
Carthaginians navigated the Indian Ocean centuries before 
the Christian era and are intimately connected with the won- 
derful prehistoric ruins which still remain silent mementos 
of a civilization whch perished long before the dawn of au- 
thentic history. 



OF CAPTAIN QUIXTOX 257 



CHAPTER XXIII 

SIGHT-SEEING IX JAPAN 

During the absence of the rest of the party I frequently 
went hunting with some of the natives along the banks of the 
river, and they were always anxious that I should shoot at 
the crocodiles which were a constant menace to them and 
caused the death of many of their number. 

A cat is commonly credited with having nine 

Nine lives, but a crocodile exhibits a tenacity of 

Lives of life which almost surpasses the meager record 

a Crocodile. o f the cat. One morning some natives 

brought word that they had just seen a well- 
known man-eating crocodile asleep in the bushes a few feet 
from the water's edge. They had recognized him by the ab- 
sence of one of his forefeet, which had been bitten off in a 
fight with one of his own cannibalistic tribe. We crept up 
very quietly and shot him behind the foreleg exactly in the 
spot where a wound is usually mortal. The crocodile bounded 
convulsively, snapped his jaws and his tail and then rolled 
over on his side, remaining perfectly motionless as if dead. 
Scarcely wishing to trust to appearances I walked up close 
and fired another shot clean through him and alongside of the 
first one. This all happened a little before eight o'clock in the 
morning, and there he lay in the same position until we re- 
turned to the spot at six o'clock that evening, when the Malays 
prepared to skin him. The moment they stuck their knives 
into him he delivered one terrific blow with his tail, knocking 
two of the men senseless into the bushes a dozen feet away, 



258 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

and would certainly have killed them had the bushes not 
broken the force of the blow. He snapped like a bulldog at 
the men in front of him, who barely saved themselves by deftly 
getting out of the way, and although I fired another bullet 
into him he plunged into the water and disappeared. 

It is not commonly known that the Malay 
Malay pirates, who, by the way, are not by any 

Pirates. means extinct, formerly wore a sort of armor 
and carried shields made of crocodile hide. 
One of these shields would deflect even a rifle bullet if it hap- 
pened to strike at an acute angle. The English, French and 
Dutch cruisers frequently chased the Malay pirate ships and 
tried to capture them, but the clever robbers would pull into 
the shore towards the numerous mangrove swamps and dis- 
appear from view as completely and mysteriously as though 
they had vanished into air. The armed boats of the cruisers 
would then carefully search every place along the shore, but 
could find nothing save impenetrable forests of mangrove trees 
growing straight up out of the water. The easy disappear- 
ance of the pirate ships was so unaccountable and mysterious 
that the pursuers became superstitious about it and began to 
wonder if the pirates were spirits or if they themselves were 
victims of optical illusion. 

In reality the explanation is very simple. The savages 
had constructed a series of slips for the purpose of drawing 
their boats out of the water and literally carrying them to the 
tops of the trees into a channel inside the mangrove trees. 
This slip consisted of two long rows of piles driven into the 
bottom at such an angle that they crossed each other in the 
form of an X. 

The boat was hauled through the upper open space, and 
the whole thing was so constructed that each end of this sec- 
tion was several feet beneath the surface of the water, while 
the central portion rose almost to the tops of the mangrove 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 259 

trees. Two stringers were securely lashed along the inside 
of the piles to bind them together, and the inner side of each 
stringer was carefully smoothed off and kept well greased in 
order to permit the boat to slide along easily between them. 

Whenever any of their boats were out on a piratical expe- 
dition the men who remained at home kept a constant watch 
both day and night from a lookout station carefully concealed 
among the tops of the trees, and the long ropes made of 
twisted rattan were kept stretched along the stringers. When- 
ever the watch sighted a cruiser chasing one of their canoes 
he gave the alarm, and every man, woman and child turned 
out and manned the two ropes stretched along the stringers. 
Unless very hotly pressed the pirates never pulled straight 
for the spot where the slip was located. Instead they ran as 
close inshore as they could get, but at some distance away 
from it, then pulled along in hiding until they reached the 
place where the slip was carefully concealed under the thick, 
overhanging foliage, and quickly disappeared from view. 
They ran the bow of the canoe into the upper open space be- 
tween the top of the piles till her keel grounded upon the 
junction of the piles, and instantly lowered her masts. They 
then secured the ends of the two ropes to her bow, and every- 
body pulled with might and main, drawing the boat up the 
gradual incline with her sides resting against the stringers. 

One day I visited a little Malay hamlet the 
Native inhabitants of which were engaged in trap- 
Crocodile ping crocodiles and selling their hides to the 
Tra P- Chinese traders. Their trap consisted of a 

strong stake fence extending about twenty 
feet into the water, and in the center of the fence was an 
opening just wide enough to permit the largest crocodile to 
enter. The two stakes which formed the side-posts of this 
entrance were deeply notched on the sides next the bank, and 
a strong piece of hardwood about three inches square was 



260 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

laid across the entrance, resting in these two notches, about 
a foot above the surface of the water. A young tree which 
grew on the bank had been stripped of its branches and its 
top bent down over the water. A strong rope was made fast 
to the top of the tree, then passed through a hole in the 
center of the timber which lay across the entrance, and 
knotted underneath, while the lower end of the rope was 
formed into a slip noose, which was spread across the en- 
trance upon some little pegs in the side-posts. The bait con- 
sisted of a dead monkey suspended from the tree about ten 
feet inside the entrance, and I was invited to remain and see 
how the trap worked. The houses in which they lived were 
between two and three hundred yards from the trap ; and after 
setting the trap they tied two dogs to a bush on the bank near 
the bended tree and retired out of sight. As soon as their 
masters retired the two dogs began to bark and whine, while 
casting apprehensive glances at the water ; for they well knew 
that a crocodile prefers a dog to almost any other kind of 
prey, and the barking of a dog never fails to attract any 
crocodile that may hear it. We had not been long in ambush 
when we noticed a small, dark object moving along the sur- 
face of the water toward the trap, and leaving behind it a very 
faint ripple. The crocodile approached one side of the trap, 
raising his huge head out of the water, and appeared to 
be on the point of climbing the bank in order to get around 
the obstruction ; but finding that it was carried well up among 
the trees, he changed his mind and began swimming along 
the improvised fence looking for an opening. 

When he reached the entrance he paused for a moment as 
if in doubt, but the sight of the monkey hanging a couple of 
feet above the water, and the two dogs tied to a bush on the 
bank, offered temptation which no crocodile could be ex- 
pected to resist, and he quickly ran his head through the 
noose and swam towards the monkey. As soon as his fore- 






OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 261 

legs came in contact with the noose his onward motion pulled 
the cross-piece out of the notches which held it down, and the 
tree instantly flew upward, jerking the noose tight around his 
neck and lifting his head several feet out of the water. The 
astonished reptile gave vent to a sort of choking, gurgling 
bellow, and began lashing with his tail and struggling so 
fiercely that it seemed as though the line which held him must 
break. Had the line been alongside of his head he could 
have turned his head far enough to one side to bite it through, 
as I have seen these creatures do ; but it led straight up from 
the back of his neck, where he could not possibly reach it. 

Another running bowline had been passed around the tree ; 
and with a couple of long bamboo poles they pushed this up 
over the top of the tree and let it fall down around him, after 
which they hauled his hindquarters up on the bank, taking 
excellent care to keep out of reach of the sledge-hammer 
blows of his tail. They killed him by stabbing him several 
times behind the shoulder with a long spear, then they wisely 
let the body hang for some hours after every sign of life had 
gone before attempting to skin him. They said that it would 
be useless to leave their trap set at night, for crocodiles are 
so cannibalistic in their habits that they would be sure to 
devour any that might be caught during the hours of darkness. 
When the rest of the party returned to the ship they brought 
the skins of two black leopards which they had shot; and we 
were told that these animals were common in these parts. 

Although the southeast trade wind had ceased 
Off for blowing before we left the Pahang River, 
Japan. there was still a rather heavy surf on the bar, 

and we hired a number of large canoes to 
help tow us out, and we used the steam launch besides. We 
provisioned in Hong Kong and proceeded to Yokohama, in 
Japan. While here we took the train to Tokio, which is 
eighteen miles from Yokohama. Aside from seeing the sights, 



262 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

our principal object in visiting the capital was for the pur- 
pose of witnessing the strange ceremony of Hi Wattara (Hi, 
fire; Wattara, walking), which the Shinto priests perform in 
the temple. Our jinrikisha men took us to the temple late 
in the afternoon, and we were requested to pay at the en- 
trance, though we noticed that the natives crowded in with- 
out paying anything; and they did not appear to treat the 
place with any particular reverence, for they chattered away 
among themselves precisely as they would have done in the 
street. 

A party of coolies prepared a bed of charcoal twelve feet 
long, four feet wide, and a foot or more in thickness in the 
dark, dim courtyard of the temple, and when all was ready 
they lighted it with a quantity of straw and kindling wood 
about twenty minutes. past 5 P. M. They were careful to light 
it on all sides at the same time; and as soon as it was seen 

that the charcoal was thoroughly ignited 

Fire- from bottom to top, the priest struck a small 

Walking. gong to announce that the ceremony was 

about to begin, and a death-like hush in- 
stantly fell upon the audience. I have often been in heathen 
temples while sacrifices were being offered to demons who 
were worshiped in them, and it has always seemed to me 
that a decided Satanic influence permeated the atmosphere of 
the place. On the present occasion there was something pecu- 
liarly suggestive of the infernal regions in the lurid glare of 
the burning charcoal, which imparted a still more fiendish 
look to the hideous idols amid the darkening gloom of the 
twilight. The priests who were to take part in the ceremony 
had previously prepared themselves for it by fasting, praying, 
and offering sacrifices to the fiends whose aid they invoked 
to protect them during the fiery ordeal. Two priests now 
advanced through the audience and made their way to a 
small shrine in one corner of the courtyard, where they knelt 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 263 

down and offered long prayers to a small idol within the 
shrine. 

Our guide informed us that this idol was the god who 
presided over the ceremony, and the priests were praying to 
him to "take the soul out of the fire," so that they could pass 
through it without pain or injury. These two priests seemed 
to think that the fire was not hot enough to suit them, for 
they took long poles and long-stemmed fans from some of 
their attendants and poked and fanned it until the spectators 
were compelled to fall back out of range of the intense heat. 
The two priests then walked alongside of the fire and pounded 
it down to a level along the center, after which the chief priest 
gave a signal, and a number of fire walkers gathered at one 
end of the fire. One of the priests then raised his hands and 
prostrated himself three times in honor of his guardian demon 
who had taken the soul out of the fire ; after which he stepped 
upon a wet mat and rubbed his bare feet lightly in some pow- 
der which the other priest had placed upon the mat. Imme- 
diately after rubbing his feet in the powder he deliberately 
stepped into the fire and walked to the other end as coolly and 
unconcernedly as though he was walking upon an ordinary 
piece of matting. 

It must be remembered that his feet were perfectly bare, 
and the heat was so intense that the heat waves constantly 
blew his light cotton kimono, which reached to his heels, up 
around his waist. When he reached the other end he turned 
and walked very slowly back through the center of the 
burning coals, returning to the starting point, when he stepped 
out and rubbed his feet in the same white powder which he 
had used before entering the fire. He repeated the same per- 
formance a number of times (I did not count how many), 
and each time he reached the end at which he started he 
stepped out and rubbed his feet lightly in the powder. 

Darkness had now fallen upon the scene, and the fierce 



264 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

glow of the fire cast a sinister light upon the gloomy outlines 
of the temple and the dark, stolid faces of the spectators, who 
stood silent and motionless as ghosts. The crackling of the 
charcoal was the only sound that broke the death-like silence, 
and the sight of a human being walking unharmed through 
the midst of a fiery furnace, amid such eerie surroundings, 
was indescribably weird and ghastly. 

After the ceremony we examined his kimono, 
After the which was made of light cotton stamped in 
Ceremony. Japanese style, and not the slightest trace of 

a burn could be found on any part of either 
his clothing or his anatomy. We tried to learn from the guide 
the nature of the white powder in which each performer rubs 
his feet, but he professed utter ignorance on the subject, and 
declared that this was a secret which was known only to the 
priests. The guide informed us that the fire would be renewed 
from time to time, and other priests would continue the per- 
formance of "passing through the fire" until after midnight, 
but we concluded that we had seen enough of the ceremony. 

Among other sights we visited the image of 

The Great "^ a * Butsu (Great Buddha), which was set 

Heathen up during the reign of the Mikado Shomu, 

Dai Butsu. W h died in the year 748 A. D. The total 

weight of the metal used in the construction 
of this enormous memorial to an imaginary deity is some- 
thing over 450 tons, comprising pure gold, silver, tin and 
copper. The height of the figure from the sacred lotus flower 
upon which it sits is 53^2 feet. The leaves of the lotus flower 
between the enormous petals on which the figure is seated 
are covered with several pounds of pure gold leaf. There are 
fifty-six of these leaves, and every one is ten feet long and 
six feet wide. 

We purchased an extensive collection of ancient Japanese 
arms and armor, including swords, spears, bows and arrows, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 265 

etc. The swords of Japan are most formidable weapons, and 
experts declare them superior to the far-famed blades of To- 
ledo and Damascus, though they have very little elasticity. 
The temper of these weapons is so perfect that a Japanese 
sword has been known to sever an iron bolt with a single 
blow without leaving the slightest trace of injury to the 
sword with which the feat was performed. The sword-maker 
bestows an astonishing amount of labor upon his work, and 
every item connected with it receives the most minute care 
and attention. Most of the blades are perfectly plain, though 
I have seen some that were most beautifully ornamented with 
figures of dragons worked in the steel; but I believe these 
were intended chiefly for show, for such ornamentation 
weakens the blade for actual use. These swords are keen as 
razors, and equally adapted to cutting or thrusting. 

Their armor consists of a great number of light, thin steel 
plates hung upon strong cloth and profusely ornamented with 
gilding; but it does not seem that the Japanese ever made 
much use of the shield. Their famous yumi (war-bow) is 
seven feet long, and made of horn and sinew, after the manner 
of the Tartar bow already described, except that the yumi has 
no wooden end pieces like the kung (Tartar bow), and when 
unstrung it curves backward to a considerable extent, instead 
of being almost straight like the kung. One peculiarity of the 
yumi is that the handle is not quite in the middle, but a little 
nearer to one end, and the short end is always held downward 
when the bow is in use. 

I bought an ancient spear for a very small sum of money, 
though the head of it was a genuine work of art. The dia- 
mond-shaped head and the socket which fitted upon the end 
of the shaft were forged out of a single piece of steel, and each 
was about six inches long respectively. The socket was very 
beautifully and elaborately ornamented with the figure of a 
silver dragon wound around the socket in a spiral with out- 



266 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

stretched claws, as if climbing up towards the point, and every 
detail of the figure, such as teeth, claws, scales, eyes, etc., 
was worked out with a neatness beautiful to see. There is a 
peculiar reason for ornamenting weapons in this way. The 
dragon is still worshiped in the Far East as the emblem and 
embodiment of the devil, and the custom of ornamenting arms 
and armor with the figure of a dragon is intended as a direct 
appeal to Satan to aid the one who carries his emblem. As 
the figure of the cross is the type or emblem of Christianity, 
so the figure of the dragon is the type or emblem of idolatry 
and devil-worship, and as such it receives divine honors from 
its votaries. 

The Japanese live in little wooden houses with tiled or 

thatched roofs, and the doors consist of sliding wooden frames 

covered with glazed paper. There is usually a veranda all 

around the house, and at night this veranda 

Charming is closed in with sliding wooden doors a 

Houses quarter of an inch or less thick. As a rule 
of the 

Japanese. tne on v furniture in a room consists of a 
very soft and clean matting about two inches 
thick and wide enough to cover the whole floor, and a hibachi, 
or small brass basin for holding a charcoal fire, which is the 
only means of heating the houses. Every room is used for 
sleeping purposes, and the bedding consists of a pair of thick 
cotton quilts and a wooden pillow covered with paper. They 
do not remove their clothing when they retire, though they 
usually don a different garment from the one which they 
wear out of doors. The ordinary dress of a working man 
consists of a tenungwe, or handkerchief, twisted around the 
head like a rope and knotted upon the temples ; a kimono, an 
obi, and a pair of zori or geta, according to the weather. 
The kimono is a long loose garment reaching to the heels, and 
provided with loose, flowing sleeves. The obi is a girdle 
about four inches wide and twelve feet long, usually of very 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 267 

heavy silk, and is used to confine the kimono around the waist. 
The zori are straw sandals, which are worn in fine weather, 
and the geta are wooden clogs, worn in rainy weather, to- 
gether with a pair of meriyasu (stockings), but inside of the 
house everybody goes barefooted. The geta consist of a 
wooden sole provided with a wooden cross-piece under the 
heel and another under the ball of the foot, and these cross- 
pieces, being from four to six inches high, raise the wearer 
out of the mud. 

A woman's kimono is called a hakama, and a woman's obi 
is a foot wide and twenty feet long. The women have differ- 
ent ways of dressing their hair, according to whether they 
are maids, wives or widows, and also to show whether they 
wish to marry or not. Everybody takes at least one bath, 
and sometimes four or five baths, each day, and I have often 
seen them bathe in water so hot that I could not bear my 
hand in it. The bath is in front of the house and in plain 
sight of the street ; but all the metqbers of the family and the 
servants strip naked and bathe in the same tub and water, 
though the order of precedence is carefully regulated in each 
family. 

They are very artistic, and always try to have the little 
dooryard in the rear of the house adorned with a tiny moun- 
tain, a stream, a waterfall, trees, flowers, and a fish pond, 
even though the yard may not exceed ten by fifteen feet in 
diameter. I believe I have never seen any people except the 
Eskimos who could stand the same amount of cold as the 
Japanese. I have often been in Yokohama in winter time 
when the thermometer was down to the freezing point, yet the 
market boat would come alongside each morning with the 
meat and vegetables for the day, and every member of the 
boat's crew was absolutely naked except for a narrow rag 
which they call a findosi around the waist. The people are 
clean, happy and cheerful, though a stranger from other cli- 



268 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

mates is puzzled to know how any people can exist, much less 
be happy and cheerful, upon so little. They have certainly 
reduced the cost of living to a minimum, for absolutely noth- 
ing is wasted, and their mode of existence offers the most 
indubitable proof that "man wants but little here below." 

Their method of bowing consists in placing the hands 
upon the knees and bending down till the back is nearly, if 
not quite horizontal, and the greatest mark of respect consists 
in frequently drawing in the breath with a hissing sound as 
it passes between the teeth as they talk with you. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 269 



CHAPTER XXIV 

IN WEIRD KAMCHATKA 

From Yokohama we sailed for Kamchatka and for a few 
days the weather was fine, with a steady breeze. This state 
of things did not last long, however, and sud- 
L denly we found ourselves enveloped in one of 

in a the impenetrable fogs so characteristic north- 

Fog, ward of Japan. It was necessary to stand 

well to the east to avoid the strong currents 
liable to sweep a ship among the dangerous Kuril Islands 
which form an almost continuous chain from farthest north 
of Japan to farthest south of Kamchatka. On the sixteenth 
day from Yokohama the fog cleared and we were afforded a 
magnificent view of one of the grandest scenes to be wit- 
nessed in any part of the world. Three smoking volcanoes, 
which mark the Kamchatkan coast, towering boldly in the 
foreground, the rays of the rising sun tingeing their snow- 
white crests to a rosy pink. The brilliant gold and hazy 
blue of the distant mountains added to the glory of the 
haloed volcanoes was a scene the majestic wildness and 
serenity of which could scarcely be surpassed. The coast 
consists of rugged cliffs rising sheerly to a height of four 
hundred feet and the ceaseless dash of ocean breakers has 
worn these rocky highlands into innumerable sea caves in 
any one of which a good-sized ship might hide with all 
safety. Numerous tiny waterfalls leap from the jagged rocks 
and tumble in long lines of snow-white foam in pleasing 
contrast to the dark, frowning sea cliffs beneath. Myriads 



270 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

of sea birds make their nests in these cliffs and caverns, while 
the rocks below are covered with seals and sea lions. The 
seals are particularly noisy during a thick fog, when their 
hoarse barking and bellowing can be heard a mile or more 
away. They have saved many a ship from going on the 
rocks. Undoubtedly their object in barking so loudly during 
foggy weather is to guide the seals which are out at sea back 
to the rookery. 

As we approached we sighted Racoff Lighthouse and sig- 
nal station, which are built on the brink of a high promontory 
on the north side of the entrance. A little to the south of 
the entrance Mt. Vilyutchin rises in impressive grandeur to a 
height of 7,257 feet. This is the lowest of the famous peaks 
in this vicinity. The distant cone of Mt. Avatchinskaya is 
8,000 feet and more, while Mt. Korianski towers over the 
others to a height of more than 1 1 ,400 feet above the sea. 

The magnificent bay of Avatcha is nearly circular in shape 
and is about eleven miles in diameter. The depth averages 
eleven to thirteen fathoms, and there is excellent anchorage 
everywhere in the bay. We hauled up on the east side of the 
bay opposite the town of Petropavlovski, whence a small boat 
came out to pilot us in. The town was named in honor of 
the two ships, the St. Peter and St. Paul, in which the ex- 
plorer Behring made his voyages to these seas. 

The first thing we did was to go hunting. 
Strange ^ e to ^ a cou P^ e ^ guides with us and had 
Fear of some luck, and the funniest thing that 
Lizards. happened to us on the first day was this: 
One of the men suddenly drew his knife and 
uttering strange guttural exclamations began slashing vigor- 
ously at something, we could not discover what, in the grass. 
The other guide quickly drew his knife and great consterna- 
tion ensued. We supposed at first they had discovered a 
poisonous snake and were killing it, but to our amazement 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTOX 271 

we discovered that it was nothing but a small, harmless 
lizard. It seems that these people believe that all lizards 
are emissaries of Satan, and assume the form of lizards in 
order to escape observation. They firmly believe that these 
impish little creatures come to out-of-the-way places for the 
purpose of spying on the people in order to report their 
doings to the devil. The natives pretend to get even with 
his Satanic majesty by cutting every lizard they see into small 
pieces and scattering the bits very far apart, because they 
firmly believe if the pieces are left near each other they will 
crawl together and again become an annoying spy upon them. 
These strangely superstitious people also believe that unseen 
powers are intensely malignant and spiteful. It is necessary 
to constantly placate their curses by sacrifices of great value. 
Frequently they will sacrifice a best dog to some foolish little 
evil spirit which they declare is troubling them, and they 
firmly admit that formerly human sacrifice was practiced 
among them until the Russians, to whom these lands belong, 
put a stop to it in so far as it was possible. 

One night before pulling out from this har- 

A bor we happened upon a unique performance 

^unique j n a na ti ve settlement back in the mountains. 

ance. A chief beat a drum with all his might and 

main and chanted a bit monotonously perhaps, 
while many native hunters vigorously and seriously bounded 
about in imitation of the animals which they hunt. It was a 
wonderful sight to see them bounding like reindeer, trotting 
like foxes, loping like wolves, floundering about after the 
clumsy manner of the seal, imitating the while the voice or 
cry to perfection. Imaginary hunters moved about enacting 
perfectly the pantomime of spearing, shooting, lassoing or 
trapping the animals. There was more or less precision in 
the dance, the wild grace and beauty of which was as- 
tonishing. 



272 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The morning on which we sailed from Petropavlovski was 
so warm and bright we might almost have imagined ourselves 
in the tropics. The rising sun tingeing the snowy crests of the 
volcanoes and the beautiful hills which surround the harbor 
were reflected in the unruffled surface of the water, and the 
atmosphere was so clean that every object loomed up with 
a distinctness that was startling. 

The first night out we saw a magnificent display of aurora 
borealis. The sky at times was arched with a triple rainbow 
bordered with clear white light, and in a trice all would 
change. The brilliant dome above us would be crossed and 
recrossed with quivering streamers of every color, the radiance 
of which rendered us speechless. The display was a fore- 
runner of the thick fogs characteristic of this region and 
which render navigation particularly dangerous, owing to 
the strong and erratic currents which are liable to drift 
the ship a long way out of her reckoning in a very 
short time. 

On the third day the fog cleared sufficiently to allow us 
to make Amphitrite Strait, which leads from the Pacific 
Ocean to the Okhotsk, between Paramushir Island on the 
north and Onekotan Island on the south, in latitude 49 55' 
North. The wind died out suddenly, however, and we were 
obliged to get out the launch to tow the ship through the 
strait. 

We anchored at the entrance to the Gulf of Amur, where 
a pilot came on board and took us up the river to Nikolayevsk, 
a typical little Siberian town built upon a plateau upon the 
north side of the river. We climbed the wooden stairway 
which leads from the wharf to the town, and came upon 
a score or more of Cossack men and women singing and 
dancing in a circle with clasped hands. They stopped to 
greet us with friendly shouts of welcome, and then com- 
placently continued the dance. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 273 

Shamanism is a form of devil-worship peculiar to the Si- 
berians in this particular vicinity. Little is known about this 
peculiar form of worship, but it is the gen- 
Shamanism, eral custom among the tribes to meet in lonely 
A T?"^ forest clearings after midnight on moonless 
Worship. nights and actually worship the devil with 
weird and uncanny ceremonies. The custom 
is deeply rooted. The Shamans believe in the efficacy of 
these ceremonies just as the Christian believes in prayer; and 
the custom of devil-worship is so well known that the Rus- 
sians have bestowed the name Shaitanskaya upon the forest 
clearings in which the unholy rites are held. No white man 
is allowed to witness the ceremonies, though we managed by 
great dexterity to see one, knowing all the time that our lives 
would have been taken had we been discovered. 

They also practice ancestor worship and represent their 
ancestors by hanging streamers on the branches of trees. 
Each streamer bears the name of the ancestor to whom it is 
dedicated and to whom they make supplication. After sev- 
eral thrilling experiences which made the natives rather sus- 
picious of us we ran close in shore and anchored under the 
lee of the dark towering cliffs which lie on the right bank of 
the river. Even before the anchor was down, however, a 
whole troop of native dogs saluted us with such a deafening 
chorus of barks and howls that we might have supposed a 
pack of wolves had been set loose to attack us. Above the 
din we heard a human voice calling out something to which a 
native on the ship gave answer. Whereupon the dogs were 
dispersed as if by magic, and we were invited to come ashore 
and spend the night. 

We presently found ourselves in a good-sized room with a 
bright fire burning on a large box of earth in the center of 
the floor. There was a square hole in the roof to permit the 
smoke to escape, and there were several sleeping-bunks ranged 



274 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

around the fire. The inmates treated us to roast fish and 
berries, and wanted us to sleep in the bunks, but we had our 
misgivings. The natives, known as the Gyliaks, became greatly 
agitated as we were about to leave the house, and we were 
at a loss to understand the cause of their anxiety. It seems 
that they have a superstitious dread of untold calamities which 
would result if they permitted the least particle of fire to be 
taken out of their house. So strong is this feeling among them 
that if such a thing should occur they would burn the house 
at once and no one would think of entering it again, much 
less of occupying it. One of our men was smoking a pipe 
and the possibility of his carrying it lighted from the house 
was the cause of their consternation. 

In the morning Kulenko led the way up the 
Famous c ^ upon which the famous monuments 
Monu- which we had come to see stand. The monu- 
ments, ment cliff is a short distance from the vil- 
lage of Tir. The wild, majestic grandeur and 
picturesque beauty of the landscape which lay spread out be- 
fore us combine to form one of the most magnificent scenes 
to be found anywhere, and we ceased to wonder that the 
mighty Tartar conqueror chose this spot to mark the north- 
eastern extremity of his vast empire. 

The cliff from which we looked over the face of the earth 
faces the south and juts boldly out into the majestic stream 
which flows in a semicircle around its base. Looking up the 
river, the main stream extends toward the southeast, while 
an arm almost as wide as the main river extends due east 
for a distance of about seven miles, then flows south into the 
main stream, inclosing one large and several smaller islands. 
The western bank of the river is covered with dense forest 
through which the streams which form the delta of the Am- 
gun River flow into the Amur River directly opposite where 
we stood. Still further away to the westward we could trace 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 275 

the course of the broad Amgun and its numerous tributaries 
meandering like threads of silver through the extensive plains 
which stretch from the western bank of the river to the dis- 
tant mountains. 

The first monument we approached is made entirely of 
granite and is an ordinary upright column about five feet high 
and slightly rounded at the top, which is unusually thick in 
proportion to its other dimensions. About fifteen feet from 
this one is another which stands close to the brink of the 
cliff and consists of an octagonal base or pedestal supporting 
a plain octagonal column of porphyry. The pedestal spreads 
out a little around the top and is about three inches wider all 
around than the column which it supports. The top of the 
porphyry column is broken off, although there appears to be 
no flaw in the stone, and it seems as though some relic-hunter 
had broken or chiseled off a piece of it as a souvenir of his 
travels ; for it is difficult to comprehend how it could have been 
broken in any other way. About twelve feet from this one 
is a third monument which stands about six feet from the 
edge of the cliff and is shaped almost exactly like the first 
one, except that the pedestal is made of granite and the upper 
part of a very fine-grained gray marble, the surface of which 
is wonderfully well preserved considering that it has been ex- 
posed to the rigorous winters of Siberia for nearly seven hun- 
dred years. A fourth monument stands nearly four hundred 
yards further east upon a bare and narrow rocky promon- 
tory, which is a little higher than the ground upon which 
the other three stand. The general form of this fourth 
monument is octagonal, but it is larger and much more orna- 
mental than any of the others, and the top of it is shaped 
very much like an octagonal vase. It stands so close to the 
point of the almost perpendicular cliff that one fancies it is 
in danger of toppling over. 

Immediately back of the first three monuments are the 



276 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

ruins of a large temple and also several large stones which 
Russian authorities say were ancient altars of sacrifice. These 
sacrificial stones are nearly square, and the surface of each 
one slopes slightly downward toward the center, through 
which a groove an inch deep extends from side to side evi- 
dently for the purpose of conveying the blood of the victim 
into some receptacle. The two monuments, which resemble 
tombstones in shape, are engraved with Chinese and Mon- 
golian characters, some of which Kulenko, one of our guides, 
translated for us. One inscription is "Tai Youman shou chie 
lee goon boo," variously translated, "The great Youan spreads 
the hand of force everywhere," or "The power of the great 
Youan Dynasty extends everywhere." The Youan (or 
Yuen) Dynasty was that of Jinghis Khan, who erected these 
monuments ; and this human tiger certainly justified the senti- 
ment which he engraved upon them, for he slaughtered un- 
counted millions of human beings and spread wholesale ruin 
and destruction throughout the fairest portions of the world. 
Another inscription is the mystic formula "Om Mani padme, 
houm" (O jewel of the lotus, amen!), which in the Far East 
is credited with such marvelous virtues that it would require 
a whole separate volume in which to explain them. 

The Gilyak tribe consider this spot pe- 
Spot culiarly sacred to the evil spirits whom they 

Saored worship, and they keep two poles about forty 
Spirits. ^ eet high always planted in the ground be- 
side the first three images. Kulenko stated 
that they renew these poles at regular intervals and conse- 
crate them to the worship of the evil spirits by the sacrifice 
of one or more dogs their most valuable possession. Be- 
fore setting up these poles they remove both bark and 
branches to within a few feet of the top, with wreaths of 
shavings bound together with strips of bark. The monu- 
ments and sacrificial stones also were decorated with grar- 






OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 277 

lands of splint very artistically worked and lashed together 
at intervals with willow twigs, and a number of small wreaths 
of shavings were hung upon little sticks thickly planted in 
the ground. Ignorant and degraded as the Gilyaks are, they 
believe firmly that they belong to the race that once ruled 
the world; for traditions never die in the East. They know 
that Jinghis Khan erected these monuments at the outset of 
his world-conquering career, and they attribute his amazing 
success to the favor of the evil spirits in whose honor he 
erected them. 

They endeavor to secure the favor of the same spirits not 
only by the sacrifice of dogs at various seasons of the year, 
but chiefly by the annual sacrifice of a bear in January of each 
year. Each village in turn is bound to provide a bear for this 
great sacrifice, and the inhabitants of all the other villages 
within the district come together for the purpose of taking 
part in the ceremony and sharing in the favors of the gods 
whom they meet to worship. The village priest accompanies 
the party and chants his incantations to the deep, booming 
sound of his drum. He calls his Satanic Majesty's attention 
to the unusually fine bear which they are about to sacrifice to 
him; begs him to remember the trouble which they took in 
capturing him and the good care which they have since be- 
stowed upon him; and reminds him that he (Satan) is ex- 
pected to bestow his choicest favors in return, not only upon 
all his worshipers in general, but more particularly upon the 
men who captured the bear which they now offer to him. 

In order to discover whether their prayers will be an- 
swered or not, they drag the bear to the river and endeavor 
to make him drink water through a hole which they cut in the 
ice. They also offer him fish upon a large platter made of 
wood or birch bark, but as a rule the bear is too enraged to 
eat or drink, and the assembled worshipers hail his refusal to 
do so with loud shouts of delight, because this is a sure sign 



278 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

that the shaman's incantations have prevailed and the coming 
year will be one of great prosperity. On the other hand, 
should the bear attempt to eat or drink, it is a sure sign that 
some dreadful misfortune is about to befall; but in such a 
case the shaman always averts the impending calamity by 
incantations. It may thus be seen that the shaman is sure, in 
any case, to come out on top, and he always reaps a rich 
harvest, no matter what happens. 

They then drag the bear back to the sacrificial ground and 
secure him with strong ropes to a sacred post, where he is 
permitted to rest while the shaman chants some more of his 
incantations. One of the chiefs then shoots an arrow through 
his heart, and as soon as life is extinct the shaman cuts the 
body of the bear into pieces and distributes a piece to every 
house in the village. This piece of the sacrificed bear is sure 
to prevent evil spirits from entering the house, they say, and 
the skull of the animal is placed among the branches of a tree 
as a warning to all perambulating devils to keep clear of that 
village. 

They believe that after death the soul of a Gilyak passes 
into his favorite dog, except in the case of a man who is 
killed in a combat with a bear. In the former case the friends 
or relatives of the deceased feed the dog upon the choicest 
food and pay the shaman to pray the soul of the deceased 
out of the dog and start it on the way to paradise. When the 
shaman feels that he has worked the game for all there is in 
it and that he is not likely to get any more pay, he announces 
that he has just succeeded in releasing the soul from the dog 
and is guiding it safely into paradise. The friends of the 
deceased then sacrifice the dog by solemnly cutting its throat 
upon the grave of its deceased master, and everybody is sup- 
posed to be happy ever after. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 279 

CHAPTER XXV 

THE CURIOUS ISLAND OF POXAPI. FIJI AGAIN 

The short Siberian summer was now drawing to a close, 
and it was necessary to sail for more southern latitudes. We 
had intended to proceed next to the Philippine Islands, but our 
itinerary was changed for the purpose of collecting curios and 
exploring some of the prehistoric ruins upon several of the 
South Sea Islands. 

On Ponapi in the Eastern Carolinas there are 
The Place ^e i mmense ruins called Nan Tauach, which 
of Lofty means The Place of Lofty Walls. An im- 
Walls. mense outer wall rises some seven feet from 
the edge of the canal by which approach to 
the island is gained, and the landing is built of massive basalt 
blocks rising only a few feet above high tide. The island itself 
has the appearance of having sunken several feet since these 
walls were erected, and is littered with basalt blocks thrown 
down in all probability by earthquakes. To add to its ancient 
beauty the principal pile of ruins is entirely overgrown with 
vines, trees and brushwood. The only entrance is a tunnel-like 
gateway in the western wall and a small square hole near the 
northeast corner. A raised terrace six feet high and some ten 
feet wide surrounds the inside of the outer wall, which is all of 
fifteen feet thick and varies in height from twenty to forty 
feet. The inner enclosure is centrally located. It also has 
two small entrances. At the center of this enclosure there 
is what must originally have served as an altar. The entire 
place gives evidence of having been both temple and fort- 
ress, and, as was the case of the Jewish tabernacle, the wor- 
shipers evidently gathered in the outer court. The smaller 



280 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

entrance may have served for priests to enter for the per- 
formance of mystic rites. The tombs, vaults and chambers 
are clearly designed for holding human sacrifices. Many 
points of similarity between the architecture of these ruins 
and the ruins of Solomon's temple have repeatedly been noted 
by archaeologists. The builders of these mysterious and dig- 
nified structures undoubtedly understood the highest principles 
of masonry. 

Most of the small islets in this neighborhood are sur- 
rounded with high sea walls of stone blocks neatly fitted to- 
gether, and some idea of the labor involved in building them 
may be gathered from the fact that, together with the canals 
which separate them, this little group occupies an area of 
over eleven square miles. Many of them contain paved en- 
closures and raised platforms built of the same kind of blocks, 
and the little island of Nan Katara has a single wall twenty- 
seven feet high surrounding a huge paved enclosure, which 
was undoubtedly an ancient council house, for it was in this 
enclosure that the chiefs and priests of the tribe met to make 
laws, to hold feasts and to worship their strange gods. I 
have several times visited these ruins and have always found 
that even the natives who profess Christianity regard them with 
superstitious dread and believe them to be haunted. 

An unusually intelligent chief who called himself David 

Lumboi, and spoke good English, besides professing to be a 

Christian, once accompanied me into the ruins of Nan Tauach. 

He declared that he trembled with fear all the while he was 

within the ruins, and that nothing could in- 

The Beautiful ^ uce ^ lm to enter them except in company 

Islet of with a white man. 

Nan Tauach. it i s a curious fact that Nan Tauach is the 

only one of these islets which is not a perfect 

parallelogram. It faces directly on the canals to the north, 

east and west sides ; but the south side runs off to an indefinite 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 281 

point, and is so overgrown with trees and brush that it is im- 
possible to follow the outline of it. 

By scratching the ground on this island with a stick I dug 
up a number of shell beads in the bottom of the central vault. 
These beads are about an eighth of an inch in thickness and 
vary in diameter from half an inch to more than an inch and 
a half. Some were rectangular, others were circular, and 
each bead had a hole through the center. 

There is a theory that these islets were constructed for 
fortifications, and that the ground has subsided and allowed 
the sea water to overflow them, forming canals of what 
originally were streets and public squares. These and other 
massive ruins in the South Seas prove beyond a doubt that 
the Pacific Ocean in these parts was in prehistoric times the 
scene of a high civilization. 

It is curious that the natives of the various 

Mysterious islands where ruins are found all trace their 
Ancient origin out of the west. They also unite in 

Inhabitants, locating their paradise at some indefinite 
point in the west, and all hope to go there 
when they die. It is evident that those ancient races were 
great slaveholders with important business interests in the 
seas, or they never would have undertaken the enormous labor 
involved in the construction of such buildings, roads and 
bridges, whose picturesque remains bear silent witness to the 
greatness of the mysterious people that constructed them. 

It also is evident that these structures were erected to 
protect and facilitate trade and not in any way for the sake 
of glory or to perpetuate the memory of the inhabitants, for 
no inscriptions of any kind are to be found among them. 

This mysterious people who have left monuments of em- 
pire all the way from Easter Island in the extreme southeast 
to the Pelew Islands in the extreme northwest, evidently came 
there in large decked ships and practiced some distinct and 



282 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

elaborate form of paganism. It is interesting to surmise who 
they were and how they vanished so completely, leaving no 
record of their identity on the face of the earth. 

On the little island of Nan Tamarui are the 

Little People g raves of tne so-called Little People who lived 

against upon this special island. They were very 

The Giants. sno rt and black; and when the ancestors of 

the present inhabitants dispossessed them of 

their land they retreated to their fastnesses in the interior of 

the island and maintained a long and desultory war against 

the invaders. 

Their method of warfare consisted chiefly in making sud- 
den raids upon the enemy, burning houses, destroying crops 
and canoes, killing every one in their way, and as suddenly re- 
tiring to the inaccessible fastnesses of the interior. The in- 
vaders, who were giants, made repeated attempts to follow 
the Little People to their retreats, but were so assailed from 
leafy coverts, which completely concealed the little war men, 
with sudden and manifold volleys of myriads of poisoned ar- 
rows, that the giants were glad enough to beat retreat. 

The trail from Nan Tamarui to Ponial. where the graves 
of the ancient Little tribe are located, is almost impassable, and 
we reached the place at last and discovered it to contain only 
nine graves all told, and these were the resting places of dis- 
tinguished chiefs, which accounts for their elaborateness and 
for the remoteness of them also. 

Some of the dances of the remaining tribes on Nan Tama- 
rui are especially beautiful, though they have nothing of the 
savagery of the dances of the tribes south of the line. The 
performers are usually naked to the waist, except for wreaths 
of flowers around the head and festoons of leaves on the 
neck and arms. They dance to the tap-tapping of castanets, 
which resemble finger rings, and also they use a drum made of 
a hollow log and varying from three to five feet in length. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 283 

This is set up on end, covered with manta skin and beaten in 
time to the measure of the dance. 

The men alone perform one class of stand- 
Thc Dances * n dances which they call kalek. Men and 

of Kalek women together perform various varieties of 

and Wen. sitting dances known as wen. They are fond 
of singing, and it is quite common to come 
upon small groups of them singing lustily to the accompani- 
ment of fifes and drums and castanets. The kol or full dress 
kilt of the men reaches nearly to the knees and hangs loose 
like a long fringe of flax. The common costume is made of 
banana fiber and is little more than a waist clout. 

Unlike most South Sea Islanders the Ponapians make their 
houses square. They first build a stone platform four and a 
half or five feet high and fill the interstices between the 
stones with sand and pounded coral. Upon this platform they 
erect a wooden framework, lashing the pieces together with a 
cord made of cocoanut husks. The height of the ridge pole 
varies from fifteen to twenty feet, and the rafters are in- 
variably made of the aerial roots of the mangrove. These 
houses are thatched with leaves of the cocoanut tree and the 
sago palm, while the sides are covered with tall leaves lashed 
to the bamboo uprights of the framework. Each village has a 
Nach or Big House, where strangers are received and enter- 
tained, the affairs of the tribe are discussed and dances are 
performed. When the chief wishes to assemble the people 
quickly for a council he blows lustily upon a large shell 
trumpet. 

At a Ponapi wedding which we attended one day at noon, 
the bridegroom had provided a sumptuous feast at his own 
house where he and his friends waited for the coming of the 
bride with her numerous friends and relatives. The bride 
seated herself beside the bridegroom, whose mother performed 
what is known as the ceremony of anointing, by vigorously 



284 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

rubbing her back and shoulders with cocoanut oil. The bride- 
groom then crowned her with a wreath of fragrant and beau- 
tiful star-shaped wedding flowers which they call chair-en- 
wai. Then everybody partook of the wedding feast and the 
ceremony was over. 

Frequently we went fishing with natives at 
The night. They live in great dread of the flying 

arfish > which often lea P from the water and 
Garfish. kill men who chance to be in their line of 

flight. I frequently have seen these flying 
fish leap over the boat at night. They whizz through the air 
like an arrow. One night we were calmly fishing and a na- 
tive was standing in the bow of our canoe when a small gar- 
fish flew past and struck him on the leg. The man fell over as 
if he had been shot, and there was a wound in his leg like a 
large spear cut. We took him to the big ship as quickly as 
possible and dressed the wound, and he got well of it in time, 
but his superstitious fears and dread were fearful to contem- 
plate. 

Upon another occasion I was cutting some aerial mangrove 
roots for the purpose of making them into fishing poles, 
when I suddenly came upon a macho, as deadly a reptile as 
there is anywhere, coiled upon the spider-like roots of the 
tree. Instead of escaping, as I fancied it would, it at once 
showed signs of fight, so I fought, too, and killed it after a 
twenty-minute battle, with a blow of my axe. Some years 
afterward I saw the same variety of venomous dark-green 
water snake in the Pelew Islands, where the natives fear its 
sting like a death blow. 

After experiencing considerable dirty weather we arrived 
off the entrance to Ahurei Bay on the east coast of Rapa 
Island, where a native pilot came aboard and took us into the 
inner harbor, which is commodious and well sheltered. Rapa 
bears a striking resemblance to some portions of Fiji on ac- 






OF CAPTAIN QUINTOA 285 

count of its extraordinary sharp-pointed mountain tops. The 
natives evidently belong to the Polynesian race, though they 
are smaller of stature than those found on islands farther 
west. We had learned from a whaler of some interesting 
ruins on Rapa. The natives readily agreed to show them to 
us and we found them most interesting. 

The ruins of Ponapi are in the water and 
Ruins in those on the island of Kusai are only a little 

Fine State distance above the water, but the ruins on 
of Preserva- _ ., _ . 1 . , t . 

tion. Rapa are built upon the tops of six high hills. 

Instead of being built of basaltic prism laid 
crosswise without cement as are the other ruins in this region, 
those of Rapa are made of huge stones all neatly squared and 
accurately joined together with cement which is as hard as the 
stone itself. It is owing chiefly to the excellence of the cement 
used in their construction that these ruins are in such a fine 
state of preservation. No plants or roots of trees have been 
able to force themselves between the stones and force them 
apart by the power of expansion. 

While the actual building of these ruins required an in- 
credible amount of labor, this feature sinks into insignificance 
when compared with the rare beauty and workmanship of the 
finish and the elaborate minor details of* their construction. 
They are as far superior to the other ruins which we had 
seen as a fine mansion is superior to a common building. 
This would seem to indicate that this lonely little island of 
Rapa may possibly have been the chief capital of the 
same mysterious civilization which flourished here, the very 
heart and center, perhaps, of some elaborate form of heath- 
enism. 

Tradition tells us that a race of white giants lived in 
fortified hills somewhere hereabouts at a remote period and 
wore white garments in time of peace but clothes of iron in 
time of war. 



286 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

There can be little doubt that these buildings are the work 
of some highly civilized people far advanced in the mechan- 
ical arts and possessed of steel tools capable 

The Work of cutting the hardest of stone. They also 

Civir 8 ed y had c PP er tools tem Pered to cut like steel. 
People. I* is a strange experience, this actually 
being among the mystic, silent relics of 
long-forgotten ages. 

We searched the buildings for inscriptions or hieroglyphics, 
but found none. We spoke of what might be buried beneath 
these great buildings and agreed that if any treasures or relics 
are to be found beneath any of the ruins or monuments scat- 
tered throughout these tropical islands they should surely be 
found here. 

The climate of Rapa is remarkably mild and delightful and 
we were told it is entirely free from storms and hurricanes. 
We had rather squally weather on our run westward to Ton- 
gatabu where we anchored in Nukualofa Harbor. Our object 
in revisiting the Tonga group was to secure a collection of 
native cloths made of the bark of the paper mulberry and 
also to see the ruins there. 

An interesting point about the island of Tongatabu is a 
low coral formation only slightly elevated above the sea. This 
island contains no other such stones as those of which the 
ruins are built, which shows beyond doubt that the builders 
must have conveyed the huge monoliths to the islands in large 
ships of some kind. These upright stones must be very 
deeply and firmly planted in the ground, for they have suc- 
cessfully withstood severe earthquake shocks, one of which 
threw a huge stone urn off the horizontal roof-slab upon 
which it stood. This particular monument seems to be built 
to stand for all time. It required an immense expenditure of 
labor, first to hew the gigantic monoliths into shape and then 
to convey them to the place where they now stand, and lastly 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 287 

to set them up and place into position the roof-slab and the 
stone bowl. It is interesting to note that this monument upon 
which so much labor was expended stands entirely alone, and 
it is difficult to surmise the object for which it was erected, 
for like all the other ruins which we had visited it reveals no 
sign nor inscription, though it clearly conveys the impression 
of having been the center of some idolatrous religion. 

Leaving Tonga we sailed again for Fiji and anchored in 
the mouth of the Rewa River on the southeast coast of Viti 
Levu, which consists of a mangrove swamp several miles in 
extent, abounding with wild duck. 

We ascended the Rewa to its junction with the Wai ni 
Mouka or Water-of-fire-river, for the purpose of trading with 
the mountain people. The river banks were covered with 
magnificent forest trees festooned with a network of lianas, 
climbing ferns and orchids. The beautiful mountain ranges 
rising in the background make a supremely beautiful pano- 
rama. We stopped at several points and secured many rare 
and beautiful orchids and the native Kai Tholo tribe furnished 
us with a fine collection of curios consisting of bows, arrows, 
war clubs, spears, stone axes and the most beautiful wood 
carving of any of the islands we visited. The principal articles 
they wanted in return were strong knives, hatchets and calico. 
Before we left the Kai Tholos invited us to 

Beautiful witness a Wave Dance representing the ocean 
of all waves breaking upon a coral reef, and we en- 

Savage joyed the performance of it more than we 
could express to each other. 

The faces of the dancers were painted in various light 
colors and in a great variety of patterns. Their hair was 
adorned with scarlet parrots' feathers. They first seated 
themselves upon a little knoll which represented the coral 
island around which the waves were rising. By far the great- 
est number of dancers were men and boys wearing snow- 



288 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

white turbans and long sashes of pure white masi cloth as 
fine as gauze and representing the waves. These snow-white 
sashes were so arranged that they floated in long streamers 
from the heads and waists of the dancers like the white crests 
of breakers ; and their grace and beauty, as they waved in per- 
fect harmony with the music, and all in such barbaric sur- 
roundings, was unearthly and unspeakably beautiful. 

The music began in a low droning murmur, like the cease- 
less murmur of ocean surges, while the dancers formed in 
long lines and began advancing in imitation of the rising tide. 
The smallest children represented the tiniest wavelets and the 
entire company waved on with bowed heads and outspread 
hands until at a given signal they began to break up into 
smaller companies, precisely in the way that incoming waves 
break against minor obstructions in their course. When the 
long waving lines of dancers reached an imaginary shore, 
they all suddenly sprang into the air and waved their long 
white streamers in imitation of the snowy crests of larger 
waves and breakers while the murmuring dance of the music 
swelled to a thundering roar like the reverberating boom of 
high waves beating upon the shore. The movements of the 
dancers gradually increased in rapidity as they alternately ad- 
vanced and retired in imitation of the rising tide and they 
steadily gained ground until high tide was reached at last. 
The process then reversed, and though the dancers advanced 
and retired as before, they steadily receded by imperceptible 
degrees to the point where they had started, which repre- 
sented low water resounding. The dancing was as graceful 
as it was realistic and every movement and attitude of those 
performing savages was exquisite in the extreme. Suddenly 
everybody around about, except our astonished selves, uttered 
a resounding wawo and the most beautiful savage dance in the 
world ended. 

The climate of Fiji is rainy, so every house is built upon a 
stone foundation several feet high in order to keep it well 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 289 

above the damp ground. The floor is evenly covered with a 
thick layer of soft, dry grass and the grass in turn is covered 
with rich woven mats which are kept scrupulously clean. A 
large wooden bowl of water is always kept outside the door 
and every one must wash his feet before entering. 

The Fiji canoes are large double boats a hundred feet long 
and six feet deep, capable of carrying several tons of cargo 
besides a hundred or more men. A small pilot house is built 
upon a platform extending between the boats, which carry 
large matting sails, by means of which they can travel very 
fast. 

Fiji canoes belonging to chiefs are elaborately carved and 
decorated, and their snow-white sails and long bright-colored 
pennants streaming in the wind present a gay and fantastic pic- 
ture as they glide over the water with the speed of a race horse. 
On completing our trading operations we pro- 
The Home ceeded to Suva, which is situated about 

H** t ? c twenty miles to the westward on the south 
Gods. side f Viti Levu, thence to Mbenga, where 

we again witnessed the unearthly fire-walking 
ceremony, well known as characteristic of the islanders of the 
Fiji group. It is celebrated to-day only on the island of 
Mbenga, a little basaltic islet only five miles long by three 
broad, and, like all the rest of the Fiji group, is beautiful 
enough to make the spectator wonder not at all that the Fiji- 
ans believed it to be the residence of their god. Small as it 
is it has two good harbors, in one of which, Kovanga, we 
anchored. 

On the north side of the entrance is a wide beach of white 
sand, back of which is a pretty native village of about thirty 
houses. The entire habitat of the island is scarcely 750 souls, 
who call themselves "Ngali thuva ki Langi," which, translated, 
means Subject only to Heaven, because they consider them- 
selves and their island sacred and acknowledge no earthly 
authority. 



290 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The priests who perform the mysterious fire-walking are 
called Na Ivilankata, a word which seems to have an endless 
variety of significant meanings. The lovo, which is the pit 
where the fire-dancing takes place, is some four feet deep and 
probably twenty-two feet in diameter. The bottom is paved 
with large flat stones. First a quantity of kindling wood is 
laid upon the stones and covered with logs to a height of ten 
feet. Many stones are placed upon the top of the logs and 
before daylight the fire is lighted. The hardwood logs which 
they use give out a great heat; as the fire gradually burns 
down a fresh supply of dry logs is thrown in on top of the 
stones until they are heated to a white heat. 

Between four and five o'clock in the afternoon the master 
of ceremonies gave the signal and the natives began clearing 
the burnt logs and embers oflf the stones. The men who did 
this wore clothes of banana leaves by way of a protection 
from the fierce heat. They dragged away the half-burned logs 
with running nooses of tough vines attached to long poles. 

While this was going on two medical men, 

Again the along with us, requested permission to ex- 

InC Fi? c iblC amine the feet f the P erformers - This was 

Walking. readily granted. They examined not only 

their feet, but their entire bodies and limbs, 

and acknowledged there was nothing unusual about them, 

while the native priests declared positively that they had not 

undergone any preparation whatsoever for the ceremony. 

There were ten dancers, so called, and they wore only breech 

clouts of common calico and anklets of dried fern leaves, 

which, by the way, are highly inflammable. They also wore 

wreaths of the ti tree upon their heads. 

Starting in single file, they walked slowly and measuredly 
across the red-hot stones, chanting in a low monotone. They 
walked backwards and forwards in the glowing heat, showing 
not the slightest evidence of inconvenience. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTOX 291 

A native who stood by and who spoke good English in- 
stantly invited one dancer to satisfy the mind of an incredu- 
lous white man about the heat of the stones by allowing him 
to touch any one of them, which he had declared must be 
non-conductors of heat. Another dancer tied a white hand- 
kerchief to the end of a long bamboo pole and held it all of 
two feet above the red-hot stones; the handkerchief instantly 
scorched and burned up. Some one else threw a rolled-up 
bit of cloth in upon the stones. It blazed up and burned in- 
stantly. Still others threw in branches and twigs, which 
promptly sent up clouds of smoke and burned up in flames. 

The performers remained in the pit for about ten min- 
utes and then marched out. The doubters examined their feet 
carefully, but were obliged to admit that they were perfectly 
normal, and I noticed that their loin cloths and anklets of 
dry fern leaves showed not the slightest evidence of being 
scorched. 

In a little while the performers reentered the fire and de- 
liberately seated themselves upon a layer of green leaves, 
which, of course, could afford no real protection from the 
intense heat ; nevertheless they remained seated on the hot 
stones for several minutes, chanting their monotonous incan- 
tation. At a signal from the leader they all arose and marched 
out as unconcernedly as they had marched in. 

I have talked with missionaries who have lived among these 

people for many years and they all agree that the Fijians have 

the same traditions, which, according to the 

The leader of the fire-walkers, who is a very in- 

Traditipn of te liigent man and speaks good English, is as 
the Kire- -. 
Walkers. follows : 

A great many years ago, ages before the com- 
ing of Popalangi, a kind of fairy god named Tui Na Moliwai 
lived in seclusion among the hills in the Sawau district of 
Mbenga Island and performed many miracles. One day a 



292 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

strange story-teller appeared in the village of Narakaisese and 
entertained the inhabitants with wonderful stories of the many 
foreign lands which he had visited. After several days when 
Tui Na Moliwai was about to take his leave the chief of the 
village asked each one in the audience what gift he would 
make to the story-teller. A high chief named Tui Ngalita 
promised the story-teller a large eel and the next morning he 
started out to secure one. He went to the pond which had 
been named in honor of a certain sprite who was supposed to 
live near it, and he thrust his hand into a small but deep hole 
and felt for eels. He first drew out a man's girdle, which t he 
threw away. He next got hold of a man's arm, which proved 
to be the arm of no other than the story-teller. Tui Ngalita 
informed his captive that he must be baked in the pit and 
eaten. The story-teller then confessed that he was no other 
than the fairy sprite, and offered the chief great rewards if he 
would release him. The request was refused, and his captor 
insisted he must be cooked like an eel and eaten. "If you will 
release me, and not put me in the fire, but only allow me to 
walk through it," insisted the sprite, "I will confer upon you 
and upon all your descendants forever the mysterious power 
to walk through fire whenever you wish to without the slight- 
est injury to your body." This offer Tui Ngalita accepted. 
The sprite immediately constructed a large long pit, lined it 
with stones which he heated white hot and led Tui Ngalita into 
the furnace, where they remained without feeling the least 
discomfort for the whole day. "You are now invulnerable 
to fire," said the sprite to the savage, "and this power shall 
remain with you and with your descendants forever." So say- 
ing the sprite vanished in a flame and has never been seen 
since.* 

*It must be remembered that this unearthly fire-walking ceremony 
is not performed in secret by any means, and that many most intelli- 
gent and highly educated white people have witnessed it. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 293 

It must be understood that this strange ceremony of 
fire- walking is not confined to the Fijians alone. In Hono- 
lulu I saw the famous Papa Ita, a native 
Jn of Tahiti, give his famous exhibitions of 

San fire-walking there. He afterwards went to 

Francisco. San Francisco, where an immense crowd 
of spectators witnessed his ceremonious 
fire-walking performance. 

A large square place was dug in the form of an oven in 
front of a church, and ten or twelve cords of wood were piled 
in it. On top of the wood were piled about eight or ten tons 
of large stones and broken blocks of lava; the fire was kept 
burning for about seven hours before the performance began. 

Medical experts have been sent to examine the performers, but 
after most careful scrutiny all have been compelled to confess that they 
could find no explanation of the mystery. My own opinion is that this 
fire walking is nothing more nor less than a survival of the ancient 
heathen rite of passing through the fire to some heathen deity so often 
mentioned in the Old Testament. 

"And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through 
the fire, and used divination and enchantments." II Kings 17:17. 

"And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, 
and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards." 
II Kings 21 :6. 

"And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of 
Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass 
through the fire to Molech." II Kings 23:10. 

As Christian baptism and the Eucharist are the visible bonds which 
unite humanity to divinity, so passing through the fire was evidently 
an unholy heathen sacrament which formerly united its votaries to 
Satan. The Bible does not say that they were consumed in the fire, but 
simply that they passed through the fire as a dedication of themselves 
to some of the devil gods worshiped by the heathen. 

No intelligent person could spend several years of his life among 
the Polynesian Islanders and not notice the great similarity of many 
of their manners, customs and traditions to many customs mentioned 
in the Bible. 



294 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

When the fire had burned down sufficiently they leveled the 
stones with long poles, and Papa Ita, removing his shoes, in- 
vited any one to examine his feet. Several medical men made 
a very careful examination, but could find nothing unusual 
about them. I noticed particularly that Papa Ita, who had 
most likely never heard of the Fiji Islands or their inhabitants, 
wore upon his head a wreath composed of the leaves of the ti 
tree, exactly like those which the Fijian performers wore 
under the same circumstances. He also carried a bunch of 
the same leaves in his hand and constantly waved them above 
his head during the entire performance. As he approached the 
fire he began chanting a low and- melancholy though singu- 
larly musical incantation which was plainly audible amid the 
death-like silence of the spectators. He walked slowly and 
deliberately across the white-hot stones without the slightest 
hesitation and landed safely on the other side, amid the cheers 
of the onlookers. He then turned and walked back to the 
center of the furnace, where he stopped and remained for 
some time, looking around him, then stepped out on the side 
where he had first entered. 

He now held out his hand towards the hundreds of spec- 
tators and made a short speech in the Tahitian language. His 
native interpreter said that he invited any of the spectators 
to follow him through the fire, and assured them that the fire 
would not have the slightest effect upon them, because they 
would be under the protection of the fire goddess. No one 
accepted his invitation and he turned and walked slowly back 
and forwards through the glowing furnace several times, then 
stopped and stood for a few minutes in the center again, 
where the heat was so intense that the heat waves caused his 
robes to flutter around him. He never ceased his chant while 
in the furnace, and also kept the bunch of ti tree leaves con- 
stantly waving about his head. 

His feet were carefully examined after the performance, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 295 

but were found to be perfectly normal and did not show the 
least sign of being burned. Some of the people then threw 
pieces of meat upon the stones and they were burned to cin- 
ders in short order. A thermometer was hung six feet above 
the stones and the solder melted when the instrument regis- 
tered 282 degrees; and several parties took photographs of 
Papa Ita during the performance. 

Representatives of the Honolulu papers interviewed him be- 
fore his departure for San Francisco and questioned him in 
regard to his mysterious power over fire. In reply to their 
inquiries Papa Ita said: "I am the last lineal descendant of 
the original fire-walkers of the Tahitian Islands. Countless 
ages ago the goddess of fire, Hina nui a te Ahi (Great maiden 
of the Fire), chose my ancestors to represent 
An Address her in this world and gave them complete 
H m * power over fire and heat ; but I am the last 

Tongue. f ^ e ^ ne - Hina nui a te Ahi is offended 
with my people because they have forsaken 
the worship of their old gods and have accepted Christianity. 
Therefore the goddess whom I worship has decreed that I 
shall die childless, and with me dies the last of the fire-walk- 
ers of modern times. 

"She protected my forefathers and she will protect me as 
she has so often done. It is only through special power that 
I am kept from being burned to death. 

'The goddess of fire once visited us from her home in the 
moon. She appeared to my ancestors completely enveloped 
in the leaves of the ti tree, and it is to the ti tree leaf and her 
watchful care over me that I owe immunity from all harm in 
the fire. She told my forefathers that many thousands of 
years ago a bird flew to the moon and plucked the berries of 
the ti tree, which is sacred to the gods, and in carrying them 
over our islands dropped them upon the soil, where they took 
root and grew, and thus it was that this sacred tree first ap- 



296 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

peared upon this earth. So long as I am enveloped in the 
sacred ti leaf and chant my prayer to the fire-goddess all fire 
is as harmless to me as the rays of the sun. Time and time 
again I have walked barefooted over white-hot stones in the 
presence of hundreds of spectators without feeling the least 
pain or even noticing the heat. 

"It is no trick, I assure you. It is the power of our god- 
dess which protects me. My people are dying out and are 
afflicted with various calamities because they have forsaken 
the worship of their ancient gods, and there is no help for 
them except to return to their old mode of life and the wor- 
ship of their former gods." 

A Breath from ^ e ^^ ^ ack w ^ a sort * va lie curiosity 
Forgotten to the Biblical account of the passing through 
Ages. the fire and other kindred abominations which 

were practiced in honor of Baal, Ashtoreth, 
and Moloch in the days of the Hebrew prophets; but it 
seems like a breath from these long-forgotten ages to find 
that the same religion still survives and the same weird, un- 
canny ceremonies are being performed to-day in our own 
land. We know as a matter of history that the Phoenicians, 
who were by far the greatest navigators, merchants and trad- 
ers of antiquity, carried the religion of 'Baal and Ashtoreth 
with them wherever they went and made it the religion of al- 
most the entire ancient world. It is not difficult to under- 
stand the secret of their success in spreading their religion; 
for the spectacular always appeals to the multitude and the 
amazing spectacle of people walking unharmed through a 
fiery furnace would naturally tend to convert whole tribes of 
natives to the worship of the gods who could enable their 
votaries to defy the laws of nature. 

The world-empire of the Arabo-Phcenicians is now dis- 
tinctly traced from the Orkney Islands, on the north, to Zam- 
besi and Lindi Rivers in South Africa, and from the Canary 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 297 

Islands, in the Atlantic, to Malacca and Sumatra in the Far 
East. Hanno, the Carthaginian admiral who sailed around 
Africa about B. C. 570, or more than 2,000 years before 
Vasco da Gama or Bartholomew Diaz rounded the Cape of 
Good Hope, carried 500 men in each of his ships besides their 
provisions and other stores. 

Extensive Phoenician ruins are now found in East South 
Africa, and the Makalanga tribe, residing along the Zambesi 
River, still worships the ancient Semitic Baal under the name 
of Bubu. It is known that the Phoenicians (or Carthaginians) 
planted colonies in the British Islands and introduced the wor- 
ship of Baal ; and it is curious to find that this worship never 
became entirely extinct in those Islands, although what was 
once practiced as a matter of religion is now practiced as a 
mere matter of fun or in obedience to ancient custom. The 
intensely religious Keltic inhabitants of Ireland, Wales and 
Scotland still celebrate Midsummer Night (June 2ist) with 
bonfires upon the hilltops in honor of the sun as their Cartha- 
ginian or Phoenician ancestors did in long-past ages upon the 
shores of the Mediterranean. Some roll blazing hoops or 
blazing wheels (the emblem of the sun) down hillsides in 
commemoration of the annual course of the sun. Young 
couples clasp hands and leap over the bonfire, entirely uncon- 
scious of the fact that they are only celebrating in a milder 
form the dark heathen rite of passing through the fire, which 
was celebrated in honor of Baal the Sun-god upon the hills 
of Palestine three thousand years ago. 



298 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER XXVI 

STRANGE PAGAN ECHOES OF SCRIPTURE NARRATIVES 

The colonies and trading posts of the Phoenicians and 
Carthaginians are clearly traced from the British Islands to 
Malacca and Sumatra, but it is against reason to suppose that 
such enterprising traders and navigators would stop at the 
entrance to the Pacific without exploring further. It might 
be argued if the Phoenicians or Carthaginians built the im- 
mense ruins which still remain in various parts of the Pacific, 
they would surely have sought to perpetuate their memory 
by inscribing their names and achievements upon the build- 
ings or monuments which they erected. But it is a matter of 
history that these people were so extremely avaricious that 
they cared absolutely nothing for what is known as "glory," 
the sole object of their existence was gain. Avarice with 
them destroyed patriotism, and led to their ruin and extermi- 
nation; for they depended entirely upon hired mercenaries to 
fight their battles while they devoted all their energies to buy- 
ing, selling and hoarding. 

They were also extremely secretive and 
And sought always to conceal the sources of their 

A?i r< Hands wealth - lt is on record that a Carthaginian 
ship bound to Britain for a cargo of tin ore 
was followed by a Roman galley for the pur- 
pose of discovering where they obtained the tin. The Cartha- 
ginian captain, finding that he could not get rid of his pur- 
suers, deliberately ran his vessel ashore on the coast of Gaul 
and drowned all hands, rather than run the risk of any one of 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 299 

his men betraying such a valuable secret to their hated 
rivals. 

All the Polynesian races without exception have very dis- 
tinct traditions that their ancestors emigrated to these islands 
from the westward; but every existing proof goes to show 
that this emigration must have been very remote. It could 
not possibly have occurred within recent or historic times, for 
no other people now in existence bear a sufficiently strong re- 
semblance to the Polynesians in their language and chief 
mental and physical characteristics. The first settlers must 
have arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in very early times, be- 
cause human bones are found beneath the ancient coral beds 
and lava flows. In New Zealand human bones are found 
under the peat beds of the Molineaux River, thus proving the 
great antiquity of man in this region. There can be no ques- 
tion that a highly civilized race once held sway in these is- 
lands of the Pacific, and it is equally beyond question that the 
ancestors of the Polynesians were intimately associated with 
the people of the Holy Land. 

The Polynesian traditions of the War in Heaven, the Crea- 
tion, the Fall of Man, the story of Cain and Abel, the Flood, 
the eight persons who were saved from the flood in a large 
canoe, etc., all agree so closely with the Bible story that it 
would be preposterous to say that they are the result of mere 
chance or coincidence. Competent authorities declare that 
the Polynesian institution of tabu, or tapu (which has been 
described elsewhere in this story), is identical with the Hebrew 
toebah. They adhered strictly to the law of Moses in regard 
to circumcision and the test of virginity, and their laws and 
restrictions in regard to consanguinity and marriage are very 
nearly identical with those found in the Bible. 

While the Polynesians are doubtless a mixed race, there 
seems no reasonable doubt that the main stock (especially the 
chiefs) are of Semitic and Hamitic descent, and that they 



300 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

came with the early Phoenician navigators from their original 
home on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean to the col- 
onies which they planted in the South Sea Islands. 

The views expressed in the following paragraphs are found 
in the introduction to Legends and Myths of Hawaii, by King 
Kalakaua of the Hawaiian Islands : 

The strictly Polynesian tribes can be traced back to an 
Aryan beginning, somewhere in Asia Minor or Arabia. 

Their legends clearly repeat the story of the Jewish Gen- 
esis. Following the channels of the commerce of those early 
days they drifted to India and at length found a home in the 
Asiatic Archipelago from Sumatra to Luzon and Timor. From 
thence they spread, or were pushed, further east, and made 
their first general round-up in the Fiji group, where they un- 
doubtedly left their impress upon the native Papuan inhabi- 
tants. From Fiji they gradually spread over the Pacific, oc- 
cupying by stages the several groups of islands where their 
descendants are now found. 

Their religion was a system of idolatrous forms and sacri- 
fices engrafted without consistency upon the Jewish story of 
the creation, the fall of man, the revolt of Lucifer, the Deluge, 
and the repopulation of the earth. Their legends were pre- 
served with marvelous integrity. Their historians were the 
priests, who met in council at regular intervals and compared 
their genealogical "meles" in order that nothing might be 
either changed or lost. 

How did the Hawaiian priests become possessed of the 
story of the Hebrew Genesis? It was old to them when the 
Discovery and Resolution dropped their anchors in Kealakea- 
kua Bay, and also to their ancestors when the latter quitted 
the shores of Asia. They believed that from the beginning 
there existed a trinity of gods, who were the sole and all-per- 
vading intelligences of Po (night, chaos, darkness). These 
gods were: Kane (Kah-ney), the originator; Ku, the archi- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 301 

tect and builder; Lono, the director and executor of the 
elements. This "Hikapoloa" (trinity), according to their 
traditions, first brought light into chaos. They next created 
the three heavens as their dwelling places, and then the 
earth, sun, moon and stars were made by them. From 
their saliva the Hikapoloa then created a host of angels to 
minister to their wants. 

Finally they created man's body and limbs of 

Another rec * eart ^' rmngled with the saliva of Kane, 

Creation and his head of white clay which Lono 
Story. brought from the four quarters of the earth. 
The name Adam means red in all Polynesian 
dialects, and it will be noticed that the body of the Hawaiian 
Adam was formed of red earth. He was created in the image 
of Kane, who breathed into his nostrils, and he became alive. 
While he slept the gods took a rib from his side and made a 
woman. The Hikapoloa named the man Kumu-honua, and the 
woman Ke-ola-ku-honua. The newly created pair were placed 
in a very beautiful paradise called Paliuli. Three rivers of the 
"waters of life" ran through it, and on the banks of these 
rivers grew every inviting fruit, including the "tabued bread- 
fruit tree," and the "sacred apple tree," which were intimately 
connected with the fall and expulsion from paradise. 

The three rivers had their source in a beautiful lake fed by 
the "living waters of Kane." The waters were filled with fish 
which fire could not destroy, and when these waters were 
sprinkled upon the dead they were restored to life. 

The legends tell also of instances in which these waters 
were procured through the favor of the gods for the restora- 
tion of the life of distinguished mortals long dead. 

One of the angels created was Kanaloa (the Hawaiian 
Lucifer), who incited a rebellion in heaven and was cast out 
with all his followers. When man was created Kanaloa de- 
manded that the man should adore him. Kane refused to 



302 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

allow this, as both angels and men were alike the creation of 
Deity, whereupon Kanaloa determined to create a man who 
would worship him. Kane allowed him to proceed, and he 
made a man in the exact image of Kumu-honua, but could not 
give life to it. He breathed into its nostrils, but it would not 
rise ; he called to it, but it could not speak. This enraged him, 
and he determined then to destroy the man and woman whom 
the Hikapoloa had created. He therefore assumed the form 
of a moo (lizard) and crept into Paliuli. In some way which 
the legends do not state he deceived the man and woman and 
induced them to commit some offence for which they were 
driven from Paliuli by the "large white bird of Kane." 

Kumu-honua and Ke-ola-ku-honua had three 
Heathen sons, of whom the eldest, named Laka, mur- 
Cain and dered the second. The youngest son was Ka 
Abel. pjij^ anc j there were thirteen generations be- 

tween him and the Deluge. The Hawaiian 
Noah is called Nuu, and at the command of the Hikapoloa 
Nuu made a canoe of wood and he and his wife entered it 
with their three sons and their wives, and a male and female 
of every breathing thing. The waters then drowned the world, 
and when they subsided the Hikapoloa entered the canoe, 
which was resting upon a mountain overlooking a beautiful 
valley, and commanded Nuu to go forth upon the waters with 
all of the life which the vast canoe contained. In gratitude 
for his deliverance Nuu offered a sacrifice to the moon, which 
he mistook for Kane. Kane descended upon a rainbow and 
reproved his thoughtlessness, but left the rainbow as a per- 
petual token of his forgiveness. These legends are rich in 
parallel as may be easily seen. 

Ten generations then followed between Nuu and Ku Pule, 
who "removed to a southern country," taking with him as his 
wife his slave woman Ahu. Ku Pule established the practice 
of circumcision, and was the grandfather of Kini-lau-a-mano, 






OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 303 

whose twelve sons became the founders of twelve tribes, from 
one of which, named the Menehune, the Hawaiians are de- 
scended. 

The legends tell a story similar to that of Joseph and men- 
tion the return of the Menehune from the southern country 
to the land which Kane had set apart for them. Two brothers 
led the Menehune through waters and over deserts on their 
return to this land. Hawaii-loa, a very distinguished chief 
and the fourth in generation from Kini-lau-a-mano (which 
latter evidently refers to Abraham), sailed with his followers, 
and, guided by the Pleiades, discovered the Hawaiian Group. 
He gave his own name to the largest island, and the names of 
his children to the smaller ones. The traditions relate that 
the ancestors of the chiefs came from the westward, but the 
common people were descended from the slaves or dependents 
whom they brought with them, and from the various slave 
races whom they subdued. The traditions also seem to show 
that the Menehune (men-e-hoo'ne), from whom the Hawaii- 
ans claim descent, built the ruined temples or monuments 
which are now found scattered throughout the various islands. 

The Hawaiians and Tongans had Puhonuas, or cities of 
refuge, like those of the ancient Jews. The gates of a Puho- 
nua were always open, and in time of war a large white flag 
was hoisted over each gate to guide fugitives to the sanctuary 
within. Each Puhonua was inclosed in thick stone walls, and 
criminals of all kinds, even murderers, were perfectly safe 
there from the moment they entered; for not even the king 
himself could enter a Puhonua in pursuit of a fugitive. 

An Hawaiian heiau, or temple, had an inner court cor- 
responding to the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple. The 
door of this inner court was covered with a large breadth of 
kapa (native bark cloth) corresponding to the veil of the 
Temple, and within was placed the Anu, which is a wicker 
enclosure four or five feet in diameter, in which stood the 



304 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

oracle. It will be readily seen that this Anu corresponded to 
the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple at Jerusalem, and all 
sacrifices were killed outside the temple, as was the custom 
with the ancient Jews. 

Hawaiian traditions relate also that a great 
The priest and prophet named Naula-a-Maihea 

Heathen was sailing in his canoe from Waianae, on 
Jonah. the island of Oahu, to Kauai. His canoe 
capsized in a sudden squall and he would 
have been drowned, but a whale swallowed him and after- 
wards vomited him alive on the beach at Waialua, in Kauai, 
which was the exact place of his destination. 

Like the Phoenicians, the Polynesians considered human 
sacrifice by far the most acceptable offerings to their gods, and 
in times of famine or pestilence their altars were heaped with 
human victims. The Maori priests always kept on hand a 
quantity of food set apart for the gods, exactly corresponding 
to the shew-bread of the ancient Jews; and this most sacred 
worship was paid to their gods in sacred groves, as it was in 
ancient Palestine and as it still is in the Island of Timor. The 
Fijians, many of whom are now stanch Christians, still have 
a dread of stepping upon the threshold of a vale ni lono (vale, 
house; ni, of; lono, faith), and we read. that in olden days it 
was death to step on the threshold of a heathen temple. This 
custom bears a striking resemblance to the custom mentioned 
in I Samuel 5 15 : "Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, 
nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold 
of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day." 

The spies whom Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land 
reported, "All the people that we saw in it are men of a great 
stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, 
which came of the giants : and we were in our own sight as 
grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." I believe I 
have seen every nationality in the world, including Pata- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 305 

gonians ; but the Polynesians as a class are the largest people 
I have ever seen. It is a mistake to believe that the Poly- 
nesians were or are to this day ignorant savages. Even when 
the whites first discovered them they were a half-civilized race 
possessed of well-established forms of government together 
with intensely spiritual religious doctrines and usages and a 
sacred language which only the priests understood. These 
islanders are undoubtedly the descendants of some highly 
civilized race who have degenerated on account of their 
long and complete isolation from the rest of the world, their 
lack of iron, and the fact that they possess such a beautiful 
climate and a soil which supplies all their wants without the 
necessity of labor. They are light-brown in color, but they 
would be much lighter if they did not rub their skins with 
cocoanut oil, which has a tendency to darken it. I have often 
seen children of native missionaries who did not rub their 
skins with this oil, and they would almost have passed for 
white ; in fact, they were a great deal whiter than many Span- 
iards and Portuguese whom I have seen. Many of them show 
such a strong Semitic cast of countenance that it is common 
to hear white traders, who live among them, say that they be- 
lieve them to be among the descendants of the Ten Lost 
Tribes of Israel. 

The Phoenicians called themselves Kanaani (Canaanite), 
meaning "Lowlanders" ; but the Greeks and Romans called 
them Phoenices, meaning deep-red or reddish brown, on ac- 
count of the color of their skin. Rawlinson says in his history 
of the Phoenicians : "They were of a complexion intermediate 
between the pale races of the North and the swarthy inhabi- 
tants of the South, having abundant hair, sometimes curly, but 
never woolly. They were above medium height, and had 
features not unlike the Aryans or Caucasians, but somewhat 
less refined and regular; the nose rather broad and inclined 
to be hooked; the lips a little too full; and their frames in- 



3 o6 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

clined to stoutness and massiveness; while both in form and 
feature they resemble the Jews, who were their near neigh- 
bors and frequently intermarried with them." This descrip- 
tion fits the Polynesians (especially the chiefs) so closely that 
it might have been written of them instead of the Phoenicians. 

While Solomon was building the Temple at Jerusalem 
and his palace at Lebanon, we read in I Kings that he main- 
tained a force of 183,000 Jews, and the record seems clearly 
to indicate that there were an equal number of Phoenicians, 
which would bring the total to 366,000. The building of the 
Temple occupied seven years and the building of the palace 
thirteen years, and Solomon fed and paid this great army of 
workmen during this entire period of twenty years. In spite 
of this enormous drain upon the treasury we read in the tenth 
chapter of Kings : "And all King Solomon's drinking vessels 
were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of 
Lebanon were of pure gold ; none were of silver ; it was noth- 
ing accounted of in the days of Solomon." The writer of the 
Book of Kings does not leave any doubt in regard to the 
source of all this enormous wealth, for he proceeds to explain 
it as follows : "For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish 
with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy 
of Tharshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and 
peacocks." "And King Solomon made a navy of ships in 
Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth on the shore of the Red 
Sea, in the land of Edom. And Hiram sent in the navy his 
servants, ship men that had knowledge of the sea, with the 
servants of Solomon. And they came to Ophir, and fetched 
from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and 
brought it to King Solomon." 

This clearly shows that Solomon and Hiram built at Ezion- 
geber, on the Red Sea, a navy of large ships, patterned after 
the large armed vessels which the Phoenicians were in the 
habit of building at Tharshish on the Mediterranean. It was 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 307 

necessary that these vessels should be very large and strong, 
for it is expressly stated that the voyages upon which they 
were bound lasted three years. Speaking on this subject, the 
Jewish Encyclopedia says: "Any large vessel capable of 
making a long sea voyage was styled a 'Ship of Tharshish/ 
though this did not necessarily mean that the vessel sailed 
either to or from Tharshish." Records tell us distinctly that 
the long voyages which these fleets made were the chief source 
of Solomon's vast wealth, and the enterprise was considered 
so important that the wisest men of Tyre were sent in charge 
of the expeditions. "The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad 
were the mariners ; thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, 
were thy pilots" (Ezekiel 27:8). 

The next question that occurs to us is, What 

Solomon's voyage could have lasted three years ? Again 

Gold. the record, according to Josephus, says that 

they brought gold from Ophir, and Jo- 
sephus, who was certainly thoroughly familiar with Jewish 
history and tradition, declares that Ophir was located in the 
Malay Peninsula. We read that "Hiram, King of Tyre, sent 
a sufficient number of men to Ezion-geber for pilots, and such 
as were skillful in navigation; to whom Solomon gave this 
command, that they should go along with his own stewards to 
the land that was called of old Ophir, but now the Aurea 
[Golden] Chersonesus, which belongs to India, to fetch him 
gold. And when they had gathered four hundred talents 
($11,520,000) they returned to the king again." The Golden 
Chersonesus was beyond doubt the Malay Peninsula, and pea- 
cocks are found only in Southeastern Asia and the neighbor- 
ing islands. The almug, or algum, trees which the fleet 
brought back are found only in Southeastern Asia and the 
South Sea Islands. (Sandalwood is called valgum in Sanscrit.) 
The fleets brought back gold, ivory, apes, and peacocks; 
and it is worthy of note that the names which the old Hebrew 



3 o8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

writers applied to these things in the Old Testament are 
identical with the names which the natives of Ceylon apply to 
the same things to-day. Although Josephus locates Ophir in 
the Malay Peninsula, we must remember that the Jews ap- 
plied the name of Ophir in an indefinite way to all the various 
lands lying to the eastward of Arabia in the direction of the 
Indian Ocean, very much as we use the word Orient. It is 
not to be supposed that the Phoenicians would betray the 
source from which they brought back such fabulous wealth 
for fear that the Greeks and Romans might supplant them as 
they had done nearer home. 

Again, it is absurd to suppose that such practical seamen 
and shrewd business men would waste three years on a voyage 
if it could possibly be performed in less time ; and in Ridpath's 
"Great Races of Mankind" we read that a Phoenician ship 
could carry 500 men and make from 120 to 150 miles in 24 
hours on an average. It was their custom to establish colonies 
or trading posts wherever they went (as, for instance, in the 
British Islands), so that the officials in charge of these trading 
posts could have cargoes ready for their ships upon arrival 
and thus avoid delay. 

The wonderful ruins of Mexico and Peru, together with 
the ruins scattered among the South Sea Islands, all point to 
a common origin, and all are marked with the peculiarities 
characteristic of Phoenician architecture. The stupendous 
ruins of Ancient Egypt bear such a striking resemblance to 
those of Mexico and Peru that there is every reason to believe 
the latter were copied from the former. Yet the Egyptians 
were never seamen or travelers, and their country was closed to 
every other nation except the Phoenicians, who were welcomed 
everywhere because they catered to the wants of all with 
whom they came in contact. 

The Phoenicians were the only foreigners who were suffi- 
ciently well acquainted with Egyptian architecture to be able 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 309 

to reproduce it on the opposite side of the world; and the 
friendship between the Egyptians and Phoenicians was so 
strong that one of the Pharaohs dug a canal where the pres- 
ent Suez Canal is located to enable the Phoenician vessels to 
pass between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. After the 
destruction of Phoenician commerce the drifting sands of the 
desert gradually filled it in and its existence was forgotten. 

A curious coincidence often struck me while cruising 
among the South Sea Islands. The ancient Egyptian name 
for the sun was Ra, and all the Polynesian tribes throughout 
the Pacific call the sun Ra, or La. (Some of the Polynesian 
tribes cannot pronounce the sound of R, and substitute L in its 
place.) Thus, the sun is called Ra in Maori, Tahitian, and 
Raratongan; and La in the dialects of Tonga, Samoa, Niue, 
Fakaafu, Manahiki, and Hawaii. 

It would be impossible to give a resume of all 

Phoenicians t ^ le evidence there is to prove that the Phce- 

Visited nicians visited this continent. Suffice it to 

America. say that M. Renan and other competent au- 
thorities describe the ruins of Mexico and 
Central America as of Phoenician origin, and the historian 
Bancroft proves apparently beyond doubt that the Phoenicians 
visited the American continent in the time of Solomon. In 
fact, the religious customs and beliefs of the natives of Mexico, 
Central America, and Peru, their architecture, their calendar, 
their arts and many other things which the Spaniards found 
when they conquered America, all reveal such startling coin- 
cidence with the details of Asiatic beliefs and Asiatic civiliza- 
tion as to leave no doubt of their Asiatic origin. It is in- 
credible that so many striking coincidences could exist be- 
tween the civilizations of two widely separated continents 
unless the civilization of one was chiefly borrowed from the 
other. 

One of the most common ornaments found in the walls of 



310 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

the temples in different parts of Mexico consists of the pat- 
tern known as the Greek fret, or Greek key pattern, and a 
perfect elephant's head is sculptured upon the walls of 
Palenque, although no elephants are found in America. The 
Toltecs understood astronomy so well that they had a more 
correct idea of a year's duration than did most European 
nations; and it is said that the Mexican calendar stone is the 
only calendar ever invented that is absolutely correct for all 
time, and the best scientists can not discover how it was 
worked out. 

The Mayas, who preceded the Toltecs, have left the most 
incontestable proofs that they attained a degree of civilization 
to which the rest of the ancient world could scarcely afford a 
parallel. The remains of their vast public works, their costly 
edifices, their splendid sculptures and paintings, and their 
finely carved symbolic writing attest a height of civilization 
of which any nation might be proud at the present day ; yet all 
the remains of this great civilization show the marks of its 
Phoenician origin. 

The Phoenicians also introduced the horrible custom of 
human sacrifice wherever they went, and this prevailed 
throughout all the Polynesian Islands and to an appalling ex- 
tent in Mexico. Both Mexicans and Fijians firmly believed 
that their gods devoured the souls of all bodies which were 
eaten ; hence the practice of cannibalism was the surest way of 
pleasing the gods ! The Bible tells us that the Canaanites (the 
Phoenicians) considered human sacrifice the most acceptable 
of all sacrifices to the gods whom they worshiped. 

The skulls of sacrificed human beings were preserved in 
Fijian temples and Mexican temples alike. 

It has been truly said that the sun-dance and other self- 
tortures of the American Indians are a relic of the sun wor- 
ship of Baal Peor upon the hills of Palestine. The human 
sacrifice, the passing through the fire, and all the other hideous 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 311 

abominations which the Hebrew prophets denounced three or 
four thousand years ago upon the hills and sacred groves of 
Palestine were contemporaneous and simultaneous practices in 
both hemispheres until the advent of the Spaniards and the 
overthrow of the Montezumas. These cruel practices, which 
still prevail in isolated parts of this continent, attained their 
greatest development in Mexico; and the Mexican calendar 
stone duplicates in essentials the calendars of India and Asia 
Minor, from which these practices were evidently carried to 
the Western Continent. 

We know that Solomon derived most of his 
Solomon's enormous wealth from the long voyages of 
Voyages. his fleet, and both Hebrews and Phoenicians 
were far too practical to waste three years 
on a voyage unless the profits of the voyage warranted it. The 
combined fleets of the Hebrews and Phoenicians must not only 
have gone to some country at an immense distance from Pales- 
tine, but it must also have been a country which furnished 
gold and silver in fabulous quantities ; and no other portion of 
the globe has ever furnished such prodigious quantities of gold 
and silver as Mexico and Peru. Cerro de Potosi, in Bolivia, 
has furnished not less than $2,000,000,000 to the world's stock 
of precious metals since the Spanish conquest. Pizzaro took 
20,000 pounds of pure gold and 82,000 pounds of silver from 
one Inca temple alone. He imprisoned the Inca Atahualpa, 
and the latter promised to fill the room in which he was im- 
prisoned as high as he could reach with pure gold if the Span- 
iards would release him. The Spaniards promised to do so, 
and Atahualpa's subjects filled a room 22 feet long and 17 
feet wide to a depth of 9 feet with plates and ornaments of 
pure gold ; but when it was filled the demand was doubled and 
although the natives brought this also and promised four times 
as much silver, the Spaniards treacherously put him to death. 
Among other treasures the Spaniards captured ten solid 



312 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

gold statues of women and four solid gold statues of llamas, 
all life size. 

The French expedition under M. de Pointis, in 1544, took 
$200,000,000 from the city of Cartagena alone. Among 
the immense treasures which Quesada captured in Peru was 
one golden lantern belonging to a temple, worth $13,800, and 
Mexico has yielded $3,110,000,000 in gold and silver since the 
Spanish conquest. 

When Sir Francis Drake captured the ship Nuestra Senora 
de la Conception, which was carrying a cargo of treasure to 
Spain, his crew were three days transferring the gold and 
silver to his own ship. 

It is known that the natives threw immense quantities of 
gold and precious stones into Lake Amatitlan, and suffered the 
Spaniards to torture them to death rather than betray their 
place of concealment. Among the treasures which they con- 
cealed were many life-sized idols of pure gold ; but there is a 
native tradition that the time will come when these idols will 
arise of themselves from the lake, the ancient worship will be 
restored, and the Golden Age of the Aztecs will be ushered in. 
The priests and religious leaders to-day say that although the 
natives often profess to believe in Christianity they very sel- 
dom keep their word if sworn upon the cross; but among 
themselves they swear entirely by the sun and never think of 
breaking this their most solemn oath, because they still secretly 
worship the sun as their god. 

The stories of the prodigious quantities of gold, silver, and 
precious stones which the Spaniards took from the New 
World read more like fairy tales than a sober relation of well 
authenticated facts. The Mexicans and Peruvians not only 
possessed vast quantities of the precious metals, but they had 
secrets which are not known at the present day. They also 
made their little hollow figures of thin gold, some of which are 
still found in Mexican museums, and no civilized jeweler of 






OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 313 

the present day can imitate them or tell how they were made. 

It is curious to find a similar (if not identi- 

Oldest ca l) ceremony celebrated on the same day of 

Hallowe'en, the year among the ancient Druids and the 
ancient Aztecs. The Druids celebrated a 
feast upon the night October 3ist (Hallowe'en), when the 
sacred fire was extinguished and the souls of all who had 
died during the year embarked in boats and went to the god 
of the dead, who awarded each his lot. The Aztecs celebrated 
a Xiuhmolpilli or cycle of 52 years, and the celebration always 
occurred on the night of October 3ist. They had a tra- 
dition that the world was once destroyed at this time and 
would be again. On this night all the fires in the nation were 
put out and as midnight approached human sacrifices were 
offered to avert the threatened calamity. As soon as midnight 
was safely past the priests kindled a fire by rubbing two sticks 
together, swift couriers distributed brands from this fire over 
the whole nation, and all fires were relighted from it. 

While we have the strongest reasons for believing that the 
main stock of the American Indians are of Mongolian origin, 
there are equally good reasons for believing that the Mexicans 
and Peruvians derived their civilization from the Phoenicians. 
Montezuma claimed that his ancestors were white. Don 
Pablo Felix de Cabrera of Guatemala, who made an exhaus- 
tive study of the subject, says that a large emigration of Car- 
thaginians to America took place during the Punic Wars, and 
that the Carthaginians founded the kingdom of Amahuamecan. 

This is no idle theory, for the ruins of both Mexico and 
Peru afford indisputable evidence that a Semitic race possess- 
ing a very high standard of civilization once ruled upon the 
Western Continent ; and the only point of dispute is the man- 
ner in which they got here. From the ruins of a temple in 
Peru, and from the altar of a prehistoric ruin in Mexico, ex- 
plorers have unearthed a number of "picture rocks," or hiero- 



3 I4 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

glyphic tablets, on which are represented characters neither 
Toltec nor Aztec, but strangely unlike either of the two great 
races of ancient Anahuac or Peru. The figures on these stone- 
paintings are unquestionably those of Jews, for the hair is 
curly and the typical Hebrew nose and other lineaments are 
portrayed as truthfully as in a photograph. Scientists tried 
to account for their presence on this continent by supposing 
that they crossed from Asia by way of Bering Strait about 
the time that a tribe of Israelites settled in China. In order to 
do so they would have been obliged to wander through thou- 
sands of miles of Arctic deserts, where they would most likely 
have died of cold and starvation, even if the savage inhabi- 
tants of these bleak deserts had not murdered them. 

It is far more reasonable to suppose that the prodigious 
wealth of the New World induced large numbers of Jews and 
Phoenicians to settle in Mexico and Peru during the voyages 
of their fleets, and here created the civilization which after- 
wards perished as completely as did that of the mother-coun- 
try from which it sprang. Both Jews and Phoenicians were so 
avaricious that they would take every precaution to prevent 
their contemporaries from learning their secrets, and it suf- 
ficed them to say that they brought their wealth from "Ophir." 

It is an historical fact that Scipio was severely taken to 
task for not bringing back some of the enormous wealth which 
Carthage was known to possess, after such bloody fighting 
and such terrible loss of life. Scipio replied that he could find 
no treasure there; for the Carthaginians, realizing that the 
city must fall before the Romans, had sent away their enor- 
mous treasures in their ships, and no one has ever discovered 
where they were sent. 

The descendants of this race in Tehuantepec still color 
their fabrics with a dye which they obtain from the mollusc 
aptisia depilans, which is said to be the same as that which 
the ancient Tynans used in making their famous Tyrian 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 315 

purple. It gives a splendid purple dye and requires no mor- 
dant to fix the color. 

Although we did not visit the Society or Marquesas Is- 
lands, I afterwards learned that both these groups contain a 
number of prehistoric stone buildings which testify to the 
early settlements of the Phoenicians, and bear a striking re- 
semblance to the buildings on Rapa. 

On the Island of Nukahiva (Marquesas Group) is a 
building called Paepae Tapu, which consists of three tiers of 
terraces on the slope of a hill, and in front of these terraces is 
a ruined parapet enclosing an arena. No trace of any super- 
structure remains on the terraces or the parapet. 

On the Island of Hivaoa there is another of these pre- 
historic buildings, in which there are rows of stone benches 
and isolated seats of honor for eminent persons. 

The buildings in the Society Islands are generally in the 
form of platforms or terraces placed upon hilltops or elevated 
spots and formed of huge blocks of hewn stone which are 
often of very great size. On the center of each is placed a 
sort of massive altar. 

A very large building of this kind is found at Papawa in 
Tahiti. The base measures 94 feet wide and 270 feet long, 
and from this rise ten steps or terraces, each of which is 
about six feet in height. They are called Marae, or Moria, 
suggesting the name of Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem. 

It is a source of unflagging interest to note 
Ancient tne striking analogy between some of the 
Ideas. heathen practices mentioned in the Bible and 
some that are found at the present day in the 
South Sea Islands. Thus some of the ancient nations held 
that it was unseemly to represent the gods whom they wor- 
shiped by carved images, and worshiped them in the form 
of unhewn blocks of stone. The natives of Timor worship 
Usi Neno, the sun god, under the form of rough stones which 



316 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

they call Vatu Lull (sacred stones), and those which I saw 
looked exactly like meteorites. It seems quite evident that the 
cultivated people of Ephesus worshiped their goddess Diana 
under some such form. "What man is there that knoweth 
not that the city of the Ephesians is a worshiper of the great 
goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupi- 
ter?" 

A curious fact is that idolatry seems always to be insep- 
arably connected with licentiousness. The natives of Timor 
practice the same abominations as did the ancient Canaanites 
in their sacred groves which they call Uma Luli, and the So- 
ciety Islanders had a society called Areoi, who practiced the 
most horrible and unbelievable orgies as the surest way of 
pleasing the gods whom they worshiped. 

It would require a good-sized volume in which to enumer- 
ate all the points of resemblance between the Polynesians and 
the ancient Canaanites, but because it is so interesting I enu- 
merate here some of the principal points : 

Solomon derived most of his enormous wealth 
Striking from the long voyages of his fleet. The corn- 
Resemblances, bined Hebrew and Phoenician fleets must 
have gone to some far-distant country be- 
cause each voyage occupied three years, and both parties were 
far too practical to waste three years upon a voyage if it could 
have been performed in less time; nor would they have done 
so unless the profits of the voyage were enormous. No other 
portion of the world has ever furnished such prodigious quan- 
tities of gold and silver as Mexico and Peru. The architec- 
ture, civilization, sun worship, human sacrifices, etc., of 
Mexico and Peru show unmistakable traces of their Phoenician 
origin. The immense ruins so widely scattered throughout 
the Pacific Ocean all indicate a common origin with those 
of Mexico and Peru. The Polynesians show beyond a doubt 
that their ancestors came from Palestine, for their traditions 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 317 

of the War in Heaven, the Creation, the Fall of Man, the 
Flood, the eight persons who escaped the Flood, the Twelve 
Tribes, the Story of Jonah (Naula a Maihea), etc., might 
almost have been copied word for word from the Bible. All 
the Polynesian traditions state very clearly and distinctly that 
their ancestors came from the westward in large decked ves- 
sels capable of carrying several hundred people. The Phoeni- 
cians were the only people of ancient times who made long 
voyages and planted colonies and trading posts in distant 
lands, though they were extremely secretive in regard to the 
sources from w r hich they derived their wealth. The ceremony 
of passing through the fire is still celebrated as it was in the 
time of the Hebrew prophets and the worship of Baal and 
Ashtoreth still survives ; for Hina-nui-a-te-Ahi, the Fire God- 
dess and Moon Goddess of the Tahitian fire-walkers, is noth- 
ing more than Ashtoreth, the Moon Goddess and Queen of 
Heaven of the Ancient Phoenicians. 

The approximate distance which the Phoenician and He- 
brew fleets would have to traverse from Ezion-geber to 
America would be as follows : 

Head of the Red Sea to Singapore 4,803 miles 

Singapore to Callao, Peru 10,900 miles 



Red Sea to Callao Total, 15,703 miles 

Head of the Red Sea to Singapore 4,803 miles 

Singapore to Acapulco, Mexico 9,520 miles 

Red Sea to Acapulco Total, 14,323 miles 

A few years after this visit to Fiji I was in command of 
the bark Helen W. Almy, of San Francisco, and I brought 
her from Metalanim Harbor in Ponapi (latitude 6 52' N., 



318 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

longitude 158 30' E.), to San Francisco (latitude 37 48' 
N., longitude 122 28' W.), in forty-five days, but I was be- 
calmed three days on the trip, making the actual sailing time 
forty-two days. I was obliged to run as high as 40 north 
latitude in order to avoid the northeast trade winds and catch 
the northwesters ; and my course on the charts measures 6,350 
miles, making an average of about 151 miles for each sailing 
day. Estimating that the Phoenician vessels could average 
120 miles in twenty- four hours, they could go from the head 
of the Red Sea to Peru in 131 days, and to Mexico in 120 
days. 

Juan Sebastian del Cano, the Spanish captain who was 
with Magellan's fleet, sailed around the world in the Victoria 
and returned to Spain in a little over three years, making a 
great many stops at different places. 

All of which goes to show that the Phoenicians had ample 
time not only to visit the American continent, but also to stop 
and trade at many other places on the way during the course 
of their three-year voyages. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 319 



CHAPTER XXVII 

A BATTLE WITH RUBIANA HEAD-HUNTERS 

After leaving the Fijis we sailed to the northwest and 
anchored in Lakona Bay, on the west side of Gana Island, in 
the New Hebrides. We spent two days trading with the na- 
tives of Lakona village, situated at the north end of the bay, 
and obtained a magnificent collection of bows, poisoned ar- 
rows, war-clubs, spears, slings, obsidian daggers, mats, orna- 
ments, etc., in return for tobacco, pipes, beads, fishhooks, 
calico, hatchets, and knives. 

Most of the bows were made of black palm, 
Reall k ut some were of mangrove roots, bamboo, 

Splendid and the wood of the wild nutmeg tree. These 
Weapons. bows are indeed formidable weapons, for they 
are seven feet long and so powerful that it 
is difficult for a white man to draw one of them, though life- 
long practice enables the natives to do so with ease. The 
arrows, which were in proportion to the size of the bows, were 
mostly neatly barbed with pieces of human bone as fine and 
sharp as needles, and some were pointed with conical pieces 
of very hard wood. Both war-spears and war-arrows are 
poisoned with the sap of a very poisonous plant called salata, 
though the natives stated that they sometimes poison their 
arrows by setting their points in decayed human flesh, par- 
ticularly the brain. 

The slings, which are called talvava, have very long strings, 
and the natives can throw stones with such surprising force 
and accuracy that these weapons are really more to be feared 



320 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

than the wretched guns which they obtain from traders. The 
war-clubs were very much like those which we obtained in the 
Solomon Islands. 

We were anxious to visit some of the prehistoric ruins in 
the interior of Gana Island, and the natives readily agreed to 
conduct us to them, but their actions before we started out 
became so suspicious that we abandoned the project. 

Generally speaking, it is reasonably safe for a ship's crew 
to go ashore so long as some of the natives remain on board, 
though it is a common trick for a company of natives to re- 
main on the ship as hostages in order to induce the crew to go 
ashore when they wish to murder and eat them. There may 
not be a canoe within sight and the natives will saunter care- 
lessly about the deck, as though intent only upon gratifying 
their curiosity, when suddenly, if not carefully watched or 
kept under some kind of rigid restraint, they will spring over- 
board like flying dolphins, and as they swim like ducks they 
make the shore without the slightest difficulty even though it 
may be several miles away. 

After leaving Gana we proceeded towards the northwest 
and anchored in Wanoni Bay, on the north coast of Bauro 
(San Cristoval) Island, at the southeastern extremity of the 
Solomon Group. We spent some time in trading with the 
natives of Salipawa village and visited their council house, 
which is sixty feet long and twenty-five feet wide. The 
center of the roof is sixteen feet high and rests upon four 
large posts which are elaborately carved. The lower part of 
each post is carved in exact imitation of a shark standing 
upon its tail, with its mouth open, while the 
Dolphin upper part represents a man. 
Tombs. It is common to find wooden images of 
dolphins or porpoises hung inside of the coun- 
cil house, or placed on wooden trestles around the outside of 
it. Each of these wooden dolphins contains the dead body 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 321 

of a chief, and the head of the dolphin points to the 
westward because they believe that the soul of the fish 
will carry the soul of the dead man through the ocean to 
Paradise. 

Many large canoes came every day from the neighboring 
islands, bringing cargoes of curios to trade; they were par- 
ticularly anxious to obtain firearms in exchange ; but we posi- 
tively refused under any circumstances to furnish either arms 
or ammunition. Among other things we bargained for were 
fine ebony spears from Bugoto (Ysabel) Island, and a kind of 
spear called kona, elaborately barbed with human bone from 
Ngela (Florida) Island, together with stone axes and wicker- 
work shields. The shields varied somewhat in detail, but they 
averaged three feet long by ten or eleven inches wide, and 
were made of light rattan securely lashed together with strips 
of bamboo. 

Leaving Bauro, we proceeded through Indispensable 
Strait, and anchored in Ramada Bay, on the east coast of 
Rubiana (New Georgia) Island in latitude 8 12' S. and 
longitude 157 40' E. After establishing friendly relations 
with the natives of Ramada village we secured a dozen of 
them to accompany us in an exploring expedition up the 
Piongo Lavata River, a short distance south of Ramada. 

The fierce Rubiana head-hunters, who live on 

Midnight tne opposite side of the island, have very 

Attacks. nearly depopulated this whole district; and 
the Ramada natives told us that the head- 
hunters accomplished this chiefly by crossing the center of the 
island (a distance of about ten miles) and attacking the Vaholi 
villagers at night. The native villagers endeavor to protect 
themselves against these midnight attacks by planting small, 
sharp-pointed stakes in the path which the enemy is most 
liable to take. These stakes vary in length, but in general are 
about eighteen inches long and an inch in diameter, and are 



322 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

made of very hard wood. They plant the butt end of them 
about a foot deep in the ground, and leave the point, which 
they have rubbed with poison and concealed with leaves and 
grass, projecting at an angle of about forty-five degrees, in 
the direction from which the enemy must approach. In spite 
of these hideous precautions the head-hunters manage to sur- 
prise and murder them in their midnight raids. 

Our native friends told us that the Rubiana 
^ head-hunters had beheaded three people from 

Gruesome the bush village of Kererao while they were 

Warning. a ^ wor k j n the taro patches only two days be- 
fore our arrival. They also volunteered the 
cheering information that the head-hunters prized a white 
man's head above all others, and, though outwardly peaceable, 
were liable to attack us if they found an opportunity to take 
us by surprise. 

The natives led the way in their own canoes and we fol- 
lowed with most of our crew in our own boat and the little 
steam launch, and we were all pretty well armed. The lower 
part of the river flows through a low, alluvial district clothed 
with a dense forest of splendid timber, and the water is 
brackish; but after ascending a couple of miles the current 
becomes more rapid and we found the river perfectly fresh 
and sweet. 

About four miles from the mouth we came to a creek 
which flows into the main stream, and went up it for some 
distance, but found that the banks were covered with such 
dense forests as to make it useless to attempt to land. 

As usual in these tropical forests, the branches of the huge 
trees which lined the banks met overhead and interlaced at a 
height of 150 feet above the water, supporting a canopy of 
lianas and other climbing plants which hung in festoons across 
the stream, and the quiet that reigned was like the silence of 
the tomb. The only living things we saw were some hornbills 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 323 

flitting among the trees, and a crocodile which plunged into 
the water at our approach. 

Returning to the main stream, we ascended it about half 
a mile farther, when we came to an open forest and made a 
landing. Wild ducks and white herons and kingfishers were 
plentiful along the river, and in the open forest we found 
many rare orchids and beautiful flowering trees. One variety 
of these trees had glossy green leaves and great clusters of 
fragrant white star-shaped flowers. Another was beautiful 
with crimson blossoms ; climbing vines with large purple flow- 
ers shaped like a butterfly wound in and out among the 
branches. Among other trees we recognized the varnish nut 
tree which is so common in the Caroline Islands, and which 
the natives here call Tita. Many of the large trees have huge 
flanges or buttresses which often rise to a height of fifteen 
feet on the trunk, and extend fully twenty feet outward along 
the ground. 

We also came upon a number of very fine specimens of 
sandalwood trees scattered through the forest. It is a curious 
fact that sandalwood trees seem always to grow singly instead 
of in families as most other tropical trees do, and the wonder 
is how they become planted there in the first place. Although 
we had not come for sandalwood, we cut down a few of the 
slim trees to take back to the ship. 

It seems that there is plenty of this very valu- 

An able sandalwood in the interior of the island, 

Earthly but it would not pay to attempt to cut it be- 

Paradise. cause the workmen would be exposed to the 
incessant attacks of the head-hunters. It does 
seem strange that the natives of these beautiful islands should 
be such frightful savages, for nature has beeri so lavish in the 
bestowal of her beauties and loveliness that the scene re- 
sembles one's ideal of an earthly paradise. 

The numerous mountain streams which flow through these 



324 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

lovely forest glades, the stately palms, the brilliant flowers of 
the hibiscus and flame trees, the giant forest trees, often en- 
veloped and garlanded with luxuriant flowering vines, and the 
Karu Mahimba Mountains rising grandly in the background 
combine to make idyllic surroundings of sylvan beauty and 
grandeur. 

But here silence reigns supreme, for the head-hunters have 
practically exterminated all the inhabitants, and the cooing of 
the wood-pigeons is about the only sound by which the sol- 
emn stillness is disturbed. 

British, French, German, Dutch, and Austrian men-of-war 
have repeatedly shot down hundreds of head-hunters, burned 
their villages, felled their fruit trees, and destroyed their crops 
and canoes, but it seems that nothing will cure them of their 
murderous ways, and they are eternally on the watch for an 
opportunity to obtain fresh heads to add to their grim collection. 

Shortly after noon we were tramping through the bush ; we 
came upon several wild pigs feasting upon wild pineapples, 
and shot three of them as they attempted to escape. A little 
later it began to rain so hard that we were obliged to take 
refuge under the tarpaulins in the boats. It seems to rain at 
least two-thirds of the time in the Solomons. 

Late in the afternoon the rain cleared away 

An Opal and we were about to get under way to re- 
butcher tum to t ^ le S *" p w ^ en ^ our nat i ves stepped up 
Knife. to us > and one > wn was evidently a chief, 
offered us a fine rough opal. We gave him a 
stout butcher knife in exchange for his opal, and he expressed 
himself as highly satisfied with the trade. He also informed 
us, through a native interpreter, that there were plenty more 
of such opals among the mountains in a place to which he was 
willing to conduct us. After considering the matter we de- 
cided not to go just then but to spend the night where we were 
and accompany him in the morning. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 325 

Our native friends eyed the newcomers very suspiciously, 
and one of them who had been much in the Fijis and spoke 
broken English expressed himself as follows: "Him fella 
belong head-hunters ; plenty no good. Four piece man come ; 
s'pose you go (pointing to the mountains), plenty piece man 
come quick, bimeby kill you ; plenty no good." 

Shortly after midnight our man who was on watch awoke 
me and whispered that some wild pigs were drinking along 
the edge of the stream a little above where we were anchored. 
So some of us landed and made a detour through the bush 
by way of heading them off, while the others remained in the 
boats to attack them in the water should they attempt to swim 
across the stream. The pigs were so busy squealing and right- 
ing they did not notice our approach till we were about to 
rush on them, when one man tripped and fell, and hearing the 
disturbance the pigs instantly darted back directly into our 
midst. All hands joined eagerly in the fray and the natives, 
along with us, were so carried away with excitement, that 
their yells might have been heard a long way off. The pigs 
fought savagely, as they always do, but we killed a lot of 
them, and could not tell how many wounded ones might be 
concealed in the bushes, for wild pigs are cunning enough to 
keep perfectly quiet until they are discovered. 

We were congratulating ourselves upon our 

Head- "catch/* and were dragging the pigs down 

hunters the bank to the boats, when the whole sur- 

Attack Us. rounding bushes suddenly resounded with 
savages yelling like wild beasts, and a shower 
of arrows hurtled over our heads. It was worse than useless 
to attempt to escape to our boats, for the moon had risen high 
enough to reveal any object in the water, and the savages 
could shoot at us from under cover of the trees on the bank 
without exposing themselves. So we instantly dropped down 
behind the bank just as a second volley of arrows sped over 



326 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

our heads ; and the head-hunters, for our assailants were noth- 
ing less than a bunch of this savage tribe, calculating that we 
had taken to our boats, gave another volley of yells and, dash- 
ing forward, received in turn a volley of shots from all hands, 
which brought down several of them and made the others 
dart back into the bushes. 

This was not because they were the least bit afraid, mind 
you, but because this is their regular method of fighting. It 
is their custom to make a hidden attack, and if they find that 
they are losing they run away exactly as though they had 
given up the combat, but this is only a ruse to put their 
enemies off their guard, for invariably they will steal back as 
silently as a tiger stalks its prey, and make a sudden attack 
at the very moment when any one would suppose them to be in 
full retreat. Knowing this, we stealthily hitched a long rope, 
which fortunately we carried with us, about thirty inches from 
the ground and directly in front of our position, and then we 
all crouched down to avoid the shower of arrows which we 
knew would precede any hand-to-hand attack they might make 
upon us. 

The new position which we had taken up was several yards 
in advance of our former position, and we were completely 
hidden from view in the deep shadow of the trees. For a few 
minutes everything was deathly still ; and even the savages in 
our line scarcely dared to breathe. Then a third series of wild 
yells suddenly resounded upon our right hand and so close to 
us that we were thunderstruck at how they had managed to 
approach so near without being discovered. We had wit 
enough not to fire in the direction from which the yells had 
come. We knew them to be only a ruse to get us to disclose 
our true position and waste our ammunition, for we realized 
instinctively that the real attack would come from some other 
direction. 

Sure enough, while the small party on our right were yell- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 327 

ing for all they were worth, we managed to discern a large 
body of the savages stealthily advancing and evidently under 
the impression that we still occupied our former position. All 
at once they stopped, discharged volleys of arrows in rapid 
succession at the place where they supposed us to be; then, 
with the customary war-whoop, they dashed forward with the 
intention of annihilating us by a sudden onslaught. 

The New Georgian natives are extremely 

We fleet runners, and as they rushed forward the 

Thwart foremost ones landed on their heads over the 

hunters." r P e w ^ tn sucn crushing force that the wind 
was completely knocked out of them, and our 
crew cut them down as they struggled to regain their feet. 

Although so completely taken by surprise the others in- 
stantly closed upon us and endeavored to cut us off from our 
boats, but we kept close together and fired into them at such 
close range that every shot told, and our Ramada friends were 
so rejoiced at an opportunity to wreak vengeance upon their 
hereditary enemies that they used their spears with an ac- 
curacy and a deadly effect that was amazing. 

I came in collision with one of the savage beasts myself, 
and he instantly aimed a blow at me with his war-club, but 
fortunately for me I wore a topi * or sun helmet, which I 
had obtained in India, and this helped to break the force of 
the blow. About the same instant that he struck me I cut him 
across the face with a cutlass and he never struck any one 
again, I can assure you. 

All this had occupied but a very short space of time, and 
the head-hunters now retired as rapidly as they had come, and 
we fired a parting volley after them just by way of expediting 

* These topis, which are made from the pith of a tree, are an inch 
thick, but are remarkably light. They are a sure preventive of sun- 
stroke, and it is strange that they are not more generally used by trav- 
ellers in the tropics. 



328 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

their departure. Two of our crew and two of the Ramada 
men were killed outright in the skirmish and every one of us 
was wounded more or less severely. One of the crew received 
a spear wound which penetrated his lung ; we did the best we 
could for the poor fellow by leaving him in charge of a medi- 
cal missionary in New Britain. 

The strangest case of all was that of a Fijian, who received 
a poisoned arrow through the calf of his leg. His leg after- 
wards shriveled till all the muscle seemed to disappear and 
the skin appeared to be drawn tight to the bone. He did not 
complain of much pain; and it afterwards filled out and be- 
came as well as the other leg. I escaped with a slight wound 
from an arrow on the left thumb, and it festered for two 
months before it healed. 

We immediately returned to the ship, and next day we 
buried the two dead bodies where we were sure the natives 
would never find them; for they are so addicted to cannibal- 
ism that they will dig up a freshly-interred body for the pur- 
pose of devouring it. Our party liberally rewarded the Ra- 
mada natives to compensate them for the loss of the two men 
who had been killed; but death by violence is so common 
among them that the bereavement did not seem to trouble 
them very much, and they gave a dance in our honor the night 
before we sailed. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 329 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

NARROW ESCAPE FROM SOLOMON ISLANDERS 

After leaving Ramada Bay we proceeded towards the 
northwest and next anchored in Tonolai Harbor at the ex- 
treme southeastern end of Bougainville Island, geographically 
a member of the Solomon Island group. This fine harbor is 
four and a half miles long, with an average breadth of three- 
quarters of a mile, and is open to the southward. The 
land surrounding it is high. It is perfectly protected from all 
winds, and good anchorage is found everywhere in from four- 
teen to twenty fathoms, sand and mud. 

At the entrance there is a patch of coral with a sand key 
about two feet above water, but this is easily passed on either 
side. Tonolai is not only the best harbor in this district, but 
it is also about the best place for collecting native weapons 
and other curios. We gathered a fine collection of stone axes, 
spears pointed with obsidian and human bone, shields, slings, 
war-clubs, and the powerful seven-foot bows which the na- 
tives in this group use with great skill, and some very fine 
orchids besides. 

We made the acquaintance of a chief named Kalikona, who 
offered to conduct us on an exploring expedition into the in- 
terior of the island, but the natives of this immense island 
are so ferocious that we did not care to accept their invitation. 
They are so undependable that they appear to be very friendly 
one moment and the next they may try to murder you with- 



330 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

out the slightest apparent cause. Strange to say, Kalikona 
quite willingly posed for his photograph, a thing which sav- 
ages very seldom do; for the workings of a camera are so 
mysterious and incomprehensible to them that they believe 
there is an evil spirit inside of it, and that any one who pos- 
sesses their photograph can bewitch them or "steal their soul." 
Kalikona was a typical specimen of a Solomon Island cannibal 
chief in all his quaint array of savage finery, and although he 
wore no clothing, the labor of making the shell bead orna- 
ments which he wore is far greater than we might have sup- 
posed had we not known about it. His necklace is made of a 
number of small white disks strung on cords. The method of 
making these disks consists in laboriously rubbing a shell 
upon a smooth stone covered with wet sand until the re- 
mainder of the shell is worn away and only a small disk, from 
the center of the shell, is left. When a sufficient number of 
disks are made they are carefully polished and strung upon 
cords braided from the hair of victims whom the wearer has 
killed and helped to eat. 

The rest of the beadwork which he wore was 
Ear-lobes made of beads of various contrasting shades 

arranged in very neat geometrical patterns, 
Head. producing a very picturesque and harmonious 

effect, and serving to show that these wild 
cannibals are not without good taste in their savage ornamen- 
tation. The lobes of his ears were sufficiently enlarged to 
allow them to be passed around large tortoise shell earrings. 
The custom of enlarging the lobes of the ears is very general 
throughout all the Solomon Islands. Sometimes the lobe is 
enlarged to such an extent that the owner can cover his head 
with it. 

While we lay in Tonolai Harbor, three large canoes ar- 
rived from Mono Island in charge of Mule Kopa, the head 
chief of Mono, for the purpose of trading. They also were 






OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 331 

very anxious to obtain firearms, as these natives always are, 
but we persistently refused to trade firearms under any cir- 
cumstances, and as usual they had to content themselves with 
the knives, hatchets, fishhooks, bright-colored calico, etc., 
which we always carried for trading purposes. At first the 
strangers and the local natives eyed each other in scowling 
silence, and just before their departure a fierce quarrel broke 
out between them from some cause which was not apparent to 
us, and in a short time everything around about was in wild 
excitement. The local natives who were on board our ship 
or in their own canoes alongside, shouted excitedly to their 
friends ashore to launch their war canoes and attack the 
Mono Islanders before they could get away; but we insisted 
that there must be no fighting on board our ship, and also 
that the Mono Islanders should 'be allowed to get outside the 
harbor before being attacked. 

The local natives had only two war canoes at hand, for 
the very good reason that the others were in use on some 
murderous head-hunting raid, so the Mono Islanders got 
away before these canoes could be prepared to attack them. 
Nevertheless a number of small Tonolai canoes followed them 
out of the harbor and attacked them with volleys of arrows; 
but the Monos gave them better than they sent, and the small 
canoes did not attempt to close with them, because the larger 
canoes have the advantage in hand-to-hand fighting. While 
one warrior used his bow another always held a shield in 
front of him to protect him, and the smaller canoes were 
:ept with their heads turned towards the enemy in order 

present as small a target as possible. These natives are 

)d marksmen with their formidable bows and arrows, 
lough they could shoot much straighter than they do if they 
ithered their arrows. It is a curious fact that none of the 

ith Sea Islanders have any idea of putting feathers on an 
irrow to guide its flight. 



332 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The Chinese paint two large eyes upon the bow of every 
one of their junks in order to enable them to see where they 
are going, because, says John Chinaman, 
c "S'pose no have eye, no can see." The Solo- 

With mon Islanders carry out the same idea in a 

Eyes. slightly different way. Instead of painting 

two eyes upon the bow of a canoe, they 
carve an extremely grotesque figure of a god of war or of the 
sea and secure it upon the bow of the canoe, just above the 
water line; and sometimes this god is provided with two 
heads, one of which looks forward and the other backward. 
The canoe and its occupants are then supposed to be under the 
protection of this god, who is expected to keep a bright look- 
out not only for storms and enemies, but also for rocks or 
reefs beneath the surface of the water. 

It is a remarkable fact that the natives of this group of is- 
lands improve in physique and increase in ferocity as you go 
from south to north. The natives of Bougainville and Buka, 
for example, are among the finest physical specimens of man- 
hood to be found in the South Sea Islands, and beyond all 
comparison they are the most ferocious and dangerous. It is 
most emphatically true of them that their hand is against every 
man and every man's hand is against them, for they are for- 
ever on the warpath, and neither give quarter nor expect it. 
We did not see a single old man among them, 
jg and it is extremely doubtful if any one is 

Old permitted to grow old. The sole object of 

Men. their existence is to secure heads to add to 

their ghastly heap, and human bodies to de- 
vour in their cannibalistic orgies. A never-ending war of ex- 
termination is waged between the coast natives and the wild 
tribes who live among the mountains in the interior of the 
island, and the mountaineers, it seems, are generally the 
victors. They frequently descend from their mountain fast- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 333 

nesses at night, and not only destroy the crops of the low- 
landers, but set fire to their houses and murder the inmates 
as they endeavor to escape from the flames. Even by day- 
light small parties of them frequently prowl in the bushes and 
murder coast natives who are hunting or working upon their 
plantations, and they are so amazingly fleet of foot that they 
generally make good their escape before they can be attacked 
in return. 

In this fierce forest warfare the powerful seven-foot bows 
and poisoned arrows which the natives use are probably quite 
as dangerous as rifles, for the wounds which they inflict are 
more deadly, and they reveal no indication of the whereabouts 
of those who are using them, as the report of a rifle does. 
These famous bows and arrows are used not only for the pur- 
pose of shooting enemies, but also for shooting birds and fish, 
though, as a matter of course, the poisoned arrows are used 
only in warfare, as the poison would render game uneatable. 

One day we trailed along with a party of natives a short 
distance into the bush and startled one of the six-foot lizards 
which are common in these islands. The creature ran up the 
smooth trunk of a tree to a height of about fifty feet, when it 
stopped and looked down at us. One of the natives raised his 
bow and sent an arrow apparently without taking aim at it, 
and the next instant the lizard fell to the ground with the 
arrow through its body. 

They pointed out a spot where some men of their tribe 

had been fishing in a stream when a party of bush natives 

suddenly attacked them and killed every one 

Savage ^ tnem before they had an opportunity to 

against defend themselves. 

Savage. We saw a party of Tonolai natives who were 

starting upon a hunting expedition succeed 

in cutting off the retreat of some bush natives, and the latter 

took refuge behind a remarkable-looking rock which rises a 



334 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

short distance from the bank of the stream. The Tonolais at- 
tacked them, but the mountaineers defended themselves with 
the courage born of desperation, and endeavored to keep their 
assailants at bay with their poisoned arrows until night, when 
they hoped to escape in the darkness. 

At first, and for some minutes, volleys of arrows were ex- 
changed, both parties keeping themselves so well covered with 
3 their shields that the arrows did little harm. The ^Tonolai 
natives sent for reinforcements by runners, who brought a 
number of thick, heavy mats, and under cover of these they 
rushed the position and slaughtered every one of the enemy, 
after which they feasted upon their bodies. The new acquisi- 
tion of heads added much to their glory. 

The coast natives make long expeditions in their large 
canoes for the purpose of attacking distant villages and se- 
curing heads. They generally conceal their canoes by day in 
some creek or sheltered bay near the scene of the proposed 
raid, and some of the crew remain to guard the canoes while 
others make detours through the bush and murder and secure 
the head of any man, woman, or child whom they can sur- 
prise. 

Among these head-hunters it is considered braver to take 
the head of a woman than a man, and still braver to take the 
head of a child. Men are in the habit of going long distances 
in the bush for the purpose of hunting and fishing, therefore 
it is comparatively easy for a practiced assassin to lie in wait 
and shoot a man with an arrow or run him through with a 
spear while he is passing through some thick underbush. True 
it is that women work upon the plantations, but these are 
close to the houses, and there are almost always a number 
of women together and ready to shout for help if an enemy 
appears ; therefore the murder of a woman is supposed to in- 
volve greater risk than that of a man. Children, on the other 
hand, are always supposed to be in sight of the houses and 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 335 

under the eyes of the older folk, therefore the murder of a 
child is supposed to involve the greatest risk of all. 

The Solomon Islands are beautiful by day, 
Firefly ^ ut ^ey possess an indescribable charm by 
Spirits. night, and the fireflies which flit like fairy 
lamps among the trees diffuse such a bril- 
liant light, faintly tinged with delicate green, that the natives 
call them pito pito (stars). They believe that these beautiful 
fireflies are the spirits of their departed friends, who assume 
this form in order to revisit the scenes of their earthly exist- 
ence. Yet death constantly lurks amid all these beautiful and 
apparently peaceful scenes, and no one knows what bush may 
conceal a treacherous and blood-thirsty savage with an up- 
raised stone hatchet or a poisoned arrow to his bow. 

Bougainville is said to contain gold and other valuable 
minerals, but owing to the bloodthirsty and treacherous na- 
ture of the natives it would require a large, well-armed com- 
pany to prospect for them. That the natives did not attack us 
while we were at anchor was due solely to the fact that we 
never allowed more than a small number to come aboard at 
one time, and took care to let them see that we kept an armed 
watch at all hours of the day and night. Kalikona supplied 
us with live pigs, fish, yams, taro, bananas, etc., for which 
we paid him with various articles of trade. 

I believe I have not spoken of one particular 
A Strange method of poisoning quite common among 
Method of these apparently unsophisticated savages, 
Poisoning. which is as follows: The seas surrounding 
these beautiful islands contain many varieties 
of fish, some of which are deadly poisonous. When the na- 
tives wish to poison a white man, or, perhaps a whole crew, 
it is a common custom for them first to bring to their in- 
tended victims several gifts of fish which are perfectly harm- 
less and good to eat ; and, having thus allayed suspicion, they 



336 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

will next bring a gift of the poisonous varieties, which are 
almost sure to cause death. They are far more likely to 
practice this deception upon white men than natives, because 
the latter are more familiar with the ruse than the former. 
Knowing this, we always trusted to our own natives to judge 
of and prepare the fish that were brought to us, and we never 
knew them to make a mistake. 

After leaving Tonolai Harbor, we sailed along the eastern 
coast of Bougainville, which presents a grand and attractive 
appearance from every point of view. The mountains in the 
interior rise from 4,000 to 10,000 feet in height, and the vol- 
cano of Bagana, which is located near the center of the 
island, was in a state of active eruption, and was visible at 
night at a distance of over fifty miles. We made a short call 
at the village of Numa Numa, which is located upon the north- 
eastern coast of the island, in latitude 5 50' S. and longitude 
155 09' E. Here we secured a number of curios of various 
kinds, particularly a fine collection of stone axes, after which 
we continued our course to the eastern coast of Buka, the 
most northern island in the group. While coasting along 
Buka several large canoes came out to trade with us, and, 
finding that we wanted only curios, they brought out whole 
canoe loads of them. Each canoe contained so many power- 
fully built warriors, however, that we never permitted more 
than one canoe to approach at a time. 

We were about five miles north of East Point, when the 
wind gradually died away, and I was alarmed to discover that 
the current was slowly but surely drifting us towards shore. 
At the same time a whole fleet of large canoes loaded with 
warriors rapidly collected from different quarters, and, 
although they made no open demonstration of hostility, it was 
evident that they realized our helplessness and were as deeply 
interested in the outcome as ourselves, for they are notorious 
pirates. They knew that unless a breeze providentially came 



OF CAPTAIN QUJNTON 337 

to our rescue the heavy swell would inevitably set our ship 
on the reef, after which they would have us at their mercy. 

Accordingly, as there was not the slightest indication of 
wind, we got the steam launch overboard for the purpose of 
towing off shore, when we were further alarmed to learn from 
the man who was running the launch that the engine would 
not work, and that it would require fully half an hour to fix 
it. He was well paid to keep the launch in perfect condition, 
and his neglect to do so was likely to cause the loss of the 
ship and most likely all our lives as well; for even if we 

(escaped from the wreck in the boats, the canoes could readily 
overwhelm us by force of numbers. 
The natives, who knew nothing about the use 
^y e of a steam launch, evidently concluded that 

Break we were about to abandon the ship and escape 

in the small boats, so disposed their canoes 
in such a way as to prevent our boats 
from escaping to sea. At last the launch was in working 
order and the natives set up a wild yelling of rage and disap- 
pointment as it began to tow the vessel steadily off shore, but 
we had not proceeded over a mile when the engine again 
broke down. The natives were now much excited, and be- 
coming bolder every minute, as they saw that we might escape 
them after all by slipping out to sea, while on the other hand, 
it is scarcely necessary to say that all our crew were standing 
by with loaded rifles ready for instant use. In about fifteen 
minutes the launch began towing again, and this seemed to set 
the natives perfectly frantic. With more yelling and gesticula- 
tions than we had ever seen before, they formed in a circle 
all around, and came on us with a rush. They kept the bow 
of each canoe pointing straight toward the ship, and the 
actual warriors covered themselves carefully with their long 
shields. One-half our crew were stationed aft and the other 
half forward, and instead of firing at random among them, 



338 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

each one of us concentrated fire upon two or three of the 
canoes at a time. The moment after we fired the first volley 
we saw several shields thrown into the air, and the warriors 
who had held them went plunging over the side, or fell back 
helpless among their companions. The natives replied with 
yells of defiance and a volley of arrows, some of which hit us, 
while others fell far wide of the mark. Knowing that it was 
their lives or ours that weighed in the balance, we fired into 
them as rapidly as we could reload; but even this failed to 
stop their onrush, notwithstanding that numbers of them were 
already killed and several of their canoes were completely 
wrecked by our bullets. 

We now adopted a plan which I never knew 

A to fail against South Sea Islanders, and the 

Last only reason we had not resorted to it before 

Resort. was because we did not think it would be 

necessary. While the rest of the crew con- 
tinued firing, three of us brought up a lot of large rockets and 
began discharging them at the advancing canoes. The first 
one struck against a shield in one of 'the nearest canoes and 
instantly exploded, scattering a shower of blazing sparks all 
over the crew and setting fire to something inflammable, 
which immediately burst into flame. The effect was magical. 
The savages, who were not afraid to face our firearms, were 
so amazed at this sudden shower of fire which descended upon 
them that with a yell of terror they all plunged overboard, 
leaving their canoe to burn. This maneuver was so success- 
ful that we continued discharging rockets among the canoes, 
which were now so close that we could scarcely miss hitting 
them. The shower of fire from the rockets, together with the 
rain of bullets from our rifles, effectually stopped their ad- 
vance, and they paddled rapidly away amid a babel of yells 
and curses, such as few people have ever imagined. 

We towed the ship twenty miles off shore, then took the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 339 

launch on board, and, although the deadly calm lasted to the 
next morning, we found the current did not affect us here as 
it did further inshore. Several large canoes were seen hov- 
ering around us during the night, but a few shots fired in 
their direction warned them effectually to keep at a respect- 
ful distance. At daylight we were surprised to see a still 
larger fleet of war canoes drawn up inshore, as if preparing 
to renew the attack upon us, but before they were ready to 
do so, we caught a steady breeze which carried Us rapidly over 
the sea to the north. 



340 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER XXIX 

DUK-DUK AND OTHER CRUEL SUPERSTITIONS IN NEW BRITAIN 

After rounding Cape North (the northernmost point of 
Buka), we stood to the westward and anchored in Montagu 
Bay, on the south coast of New Britain. The natives here 
belong to the same Papuan race as the Solomon Islanders, 
but they are not so stalwart and powerful as the natives of 
Buka and Bougainville. They were anxious to trade, and 
salt was one of the articles which they particularly desired. 
The party obtained, without any difficulty, a fine collection of 
stone axes, war-clubs, spears and slings, but these natives did 
not seem to use bows and arrows, as nearly all other tribes 
of the great Papuan race do. Many of the war spears had a 
piece of human leg bone fitted upon the butt-end like the fer- 
rule upon a cane. This shows that the spear had killed the 
victim whose bone was used in decorating it. Such a spear is 
supposed to endow the man who owns it with all the additional 
strength and courage of his victim; consequently, it is the 
most highly prized of all weapons, and commands a far 
higher price than one which is not decorated with this grue- 
some emblem of death. 

Although they do not use the bow and arrow, 

Man-killing ^ ne sling is quite as formidable in their hands. 
Slings. The average length of the sling is about eight 
feet, though this varies slightly, and the na- 
tive places the stone in it with his toes, which he uses almost 
as dexterously as he does his fingers. The action of raising 
such a long sling from the ground in order to obtain the proper 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 341 

swing round the head is a very difficult feat for any one who 
is not accustomed to it, though the native accomplishes it 
very easily and gracefully. They use these slings both in 
war and in hunting, and their aim is deadly up to about two 
hundred yards, while at a distance of one hundred yards they 
can bring down a tiny bird from the branch of a tree. The 
sling in their hands may be quite as effective as the bow and 
arrow in open ground, but it is quite evident that it could not 
be used in thick bush where a bow can be used, because there 
would not be room to swing it. We saw them use their'slings 
in canoe fighting, though it would seem almost impossible* for 
a man to use one of these weapons while standing on such 
an unsteady foundation. 

The Australian blacks are unquestionably the best stone- 
throwers in the world so far as hand-throwing goes, and any 
one of them could pick up and throw several stones in quick 
succession with unerring aim while the New Britain native 
was throwing a single stone with his sling. But the former 
have no knowledge of the sling, and in a pitched battle be- 
tween them the latter would slaughter the black fellows be- 
cause they can throw stones about twice as far and with an 
equally accurate aim. They defend themselves with shields, 
and, since they became acquainted with white traders, one of 
their favorite weapons consists of the head of an ordinary 
hatchet fitted upon a native handle three feet long. At short 
range they can throw spears with deadly accuracy for a 
distance of twenty-five yards or more. 

We paid several visits to the large village of Ruaka, which 
is situated on the east side of Montagu Bay, and also the vil- 
lages of Pilimaso and Malano, which are located to the east- 
ward of Ruaka, in the order named. The houses are rather 
long but low, and each one has a small, low door in either 
end. Instead of rising to a point in the center, as is the 
case with many South Sea Island houses, the roof is an even 



342 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

height from one end to the other and is rounded in such a way 
that it looks a good deal like the bottom of an upturned 
canoe. 

The beds consist of shelves made of bamboo ranged around 
the walls like bunks in a ship's forecastle, and the rafters 
are hung with human skulls, together with the skulls of large 
fish or the lower jaws of pigs, besides stone axes, shields, and 
spears, the butt ends of which are decorated with human 
bones. 

The natives themselves wear enormous headdresses made 

of parrots' feathers, and they paint their bodies in the most 

grotesque and gorgeous manner in every color of the rainbow. 

One of the greatest curiosities which we ob- 

Dcwarra tained here was a collection of dewarra, or 

or Native native money, composed of a great number of 
Money. small cowrie shells threaded upon strips of 
rattan. Of course, this dewarra possesses no 
intrinsic value in itself, but the shells are tiny and are found 
only in very deep water ; consequently, it is valued on account 
of the difficulty, first of collecting the shells, and next of 
boring and stringing them in the proper fashion. When first 
made each piece of dewarra is about thirty feet long, and as 
an inch of dewarra contains about twelve shells, each com- 
plete strip of money would contain about 4,320 of these shells. 
A piece of dewarra six feet long is the recognized standard 
of value, and seven fathoms is considered a fair price for a 
full-grown pig or a human being. The dewarra seems to 
increase in value towards the western end of the island, and 
the natives thereabouts often cut it into pieces not over an 
inch in length. 

The children make a false dewarra of common shells and 
play with it among themselves, but it is absolutely worthless 
as a medium of exchange. Nevertheless these unsophisticated 
savages commonly endeavor to sell this false dewarra to 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 343 

strangers, and we only learned of the deception after purchas- 
ing a quantity of the worthless stuff. 

Every native is supposed to give a feast after 
A his or her death, and one day we went to 

Death see the funeral of an old man who had just 

Feast. been killed. Upon our arrival we found the 

assembled mourners gorging themselves upon 
roasted lizards, pork, fish, shrimps, shell-fish, yams, taro, etc., 
while the body of the deceased was placed in a sitting posture 
with its back against a tree. The deceased was most fantas- 
tically painted in all colors of the rainbow and a coil of de- 
warra was placed in each of his hands, while a large quantity 
of it was hung around his neck. 

The eldest son of the deceased cut .the dewarra into pieces 
and threw one of these pieces to each of the assembled mourn- 
ers. Some of the bits were quite large, while others were 
very small; but the size seemed to make no difference and 
every one was equally well satisfied, no matter whether he 
received a large or a small piece. The son then threw a 
large piece into the grave to pay the evil spirits to permit the 
soul of his father to pass into paradise, after which the body 
was placed in the grave in a sitting posture. Some of the 
relatives then threw into the open grave a stone axe, a shield, 
a war club, a sling, and two spears ornamented with human 
bone. For some fantastic reason the spears were broken before 
being thrown in, after which they filled the grave and dis- 
persed. These were the only savages I had ever seen who 
showed no indication of mourning or lamenting for the de- 
ceased; for as a rule savages indulge in the most frantic 
demonstrations of grief over their departed relatives. 

I have asked a number of savages of what use it was to 
bury broken weapons with a dead man ; for broken weapons 
are useless and, if they believe he has to use them at all, they 
ought to be whole, I invariably argued. Their reply was that 



344 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

the dead man himself is broken at death, though his spirit still 
continues to exist, and the spirits or souls of the weapons con- 
tinue to exist just the same, no matter whether the weapons 
themselves are broken or not. A live man can use only ma- 
terial weapons, while a dead man can use only the spirits of 
the weapons ; consequently, the spirit of the deceased uses the 
spiritual weapons as he used the material ones while alive. 

. Dewarra is used in purchasing a wife the 

Wives arc same as in purchasing any other commodity, 
B whh ht and ' thou g h the P arents of the bride invari- 

Dewarra. a ^Y ^ x tne P T1CQ at a n *g n figure, they do not 
expect their son-in-law to pay it in full. 
When the bridegroom concludes that he has paid enough he 
builds a small house in the bush and he and his bride, to all 
intents and purposes, elope to it. The father of the bride and 
a party of his friends then start out to hunt for the son-in-law, 
vowing to kill him on sight, though they have no intention 
of doing so ; but they burn the hut in which the couple have 
been living, and this ends the nuptial ceremonies. But before 
the elopement takes place the father is supposed to give his 
prospective son-in-law a hint that he is satisfied, or otherwise 
they would try to murder him in earnest. It is curious how 
this idea of stealing a bride prevails in so many parts of the 
world. The natives of New Britain resemble the Australian 
blacks in that they have no actual hereditary chiefs, and a 
man's standing in the community is reckoned according to 
the amount of dewarra which he possesses, very much as it is 
among ourselves. 

The old men of the different tribes have a most ingenious 
method of living in luxury by working upon the superstitious 
natures of their ignorant dupes. This particular method of 
thieving, called Duk-duk, is supposed to be a tribute which 
is paid to the evil spirits whom they worship. These evil 
spirits are supposed to have their home at the bottom of 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 345 

the sea, and the old men of the tribe who have been duly 
initiated are the only ones who have the power to call them 
from the deep. These evil spirits, who are really none other 
than the old men in disguise, are supposed to appear in bodily 
form and at sunrise, at certain fixed times, such as the day 
of the month when the new moon first becomes visible. 

The old men always announce the date of arrival of the 
evil spirits a month in advance in order that everybody may 
be sure to provide a liberal tribute of food and dewarra 
to appease their wrath. And the people exert the utmost ef- 
fort to comply with these demands, because they know that 
the penalty will be very severe if they fail to do so. The 
women either disappear in the bush the day before the arrival 
of the evil spirits or else remain hidden in the houses until 
after the Duk-duk has taken his departure. All the male 
inhabitants of the district assemble upon the beach before 
dawn on the morning of the Duk-duk's arrival, but it is in- 
stant death for a woman to look upon anything which has to 
do with the Duk-duk performances. 

We had delayed our departure several days 
Duk-duk on purpose to witness this unlikely ceremony, 
Horrors. and at first the natives declared most posi- 
tively that they could not permit us to see it, 
because, forsooth, the spirits would be terribly offended and 
curse them with sickness, failure of crops, and various other 
dire afflictions. Of course, this was merely a ruse on the 
part of these wily savages to induce us to give them a bribe, 
and when we did this the old men, who are believed to be in 
constant communication with the spirits, suddenly discovered 
that the spirits had withdrawn their objections and were per- 
fectly willing to allow us to be present. We landed on the 
Duk-duk beach a little before daylight and found the as- 
sembled natives jabbering and rushing about in great excite- 
ment, while the sound of singing and the boom of native 



346 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

drums could be heard from the seaward. The moment the 
sun rose we saw five canoes lashed together with a platform 
built over them paddling towards the beach, while two most 
extraordinary looking figures were dancing very rapidly on 
the platform. Upon nearing the beach the two dancers began 
uttering sharp, shrill cries very much like the yelping of a 
small puppy, while some of the other passengers continued 
singing and beating the drums. 

The fantastic costume of the old men who 
Calculated personate evil spirits is intended to represent 
to Freeze a huge cassowary with a most hideous and 
the Blood. grotesque caricature of the human face. The 
'# part which covers the body is made of the 

leaves of the dragon tree (the ti tree of the Polynesian Isl- 
ands), and this part does bear a strong resemblance to the 
body of a cassowary. The neck and head-pieces consist of a 
cone about five feet long, made of very fine wickerwork and 
covered all over with some kind of gum on which a hideous 
representation of the human face is painted. Openings are 
left for the eyes, mouth, and nostrils, but the hands and arms 
are completely concealed under the costume, which extends 
to the knees. 

The natives fell back as the Duk-duks landed, for we were 
assured that if any one touched one of them, even accidentally, 
the Duk-duk would kill him on the spot. After landing, the 
Duk-duks danced around each other in imitation of the clumsy 
movements of the cassowary, and also imitating the cry of 
that huge bird. They are very careful to utter no cry but 
this during their whole stay, for their voices might betray them 
if they spoke in a natural tone, and this would spoil their hor- 
rible game. Some old men had built a hut for the Duk-duks 
in a part of the bush where it was most carefully concealed, 
and here they took their meals; but they spent the rest of 
the flay running about through the village and terrifying the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 347 

natives. In the evening every man and boy brought his 
tribute of food and dewarra. Each one advanced and de- 
posited his offering in turn until a vast pile of rubbish was 
collected, while the old villains stood by in grim silence and 
narrowly watched the offerings which each one presented. 
Occasionally the old Duk-duks would start jumping and yelp- 
ing, which at once brought matters to a standstill and created 
great excitement until the one who had just deposited his 
offering ran off and brought more; and we were informed 
that this was an intimation that the amount of tribute was not 
sufficient. 

Other old men then carried all the food and dewarra into 
the bush, ostensibly for the gods but really for themselves, 
and no one dared to spy upon them. The Duk-duk is not 
satisfied with simply robbing the deluded people, but also loves 
to indulge his savage propensities to torture them as well. 

As soon as all the food and dewarra had been 

More carried away, the young men ranged them- 

Horrors. selves in rows of six or seven and held their 

hands as high above their heads as they could 
possibly reach. One Duk-duk then appeared from the bush 
carrying a bundle of stout canes about six feet long, while 
another carried a heavy club of hard wood. Throwing down 
his bundle of canes the first Duk-duk selected one of them 
and with both hands dealt one of the young men a terrific 
blow with all his strength. The blow was a brutal one, for 
the supple cane twisted around the young man like a snake 
and drew blood all around his body, yet he bore it without 
showing the slightest sign of pain. The same young man then 
stooped down until his head was about two feet from the 
ground, when another Duk-duk dealt him a blow with his 
heavy club on the lower end of the spine; and, incredible as 
it may be, every young man present was obliged to go through 
this ordeal over twenty times during the ceremony, 



348 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

And this is not the worst of it, for they must go through 
the same ordeal every night for a fortnight, when the Duk- 
duks take their departure as mysteriously as they came, 
though they are very careful to let no one see them go. It 
might be supposed that the old men who personate Duk-duks 
would be missed during the performance, and this might lead 
to suspicion, but they guard against this in a very simple way. 
One old man will act the part of a Duk-duk for half a day or 
even a whole day, as the case may be; he will then slip into 
his house in the bushes and remove the Duk-duk dress, 
which another old man immediately puts on, while the first 
one will quietly mingle with the crowd and present his tribute 
along with the others. 

The Duk-duks commonly visit every native village once 
every two months, and a young man's Duk-duk initiation lasts 
about twenty years; hence it will be seen that every young 
man undergoes an amount of flogging which would seem suf- 
ficient to kill him. It may be asked why the young men sub- 
mit to this torture? The answer is very simple. They be- 
lieve that they are doing it as a religious duty for the benefit 
of the community in which they reside. All heathens believe 
their gods to be ferocious and malignant monsters whose chie'f 
delight is to afflict humanity; and the heathen idea of wor- 
ship is to ward off the malignity of these wicked gods by 
doing something unspeakably cruel to his fellow man in order 
to please his deities. 

The young men of New Britain firmly believe these Duk- 
duks to be some of the devil-gods whom they worship, and 
that, being gods, they love to torture their worshipers. They 
believe that these gods would wreak the most terrible 
vengeance upon the whole community if they did not supply 
them with all the food and dewarra they require and permit 
them to torture them as they do. In addition to all this, the 
Duk-duks claim and exercise the right to murder any one, and 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 349 

no one dares to question their right in this or in anything else 
they desire. The young men are made to believe that the 
terrible floggings which they undergo will serve to prepare 
them in some way for having the mysteries of the Duk-duk 
explained to them when they grow to be old men. 

After the Duk-duks depart everything which they have 
touched is carefully burned. We afterwards learned that the 
reason they do not like to have white men witness the cere- 
mony is because they are afraid they will expose the fraud 
of it all and thus spoil the game which they carrv on under 
the cloak of worshiping the gods. No one can appreciate the 
blessings of Christianity until he has seen something of the 
horrors and cruelties of heathenism. 

Like all savages, the natives of these islands 

Belief in are fi rm believers in witchcraft. They believe 
Witchcraft. that any one is able to bewitch another and 
bring the most awful consequences upon him 
if the person who wishes to work the spell can only ob- 
tain a fragment of something which his victim has used, such 
as an ornament or a scrap of clothing. It is curious how this 
particular form of superstition seems to prevail pretty nearly 
all over the world. I have heard ignorant white people de- 
clare that one person could bewitch another if he could but 
obtain a lock of his hair. 

The favorite method of causing the death of an enemy by 
witchcraft is to make a wooden likeness of the victim and either 
bury it at once or apparently torture it first and bury it after- 
wards. In the former case the victim will be sure to die. In 
the latter he will suffer the identical tortures which are in- 
flicted upon his likeness and die in the bargain. 

White people may laugh at such superstitions as these 
and declare that they can do no harm ; but if a native believes 
that some one has cast this evil spell upon him, he quietly re- 
signs all hope and dies. The only alternative they use is to 



350 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

work a counter-spell of a still greater potency; but this is 
such a costly, tedious and uncertain process that it is liable 
to bankrupt the man who tries to do it. This counter-spell 
must be worked against the enemy who cast the first spell, 
and no one but the sorcerer of the tribe is able to discover who 
this is; for if worked against the wrong person it is liable to 
come back upon the head of the one who works it like curses 
that come home to roost. The sorcerer is extravagantly 
paid to work the counter spell, but if he afterwards discovers 
(as he generally does) that he has worked it against the wrong 
person, he must then be paid to protect his client from the con- 
sequences ; and in this way he carries on the game as long as 
the client has anything left with which to pay him. It is par- 
ticularly worthy of note that all mistakes in regard to dis- 
covering the real enemy are invariably owing to wrong in- 
formation which the client brought to the sorcerer or to some 
mistake which he made in carrying out his part of the pro- 
gramme. It is never known to be the fault of the sorcerer. 

The sorcerers also derive much profit from 
Often Hags casting spells, and certain old women of the 
Are Clubbed tr jb es ma k e an equally comfortable living by 
Eaten. acting the part of professional poisoners. Oc- 
casionally these murderous hags get clubbed 
and eaten for plying their vocation ; but this is regarded as a 
mere incident and nobody minds it. If a man hires one of 
them to poison an enemy, he is liable to club her to death if 
she fails to carry out the contract, and the friends of the 
victim are equally liable to club and eat her if she succeeds in 
doing so and they discover her identity ; hence it may be seen 
that the grim profession of spell-casting and poison-giving 
have their drawbacks. What with continual head-hunting 
raids, sorcerers, poisoners, Duk-duks, and secret assassins, 
the natives of these beautiful islands lead a rather strenuous 
existence and are not likely to suffer from ennui. 



OF CAPTAIN QUIXTOX 351 

The native dances are very tame affairs and consist of 

monotonous movements with the hands and feet, though the 

male dancers wear most diabolical looking 

Dancing masks, made of human skulls. Each dancer 

Masks of j s supposed to have killed the victims whose 
Skulls. skulls he has made into a dancing mask, and 
he wears them at all public functions as the 
American Indians wore the scalps of their victims. The na- 
tives chew betel nut and bleach their hair by plastering it 
with a heavy coat of lime, as previously described in the cases 
of the Tongans and Samoans. 

The natives throughout New Britain have a very treacher- 
ous look and, although we had been ashore several times, we 
always took care to guard against being taken by surprise. 
Before leaving we made a trip in the launch up a wide stream 
which empties into the east side of Montagu Bay, directly to 
the west of Ruaka village, which is located at its mouth. We 
towed the boat containing our water casks, and after ascend- 
ing the 'Stream some distance we came to a small mountain 
stream which flowed into the main one and proceeded to fill 
our casks. We had nearly completed filling them when one of 
the men called attention to two natives standing motionless as 
statues and watching us from among the trees, at a distance 
of about fifty yards. We held up a couple of pieces of red 
cloth, which has such an irresistible attraction for these peo- 
ple that they will do almost anything to obtain it; and after 
talking excitedly among themselves for a few moments, they 
both ran forward and offered their spears and shields in ex- 
change for the cloth. Wishing to make friends with them, 
we bestowed the cloth upon them for nothing and told them 
through the interpreter that they might retain their weapons. 

They stood looking at us in perfect silence for some time, 
then silently took their departure; and a few moments later 
the surrounding hills suddenly resounded with the native as- 



352 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

sembly cry, "Kuo! kuo! ku! ku! kuo!" We had filled our 
casks by this time and immediately got under way. Upon 
reaching the main stream we saw about a dozen natives stand- 
ing on the bank opposite the mouth of the smaller stream 
from which we had just emerged. 

We promptly held up some more red cloth, 
We Are ^ ut mstea( ^ ^ coming to receive it, they an- 
Taken by swered us with yells of defiance and a shower 
Surprise. o f stones and spears. Knowing the treacher- 
ous character of the natives, we had provided 
each boat with an awning made of two thicknesses of heavy 
canvas and so arranged that it could be swung to either side 
to ward off missiles. These awnings stopped the stones read- 
ily enough, but the points of the spears cut through them, 
though their force was perceptibly broken. We did not wish 
to kill any of them if it could be avoided, but it was necessary 
to do something to repel their attack, so we fired at their legs, 
whereupon several of them bounded into the air with loud 
cries of pain and astonishment; then as suddenly as they had 
come the whole lot of them darted into the bush. 

We soon discovered that our troubles had only begun, for 
the next moment, although we were beyond the reach of the 
spears, the stones began to fall around us like hail, and hun- 
dreds of voices could be heard yelling, "Kuo ! kuo ! ku ! kuo ! 
ku !" At the same time, the natives themselves were invisible 
and we could dolittle more than fire at random at the places 
where we believed them to be concealed amid the dense foliage 
along the bank of the stream. Fortunately for us they were 
all on one side of the stream, so our position was less preca- 
rious than it otherwise would have been. 

Some one proposed to stop the launch and cease firing in 
order to give them the impression that we had broken down 
and were at their mercy, and thus induce them to quit their 
hiding places for the purpose of making a general attack upon 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 353 

us. This proposition was rejected because we were able to 
make good our retreat in any case and, while the savages un- 
doubtedly merited severe treatment at our hands, it was not 
desired to kill them if we could avoid doing so. Neverthe- 
less, they kept up an irritating bombardment with stones until 
we were within a short distance of Ruaka village, when they 
drew off. We saw the natives of Ruaka running about on 
the beach evidently greatly excited; and a little later in the 
day some of them came on board and told us through the inter- 
preter that the natives who had made the attack belonged to 
a certain bush tribe which was their deadly enemy. 

It is perfectly true that these natives are treacherous and 
bloodthirsty and frequently murder white men in the most 
brutal manner for no apparent cause, but there is another side 
to this story. White people coolly appropriate these islands 
and settle upon the lands of the natives without asking their 
consent, and there is no record of the outrages which unscru- 
pulous white men commit upon them. A white person would 
quite naturally try to seek revenge upon the person who com- 
mits the injustice, but this is incomprehensible to the mind of 
the savage. If one white person injures them, they will at- 
tempt to avenge the wrong upon the first white person who 
happens to be in their power, although the latter may have had 
absolutely nothing to do with the affair. 

At the same time the savages are whimsical and uncer- 
tain as children, and frequently make murderous attacks with- 
out any provocation whatsoever, and the whole subject is so 
involved that none but the Creator himself could decide the 
rights and wrongs of it. 



354 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER XXX 

SPORTS AND FAITH IN NEW GUINEA 

The next day after the attack with stones we sailed from 

Montagu Bay and, rounding the southeast end of New Guinea, 

anchored in Port Romilly, on the south coast of the island, 

in latitude 7 42' S. and longitude 144 49' 

yy c E. We spent several days at Kaimari village, 

Haul Up which is located near our anchorage on Kai- 

Anchor. mari creek. Baimuru village is nearby, on 

Aia creek ; Kaa village on a small creek to 

the westward ; Evarra village on the Wame River ; and Tumu 

village a few miles above the junction of the Aird River delta. 

For defense the natives here use oblong shields, some of 
which are made of wood and others of rattan. Some of the 
natives wore armlets made of the jawbones of enemies whom 
they had killed and helped to eat, while others strutted about 
with the bones of enemies dangling from their woolly hair or 
about their necks, and the bows of all their war canoes were 
adorned with human skulls. 

The head-hunters use a peculiar kind of weapon resem- 
bling a sharp-pointed spear with a loop of rattan about eight- 
een inches wide projecting from the end. Stealing noise- 
lessly up behind a man who is passing through the bush or 
an enemy who is in retreat, the head-hunter throws the loop 
over his victim's head and gives it a powerful jerk backwards. 
This action jerks the neck of the man back upon the sharp 
point of the spear, which penetrates at the base of the brain 
or in the spine, inflicting a mortal wound, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 355 

When I lived in the Tonga Islands I heard of some 
frightful cases of torturing prisoners of war in the olden 
time, but none of the South Sea Islanders ever torture their 
prisoners as the American Indians did, though they may kill 
them with a club and afterwards cook and eat them. The 
natives of New Guinea, on the other hand, not only torture 
their prisoners in the most fiendish manner, but also cook 
them alive, because they claim this makes their flesh taste 
better. 

In the center of each village we found a sort of platform 
made of carved logs, with a center pole carved and painted 
in various patterns, and with an ornamental fringe of fiber 
near the top. These logs, like others we had seen, were or- 
namented with long strings of human skulls and jawbones, 
together with those of pigs and crocodiles, and we found all 
the rafters of the houses hung with the same gruesome tokens 
of murder and feasting. Each warrior has a mark tattooed 
on his breast or back for every enemy he has slain, and the 
mark is varied to indicate the rank of the enemy. 

The skulls of the slain are always offered to the evil 
spirits when hung up, and a warrior is sacred after shedding 
blood till the next new moon. They are very skillful in 
warding off spears with their shields, and place great value 
upon shields which bear the scars of contact with spears and 
war clubs 

Their war dances were always held in the evenings, and 

in them their movements were extremely swift and graceful. 

They swung their shields rapidly up, down, 

More left, and right, to ward off imaginary blows, 

D War ti t * len ^^d or retreated rapidly before an 

dancing. oncoming attack. Sometimes they formed in 

a sort of open order and discharged rapid 

volleys of arrows while they sheltered themselves behind 

trees and bushes or danced about to avoid the arrows of their 



356 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

enemies. Near the end of the dance they began to give way 
as if defeated, though they still continued shooting back at 
the enemy to cover their retreat. Suddenly they all dropped 
their bows and, forming shoulder to shoulder, gave a final 
war whoop and made a furious charge upon the imaginary 
enemy with spears, shields, and war clubs, evidently with the 
intention of taking them by surprise. This dance usually 
terminates in this manner. 

One of their favorite methods of fishing is with the bow 

and arrow. They plant a long, stout post firmly in the sand, 

and near the top of it is a heavy cross-bar, 

Fishing upon which they stand. Each man has his 

with j head covered with a piece of native cloth to 

Arrow. protect it from the intense heat of the sun, 

and they stand almost as motionless as statues, 

their bows and arrows ready for instant use. The moment a 

fish approaches the surface one of the fishermen transfixes 

it with an arrow, or, if he should happen to miss (which is 

a very rare occurrence), one of the others is almost certain 

to catch it before it has time to escape. 

We found that each village contained an erabo (temple), 
the rafters of which were hung with human skulls, while the 
skulls of pigs, crocodiles, and cassowaries were arranged in 
rows along the floor. A great many masks, charms, and 
fetishes of various kinds are placed on shelves around the 
walls or hung on pegs which are driven into the posts which 
support the roof. 

Externally an erabo bears considerable resemblance archi- 
tecturally to a giraffe, for the open end is very high and rises 
to a point resembling the neck of a giraffe, while the roof 
slopes sharply downward to the other end, which is not over 
seven feet in height. The smaller or lower end of the erabo 
is considered the holy place, and is invariably shut off with 
a screen from the main portion of the temple. This holy place 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 357 

is likely to contain about a score of hideous-looking gods 
made of wickerwork and called kanibu. 

The skulls which are placed in the erabo are the remains 
of victims, human or otherwise, which have first been offered 
to the kanibu and afterwards eaten. The kanibu or evil spirits 
are supposed to feast upon the soul or immaterial portion of 
everything which is offered to them, and the object of placing 
the skulls in the temple is to remind them that they are ex- 
pected to extend their favors to the worshipers who furnished 
them with so many feasts. They judge the devil-gods, whom 
they worship, by themselves; and as they consider human 
flesh superior to every other kind of food they consider human 
sacrifice the most acceptable of all sacrifices to their gods. 

Like all the other islanders in the Pacific, 
An these tribes celebrate a kind of harvest-home 

Old-Home festival in the month of May, and even tribes 

Festival. which have been at war together meet in 
peace and fraternize for the time being. They 
cut down trees from fifty to seventy feet long and, after 
chopping off the smaller branches, proceed to plant the 
trunks firmly in the ground along both sides of the principal 
street of the village in which the festival is to be held. The 
trunks and larger branches are then so thickly hung with 
bananas, cocoanuts, and other food that the wood of the tree 
cannot be seen. For a week before the great day of the feast 
they dance every night without intermission from sunset to 
sunrise. 

In honor of this occasion the natives paint not only the 
face but the whole body, in addition to which they all wear 
very fine head-dresses made of the white feathers of the cock- 
atoo and the magnificent plumes of the bird of paradise. 
They are also extremely fond of decorating their woolly pates 
with the lovely orchids which are more plentiful in this local- 
ity than in any other portion of the world. 



358 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The principal feast day is celebrated with much dancing, 
shouting, singing, and drum-beating, and food is distributed 
liberally to the multitude. It is the custom then to finish up 
the affair with a social fight in which many people are killed. 
A war canoe consists of two very long canoes 
Magnificent lashed together with long poles, and a plat- 
War form built upon the poles between them. 
Canoes. . Forty men act as paddlers, while nearly as 
many warriors stand on the platform armed 
with extremely powerful bows and arrows. Such a canoe 
presents a very picturesque appearance, for the members 
of the crew wear gaudy feather head-dresses and they, as well 
as the canoes, are gorgeously painted in rich colors. 

In spite of the great power of their bows and their con- 
summate skill in using them, a battle is not so very danger- 
ous, because they defend themselves so skillfully with their 
shields that most of the arrows are broken or wasted. They 
always endeavor to avoid exposing their broadside to the 
enemy, and each side watches for an opportunity to dash 
alongside the other at an unguarded moment, when the fight- 
ing becomes hand-to-hand, and spears, clubs, and tomahawks 
are used with disastrous effect. 

The young people wear a little clothing, but the adults wear 
practically none, though they cover themselves with a good 
many ornaments, made chiefly of tortoise shell. They wear 
head-dresses and necklaces made of shells laboriously ground 
down and strung upon cords of human hair or strips of fine 
rattan. Their huge earrings are very elaborately carved from 
tortoise shell, and they wear shell ornaments, sometimes as 
much as three-quarters of an inch in diameter, through the 
septum of the nose, and large shell armlets, elaborately carved. 

In war they wear the broad belts previously described, 
but some of the young swells wear bands or belts made of 
the bark of the paper mulberry, dyed in the most brilliant 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 359 

colors. These belts they wear drawn so very tight that the 
wonder is they are not cut in two. On ordinary occasions they 
paint their faces black, white, red, and yellow; but, at times 
of mourning for their dead, they paint themselves black all 
over, and wear queer collars made of very fine network. Like 
civilized people they have different degrees of mourning. We 
saw, for example, some natives hobbling about enveloped in 
a kind of fine wickerwork dress, which extended from the 
neck to the knees, and drawn so tight around the body that 
they could scarcely walk in it. At first we mistook this for a 
sort of armor, but upon inquiry learned that this tightly 
drawn wickerwork suit represents the very deepest degree of 
mourning for a very near relative or friend. 

They believe that the god Kanitu created two 

More men an ^ * wo women ou * of the ground, and 

Incredible these four became the progenitors of the 

Beliefs. whole human race. The people of the earth 

became very wicked and neglected the wor- 
ship of the gods as they increased in numbers. Finally, they 
all ceased offering sacrifices to the gods altogether, with the 
single exception of a priest named Lohero. Accordingly 
the gods ordered Lohero to sacrifice a man to them, and after- 
wards to place one of the bones of the victim in a small 
stream. Lohero did this and immediately the water rose and 
flooded all the lowland. The people fled to the mountains, 
but the waters rose so high that they drowned all but a very 
few who had taken refuge upon the very highest peaks. These 
few survivors remained upon the lofty peaks until the waters 
subsided, when they descended to the lowlands and repeopled 
the earth. 

The natives of this part of the coast carry on an exten- 
sive commerce with those further east by means of their laka- 
tois, or large trading canoes. A lakatoi is several large ca- 
noes securely lashed together and decked over. They load 



3 6o THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

them with sago and other provisions and sail for the east 
during the northwest monsoons. At Port Moresby and other 
eastern points they trade their provisions for crockery ware, 
armlets, head-dresses, necklaces, tomahawks, knives, beads, 
fishhooks, red cloth, etc., and, as soon as the regular south- 
east trade winds set in, they sail for home, thus having a 
fair wind each way. At all the points which we visited in 
New Guinea we found the most popular articles of trade to 
be salt, tobacco, red cloth, tomahawks, knives, and fishhooks. 
We made a run up the Kapaina River, which 
We flows into the head of Port Romilly, and about 

Establish ten mi j es f rom j ts mout h we entered the 

Friendly 

Relations. Wame River, which we ascended to the vil- 
lage of Evarra. A few gifts established 
friendly relations with the natives and they insisted upon our 
remaining with them all night. While they were crowding 
around us and examining our clothing with the greatest cu- 
riosity, we heard a pig squealing as if in mortal agony. On 
looking into the matter we found that they had lashed the 
poor animal to a stout pole supported upon a wooden frame- 
work and lighted a fire under it for the purpose of cooking it 
alive! We protested, through the interpreter, against this 
fiendish cruelty, and insisted that the pig must be killed or we 
would shoot it, whereupon two of the natives speared it. They 
seemed greatly surprised at this, and informed us, also 
through the interpreter, that sometimes they drown pigs and 
sometimes club them to death ; but they insisted that the flesh 
tasted far better when cooked alive, and they wished to cook 
it in this way on the present occasion out of respect for us. 

The frogs kept up a lively chorus all night, and myriads of 
beautiful fireflies flashed like stars among the tall forest trees 
which surrounded us. The dismal falsetto howls of the 
native dogs, which are evidently of the same race as the 
Australian dingoes, reminded us to some extent of the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 361 

howling of the Siberian dogs, though the cry of the latter is 
infinitely less strident. 

It was some time after midnight that we 
Another heard a great commotion going on in the vil- 

Strcnuous lage, and supposing that enemies were mak- 
Night. m g an attack, we seized our firearms and 
rushed out of the house in which we had been 
sleeping. The dogs were howling, the natives were shouting, 
and a pig was squealing in a way that was positively deafen- 
ing. Upon investigation we found that a crocodile had seized 
a large pig that was quietly sleeping by its owner's door and 
was making off with it to the river. The natives rushed to the 
rescue with torches, spears, and war clubs, but in spite of all 
their efforts the crocodile made good its retreat to the river 
and carried the pig along with it. The natives assured us that 
crocodiles often enter hamlets at night and boldly carry off 
pigs, dogs, and even people; consequently they generally have 
a strong fence or hedge between the houses and the river in 
order to guard against the raids of these reptiles. 

We found the surrounding country well watered; the 
streams abounding in wild ducks, curlews, plovers, sand- 
pipers, and kingfishers, while flocks of beautiful creamy-white 
pigeons fly about among the tall forest trees, and many quiet 
pools which we passed were covered with fragrant water lilies 
of a beautiful blue shade with a vivid yellow center. Others 
were pure white, or yellow, or light blue with white centers. 
We found also many very large, sweet-scented crinum lilies 
growing along the banks, and in one place we came upon a 
vine covered with huge clusters of large flowers of the most 
vivid scarlet I have ever seen. 

The steamy heat was fairly sweltering, and, while I am 
certain the climate would be most unhealthy for a white man, 
these very conditions seem to be unusually favorable to the 
blacks and also to the growth of orchids. I have never seen 



362 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

so many nor such a variety of these flowers in any other place. 
We employed the natives to make a very large collection 
of these orchids for us, but for some reason they never look 
so well in hothouse or garden as they do in their natural wild 
surroundings. 

We saw a number of graves, each one of which had 
planted alongside the body a stake on which were hung the 
utensils which the deceased used during life. The stake by 
a man's grave, for example, was hung with spears, war clubs, 
bows, arrows, etc., while that on the grave of a woman was 
hung with her skirt, bonnet, cooking utensils, etc. These arti- 
cles are always broken or "killed," as they believe that the 
soul of the deceased uses the souls of the articles in the future 
life. Some years afterwards I saw the same custom followed 
among the Eskimos in Alaska. 

While we were looking at one of the graves 

More a cou P^ e f native dogs started up an iguana, 

Jungle but instead of trying to escape the fierce crea- 

Game. ture stood them both off by the vigorous use 

of its sharp teeth and the cutting blows of 

its long tail. One of the natives rushed at it with a club, but 

it darted away, and another shot it dead with an arrow as it 

was running up the trunk of a large tree. 

Walking through the bush we heard a peculiar booming 
call, which at once attracted the attention of the natives, who 
promptly concealed themselves behind trees and bushes, while 
one of them answered the call in the same tone of voice. 
Shortly after a fine pair of jungle fowl came into view and 
the natives shot both of them with their arrows. These 
stately birds were of delicate slate color and the male weighed 
eight pounds, the female a little less. 

The native dogs started a family of young wild pigs and 
were pursuing them when a full-grown boar dashed out of 
the bush and stood off the whole pack in gallant style. It 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 363 

was evident that nothing would have suited him better than 
to have the pack rush upon him, for he wheeled from side 
to side and champed his tusks as if inviting them to come on, 
but he looked so formidable that they took care to keep out 
of his reach. Two of the natives shot a couple of huge arrows 
into him, and although the wounds which they inflicted were 
probably mortal he scattered the dogs right and left and 
charged like a thunderbolt upon those who had wounded him. 
His charge scattered the natives as it did the dogs, and they 
ran up the nearest trees like squirrels, and then assailed him 
with their arrows. He fell as though exhausted, and the dogs 
made a rush to finish him, but quick as a flash he was on his 
feet and ripped three of them with his terrible tusks before 
they could escape. But this was his final effort, for a moment 
later he dropped dead. 

The natives place great value upon the tusks of these boars, 
and the larger they are the more highly they are prized. 
Sometimes a boar tooth is worn through the septum of the 
nose, but the general custom is to lash a couple of them to- 
gether and hold them in the mouth during battle. In this 
case the points of the teeth project from the side of the war- 
riors' mouths very much as they projected from the mouth 
of the boar; and they believe that this imparts something of 
the strength and ferocity of the boar to the warrior who 
thus wears his tusks. 

The young pigs on this island are colored 

Striped black and brown in alternate longitudinal 

Pigs. stripes, extending the whole length of the 

body, but upon reaching maturity these lon- 
gitudinal stripes assume a gray or speckled color, and some- 
times are even jet black. 

The natives not only hunt these pigs with bows and ar- 
rows, but also catch them in very strong nets made of the 
inner bark of the aerial roots of the pandanus. While the 



364 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

pigs are struggling in the net the hunters spear them to death. 
A small present of tobacco induced them to allow us to ex- 
amine the holy place, or innermost sanctuary 
An of the temple, in which their gods are kept 

Innermost behind a heavy woven curtain. These gods 

Sanctuary. numbered about twenty and consisted of 
wickerwork images representing sharks, 
crocodiles, and hideous nondescript monsters which bore no 
resemblance to any known living creature. 

They explained that whenever a cannibal feast is held they 
always convey the body (or bodies) with great ceremony to 
the holy place behind the curtain and present it to the gods ; 
and the gods always take out a bite to show that they accept 
the sacrifice, after which the bodies are eaten by the feasters. 

Each of the images behind the mysterious curtain is quite 
large enough to hold a priest inside of it ; hence it is not diffi- 
cult to understand how it is that the gods take a bite out of 
each offering. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 365 

CHAPTER XXXI 

AUSTRALIA AGAIN 

We sailed from Port Romilly and, passing through Torres 
Strait, crossed the mouth of the Gulf of Carpentaria and an- 
chored in the mouth of the Liverpool River, on the north 
coast of Australia, in latitude 12 S. and longitude 134 
14' E. Here we found a well-sheltered an- 
^ e chorage, safe from all winds, under the south 

Dangerous s ^ e ^ Entrance Island, in nine fathoms, 
Streams muddy bottom. Next day after our arrival 

a revenue cutter visited us to find out whether 
Rivers. , . , . e . . 

we were engaged in fishing for either pearls 

or trepang, in which case we would be obliged to pay the reg- 
ular license. Finding that we were only collecting curios 
they warned us to beware of treachery on the part of the local 
blacks, who had recently made several unprovoked attacks 
upon Malay praus and European pearling vessels. 

The river affords ideal hiding places for the natives, for 
both banks are heavily timbered and the whole district abounds 
in game. On the western bank a densely wooded range, rising 
to a height of 150 feet, approaches close to the belt of man- 
grove which lines the water's edge, while the eastern bank 
is low and is also heavily timbered. For the first twelve miles 
or so we found both banks so thickly overgrown with man- 
grove that it was almost impossible for any one except perhaps 
an experienced black fellow to effect a landing ; but higher up 
the ground is clearer of timber, with open grassy plains here 
and there along the banks that are lined with fan palms, cab- 
bage palms, eucalyptus, and paper-bark trees. 



366 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The river is lively with crocodiles and wild ducks. King- 
fishers and ibis gather here in great numbers, and beautiful 
white cockatoos are so plentiful as to literally cover the trees 
at sundown. At first we saw nothing of the natives, though 
we knew they were watching us, for we discovered smoke 
ascending from several signal fires. Knowing themselves to 
be guilty of many murders of white men, they supposed we 
knew it, too, and believed that we were laying some kind of a 
trap for them ; so they kept pretty far out of our way. 

They showed their treacherous nature in the instance oi 
a small Malay vessel which was anchored a few weeks pre- 
vious to this in the same place where we now were. It is 
commonly supposed that the Australian blacks never make 
an attack at night because they are afraid of the terrible Bun- 
yip which prowls about in the bush at night and devours 
every black that he can catch away from his fire for the Bun- 
yip will not come within sight of a fire. The blacks do not 
like to leave their fires at night, nevertheless they have fre- 
quently been known to murder white settlers and burn their 
houses during the hours of darkness. This was the case with 
the small vessel to which I have referred ; for the blacks swam 
quietly out to her while the whole crew was fast asleep and 
murdered all but two men who managed to escape, one of 
whom was the captain. The next season the brother of the 
murdered Malay captain anchored in the same place and made 
friends with the blacks by giving them liberal gifts of to- 
bacco. Finally he induced a large number of them to come 
to Entrance Island, which is three-quarters of a mile long 
and sixty-five feet high, and there opened upon them with 
the two-pound guns with which his ships were equipped. A 
few of the blacks managed to get into the water and tried to 
escape by swimming, but the Malays were in their canoes ready 
for them, and killed them off to a man with the aid of poi- 
soned arrows and spears. 



OF CAPTAIN QUJNTON 367 

We had come to the Liverpool River for the purpose of 
obtaining Australian curios, particularly boomerangs; and, 
finding that none of the blacks came on board, or bothered 
about us, we ascended the stream to where the Taylor and 
Tomkinson Rivers flow into it from the east, about a mile 
and a half above Bat Island. We went about ten miles up the 
Tomkinson River, which is much larger than the Taylor River, 
and is very crooked besides, though it has an average width 
of about eighty yards and an average depth of five fathoms. 

As yet we had seen nothing of the natives hereabouts, 
though it was evident that they were watching us closely, for 
we could hear their long-drawn "coo-ee" reverberating now 
and again through the bush. 

We were running close to shore while rounding a bend of 
the river, when suddenly a spear came whizzing through the 
air and struck the bow of our launch with such force that 
the point passed clean through the planking. The very next 
instant a dozen or more armed savages appeared upon the 
bank brandishing spears and yelling defiance as mysteriously 
as though they had risen out of the earth. Instead of firing 
at them, we held up some pieces of tobacco and motioned to 
them to come and get it. After conferring among themselves 
they beckoned us to come ashore ; but by this time there were 
so many warriors in sight and so many convenient hiding 
places from which they could hurl spears without exposing 
themselves to our fire that we preferred not to accept of their 
insistent hospitality. 

The injury to the launch could be easily re- 
Again paired, and we had no desire to kill any of 

We Are them unnecessarily. But when we held up 

Invited .., 

Ashore. our n "es to show that we were armed, in- 
stantly every savage disappeared. It was as 
though the earth had swallowed them up. Their dexterity 
in hiding is marvelous. They can completely conceal them- 



368 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

selves in grass or behind small bushes where one would think 
a cat could scarcely find cover. 

About a mile farther on we came to a place clear of trees, 
though the ground was covered with long thick grass, and 
here we halted. As usual a number of blacks loomed up in 
the distance, and one came running towards us hailing us in 
broken English. He explained that he had been engaged in 
pearl-fishing and could talk "old fellow English" like a white 
man. 

For some unaccountable reason they apply the name "old 
fellow" to almost everything, and are continually begging for 
old fellow tobacco, old fellow knife, old fellow tomahawk, etc. 
They also beg for old fellow coat and old fellow hat, though 
they would not wear these things after obtaining them. Noth- 
ing would induce them to wear clothing under any circum- 
stances, except when they enter a town on a begging expedi- 
tion, when they are obliged to wear some manner of drapery 
for fear of being arrested. 

Our guest was wildly delighted when one of our men 
presented him with tobacco and a clay pipe; and when we 
asked him why the other blacks were afraid to come and trade 
with us he waved his hand contemptuously in the direction 
from which he had come, and exclaimed, "Him fellow all same 
fools." Like all South Sea Islanders he was anxious to ob- 
tain "whikky" (whiskey), but we always persistently refused 
to furnish them with liquor or firearms on any pretext what- 
soever. 

Our friend explained that his name was Burroloola, and, 
being told that we wished to trade for boomerangs and other 
native implements, he disappeared and soon returned with a 
whole armful of boomerangs, for which we paid him liberally. 
Many more native islanders had drawn near by this time, and 
meanwhile were growing as friendly as they had previously 
been suspicious. We secured a good collection of implements, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 369 

shields, nulla-nullas, wummeras, stone axes, etc., besides a 
number of unique mosquito nets very neatly made of finely 
plaited grass. 

It seemed to me very strange that these blacks had never 
learned to use bows and arrows ; for the Malays who visit the 
coast use bows and arrows for hunting as well as in their fre- 
quent fights with the blacks, and these weapons are so vastly 
superior to spears that one would suppose the blacks would 
see the advantage and adopt them. 

Having established friendly relations with the blacks, we 
returned to our ship ; and after that they visited us every day 
bringing weapons and curios to exchange. We were con- 
stantly on a sharp lookout for treachery, however. 

Two days after our arrival, Burroloola invited 
A us to A Big Fellow Fight to be held at a large 

"Big Fellow camp of blacks several miles up the Tomkin- 
Fight." son River, and he took pains to assure us that 
the star attraction of the night would be a 
most unusually brilliant and terrific "big fellow fight." It 
was scarcely necessary to tell us this, for I believe the Aus- 
tralian blacks would not consider any red letter night worthy 
the name if it did not include a knock-down fight or two, 
which they regard as the choicest of pleasures. 

We said yes, we would come, and reached the camp late 
in the afternoon. As is customary on such occasions we found 
the warring parties camped together and apparently fraterniz- 
ing in the most friendly manner without the slightest sign of 
hostility. The participators in the fight were painted red and 
white and decorated with much white down off the eagle- 
hawk, carried in thin wavy lines from the shoulders to the 
knees and pasted on the face with iguana fat, which sticks 
like mucilage. 

About an hour before sundown the peacefulness of the 
scene was changed in a twinkling. Both parties drew up in 



370 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

battle array and began abusing each other in the way that 
precedes a fight, while the women stood in the rear and 
shrieked like fiends, by way of urging them on. It would be 
impossible to say just when the fight began, but spears and 
boomerangs began suddenly to fly through the air at such a 
rapid rate that it was little less than marvelous how any of the 
combatants escaped instant death from them. And their yells 
of defiance and war cry were deafening. 

The women and children kept the warriors supplied with 
spears, stones and boomerangs, and when these missiles were 
exhausted or broken they rushed in and attacked each other 
like maniacs, with their shields and waddies, apparently be- 
coming more and more enraged every moment, until at last 
they were fighting with such demoniacal fury that it seemed 
as though the general shrieking pandemonium could end in 
nothing less than the annihilation of every one concerned in it. 
But these people defend themselves with such marvelous skill 
that no one was killed, though many were bleeding from 
wounds which would surely have killed any ordinary white 
man. 

Every detail of the fight was conducted according to strict 
rules and regulations, and it must be said to their credit that 
they always fight fairly. The battle stopped at sunset, and 
when it was ended every trace of enmity apparently ended with 
it, for both parties began instantly to prepare for the dance 
which was to follow. 

Burroloola informed us that the combatants had been hunt- 
ing together and it was their custom to celebrate the occasion 
with a social fight and a dance before separating. After the 
fight is over each war party takes its turn in dancing for the 
amusement of the other until daylight, when they part on 
good and friendly terms. When we left for our ship, the two 
parties who had lately been, to all intents and purposes, trying 
to slaughter one another, were dancing together in the most 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 371 

amicable way. Even after we lost sight of them altogether the 
yelling of the dancers, the dismal howls of the dingos, and the 
wailing chant of the women could be heard resounding with 
weird effect through the midnight silences of the lonely river. 
The river is beautifully bordered with tropi- 
The Old ca ^ fl wers an d shrubs and on that night the 
Enemies moonlight imparted an indescribable charm to 
Again. j ts ^^p beauty; but the moonlight also re- 

vealed to us innumerable small, dark objects 
floating upon the surface, each of which represented a silent 
but deadly crocodile in quest of prey. At frequent intervals 
wild ducks, swans, pelicans, spoonbills, and other aquatic birds 
rose from the water at our approach and flew away with 
cries of alarm. We could not help wondering how they man- 
aged to escape the crocodiles, which swarm so thickly in every 
portion of the river. In spite of the ever present crocodiles, 
however, the river contains plenty of excellent fish and the 
natives have several interesting ways of catching them, one of 
the most peculiar of which is this : 

They find a hollow log, and hitch a rope made of currajong 
bark around the larger end, and sink the log to the bottom of 
the river, where they allow it to remain for a couple of days 
or more. Crabs, eels, and fish of various kinds take refuge 
inside the log, probably bent on avoiding the crocodiles. A 
fisherman then draws the larger end of the sunken log to the 
surface and hauls it ashore by means of a rope while another 
man dives down and covers the small end with a pad of curra- 
jong bark to prevent the escape of the catch. One day two 
natives hauled up a large log in this way near to where 
we were anchored, and among its other contents was a poison- 
ous sea snake marked with alternate brown and yellow bands. 
It is doubtful if these venomous creatures can see when out 
of the water, for it twisted about and struck wildly in every 
direction until one of the blacks killed it. 



372 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

These blacks, like all savage races, are be- 

Witchcraft Hevers in witchcraft, and the medicine men 

Again. or sorcerers of the tribe make an easy living 

by trading upon their superstition. When a 
man manufactures a new weapon of any kind whatever, he 
pays a sorcerer to sing over it, and endow it with power. So 
the sorcerer invents an incantation over it in some language 
which is not understood; or possibly he invents the language 
to suit the occasion, and guarantees the weapon to be charmed 
or bewitched, finally assuring the owner that it is more deadly 
and effective than it would otherwise have been. The sorcerer 
also does an extensive trade in charms of various kinds, par- 
ticularly pointing bones and pointing sticks. The latter are 
made of wood but the former are made of the femur or fibula 
of dead men, sharpened to a needle point at one end. The sure 
witchcraft way to destroy an enemy is to attach a pointed bone 
or stick to the point of a spear, then slip quietly into the dark- 
ness and point it at the enemy while he is seated at his fire, 
entirely unconscious of what is going on behind his back. 

The reader may argue that such childish non- 
Another sense can not possibly injure any one; but it 

Variation of ^ produce death in the same way as pre- 
Transmigra- .. , , 

tion. viously described in the case of the Maoris. 

A hint is dropped in such a way that it is 
sure to reach the ears of the victim to the effect that he has 
been "pointed at," and upon hearing this he at once gives up 
all hope and dies according to the programme, rather than 
disappoint his enemy. 

They all believe in a future state, though they entertain 
different ideas in regard to it. In common with many other 
blacks, they believe that after death the soul of a black fellow 
ascends above the sky through the strange black spot which 
is always so strikingly conspicuous beside the Southern Cross. 
The soul then travels all the way across the sky until it reaches 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 373 

the opposite side, when it is reborn into this world again. 
Since they became acquainted with white people, many of 
them believe the whites to be reincarnated blacks who have 
passed through these celestial regions. 

The tribes are divided into different clans, each member 
of which is usually named after some plant or animal, though 
there are also such totem names as wind, sun, water, cloud, etc. 
The blacks firmly believe that every individual is a direct de- 
scendant of the animal, plant, or other object after which their 
totem is named ; hence they believe that there is intimate asso- 
ciation between the individual and his or her totem. 

The deep-rooted theory of animal descent 

The forms the basis of their religious beliefs, and 

Kobong the object of the ceremonies associated with 

or Totem. the totems is to secure the increase of the 
animal or plant which gives its name to the 
clan. The totem, which some Australian tribes call the ko- 
bong, is not only the badge or emblem of the clan, but is 
also a family signal, an expression of religion, an intimate 
bond of union, and a regulator of the marriage laws and other 
social institutions. Thus a man must not marry a woman 
belonging to the same totem as himself, and if he were to 
eat the plant or animal which his kobong represents, it would 
be sure to kill him. 

The blacks believe that the obligation of mutual help is 
binding upon the totem as well as upon those who owe alle- 
giance to it, and if a man takes care of his totem, he expects 
the totem to return the compliment by taking care of him. 
Should the totem be a dangerous animal or a poisonous snake, 
it must not injure any of its clansmen ; and the ceremony of 
initiating the youths of the clan consists in teaching them the 
mysteries of the totem to which they belong. Every youth 
must pass through certain ceremonies of initiation, many of 
which are of a most revolting nature, before he can be ad- 



374 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

mitted to the secrets of the tribe and be regarded as a fully 
developed member of it. 

Every totem has its own ceremonies, and at certain times 
a long series of ceremonies connected with all the totems and 
extending over a period of three months is performed at a joint 
meeting of all the clans composing the tribe. The men of 
each totem wear the regalia pertaining to their particular 
totem during these ceremonies. One very common form of 
regalia (which must represent a very large totem) consists of 
down pasted upon the face and body with blood or iguana fat. 
The curious structures which some of the ardent tribesmen 
wear upon their heads are very carefully preserved, and their 
loss is regarded as the greatest calamity that can befall a tribe. 
These headgears are intimately associated with the totems, and 
women and uninitiated youths are never permitted to see them 
under penalty of very severe punishment or even death. When 
not in use they are kept hidden away in secret storehouses and 
only brought out on occasions of ceremony. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 375 



CHAPTER XXXII 

WAYS AND WISDOM OF THE SAVAGES 

Singularly enough, all the Australian tribes believe in a 
kind of Golden Age, when war and fighting were not known 
and universal peace and happiness prevailed. They have many 
differing traditions in regard to the way in which man fell 
from this blissful condition which existed in long-past ages; 
but they believe in a coming millennium when the Edenic con- 
ditions will be restored and peace, prosperity, and perfect har- 
mony will forever prevail. 

They use a light hunting spear five or six feet long com- 
posed of a light reed pointed with hard wood, bone, or obsidian. 
The wummera or throwing stick used by 
Spears these tribes is very neatly made of myall or 
as Slim o t ^ e man g rov e, both of which are almost as 
Pencil. tough as whalebone. With the aid of the 
wummera a hunter can hurl one of these light 
spears over two hundred yards. These spears are sometimes 
used for fighting; but their regular throwing war spear is at 
least eight feet long and five-eighths of an inch in diameter at 
the thickest part (about half a foot from the point), while the 
butt end is scarcely thicker than a common lead pencil. The 
head and shaft are all one piece of hard wood, and the point 
is sometimes plain but generally fitted with one or more barbs 
of wood, bone, or obsidian. The butt end has a slight hollow 
to fit on the hook on the end of the wummera, and to prevent 
it from splitting it is wrapped with fine kangaroo sinews 
smoothed over with something known as black boy gum. 



376 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

They also use a heavier kind of spear as a pike for hand 
to hand combat, but this is from nine to ten feet long and a 
little over an inch in diameter. Both the head and shaft are 
made of one piece of wood and the head is generally armed 
with three rows of barbs, extending about eight inches from 
the point, and all carved out of the solid wood. 

Besides the ordinary boomerang, they use a peculiar kind 
of boomerang with a horn or beak at one end, and Burroloola 
explained that this is used only for throwing at birds, because 
the horn makes it more effective when hurled among a flock 
of flying game. 

In addition to the ordinary straight waddy, they use a 
waddy shaped like a one-pointed pick or a capital L, and the 
sharp pointed head is useful in striking downward over the 
top of a shield or around the side of it. 

I knew of a case in Queensland in which a white trooper 
who was a famous swordsman tried to arrest a black man for 
murder. The trooper was armed with a cavalry sabre and the 
black fellow with one of these L-shaped waddies. I do not 
remember whether he had a shield or not. The trooper tried 
his best to cut down the black fellow with his sword. The 
savage not only parried every blow successfully, but severely 
wounded both the trooper and his horse without receiving a 
scratch himself. Finally the black man struck the point of his 
waddy clear through the nose of the white man's horse, caus- 
ing the terrified animal to rear and throw his rider. The black 
at this instant bounded away like a deer and made good his 
escape before the trooper could regain his seat or his feet. 

One of the very picturesque sights in these 

Fishing P arts * s ^ e nat i yes fishing with torches at 

by night on the river ; and one of the most sur- 

Torches. prising features of the fishing is their utter 

indifference to the crocodiles swarming 

around them. Two blacks always fish together in one small 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 377 

bark canoe, which seems so frail that a white man would never 
trust himself in it. 

This tribe, like all other Australians, are given to cutting 
frightful scars in their flesh, and some men, and women too, 
are completely covered with such huge scars that the wonder 
still remains how they ever managed to survive the operation. 
The patterns in which these scars are cut vary according to 
the taste of the individual and according to the district to 
which he belongs and the women do not usually wear so many 
scars as the men. 

During the rainy season, they commonly sleep in huts built 
something like low hay stacks. They first stick a number of 
light poles like fishing rods into the ground in a circle, then 
lash the upper ends together in the center, after which they 
weave lighter rods in and out among them like basket work. 
They then thatch this crude inclosure carefully with long 
coarse grass. There is never any chimney or windows either 
to these huts, and the door is usually so low that it can only 
be entered on hands and knees. 

Besides killing water fowl with spears and 
A boomerangs, one of their favorite methods is 

Clever to swim underneath a flock and drag them 
Decoy. down by the legs ; the length of time a black 
fellow can remain under water is astonishing. 
In some parts of the river they have stakes planted and hori- 
zontal poles laid across them about a foot above the surface of 
the water. After gorging themselves with fish, the birds light 
upon the horizontal poles and begin to doze. Without a sound, 
one or two black fellows concealed among the bushes on the 
bank, will slip into the water and swim under it to the perch 
upon which the birds are dozing; each wary boy dextrously 
seizes a bird in either hand, dragging them beneath the sur- 
face, where they are quickly drowned. 

It was especially amusing to watch them catching pelicans 



378 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

as they calmly swam upon the river. These birds, be it re- 
membered, are strong and bite savagely when caught, but as a 
matter of course a black fellow pays no attention to such a 
trifle as that, for he drags them down and breaks their necks 
before they have time to bite. They always break the neck of 
the bird at once and they do this so quietly and skillfully that 
we often saw a black fellow secure a number of birds out of a 
flock before the rest took alarm and flew away. 

Two or three blacks generally hunt together when they are 
going for birds on the wing with boomerangs. One man first 
launches his boomerang at the birds, and as they try to dodge, 
the second and third men hurl their boomerangs with unerring 
aim among the flock, and in this way they kill birds as readily 
as a white man can with a shot gun. 

They are particularly fond of roast snakes and eat the 
poisonous as well as the non-poisonous varieties. One day we 
were shooting birds along the bank of the river when one of 
the party came upon a very handsome and deadly poisonous 
snake, which at once showed fight instead of trying to retreat 
as they usually do. It was such a handsome thing that we 
were anxious to secure it without injury in order to preserve 
the skin ; so Burroloola caught it with a noose of bark on the 
end of a stick and held it under water until it drowned. The 
snake was only twenty inches long and its back was a rich 
dark brown, covered with bright yellow spots, and the belly 
was a brilliant yellow. Its head was black, like the head of the 
tiger snake, and it had a strikingly beautiful collar of vivid 
scarlet around its neck. After we had skinned it, Burroloola 
cooked the remainder upon the embers of a fire and ate it. 
Venomous snakes (which are akin to the cobras of India) 
are rather common along this river. 

One of the blacks started a snake which was five feet eight 
inches long and was covered with alternate bands of black 
and dark olive, with a yellow belly. Wishing to show his skill 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 379 

with the shield, he stood within two feet of it and poked it with 
the point of his spear. The venomous creature struck re- 
peatedly at him, but he dexterously caught every stroke on 
his narrow shield till at last the snake lay on the ground ex- 
hausted. He then severed the head from the body with a 
blow of his stone tomahawk and the blacks cooked and ate it. 

These people also eat a species of lizard which attains a 
length of seven or eight feet. They teach their dogs to hunt 
for it in the bush; but the lizards are so fierce that the dogs 
do not care to attack them without the assistance of their mas- 
ters. I have seen one of these lizards not only stand off two 
hunting dogs, but chase after them. They are very quick and 
agile and not only bite savagely with their long, needle-like 
teeth, but also deliver cutting blows with their whip-like tails. 
As a rule the dogs serve only to detain the lizard until their 
masters corre to their assistance and despatch it. 

One day we came upon one of these lizards 
Lizards devouring a poisonous snake, which appeared 

_ . an< * to have been very recently killed ; and Burro- 

Snakes, loola declared most positively that they kill 
and eat all kinds of snakes and that the snake 
poison has no effect upon them. These lizards also kill and eat 
such animals as opossums, wombats, and bandicoots, and we 
often heard one of these animals screaming in agony during 
the night when a lizard had caught it. I heard, not only 
from the blacks, but also from white bushmen in various 
parts of Australia, that snake poison has no effect upon these 
lizards, and it appears to be a fact. It must also be remem- 
bered that Australia has a larger proportion of poison- 
ous snakes than any other country in the world, for it is 
said to have sixty-two varieties and forty-three of these are 
venomous. 

The poison of a rattlesnake is said to have no effect upon 
a pig, and it seems also to be the same in the case of these 



380 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

Australian lizards, although scientists who have studied the 
subject declare that the venom of the Australian tiger snake 
is the most deadly of all known snake poisons. 

Finding that we wished to obtain specimens of different 
kinds of reptiles to add to our collection, the natives smoked a 
number of snakes out of decaying logs and old stumps. One 
of the first to come out of a very large log was a very fine tiger 
snake. One of the natives secured it in a small net and carried 
it on the end of his spear to the river, where he drowned it in 
spite of its struggles. On turning over some decaying logs 
by means of long poles, we found not only snakes but whole 
colonies of scorpions and centipedes. The centipedes, which 
were of a rich bronze color, were over a foot long and could 
jump several feet. One of our party had a narrow escape 
from one of these venomous creatures which sprang directly 
at his face, and he barely managed to jump backward in time 
to avoid it. I believe they are one of the chief causes of the 
chronic warfare which exists between the Australian savages. 
They undoubtedly cause the death of many a black man, es- 
pecially during the hours of darkness. But the tribal sorcerer, 
who has a keen eye to business, always attributes these deaths 
to witchcraft and the relatives of the deceased must pay him 
to discover the enemy who caused it. 

Like all the rest of the Australian blacks, they 

The believe in the terrible Bunyip, which prowls 

Fearful about in the bush at night and devours people 

Bunyip. w ho get out of sight of a fire. They claim 

that they sometimes see the tracks of the 
Bunyip in the bush ; but this mysterious monster has the pe- 
culiar habit of turning his feet other ways about in order to 
deceive people in regard to the direction in which he is travel- 
ing. Thus he will sometimes travel with his toes in front in 
the orthodox way, then reverse his feet and travel with his 
heels in front, so that no one but the medicine man of the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 381 

tribe can tell which way he is really going. Whenever they 
camp at night, they stretch themselves around their fires and 
everybody joins in a low, droning, yet musical chant for the 
purpose of driving away any evil spirits that may be prowling 
around, or the terrifying Bunyip; then they feel more or less 
secure so long as they keep within sight of their protecting 
fires. 

It is a curious sight to see them breaking firewood for their 

camp fires, for they always break it upon their heads, instead 

of across their knees as a white man does. The skulls of these 

blacks are so excessively strong that I have seen them bear 

with equanimity a succession of terrific blows any one of which 

I believe would have killed an ordinary white man on the spot. 

It is common for two men or two women of 

Strange the same tribe to settle a quarrel by fighting 

Methods an improvised duel in the presence of their 

Dueling. friends, and it must be said to their credit 

that they fight fairly. The women sometimes 
fight by scooping up hot ashes or embers upon pieces of bark 
and throwing them upon each other, but as a rule they fight 
their duels in much the same way as the men do. The two 
who are going to fight meet at the appointed place along with 
a number of their friends, and the one who has issued the chal- 
lenge stoops down and resting both hands upon his knees offers 
his head to his opponent. The latter grasps his heavy waddy 
in both hands and, raising it high in the air, brings it down 
with all his might upon the skull of his antagonist, which has 
no protection of any kind except the thick covering of tangled 
hair. 

The challenged man next bends down in the same way 
while the other delivers a terrific blow with his waddy upon his 
skull ; and this exchange of blows is kept up until one of them 
falls to the ground stunned or killed, and the other is declared 
the victor. 



3&2 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The tribes communicate with each other through the 
medium of intertribal messengers who wear a special decora- 
tion to show their calling; and these messengers are always 
treated as honored guests and never molested in any way, even 
though the tribes through which they pass are at deadly feud, 
as they generally are. Each messenger carries one or two 
message sticks marked with dots and notches which vary in 
arrangement according to the nature of the message which he 
carries. In other words, certain arbitrary arrangements of 
dots and notches are understood to stand for certain fixed 
meanings among all the tribes, and the messenger fills out the 
message verbally. 

They have also a very complete code of smoke 

Smoke signals which can be seen a long distance in 

Signals. the clear Australian atmosphere, but they have 

always shown great reluctance to explain to 

white men their code of smoke signals. 

If one man requires assistance from the other members 
of his tribe, he lights a small fire and places a handful of 
green grass or leaves upon it in order to make it send up a 
thin column of smoke. He then extinguishes it suddenly by 
throwing sand or earth upon it and, after waiting awhile, if he 
gets no response he repeats the same signal until the assist- 
ance arrives or some one answers it in some way, showing 
that his signal has been seen and assistance is on the way. 
By means of these smoke signals, they convey messages over 
immense distances in an incredibly short time. 

About three miles south of the Tomkinson River, the Liver- 
pool River makes a sudden bend toward the northwest for a 
distance of about three miles. It then makes a very sharp turn 
to the south. Burroloola conducted us to a place where we 
found excellent fresh water on the western side of the river, 
directly opposite the sharp turn where the river runs in a 
southerly direction. While we were filling our water casks, a 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 383 

buffalo cow and her calf came out of the bush and plunged into 
the river for a bath as buffaloes often do. 

We were watching them swim about and en- 
A joy themselves, when all at once the hideous 

Mother head of a crocodile rose above the surface of 
Young tne water an d the calf disappeared with a 
One. stifled cry of terror. The cow quickly re- 

gained the bank, where she ran up and down 
bellowing piteously for her calf, but catching sight of us, she 
bounded into the bush and disappeared. 

Perhaps few people are aware that herds of wild buffaloes 
are found all over Northern Australia and even extending into 
the north of Queensland. Of course they are not indigenous to 
the country, but are the offspring of some that were imported 
from the Malay Peninsula and were left behind when the sol- 
diers abandoned the settlements on the northern coast. They 
seem to prefer the coarsest and rankest kind of herbage, and 
at the time of our visit (March, the end of the rainy season) 
the coarse, wiry grass, which they feed upon, was higher than 
our heads. 

This northern territory is a sportsman's paradise, but it is 
of little use to attempt to hunt the wild cattle during the sum- 
mer or rainy season (December to March), partly on account 
of the heavy rains which frequently flood the low lands, and 
partly on account of the height of the grass. Even with the 
aid of a horse it would be most difficult to penetrate the rank 
grass, and the hunter would be likely to find himself face 
to face with a savage buffalo bull before he suspected his pres- 
ence. These solitary bulls are extremely fierce as well as cun- 
ning, and the blacks are chary of following their trails through 
the long grass, though they have no objection to attacking- them 
on open ground, where they have room to dodge. The blacks 
are so nimble that it is practically impossible for a wild bull 
to catch one of them in the open. 



384 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

While the crew filled the water casks we went some dis- 
tance up the river in the launch and were amazed at the abun- 
dance of birds. We passed acres of wild 
Acres geese and wild ducks, together with countless 
of thousands of white cockatoos, ibis, and ja- 

Birds. birus. The ducks and geese flew away at 
our approach, but the cockatoos flew about us 
and screeched at an appalling rate. The blacks who accom- 
panied us made good use of their boomerangs and brought 
down such quantities of birds that we could have loaded the 
launch with them. 

They called our attention to the fact that they used differ- 
ent kinds of boomerangs for different purposes. Their war 
boomerangs are made of very hard, heavy wood which would 
instantly sink in water and be lost; hence on the water they 
use the hooked boomerangs, made of a lighter kind of wood, 
which floats on the water and is easily recovered. 

A little further on, we saw numbers of Torres Strait pig- 
eons, doves, turkeys, parrots, spoonbills, quail, jungle fowl, 
and many beautiful small birds of which we did not know the 
name. In one place where the grass was low we came upon a 
flock of native companions which were amusing themselves as 
usual by dancing, what looked to us like minuets and qua- 
drilles, and bowing to each other in the most artistic and grace- 
ful manner. No one could help admiring these graceful birds, 
and an old bushman would consider it little short of murder to 
kill one of them. They are easily domesticated, and not only 
make affectionate pets, but are particularly useful in killing 
poisonous snakes and protecting domestic fowls from the at- 
tacks of crows and eagle-hawks, which are very destructive to 
all kinds of poultry in the bush. 

On rounding a sharp bend in the river, about two miles 
south of our landing place, we came upon a very fine barra- 
munda sunning itself upon a log. One of our blacks instantly 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 385 

launched his spear in its direction, but it caught sight of us 
and plunged into the water in time to avoid the missile, which 
grazed the log on which it had been reclining and stuck fast 
in the bank beyond. 

The jungle scenery along the river is most entrancing and 
includes towering gum trees, banyans, flowering vines, and 
handsome ferns growing in greatest luxuriance down to the 
water's edge. 

We also found a sort of thorn which the bushmen call the 
"wait awhile," or "bush lawyer/' which is very troublesome 
and exasperating, for it is armed with sharp, hooked thorns 
which easily tear even the strongest clothing. 

Burroloola told us that he and some companions were once 
on a hunting expedition and camped at night quite a long dis- 
tance from the river; but during the night a crocodile crept 
out of the bush so silently that it seized one of the dogs before 
these animals were aware of its presence, although the native 
dogs are uncommonly alert. The cries of the dog quickly 
aroused the camp and Burroloola and some of his companions 
instantly assailed the crocodile with blazing sticks from the 
fire, while some of the others attacked it with their spears. 
One man ran up and endeavored to spear it, but the reptile, 
with a blow of its tail, broke both of the man's legs. It re- 
leased the dog and, seizing the wounded man in its jaws, 
bounded away with him into the bush before his companions 
had time to haul him out of its reach. The other savages were 
afraid to pursue it in the darkness for fear of evil spirits. 

Seeing a couple of kangaroos drinking on the edge of the 
river, we shot them for the blacks who accompanied us; and 
as they could not carry them in their frail bark canoes, we 
ran in shore and took them aboard the launch. One of the 
native dogs ran into the bush and was left behind, but when 
we reached the middle of the stream he appeared upon the 
bank and started to swim towards the launch. He had pro- 



3 86 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

ceeded only a few yards when a crocodile seized him ; but in- 
stead of sinking at once as these reptiles usually do when they 
seize a victim, he gave his head an upward twitch and de- 
liberately threw the dog high in the air, then seized him as he 
came down and instantly plunged beneath the surface. 

The nights on the river were indescribably 
"More beautiful, for the extraordinary brilliancy of 
J rk >" the moonlight rendered every object almost 
Pork." as Kg nt as day an d the strange sounds which 
came from the depths of the surrounding for- 
est added a touch of weird melancholy to the lonely scene. 
Usually a small brown owl kept up a hoarse, dismal croak 
sounding exactly like "more pork, more pork," while the loud 
croaking of the bull frog mingled with the long-drawn howls 
of the prowling dingos and the occasional shriek of some night 
bird, made night strangely lonely. At earliest dawn, these 
weird sounds give place to the wild guffaws of the laughing 
jackass and the delightful music of magpies, whose tones re- 
semble a combination of the flute and organ exquisitely modu- 
lated. 

Our parting from our black friends was as cordial as our 
reception had been hostile, and we next anchored in Port 
Essington, in latitude 11 15' S. and longitude 132 10' E. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 387 

CHAPTER XXXIII 

BUFFALO HUNTING IN NORTH AUSTRALIA 

This fine harbor, nineteen miles long and seven miles wide 

at the mouth, is almost land-locked. But the land on either 

side of the entrance is so low that it is dif- 

Port ficult to make it out and it is necessary to be- 

Essington. ware of Orontes Reef, which lies off the en- 
trance. Our chief object in calling was to lay 
in a supply of fresh beef from the wild cattle which are plen- 
tiful here. They are descended from some English cattle 
which the old settlers left behind when they abandoned the 
place. 

As usual, we first made friends with the blacks by means 
of some presents of sugar and other supplies, and they read- 
ily undertook to conduct us to a place where we would find 
cattle. Some of them came in the boat and the launch with 
us while others followed in their bark canoes ; we took /our own 
dogs along. Running up a small creek which flows into 
Knocker Bay on the southwest side of the harbor, we landed 
and struck out toward the west. 

The scenery resembled that of a beautiful park, for the 
ground rose with a gentle slope from the beach and was cov- 
ered with short green grass and fine trees. We saw im- 
mense flocks of pigeons and a number of natives. After 
trailing about a mile, we suddenly .caught sight of a herd of 
some twenty-five wild horses quietly grazing and apparently 
unconscious of danger. Having no desire to hunt them, we 
crept close and sat down to watch them. They were in splen- 
did condition and appeared to be a very fine lot of animals; 
their whole appearance seemed to indicate that the district 



388 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

was well adapted for stock raising. All at once one of them 
caught sight of the dogs and uttered a loud snort, whereupon 
the whole herd ran together snorting with terror and gazed 
at us for a moment, then bounded away with the speed of 
greyhounds. 

A little further on we heard cattle lowing, though we 
could not see them. Following the sound, we came in sight of 
a small herd feeding, while a magnificent bull stood with his 
head high in the air, evidently keeping watch over the others. 
Two of the blacks, who had been in the pearl fishing busi- 
ness, could talk a little broken English, and before leaving the 
vessel we had supplied them with a couple of pieces of bright 
red calico. The grass was not nearly so high as along the 
Liverpool River, and the blacks who were with us requested 
permission to stalk the bull and attack him with their spears, 
while two of them remained with us and held the dogs. 

They certainly gave a splendid exhibition of stalking, for 
the moment the bull turned away his head, they ran forward 
without a sound, but when they saw that he was about to look 
in their direction, they disappeared completely. Finally his 
suspicions were excited and he stood staring fixedly in their 
direction, when all at once we saw a piece of red calico slowly 
waving upon the end of a spear, though the man who held 
it was not visible. Without a moment's hesitation the bull's 
head went down, his tail went up, and he charged like a deer 
upon the scrap of red. The next instant the blacks sprang 
from the grass with a terrific yell, meeting his headlong charge 
with their spears, while the two who were back with us re- 
leased the dogs. Even when mortally wounded, the bull 
charged the blacks like lightning. They eluded his attacks 
with marvelous agility and the dogs, coming up at this mo- 
ment, began to snap at his heels. He wheeled and delivered a 
sweeping stroke of his horns, which cut one dog nearly in 
two and sent another twenty feet into the air, killing him on 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 389 

the spot. The rest of the pack beat a hasty retreat. Whenever 
the infuriated animal made a charge upon one of the blacks, 
the others danced around him and yelled like fiends to distract 
his attention. The noble creature was mortally wounded and 
bleeding from many spear thrusts before he fell. 

It was surprising to see how quickly the 

Shooting Wild blacks cut up the carcass with their rude 

Cattle. stone knives and carried every pound of it, 

skin and all, to the launch, which conveyed it 
to their main camp on the other side of the bay. Turning to- 
wards the north and proceeding about a mile in the direction 
of Kennedy Bay, we sighted another herd of cattle feeding, a 
bull standing on guard as usual. We approached within about 
three hundred yards of them, then all fired together, killing 
two of the cows outright and breaking one of the legs of 
another. The remainder of the herd disappeared in an in- 
stant and even the cow with the broken leg ran like a deer till 
the dogs brought her to bay, when we ran up and finished her. 
We skinned and dressed the carcasses in the usual way; but 
the blacks did not allow any part to go to waste, for it would 
be difficult to name anything in the shape of animal food 
which would come amiss to them. 

They carried the meat to the launch for us, and after get- 
ting it on board, we salted part of it in barrels, but most of it 
was cut in strips and hung up in the hot sun, which quickly 
turned it black and dried it almost as hard as a board. In 
this condition it seems to be capable of keeping indefinitely, 
but exposure to dampness is sure to spoil it. 

We visited the main camp of the blacks and found they 
were about to hold a corroboree in honor of a party of blacks 
who had just arrived on one of their periodic trading jour- 
neys from some distant tribe. Ignorant as they are, they have 
a well-organized system of trade, which enables the different 
tribes to exchange natural or manufactured products to the 



390 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

mutual advantage of both. They almost always start on these 
trading journeys in the fall (about March) because all the rock 
holes, springs, and water courses are then full from the regu- 
lar summer rains, and the routes along which they always 
travel have been fixed from time out of mind. These trading 
journeys occupy a long time, but the natives who take part in 
them are received in the most friendly manner and entertained 
with social fights, feasts, and corroborees everywhere they go. 

The party of native traders who had just arrived from a 
distant tribe wore sandals made from the bark of the tea tree 
(entirely different from the ti tree of the Polynesian Islands) 
to protect their feet from stones. These trees are generally 
so plentiful that they can renew their sandals at almost any 
point on their journey. In the company was the tribal sor- 
cerer or medicine man who wore a pair of sandals made of 
emu feathers matted together. This is regarded as one of 
their distinguishing marks, for no one except the medicine 
man ever wears this variety of sandal. The sorcerers or medi- 
cine men always wear them when they go to "point at" any 
man for the purpose of causing his death ; and, although the 
tracks which they leave are quite plain to the sharp eyes of 
the blacks, yet no one dares to follow them, because they 
know they are the tracks of a medicine man and they fear 
his magical powers. 

The regular corroboree ground of the tribe consisted of 
the usual open space in the forest, and every stick, stone or 
other obstruction had been very carefully removed from the 
surface, which was as level as a table. The dancers were 
painted as usual in imitation of skeletons with a mixture of 
ochre and stale grease; and several of them had adorned 
their heads with a pair of horns, which combined with the 
lurid glow of the fires to give them a strong resemblance to the 
common conception of the devil. 

The wild, wailing chant of the women, which sounded 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 391 

like the wailing of evil spirits, the dark background of gloomy 
forest, the skeleton-like figures leaping and dancing under the 
lurid gleam of the fires, the wild yells of the dancers, and the 
frantic howls of the dogs combined to form a scene which 
baffles the power- of description. The physical endurance of 
the Australian blacks is phenomenal, and instead of tiring 
from their frantic exertions, they seemed to gain fresh vigor 
as the uproar proceeded. The women redoubled their howls 
and beat their opossum skins with might and main; the 
dancers yelled as though they had gone mad and leaped from 
side to side with such marvelous quickness that the spectators 
almost turned dizzy from watching them; the dogs lay back 
on their haunches and shrieked as though they would split 
themselves, while their eyes seemed almost starting from their 
sockets, though the sagacious brutes took excellent care to 
keep out of the way of the waddies and other flying missiles. 
It began to look as though the dance would 
Relay g on a ^ night* but finally the leader gave a 

Dancing. signal, the whole performance instantly 
stopped, and the dancers gave three terrific 
yells to indicate the end of the first act, after which they dis- 
persed among the spectators to receive congratulations, while 
a fresh party of dancers immediately took their places. 

We sailed at daylight next morning, and passing through 
Van Dieman Gulf and Clarence Strait, anchored in Port Dar- 
win, latitude 12 28' S., and longitude 130 51' E. Our 
chief object in calling here was to pay our respects to the 
authorities of the district, who reside in the little town of 
Palmerston on the east side of Port Darwin. 

The town is built upon a peninsula which separates the 
main portion of the harbor from Fanny Bay, and is, for a 
tropical climate, very healthy. It is about sixty feet above the 
level of the water which almost surrounds it. The nature of 
the ground causes the heavy summer rains to run off into the 



392 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

harbor immediately after falling and thus prevents malaria; 
cool breezes blow almost constantly throughout the year. This 
constant cool sea-breeze is the only thing which renders the 
climate bearable for white people. The houses have no chim- 
neys, for on account of the intense heat, all cooking is done in 
outer sheds. The surrounding country would be a fine hunt- 
ing ground for any one who could stand the furnace-like heat, 
for it abounds with wild buffaloes, kangaroos, crocodiles and 
many kinds of wild fowl ; but the mosquitoes are very trouble- 
some in addition to the heat. 

We visited the main camp of the blacks, which is about a 
mile from Palmerston, and attended one of their corroborees. 
The more I saw of the blacks, the more strongly I felt in- 
clined to accept an opinion which I frequently heard expressed 
in Australia to the effect that the aboriginals are really a race 
of black Caucasians. 

As a rule, they have a very strong objection 

Natives Object to bein photographed because they believe 
to Being photography to be a species of witchcraft; 

Photographed, but our party managed to obtain a few photo- 
graphs by bribing them with sugar or pieces 
of tobacco. I have one of a black fellow named Yandinna, 
and I think most people would agree that he would pass for 
a European if his skin were white instead of black. White 
marks on his chest are a sign that he is in mourning, though 
white lines also indicate, when arranged in a different way, 
that there is a death to avenge. 

In general form and feature these Australian aboriginals 
bear a considerable resemblance to the Ainus whom I saw in 
Japan, though, of course, of a different color. The ornamental 
scars which Yandinna wears across his chest may be seen 
under the white lines, though they do not show very well in 
the photograph. I have seen the statement in print that the 
hair of the Australian blacks is woolly ; but this is a great mis- 



OF CAPTAIN QU1NTOX 393 

take. Their hair is never woolly, though it is generally curly, 
as may be seen in the case of Yandinna. 

Perhaps the most singular characteristic of this country 
is the huge ant hills, extending as far as the eye can see in 
every direction. In some places they cover, at intervals of 
only a few yards, as much as a hundred square miles, some 
of them measuring twenty-five feet in height and eight feet in 
diameter. The ants construct them of red clay, with fissures 
extending up and down the sides from top to bottom. It is a 
singular fact that no one ever sees these ants at work, no 
matter at what time of the day or night the hills may be ex- 
amined. There is a great difference between those I have just 
described, and the meridional ant-hills, which are only about 
four feet wide at the base and from three to six feet high. 
They taper regularly from the ground upward like a wedge, or 
the two sides of a small tent to a sharp ridge, and it is remark- 
able that this ridge always extends due north and south; 
hence their name. 

It is well known that these ants are terribly destructive to 
ordinary woodwork, and it would be interesting to know how 
such countless myriads of them manage to live where they 
seem to have nothing to eat. I heard here, as well as in 
Queensland, that these ants will devour every known kind of 
Australian timber except one, the cypress pine. This timber 
is consequently in great demand and gangs of Chinamen are 
constantly engaged in cutting it. 

While the town of Palmerston is healthy for its situation, 
there is considerable fever and ague in the surrounding coun- 
try and a white man would hardly be able to work in it ; hence 
the Chinamen, who seem to be climate and disease-proof, carry 
on nearly all the work of the place and are said to surpass the 
whites as gold miners. The land is well watered and so fer- 
tile that in some places the grass grows fifteen feet high. The 
Chinamen, though they seem immune to disease, are unfortu- 



394 THE < STRANGE ADVENTURES 

nately not proof against the black fellows, and while we were 
at anchor, the black men killed and ate three Chinese timber 
cutters, and then took refuge in an impenetrable swamp 
jungle which lies due east of the town and in which it was im- 
possible for the constables to follow them. The news of the 
calamity spread consternation among the local Chinamen, who 
rendered the following night hideous by beating gongs to drive 
away the devils who were supposed to have bewitched them 
and caused the disaster. A fat priest named Whang Bung, 
who was supposed to have great influence with the powers 
of evil, also burned a choice assortment of ill-smelling punks 
and offered several roast fowls to the devils to induce them 
to curse the black fellows for devouring his countrymen. 

The rivers and water holes abound with crocodiles, but in 
spite of these there are plenty of fish, and the blacks have 
several ingenious methods of catching them. One method 
consists in placing twigs and leaves of the bloodwood or eu- 
calyptus in water holes and leaving them all night. This stu- 
pefies the fish and causes them to rise to the surface, where 
the blacks secure them with their spears. Sometimes they form 
a sort of wall of coarse grass large enough to reach across 
a water hole and a line of men push this wall in front of them 
from one end of the water hole to the other. This grassy wall 
extends from top to bottom of the water, and the other natives 
who are on watch spear the fish which it encloses. 

When stalking such game as emus or kangaroos in an 
open place where there is no cover, the hunter carries a bush 
large enough to conceal him and walks slowly forward till 
near enough to hurl his spear or boomerang. 

Port Darwin is a common meeting place for various tribes 
from the interior and affords excellent facilities for any one 
who wishes to study the aboriginal blacks, though it is not the 
best place for collecting curios, because the white residents 
collect them for museums or for their friends. I was inter- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 395 

ested to discover, in making a study of the language used by 
the blacks about Port Darwin, that the native word for la- 
menting the dead is Keening, which is exactly the Irish word. 
Our party was anxious to secure the heads of 
Wary a few buffalo bulls to add to their collection, 

Buffaloes. but learned that it would be easier to secure 
them in Melville Island, about thirty miles 
north, than around Port Darwin. Buffaloes are plentiful 
enough all over Northern Australia and are frequently shot 
in the very suburbs of Port Darwin ; but the surrounding coun- 
try is so thickly overgrown with mangrove, bamboo, and eu- 
calyptus that it is almost impossible to penetrate many parts of 
it. Moreover, these noble beasts are so tenacious of life that 
they can run like greyhounds after being mortally wounded, 
and are almost certain to escape in the thick bush unless they 
can be shot in an open place. In several instances a buffalo 
bull has been known to charge and gore a hunter to death 
after the animal had been shot through the heart. 

We were also told that the buffaloes in the neighborhood 
of Port Darwin were shyer and more wary on account of hav- 
ing been hunted, whereas those on Melville Island had not 
been molested and consequently were bolder and less likely 
to seek cover. Accordingly, we sailed from Port Darwin 
and anchored off the southwest coast of Melville Island, about 
five miles to the westward of Cape Gambier, the southern ex- 
tremity of the island. This would have been a very dangerous 
anchorage during the northwest winds, but the regular south- 
east trade winds seemed to have set in and there was every 
indication of fine weather. 

Near the anchorage we found a creek which was said to 
be a favorite resort of both buffaloes and natives. Its mouth 
was bordered with mangrove as usual, but a little further up 
we found both banks lined with tall casuarina trees, the she- 
oak of the Australian bush and the toa of the Polynesian Is- 



396 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

lands. The stream swarmed with water fowl of various 
kinds, in spite of the numerous crocodiles which slipped from 
the banks into the water at our approach, and a flock of black 
swans flew overhead with their curious melancholy cry. 

Upon rounding a bend in the stream we 
A Buffalo caught sight of the head of a buffalo bull tak- 
Surprised. ing his morning bath. The moment he caught 
sight of us, he sprang out on the bank and 
stopped for an instant to stare at the strange intruders. The 
whole party of us fired together and he fell, though he did not 
give the peculiar groaning bellow which cattle always give 
when mortally wounded. The dogs sprang ashore a few 
yards from where he fell and began worrying his hind quar- 
ters. All at once he sprang to his feet and attacked them with 
such fury that they barely managed to escape the lightning- 
like strokes of his horns. His movements were so rapid that 
it was difficult to hit him, but we fired another volley, where- 
upon he threw his head in the air, and with a short, quick 
bellow, broke away and ran about seventy yards, and, with a 
deep groan, fell dead. 

He was a magnificent animal. It is no wonder the blacks 
are chary of attacking these wild buffaloes, though they do not 
hesitate to attack the wild cattle. This one was covered with 
short dark brown hair, but his legs were white from the knees 
down, and he had an immense pair of flattened horns, which 
measured seven feet ten inches from tip to tip. We cut the 
head from the huge body with an axe, took it aboard the 
launch and, leaving the carcass to the crows and crocodiles, 
proceeded on our way. A couple of miles further up we 
came upon a small herd of cows and calves bathing. They in- 
stantly stampeded at our approach and disappeared in the 
bush. We noticed that they followed a well-beaten trail which 
led off at right angles to the stream, and, leaving the launch 
in charge of two of the crew, we followed this trail about a 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 397 

mile, when we sighted two very fine bulls feeding at a distance 
of about two hundred yards. 

We were advancing quietly toward them when G., who 
happened to be leading the way, suddenly jumped aside just 
in time to avoid a stroke from a venomous black snake which 
was hanging from the branch of a tree, and struck viciously 
at his face. The deadly reptile made no attempt to escape but 
swung its head back and forward hissing loudly and gazing 
defiantly at us, until one man cut a stout switch and, with a 
vigorous blow, broke its neck. These deadly serpents, which 
are closely akin to the famous cobra of India, are almost invar- 
iably found near water, and have a habit of climbing trees or 
bushes and striking at any living thing that happens to come 
within reach. 

The snake having been dispatched, we all fired together at 
the bulls, mortally wounding one and breaking the leg of the 
other. The latter caught sight of some of the party and in 
spite of his wound came for us at great speed. The dogs 
closed in and began biting savagely at his heels, but he wheeled 
like a flash and attacked them so vigorously that it required 
their utmost agility to evade his onslaughts. The underbrush 
was so thick that the dogs were at a disadvantage, and in such 
situations they are likely to become entangled and be gored 
to death. On the other hand one of these buffalo bulls is so 
extremely powerful that ordinary brush seems to offer no im- 
pediment to his movements and he goes crashing through it 
after the manner of a rhinoceros. The dogs were wise enough 
to recognize this, and to keep at a respectful distance till the 
powerful beast fell with a bullet through his brain, though he 
was game to the last. 

In the meantime the other bull had regained his feet and 
disappeared in the bush. We followed his trail for about two 
hundred yards, when all at once he came crashing through 
the bush and charged upon us from an entirely different di- 



398 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

rection. Although we were taken greatly by surprise, he in- 
stantly received a volley which killed him on the spot. Upon 
examination, we found him to be so riddled with bullets that it 
seemed incredible that he had been able to make his last 
charge, but the vitality of these beasts is phenomenal. 

None of us wore much clothing, but the heat 

A Shower was so intense that it seemed as though we 

of Spears. would melt, and the flies were excessively an- 
noying. We had just finished severing the 
head of the bull when the dogs began to growl angrily, and 
as we were wondering what excited them, half a dozen spears 
suddenly came whizzing through the air and fell around us. 
Fortunately no one was wounded. Without a moment's hesi- 
tation we fired in the direction from which the spears had 
come, and it was evident that some one was hit, for one of the 
largest black fellows I ever saw sprang in the air with a yell 
of pain, then bounded away with the speed of a deer. We 
also caught sight of a number of other blacks, running at a 
pace that defied pursuit, and leaping from side to side with 
marvelous quickness, as they always do when retreating, in 
order to dodge the missiles of their enemies. We did not fire 
again at them as we had no desire to injure them except in 
defence of our lives, but we lost no time in getting the heads 
of both the bulls to the launch. 

We knew that buffaloes generally come down to the water 
early in the morning and near sundown, and the trail which 
we had been following was evidently one leading to a favorite 
resort. So we hid the launch under some overhanging bushes, 
I and climbed trees on the bank of the stream concealing our- 
selves among the branches. We had not been here long 
when we caught sight of thirty or forty blacks stealing quietly 
along the trail toward the stream, closely examining our 
tracks. 

They were all armed with spears, shields, waddies and 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 399 

war boomerangs, and came on without making a sound. Hav- 
ing reached the edge of the stream, they glanced very sharply 
in every direction, but seeing nothing of us, seemed to con- 
clude that we had taken our departure and began chattering 
excitedly among themselves. Several of them jumped into th& 
stream and began swimming about, and one or two stepped out 
on the opposite side and looked carefully up and down the 
creek. Suddenly one of the swimmers uttered a loud yell and 
pointed to the launch. This produced great excitement among 
them and at first they seemed inclined to seek cover ; but see- 
ing only two men in the launch, they all sprang into the 
stream together and advanced toward it, their spears poised 
over their heads, and uttering yells of defiance. Not wishing 
to kill any of them if it could be avoided, we shouted at them 
from the trees, and they hastily retreated, instantly concealing 
themselves in the bushes on the opposite shore. 

Knowing that it was useless to attempt to hunt while they 
were there, we descended from the trees and called to them 
in English (which of course they did not understand) that 
we wished to be friends with them. A few heads appeared, 
and holding up some pieces of tobacco we motioned for five 
of them to come across to our side and receive presents. 
Finally five of them ventured across and we gave them tobacco 
for themselves and their friends. Others came one by one 
until there were a dozen of them around us. Not being sure 
that we could trust their apparent willingness to be friendly, 
we boarded the launch and conversed with them by signs, but 
could not make them comprehend what we wanted to do with 
the heads of the buffaloes. We inquired if there were many 
of these animals in this locality, and one man who acted as 
spokesman swept both hands around the horizon to indicate 
that they were everywhere. He also patted pne of the horns, 
then tossed his head in imitation of a bull and made a motion 
of ripping up his stomach and throwing something in the air 



400 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

to indicate how buffaloes had tossed members of his tribe. 

These men were the largest, most stalwart blacks that I 
ever saw in any part of Australia. Perhaps their great size 
can be accounted for by the abundance of food throughout all 
this northern region. But they all seemed inclined to be 
treacherous and we found that it was somewhat dangerous to 
trust them. 

We made an agreement to meet a party of 
Our Biggest tnem next day, an( * at daylight they were on 
Buffalo. hand at the same place. They led the way 
through the bush to a place where several cat- 
tle trails converged upon the water from both sides. We did 
not disturb the cows and calves which came to drink and bathe, 
because the sound of the firing would frighten the larger 
game, which we were anxious to secure. About half an hour 
after we had taken our position, a very fine buffalo bull ap- 
proached the water on our side, and we were about to fire at 
him when one or two of the blacks pointed eagerly across the 
stream. At first we could see nothing in the direction they 
indicated; but a minute or two later we sighted the largest 
buffalo bull we had yet seen, advancing majestically from 
among the trees. His horns were of such enormous size that 
we decided to secure him at all hazards. The blacks quickly 
signified that they would cross the stream lower down and 
drive him over to our side, and the next moment they disap- 
peared in the bush as silently as snakes. 

The bull was in the act of drinking when all at once we 
heard the most blood-curdling yells, and the blacks sprang 
from the trees behind him, and assailed him with a shower of 
stones. They afterward explained that had they speared 
him, the pain would have irritated him to such an extent that 
he would have charged them and almost certainly escaped. 
The sudden surprise from the shower of stones and their fran- 
tic yells startled him to such an extent that he plunged into 



OF CAPTAIN QU1NTON 401 

the stream and crossed to our side, where he stood snorting 
and shaking his head angrily, as if meditating a charge upon 
his pursuers. We all fired together at a spot just back of the 
shoulder, and he fell like a stone; but, not wishing to trust 
to appearances, we ran up and gave him another volley just 
as he was in the act of rising to his feet. 

The whole party declared that this capture was worth all 
the others, for his horns measured eight feet eleven inches 
from tip to tip. I afterward learned, however, that still larger 
ones had been obtained in the same locality. We cut up the 
carcass for the blacks, who cooked and ate the whole inside, 
but did not attempt to eat the rest of the flesh because it 
is too tough. I have tried to eat buffalo meat on more than 
one occasion ; but, although I did succeed in cutting it after a 
prolonged effort, I never succeeded in chewing it, and I do not 
believe any one else ever did, for it is very much like sole 
leather. 

Shortly after, we fired at a bull standing about three hun- 
dred yards distant, and wounded him severely, but in spite of 
his wound he ran like a deer, and the dogs immediately 
started in pursuit. The blacks, who can run very nearly as 
fast as the dogs, led the way, and we found him fighting both 
dogs and blacks about a mile from the place where he was 
wounded, although one of his legs was broken in addition to 
other wounds. After disposing of him, we noticed for the 
first time that one of the dogs was missing and were greatly 
puzzled to know what had become of him. A shout from one 
of the blacks revealed his whereabouts, and we found him 
lying dead with a death-adder coiled close to him and hissing 
viciously. After pointing to it, the black drove his spear 
through the venomous reptile and held it up while it writhed 
and bit savagely at the weapon upon which it was impaled. It 
was evident that the dog had run upon the serpent while in 
pursuit of the buffalo. We all felt sorry to lose the faithful 



402 THE STRANGE ^ADVENTURES 

animal, and stood mournfully by while the blacks dug a grave 
and buried him. 

We secured several more pairs of horns during the day, for 
the buffalo in this locality were not so shy as in places where 
they are more extensively hunted. We also earned the grati- 
tude of the blacks by shooting a couple of young cows for 
them to eat, in addition to rewarding them with tobacco and 
sugar. 

We sailed away next morning at daylight and made a stop 
for one day in Hoya Bay, in the south coast of Ceram, in 
latitude 3 23' S. and longitude 129 34' E., where we oV 
tained a supply of maize, sago, and sweet potatoes. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 403 

CHAPTER XXXIV 

DANCING BIRDS AND DANCING FISH. A FIGHT WITH A MANTA 

We next anchored in McClure's Inlet, on the west coast 

of New Guinea, for the purpose of securing birds of paradise, 

which are not found anywhere else in the 

Birds world except in New Guinea. The natives 

of did not seem to be very anxious to assist in 

Paradise. the business in spite of the presents which we 

made them, but finally we secured four men 

who accepted the terms offered. Of course we could have 

shot the birds with our shot guns, but this would spoil their 

lovely plumage and the natives went about it another way. 

They conducted us several miles into the bush and pointed 
out some of the trees upon which the male birds were in the 
habit of dancing, but they warned us to keep under cover 
lest our appearance would frighten the birds. They did not 
seem disconcerted by the presence of the natives, who con- 
structed a house of branches in which we could watch. Late 
in the afternoon a number of the birds assembled in the trees 
and began their curious antics. No language could convey 
an adequate idea of the matchless beauty of these lovely 
creatures. It has been truly said that they seem to be the one 
relic which remains in the world to recall the glories of Eden 
and the splendors of the Golden Age. 

It seems a pity that such lovely birds were not gifted with 
sweeter voices, for their loud cries of "Wauk! Wauk!" are 
singularly out of harmony with their exquisitely beautiful ap- 
pearance. They would sometimes lie flat on a branch with 
their heads stretched out, their wings raised vertically over 
their backs, and their rnarvelously beautiful plumes, which 



404 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

rival the most gorgeous hues of the rainbow, waving in every 
variety of graceful motion and attitude. They are beautiful 
enough when seated upon the trees, but when flying through 
the air with their exquisite plumes flashing like jewels in the 
brilliant sunlight, they really seem like visitors from the 
realms of Paradise. The trees upon which they were dancing 
and leaping from branch to branch were fully three hundred 
feet high; and during the night the natives climbed two of 
them by means of vines or lianas and constructed two small 
huts, resembling bird cages, of bamboo and rattan at a height 
of two hundred feet from the ground. These they covered 
with twigs and leaves, and one man armed with a bow and 
quiver of arrows concealed himself in each hut before dawn 
while other men remained upon the ground. 

The natives almost always use bows made of black palm or 
the aerial roots of the mangrove for fighting and hunting, but 
they prefer bows of male bamboo for hunting birds of para- 
dise. The shaft of the arrow is a light reed, the head a piece 
of very hard wood, rounded like a bullet, so that it kills the 
bird by the force of its impact, but does not injure the feath- 
ers. When they wish to capture a bird alive, they use an 
arrow armed with three prongs like a small eel-spear. These 
prongs are made of hard wood and are barbed on the inside 
but the points are blunt. They shoot these arrows at the 
legs of the birds, and if it strikes, the weight of the arrow 
brings the bird to the ground. 

We were surprised to find that none of the birds of para- 
dise visited the trees the next day ; but the natives assured us 
that though they were often absent from their favorite play 
trees for several days at a time, they were sure to return. We 
found that the bush contained other beautiful birds, notably 
bronze-winged pigeons, and kingfishers of a beautiful royal 
blue with snowy-white breast and tail, coral red beak, and 
two long tail feathers, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 405 

As in other tropical countries, the best time to hunt birds 
is in the morning and evening, for, like the Spaniards, they 
take a siesta in the afternoon. The cries of the parrots were 
incessant in the early morning, and at intervals a flock of horn- 
bills would fly overhead with a noise resembling the stampede 
of a herd of cattle, but we did not hear any beautiful song- 
sters like the Australian magpie. 

While going along the bank of the stream 

A Host we sighted a wild sow and a litter of nearly 

A j full-grown pigs, two of which we shot. Our 

Warriors! native attendants were dressing them, when 
we heard the sound of approaching footsteps 
and a large body of armed warriors came into view, but im- 
mediately stopped and regarded us with evident astonishment 
as though not quite certain what to make of us. Each war- 
rior was armed with a huge long bow and a quiver of arrows, 
carried a shield upon his left arm and wore a wristlet of 
woven fiber upon his left wrist to protect it from the stroke 
of the bow-string. Our guides belonged to a place called 
Tabini, on the north side of the Inlet, and one of them who 
spoke broken English whispered that this war party belonged 
to a tribe of head-hunters, who were hostile to the people of 
Tabini. He was instructed to inform them that we were 
friendly and only engaged in hunting birds. 

They replied, through our guides, that they had heard the 
shooting and come to investigate, fearing that we were ene- 
mies, since this is a country where every man's hand is against 
his neighbor. While we were talking a flock of hornbills flew 
overhead with the usual loud, rushing noise and the warriors 
instantly let fly a volley of arrows which brought down over 
half the flock. The birds were black and their outspread 
wings measured five feet from tip to tip. The warriors 
wished to secure them for their huge bills, which measure 
about eight inches in length. It is a common custom, as be- 



406 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

fore stated, for a warrior to wear one of these huge bills on 
his forehead, secured to a band which goes around his head, 
with the point of the bill reaching as low as his chin a few 
inches in front of his nose. 

After a great deal of talk the warriors took 
"Umph! their departure and we returned to our camp, 
Umph!" where the natives cooked the pigs we had 
Walked shot. Late in the afternoon the two men who 
Away. had been on the lookout in the bird-cages de- 
scended to the ground and declared that none 
of the birds would show up that evening, but they would most 
likely appear in the morning. Shortly after this a very large 
wild boar walked deliberately out of the bush and took a lei- 
surely survey of our camp, gave an "umph" of contempt and 
turned to walk away. Several members of our party seized 
their guns to shoot him, but Kapuna, who had just been telling 
us how the natives hunted, cried out that they would kill him 
with their bows and arrows. So saying, he discharged an ar- 
row which wounded the boar in the hindquarters. The savage 
animal wheeled with a cry of rage and made at him with the 
speed of a race horse. Kapuna hastily slung his bow on his 
left arm and ran up a large tree by means of a liana which 
grew on the trunk, while the boar vented his rage by tearing 
at the liana with his teeth. The other three natives were stand- 
ing by convenient trees some distance away, and one of them 
began to dance and yell like a mad man. The boar seemed 
to take this for a challenge, for he charged upon the dancer, 
who saved himself as Kapuna had done, by running up a tree. 
While the boar was again venting his rage upon the tree, two 
other natives discharged a couple of large arrows which 
passed almost entirely through the boar from opposite sides. 
Either wound seemed sufficient to kill him ; but in spite of this 
he still endeavored to continue the fight by chasing his assail- 
ants, who constantly eluded his attacks by running up the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 407 

trees. He dropped dead at last from his wounds, and the na- 
tives cooked and ate him. We found his flesh too rank for 
our taste. Kapuna assured us that if a hunter attacks several 
wild pigs at once, and takes refuge in a tree, they will besiege 
him and take turns in digging under the tree until they suc- 
ceed in uprooting it, and bringing him down, when they will 
tear him to pieces. 

Shortly before dawn two of the natives again 
The ascended to their cages in the tops of the 

Dance trees, and sure enough, the paradise birds be- 
Paradise gan to assemble at daylight. There were 

Birds. eight males and several times as many females 
sitting upon the branches. Instead of begin- 
ning their dancing at once as we expected, their first care was 
to make their morning toilet, which each one did with the 
most scrupulous care. They lifted their lovely plumes and 
kept their extended wings gently waving as if in flight, while 
they turned their heads in the most graceful manner and care- 
fully inspected every part of their plumage. Each one uttered 
lit intervals the loud cry of "Wauk! Wauk!" while preening 
his feathers, which he did by passing each one separately 
through his bill and arranging it with the utmost care and 
precision; after which he took a final survey of his magnifi- 
cent plumage to make sure that his toilet was satisfactory. 

Having finished their toilets, they began their elaborate 
dancing, half jumping, half flying from branch to branch in 
the wildest excitement and uttering their loud cries of enjoy- 
ment as though the happy creatures fairly reveled in the pleas- 
ure of existence. The whole tree seemed filled with their 
lovely, waving plumes and they presented such a picture of 
perfect happiness that it seemed a positive sin to kill them. 
So intent were they upon their enjoyment that they did not 
notice their enemy in ambush before six of the males had been 
killed. The rest then took alarm and flew away. 



408 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

It was two days before they returned to their haunts, and 
we spent the intervals between their visits in collecting orchids, 
which we packed in crates made of lengths 
The ^ b am b lashed together with tough vines. 

Deadly Having finally completed our collection, we 
Katipu. had it taken on board the ship, and two of 
the party were rearranging the orchids in 
one of the crates which had just come on deck when a 
native who was assisting them suddenly uttered a warn- 
ing cry and pointed to something in the crate. Upon look- 
ing to see the cause of his excitement we discovered one 
of those tiny, but deadly, spiders which the Maoris call katipu 
ensconced in one of the orchids. Had it not been for the sharp 
eyes of the native some one of the party would most likely 
have met with a horrible death from its bite. 

This spider is about the size of an ordinary pea, black in 
color with a very bright red spot on the center of its back. 
Small as it is, it probably possesses the most deadly venom of 
any known poisonous reptile or insect in the world. Its bite is 
so very small that it can scarcely be seen with the naked eye ; 
yet it causes paralysis of the intestines and contracts them into 
knots; the victim suffers the most horrible agony for several 
days till death brings relief. This deadly insect is all the 
more dangerous from the fact that it does most of its prome- 
nading during the hours of darkness ; and although it will try- 
to escape if possible, it will jump a considerable distance at 
any one who attacks it, or if it thinks its retreat is cut off. 

The day before sailing we towed the vessel 
Dancing to Tabini, and while the crew were taking on 
Mantas. water there, we sighted something that looked 
like a number of shark's fins moving through 
the water. A closer inspection showed that the fins were mov- 
ing in a circle and not in the zigzag course which a shark 
pursues. I knew at once that it was a school of mantas "dan- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 409 

cing," as the sailors call their strange performance. The 
boats being engaged in watering, we secured a native canoe 
and a couple of paddlers and set out for the mantas with 
a harpoon and a coil of line. There were eight or ten of 
them swimming round and round in a circle about thirty- 
five yards in diameter, and as they circled round each one 
raised the tip of its outer fin a foot or two above the sur- 
face of the water,, while the fin toward the center of the 
circle was correspondingly depressed. These creatures bear 
a striking resemblance to huge bats. They are about twenty 
feet across the back, and as they move through the water 
their huge wings rise and fall precisely like the wings of 
a bird flying through the air. They are jet black above and 
pure white below; and although their every motion is the 
perfection of grace, their huge size, their long tails, and their 
bat-like form combine to give them a singularly weird and 
diabolical appearance. 

After watching them for a few minutes, G. drove the har- 
poon into the back of one of them, and the next moment the 
two natives backed the canoe with all their might as its vast 
bulk shot high in the air and fell back with a resounding crash. 
The force with which it struck the water threw up a mountain 
of spray which wet us from head to foot, and nearly filled the 
canoe. Before we knew what we were doing the manta darted 
away with the canoe in tow and we found ourselves going 
through the water almost with the speed of an express train. 
The strength of one of these creatures is prodigious and the 
strain upon the canoe was so great that I knew it was certain 
to be wrecked. At first the manta ran straight out to sea, 
then turned and ran a while at right angles to its former 
course; but, finding that it could not get rid of the drag 
which clogged its progress, it suddenly turned and came 
straight for the canoe and was upon us before we could get 
out of its way. 



410 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

"Jump for your lives!" I sang out, and just as we struck 
out the huge body of the manta once again shot out of the 
water and came down upon the canoe with crushing force. 
We all dived to avoid his attack, and when we came to the sur- 
face we saw nothing of the canoe but splinters and wreckage 
floating upon the water, but the manta and the harpoon had 
disappeared and that was the last we saw of either. 

A canoe from the ship soon arrived and picked us up. The 
blood and the commotion in the water had attracted the sharks 
as usual and we could see several fins cutting the surface of 
the water around us. We were glad to make liberal compen- 
sation to the owner of the wrecked canoe as well as to the 
crew of the canoe which rescued us. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 411 



CHAPTER XXXV 



OUR VESSEL BOARDED BY A HORDE OF DEVIL-FISH 

Next morning we sailed to the westward for the Philip- 
pine Islands via the Molucca Passage between Celebes and 

Gilolo. The third day out we caught a very 

A fine tiger shark, the most beautiful and also 

Jf. inc one of the most savage of all the shark 

Shark. family. Its back is a handsome brownish 

yellow, overlaid with black or brown trans- 
verse bands or round snuff-colored spots; and the arrange- 
ment of the colors is so harmonious that it presents a very 
attractive appearance, rather at variance with its fierce dispo- 
sition. The shark hook was immediately set again, and about 
an hour later we imagined that we had caught another, but 
instead of a shark we hauled up a large fish called, among 
the Polynesian Islanders, "pain" It was seven feet long and 
weighed three hundred pounds. Its back was dark blue and 
covered with fine, closely set iridescent scales. Its sides were 
paler blue and the belly pure silvery white. It had a very 
strong tail shaped like a crescent, and both the tail and fins 
were tipped with bright orange. This peculiar fish is about as 
dangerous as any shark. Its head is composed almost entirely 
of solid bone ; the gills and sides of the head are covered with 
bony plates of great strength and hardness ; the jaws are set 
with serrated plates of bone fifteen inches long and one-third 
of an inch thick, and the strength of the jaws is so great that 
the palu can bite a man's hand clean off at a snap. It is ex- 
tremely voracious and is often seen chasing schools of flying 
fish and bonito, It is ready enough to bite 3 baited hook in 



412 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

daylight, though for some reason it never seems to bite at 
night. The hook (an ordinary shark hook) must be attached 
to a piece of strong steel chain, for the powerful jaws of the 
palu would sever a rope as readily as a pair of scissors would 
cut string. 

We were becalmed while passing through 
At the the Celebes Sea, and the vessel began to drift 

Head- toward the innumerable small islands corn- 
quarters of . . ,_ 
Pirates. posing the lawi lawi group, at the southern 

extremity of the Philippines. Seeing no im- 
mediate prospect of a breeze, I anchored near a small island 
named Ubian, about eleven miles east of Tawi Tawi. The 
calm lasted for three days, during which time some of our 
party visited the main island; but we were anxious to get 
away, for this group is the headquarters of the most incorrig- 
ible pirates on these seas. 

On account of the heat the crew slept under an awning 
on the main deck. Some time after midnight of the second 
night I heard a sudden commotion on deck. My first thought 
was that the pirates had boarded us. We rushed on deck pre- 
pared to repel them, but instead of pirates we beheld a wrig- 
gling, slimy object which resembled a huge serpent, reaching 
over the rail and clutching the arm of one of the crew. In- 
stantly we knew it wasthe arm of either a cuttle fish or an 
octopus, and we attacked it with knives and cutlasses. But 
the flesh of these hideous monsters is extremely tough and 
rubber-like, and while we were hacking at it two more slimy, 
snake-like arms suddenly shot up into the air, where they 
writhed and quivered for a moment as if selecting victims. 
One of the huge arms became entangled in the rigging, but 
the other descended with almost lightning-like quickness and 
secured a death-like grip around the neck of another one of 
the crew. He would have been strangled to death if we had 
not severed the arm which was choking him. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 413 

While this was going on, the monster drew itself up the 

vessel's side until its hideous head appeared above the rail. 

The huge, corpse-like eyes gleamed balefully 

Besieged * n tne uncertam n & nt and its slimy, shapeless 

by body shone with a diabolical phosphorescence. 

Devil-fish. There was something indescribably hideous 
and repulsive in the huge, shapeless body with 
its snake-like arms quivering in the air, like the hair of Me- 
dusa; even the arms which had been cut off writhed and 
twisted about the deck like living serpents. Some one fired a 
shot into one of its eyes, and in an instant the monster released 
its hold and fell back with a loud splash into the water, where 
it lashed about in agony and disappeared in a long streak of 
phosphorescent light. 

It took some time to dress the wounds of the men who 
had been attacked and we had scarcely more than got to 
sleep when there was a fresh commotion on deck, and the 
watchman sang out excitedly, "Plenty devil-fish come 'board !" 

Again we rushed on deck where we saw a huge octopus 
lumbering about near the cabin door. Its long, sprawling legs 
were so bent, on account of their boneless, gelatinous nature, 
that its shapeless body was raised only a few inches above 
the deck. Before I realized the situation the creature shot 
out one of its arms and seized me firmly by the ankle, but the 
next instant some one fired a shot into its eye, and it relin- 
quished its hold. This had occupied but a few seconds, and 
we were glad enough to jump back into the cabin, for the 
deck was soon swarming with the monsters and more were 
coming over the rail. I shouted to the crew to go into the 
forecastle and close the door, which they did. We could see 
the brutes crawling over the cabin skylight and hear them 
dragging things about the deck, but it would have been worse 
than useless to attack them during the night. 

As soon as it was light enough to see, we opened the cabin 



414 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

door and looked out. Only three of the brutes were visible on 
deck, but curiously enough, a number of their arms were dang- 
ling over both rails, showing that the creatures themselves 
were hanging alongside as they are often seen hanging to 
rocks. After a short consultation, we made a sudden rush on 
deck and tried to cut off all the arms that were hanging on 
the rails, before attacking the three which were on the deck. 
But as fast as one arm was cut off, others shot up into the air 
and seized hold of the rails or rigging; and the water around 
the ship was all in a commotion from the octopi which were 
swimming around us and beating the water with their arms. 

In the meantime the crew (which was made up now of 
South Sea Islanders) rushed from the forecastle with loud 
yells and began a furious attack with knives and hatchets upon 
the three which were on deck. The tenacity of the brutes was 
something amazing. They fought till they were literally cut 
to pieces, but we soon cleared the deck of them. There were 
still plenty of them swimming all around us and we tried 
shooting them, but the bullets produced very little effect un- 
less they happened to strike their eyes, and it was nine o'clock 
before the last of the loathsome brutes swam away from our 
side. 

When we had time to look around we were amazed at the 
appearance of the deck, which looked very much as if pirates 
had boarded us. Practically everything movable had been 
dragged overboard. The devil-fish had not only torn the 
tarpaulins off the hatches, but had also torn the covers off 
the smaller boats, broken the machinery of the launch and 
dragged the oars overboard. 

The more I have thought over this incident the more 
strongly I am inclined to think that the crew of the Marie 
Celeste may have met with a similar experience, which in 
their case ended with dire results. 

The nearest place where we could have the launch re- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 415 

paired was Zamboanga, on the extreme southwest coast of 
Mindanao, in latitude 6 54' N. and longitude 122 3' E., 
and accordingly we proceeded there at once. The town, which 
is situated at the mouth of the Zamboanga River, is large and 
clean and has a long pier extending out to moderately deep 
water. Although it is only an open roadstead, it affords safe 
anchorage and is said to be one of the very few places in the 
Philippines which has never been visited by a hurricane. It 
commands the strait of Basilan, the regular highway for 
steamers plying between ports in the China Sea on the north 
and Australia and Celebes on the south; but at the time of 
our visit the excessive harbor dues and outrageous customs 
restrictions kept vessels away from it and killed the splendid 
trade which it would otherwise have enjoyed. One of the 
most attractive features of the town is a canal of clear, fresh 
water which runs down the center of the main street, each 
bank of the canal planted with fine shade trees. 

The town was founded as a base of operations 
The against the fierce Moro pirates and has the 

Beautiful begt climate in the Philippines. The tern- 
Town of 

Zamboanga. perature never vanes more than a few de- 
grees. It is beautifully situated on an exten- 
sive plain covered with cocoanut groves and innumerable rice 
fields, and to the east of the town lies the fortress of del 
Pilar whose strong stone walls proved of the greatest service 
during the piratical invasions of the Moros. The country sur- 
rounding Zamboanga is beautiful by day, and at night count- 
less thousands of brilliant fireflies, which the natives call alitap- 
tap, illuminate the forest like fairy lamps in every direction. 
The Moros, who are brave to the point of madness, are as 
superstitious as they are brave, and have one curious supersti- 
tion which bears a strong resemblance to the Australian beliefs 
in the terrible Bunyip. They believe in the existence of a ter- 
rible spirit, named Wok- Wok, who assumes the form of an 



4i6 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

ape and devours Moros whom he catches in the dark. Like 
the Australian Bunyip, he can not bear light of any kind. 
They also have an intense dread of the weird and melancholy 
cry of a night owl, which they regard with very much the 
same feelings as the Irish peasants regard the banshee, for 
they believe that its cry betokens death or misfortune to all 
those who hear it. 

The "pandito," who corresponds to the medi- 

Hideous cme man f tne American Indians, wields 

Superstitions, immense influence among them and lives in 

luxury by catering to their superstitions. He 
is consulted upon all matters of importance, and receives one- 
tenth of the plunder and slaves taken in all piratical raids, and 
one-tenth of all crops, fish, pearl and pearl shell. In return 
for this the pandito is supposed to invoke the spirits to assist 
those who pay him in robbing and murdering; and the people 
believe that if they fail to pay him, their next venture would 
end in disaster. The Moros are all nominal Mohammedans. 
Such a religion is especially congenial to the Moros, who are 
all natural born pirates, thieves, murderers, and slave-raiders. 
In fact a Moro would sell his father, mother, wife or chil- 
dren if he could make a good bargain by so doing, and their 
piracy is not quite at an end even yet. 

For three hundred years their fast sailing praus ravaged 
all the northern islands and penetrated every inlet, when they 
burned towns and villages, murdered the old and helpless, and 
led thousands of Christian men, women and children into 
slavery. Like the ancient Danish pirates, they depended upon 
making sudden raids upon their victims, then escaping to sea 
before the latter could muster in sufficient force to attack 
them in return. Their light craft were too fast for the old- 
fashioned sailing men-of-war, and they always endeavored 
to run into shoal water where the heavier men-of-war could 
not approach them without running aground. They would 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 

even watch for an opportunity to cluster around a solitary 
man-of-war and capture her, swarming stealthily on board 
and overpowering the crew by force of numbers. They 
neither gave nor expected quarter and every one of them 
fought with the fury of a demon so long as a spark of life 
remained. 

The Spaniards were equally brave when well led, but they 
experienced the same difficulty in getting at their slippery 
enemies as our own troops did in fighting the Indians. One 
of the best leaders the Spaniards ever had in these islands 
was Colonel Juan Arolas, who led an expedition against the 
headquarters of the pirates in the capital of the Sultan of Sulu 
in 1887. The pirates were strongly entrenched in their cottas 
(forts), consisting of walls twenty-four feet thick and thirty 
feet high, faced with huge logs of hard wood laid horizontally, 
the space between being filled with earth and stones. The 
Colonel brought a gunboat to shell the cotta from seaward 
while he led a landing party and attacked it from the landward 
side. 

Arolas asked if the Moro women would withdraw before 
the Spaniards stormed the fort; but they replied that they 
would accept no favors from Christians, that they could fight 
as well as the men and would take their share in torturing 
the Christian dogs after they had captured them. The Span- 
iards opened a furious fire upon the cotta, and although the 
Moros were cut down in great numbers, they replied with 
spirit by firing heavy charges of grape from the lantacas 
which they had mounted upon the walls. As the Spaniards 
advanced the Moros met them with volleys of spears which 
they hurl to a surprising distance and with unerring aim. In 
spite of the murderous fire from the pirates, the Spaniards 
resolutely advanced and mounted the walls at the same mo- 
ment as the sailors from the gunboat cut their way in from the 
opposite side. The panditos rushed about yelling to their 



4i8 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

savage followers that the gates of Paradise were open to all 
who died shedding Christian blood, and the Moros, who out- 
numbered the Spaniards six to one, fought with the fury of 
incarnate devils. The Moro women fought as ferociously as 
the men, but the Spaniards cut them down till not a Moro re- 
mained alive within the cotta. 

After this brilliant victory the Spaniards burned the pirate 
town of Sulu (now Jolo; pronounced Holo), and the Sultan of 
Sulu, who was the head of the piratical confederacy, was 
obliged to remove his capital to Maybun on the south side of 
the island. The Spaniards were not only greatly outnumbered 
in this battle, but their victory was all the more creditable to 
them from the fact that the pirates wore armor made of croco- 
dile hide, wire and buffalo horn. The Moros also use large 
round wooden shields ornamented with rays radiating like the 
spokes of a wheel from a painted disk in the center. They 
are not expert in the use of fire-arms, but are among the most 
desperate hand-to-hand fighters in the world. Savage as they 
are, they manufacture steel weapons of the very finest quality. 

They use two kinds of swords, one straight, 

Swords *ke otner waved ; the campilan, a two-handed 

and sword, wide at the tip and narrow at the 

Javelins. handle ; several kinds of spears and bolos. In 

boarding vessels they attack the crew by 
throwing javelins, a weapon consisting of a light wooden shaft 
and a sharp-pointed steel head about half an inch wide. Some 
of them can throw as many as four javelins at a time and 
make them spread out in their flight. But their favorite wea- 
pon is the bolo, which is frequently mentioned in the accounts 
of the fights between our own troops and the insurrectos. 
The bolo is a short, heavy sword with a blade about eighteen 
inches long and a handle about six inches ; but it has no guard 
for the hand like a cavalry sabre. The blade is about three 
inches wide at the widest part, which is about seven inches 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTOX 419 

from the point ; and from this it tapers to the point and to the 
hilt. The blade also tapers from a thick back to a razor-like 
edge, so that the weapon is equally effective for both cutting 
and thrusting, and the natives wield it with deadly skill. The 
blades of many of their weapons are very neatly inlaid with 
silver or gold and fitted with hard wood or ivory handles, most 
artistically carved and frequently ornamented with gold or sil- 
ver bands. Before going into battle the fierce Moros are in the 
habit of poisoning their weapons with the resinous gum of 
two plants, called dolit and hammaco. 



420 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

CHAPTER XXXVI 

IN THE PHILIPPINES 

One of the most curious institutions among the Moros is 
the custom of seeking death by running amuck; and the men 
who seek to end their existence in this way 
A are called juramentados (pronounced hura- 

Murderous mentados) from the word juramento, mean- 
Superstition. i n g a solemn oath. The laws of the Sulu 
make the bankrupt debtor the slave of his 
creditor, together with his wife and children ; and he can free 
his family only by becoming a juramentado and taking the oath 
to die killing Christians. Having shaved off his eyebrows, he 
goes before a pandito, who encourages him in his pious re- 
solve until he is brought to a frenzy of enthusiasm. The pan- 
dito sings to him an impassioned chant that holds out the most 
entrancing visions of the joys of Paradise and the perpetual 
happiness which awaits him, and the terrible pains and penal- 
ties which await him if he draws back. He reminds him that 
his act will free his family from slavery, and describes in such 
glowing colors the ravishing joys which await him, that the 
ignorant juramentado is excited to the fury of madness and 
becomes more of a wild beast than a human being. He knows 
that he is going to certain death, but that is but the door to 
Paradise and nothing can stay him. He oils his body and 
limbs and grasping a large kriss or bolo rushes forth like a 
wild beast and cuts down not only Christians, but every living 
thing that comes in his path, no matter of what race, creed or 
sex. 

On one occasion, one of these juramentados rushed at a 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 421 

Spanish soldier, but the latter ran him through with his bay- 
onet till the point of the bayonet projected from his back. 
In spite of the wound which he had received, the infuriated 
juramentado seized the rifle with one hand and made the most 
desperate efforts to kill the soldier with his bolo. 

But every story has two sides to it, and the 
O rcssion nat i ves na( * good reason for hating the Span- 
of the iards as they did. The cause lay in the cruel- 

Spaniards, ty, arrogance, and exactions of the friars, the 
oppressive taxes, the licenses and numerous 
fees, and other exactions on the part of the Government offi- 
cials, who robbed the people until they were reduced to the 
verge of actual starvation in the midst of plenty. Further- 
more, the natives were compelled to submit to usurious loans 
whenever they wished to raise money to carry on their do- 
mestic enterprise. If a native was not able to satisfy the 
claims against him, the government immediately confiscated 
all his property ; and the government officials fleeced the well- 
to-do natives in the most outrageous manner by enforcing this 
power of confiscation upon the flimsiest pretext. The Span- 
iards introduced all the horrors of the Inquisition, and it is 
not to be wondered at that the natives were driven to despera- 
tion and retaliated by inflicting the same tortures upon any 
Spaniards who happened to fall into their hands. 

Among other curios our party obtained were a number of 
suits of common armor, made of crocodile hide, together with 
several more pretentious suits which the chiefs wear, consist- 
ing of plates of buffalo horn joined together with rings or 
links made of steel wire. It is said that the Arabs settled the 
Sulu (now Jolo) Islands at the time of the Crusades and 
brought their religion and other customs and ideas, which sur- 
vive to the present day. It is also said that the Arabs taught 
the natives to smelt iron ore and make the splendid steel wea- 
pons which they know so well how to use and which are said 



422 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

to be equal to the far-famed Toledo blades of the Spaniards. 
We also obtained a fine collection of the lovely pina and justi 

cloth which I believe is not made in any other 

Interesting P art ^ ^ e worl d. The pina is woven from 

Methods of the fiber of the wild pineapple, which grows 

Weaving. extensively in the wild state and is also 

cultivated, not for its fruit, but for its fiber. 
This species (Bromelia pinguin ) produces leaves varying from 
three to eight feet in length. The leaves of the older plants 
abound in fiber of great strength and durability, but of coarser 
quality than that of the younger plants. The natives manufac- 
ture the fiber of the younger plants into pina cloth, which is so 
delicate that it resembles the finest gossamer or spider web ; and 
it comes in such beautiful designs and exquisite shades of color 
that it always commands a very high price. For this lovely 
cloth they choose only the best pineapple spikes, which they 
tie in the inside bundles of larger and coarser leaves, then 
place the bundles in a running stream, and cover them with 
heavy stones. They are left in the water for two or three 
days, after which each bundle is opened and its contents ex- 
posed to the sun and air for a short time. They then examine 
each piece to see if it has been sufficiently soaked to enable 
them to separate the threads from the woody fiber ; if not, it is 
placed in the water again. 

The threads are extremely fine and vary in color from pure 
white to grayish white and deep creamy yellow. Having dried 
the threads in the sun, they next beat them with a grooved 
club of hard wood. They moisten it again during this second 
beating to separate the threads, and after cleansing them from 
all flaws, they dry them once more in the sun, then spin and 
weave them, upon their crude hand looms, into pina cloth. 
When finished, the cloth shows the most beautiful iridescent 
colors, and is often beautifully embroidered. Among other 
uses, this pina cloth is made into very pretty scarfs called 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 423 

which the wealthier Filipino women wear around 
their necks. 

The justi cloth is made from the very finest quality of abaca, 
which is commonly called Manila hemp, though it is not hemp 
at all but a species of banana plant. The finest quality of abaca 
is called lupis, or quttot, and is of a beautiful pearly luster; 
but for some inscrutable reason it can not be produced in any 
other part of the world. The abaca plant (Musa textilis) has 
been introduced into India and many other places, and al- 
though the plant grows apparently as well as in the Philip- 
pines, the quality of the fiber is so inferior that the two can 
scarcely be compared. It grows best on volcanic soil, and in 
its wild state attains a height of eight or twelve feet, while 
in cultivation it reaches fifteen to twenty feet, with a trunk 
from eight to twelve inches in diameter. The stem is enclosed 
in layers of half round perioles, which are taken off and cut 
into strips two or three inches wide, after which they are 
drawn under a long, sharp knife to remove the woody fiber 
from the threads. The second quality of abaca, called bandala, 
is used for making the best ropes known ; and even under the 
slip-shod native method of working an abaca plantation is es- 
timated to yield thirty per cent, annually on the sum invested. 
There is probably no other place in the world 
Quick *kat a ff or ds a more varied assortment of rare 

Fortunes in and lovely orchids than the Philippines, but 
Orchids. many of those who have engaged in the busi- 
ness of collecting them have been murdered 
in the interior or have died from the bites of the venomous 
serpents which lurk in the lonely forests. On the other hand, 
numbers of collectors have come to these islands, and after 
spending a few months in the interior have returned to civili- 
zation with baskets of strange and beautiful orchids which 
they have sold for a fortune. 

It seems strange that so very few people know anything 



424 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

about orchid-hunting, which probably offers the best oppor- 
tunity of any business in the world for a man of adventurous 
disposition, wishing to make a fortune in a short time, and 
willing to engage in a risky occupation in which he can count 
upon making a fortune or losing his life. 

We made a run in a native canoe to the head of the Masin- 
log (or Masingloc) River, which lies about three miles north- 
east of Zamboanga. We also ascended the Tumaga, the Ria- 
chuelo, and the Julianan Rivers, all three of which empty into 
the head of the Masingloc. We secured many very fine or- 
chids, and in one place we found the bushes covered with the 
lovely flowers of a climbing vine, known botanically as clitoria 
ternata, or clitoria ternatensis. The Fijians often cultivate this 
vine around their houses on account of the beauty of its deli- 
cate, feathery foliage and the exquisite blue of its butterfly- 
shaped flowers. It produces the seeds in pods very much like 
the sweet pea. 

As my comrade on this particular expedition was reaching 
among the bushes and collecting some of these seed pods, the 
head of a green snake darted like lightning from the foliage 
and fastened its deadly fangs in one of the heavy buckskin 
gloves which he wore. He held his hand perfectly still, then 
coolly seized the deadly reptile around the neck with the other 
hand and deliberately strangled it to death. It twisted around 
his arm and struggled fiercely, but he held it until every sign of 
life had departed, though its fangs still clung to his glove. 

Fearing that the fangs might have penetrated 
g ^ the glove, I cut off the snake's head, then 

by a seized hold of it and pulled on it in such man- 

Glove, ner as to hold it as far as possible from the 

skin of the hand while the glove was drawn 
off. We found the fangs had not quite penetrated the glove, 
which were made very thick in the wrist and back of the 
hand, perhaps for this very purpose. The snake was green, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 425 

speckled with black, and upon close examination we discovered 
it to be one of the deadly hooded cobras which cause such ter- 
rible loss of life in India, and which are found all the way 
through the Malay Peninsula to the Philippines. 

Shortly after this, one of the natives who accompanied us 
speared a small green snake which they called dahon-palay 
(rice leaf) snake, because it is short and very slender and 
looks so like the rice leaf that it might be mistaken for one. 
Small as it is, its bite causes almost instant death. We also 
killed another poisonous green snake which differed widely 
from the last. Its body was short, thick, and strong; but its 
neck was very slender in proportion to the size of its body, 
while its large triangular-shaped head was armed with a for- 
midable pair of fangs and unusually large poison glands. 

The natives are particularly afraid of a snake which they 
call damonapoly, not only on account of its unusually deadly 
venom, but chiefly because it is extremely quick in its move- 
ments and is always ready to fight if disturbed. It is about the 
size of our own rattlesnake. The natives claim that a plant 
which looks very much like the Seneca snake root is an anti- 
dote for its bite if applied immediately. I also heard them say 
that a dressing of equal parts of wet salt and indigo will cure 
snake bite if frequently renewed. They cure the bites of pois- 
onous spiders, scorpions, and centipedes by covering the wound 
with bruised garlic, then putting on a plaster of linseed meal 
mixed with four or five drops of laudanum, renewing the plas- 
ter as fast as it dries. 

The largest snake in these islands is the py- 

Snakes thon, which the natives call saua. It is quite 

aj common to see snake-peddlers selling small 

catchers. pythons in the towns. They are kept like pets 

for the purpose of catching rats and mice. 

They perform this duty far better than cats, for they follow the 

rats and mice into their holes and over the ceilings of the 



426 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

rooms; but when they become full-grown, they pay little at- 
tention to such small game and prefer devouring pigs and 
chickens. In the forests they grow to an enormous size and 
live by devouring wild pigs, monkeys, deer, and sometimes 
even human beings. They frequently occasion serious loss 
among the cattle by devouring the young animals. These huge 
pythons have fixed abiding places, which the natives call their 
"houses." They are caves in the limestone rocks or hollows in 
very large trees, to which, after gorging themselves with food, 
they return to sleep. 

Crocodiles are numerous and become very dangerous when 
once they have tasted human flesh. The fierce wild carabavs 
are found in all the large islands of the group, and hunting 
them is dangerous and exciting. They will charge a white man 
on sight, and if they once succeed in getting into close quar- 
ters, it is all up with the hunter. The very sight of a white 
man seems to rouse them to madness; even after being shot 
through the heart, they have been known to kill a hunter. But 
a native will hunt one of these fierce animals with no weapon 
but his bolo. The native employs a tame carabao which he 
has trained for the purpose, and at night the tame animal 
feeds slowly along towards the wild one up the wind while the 
hunter creeps along in its shadow. When the two animals 
come close together the hunter watches his opportunity, then 
slips quietly around and despatches the wild carabao with two 
strokes of his bolo. Should he miss either stroke, his failure 
costs him his life, for even a badly wounded carabao can run 
very swiftly and is sure to overtake the fleeing hunter and 
gore and trample him to death. 

Perhaps the most interesting animal in the group is the 
timarau, which is a small buffalo, apparently found only on 
the island of Mindoro. The timarau resembles the carabao 
in color but not in habits, for it never bathes in the water or 
wallows in the mud as the carabao does. It is much smaller 



OF CAPTAIN QU1NTON 42? 

than the carabao, and its short, strong, and sharply-pointed 
horns run almost directly backwards like those of the antelope. 
It sleeps during the day in the densest jungles and comes forth 
only at night to feed and slake its thirst at some neighbor- 
ing water course. 

As we were eating luncheon one day a native 
A called our attention to a lizard perched upon 

Flying a tree near by and eyeing us intently. It 
Lizard. W as about eighteen inches long, and its pink 
throat was palpitating rapidly, while the rest 
of its body showed a variety of brilliant colors. We moved 
forward to examine it, but it suddenly spread its filmy pink 
wings and went sailing gracefully through the air to another 
tree. It seemed to disappear the moment it lighted upon the 
tree; but we looked carefully and found that it had assumed 
the color of the tree so perfectly that it was well nigh in- 
visible. We saw several more, but did not attempt to shoot 
them and after returning to Zamboanga we bought a tame one. 
These little creatures are known as flying dragons, and they 
live upon flies, bugs, fruit, bread crumbs, etc., are easily tamed 
and make very affectionate pets. 

After repairing the launch, we proceeded north through 
Mindoro Strait and anchored in Manila Bay, which is more 
like a lake than a bay, and is too large to afford proper pro- 
tection to shipping during a typhoon. Moreover the water is 
so shoal near the City of Manila that all deep-draught vessels 
must lie at a distance and discharge by means of lighters. 

The city is built upon low, level ground, no part of which 
is more than a few feet above tide-water; the ancient walls 
and drawbridges of the old town, together with the air of 
dreamy repose which pervades it, and the strange costumes 
of the pedestrian in its streets, are sufficient to impress a trav- 
eler with the idea that he has been suddenly carried back to 
the Middle Ages. 



428 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The walls vary in height and thickness, but in general, 
they are about twenty-five feet high. They are faced with 
stone on both sides and the interior is mostly filled in with 
dirt, though in some places the wall is hollow ; and these hol- 
low spaces are used as jails. On the outside of the walls is a 
moat which is supposed to be filled from the Pasig River ; but 
the sluices are decayed and the moat is half full of mud, filth, 
and rotten vegetable matter and abounds with poisonous snakes 
and vermin. 

The Spaniards and natives applied the name Manila only 
to the walled city, which lies south of the Pasig; but, since 
the American occupation, the name of Manila is applied to 
both the walled city and the business suburb of Binondo, 
which lies on the north side of the Pasig. We intended to 
engage in a carabao hunt in the interior of Luzon, but there 
was so much red tape about getting permission to carry fire- 
arms that we gave up the idea. 

We were about to sail for Hong Kong, where we intended 
to sell the ship in which we had been making the voyage, but 
a local trader bought her for the Island trade, and after tak- 
ing an affectionate farewell of my Russian friends, I sailed 
for Sydney, Australia. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 429 

CHAPTER XXXVII 

WHERE FLASH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS 

After reaching Sydney, I shipped in the old steamer City 
of New York (since wrecked), and proceeded to San Fran- 
cisco, where I spent some time running in various vessels 
from San Francisco to Mexico, Central America, Puget Sound, 
and the Hawaiian Islands. I then shipped in the old Coast 
and Geodetic Survey steamer Hassler, which was engaged in 
surveying the coasts of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. 

Upon our arrival in these waters in early 
Glories spring, we saw some intensely brilliant and 

of the beautiful displays of the Aurora Borealis. At 
Northern , .. 

Lights. times the whole northern sky was brilliantly 

illuminated with an immense arch of fire 
which glowed for a moment like a girdle of burnished gold; 
then it seemed as though some invisible hand were rapidly 
waving long streamers of bright orange, green, pink, rose, yel- 
low, and crimson between earth and heaven. The rapid gyra- 
tions and scintillations of light and the blending of brilliant 
colors were intensely bewildering and superbly beautiful. The 
whole phenomena of waving wreaths, flickering rays, curtains, 
fringes and arches of flashing light and motion, now high in 
the heavens, now falling like hangings of gold and silver lace, 
sparkling with myriads of rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and 
diamonds, penetrating dark gulches and darting through som- 
ber green forests, combined to make a scene infinitely outrival- 
ing the fairy palaces of the Arabian Nights. 

These magnificent displays not only illumine the sky, but 
they light, with a thousand brilliant colors, the icy peaks and 



430 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

pinnacles of the glaciers, which flash as though they were set 
with countless jewels of dazzling brightness. The surpassing 
beauty and weird, unearthly glory of these celestial displays 
have led to many interesting native traditions. 

For example, the Eskimos believe that the souls of the 
dead go to a blissful region situated under the north star, 
where they amuse themselves with feasting and dancing. All 
the dancers carry torches which flame with vari-colored lights. 
As they wave their torches to and fro in the rapid evolutions 
of the dance, the light from them streams across the sky and 
causes the northern lights. They believe that the spirits of the 
departed take this method of signaling to their friends on 
earth and of affording them a view of the glories of the 
future life. 

Singularly enough, the natives call Ursa Major Ogalok 
Ongaruit (Big Bear), and believe that this constellation is a 
powerful spirit always keeping watch while the other spirits 
are in the Happy Hunting Ground dance. They believe that 
when an infant dies its soul is liable to wander astray and miss 
the road to this happy land. Consequently, it is their custom 
to kill the favorite family dog and bury its body in the grave 
of the infant, because they say the dog can find its way every- 
where, and the spirit of the dog will guide the spirit of the 
infant to the Happy Hunting Ground. 

The strange mirages which are continually 
pjje coming and going in the summer sky are quite 

Silent as wonderful as the northern lights are beau- 
City, tiful. It is common to see ships reflected in 
the sky with such startling distinctness that 
they appear to be sailing through the clouds almost over the 
heads of the astonished spectators. It is common to see well- 
defined reflections of objects which certainly do not exist in 
Alaska ; and none of these is more curious and interesting than 
the mirage of the Silent City, which not only is seen every 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 431 

summer, but has been frequently photographed. The Indians 
were perfectly familiar with this strange phenomenon before 
the advent of the whites, and gave minute accounts of "the 
city which was built in the sky." But the white men did not 
believe the story until they had seen it for themselves. 

We saw it at about five o'clock one afternoon in the early 
part of July. It first appeared like a heavy mist, but soon be- 
came clearer and assumed the form of a city with well-defined 
streets, trees, spires, and large buildings, a city such as would 
number 25,000 or 30,000 inhabitants. It is now one of the 
recognized summer sights of the country, but it is well known 
that there is no city like it in Alaska, nor within a thousand 
miles of that territory. Some have claimed to recognize it as 
a city of Russia, others as a city in England, but the fact 
remains that no one can tell what or where it is. It does not 
appear to any one like a dead city and shows every indication 
of being inhabited. 

The Eskimos around St. Michael hold a festival of the 
dead every year at the end of November, or the beginning of 
December, and a still greater festival for the same purpose at 
intervals of several years. Like the Chinese, they provide 
food, drink, and clothes for the spirits of the departed; but 
whereas the Chinese place these offerings on the graves, the 
Eskimos bring their offerings to the 'Kozre geei, or council 
house, where the returning spirits are supposed to meet them. 
The kozre geet is used as the general meeting place of the vil- 
lage, where all the inhabitants meet to feast, dance, sing, and 
take council, and every man and woman belonging to the vil- 
lage has his or her appointed place in it. 

On the occasion of a feast for the dead every man or 
woman who wishes to honor the memory of a dead friend 
sets up a lighted lamp filled with seal oil in front of the 
place which the deceased formerly occupied in the council 
house, where it burns day and night while the festival lasts 



432 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

in order to light the visiting spirits to their old seats and back 

again to the Happy Hunting Ground. Should any man or 

woman fail to set up a lamp and keep it burn- 

A Feast * n & throughout the festival, the spirit whom 

with the he or she wishes to honor could not find its 
Dead. wav to the place and consequently would 
miss the feast. 

Almost all uncivilized races believe that the dead have 
power to punish the living, but the Eskimos believe that the 
living have power to punish and insult the dead. If a man 
or woman has been hated by the tribe during life it is com- 
mon to ignore his or her spirit by lighting no lamp for it, and 
this is considered the severest punishment possible. 

At the meetings the whole company first sings songs of 
welcome to the spirits of the dead, after which each person 
who has lighted a lamp takes a small portion of food from 
each dish he has brought and throws it upon the floor near 
the large fire in the center of the council house, and pours a 
little water on it. Like the Chinese and the South Sea Island- 
ers, the Eskimos believe that the spirits of the departed par- 
take of the spiritual essence of the food, after which they 
themselves are free to eat the material part. Considerable time 
is spent in dancing and singing in honor of their ghostly 
visitors, then the shaman dismisses the spirits to their own 
abode. 

The feasts of the dead which are held at intervals of sev- 
eral years are conducted on a much more elaborate scale. On 
the eve of the festival the nearest male relatives go to the 
graves and summon the ghosts to the festival. This is done 
by hanging over each grave a small wooden model of a seal 
spear if the deceased was a man, or a wooden dish in the 
case of a woman. The model thus left on the grave is always 
marked with the totem to which the deceased belonged; but 
if the deceased was lost at sea, the model is thrown into the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 433 

sea instead of being placed on a grave. In this case each 
person assumes the name of the spirit which he or she desires 
to honor, and the underground door of the council house is 
opened to enable the spirits to enter without difficulty. As 
soon as the shaman has performed his rites and the songs of 
welcome have been sung, the spirits enter the hollow fireplace 
in the center of the floor and take possession of the bodies of 
their namesakes. Each person then makes an offering of food, 
drink, and clothing to some other person present on behalf of 
the spirit whom the latter is supposed to represent, and dancing 
and singing are kept up continuously for several days and 
nights. Most of the dancing is done in the council house, but 
they also dance at the grave of each dead relative. If the rela- 
tive was drowned they dance on the ice. 

There are many inconsistencies, in the beliefs of uncivilized 
races. For instance, although the Eskimos believe that the 
souls of the departed live in a region of bliss where they are 
continually feasting upon the finest kind of whales and seals, 
they also believe that they suffer great destitution if there is 
no one to make offerings to them. The Eskimos are afraid to 
die without leaving some one who will sacrifice to their spirit, 
and if they have no children of their own, they invariably 
adopt one or more for fear their spirits might be forgotten 
or neglected at the festivals of the dead. 

Nearly all uncivilized people are terribly afraid of visits 
from the spirits of the dead, but the Eskimos welcome them. 
The conditions of life which surround them and the forces of 
nature which they see exhibited in the volcanoes, the aurora 
borealis, the mirage, etc., all tend to fill their unenlightened 
minds with vague superstitions regarding the strange forces 
which they can not comprehend ; and the shamans, who claim 
the exclusive ability to interpret the occult, encourage this 
superstition for their own benefit. Many people who have 
never come in contact with these shamans imagine that even 



434 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

the ignorant Eskimos ought to be able to see through their 
ridiculous chicanery. The stories commonly related of the 
shamans would lead one to suppose that their tricks are too 
silly to deceive even a child. But the truth is that the sha- 
mans, like the fakirs of India, maintain their sway over their 
followers by performing the most amazing tricks which no one 
has yet been able to explain though many white people assert 
that they have seen them. 

At Point Hope, we met a shaman who talked 
fairly good English, which he had learned 

from the whalers - He told the officers that 
he would like to have the crew tie him hand 

and foot in any way they liked and he would 
instantly throw off the ropes without untying them. Accord- 
ingly, two of the crew tied him from head to foot with new 
ropes in such a way as none but sailors could do ; and he was 
so securely bound that it seemed impossible for him to move, 
much less free himself. While they were engaged in tying 
him, two of his attendants beat their drums and chanted in the 
usual monotonous way, while he himself crooned in a low 
tone. He then asked the officers if they were satisfied with 
the way in which he was tied; on being assured that they 
were, one of his attendants covered him with a deer skin gar- 
ment reaching to the knees. The moment the garment was 
drawn over him he sprang to his feet, threw it off, and pointed 
with a triumphant smile to the ropes lying on the ground, but 
still securely knotted. We examined the ropes carefully and 
found they were not cut or injured in any way; every knot 
was tied as securely as it was in the first place, and how he 
managed to remove them thus instantaneously was a mystery 
we could not attempt to solve. 

I afterwards learned of other well authenticated cases of 
marvelous legerdemain worked by these men. The sha- 
man acts as peacemaker of the tribe, and at the potlaches 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 435 

and feasts of the dead he often drags men who are deadly 
enemies together, clasps their hands, performs an incantation 
over them, and insists that they must thenceforth forego 
their enmity and become brothers. 

Some of the natives of Alaska believe in a 

Legends supreme being named Teki Ankaose. He 

of lives on the summit of a mountain amid a 

Creation. garden of azure flowers. Although Kanook, 

the Creator, is the oldest and most powerful 
of all the gods, they believe that he leaves the general man- 
agement of things to Teki Ankaose. They also believe there 
was a time when there were no sun, moon, stars, animals, 
plants, lakes, or rivers, because a gigantic demi-god had con- 
fined all these things in a vast box, but Kanook overcame the 
wicked demi-god and released them from their confinement. 

Kanook often assumes various forms and comes to the 
relief of men who are in distress or trouble. Some believe 
that all who die fighting are at once admitted to heaven and 
have for their slaves all those whom they have overcome in 
fight. Some cremate the dead, and believe that all whose 
bodies have not been cremated will never be allowed to draw 
near the fire at which the souls of those who have been cre- 
mated warm themselves in the spirit world. 

The Thlinkets believe that their shamans can assume the 
form of any beast or bird, in which form they can kill any one 
by a single glance. We can scarce wonder at these untutored 
natives cherishing such a belief, when we find white people of 
our own day who profess to be Christians solemnly declaring 
that witches can assume the forms of hares for the purpose 
of injuring their neighbors. These beliefs are now giving way 
before the splendid work of the missionaries, but the chief 
difficulty is that the natives, like the ancient Hebrews, try to 
combine the worship of the true God with that of demons in 
order to stand well on both sides. 



436 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The following is the Lord's Prayer in the Thlinket lan- 
guage : 

"Ais waau wet wwetu tikeu; ikukastii itsagi bae; faa at- 
quakut ikustigi ibee ; atquakut attuitugati bee ikachtekin linki- 
tani zu tlekw. Katuachawat waan zuikwulkinichat akech waan 
itat; tamil waan chanikchak aagi zu uaan akut tugati ajat; ilil 
waan zulkikagatii taat anachut waan akalleelchwetach. Tu." 

The long word "akalleelchwetach" means "from the evil 
spirit." 

Like all ignorant people, the Eskimos believe in witchcraft ; 

they have unbounded faith in the power of shamans to control 

the elements, to reward friends, to kill or punish enemies, and 

to give them success in hunting or fishing. In their private 

quarrels they have more confidence in curses than in fighting. 

The sure death and destruction hoodoo is worked as follows : 

When the members of one family wish to 

H odooin hoodoo those of another they first pay the 

the shaman to curse them. Then, having kindled 

Neighbors. a fire where the enemy can see it, the whole 
family dance and jump around the fire while 
they shake their fists and howl out the most frightful curses. 
This is absolutely guaranteed to settle the account of any 
enemy unless the latter can pay the shaman to work a 
counter-hoodoo of still greater power, in which case the 
double curse is sure to fall upon the heads of the original 
aggressors. 

When a Mahlemoot boy reaches the age of maturity, be 
chooses some bird, beast, or fish to be his patron and wears 
a piece of its skin or a bone as a charm. In return the spirit 
of this particular bird, beast or fish looks after him and pro- 
tects him in all danger. Their whole religious system con- 
sists of a belief in spirits who are mostly malignant in charac- 
ter and the various methods of appeasing their malignity. 
These spirits are divided into three different classes, the Upper 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 437 

Ones, or the spirits of the air ; the Lower Ones, or spirits of 
the land ; the Water Ones, or spirits of the sea. 

The moment a child is born, the Creator appoints a guar- 
dian spirit, who not only protects and guides it all through 
life but also endeavors, after its death, to bring its spirit to 
the Happy Hunting Grounds. The yek does every- 
thing in his power to protect and guide his protege, and only 
abandons his charge in the case of his becoming very wicked. 

Their ideas of right and wrong, however, differ very widely 
from the ethics of the Christian religion. Every act of life, 
every fish or animal which they hunt, and every phenomenon 
of nature requires a separate religious observance of its own 
to placate the particular spirit who presides over it. 

Right living is supposed to consist in a strict observance 
of these religious observances (observances which often lead 
to deeds of the most unnatural cruelty), and last, though by 
no means least, in paying the shaman. 

One of the most important religious observ- 

Wceping ances of the Thlinkets is the Weeping Dance 

fo^the for the Dead ' which is held about the end of 
Dead. August or early in September. This dance 

differs in many particulars from the Eskimo 
festival of the dead. We were invited to one of these dances 
near Sitka, and found that large quantities of food, clothing, 
weapons, baskets, fish nets, and everything which was thought 
to be useful to the dead, had been collected. 

The natives had planted a number of young trees about fif- 
teen feet high in a large circle close to the graveyard and had 
stripped off the leaves. All the lighter articles which they had 
to offer were hung upon these trees while the heavier articles 
were piled on the ground at the foot; and just before dark they 
lighted a huge fire of logs in the center of the circle of trees. 
The men and women who brought the offerings seated them- 
selves in a circle around the fire inside the circle of trees, and 



438 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

as the fire blazed up the shaman began to beat his drum and 
chant; for they believe that even the shaman himself could 
not summon the spirits unless he chanted and danced to the 
sound .of a drum or rattle. 

It is curious how this idea of providing for the wants of 
the dead prevails among so many different people from the 
Chinese to some of the South Sea Islanders. The Chinese 
burn imitation paper money and other useless articles for the 
benefit of the departed; the Eskimos offer small quantities 
of the food which they bring and eat all the rest of it them- 
selves; but everything which the Thlinkets offer to the dead 
must be brand new and of the finest quality. Moreover, all 
these valuable articles (including fine furs), which have cost 
them a very large amount of labor to provide, must be burned 
in the fire and not the slightest article must be saved or used 
for any other purpose. 

The endurance displayed by the dancers was phe- 
nomenal. Instead of tiring they seemed to gain fresh 
vigor as, hour by hour, the dance progressed. Their move- 
ments became gradually more violent, their chanting grew 
wilder and louder until the whole ceremony was demoniacal. 
When completely exhausted at last, several lay down, just out- 
side the circle of dancers but inside the circle of trees, and 
slept. After hours of this hideous revelry some of the danc- 
ers began to take down the articles from the trees and cast 
them into the fire. In doing this they called out the name of 
the departed friend for whom the article was intended. The 
most valuable articles were kept to the last, but everything 
was, according to the strict rules of the ceremony, burned 
before the first sign of dawn appeared in the east. The sleep- 
ers roused themselves after short respites and resumed their 
respective places among the dancers, while others dropped out 
and took their places for a nap, and in this way the perform- 
ance was kept up all night. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 439 

In the Shumagin Islands (south of the Alaskan Penin- 
sula) explorers have found numerous burial caves containing 

various objects, such as carved and painted 
Where masks differing very little from those of the 
^ rhe !5 ancient Toltecs. The dead bodies were mostly 
Graves. placed in a crouched position with their heads 

resting upon their knees, as in the case of 
the Peruvian mummies; but some were stretched upon beds 
of moss and their weapons and various utensils were buried 
along with the bodies. It is impossible for the natives to dig 
graves for their dead, as we do, because the subsoil never 
thaws out, and the different tribes have different ways of dis- 
posing of them. A few cremate their dead, but as a rule the 
bodies are wrapped in reindeer or seal skins and either placed 
upon an elevated scaffold out of reach of wild animals or on 
the ground and covered with driftwood. All the weapons or 
implements of the deceased are placed upon the grave or hung 
over it; and the figures and emblems which adorn it tell the 
story of the departed in a way which is as plain to the natives 
as the words on a tombstone are to us. 

The underground houses in which these people live have 
the outward appearance of a circular mound of earth rising 
a couple of feet above the surface. They are covered with 
grass and have a small opening at the top for the escape of 
smoke. The entrance is through a small door and narrow hall- 
way to the main room, which varies from twelve to twenty 
feet in diameter and has no light or ventilation except what 
comes through the smoke hole, and that is frequently closed 
with a curtain made from the intestines of seals. In summer, 
these underground houses become too damp to live in; the 
natives then move into tents made of walrus hide. 



440 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

CHAPTER XXXVIII 

ALASKA AND THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS 

Alaska is a land of sudden transitions from Arctic desola- 
tion and twilight gloom to golden sunshine and fairy-like love- 
liness. No other country except possibly S'beria equals it for 
brilliancy of light, variety of color, and ? fume of flowers 
which cover the ground in summer time. I have often lain on the 
soft, dry moss, when the thermometer registered 75 to 80, 
gazing alternately at the sun shining from a cloudless sky and 
at miles of park-like meadows literally covered with the most 
gorgeous display of wild roses, iris, gentians, asters, sweet 
peas, blue bells, violets, columbines, and crocus, watered by 
mountain streams and backed by the brilliant gold and filmy 
blue of the distant mountains looming grandly through the 
yellow hazeof the summer air. The whole scene was so sur- 
passingly beautiful that it was like a dream of Paradise. 

Besides the flowers, there is an endless pro- 

The fusion of wild strawberries, red currants, 

Alaskan huckleberries, gooseberries, black currants, 

Paradise. red raspberries, salmon berries, fox berries, 

wintergreen berries, and others of which I 
could not learn the names. 

The natives and the bears consume immense quantities of 
these berries. The south and southeastern portions of the 
country are heavily timbered, and I saw logs ten feet in diam- 
eter at the saw mill in Sitka. Undoubtedly the finest timber 
in the country is the yellow cedar, which the Russians call 
dushnik (scent wood) on account of its agreeable fragrance. 
It is a very fine close-grained wood which takes an excellent 
polish and grows to such a size that the Haida Indians use it 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 441 

for their dugout canoes, which are sometimes seventy-five 
feet long, eight to ten feet beam, and capable of carrying a 
hundred people. 

During the war between the Russians and the Aleutian 
Islanders, the Russians used this yellow cedar in building a 
number of small vessels which they call skitiki (sewed ves- 
sels), because they had no iron and were obliged to sew the 
timber together with seal skin thongs. There is no timber on 
the Aleutian Islands, the Aleutians had no bows, though it 
seems strange that they never learned to make bows of whale 
bone as some of the Eskimos do, and they were in the habit of 
killing whales. It is interesting to study how these poor, ig- 
norant savages made the most of the scanty means at their 
disposal for opposing the firearms of the Russians, although 
they had .no weapons except slings, spears, and throwing 
sticks. They constructed huge shields or screens of seal or 
walrus hide and stuffed them with dried grass or seaweed 
which they pounded in very hard, so that each shield looked 
like a huge mattress. Lashing their canoes two together, 
they placed one of these huge shields across the bow and some 
of the men held it upright in such a way that it protected the 
occupants of both canoes as they paddled towards the Rus- 
sian vessels. Sure enough these shields stopped the bullets 
from the Russian muskets, and the Aleutians replied with 
volleys of stones from their slings. When they got near 
enough to the Russian vessels they assailed them with volleys 
of hand grenades made of dried grass and sulphur, which they 
obtained from the volcanoes. Each grenade was bound to- 
gether with a small seal skin thong, and immediately before 
being used it was dipped in seal oil and lighted, then thrown 
with a thong. The choking fumes from the burning sulphur 
rendered it difficult to get rid of them as they fell on the decks, 
and they came in such numbers that the Aleutians succeeded 
in burning several of the Russian vessels. 



442 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The chief consideration which induced the Russians to 
conquer the Aleutian Islands was a desire to obtain the valu- 
able skins of the sea-otters which were then 

Conflicts verv plentiful but are now almost extermi- 
With the nated in many portions of this long chain of 
Russians. islands. It is a lamentable fact that the na- 
tive Aleuts have been very largely extermi- 
nated along with the sea-otters, and this circumstance is com- 
monly attributed to the brutality and inhumanity of the Rus- 
sians. It is true that the leaders or commanders were Russians, 
but most if not all of their followers were really Tartars, who 
had no more regard for a human life than they had for the 
life of a dog, and who delighted in committing every kind of 
atrocity and outrage upon any one who happened to be in their 
power. The Tartar conqueror, Attila, boasted that he shed so 
much human blood wherever he went that "the grass never 
grew on any place where his horse trod;" the Tartars have 
always spread ruin, death, and destruction in every portion of 
the world where they have held sway, and the Aleutian Islands 
are no exception to the invariable rule. 

Aleutian hunters frequently shoot the otters with rifles, but 
even yet the most common method is to spear them from 
bidarkas (canoes made of a wooden framework, covered with 
untanned sea-lion skin). Sometimes two hunters hunt in a 
single bidarka, but as a rule a small fleet of canoes hunt the 
sea-otter together. When they sight an otter, they endeavor 
to approach as near as possible without disturbing it, but the 
wary animal soon detects their approach and instantly dives 
beneath the surface. The bidarka which happens to be nearest 
to it paddles up to the spot where it disappeared while the 
others range themselves in a circle around it. If the otter were 
allowed to come to the surface and fully inflate its lungs, it 
could easily swim a mile under water before coming up again, 
and thus escape the circle of canoes which surrounds it. But 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 443 

the moment it appears upon the surface the hunters set up a 
wild yell and paddle towards it, and the terrified animal im- 
mediately dives again before it has time to fill its lungs ; conse- 
quently, it is obliged to come to the surface in a very short 
time and in this way it soon becomes helpless and falls an easy 
victim. Every hunter who is within range of the animal 
throws his spear at it every time it appears upon the surface, 
and its skin becomes the property of the hunter whose spear 
first strikes it. 

These valuable sea-otters have been hunted to such an 
extent that they have become very scarce and most of the na- 
tives have taken to hunting foxes instead. There are different 
methods of trapping wolves and foxes, but in the timbered 
portions of Alaska the method most commonly used is as 
follows : 

The hunter takes a long cord made of twisted whale 

sinews (which by the way are enormously strong), and passes 

it several times around two young trees growing a few feet 

apart. Taking a stout club about two feet or a little more in 

length, he inserts the small end of the club between the strands 

of the cord and turns it round and round till the strands are 

very tightly twisted. He then secures the 

A striking end of the club to the ground by 

Strange means of a trigger, and places a bait on the 

Fox Trap. ground in the exact -spot where the head of 
the club will strike when the trigger is re- 
leased. A cord connects the bait with the trigger, and the 
moment a fox or wolf seizes the bait the cord pulls the trig- 
ger and the head of the club comes down on him with the 
force of a sledge hammer. In this way many fox skins are 
secured. 

A fine specimen of the black fox skin easily brings more 
than $1,000, and a prime one has brought as much as $1,200, 
while the skin of a silver gray will bring from $125 up, accord- 



444 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

ing to quality. Very few people know anything about the 

business of raising foxes for their fur; and many might be 

surprised to learn that at the present time no 

Fox Raisin ^ ess ^ an th^tyfw 6 of the smaller islands off 

as a the Alaskan coast are used for breeding 

Business. foxes. The government does not sell these 
islands, but rents each one for $1.00 per year, 
and the time will soon come when they will all be utilized for 
the purpose of raising elk and cattle as well as foxes for the 
market. The long chain of Aleutian and other Alaskan 
Islands undoubtedly affords the best facilities of any place in 
the world for this purpose. The Aleutians consist of a roll- 
ing country with moderate hills between the mountains and 
the sea. Hot springs are numerous and most of the soil is 
very fertile and produces fine crops of carrots, turnips, par- 
snips, cabbages and potatoes, as well as a most luxuriant 
growth of grass suitable for cattle and wild berries. 

The climate is moist and equable, with an average annual 
temperature of 36 to 40, and has been found to be very 
healthy. Fine springs of water are found at the foot of the 
mountains, and either flow into the sea or form ponds which 
fairly swarm with wild geese, ducks, sea gulls, and other fowl. 

On St. George Island, the foxes are fed only during the 
severest weather of the winter, but during the summer they 
live entirely upon the millions of sea birds which swarm in 
all these islands. The foxes are extremely expert in catching 
these birds in the long grass, and prefer their flesh to any 
other kind of food. The young foxes are born in May and a 
litter generally consists of from five to eight. The killing sea- 
son is from November to January, when the fur is at its fin- 
est, and the foxes to be killed are secured in the feeding sheds 
instead of in traps to avoid injury to the fur. An island offers 
immense advantages in raising foxes because the surrounding 
water prevents their escape, provided there is no other island 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 445 

within at least a mile of it. If there is land within this dis- 
tance the foxes will readily swim to it. 

The south coast of Alaska has hundreds of small islands 
admirably suited to this purpose. Moreover, the climate of 
this district produces the finest fur known, for it is not so 
coarse as that produced in colder climates. The warm cur- 
rent from Japan strikes the southeastern coast of Alaska and 
warms it to such an extent that it enjoys a milder climate than 
New York. Contrary to the opinions of those who have never 
visited Alaska, the southeastern parts of the country are never 
very cold, but the temperature is low the whole year round, 
though it seldom reaches the freezing point. The cold rains 
and almost constant fogs which prevail cause the fur-bearing 
animals to grow the finest kind of fur for their own protection, 
and the absence of bright sunlight makes their fur darker. 

The foxes are nearly omnivorous, but their chief food con- 
sists of fish, berries, sea weed, and sea-birds. The surround- 
ing seas swarm with fish of various kinds and the foxes catch 
salmon for themselves during the run in summer, while there 
is not the slightest difficulty in laying in a supply of fish to 
feed them during the winter. The fish for winter use is some- 
times smoked, but generally kept in fish oil, and some raisers 
give each fox a daily allowance of six to eight ounces of fish 
and corn meal. It is necessary to feed them in little cabins 
erected for the purpose in order to protect the food from the 
crows, ravens, and eagles which abound upon the islands. 

The running expenses of a fox farm are very small and 
every fox raised is likely to yield a skin worth over a hundred 
dollars. As a sample of the profits of fox-raising, one man 
leased Hound Island (near Sitka), which contains about 800 
acres at high tide and 900 acres at low tide, and stocked it with 
twenty pairs of blue foxes in the fall of 1905. In the follow- 
ing spring there were no young foxes on the island, and they 
increased so rapidly that in the spring of 1909, he estimated 



446 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

that there were from 1,000 to 1,400 all told; and the skin of 
a blue fox is worth not less than $30.00. 

Curiously enough, all the natives of Alaska are perfectly 
familiar with the appearance and habits of the mammoth or 
mastodon, which the Eskimos call kelig' abuk; and they can 
draw pictures of it which look exactly like those which we 
see in books. In fact some of the miners who have pene- 
trated far into the country go so far as to express their belief 
that living mastodons may still exist in the unknown interior. 
Quite recently dispatches from Alaska stated that the natives 
were greatly excited because they had seen one alive. 

It is a common, but very erroneous idea that the Eskimos 
are short, fat, dull, and stupid. I have seen hundreds of them, 
and have never seen one that could properly be called fat. The 
average height of the men is five feet six or seven inches, 
though I have seen numbers of them (especially towards the 
north) who were fully six feet, and they are all immensely 
strong. I have never seen a white person who could beat one 
of them in driving a bargain. 

The first time I saw the natives of Cook's Inlet, I felt cer- 
tain that they were a colony of Japanese; it would take an 
expert to detect any difference except, perhaps, they average 
somewhat larger in stature than the average Japs. 

I believe that Alaska is the only country in 

Gruesome tne world of which it can be truthfully said 
Fare. that the houses are underground and the cel- 

lars are upstairs. The winter stores of dried 
fish are kept in a small store house made of logs and erected 
upon stout posts eight or nine feet high, to keep it beyond 
the reach of dogs or wolves. The fish are simply split open 
and dried in the sun, but no salt is used in their preparation, 
first because the natives have no salt, but also because they 
can not endure the taste of it when any one gives it to them. 
The smell which emanates from these stores of half-cured 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 447 

fish is so overpowering that few white people care to approach 
them, but the natives devour the half-putrid fish with the great- 
est gusto. It might be supposed that such food would kill all 
who partook of it; but the natives enjoy excellent health and 
the strength of their appetites may be judged from the fact 
that each adult native consumes an average of ten pounds of 
fish every day in addition to large quantities of seal, bear, deer, 
wild sheep, seal and beluga oil, berries and roots of various 
kinds. 

They are very fond of athletic sports, especially running 
and wrestling, and it is useless for any but an exceptionally 
strong or active white man to attempt to compete with them, 
for they can run almost like greyhounds, and their strength is 
so great that one of them can throw a white man with the 
most contemptuous ease. In spite of their filthy habits it is a 
great mistake to suppose that they habitually eat their food 
raw, though they do so occasionally, for they cook it after a 
fashion. 

One day some of us were in an igalu (underground house), 
and the women of the family were roasting fish over the fire 
in the center of the floor, while about half a dozen dogs were 
fighting savagely on the roof. The rest of the family sat 
around watching the cooking with hungry eyes, as though they 
could not wait long enough for the fish to roast before begin- 
ning to .gorge themselves. All at once the whole pack of 
wolfish dogs, locked in a death grip, came tumbling through 
the smoke hole, and landed fairly on top of one of the women. 
The dogs, the fish and the cook all rolled in the fire together. 
The woman was quickly dragged to one side, and the dogs 
wasted no time in getting out of the fire, and next in 
getting out of the igalu, followed by the imprecations of the 
family and all the portable articles they could lay their hands 
upon. 

Sulphur is used in producing fire, and the natives who re- 



448 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

side in the neighborhood of the volcanoes carry on a very ex- 
tensive trade in this useful article with those who live at a dis- 
tance; but they say that those who cannot obtain sulphur 
produce fire by rubbing two sticks together. In order to pro- 
duce fire with sulphur, the natives first spread a layer of very 
dry moss upon a large flinty stone with a fairly smooth sur- 
face, then dust it over with powdered sulphur. One of them 
takes a large stone of flint or quartz in his hand and strikes the 
moss and sulphur with all his might. He does not strike 
straight downward, but at a slight angle, so that the stone in 
his hand partly scrapes along the surface of the larger stone 
beneath, and the force of the concussion lights the preparation. 

The underground houses are heated partly by 

Plenty means of fire made of driftwood which the 

of Heat ocean currents wash upon the beach, but prin- 

Indoors. cipally by means of stone lamps. Each lamp 

consists of a large stone laboriously hollowed 
out in the center, then filled with fish, seal or whale oil, and 
supplied with wicks made of twisted moss. Some lamps have 
a large piece of blubber suspended over them so that the 
flame melts the blubber and causes it to drip on the wick and 
this keeps it burning. In this way they keep their houses 
almost as hot as ovens, and the members of the family usually 
move about nearly naked. But the sudden and violent transi- 
tion from the hot, stifling atmosphere of the hut, to the intense 
cold of the outer air, tends to shorten their lives, for they have 
no very old people among them. It is also a curious fact 
that they almost invariably catch severe colds when they 
come to San Francisco, as many of them do in the whaling 
vessels. 

In spite of their cheerless surroundings, they eat, drink, 
dance, sing, and lead happy lives, where it is safe to say any 
other people in the world would quickly perish from cold and 
hunger. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 449 

The summer climate of Southern Alaska is not bad, but I 
did not like the climate further north, and in some portions of 
the country the mosquitoes are such a horrible pest that they 
render life a burden. Preferring voyages to other lands I left 
the service when we returned to San Francisco. 



450 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER XXXIX 

WITH THE HAWAIIANS AGAIN 

After my Alaskan voyage I ran for some time between 

San Francisco, China and Japan, and afterwards between San 

Francisco and the Hawaiian Islands, justly 

The called the "Paradise of the Pacific." The 

Great chief port of call in the Hawaiian Islands is 

Pali Pass. the City of Honolulu, where perpetual sum- 
mer reigns and the fragrance of beautiful 
flowers fills the air the whole year round. About Honolulu 
there are many interesting sights and scenes, including the 
magnificent view from the top of the Punch Bowl, an extinct 
volcano, immediately back of the city. But the chief object of 
beauty and grandeur is the famous Pali, a narrow mountain, 
whose precipitous sides rise to a height of 1,500 feet. The 
Pali affords a magnificent view of both sides of the Island, 
and Hawaiians are fond of calling it a gateway between Para- 
dise and Fairy Land. The pass is overgrown with hau, alga- 
roba, ohia, and other trees, which impart an air of gloom 
and mystery to this far famed mountain pass around which 
many romantic legends cling. 

The Pali is not only an object of beauty and grandeur, 
but it is also historic ground, for here Kamehameha, the Ha- 
waiian Napoleon, who conquered all the Islands and united 
them into one kingdom, gained his great victory over the King 
of Oahu. The latter allowed himself and his army to be driven 
from Honolulu up the beautiful Nuuanu Valley into this nar- 
row pass, where they were hemmed in like rats in a trap. 
Kamehameha's well-trained warriors then charged them with 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 451 

spears and war clubs and drove most of them over the beetling 
precipice, where they fell shattered and mangled upon the 
rocks below. The natives, who are naturally superstitious, 
believe that the voices of the dead warriors who were driven 
over the Pali can still be heard in the roar of the wind that 
blows forever through this mountain pass. 

They also believe that the Pali was once the home of the 
gigantic moo (lizard), which plays exactly the same part in 
the Hawaiian account of the Garden of Eden and the Fall of 
Man, as the serpent does in the Biblical account. The Ka- 
hunas (priests, doctors and sorcerers) are believed to receive 
communications from the moo, and they believe that the lat- 
ter had his home somewhere among the mountains, though 
they did not know the exact locality till the following incident. 
They relate how one day a native and his son 
The went up to the Pali to cut some of the trees 

Terrible which grow there, but the moment they 
Moo. struck one of the trees with their stone axes, 

the tree began to writhe and twist in such a 
strange and astonishing manner that the father and son stood 
paralyzed with fear and astonishment. They were still more 
astonished to notice that all the other trees in sight were writh- 
ing and twisting in the same amazing way and the wind began 
to blow with such terrific force that both were blown off 
their feet. At once it dawned upon them that they had in- 
vaded the sacred dwelling place of the terrible moo, and both 
instantly fled for their lives and never stopped running till 
they reached Honolulu. 

But the Pali is not the only place where the voices of the 
spirits of the dead can be heard in the wailing wind. The 
weird and mysterious sounds which are heard in the night 
winds upon Puu Ohia are of such an extraordinary nature 
that they cannot fail to produce a feeling of awe, if not a 
positive fear in the mind of any one who hears them. Puu 



452 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

Ohia, which the white residents call Mt. Tantalus, is 2,013 
feet high, situated half way between Honolulu and Pali on 
the east side of Nuuanu Valley. Singularly enough these 
strange sounds can be heard only at night, and their extraor- 
dinary sweetness and melancholy cannot fail to thrill and 
mystify even the most staid unbeliever. Sometimes these 
strange screams of death are loud and boisterous, like the wild 
revels of Valhalla, and again they soften to a low musical wail. 
Some of our party started to sing while stand- 
Ghostly m n one of tne cliffs ; immediately the song 
Echoes. was taken up and carried from cliff to cliff, 
vanishing into the distance in one direction 
and returning in another until it made a complete 
round of the mountain tops. The singers stopped, but 
the mountain crags continued singing in all directions with 
such a wild and melancholy cadence that it was impossible to 
shake off the impression that human spirits were all about us, 
and we ceased to wonder that the natives attribute this ghost- 
ly music to the souls of the dead. The real cause of this 
strange phenomenon is believed to be the roar of the ocean, 
breaking upon the reefs on the weather side of the Island, and 
the softer cadence of calmer surf within the reefs, alternating 
with the roar of the trade winds among the rugged crags of 
the mountains. 

Another curiosity of a somewhat similar nature is found 
in the "Barking Sands" which cover the beach at a place called 
Mana, a little north of Konole Point on the southwest coast 
of Kauai Island. The beach is covered with low sand dunes 
which emit a sound resembling the barking of a dog when any 
one walks over them. The natives make a business of sell- 
ing small bags of this sand to tourists, and it is said to re- 
tain the same peculiar quality no matter where it may be 
taken. I afterwards noticed the same peculiarity in the sands 
on the beach near San Bias, on the coast of Mexico. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 453 

Although the missionaries have converted nearly all the 
Hawaiians to at least a nominal acceptance of Christianity, 
many of them still retain a strong affection for their old hea- 
thenism, and are still under the sway of the kahunas. In olden 
times, these dignitaries reigned supreme, and no one thought 
of undertaking any enterprise without consulting one of them. 
The kahuna, who was supposed to represent the god, always 
promised a degree of success in proportion to the value of the 
fee which he received; and if the promised success failed to 
materialize, it was always owing to some mistake on the part 
of the client in following the directions of the kahuna. The 
kahunas of the present day are considered inferior to those of 
ancient days, but their power over the people is still greater 
than is commonly supposed. 

The following incident, which occurred in Hawaii only 

about a year ago, is a fair sample of their exercise of power. 

A regular physician undertook to treat a na- 

The tive who was sick and would doubtless have 

Bible restored him to health, but the native and his 

Adminis- y w ^ e ^ a< ^ ^ ar g reater confidence in the incan- 
tered. tations of the local kahuna than in the medi- 

cine of the white doctor. Accordingly, the 
wife of the sick man brought the kahuna, who first examined 
the fee which he was to receive and next proceeded to examine 
the patient whom he was expected to cure. After a critical ex- 
amination, he declared that a devil had entered into the sick 
man, though this information seems rather superfluous in view 
of the fact that a kahuna always pronounces the same diagno- 
sis, no matter what the complaint may be. 

They all admit that the Christian religion is more powerful 
than their heathenism, but they like to stand well on both sides 
and in this case, therefore, the kahuna concluded to compro- 
mise matters by using a family Bible in conjunction with his 
heathen rites. Accordingly the wife of the patient borrowed a 



454 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

large family Bible ; and, while the kahuna howled and yelled at 
the evil spirit, commanding it to leave his patient, he endeav- 
ored to enforce his commands by beating the sick man on the 
head with the heavy Bible on the ground that evil spirits were 
afraid of the Good Book, and that this was the best way to 
impress them with a due respect for its weight. When the 
kahuna wearied of this exercise, the patient's wife came to 
the rescue and continued the treatment by beating her husband 
vigorously on the head with the Bible, till, between them, they 
beat out his brains and killed him. The kahuna then declared 
that the devil had been driven out of the sick man, and de- 
parted with his fee ; but the authorities arrested him and held 
him in $500 bonds for manslaughter on the ground that the 
Bible was not intended for external use as a war-club. 

The kahunas are principally divided into two 

Praying classes, doctors and sorcerers. The natives 

Enemies believe that the kahunas can control the mes- 

to Death. senger-gods and when a kahuna is engaged 

to perform ana-ana (praying any person to 
death), he calls upon his familiar spirit to go to the spirit of 
the victim within his reach. The kahuna then catches the 
spirit, and the victim thus deprived of his spirit is sure to pine 
away and die in a short time. The goddess who assists the 
sorcerers in luring spirits to destruction is Hiiaka i ka poli o 
Pele, the sister of Pele, the goddess of fires and volcanoes. 
They believe that any one may cause the death of another 
by scraping the wood of a very poisonous tree, called Kalaipa- 
hoa, and blowing the dust which they scrape off towards the 
enemy whom they wish to destroy, while they repeat the in- 
cantation, "E, Kalaipahoa, ee oe e pep-ehi ia Mea !" (O Kal- 
ai-pa-ho-a, go and destroy), naming the enemy whose death 
is desired. Kalaipahoa is supposed to be a hideous and very 
malignant goddess who is always ready to assist in murder 
or any other kind of villainy if a sacrifice is offered to her; 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 455 

but the incantation is far more effective if a kahuna pro- 
nounces it. 

Each family is believed to have a family deity, the spirit of 
a deceased ancestor, who resides in some beast, bird or sacred 
stone whose sacredness cannot be violated without fatal re- 
sults. 

The kahuna is supposed to exercise control over the family 
deity and the latter makes its will known to the family which 
it protects through the kahuna. Every kind of disease is 
believed to be the result of a devil entering the sick person, 
and in olden times human sacrifices were offered to the evil 
spirits when a chief was very ill. After the prayer and sacri- 
fice, the kahuna goes to sleep in order to receive a message 
from the spirits through dreams or visions, and a pig, fowl, 
or fish is baked for the deity of the family of the sick person. 
The patient is then placed in a small hut and wet leaves are 
thrown upon red-hot stones for the purpose of giving him a 
steam bath, after which he is dipped in the sea. If he does not 
recover after this treatment, it is proof that some one is pray- 
ing him to death and has sent an evil spirit to destroy him. 

Sometimes a sorcerer preserves the bones of a deceased 
person and thus holds control over his spirit. In such a case 
he generally appeals to this spirit which he holds in subjection 
to assist him in catching the spirit of any one whom he wishes 
to destroy ; but it is absolutely necessary for the kahuna to re- 
peat an incantation to this spirit at every meal which he eats 
or else the spirit will destroy him. 

The kahunas perform their ceremonies at night in a se- 
cluded place over a fire of wood on hot stones between which 
the sacrifice is baking ; and after the spirits have devoured the 
soul of the sacrifice the kahunas eat the material part. It is 
necessary that something belonging to the victim, such as a 
lock of hair, a piece of finger nail, or even a small piece of his 
clothing, should be burned in the fire while the kahunas are 



456 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

chanting their imprecations. When a native learns that he is 
being anaana-ed, he either succumbs and dies of terror or else 
employs one or more kahunas to counter anaana the enemy 
who is praying him to death. 

However any one may attempt to explain it, 

The White it is a fact that the kahunas prophesied the 
Man's coming of the Haole (White men) ; and this 

Prophesied, prophecy was embodied in the chant of Kualii, 
which was composed and chanted at public 
gatherings centuries before the first white men appeared in 
the Hawaiian Islands. It is commonly believed that Captain 
Cook was killed in a quarrel which accidentally arose be- 
tween him and the natives, but intelligent Kanakas have told 
me that the kahunas planned the murder of Captain Cook 
shortly after his first arrival in the Islands. They told the 
people that it was necessary to kill Cook or his countrymen 
would dominate the Islands and introduce the worship of a 
God of invincible power who would destroy or dethrone 
the Kanaka gods, and the Kanaka people would perish with 
them. 

This is the chief reason why so many of the natives en- 
deavor to combine the worship of the true God with that of 
their heathen deities; for while they freely admit that the 
Christian God is immeasurably superior to the latter, they are 
afraid to abandon their worship of their own gods altogether 
for fear the gods might destroy or injure them. 

When they saw Captain Cook, they called him Akua vaha 
ula-ula (Akua, God; vaha, mouth; ula-ula, red; the god with 
the red mouth), because he came ashore smoking, and they 
had never before seen a man with fire in his mouth. 

It is remarkable that the Hawaiians always believed in a 
Hikapolo'a (Trinity), composed of Kane, the originator; Ku, 
the architect and builder; and Lono, the executor and direc- 
tor of the elements. The highest angel whom the Hikapolo'a 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 457 

created was Kanalo'a (Lucifer), who incited a rebellion in 
heaven and was cast out in consequence. 

Kanaloa then entered Paliuli and demanded that the man 
Kumu-honua should worship him and submit to his leader- 
ship, as one-third of the angels had done; but Kumu-honua 
refused to do so, because both angels and men were the crea- 
tions of the Hikapoloa, and worship was due only to the lat- 
ter. Kanaloa then assumed the form of a Moo (lizard or 
serpent) and tempted the woman to transgress the will of 
Kane by eating the tabued breadfruit which grew on the bank 
of the river of life. 

Kanaloa made a practice of going about the 

Where a world in the form of a Moo and tempting 
God mankind to offend the gods and thus lead to 

Sleeps. their own ruin. He often visited the Ha- 
waiian Islands and one of his favorite 
sleeping places was in the crater of an extinct volcano called 
Leahi, which is situated three and a half miles southeast of 
the City of Honolulu. 

Many centuries before the coming of the haole (white 
people) a large war canoe from one of the other islands was 
sailing along the southern coast of Oahu one dark night when 
the crew sighted the strangest light they had ever seen shining 
from the top of Leahi. The strange light shone with such a 
variety of the most beautiful rainbow colors that at first the 
crew were frightened and supposed that one of the gods must 
have come down ; but finally they furled their sails and part of 
the crew ascended the mountain to investigate. 

Upon reaching the top of the hill, they found the dreaded 
Moo fast asleep and holding in his mouth such a magnificent 
diamond that it dazzled their eyes to look upon it. Knowing 
that the Moo would devour them if he happened to wake, they 
crept very cautiously forward and stole the diamond, then 
hastily returned to their canoe and sailed away with all speed. 



458 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

The Moo was terribly enraged when he awoke and found 
his diamond gone; and the sacred Oo bird, whose yellow 
feathers were used in making the royal man- 
A God ties, told the Moo that he had seen the crew 
^f^H^ ^ ^ e war canoe ascending the mountain, 
Jewels. an d also the direction in which they had sailed 
away. The Moo immediately swam away to 
search for the canoe which had robbed him of his diamond, 
and has never been known to visit the islands since. In com- 
memoration of this legend, the white residents have named the 
extinct crater of Leahi, on which the incident took place, Dia- 
mond Head. 

One of the most peculiar features of heathen legends is 
that they frequently represent, as in the case just cited, a 
mortal as deceiving or getting the better of a god. We find 
numbers of similar crises in the ancient Greek and Roman 
mythology. 

It might surprise some people to know that public sacri- 
fices were offered to Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, as late as 
1882. A broad stream of lava from Mauna Loa had de- 
stroyed everything in its course for a distance of twenty-five 
miles and had reached a point within a mile or two of Hilo 
Bay. It moved slowly but steadily, and everything indicated 
that it would certainly destroy the town and harbor of Hilo, 
for there was absolutely nothing to check its steady advance. 

Ruth, a surviving sister of the fourth and 

The fifth Kamehamehas, had a rude altar erected 

Lava in front of the approaching lava, then offered 

Stayed. a number of sacrifices to Pele and prayed to 

Pele to stop the flow of the lava and save 

Hilo. She then told the people that they need not be afraid 

because Pele would certainly stop the flow of the lava and 

save the town. Sure enough the stream of fire at once ceased 

to move, and to-day its glistening front stands like a wall 



OP CAPTAIN QUINT ON 459 

around Hilo. Whatever the cause may have been, the fact 
remains that this incident had a very injurious effect upon 
the work of the missionaries, for the natives were convinced 
that it was an exhibition of the terrible power of Pele. 

On the other hand, I have heard numbers of white resi- 
dents declare that Ruth was so atrociously ugly that her witch- 
like appearance frightened even the lava, so that it stopped in 
disgust rather than come near her. 

The Hawaiians are so perfectly at home in 
A Boy tne wa ter that they will readily dive and at- 
and a tack a shark in his own element with a knife 

Shark. or S p ear Q n one occasion we were throwing 
nickels into the water for some native boys 
who were diving and catching them before they reached the 
bottom, stowing them in their mouths as they caught them. 
A shark, which had been attracted to the spot, suddenly at- 
tacked one of the boys who was separated from his com- 
panions. The boy treated the matter as a joke, coolly waiting 
till the shark came close to him and turned over on his side 
(not on his back as it is commonly supposed), as they are 
obliged to do in order to bite, and snapped savagely at the boy. 
The moment he did so, the boy dived and quickly reappeared 
several yards away. 

He repeated the same tactics several times, to the evident 
perplexity of the shark, when a native man who had been 
watching the pair seized a sharp knife and sprang into the 
water. We saw him come up under the shark, and the next 
moment the latter shot clear into the air like a porpoise and 
lashed out furiously with his tail, while the blood streamed in 
torrents from a frightful wound in his stomach. The shark 
quickly turned and attacked the native with the ferocity of a 
tiger, but the Kanaka again dived and coming up under him 
cut his stomach completely open. 

Nevertheless, a shark takes an awful amount of killing, and 



460 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

the savage brute continued the attack till the native stabbed 
him in what would be the back of his neck, if he had a neck, 
upon which he turned belly up and floated helplessly away. 
The one shark which the natives really fear is called niuhi, 
which is not only very large but also so savage that it will 
readily attack a boat and endeavor to wreck it by springing 
out of the water and throwing its whole weight upon the 
boat. 

The natives are not only very fond of the fish which they 
take from the sea, but they also raise great numbers of large 
gold fish in the taro patches for food. They claim that these fine 
gold fish not only furnish an excellent article of diet, but also 
devour the larvae of mosquitoes ; scientific research has proved 
this opinion to be correct. 

There are plenty of wild goats, pigs, and cattle on the large 
island of Hawaii, and any one who desires excitement in hunt- 
ing can find it in the mountains, for the wild bulls and boars 
are very savage. It is said that these animals never take a 
drink for nine months of the year, for they live on the upper 
altitudes of the mountains where there are no streams or 
pools, except during the three rainy months. They live upon 
a kind of jointed, juicy grass which the natives call maniua 
which supplies both food and drink. 

The Hawaiians formerly celebrated an annual festival, 
called Nakahiki, which lasted from October to January. Every 
one from chiefs to slaves attended, and the most popular of all 
the sports indulged in was moko, or fist-fighting. Each moko 
moko (fist-fighter) had his hands securely wrapped with cords 
made of cocoanut fiber; and the object of each was not only 
to strike his opponent in the face, but also to ward off his 
blows by meeting fist with fist and not with the forearm as 
Caucasian fighters do. This method of covering the hands 
with hard cord bears a striking resemblance to the cestus of 
the ancient Greeks and Romans, and, like the latter, the Ha- 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT OX 461 

waiian pugilists fought till one of them was killed or com- 
pletely disabled. 

I have seen the same kind of fighting in 
Difficult Tonga and Samoa. Another popular sport 

"Bowling." which bears a striking resemblance to that of 
the ancient Greeks and Romans is throwing 
the disks, called Ulu Maika. Each ula maika consists of a pol- 
ished stone disk six inches wide and about an inch and a half 
thick, slightly convex on the sides. The length of the throw 
was not the only test, for sticks are set up at the end of the 
track and the disk must pass between them in order to score 
a victory. The polished stone rushes along the smooth track 
while the thrower remains immovable, and the excited specta- 
tors endeavor to keep pace with the swiftly moving disk and 
shout their cries of approval. Some of the old tracks are over 
1,200 feet long, and the skill of the natives in this difficult form 
of disk throwing is very remarkable. 

It is also worthy of note that the victor was always crowned 
with a wreath in token of victory, as was the custom of an- 
cient Greeks. The Hawaiian helmets were also shaped exactly 
like those of the Greeks and these various circumstances, to- 
gether with many others which might be mentioned have led 
some ethnologists to endeavor to trace the origin of the Ha- 
waiians to the ancient Greeks. 

I believe Hawaii is the only place I have ever seen where 
the native salutations have superseded those of the whites. 
The white people almost invariably salute each other with 
"Aloha" (Love to you, or my love to you). If a number of 
people are to be saluted collectively, the proper form is "Alo- 
ha oe" (My love to you all). 



462 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



CHAPTER XL 

AMONG THE PEOPLE OF TRUK 

After running to the Hawaiian Islands, I next served for 
some time as mate of a steamer called the Whitelaw, which 
was chartered to carry supplies to a party of government em- 
ployees who were building a lighthouse near Crescent City, 
California. Later I was engaged to take a schooner, the O. S. 
Fowler, from San Francisco to the Caroline Islands and bring 
back from the islands a bark, the Helen W. Almy. 

Passing south of the Hawaiian Islands, I first 

With the called at Ebon Atoll, the most southern of the 
Missionaries. Marshall Islands, after which I proceeded to 
Kusai and called upon Dr. Pease and the 
other missionaries. Leaving Kusai, I proceeded to Pingelap, 
which is nearly half way between Kusai and Ponapi and in a 
direct line between them. From Pingelap, I sailed to Ponapi, 
where I found the captain of the Helen W. Almy, who had 
brought her from San Francisco and had arrived a few days 
before me. Both vessels anchored in Mutok Harbor on the 
south side of Ponapi, and from the harbor I had to go thirty 
miles in a boat to report to the Spanish Governor, Don Luis 
Cadarsa, who resided in the northwest side of the island. 

Having a head wind, I was obliged to stop all night at the 
house of the native who acted as pilot. Like all Ponapian 
houses, it was thatched with cocoanut leaves, while the walls 
were formed of two thicknesses of reeds lashed together with 
cord made of cocoanut husk. This style of architecture allows 
plenty of ventilation ; but it rained hard during the night and 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 463 

the rain beat through the walls in a way that was rather un- 
comfortable to me, though the natives did not mind it. 

The Governor could not talk a word of English, conse- 
quently his daughter acted as interpreter, and also asked me 
a great many questions in regard to the United States. She 
explained that her father had been a captain in the Spanish 
navy and would like to talk to me about shipping if we could 
only understand each other. 

On my return trip I slept at the missionary station at Oua 
and found the missionaries anxious to know what was going 
on in the rest of the world. They were the Rev. Mr. Doan, Mrs. 
Cole, and Miss Palmer, all accomplishing a noble work in civ- 
ilizing and Christianizing these wild natives, who are contin- 
ually at war with the Spaniards. 

After reaching Ponapi, I took command of 
Unsafe tne Almy. I found that she had been an- 
Anchoragc. chored near a coral reef in thirty-nine fathoms 
of water and had fouled her anchor. One 
night it began to blow very hard and she dragged her anchor 
and touched the reef. I hired a number of natives in addi- 
tion to the crew, and after working all night succeeded in 
hauling her to the opposite side of the harbor and anchoring 
her in a safe place. 

I sailed from Metalanim Harbor, on the east coast of Pon- 
api, on February I3th, and encountered fresh northeast trade 
winds ; consequently, I proceeded north till I caught the north- 
west winds, crossed the iSoth meridian in latitude 34 40' N., 
and reached San Francisco in forty-five days. 

I next took command of the schooner Equator, of San 
Francisco, which was engaged in carrying supplies to the 
American missionaries in various islands. On one occasion, I 
took a cargo of provisions from Butaritari, Gilbert Islands, to 
the missionaries in the islands of Kusaie and Truk (pro- 
nounced Trook). 



464 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

I arrived off the harbor of Coquille, on the west side of 
Kusaie, just at sunset, and was obliged to haul off for the 
night, for it must be understood that there is 
The no tw i n ght m these latitudes and darkness 

Sudden falls immediately after the sun disappears. 
Dark. Th e entrance to the harbor is barely 240 

yards wide, and as it is necessary to beat in, 
it will readily be seen that it requires daylight to do so. I 
afterwards learned that a hurricane had desolated the island 
shortly before and had reduced both natives and missionaries 
to the verge of starvation. Not knowing that I had a cargo 
of provisions for them, they supposed the Equator to be some 
casual trading vessel, and that I was about to sail away and 
leave them. Next morning I was back at the entrance at day- 
light and learned that two of the missionaries, named Dr. 
Channon and Miss Hoppin, had come out in a native canoe 
the evening before and followed us for several miles in the 
hope of buying some provisions. 

After leaving Kusaie, where I had shipped some native 
sailors, I proceeded westward to Truk and was becalmed for 
two days within sight of the lagoon. Toward sunset of the 
third day, it came on to blow a strong gale and I determined 
to enter, although I would be obliged to do so in the dark, and 
I had never seen the place before. I had a crew of Gilbert 
Islanders, who are never, by any means, so reliable as white 
men, consequently I ordered the second mate to take the 
wheel and the mate to work the deck while I kept a lookout 
for the entrance from the masthead. Before the sun set I got 
a good view of the entrance through the barrier reef which 
surrounds the whole group, and noticed that strong tide rips 
extended clear across it. 

We were quickly enveloped in darkness after the sun set, 
and the only thing which I could see from aloft was the snow 
white breakers on both sides of the entrance. As soon as we 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTOX 465 

got fairly into the lagoon I lost sight of the breakers, but I 
knew we were safely inside, because the sea immediately 
moderated, though we were still exposed to the full force of 
the gale. After proceeding about four miles inside the en- 
trance, I sighted Gregoire Island and anchored a little to the 
west of it. 

As soon as daylight appeared I hove up the anchor and 
proceeded to the mission station, which was less than two 
miles from the place where I anchored. 

Truk consists of ten lofty basaltic islands and numerous 
low coral islands enclosed in a barrier reef about forty miles 
in diameter. The highest islands vary from ten to fifteen 
miles in circumference and from one hundred to about four- 
teen hundred feet high; and good anchorage may be found 
almost everywhere in the lagoon. 

The natives of the group number about 10,000 

Fashions and are continually at war, chiefly head-hunt- 
in Truk. ing. The men wear long hair and paint their 
cheeks, chin, and the upper part of the fore- 
head a bright orange, with a paint made from the root of the 
wild turmeric, while the nose and central part of the face are 
painted a bright blue. They wear a single garment about six 
feet long and two feet wide, woven of banana fiber. In the 
center of the garment is a slit about fourteen or fifteen inches 
long, through which the wearer passes his head and lets one 
end hang down behind and the other in front. 

One Sunday morning, I counted over a dozen large war- 
canoes returning from a night head-hunting raid which had 
evidently been successful, for the crews were singing and yell- 
ing like fiends. The missionaries truly take their lives in their 
hands when they go among these fierce savages, and the change 
which they produce in their habits and modes of living is 
nothing short of marvelous. 

By the way, the missionaries have some curious experi- 



466 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

ences in dealing with savage races, especially in translating 
the Bible into their various languages, for it must be remem- 
bered that the latter have no equivalent for many of our com- 
mon English words. Two missionaries, for instance, trans- 
lated the New Testament into the language of Truk and got 
along fairly well until they came to the food of John the 
Baptist. The New Testament says that his food consisted of 
locusts and wild honey, but the natives have no knowledge of 
either of these things. However, the islands abound with 
swarms of cockroaches as large as ordinary mice, and the na- 
tives frequently saw the missionaries using molasses; hence, 
with many misgivings, the missionaries translated the words to 
read in the Truk language that his food consisted of "cock- 
roaches and molasses." 

I attended a service in the missionary chapel and noticed 
that the Christian natives do not paint their faces, and each 
one gives a cocoanut as his or her contribution to the collec- 
tion. The men are very fond of wearing a great variety of 
ornaments in their ears, and are particularly pleased with any- 
thing which they can obtain from a white person for this pur- 
pose. It sounds incredible, but close to the missionary sta- 
tion I saw a native man wearing the entire 

A Clock works of a good sized clock in one of his ears, 
for an which was stretched to such an extent that 

Earring. t he i o fe o f hj s ear came below his shoulder. 
They are very expert in the use of the sling, 
which they employ (when not in use for fighting) in tying 
up their long hair. One of their favorite weapons is a heavy 
two-handed club called a moira, both edges of which are 
deeply serrated like the teeth of a very large saw. Like all 
islanders, they are expert in throwing the spear, which they 
grasp with all the fingers of the hand. One day, a chief handed 
me some sharp spears and motioned to me to throw them at 
him from a distance of three or four yards. I did so and he 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 467 

parried every one of them by striking them aside with his bare 
arms without receiving a scratch. I never saw them use 
shields. 

The old hymn, Rock of Ages, has been translated as fol- 
lows, into the language of Truk : 



Trawn Amonau, Trown Sele, 
I pue fai to op la rem ; 

En siuili ai ninni, 

Pual uou nganai ai tipij 

O pue alia letip ai, 
Amatru ai mueu leilai. 



II 



I soto nganai angang, 
Pukin feri lamalam; 

Allimi la letip ai, 
Jetiti om umaumat; 

En etrek me a uon* om,* 
En etrek Trawn Amanau. 

Ill 

Semen pisek I ua to, 
En etrek I ken luku ; 

Falung eleng etrek ngan, 

Ngang me uoingau angiau, 
Ngang me tipij, ualingau 

En etrek selani iei, 

Pronounced oo'-un, 



468 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 



IV 

Lupuan ai nom fanufan, 

Lupuan ai epue me la, 
Lupuan ai fai ta uawn lang, 
Utueli om ling at, 

Trawn Amanau, Trawn Sele, 
I pue fai la op la rem. 

The natives of Truk worship the rainbow and believe that 
the god of the sea sits upon this beautiful phenomenon of the 
skies. Whenever they go on a canoe voyage, they give them- 
selves into the care of the rainbow god and always wear vari- 
ous charms to propitiate him. These charms consist of bones, 
beads, plaited cords, pieces of wood, and best of all, anything 
which they can obtain from a white man. Before starting on a 
voyage, they hold these charms in front of their eyes and mut- 
ter prayers to the rainbow god for a successful voyage. 

They have many other gods beside the rain- 

The k w gd and they believe that there are two 

Two heavens, but it does not occur to them to even 

Heavens. matters by making a plural of Hades. The 

first heaven is the heaven of the clouds; the 
second, the higher heaven beyond the clouds, where only the 
powerful spirits of good dwell. The first, or heaven of the 
clouds, is the home of the Anua, or souls of men who watch all 
that is going on in the world and keep the higher spirits of the 
second heaven well posted on current South Sea Island events. 
Each tribe, each family, and sometimes each individual have 
their own Anua, who is supposed to look after their welfare, 
and in return for this protection each worshiper is expected 
to see that his guardian spirit never goes hungry for cocoa- 
nuts, oil, fish or taro. The method of offering these things 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 469 

consists in throwing them up toward the sky and leaving them 
to decay wherever they happen to fall; for it would be con- 
sidered sacrilege for any one to touch them after they have 
been offered to the spirits. 

In the second heaven is a great Anua, who is supreme over 
all the other Anuas, and who sits upon a magnificent throne 
in a private part of the heavenly region and receives reports 
of everything that goes on in the world. It is worthy of note 
that this supreme Anua is only good, while the lower Anuas 
are often very malignant. When the supreme Anua receives 
an account of good behavior on the part of the tribes of earth, 
he may show his appreciation by ordering a needed shower, by 
sending more fish, or by persuading a trading schooner to drop 
into the lagoon with a good cargo of calico, pilot bread, beads, 
long knives, and liquor. He also rewards any subordinate 
Anua who brings good news, but never likes to punish any 
one. 

Contrary to the customs of most savages, only the Truk 
women are sorcerers and these are supposed to cause deaths 
and all kinds of mischief by the aid of their familiar spirits. 
These witches are supposed to invoke the aid of their par- 
ticular Anuas (who are really the deified spirits of their an- 
cestors) to cause the death of an enemy. In answer to the 
invocations of the witches, evil spirits enter into human beings 
and cause all the ailments that flesh is heir to. The devil is 
believed to find visible form in cripples and the old witches 
who lead the devil dances and cause all the social scandals in 
the islands. 

The soil of the Gilbert Islands is poor, while that of Truk 
is very rich, and, having no return cargo, I loaded the vessel 
with enough Truk soil to form a small garden in Butaritari. 
I bought a quantity of taro to help feed the crew and before 
using each piece, cut off the head and planted all the heads 
in the ballast in the hold. The weather being fine, I kept the 



470 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

main hatch off, and when I reached Butaritari, I had a fine 
crop of taro growing in the hold. 

It seems strange that the Gilbert Islanders 
Christian are sucn large, strong men, for the islands 
Islanders. which they inhabit are nothing but low coral 
atolls; the soil is poor, and the islands are so 
over-populated that the inhabitants are obliged to utilize their 
scanty resources to the very utmost in order to secure enough 
to eat. Most of them are now Christians, but before their con- 
version they were among the fiercest warriors and pirates to 
be found in the whole Pacific. 

They have formidable swords and spears, very skillfully 
edged with sharks' teeth, and they formerly used armor made 
of cords of cocoanut husk. Their old religion consisted of the 
worship of certain gods and the spirits of their deceased an- 
cestors. The latter were supposed to visit their descendants 
for the purpose of looking after their welfare, and on such oc- 
casions they were supposed to occupy certain sacred stones, 
one of which was set up in front of every dwelling. These 
stones were anointed with oil and worshiped with prayer and 
offerings, and also used for the purpose of divinations. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 471 



CHAPTER XLI 

IN THE SOUTH SEAS AGAIN WITH QUEER MATES 

After returning to San Francisco, I went by way of 
Panama to New York to see my mother and sister, whom I 
had not seen since I sailed for Australia. 
A While in the east I made the acquaintance of 

Queer a country doctor and a curious adventurer 

Partnership, known as "Baldy S.," both of whom expressed 
a strong desire to go into the South Sea Is- 
land trade with me, and I was foolish enough to enter into 
an agreement with them, but even before reaching San Fran- 
cisco I saw clearly that neither of my partners had the least 
business knowledge or ability, and that any business which 
they managed was sure to end in failure, but I did not like to 
desert them after coming so far. 

S., who according to his accounts had been at different 
times State Senator, a factory hand, railroad engineer, laborer, 
tramp, etc., was over sixty years old, rather corpulent and had 
remarkably short legs. His fat, puffy face was deeply wrin- 
kled, while his pale blue watery eyes had that peculiar stare 
which seems to indicate an unbalanced mind. He was an in- 
veterate smoker, was rather erratic in some ways, not the least 
of which was a desire for drawing public attention upon him- 
self. 

On a chartered schooner, the Golden Fleece, we sailed from 
San Francisco, passed between Oahu and Molokai (Hawaiian 
Islands), and encountered a strong kona, a storm peculiar to 
the Hawaiians. A few days later we crossed the iSoth meri- 
dian in latitude 15 45' N. We sailed so close to the southern 



472 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

shore of Taka, one of the Marshall Islands, that we con- 
versed with the natives on the beach in passing ; passed north 
of Wottho Island (latitude 10 5' N., longi- 
A tude 166 4' E.). The weather was overcast 

Perilous and squally while passing through the Mar- 
Calm, shalls, but after this we had fine weather till 
we sighted Ponapi at one p. m. on December 
7th. At 1 1 p. m. I hove to ten miles northeast of Ponapi and 
a few minutes later the wind suddenly died completely out. I 
soon found that the vessel was drifting towards the barrier 
reef which surrounds the island, and ordered the crew into the 
boat to tow her against the current; but they could not hold 
her, and escape appeared impossible. 

Having sailed over the same ground several times before, 
I happened to know of a spot where there was anchorage if 
we could only reach it. Accordingly, I ordered the boat to 
haul her at right angles to the course she was drifting and 
after considerable effort managed to reach the place, where 
we anchored in thirty-nine fathoms. We hung on all night 
with our stern about two hundred yards from the surf, and, 
S., who had previously roundly denounced the Christian re- 
ligion, declared that he had prayed for the first time in fifteen 
years. 

During the night a whole fleet of native canoes assembled 
inside the barrier reef for the purpose of attacking and plun- 
dering the vessel as soon as she drifted on the reef, but, 
happily, their expectations were not realized. At daylight, we 
could see part of the wreck of the English yacht Nyansa in 
which an English lord was making a voyage round the world, 
wfeen she was wrecked on the same reef; on the other side 
lay the wreck of a Norwegian bark, while a little further south 
was the wreck of the American brig Champion. We could 
not help pondering what fate had befallen the crews of these 
unfortunate vessels. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 473 

At eight a. m., a light breeze sprang up from east by 

north, blowing directly toward the reef, and I took the wheel 

while all hands hove away on the anchor. 



Almo t f resa ^ an( ^ mainsail were set and I or- 

on the dered the mate to see that everything was 
Reefs. clear for setting the head sails, and he de- 
clared that everything was clear. As soon as 
the anchor was aweigh, I sung out to him to set the head 
sails, and he and one of the men tried to do so, but found that 
he had forgotten to let go the downhauls, and the sails could 
not go up. Of course this caused some delay at the most 
critical time and allowed the vessel to drift nearer the reef. 

As soon as I could get her under way, I headed her S.E. 
5^E., but coral bottoms are always very rough, the coral ris- 
ing in some places like walls, and she had not gone over a 
hundred yards when the anchor got foul of a coral reef and 
brought her up in the wind. By good management we cleared 
the anchor once and got her round on the opposite tack, but 
the same thing happened four or five times in succession, and I 
saw that I must lose either the anchor or the vessel. Accord- 
ingly I unshackled the last thirty fathoms of the chain and 
slipped it and the anchor. 

We then ran three miles parallel with the reef, and so close 

to it that the vessel was continually rising and falling on the 

swell of the breakers. The wind was very light, and if it had 

failed for a minute nothing could have saved the vessel. We 

then reached a point where the barrier reef trended south by 

east, and the vessel began to draw slowly 

Natives away from it. At one p. m. we rounded Port 

for"our Aaru and were out of danger. 

Wreck. While we were getting under way, the natives 

were constantly gathering in their canoes in- 

side the barrier reef (which is three and a half miles from the 

main island), and I have no doubt they cursed us heartily when 



474 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

they saw our escape. They are as friendly and ready to trade 
when the vessel is prepared to beat off an attack as they are to 
plunder the vessel and attack the crew when the vessel is dis- 
abled. We had good reason to be thankful for our escape, for 
very few vessels ever escape destruction under similar cir- 
cumstances. 

I anchored in Kiti (dog) Harbor, on the southwest coast 
of Ponapi and next day called upon the Spanish Governor, 
who insisted that I should have called upon him before an- 
choring. I remained all night in Santiago, where every five 
minutes during the night, the sentries passed the word, 
"quieta" (quiet), equivalent to our "all's well/* their voices 
ringing sharply on the night air. The natives were at war 
with the Spaniards and sentries were kept posted at all hours 
of the day and night to guard against a sudden surprise. 
After watering from the Kapennepellop River at the head of 
the harbor, I sailed from Kiti, beat through the passage be- 
tween Ponapi and Andema, and anchored in Santiago harbor. 
Before leaving San Francisco, I had received 
A a power of attorney to look for and seize the 

Strange schooner - O. S. Fowler (which I formerly 
Assignment, commanded) wherever I found her. 

The Spanish authorities had seized a pirate 
schooner, which was then held under guard in Santiago, and 
it was reported that she was the O. 5. Fowler, which I had 
brought from San Francisco. I showed my papers to the 
Spanish admiral, and he sent a subordinate with me to examine 
the seized schooner; but I saw at once that she was not the 
vessel I was after. The right name was the Ninorahiti, of 
Tahiti ; but this name had been clumsily erased from the stem 
and the name Poi painted over it. 

Two French brothers named DeGrave had taken passage 
in her at Avarua, in the Marquesas Islands, but at sea they 
shot the captain, poisoned all the rest of the crew except the. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 475 

cook, then sailed away with the vessel. They put into Ponapi 
and offered her for sale at a suspiciously low figure, but the 
cook betrayed them and they were seized. The Ninorahiti was 
held in Santiago, but the DeGrave brothers were put in irons 
and sent on the Spanish man-of-war San Quentin to Manila, 
to be tried for murder and piracy. The Ninorahiti being under 
the French flag, the DeGraves were turned over to the French 
authorities and, being found guilty, were sentenced to life im- 
prisonment on Devil's Island off the coast of French Guiana. 

The admiral also gave me written authority to proceed to 
Metalanim Harbor and take whatever property I claimed for 
the company I represented. 

Next morning, I left in the boat to find Lum- 
boi, one of the head chiefs of the Metalanim 

tribe> wh had Sailed with me as pilot n the 
O. S. Fowler and Helen W. Almy. I reached 

Metalanim Harbor at dark, but could not find 
Lumboi's place among a multitude of small islands; conse- 
quently, I hailed him several times, and at last a sentinel posted 
among the trees sung out, "Ichcoa?" (Who is there?) I 
answered, and a moment later, Lumboi called me by name and 
brought a number of his men to haul the boat up on the beach. 
He took me to a very large house filled with warriors of the 
tribe, who were eating their supper of yams, which they cut 
with knives twenty inches long. They invited me to join them, 
giving me some very fine bananas, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 
They were a villainous-looking lot, and, having recently de- 
feated the Spaniards in two battles, many of them bore marks 
of the encounters in the shape of missing limbs and ghastly 
wounds. 

At one a. m., Lumboi called some of his men to haul the 
boat into deep water, as the tide was rising, and we started 
for the company's old store, where Lumboi's family lived. We 
reached the place at three a. m. : as soon as I stepped ashore 



476 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

a number of dogs rushed out of the bush and made a general 
attack upon me, and it was not until I had laid one out that 
they decided to leave me alone. 

I slept on a native mat laid on the floor, with a piece of 
cocoanut tree for a pillow; and at dawn the whole place re- 
sounded with cries of rage from the dogs and pigs, who were 
engaged in a regular pitched battle under the house. The awful 
din which they made seemed to indicate that several deaths 
were imminent, but some of the natives rushed out and put 
a stop to the uproar with their clubs. I have noticed in vari- 
ous islands here that while the dogs and pigs seem to treat 
each other with contemptuous indifference during the rest of 
the twenty-four hours, dawn, for some inscrutable reason, 
appears to be their favorite time for settling all outstanding 
grievances in a free-for-all fight. The natives shot a number 
of wild pigeons and prepared a stew of yams and pigeons for 
breakfast. 

Lumboi showed me an old geography which he had taken 
from a vessel recently wrecked on the coast, and the first 
page I opened showed pictures of Poughkeepsie and Lake Mo- 
honk. It awoke in me many dear memories, our family having 
lived in the outskirts of Poughkeepsie before I went to sea. 

I gave Lumboi the order to deliver to me the remainder of 
whatever the captain of the O. S. Fowler had left in his pos- 
session. He showed me some cheap trade stuff, but refused 
to give it up till the company paid him a claim of $237.00, 
which he said the captain owed him for services rendered ; at 
his dictation, I wrote a letter of explanation to the company. 
As I started to return, the natives stood on 

A Novel the beach and each one extended his right 

Farewell. hand and clasped his right wrist with his left 
hand (their greatest mark of respect, show- 
ing that the recipient is a "two-handed" chief), while he called 
out "Kacha lilia, main" (main is pronounced exactly like the 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 477 

English word mine, and is never applied to any one except a 
person with a title). 

On our return we were passing through a rather dangerous 
boat passage in the barrier reef when we were caught in a 
squall and the jib halliards carried away. A Kanaka named 
Ka Lani went to the masthead to reeve a new one, when an- 
other Kanaka, who was steering, let the boat come broadside 
on to the wind and she heeled over till she began to fill. I 
sung out to Ka Lani to jump overboard, which he did, and I 
put the boat about to pick him up. He came up in front of 
the bow and, as he saw the boat rushing at his head, dived 
under like a porpoise and boarded her over the stern. 

After leaving Ponapi, we proceeded to the Truk Group and 
anchored off Annapau on Uela Island, where I called upon my 
old friends the missionaries. We next went to Utat Island, 
where I found a former shipmate who had been keeping a 
trading station for "King" O'Keefe, but the natives were at 
war as usual and had threatened to kill him, so I took him on 
board. The natives gathered in large numbers and threatened 
to attack us, but changed their minds when they found us 
well prepared to receive them. 

We next went to Ranolu Island, where the natives were at 
war on account of some one "working the spirits" (causing 
death by witchcraft). We then anchored between Fairup and 
Fala-pongas; but I found that trading had been ruined for 
any white man, for the Japanese had got into the business and 
were selling goods so cheap that no white man could possibly 
compete with them. 

Passing out of the Truk lagoon through a fine, wide pas- 
sage at the southwestern extremity of the reef we proceeded to 
Pulo Suk Island (in latitude 6 40' N. longitude 149 16' E.), 
and there being no anchorage, we were obliged to stand off 
and on while trading. Here I met with a slight accident, when 
during the night the fore gaff carried away during a squall, 



478 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

and part of it struck me on the head and knocked me down, but 
fortunately I was not seriously hurt. 

We visited Lamotrek Island and while passing through an 
opening in the reef, a squall came on and the rain was so heavy 
that we could not see the reef. We anchored till the squall 
was over, when we proceeded to an anchorage by moonlight. 
Next we visited the Oleai Group, where we 
Waving experienced a very severe electric storm. The 
Rain Oleai natives were engaged in drying copra, 

Away. an d whenever a rain squall came on, two men 

would start out in a canoe and one would pad- 
dle the canoe about while the other waved his arms from side 
to side above his head and chanted to the spirits to drive away 
the rain. Although the inhabitants of these islands have never 
seen a missionary, they believe in a future state and a Supreme 
Being, whom they call Aliulap. At a native funeral one day 
the natives asked us, through an interpreter, if we could tell 
them what became of them after death, which showed that 
they were trying to solve the problem in their own way. 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 479 



CHAPTER XLII 

PELEW ISLANDS, ALASKA AND HOME 

I now saw clearly that our voyage was bound to end in 
failure, for neither S. nor the doctor had the least idea of 
business. I grew heartily tired of my contract, but must, of 
course, finish the voyage. We next went to the Pelew Islands, 
where both of my companions began to associate freely with 
the natives, and where finally each of them married a native 
wife, S. choosing the twelve-year-old daughter of the native 
King Abbathul. I was left to manage the business alone in 
addition to looking after the vessel. 

While here, I went in the boat to see some valuable timber 
which a Japanese trader wished to sell. The first part of our 
route lay through a multitude of small islands, most of which 
rise to a high conical hill in the center, and all are clothed 
with bamboo, cocoanut and other trees, besides beautiful flow- 
ering shrubs. Around the bases of these islands are innum- 
erable sea-caves lined with purple and yellow coral, and the 
islands are very beautiful. 

We stopped the first night at Oretoi village 
In the anc * next ^ av reacne d Gabroon, where the Jap 

Chiefs resided. Having accepted the timber, I re- 

Palace, turned to the vessel and taking our own boat 
with the second mate and four sailors 
started back to Gabroon. We stopped at Arrarai and pre- 
pared to pass the night on the beach, but Addalool, the head 
chief of the place, came down with a number of men carrying 
torches and insisted that we should pass the night at his abalu 



480 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

(palace) according to the Pelew custom, which requires the 
head chief to receive and entertain all visitors. 

Addalool called me his brother and, according to the South 
Sea Island custom, we exchanged names, so that Addalool be- 
came the latest addition to the considerable list of South Sea 
Island names which I have received at various times. Adda- 
loors attendants prepared a substantial meal of roast pork and 
wild birds together with boiled taro and a drink made of hot 
water and a sort of native molasses. After this they treated us 
to a war dance, which was much less frenzied than those seen 
south of the line. 

Next morning Addalool accompanied me to the boat and 

his brother-in-law Kasilo, who had been a sailor, accompanied 

me to Gabroon as interpreter. I hired a large number of 

natives to get the timber to the vessel on bamboo rafts and 

agreed with their chief Araklai to pay them when it was done. 

In the meantime, the Jap's wife wanted me to show her how to 

make bread in American style from flour, 

An which her husband had bought aboard the ves- 

Unsuccessful sel. I would willingly have done so, but was 
Baking. obliged to confess that I did not know much 
about making bread. A Malay belonging to 
the boat's crew claimed to have been a cook in the Mexican 
navy and to understand how to make bread, but declared he 
could not make it without yeast or baking powder. I told 
him to do the best he could, and he succeeded in manufactur- 
ing a sort of cake almost as black as himself and nearly as 
hard as a brick. The head Jap eyed the cake askance and ut- 
tered a long prayer before attempting to eat it. They did not 
ask for any more "American bread." 

Meantime the second mate and the remainder of the boat's 
crew had manufactured a variety of musical instruments out 
of bamboo and were giving a miscellaneous entertainment in 
the cook-house. They were not particular about a program, 



OF CAPTAIN QUINT ON 481 

but most of them sang whatever occurred to them in all the 
various languages which they knew. Those who could not 
sing endeavored to compensate for the deficiency by vigorous 
acrobatic dancing and prolonged howls, which were highly 
approved by the native audience, who expressed the unani- 
mous opinion that the "American style" of dancing was decid- 
edly more lively and varied than that of Pelew. If the "Amer- 
ican bread" was a failure, the musical and terpsichorean 
entertainment was voted a howling success by the local society. 

Next day I went with the Jap and several natives to see a 
very pretty lake far up among the mountains, and, while there, 
the Jap asked me to show him how to build a mill dam in 
order to utilize the outlet of the lake to run a sawmill. While 
we were busy at this the natives killed a number of birds by 
blowing small arrows through bamboo tubes which they called 
bo'-az. 

I have previously spoken of two stone images which are 
unquestionably several thousand years old, and which I firmly 
believe to be the work of the ancient Phoenicians. A party 
was negotiating with me with a view to fitting out a schooner 
from San Francisco to secure these images, but the negotia- 
tions fell through. The images were close to Gabroon, on the 
east coast of Babelthuap, the largest of the Pelew Islands. 
They stand rather near together on level ground, within two 
or three hundred yards of the water's edge. 

The Pelew natives swim like ducks and will work in water 

up to their shoulders in loading the vessel, but, strange to 

say, are afraid of wetting their hair; the moment it starts to 

rain they will all rush under cover. A chief 

A Bucket named Sanpal, who was next in power to 

for a Araklai, secured an iron bucket in trade 

Hat. aboard the vessel, and a few days later I met 

him ashore during a heavy rain squall, dressed 

in little else but the bucket, which he wore inverted upon his 



482 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

head with the handle lashed fast under his chin. He said he 
supposed it was meant for a "Katheranaballeth algo" (white- 
man's hat). 

I had endless trouble with the natives in getting the tim- 
ber, for they are as uncertain as children. When the work 
was half done, they demanded that I should pay some of them 
or the others would not work. I paid them, whereupon the 
others refused to work unless I paid them nearly twice what 
I had agreed to do, and would send away Kasilo, whose tribe 
was at war with them. 

After endless wrangling, I managed to get all the rafts 
ready and paid them what I had first agreed. They threat- 
ened to attack us, and I afterwards learned that Araklai en- 
couraged them to do so, but we were well armed and I started 
away with all the rafts in tow of the two boats and a large 
canoe which Addalool sent from Arrarai to assist us. After 
going ten miles, seventeen of the rafts broke adrift. I an- 
chored them and, leaving the canoe to look after them, took 
the other seven rafts on to Arrarai. Addalool sent his men 
to bring the other seventeen to the vessel, and I stopped at his 
house that night and left next morning for the vessel. At 
eleven p. m., we reached the passage between Koror and Bau- 
beltaub, but the wind was very light and I found that the tide 
was sweeping us out to sea. I tried to reach the weather 
shore to anchor for the night, but could not make it with both 
sails and oars and was obliged to anchor on the lee shore. It 
rained and blew hard during the night, but we slept in the 
boats under tarpaulins, and at daylight I found that two rafts 
had broken adrift and been carried out to sea. The other 
twenty-two I got safely to the vessel. 

I was disgusted to find that, while I was risking my life 
to obtain a cargo for the vessel, S. and the doctor had given 
away nearly all of the remaining cargo to the natives instead 
of trying to assist me, On the north side of Koror Harbor, 



OF CAPTAIX OULVTOX 483 

in the side of a high island, I saw a large cave, the floor of 
which was completely covered to a depth of several feet with 
the finest kind of guano. This is far superior to guano which 
is exposed to the weather, for in the latter case the rain 
washes the ammonia out of it. On the other hand, dry guano 
found in a cave is the most dangerous for any one to work, for 
the fine dust would almost certainly cause the death of the 
workmen unless they could wear something like a diver's hel- 
met and have air pumped through a hose. 

Having obtained a good cargo, we sailed for 
In a Hong Kong and had heavy northwest gales 

Typhoon. and light southwesters, finally encountering a 
typhoon. The wind first came from the north, 
showing that the storm center bore east of us and would pass 
near where we were ; consequently I ran towards the southwest 
till the wind changed to northwest, then hove to. At daybreak 
the wind suddenly lulled, but almost instantly came from the 
opposite quarter, carrying away our main boom. Later, when 
in Hong Kong I learned that a large four-masted English 
ship which passed through the same typhoon further north 
had three of her masts carried away and some of her crew 
killed. 

Passing through Ballintang Channel, we encountered west- 
erly winds and a current setting toward the northeast. The 
wind then died out and we were becalmed for two days, dur- 
ing which the current swept us dangerously near the rocks 
off the southern end of Formosa, but we finally caught a light 
breeze which took us into Hong Kong. 

I sold out my interest in the business at a loss and paid my 
passage to San Francisco in one of the Pacific Mail steamers. 
After I left the vessel, S. engaged a navigator named Laurie 
to command the Golden Fleece and take her back to the Pelew 
Islands ; but after reaching the latter place he left Laurie to 
shift for himself, and returned to his wild life among the 



484 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES 

natives. The vessel soon ran out of provisions, but S. refused 
to furnish her with either provisions or a cargo, and at last, 
in despair, Laurie took her to the Truk Islands and secured 
what provisions and cocoanuts he could. He then held a con- 
sultation with his crew to decide what to do, and they decided 
to proceed to Yokohama, which they did. In the meantime 
debts had piled up against the vessel and the 
The End firm to which she belonged in San Francisco 
G Id ^ a d kikd- The crew were in a starving con- 

Fleece, dition when they reached Yokohama, and ac- 
cordingly Consul Mclvor, the representative 
of the United States at the latter place, ordered the vessel to 
be sold to satisfy the claims of the crew. She was sold to a 
Japanese firm and was afterward wrecked in a gale near 
Manouran, on the coast of Japan. 

This was not to be my last experience with incompetent 
companions. On a later voyage from San Francisco to Mexico 
I was unfortunate enough to be navigator with a most igno- 
rant captain. Still later another impostor, named B., who 
claimed that he had a gold mine in Alaska, persuaded a num- 
ber of men to join him in an expedition and engaged me as 
captain of his vessel, the Prosper. He narrowly escaped 
hanging when his fraud was discovered. He deserted his 
ship and party to save his own skin, and after our men had 
had enough of mining ventures we made our way back to 
San Francisco without the owner. I have always kept as a 
souvenir of that voyage a testimonial with which the men of 
the party closed a newspaper account of their experiences and 
of B.'s rascalities: 

"We desire to publicly return our thanks to 

A Captain Quinton for our safe return. We had 

Testimonial, no chronometer and not a single sailor in the 

party to assist him, and the card compass 

which we had proved to be so unreliable that we were obliged 



OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 485 

to steer by a little pocket compass. We encountered several 
strong gales and the weather was so foggy that he was 
obliged to go for weeks at a time without being able to get an 
astronomical observation, but he brought us through safe and 
sound." 

It was really a foolhardy enterprise to undertake such a 
voyage in so frail a vessel, for she went to Alaska again with 
a professional crew on board, but was wrecked in a gale and 
drowned all hands. 

Later I took another vessel to Alaska to be delivered to 
the government representatives at St. Michaels, in charge of 
the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Again I was unfortu- 
nate in shipping, at the urgent request of the builder, a man 
for mate who was rather unfortunately near to being a lunatic. 
The vessel itself was a poorly built craft and we had many 
minor mishaps on our way. 

I stopped to coal in Dutch Harbor, which af- 

Beauties fords a picture of surpassing scenic beauty 

of Dutch when the surrounding country is not envel- 
Harbor. oped in the almost endless fog, which renders 
navigation so dangerous in these seas. 

Once, however, we did see the place clear of fog, and the 
beautiful scenery combined with the strikingly sweet songs of 
the birds to make a never-to-be-forgotten picture. 

The songbirds here include the golden crowned song spar- 
row and the dwarf hermit thrush, but the most prominent of 
all is the Lapland longspur, which is seen everywhere. The 
longspurs are constantly seen hovering in the air and pouring 
out their delightful liquid notes, but they have a curious habit 
of suddenly dropping downward into the grass and flowers in 
the midst of their song. 

The white inhabitants raise some fine cattle and the climate 
is so mild that they run out of doors all winter. The native 
Aleuts look so identically like Japanese that they might be 



486 ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN QUINTON 

taken readily for them, and there seems to be little doubt that 
they are of Japanese origin. 

This was at the time when people were rush- 
Back to m S to Alaska in almost anything that would 
San float, and on the way between Dutch Harbor 

Francisco. an( j 5^- Michaels, I sighted a new steamer 

breaking up in latitude 58 15' N. longitude 
167 40' W. I ran close to her to make sure there was no 
one on board, and the hull broke in two while we were looking 
at it. After delivering the vessel to the representative of the 
Coast and Geodetic Survey in St. Michaels, I had an oppor- 
tunity to see the sights of the place before I secured a pas- 
sage to San Francisco; and I could not help contrasting the 
desolate nature of the surrounding country with the beautiful 
scenery of Southern Alaska. About the only flowers which I 
saw here were iris, and the only specimen of a tree is a species 
of Arctic willow which grows about as thick as a man's thumb 
and creeps along the ground like a vine. 



= Christian Herald= 

A Clean Illustrated Weekly for the Home 

THE CHRISTIAN HERALD is read every week 
by over a million Americans of the best class 
that is, the home-loving, deep-thinking class 
because it comes nearer to their real needs and 
ideals than any other publication. It carries into 
the home the news of the world, secular as well 
as religious, the really important happenings of 
the week in such a straightforward manner that 
ev^ery reader is kept abreast of the times. 

THE CHRISTIAN HERALD is full of illustra- 
tions. Its correspondents live in every country 
on earth. It appeals to the high and the low, 
both sexes of all ages. Its readers constitute a 
great family of well-wishers who find THE 
CHRISTIAN HERALD more than helpful. 

You will like the delightful way THE 
CHRISTIAN HERALD has of saying and doing 
things. Its weekly visits are sure to make your 
home life brighter and happier than ever before. 

A year's issue of THE CHRISTIAN HERALD 
contains a wealth of wholesome, stimulating 
entertainment. It is at once a weekly news- 
paper and magazine combined with the leaven- 
ing, however, that goes with a belief in God and 
a resolve to live up to the motto : " Do all the 
good you can to all the people you can." 

The Christian Herald is $1.50 a year (52 issues), 
including The Christian Herald Almanac FREE. 



Christian Herald Almanac for 1913 

Given FREE to All Yearly Sub- 
scribers of The Christian Herald 

The new Christian Herald Almanac is a book of facts and figures 
that will be found constantly useful in every Christian household. 
In addition to the calendar and special information concerning 
dates, holidays, and facts pertaining to the year itself, it is a liberal 
compendium of useful knowledge on all subjects, but particularly 
those which have an immediate interest for CHRISTIAN HERALD 
readers. 

Progress of Religion 

For instance, there is an article entitled, "The Progress of Reli- 
gion," which is a preface to eighteen pages of statistics and infor- 
mation relating to the various religious bodies or denominations in 
the United States what they are, what they do and what they 
number. These statistics have been prepared especially for The 
Christian Herald Almanac by H. K. Carroll, LL.D., who was reli- 
gious statistician of the United States Census. 

Another section of the Almanac is devoted to the Government of 
the United States. It contains many statistics concerning the gov- 
ernment officials, the various bureaus at Washington, the public 
debt of the United States, Post Office regulations, the Census, 
Immigration, etc. 

Following this is a section devoted to comparative statistics of all 
States, showing their area, largest cities, population, agriculture, 
minerals, wealth, schools and public charities. 

Other Features 

"The Market Garden" is treated very fully, and so is "The Great 
American Hen." 

A page entitled "The Liquor Traffic" shows the progress of pro- 
hibition throughout the world. 

"The Realm of Woman" is full of interest for the homemaker. 

"While Waiting for the Doctor" tells you what to do in case of 
accident before the physician arrives. 

Of course there are tables of weights and measures, interest laws 
of the States, "Things the Farmer Should Know," "Household 
Hints," "Hints for the Care of Children," and "Facts Worth Re- 
membering," concerning mountains, islands, rivers, cites, rail- 
ways, etc. 

Finally there are fiction stories, great thoughts of great men, 
pages of humorous material and jokes jokes which can be read 
with innocent enjoyment in any Christian household. 

Address: THE CHRISTIAN HERALD. Bible House, New York 



The Portrait Life of Lincoln 

By DR. FRANCIS TREVELYAN MILLER 

"The Portrait Life of Lincoln" is more than a book. It is a gal- 
lery containing every picture taken of Lincoln, the majority of 
which were part of the great collection of photographs made by 
Matthew B. Brady during the Civil War. These photographs are 
a revelation of historical truths. They are all of large size and 
many of them occupy full pages. The story of the greatest crisis 
in the history of the republic is told in these photographs. 

Among the 110 treasures are the first portrait ever taken of Lin- 
coln; photographs of Lincoln taken when his name first passed over 
the country during the Lincoln-Douglas debates ; photographs taken 
while he was running for United States Senator; during the Mis- 
souri Compromise; on the battle ground of Antietam, the bloodiest 
day in the Civil War ; last photograph of Lincoln ever taken ; Secret 
Service photographs of Lincoln's assassins taken on the gal- 
lows; photographs of the funeral bier and procession while Lincoln 
was being taken on his sixteen-hundred-mile journey to Spring- 
field, when twenty-five million people were attending memorial ser- 
vices to the martyred President. 

"The Portrait of Lincoln," however, is not merely a collection of 
photographs. Accompanying them is a prose commentary by Dr. 
Francis Trevelyan Miller, which throws further light on the life of 
this great man. As near as possible Dr. Miller has told it in Lin- 
coln's own words, that is, with copious quotations from his speeches 
and sayings, which show the foundation of Lincoln's character; the 
influence of love on his life ; his political principles ; the rugged hon- 
esty of his heart; the problems that tested his strength; the gather- 
ing of humanity under his leadership; his fortitude in the hour of 
trial; his faith in the common people; his humility in the hour of 
victory; his sympathy for the unfortunate; the veil of sorrow that 
spread over the nation when he was assassinated. The volume 
contains Lincoln's first public speech and many of those delivered 
throughout his life, particularly the address at Gettysburg, in mag- 
nanimity of spirit, simplicity, brevity and historical import, the 
greatest speech in American annals. 

The volume contains a chronology of the historical events in the 
growth of the American nation from the birth to the death of 
Lincoln. 

Truly, this volume is one which should be used as a text-book by 
every one interested in the uplift and preservation of integrity of 
character. It is an inspiration. 

Bound in cloth, with illustrated cover, this volume is offered as a 
premium by THE CHRISTIAN HERALD. The book retails at $2. Send 
us $2 and we will send you THE CHRISTIAN HERALD for one year, 
The Christian Herald Almanac and The Portrait Life of Lincoln, 
all postpaid. Or we will send the book free, postpaid, as a premium 
for one neio subscription for THE CHRISTIAN HERALD at $1.50. 

Address: THE CHRISTIAN HERALD, Bible House, New York 



The Pictorial Life of Christ 

Eighty Magnificent Sculptural Illustrations by the 
Famous Italian Master-Sculptor 

DOMENICO MASTROIANNI 

A new master of art has arisen a Prince of Sculptural Artists. 
For six years his genius has been devoted to illustrating the Gospel 
narrative of Jesus' earthly sojourn, and the result, now given to the 
world in eighty remarkable plastic pictures, has excited the wonder 
and admiration of connoisseurs on two continents. This already 
famous Italian Master-Sculptor, Domenico Mastroianni, has "im- 
bibed the very spirit of the Holy Land." In his scenes, every figure 
stands out with vivid distinctness and almost startling clearness of 
detail. The characters, postures and surroundings are those of 
Nazareth and Jerusalem. We see the Saviour himself a com- 
manding figure of royal dignity blended with divine pity, yet withal 
intensely human "in all things as we are." 

These magnificent pictures are not paintings. They are some- 
thing finer. The originals are combinations of sculpture and 
sculptural reliefs done in wax and clay and wonderfully grouped 
and photographed in such a way as to bring out in sharp contrast 
the lights and shadows and perspectives. The resulting photo- 
graph is something absolutely and entirely different in the history 
of art. There is a depth of space realized in looking at these pic- 
tures that you have never known in looking at a drawing or paint- 
ing. Throughout all the pictures there is a reverence, an atmos- 
phere of worship in the treatment of these themes, which is in- 
stantly appreciated. Never has the artist lost sight of the fact 
that his task was a sacred one. His work will be an inspiraion to 
all who view it in this book. Splendid as a triumph of art, these 
pictures are priceless as the highest tribute that consecrated genius 
can pay to the greatest subject the artist could have chosen. He 
has brought us into intimate touch with the daily life of Jesus and 
shed a flood of radiance on the Life and Mission of the Saviour of 
men and brought them before us in vivid and realistic portrayal. 

No expense has been spared in producing a book worthy in every 
respect of these wonderful pictures. The binding is an extremely 
handsome design in gold scroll-work with combination of red-and- 
gold letters upon the side and back of the cover, which measures 
7x10 inches. This splendid volume will instantly attract attention 
wherever shown. The New Pictorial Life of Christ would ordi- 
narily sell in bookstores for not less than $4 a copy. 

The Christian Herald Almanac for 1913 a 104-page Year Book 
of religious and general information will be given to each sub- 
scriber free of charge. We will send The New Pictorial Life of 
Christ, a year's subscription to THE CHRISTIAN HERALD and the 
1913 Christian Herald Almanac, all sent postpaid for $3. 

Address: THE CHRISTIAN HERALD, Bible House, New York 



14 DAY USE 

RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED 

This booicTs due on the last date stamped below, or 

on the date to which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 




m* m mm 

1WTER LIBRARY 




LOAN 




ONE MONTH AFTfcR RKfin 


APR 3 1968^ 

























LD 21-100m-6,'56 
(B9311slO)476 



General Library 

University of California 

Berkeley 



JC 15533 



-- 



265591 



I 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY