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



c wjluxo'e 









Tk* right of Truncation is reterveti. 



The following narrative is compiled from rough notes of a 
Journal written during my wanderings in the Islands of the 
South Pacific. My object in publishing the work is to 
depict, with the simplicity of truth, scenes and events that 
exemplify the leading features of life among that peculiar 
race whose lot is cast on these coral-bound shores. A 
European who dwells among 6avage tribes is often com- 
pelled, by the" circumstances in which he is placed, to " as- 
sume a greatness, if he has it not ;" and the narrative of my 
personal adventures may seem, on this account, somewhat 
egotistical. If so, I must beg the reader to excuse a fault 
which any one writing the experiences of a life similar to 
mine in these islands must find, to some extent at least, 
almost unavoidable. 

E. H. L. 



Proposed Trading Voyage to the Islands of the Pacific — Dr. R 
— The Brig Chatham — The Talca — Commencement of the 
Voyage — Ship's Company — Sea Yarns — Schools of Porpoises — 
Land sighted — The Marquesas — Dominica — Oatin — Scenery of 
the Islands — First Appearance of a Native — Resolution Bay — 
Nukaheva — Typee Bay — The Pilot and his Crew — Tattooing — 
Bay of Anna Maria — The Fort, Governor's House, and Govern- 
ment Buildings— Interview with the Governor — The Commissary 
and his Department — A Small Trading Transaction — Visit to 
the Padre— -Visit to the Pilot's House— The King's House- 
Its Structure and Internal Arrangements — A French Incentive 
to Conversion — A Nymph bathing— Peculiar Mode of Saluta- 
tion — A Generous Oner — Engagement of an Interpreter 

pp. 1—20 


Bay of Hana-ti-Tapa— A King and his Courtiers — Visit of 
the Queen — Her Costume and Adornments — " Me Tapa " — 
Anointing Oil — An Attempt at Conversation — A Proposal 
of Marriage — Hana-ti-Kona — Native Battles — Bay of Hana- 
pae-Oa — Shanaka, Motona, and Na Ahe — Stoical Indifference 
—The Waihenes at Hana-ou-Pi — Entertained by the King 
—A Night with the King of Eka Noa— A Native Mode of 


Smoking — An Excellent Repast — Marqnesan Politeness — The 
Loan of a Wife — Sail along the Coast — Bay of Ta Ana — Vain 
Attempt to reach the Ship— Settlement on Resolution Bay — 
A travelled Marqnesan Chief— A Brother Mason recognised by 
Dr. R.— Bansom of a -White Man— A Three Days' Battle— 
Rival Chiefs — Natives of Oto Hana — Journey — An Irishman in 
the Marquesas— Visited in Sickness by a Wise Woman — Vai Mate 
— Beception on onr Return to Hana-ma-Nu — Unfortunate 
Difference with the Natives pp. 21 — 46 


Island of Roahuga — Annoying Incident — Position of the Island of 
Tibrones — The Dangerous or Low Archipelago— Dean's Island 
— Coral Reefs and Lagoons — Tahiti — The Reefs and Lagoons 
around the Island — Discovery of Tahiti — Missionary Operations 
— Mr. Pritchard — The French Protectorate — Town and Har- 
bour of Papeete— French Institutions — Houses of Europeans and 
Natives — Native Costumes — The Promenade— Tattoo — Visit to 
Queen Pomare — Pomare Tanie, the King Consort — Population 
of Tahiti — Productions of the Island — Departure from Tahiti 
— The Society and Georgian Islands — Huahine — Unsuccessful 
Attempt of the French to seize the Island — The Settlement — 
Contention between my Boatmen — Night in a Native Hut — 
The Captain's Party on Board — Family of a Native Teacher — 
Commotion in the Island pp. 47 — 71 


The Harvey Islands— Rorotonga — Mangaia— MankS, or Parry's 
Island — The Population and their Sufferings — Tomano Wood 
— Suspicions of the Captain— Night Fishing — Native Police at 
Mangaia — Mr. Gill the Missionary— Appearance of the Island 
—Its Trade — Trees and Fruit — Discovery of Mangaia — Davida 


— Troubles of the Missionaries — A Premature Step— Position 
of Missionaries in the South Sea Islands — Mr. Gill's Departure 
from Mangaia — Cultivation of the Taro — Surprised while 
Bathing — Charged with Misdemeanour — Evening Patrol — Re- 
turn to Manke — The Manke People— An Adventure of the 
Captain's — Purchase of a Canoe — Mitiaro— Atien — King's and 
Missionary's Law — Freaks of the Captain — A Hospitable Lady 
—Harvey Island — Productions of the Island — Aitutakd — Mis- 
sionary Influence — Markets — Native Houses and Orange Groves 
—A Stray Waif pp. 72—102 


Departure for California— A Kanaka's Interpretation of a Meteor — 
Wreck of the Ship— Appearance of Natives — Their Attack re- 
pelled — Mahauta sent ashore — Onset of Savages — Our Landing 
on the Island — Costume— Native Huts — An Imp surprised — 
Insubordination — My Home on the Island — Breaking Cocoa 
Nuts — Attempt at Conversation — A Native Supper — Night 
Wail — March resumed — A Mara, or Sacred Ground — Curious 
Ceremonies — Terror of the Captain — Dance of Females — Mourn- 
ful Dirges — Ceremony of Adoption — Sararak — Divisions of the 
Island — A Native Plenipotentiary — Blunders made in acquiring 
the Language — Novel Appropriation of English Costume — As- 
sembly of our Officers and Crew — A Family Group— Alarm of 
Invasion — Becovery of my Sword — Ceremony of the Pehu — 
Numerous Relations — Etiquette for Relations — My Gratifying 
Progress in the Language pp. 103 — 138 


Recovery of Valuable Instruments — Construction of a Boat — The 
Doctor and his Party — Search for Nails — Native Pilfering — 

• •• 


Mahauta Nad— The Great Chief— Native Dances— Discovery 
of another Sister— Threatened Attack of the Tepukans— Night 
Attack repulsed — Ideas of the Natives — Timher on the Island 
— Construction of Native Canoes — Varieties of the Cocoa-nut — 
Orora — The Uto— Construction of Huts and Manufacture of 
Arms — Preparation of Food— Supper— Expedition in Search of 
Cocoa-nuts — Native Legend of their Origin — Land Crabs — 
Further Progress in the Language — A Family Island — Curious 
Custom — Commotion excited by the Doctor — Another Dis- 
turbance — Don Juan — Annoying Conduct of the Captain — Old 
Monitu — Journey to Matunga — A New Proposal of Adoption 
— Molly Bawn— Meeting with " my Aunt " . pp. 139 — 171 


Harbour of Omuka — Troublesome Hospitality — Prevalence of Dis- 
gusting Sores — Pikoche — Bathing — Cure of Chera Puna — Stroll 
over the Island — Insolence of a Powerful Chief resented — De- 
parture for Matunga — Kind Beception in Mangerongaro — 
Taharua — Kakara — Excellent Fish— Turua— Ceremony of the 
Mara — Native Idols — The To Tree — Superstitious Observance 
— Sacrifice of a Turtle — Created an " Iriki "— Ocura— Enter- 
tained by Turua — His House — Opposition to my Departure 
from the Island — Pursued by the Natives — Attempts to escape 
— Offer of a Canoe — My Departure — Etiquette of Reception — 
Consecration of my House — Completion of our Boat — Success- 
ful Launch — Preparations for the Departure of our Comrades — 
Call at Tokerau— Accident to the Boat— A Flattering Offer — 
The Boat once more off — Unaccountable Course taken by it — 
Pleasant Sail along the Coast — Return of the Boat — Renewed 
Trouble with the Captain — Tokarora — Proceedings of the Doc- 
tor — Recovery of the Greater Part of the Works of Shakspeare 
— An Invitation — Biche de Mer — Storm on a Journey. 

pp. 172—206 



Our Reception in the Omuka Territory — Curious Manner of Dis- 
posing of the Dead — Ceremonies and Superstitions relating to 
the Departed — Costume worn for Mourning — Orora — Visit to 
"Relations " — Coquetry — Games of the Polynesians — A Wife 
■et apart for me — Strange Conduct of the Natives — Encounter 
with some of them — Visit to "Grandpapa" — Manner of catching 
Plying Fish — The Mararo— Sight of a Vessel in the Distance 
— Disappointment — Pearl Fishing — Pearl Islands — Operations 
of the Divers — Value of the Oyster Shells — A Misadven- 
ture of the Captain's — Arrangements for our Departure— Pro- 
posed Visit to Tepuka — An Attempt to escape temporarily 
baffled — Opaka's Generosity — Refusal of my Guide to proceed 
— Renewed Attempts to detain me— Difficult Journey — Ma- 
hauta Nud — Hostility of a Priest— Tepuka Pashues — The Great 
Mara— Ancient Tombs— A Great Curiosity . pp. 207 — 237 


Mahauta's Resistance to my Departure — A Great Man insulted — 
Inhospitable Natives — Sufferings from my Feet — Mahauta's 
Children — Penrhyn Canoe under Sail — Return to Haka Shusha 
— Unaccountable Departure of the Doctor — My Hopeless Situa- 
tion — Designs attributed to the Captain — Great Attention 
shown to us by the Matungans — Franke's Determination to 
marry — Stay in Sararak — The Captain's Boat "tabooed" — 
Angry Discussion — Caught in an attempt to remove the Boat 
—Visit of " Old Monitu"— Artifice to recover the Doctor's 
Dagger — A Difference proposed for Arbitration — Acquisition of 
a Pistol and Powder — Manufacture of Lead Balls — Renewed 
Disturbance about the Boat — An Act of Perfidy — An Unex- 
pected Visitor — Haka Mod Kakara — Habits of the Native 
Women — Visit to Matunga — Importance attributed to the 
Married State — Curious and Irritating Scene — Numerous Visi- 
tors—A Messenger from Matunga — Absurd Apprehensions pro- 


dnced by the Flying of a Kite— Native Quarrels — An Alarm — 
A Friendly Visit — A Stratagem of Turua's — Violent Epidemic 
— Illness and Recovery of Chera Pan a — Animosity excited 
against us— Speech of an Old Chief-^My Reply pp. 238—267 


My return to Matunga — Abject Superstition — Religious Cere- 
monies — Visit to Omuka — A Novel Remedy for the Prevalent 
Epidemic— Requested to visit Mahauta Nue — Illness of Opaka 
—Landing of that once dreaded Chief in Omuka — Great Ex- 
citement — Ravages of the Epidemic in Mangerongarc— A 
* Fono," or Council — Induced to wear a Peculiar Badge — Con- 
ciliatory Address — Death of Opaka — Performance of Sacred 
Rites at the Mara — Attempt to recover my Sword — Appoint- 
ment of an Iriki — Departure for Haka Shusha — Reception by 
the Tepukans — Diving for the Pashu — Visit to Ocura — Ex- 
pression of Violent Grief — Island of Taimata — Inhospitable 
Reception — Lovely Scene— Haka Puta — Another Mahanta 
Nue— A Blighted Tract— The Tautuans— Curious Fish— Visit 
to Haka Puta's Mother — Descent of the Natives of Sararak — 
Stripping the Cocoa-nut Trees — Regarded with Suspicion by 
the Tautuans — An Intruder — Invasion of the Matungans — 
Conference — The Matungans persuaded to retire— Extensive 
Shoal— Compelled to take a Third Wife . . . pp. 268— 298 


Plan of a white Kingdom — Proposed Departure— Matrimonial 
Disturbance — Ruchd Fishing — Departure — Reception at Ma- 
tunga — A Shakspeare Lesson — Haka Puta's Amusements- 
Disagreeable Habits of the Natives — Rayheys — Fishing Expedi- 
tion— Chera Puna — Presents* Curtain Lecture — Scarcity of 
Cocoa-nuts — Departure from Matunga — Farewell to the Noble 
Turua— Passage through the Mutagohiche Territory — Affairs 


of the Islands — The People, their Jealousies and Ware — Mis- 
adventure to Haka Futa — Arrival in Sararak — Important 
Council — Theatrical Representation of our Shipwreck — The 
White Feather shown by Franks — A Tranquil Life in Mange- 
rongaro — Unwelcome Visit of the Tepukans — Great Festivities 
— The Mukatea — My Mission to the Tepukans — Factious Pro- 
ceedings amongst ourselves — Quarrel between Turua and Ocura 
— False Alarm — Danger of Wooing for another — Jealousy. 

pp. 299—880 


The Beacon Fire — Appearance of the Tepukans — Hostility of the 
Tepukans — Measures taken to guard against it — My Mission to 
Tqpuka — Halt at Tautua — Proposed Castle — Head-quarters at 
Matunga — On the Look-out for a Ship — A Sail in Sight — Re- 
fusal of the Natives to assist me — Reported Escape of other 
White Men — Disappointment of my Hopes — A Stormy Night 
— Formation of a Canoe — Miserable Tools— Involved in Native 
Quarrels — Joe's Malicious Proceedings — Defeat of the Tepukans 
— Completion and Launch of my Canoe — Her First Day at 
Sea — Appearance of a Ship— Determination at all hazards to 
effect my Escape — Exciting Adventure on board the John 
Appleton of New Bedford — My Appearance — The Vessel at- 
tacked by the Matungans— Grief of the Natives at my Depar- 
ture — Curious Taste of my two Native Followers — Aticu — 
Patriotism — The Cone of Rorotonga — The Central Missionary 
Station— Conclusion pp. 881—859 


the rival chiefs frontispiece 

PORTRAIT 0? THE AUTHOR ........ ViffnetU 


A MARA 121 




A PRHTJ 803 


Proposed Trading Voyage to the Islands of the Pacific — Dr. R - 

— The Brig Chatham — The Talca — Commencement of the 
Voyage — Ship's Company — Sea Yarns — Schools of Porpoises — 
Land sighted — The Marquesas — Dominica — Oatin— Scenery of 
the Islands — First Appearance of a Native— Resolution Bay — 
Nukaheva — Typee Bay — The Pilot and his Crew — Tattooing — 
Bay of Anna Maria — The Port, Governor's House, and Govern- 
ment Buildings— Interview with the Governor — The Commissary 
and his Department — A Small Trading Transaction — Visit to 
the Padre— Visit to the Pilot's House— The King's House- 
Its Structure and Internal Arrangements — A French Incentive 
to Conversion — A Nymph bathing — Peculiar Mode of Saluta- 
tion — A Generous Offer — Engagement of an Interpreter. 

DURING the winter months little business is done in 
California, especially in the up-country trade, in which 
I had been chiefly occupied. When the fall of the year, 
therefore, approached (a period at which further ventures 
were unsafe), I arranged with my partner to make a trading 
voyage through some of the islands of the South Pacific, 
which, we estimated, would occupy not more than four 
months, permitting my return in time for the spring trade. 

Some time previous to this concerted voyage, I had met 
in San Francisco a gentleman who professed an intimate 

knowledge of the islands. Dr. R (I need not give the 

name by which he was introduced to me) proposed to partici- 
pate in our expedition ; and, from his presumed knowledge of 
the island trade, I most gladly availed myself of his services. 

The Chatham, purchased by L», H., and Co. for the 



voyage, was a good, substantial, though not fast -sailing 
clipper brig, of some three hundred tons burden, under the 
American flag ; and, as neither my partner nor myself was an 
American citizen, we could not, of course, hold the ship in our 
own names. During my absence in the country, where 
I went to arrange some business matters before my depar- 
ture, H. placed the vessel in the name of the captain — an 
act so grossly misjudged that, had time permitted, I should 
have had it cancelled before proceeding to sea. The captain, 
however, wl\pm he had known for some time, was a favourite of 
his ; and, he assumed me, he had the most perfect confidence 
in his integrity. Accordingly, on Sunday, the 14th October, 
I proceeded towards the vessel, with my partner, the doctor, 
and some friends, about one o'clock, the hour appointed for 
our departure, but on approaching it, was surprised to find 
the sails furled, and no appearance of sailing visible. My 
surprise, of course, was increased when, on boarding the brig, I 
discovered that the captain had not yet arrived. After wait- 
ing some time, however, he made his appearance, but in such 
a state of drunkenness that it was impossible for him to pro- 
ceed to sea. We persuaded him to turn into his cabin, and 
H., who was of a nervous disposition, was so alarmed 
that he proposed to supersede him in the command ; but 
as sailors generally are known to be fond of a parting 
cup, I saw no reason for supposing that, though on the pre- 
sent occasion he had forgotten himself, he might not be well 
conducted at sea. Aware, too, of the position in which we 
had placed him as owner, I felt that if he were so disposed 
he could give us much annoyance in case we turned him 
ashore again. 

In the evening the captain was sufficiently recovered to 
take the command. The anchor was raised, the sails were 
loosened and spread out before a light breeze, and we 


began to thread our way amongst the maze of shipping that 
in those days lay in the stream. The current was running 
with the usual force of the ebb tides in this bay, and we 
managed to run foul of two vessels, an accident by which 
part of our bulwarks and our taffrail were carried away. We 
finally, however, brought up alongside a large lighter, the 
remains, as we soon discovered, of the brig Talca, of Val- 
paraiso, which had arrived here some four years before, and, 
like many a better vessel, being unable to meet the expenses 
attending its refitment for sea, had been for a length of time 
used as a store-ship, and finally reduced to its present de- 
graded state. We moored ourselves to this craft, with the 
intention of lying there for that night, and making sail 
with the slack tide of next day's dawn. 

I spent a sleepless night at our moorings. The old Talca, 
as if indignant at the service to which, in her reduced con- 
dition, we had applied her, kept bumping against us all night. 
With the first streak of day we cast off from the old hulk, 
the fresh morning breeze filling our sails as we wound our 
way out through the shipping, and danced gaily over the 
rippled waters of the bay. Beating against a head wind, we 
passed from Yerba Buena to Contra Costa, back to North 
Beach, with its tents and shanties, and again over to " Los 
Angelos," now tacking at the yellow sand bluffs, and then 
under the bold cliffs of the Saucelita shores. Finally passing 
the Golden Gates, we found ourselves on the rolling waves 
of the great Pacific. Outside the breeze had increased, and 
we were enabled, close-hauled, to stand on our course, with 
just sea enough to sprinkle our decks with white foam as the 
waves were dashed aside by the gallant vessel in her onward 

Our ship's company consisted of the captain, one George 
Snow, a native of Nantucket, and of course an old whaler — a 

b 2 


short, stout little fellow, more like a Dutchman than a 
Yankee, except for the cut of his beard. The mate also was a 
stout, jolly-looking, red-faced, old Nantucket whaler, with a 
nose compared with which Oliver Cromwell's would have 
looked pale. The second mate proved to be the captain's 
brother, though no one, judging by appearance, would ever 
have accused him of such a relationship. His frame was 
lank and loose, and his crane-like neck supported a most 
cadaverous-looking figure-head, that would have scared crows 
from any corn-field. He seldom spoke, and rarely, if 
ever, laughed. Both I and the doctor tried to bring him 
out, but our efforts were unsuccessful. His appetite was 
insatiable. His long under- jaw, projecting forward, ap- 
peared to be at all times literally " seeking what it might 
devour/ 1 Though he came from the anti-liquor state of 
Maine, he consumed an immense quantity of strong drink. 
He had tried carpentering in California ; but finding it, as 
I understood, too hard work, he had been shipped by the 
captain as second officer, though it was his first voyage as a 
seaman. The men, of course, laughed at him. 

Juan, our cook, was a young, handsome, black-eyed Chilano. 
Though he had acknowledged his incapacity for such an 
office, the captain had persuaded him to join his ship (probably 
in a drunken fit), assuring him that what he did not know 
he would himself teach him. A bad cook Juan certainly 
was, but a very good man, as he afterwards proved. 

Before the mast we had Bill, an old British man-o'- war's 
man ; Joe, a Portuguese, trying to pass for a Spaniard ; John 
and Mowry, two Huahaine Kanakas. Wages being very high, 
60$ per month for seamen, we sailed as light-handed as 
possible, at least as far as the islands, to which there is gene- 
rally a fair run, and where men may be had for 10$ or 12$ 
per month. 

For some days we had a fair wind that carried us to the 


rerge of the tropics, and as we expected to meet the N.E. 
trade winds there, we had every prospect of making a speedy 
voyage. " Blessed, however, are they that expect little !" 
At this season of the year the winds are very variable. 
Instead of N.E., we had them from the S.W. dead ahead ; 
and so little were we blessed in this voyage with favouring 
gales, that upwards of a month had passed before we neared 
the Marquesas. 

During all the time there were few incidents of importance 
to relieve its monotony. When the wind was tolerably fair 
the captain entertained us with astonishing tales of whaling 
adventures, to which I was always a most attentive listener. 
Being no sailor, and consequently very " green," the more I 
seemed to wonder at the improbable tales told me, the more 
extraordinary they became. The mate, too, indulged in 
the repetition of some old " sea yarns," and his jolly face 
laughed over with delight when he found any one disposed to 
credit stories which the greatest greenhorn in a whale-ship 
would have pronounced " gammon." 

We were occasionally amused by the capture of a porpoise. 
The captain and mate were always greatly excited by the 
approach of these denizens of the deep ; even at night the 
shout of " Porpoises, porpoises 1" being enough to rouse 
them from their beds. The capture of one of these crea- 
tures is always an exciting scene. Whenever they sight a 
ship they come on towards it, dashing over the waves like 
so many race-horses trying to outvie each other in their 
rapid course, snorting and puffing the water in jets above 
them, and indulging in a variety of graceful movements. 
They generally appeared in schools of from six to a dozen, or 
more, and gamboled round the bow of the ship, crossing 
and re- crossing it with the greatest ease when we were sail- 
ing at the rate of ten knots an hour. Rapid, however, as 
are their evolutions, they present an easy mark to the har- 


pooner, who stands beneath the bowsprit, beside the martin- 
gale. As the great fish glides beneath, the heavy harpoon 
is plnnged into his back, and a line fastened to it being reeved 
through a block aloft, whence it passes to the deck, where 
several hands are ready at the word to ran aft with it, the 
unfortunate porpoise is whipped up out of his native element 
before he can extricate himself from the barbed iron which 
has entered deeply into his flesh. If he is not quickly hoisted 
aloft, he not unfrequently succeeds in effecting his escape, 
his strength in the water being prodigious. When one por- 
poise is struck, whether captured or not, the rest of the 
school almost invariably leave the ship. 

Safely on deck, the head is cut off, and the fish properly 
cleaned. The blubber, about an inch thick, between the skin 
and the flesh, is then carefully taken off in strips, and when 
preserved for " drying out/' will produce a gallon or so of ex- 
cellent oil. The flesh from the back is also cut in strips, and, 
after being hung up in the rigging for a day or two, is ready 
for use. It is then either made into what sailors well know as 
" porpoise balls " — a kind of forcemeat — or is cut into thin 
steaks, which, in taste as well as in appearance, are like very 
old, hard bull-meat. On a long voyage, however, the porpoise 
is a capital substitute for fresh beef; and, to those who are 
fond of it, the liver is quite as good as that of a hog, which it 
somewhat resembles. After the death of a porpoise, fried 
porpoise balls invariably accompany every meal for two or 
three days. 

After we had been well-nigh a month at sea, a good look- 
out was ordered during the nighty as we were supposed to be 
so near land that we might arrive at it before morning. By 
daylight a man was sent aloft, and scarcely had the sun risen 
above the horizon before the joyful sound of " Land ho V 9 
delighted all hands. " Where aways ? " " On the starboard 
bow." After a short interval the cry, "Land ho!" was 


again repeated. u Where aways V " Right ahead !" and, 
on the third repetition of the same exclamation and the 
same question, we were informed that it was " on the star- 
board beam." Every one now jumped into the rigging ; 
whilst I, mounting to the fore-yard, beheld with the most 
intense interest, rising from the waters at various points, 
numerous little blue pinnacles strongly defined against the 
clear morning sky. 

As we approached from the N.E., the islands arising to our 
view proved to be Dominica, or Ohevahoa, in front ; Hood's 
Island, or Fetuhugu, on our right ; San Pedro, or Onateava, 
on our left; and, in the passage between the two latter, 
Oatin. On gradually approaching these isles of the Pacific, 
peak after peak of their mountain-tops was perceived 
emerging one after the other from the sea, the islands 
extending in dark masses along the horizon. As we sailed 
along the shores of Dominica, the glowing tropical sun 
lighted up the landscape, revealing to our gaze the numerous 
bays that stretched up into the land, and the deep valleys, 
clothed with the most luxuriant vegetation. The Call-call 
mountains in the rear were seen, flanked on either side by 
precipitous spurs, which spread in all directions from the 
centre range down towards the sea, terminating in bold 
bluffs that received the shock of the Pacific. 

Approaching the south-eastern extremity of Dominica, we 
found ourselves at the entrance of an extensive bay, pro- 
tected on the extreme right by a massive wall of rock several 
hundred feet high, and extending for about a mile into the 
sea. Here we. hove-to, expecting that a canoe would put 
out from the bay ; but, to our disappointment, none of the 
natives, if any were settled there, appeared. In vain I 
asked for information from the captain and the doctor 
respecting the character of the place before us. So scanty 
were the particulars I could glean from them, that I began 

8 oatih. 

to suspect that their boasted knowledge of the islands — at 
least of this group— was not much above my own. I there- 
fore resolved to proceed through the narrow straits that 
divide the islands of Dominica and Oatin, and make for 
Resolution Bay, in the latter island, where the French were 
said at that moment to have a settlement. The distance 
between these islands does not seem more than three miles. 
A rapid current, setting southerly, hurries the voyager too 
quickly through a scene of such beauty that it is impossible 
to do justice to it by any description. On the left, Oatin 
rises in a sloping plain towards the mountains. When the 
S.W. point is turned, the shore is seen to be indented with 
various bays, whilst on the opposite coast the red, bare rock 
of the promontory before mentioned ascends from the ocean 
like a wall. Further on, though the rock is still precipitous, 
there are places where the inclination is so gentle that the 
ascent is practicable; such spots being clothed from the 
water's edge in a dense mass of foliage, save where here and 
there the overhanging cliffs protrude their black fronts, or 
where the mountain torrents have swept away the scanty 
soil with its verdant clothing, leaving bald red patches that 
rather vary than disfigure the landscape. The whole scene 
is enlivened by numerous cascades, which may be seen 
bounding over dark rocks or peeping through the deep shade 
of the ravines, whilst the base of the mountains above the 
whole extent of the passage is lashed by the waves, which 
beat against it in one line of sparkling foam. 

On rounding the S.E. end of Oatin a lovely bay presented 
itself to our view. Either side was protected by dark, high 
rocks, against which the sea broke fiercely. At some dis- 
tance, however, we could see the waves rippling gently on the 
yellow sand that fringed the upper part of the bay. An 
extensive cocoa-nut grove, at no distance from the shore, 
invited to the peaceful seclusion of its shady recesses. Even 


the rough Jacks were impressed with the beauty of the land- 
scape, and many an exclamation of delight escaped from them 
as we glided rapidly along this ever- varying scene. 

It was supposed, as we approached it, that this might be 
Resolution Bay, to which we were bound ; but on coming 
opposite its entrance, we could see no appearance of a settle* 
ment. Indeed, there was not a single habitation of any kind, 
not even a canoe on the beach. I was much astonished at 
this, as I had understood that the coasts of all these bays, and 
the valleys that descended to them, were inhabited by a 
numerous population. Yet in this inviting spot all was still 
as the grave. As some bold headlands to leeward, however, 
promised other inlets, we stood on our course pretty close to 
the shore. Beyond the first point we passed, another bay 
opened up with groves like the former, but too small for a 
ship to anchor in. Amongst the rocks our attention was 
attracted by an object moving, which we soon descried to be 
a man. We hailed him, but he seemed as anxious to avoid 
us as we were desirous of a closer interview with him. He 
crept cautiously among the boulders till near the level beach, 
when we fired a gun as a signal to him. This, however, only 
accelerated his movements, and rushing over the exposed 
space, unencumbered as he was by garment of any kind, he 
was soon lost to view amongst the trees. 

Some heavy black clouds that had been gathering round 
the high mountain peak of Oatin now began to roll down its 
sides. At the same time the wind rose, and a violent squall 
struck us just as we hove-to in front of the entrance to a 
much more picturesque and spacious bay than either of the 
others, but the wind rushed through its rock-guarded entrance 
with such force that we were obliged to run from it. This 
was evidently Resolution Bay, some large white houses, 
together with a fort and signal-post, being distinctly visible. 
Although we also must have been seen by many on shore, no 


flag was raised in reply to ours. We fired a gun to attract 
attention, but its only response was the echo from the moun- 
tains. No pilot boat put off from the shore, nor even one of 
the numerous canoes that I had understood would imme- 
diately surround a ship on her approach. Many absurd sup- 
positions were imagined in explanation of this silence. One 
surmised that the French had murdered all the natives, and 
then had left the place ; another, that the natives had killed 
the French, and were afraid of showing themselves ; a third, 
that, like the celebrated Kilkenny cats, each had killed the 
other, and that none were left to tell the tale. 

While we were still close to the entrance, we were again 
struck by a squall more violent than the former, for it caused 
the loss of our jib, a mishap which forced us to retreat 

As the mysterious silence that hung over the place still 
continued unbroken, we decided on shaping our course 
towards Nukaheva, the principal settlement of the French, 
and the residence of the governor of this group. Spreading 
our sails before the S.E. trade winds, we ran close under the 
western coast of Dominica, a continued line, uninterrupted 
by point or bay, many hundred feet in height, and clothed 
with one mass of undying foliage, save where the brown rocks 
beneath, indented with numerous caves, are washed by the 
ocean. Our attention was soon specially attracted to one of 
the latter, near which we saw something moving, which we 
discovered to be a piece of white cloth waved as a signal We 
at once hove-to, waving a signal in return, when the figure 
of a man presented itself at the entrance, beckoning us to 
approach the shore ; but as it would have been inconvenient 
to launch the boat at that moment, we proceeded on our 

At the extreme S.W. point wewere becalmed for the greater 
part of the afternoon, and drifted to a spot in rather disagree- 
able proximity to the breakers. The listless monotony of 


the calm, however, was broken by a large school of porpoises 
sporting around us, two of which we succeeded in capturing. 
About sunset the breeze freshened, and during the night 
we made an easy passage to Nukaheva, some sixty or seventy 
miles distant. Daylight found us close off Typee Head, at 
the mouth of a spacious and lovely bay. 

Typee, or Taipi Bay, the scene of many of those cannibal 
orgies recorded by sailors, probably not without some founda- 
tion, lies at the south-east end of the island of Nukaheva. 
A few miles further to the westward, running along a bold 
cliffy shore on the south side, we arrived at the bay of Anna 
Maria, which, from its being the French naval post, and 
residence of the governor, is the most important settlement 
in the group. The natural advantages of its position are 
very considerable. The entrance, about a quarter of a 
mile in width, is guarded by precipitous cliffs on either side, 
seamed with deep clefts by the action of the sea. The waves 
break in constant foam on several rugged islets at the base 
of these cliffs, making the entrance rather dangerous, espe- 
cially as the wind here is very fickle, coming in gusts from 
various quarters. As we approached the bay, we perceived, 
on a high pinnacle to our right, the French flag floating from 
a watch-tower, and through the passage a spacious land- 
locked harbour, on whose silver waters a tall ship-of-war 
floated securely. As a whale boat, propelled by six lusty 
oars, was at the same time seen pushing out towards us, 
bearing, no doubt, a pilot to carry us in, we hove-to to 
receive him. He was no sooner on our deck than he com- 
menced his task in a masterly manner, though, as we were 
informed, he had such a love for strong liquors, when he 
could procure them, that he was seldom in a fit state to take 
charge of a ship. 

According to his own story he had at one time served as 
an officer in the British navy; but many years' residence 



amongst the savages, together with habitual intemperance, 
had left few traces of the gentleman about him, though he 
was decently clad when he came aboard of us. His crew, 
six in number, being the first South Sea Islanders I had yet 
seen, were objects of considerable interest to me. They 
were fine, tall, manly-looking fellows, with a proud bearing and 
easy carriage. Their features were far superior to those of" 
some Sandwich Islanders I had seen in California. The horrid 
system of tattooing, however, disfigures the men frightfully* 
In most of the islands of the South Seas the face is spared in 
the process. The gracefully-curved lines that I have seen 
traced on some parts of the body are decidedly ornamental, but 
in this island the countenance is disfigured with rude black 
patches, invariably in straight lines. The face of one of the 
natives, in the upper part, was enveloped from eyes to fore- 
head in a perpetual mask ; while another had on one side 
alone straight lines extending from the top to the bottom of 
the nose, and to either extremity of the ear. A third had, 
besides sundry smaller streaks of beauty, a coal-black patch 
across one half of the mouth and cheek. A handsome youth 
was ornamented with some fine hair lines drawn on one side 
of his face from the corner of the eye, the nose, and mouth, 
and another with sundry bars running entirely across the 
face like the visor of a helmet drawn down. Tattooing gives 
the face a wild, fierce expression, which is not characteristic 
of these people, who are generally gentle and timid, though 
not without cunning. 

We sailed well up the bay, and came to anchor about mid- 
way across, not far from the man-o'-war, from which a boat 
was immediately despatched with an officer to board us. This 
official politely requested to see our manifest, and required a 
minute description of all arms on board, which, together 
with spirits, are the only articles not' allowed to be sold to 
the natives. All other things you may introduce among 


them, duty free, some pilot dues being the only charges. 
We then got a permit to land, a privilege which I did not at 
that time avail myself of. 

The bay of Anna Maria is an irregular circle, perhaps a 
mile in extent each way, protected on either side by pre- 
cipitous spurs coming down from the central mountains. 
The blue waters are fringed by the yellow sands of the beach, 
immediately behind which is the dense green foliage of the 
▼alley, which extends to the swelling hills that arise clad 
with autumn-tinted grass, ferns, or tall cane brakes, the 
whole surmounted by the towering dark mountains in the 
background. To the right of the bay, on a rising ground, 
is the fort, with its formidable guns, sadly out of harmony 
with the peaceful character of the scene. Below is the go- 
vernor's house, with its orange-trees, handsome gardens, and 
grounds, and in immediate vicinity the other French Govern- 
ment buildings. On the left, peeping through the bread- 
fruit groves, and sheltered by the waving palm and the 
broad-leaved banana, are the cottages of the natives. The 
cool sea breeze which constantly fans these shores prevents 
that oppressive sultry heat which is so severely felt on con- 
tinents, even in much lower latitudes. 

In the evening I landed, and was requested by a sentry to 
call at the governor's residence, whither he accompanied 
us with an interpreter. The house is a handsome wooden 
structure, with extensive verandah, pleasantly situated in 
grounds ornamented with various European plants and 
shrubs. We were conducted into a spacious hall, whence, 
after awaiting for a short time his excellency's pleasure, I 
was ushered through a door to the right, where the governor, 
with two secretaries, was seated in an office, apparently im- 
mersed in business, though perhaps not a dozen ships call 
here in the year. A single company of soldiers and the man- 
o'-war in the bay are found sufficient to overawe the Mar- 


quesan savages, some thousands in number. The soldiers 
and sailors, with a few missionary clergy and some servants, 
comprise the French settlement. In the fort there were at 
this time also two or three of the revolutionary chiefs of 
France, whom, as they were doomed to pass their exile in 
solitary confinement, we were not permitted to see. 

The governor was at first rather dignified, but subse- 
quently thawed a little, and became more agreeable. 
Having explained the object of our visit, he informed us that, 
with the exception of arms and munitions of war, there was 
no restriction on trading throughout the group; a regulation, 
he said, referring more especially to the leeward islands, as 
with the others they concerned themselves little. On with- 
drawing, the governor requested me to call at the depot, to 
see if the commissary had any business to transact with me. 
We accordingly proceeded through a long avenue shaded by 
magnificent trees, all new to me, and soon arrived at the 
commissariat department, where, after some preliminary con- 
versation, the functionary there remarked — 

" Ah, I see you have a quantity of spirits and wine on 

I knew he had none ; and to Jacks of all nations they 
are indispensable. 

" 0h, yes," said I, " only a small quantity. I wish my 
whole cargo was composed of these commodities." 

" Why," said he, laughing knowingly, " you must have 
been very simple to bring any here. You know you are not 
permitted to sell them to the natives ; but rather than that 
you should be at much loss in visiting our place, I would 
take some from you myself, if at a low figure." 

" Oh, thank you," said I, " you are extremely kind ; 
but, in fact, I have none to offer here, as I shipped them for 
another market, where I am confident of a much higher price 
than you could possibly offer me, even if you required them." 


" But all the islands in the Pacific are well supplied from 
Tahiti/' he replied. 

" Pardon me, my dear sir," I said ; " I understand there is* 
quite a deficiency in Tahiti itself at present." 

" Oh, not at all. The last vessel from that place informed 
us to the contrary." 

" Yes ; but the governor tells me it is a long time since 
any craft has been here from Tahiti/' 

After some more fencing — for this is the way business is 
done in these remote parts — I sold a small quantity — not so 
much as they required, making some three hundred per 
cent, over cost on most of the articles ; and more than that 
on the brandy, which I confess was wretched stuff. 

The following day, Sunday, the doctor and I called on the 
padre ; but his manner being coldly polite, and our power of 
speaking French not very fluent, our visit was soon cut short. 
I then sauntered towards the governor's house, where, on 
presenting my card, I was admitted with less formality than 
on the previous day. Although the governor knew as 
little English as I did French, he was a perfect master of 
Spanish, with the aid of which, as I knew a little of it, we 
managed to bungle through a conversation of some length. 
His excellency told me that the French station at Oatin had 
been abandoned ; and, as the natives on the island were at 
war just then, it was possible that they might have been at 
some other point, and had not seen us. 

The following day the captain sent some men on shore to 
cut firewood and fill the water-casks, for which there is no 
charge here ; and as the articles disposed of were soon landed, 
I myself followed to see something of the interior of the 
valley. I fortunately met the interpreter, who volunteered 
to accompany me. He was an Italian, long, lank, and dark- 
visaged, dressed in a black coat and white trousers, so short 
as to expose his bare legs ; for though he had shoes, he had 


no stockings. Our first visit was to the pilot's — a neat little 
white house on a rising ground, where he kept a trading 
establishment, and picked up from the natives the few dollars 
spent amongst them by the vessels that occasionally call at 
the port. He said he was supplied with goods principally 
from Tahiti, and I believe it. His small establishment is the 
only trading-post in the whole group ; any other place would, 
in all probability, be too insecure. 

We passed a neat garden with abundance of pine-apples, 
bananas, &c., which belonged to one of the priests ; but my 
previous reception by a representative of their order had been 
so cool that I did not venture on a second attempt at frater- 
nization. The king's house is near the beach, and as it was 
the first native edifice I had entered, I.beheld it with some in- 
terest. Erected on an extensive platform, it is built of large 
stones, with flat surfaces. The structure itself, of bamboo, is 
some twenty feet in height at the back, which is a little in- 
clined inwards. The roof, which is generally thatched with 
the leaf of the banana-tree, descends to about five feet from 
the ground, where it is supported by a proportionably low 
wall of bamboos, the sides inclining gradually to the rear. 
Inside, two massive wooden columns support a heavy cross- 
beam, to which the rafters are attached, a light frame sus- 
taining them in front and rear. The bamboos are sufficiently 
open to permit a draught of air constantly to pass through, 
keeping the place pleasantly cool. Mats or tapa (native 
cloth) are also sometimes put up round the walls, or arranged 
so as to form partitions. The whole building is, perhaps, 
some forty feet long by twelve or fifteen broad. A pavement, 
similar to one on the outside, runs the whole length of the 
structure, and about half its breadth, from the front to a 
rounded piece of timber sunk in the ground about five feet 
from a wall that runs from one end of the building to the 
other. Inside of this space a quantity of mats are strewed, 


where the natives sleep at night, or recline during the day, 
their heads resting on a wooden pillow, and their feet sup- 
ported by the above-mentioned timber, or cooled on the 
pavement beyond it. The inmates, when I entered, consisted 
of several men, old and young, with women and children* 
Two or three young girls were quietly grouped in a corner, 
repeating some religious verses they had been taught by the 
clergy ; and as their soft, black eyes, with long fringes half 
vdiling them from sight, rested on the book or little crucifix, 
they seemed formed for devotion alone. 

In several other houses which I visited, seeing the inmates 
similarly occupied, I said, "This is extraordinary. From 
what I have read of the Marquesas, there has been a great 
change effected here." 

" Yes," replied my companion, " it is wonderful what the 
French clergy have effected." 

As I had observed several air-holes which could have been 
produced only by cannon shot, I gently hinted that perhaps 
French artillery had had a little to do with the change also. 

I wished to prolong my walk, and as my guide was forced 
to return, I pursued my ramble alone. Taking the first path 
that led inland, I was soon pushing blindly through a mass 
of shrubbery that overhung, and occasionally obstructed, the 
way. The pleasant sound of falling waters ere long led me to 
the banks of a stream that rushed swiftly through a deep- 
worn bed, where I stood transfixed by the scene before me. 
In a mirror-like pool reclined a youthful native, of form so 
perfect that she might have been a model for a sculptor. At 
first she was perfectly still; but soon, dashing her round arms 
into the water, she threw a sparkling shower of spray above 
her head, and as she flung back the long black tresses from 
her face and neck, she for the first time observed me. An 
exclamation of surprise escaped her, and springing to a sheet 
of tapa on the bank hard by, she threw it around her person, 



and with a few agile bounds hastened to the top of the oppo- 
site bank. There, like a startled fawn turning to view its 
pursuer, she paused for a moment, and with the peculiar ex- 
clamation of the islands, " Ye-o-o-hu 1" fled towards a hut I 
had not before observed, and disappeared from my startled gaze. 
While I yetstood transfixed, another nymph emerged from the 
hut, and then another, followed once more by the Venus of the 
crystal pool, with the addition of a little more drapery, all three 
waving theirhandsnoiselessly for me to approach — a movement 
made by the South Sea Islanders in an exceedingly graceful 
manner, the arm being elevated above the head, while the 
hand is waved forward and downward. For an instant stories 
of the deceit and barbarity of the natives flashed across my 
mind ; but the beautiful hands beckoning gracefully again, what 
man, more especially what Irishman, could resist the sirens? 
I sprang down the bank and across the stream, in my hurry 
plumping up to my knees in the water, whereas, had I taken 
it coolly, I might have crossed on the stepping-stones. Though 
I was not a minute in ascending the opposite bank, the three 
goddesses had flown. As they could only have reached the 
house, however, I at once made for it, and sans ceremonie 
walked in, to be received at once in the arms of my water- 
nymph, whom I knew by the coldness of her nose, which she 
rubbed most lovingly against mine — a peculiar kind of saluta- 
tion which I had to submit to from each of the other fair 
ones. How shall I chronicle it ? One of the lovely trio 
proved to be a backslider from the group of devotees I had a 
few minutes before seen so piously occupied at the king's 
house. I pointed significantly towards the place where I 
had previously seen her, uttering the word " missionary/* 
which she repeated, indicating at the same time, by a suffi- 
ciently expressive sign, that she was " missionary ,J only from 
the lips — an avowal at which the other frail ones laughed im- 
moderately. The girls now spread mats, and urged me to sit 


down. They began to ask me a thousand questions, which, 
alas ! in my ignorance of their language, I could not answer. 
The only words I could make out were one or two about the 
ship and the French, or " wee-wees/' as they called them. 
Just then a gentleman with a tattooed face entered, and, not 
waiting for an introduction, came forward and shook hands, 
omitting the nose operation, but producing a pipe and 
tobacco, which, after lighting by flint and steel struck into a 
bamboo -box of cotton, he handed to me. The man, whether 
husband or brother of the ladies, was evidently not the least 
jealous, but, pointing to them and to me, waved his hand 
towards the ship. I signed, was I to take the three ? a ques- 
tion which he answered by a cordial affirmative. As I ap- 
peared to assent to the proposition, the three graces in their 
excitement expressed their delight by attitudes some of 
which, I must acknowledge, were not of the most decorous 

At this stage of the proceedings, however, the man, who 
had gone for a moment to the door, hurriedly pronounced a 
few words, on hearing which the gay damsels speedily squatted 
themselves down in the further corner of the hut, looking as 
discreet as any maiden aunt could have desired. The Kanaka 
at the same time drew near to me and whispered, " Frani, 
Frani, mikinary ! " and looking through the bamboos, I be- 
held my stockingless friend, with a Frenchman, passing near 
the place. When they were completely out of sight I was 
permitted to retreat, after another rubbing of noses from the 
young ladies, whose extraordinary change of conduct I could 
now understand. The character of the natives was un- 
changed ; they merely acted a lie in their semblance of devo- 
tion. As I wound my way towards the beach through a 
grove of palm-trees, Moore's beautiful lines, so well exempli- 
fied here, recurred to my memory, and more bright eyes 
peeped from their huts as I sang, — 

c 2 


" Some looks there are so holy, 

They seem but given, they seem but given, 
As splendid beacons, solely, 

To light to heaven, to light to heaven ; 
While some — oh ! ne'er believe them, 

With tempting ray, with tempting ray, 
Would lead us — God forgive them ! — 

The other way, the other way ! " 

These young ladies I learned, on arriving on board, were 
among those who were eager to avail themselves of certain 
arrangements made, contrary to all decorum, by the sailors to 
receive after sunset visits from a number of the " belles of 
the bay." 

That evening a young man, an American, came on board 
to offer his services as interpreter. As this was an experi- 
mental voyage, I was most anxious to learn the resources of 
the group, the closest in the South Seas to California ; but, 
from the time already spent unsuccessfully, I had determined 
to proceed elsewhere. This young man, however, assured 
me that there was a great quantity of sandal- wood on the 
other islands, and that a good trade might be done there in 
live stock. As I had now discovered that no one on board 
knew anything of the group, I employed him, agreeing at 
the same time to carry four natives of Dominica to their 
native bay, together with a friend of the interpreter, 
and return with him and his companion to the neighbouring 
island of Roahuga, where they resided. 



Bay of Hana-ti-Tapa — A* King and his' Courtiers — Visit of 
the Queen — Her Costume and Adornments — " Me Tapa " — 
Anointing Oil — An Attempt at Conversation — A Proposal 
of Marriage — Hana-ti-Kona — Native Battles — Bay of Hana- 
pae-Oa — Shanaka, Motona, and Na Ahe — Stoical Indifference 
— The Waihenes at Hana-ou-Pi — Entertained by the King 
— A Night with the King of Eka Noa— A Native Mode of 
Smoking — An Excellent Bepast — Marquesan Politeness — The 
Loan of a Wife — Sail along the Coast — Bay of Ta Ana — Vain 
Attempt to reach the Ship — Settlement on Resolution Bay — 
A travelled Marquesan Chief— A Brother Mason recognised by 
Dr. R.— Ransom of a White Man— A Three Days' Battle- 
Rival Chiefs — Natives of Oto Hana — Journey — An Irishman in 
the Marquesas— Visited in Sickness by a Wise Woman — Vai Mate 
— Reception on our Return to Hana-ma-Nu — Unfortunate 
Difference with the Natives, 

IT is the law of the port to give twenty-four hours' notice 
before leaving, but as we had not been made aware of 
this fact, we received our permit to sail the morning after 
the evening on which we made application. At the time 
appointed, accordingly, we were standing out of the narrow 
entrance to this picturesque bay ; and as the land breeze 
which blows throughout the night had not yet died away, we 
found no difficulty in getting out to sea. 

We had a dead beat to the point we had left a few days 
before ; the same distance we had performed in a night, oil 
our voyage hither, taking us nearly a week to return. We 
arrived, without any incident worth relating, off the bay of 
Hana-ti-Tapa, on the west or leeward coast of the island. 


The bay is small, and sheltered on all sides except the west, 
from which point the wind rarely blows. There is good 
anchorage in it, but room only for three or four vessels to 
swing at a time. We had not yet dropped our anchor when 
we observed the beach crowded with natives, and from the 
display of white tapa, the fair sex evidently formed a large 
portion of the multitude. Several canoes were already 
pushing out towards us. In one of the first of these was a 
figure arrayed in bright scarlet, who, the interpreter informed 
us, was the king, and in a few moments he and his naked 
courtiers were on board. His Majesty's robes consisted of a 
small scarlet blanket fastened with a wooden skewer across 
his neck, and a tapa girt round his loins. Most of his 
suite wore the tapa, while some were content with the 
fig-leaf. But for the scarlet vestment, it would have 
been difficult to distinguish this royal personage from the 
canaille that followed him. He occasionally, it is true, 
affected an air of dignity, which he was unable to maintain 
when he observed anything that excited his wonder or 
cupidity. He was invited, with two or three of his principal 
chiefs, into the cabin, from which the others were excluded. 
A watch was placed at the same time at different points of 
the ship, to see that nothing was pilfered by any of his suite. 
Some brandy which was handed to the king he drank with 
much satisfaction. His people made wry faces at it, which, 
nevertheless, did not prevent their asking a repetition of 
the dosa He willingly acceded to our request that he should 
remain on board all night — a necessary precaution, I was in- 
formed, against treachery — but begged us to send a boat 
ashore for his queen, a demand which was at once complied 
with. As the boat approached the beach, a great commotion 
was observable among the white tapas, who, disrobing in the 
most expeditious manner, rushed into the sea, and the next 
moment were seen stemming the tide with one hand, whilst 


with the other they held aloft their white drapery. There 
were bo many of them, that Jack was compelled most 
ungollantly to eject a large proportion, who, though they 
most have seen that the boat could not contain half their 
number, continued, like so many mermaids, to sport around 
it, now holding by stem or stern, now by the oars, and then 
off again, laughing and screaming with delight. 

The queen, on arriving on board, came immediately aft, 
together with several of her attendants — dames, we presumed, 
of high degree. Some slipped to the forward part of the 
ship, and not a few remained in the chains beneath the bows. 
The queen was clothed in the usual sheet of white tapa, which, 
leaving the right arm bare, is cast over the left shoulder, 
and completely envelopes the form to the ankles. Her hair, 
raised entirely up round her head, was folded towards one 
side into a kind of pinnacle, which was swathed in a roll 
of very fine tapa like muslin. Her ears were perforated, and 
ornamented with curiously-cut bones or ivory, and around 
her neck were some strings of scented nuts and wreaths of 
flowers. The arm was tattooed elaborately, from the finger 
ends to near the shoulder, with a deep blue tinge which was 
not unbecoming. Her feet and ankles seemed to be covered 
with beautifully- worked blue stockings ; and as I stooped to 
admire them, Her Majesty, flattered by the attention, rather 
shocked my modesty by suddenly, amid the uproarious mirth 
of all her court, lifting the drapery to such a height that I 
observed the same delicate tracery, which was evidently 
due to the art of the tattooer, extending above the knee. A 
few lines were traced vertically on the lips, and an ornamented 
scroll decorated the ears. The maids of honour were dressed 
much alike, some wearing wreaths instead of tapa on the 
head, and some flowers instead of the bone ornaments in the 
ear. Few were tattooed, except on the fingers and lips. I 
presume it was my admiration of Her Majesty's stockings 

24 "me tapa." 

that pleased her, for her attentions became so pointed that I 
was compelled to make a hasty retreat from the cabin. 

The deck was now crowded with the beauties of Hana-ti- 
Tapa, mostly clad in white tapa, though I blush for the sex 
in recording it, some of them, who, no doubt, in their 
aquatic gambols had lost their simple robes stood in na- 
ture's primitive attire; and, many of them being of 
unexceptionable form, illustrating the poet's words — 
"Beauty when unadorned's adorned the most." One of 
these dark-eyed beauties, that would have formed a model 
for the Venus de' Medici, as she stood in the same modest 
attitude, particularly attracted my attention. There was a 
considerable swell running into the bay, and as the ship 
rolled from side to side, she was much disconcerted, being 
obliged occasionally to catch at something to preserve her 
equilibrium. As I approached her, laughing, I acknowledge, 
at her distressful situation, she modestly crouched down to 
the deck, enshrouding herself in her long black tresses, still 
dripping from the tide, repeating in a supplicating tone, " Me 
tapa, me tapa I" and with an appealing look stretching forth 
her beautifully-rounded arm, and a hand whose tapering 
fingers the noblest lady of our own bright court might be 
proud of, to solicit some clothing. Who could resist the ap- 
peal ? Returning to the cabin, I brought her a piece of calico, 
which she hastily flung over her shoulders [in graceful folds, 
and then sprang up, her whole manner changed. Her eyes 
sparkling with pleasure, she gave me the accustomed saluta- 
tion, and then started off to a group of her companions to 
display her acquisition, and to join in the toilette which they 
were performing, anointing their bodies with a fragrant oil, 
which they poured from a small gourd or nutshell, inter- 
mixing it with prepared turmeric, of which there is abun- 
dance on the islands, and which gives the skin an agreeable 
yellow tinge. As this preparation very easily rubs off, and 

TAHEA, 25 

the odour of the oil is not agreeable to all, it is not desirable 
to come into close contact with those thus anointed. The 
fragrance of the flowers and shrubs from which the oil is 
extracted is, indeed, exquisite, but the cocoa-nut adds a heavy 
smell that is offensive* 

Wringing the water from her tresses, and with her small 
fingers combing her hair into folds which she placed jauntily 
on one side of her head, my Venus had soon completed her 
toilette, and, with the addition of a wreath of flowers around 
her neck, came bounding towards me, evidently quite proud 
of her improved appearance. 

" Well, Venus/' said I, " you are very pretty/' 
" Me no Venusy, me Tahea," said she, shaking her head 
"Oh, your name isn't Venus, it's Tahea?" 
"Eh, eh !" said she. 
"Why, Tahea, you speak English." 
" Eh !" (nodding with much satisfaction) . " Me see Nuka- 
heva too mushy." 
" Oh ! you've been in Nukaheva a long time?" 
" Eh, long a timey." 
" Nukaheva very good?" 

" Eh ; Nukaheva goody long a timey, by, by, Prancy too 
much poo, poo" (imitating the action of firing a gun), 
" Nukaheva no goody." 

This was about the extent of her English, for after a few 
more attempts to continue the conversation, it entirely broke 
down. She was evidently very proud of her accomplish- 
ments, and speaking about as much French as English, con- 
sidered herself quite a linguist. 

I was about to re-enter the cabin when Tahea, laying one 
hand gently on my arm, the other on her own bosom, looked 
into my face with the most bewitching expression, and 
whispered, "Me you I" What was to be done? This was 


unmistakably a proposal of marriage, and as I bad never 
before been placed in the same position by a yonng lady, I 
was in a very awkward predicament. I felt, however, that it 
would be decidedly ungallant to refuse ; so imitating her own 
manner, I nodded my head, saying, " Eh, eh/' and hastened 
into the cabin, whilst she, screaming and clapping her hands, 
bounded off to her companions. 

As it was near sunset, the vessel was cleared of the crowd, 
with the exception of a select few in attendance on the king 
and queen, who were allowed to remain. 

We stayed three days in this place, during which time we 
purchased a considerable quantity of sandal- wood and some 
live stock, all at a cheap rate, barter being carried on chiefly 
by means of firearms (old flint guns were preferred to per- 
cussion), powder, flints, balls, tobacco, cloth, common scarlet 
blankets, &c. On the third day I went on shore after dinner, 
and on landing was led by some of the natives to what I 
supposed to be the king's dwelling, but which I subse- 
quently learned was the " Tai," a kind of assembly-house, 
where a number of the warriors of the bay were now congre- 
gated, having a jollification with spirits procured from the 
ship, enlivened by occasional wrestling matches, throwing 
the stone, &c. I was invited to join them in their games, 
but in their present rather elevated condition I did not think 
it prudent to do so. I asked the king, through the inter- 
preter, after Her Majesty, and said I expected to see her in 
the house, at which they all laughed, exclaiming, " Taboo, 
taboo." The house, I learned, was set apart as a kind of 
gentleman's club, which, by the law, it was death for a 
woman's foot to desecrate. 

The king asked me to call on the queen, and sent a lad 
with me to point out her residence, a house prettily situated on 
the edge of a stream, just at its entrance to the bay, and 
shaded by groves of bread-fruit and palm-trees. A small 


canoe floated on the water, about which a number of children 
— I might almost say infanta — were sporting, swimming, 
diving, and jumping. Some of them certainly were scarcely 
beyond the age when children in our country would not 
be trusted to walk alone, much less perform such aquatic 
feats. As we approached I discerned the queen and her 
party, seated on the sward near the river's brink, in no ex- 
pectation of my appearance, which caused a most undignified 
sensation in the royal court. How they shouted, laughed, 
and yahooed whilst a place was made for me beside the 
queen, a position of honour which, as she was rather j>assee, 
I would willingly have exchanged for one less distinguished. 

I was astonished to find here a woman from the Sandwich 
Islands who spoke English tolerably. How on earth she 
ever found her way to this place is a mystery. Here also, for 
the first time, I saw the sister of the king, a very beautiful girl, 
who, although young, had her arms and ankles elaborately 
tattooed. On turning to speak to her, I was amused at the 
air of dignity she at first assumed. As this, however, pre- 
vented her from participating in the amusement that was 
going on, she was constrained to throw it off and join the 
fan, which she did heartily. They turned up my sleeves, 
and unbuttoned my shirt, uttering exclamations of surprise 
at the whiteness of my skin, and contrasting it with their 
own, from which I judged that they could. not have had much 
intercourse with foreigners. The princess, on her departure, 
asked me to visit her at her own house, where she was then 
going, an invitation which I declined. 

Business was now concluded here, and we only awaited the 
land breeze, which always commences with sundown, and the 
ebb tide, to proceed to sea. 

That night accordingly, when the land breeze sprang up, 
we put to sea, and the following morning stood along the 
thore to the north. The adjoining bay of Hana-ti-Kona we 


did not enter. Here we observed that the village, instead 
of being in the valley as usual, was situated on a pinnacle 
of the northern ridge that protects it, thus affording the in- 
habitants more safety from their powerful neighbours of 
Hana-ti-Tapa, with whom they were at war. Their battles, 
however, are not very bloody, the hostile armies firing from 
the opposite ridges, with a mile of valley intervening, accom- 
panying the musket shots with almost as effective volleys of 
shouting and hooting. If one or two men are killed in a 
battle, it is considered a bloody one, and is recorded for 
years in their history. Not unfrequently many captives are 
taken by ambush parties, and only a short time previous to 
our visit a number of young girls, whilst fishing by torch- 
light on the rocks, were seized, and became sacrifices to the 
cannibal appetites of their enemies. 

On the west or lee side of the island there are some good 
though small harbours, in which vessels of any size might 
find shelter. As so much unnecessary time, however, had 
been lost, I resolved in future merely to land in the boats, 
and let the brig lie off and on. By this means I was enabled 
to day to visit the bay of Hana-pae-Oa, where I was shown 
an oven erected with the design of cooking for their cannibal 
orgies a white man who had killed one of their chiefs. The 
destined victim, however, had meanwhile escaped to another 
island, .and it was by no means probable they would find an 
early opportunity of gratifying their revenge. 

We visited next Shanaka, Motona, and Na Ahe, the latter 
one of the most fertile valleys I had yet seen, small, but 
with a considerable proportion of level land. At Paw Maw, 
the most northerly bay on the west side, and the largest, we 
landed the boys, who had been long absent from their 
native valley. I was astonished at the stoical indifference 
manifested by their people on their return. Few of the men 
of the tribe — who were for the most part fishing with long 


poles of bamboo from the rocks around the bay, in which 
they had abundance of sport — left their occupation. 

This is the most extensive though not the best bay on the 
lee side of Dominica. Being open to the roll of the 
ocean, with a wind from south to west, it would be dan* 
gerous. The north side is protected by a promontory of 
precipitous rocks, that runs like a stupendous pier out into 
the sea. During the two days we remained in these bays 
little business was done, and on the third morning we were 
on the weather side. The whole line of this coast is indented 
by little harbours, separated by high cliffs, terminating in 
bold bluffs, on which the ocean continually dashes in foam. 
The bays, being frequently rough from exposure to the east 
winds, are rarely visited by shipping. The first we entered 
in the boat was Hana-ou-Pi, the most northerly,' On 
coming between the bluffs, I saw the beach already covered 
with natives, and we had not reached half the distance to 
shore, when we beheld a host of them in the water swimming 
towards us. Fearing some treachery, I looked to my pistols, 
but the interpreter told me they were only the Waihenes 
coming to greet us, and I soon perceived that they were in- 
deed all young girls. On they came, shouting, laughing, 
and playing in the water like a shoal of mermaids, till we 
were in their midst, when it was with the greatest difficulty 
we could advance. We were also in momentary danger of a 
capsize from the number that endeavoured to clamber into 
the boat, most* of whom we unceremoniously ejected. Their 
costume was the simplest that can be adopted. A few had 
a girdle of leaves around them, but most had not even this 
unpretending garment. At the suggestion of the interpreter 
I allowed two of the chief personages present to come into 
the boat. The rest desisted from their efforts to board us, 
but clung about the boat, or swam around it with one hand, 
whilst, with the other extended towards us, they exclaimed, 


"Me backey, me backey." These girls are aH fond of manu- 
factured tobacco, which, though the weed grows luxuriantly 
on all the South Sea Islands, they do not themselves know 
how to prepare. We landed on the rocks near a little 
cascade that bunt from an overhanging cliff, and fell into a 
wide basin of fresh water clear as crystal Some children 
were here filling water-shells; and the young women, I 
observed, as they emerged from the sea, threw themselves 
into this bright bath before resuming their tapa, the salt 
water being considered injurious to the skin. 

The king of this place met us at the beach, and invited us 
to his house, where a hundred questions were asked and an- 
swered. Some of his people were busy preparing a meal which, 
when placed before us, was not very inviting in appearance. 
It consisted of " poey-poey, w made from the bread-fruit with 
the expressed juice of the cocoa-nut, like rich cream in ap- 
pearance, but stronger in taste. The bread-fruit is cooked 
on a fire of wood, and the skin being stripped off/ the fruit 
has the appearance of a large round loaf without the 
crust. This is carefully pounded with a stone pestle 
in a wooden oblong bowl or trough, and some bread-fruit 
that has been buried in the ground until it is in a fermented 
state, and very sour, is added to it. This gives the poey a 
sharp, pleasant taste, and makes it lighter. After these are 
well beaten together, the cocoa-nut milk is thrown over 
the whole, and after it has been properly cooked it is served 
up rather warm. As it • was intended the interpreter 
and I should both eat out of the same dish, an .operation 
which must be performed with the fingers (knives, forks, 
and spoons being rejected by this primitive race), I drew a 
line of demarcation between us across the bowl, to the great 
amusement of the bystanders. I found some difficulty in 
conveying the paste-like substance to my mouth. One of 
the lookers-on, who had been laughing heartily at my 


attempts, dashed his two fore-fingers into the mess, and roll- 
ing them quickly round until they were thickly coated with 
it, passed it through the milk, and then throwing his head 
back, and opening his mouth wide, shoved in the two fingers 
and their contents as far as possible, and after a moment's 
gargling and sucking, drew them out without a particle of 
the mixture adhering to them. As he was about to repeat 
the operation, I stopped him, to the great amusement of his 
friends, who indulged in another peal of laughter, especially 
when I repeated the words, " Maitake, maitake " (" Good, 
good"). Were it not for the mode of eating it, this really is a 
very palatable mess. 

The next bay, that of Moa-ia, together with one or two 
smaller ones, we visited that day, passing occasionally to the 
ship, which kept close in shore, to put our purchases on 
board. Near sunset we entered the bay of Eka Hoa, the king 
of which was a particular friend of the interpreter. The latter 
assured us that the goods in the boat might with perfect 
safety be removed to the king's house, and we therefore 
decided to remain there all night. We proceeded along the 
banks of a stream which, though now a mere brook that 
we crossed several times without wetting our feet, showed, by 
the immense boulders that filled its bed, that occasionally 
the mountain torrents swelTed it into an impassable river. 
It was a pleasant, cool walk of about half a mile in length, 
during which we were completely sheltered from the declining 
rays of the sun by the dense foliage of the nodding palms, 
or the broad-leafed plantain, the stately bee, or the spreading 
bread-fruit. On arriving at the king's house we were, of 
course, surrounded by a great concourse of the natives, and a 
particular bustle amongst the female portion of the household 
showed that active preparations for a hospitable reception 
were in progress. The king's entire body was so covered 
with tattooing that no part of the original colour of the skin 


Was discernible, and he looked much more like a negro than 
a Kanaka. He sat at one end of the house, whilst we 
squatted on mats before him, encircled by a hundred wild 
faces, urging more of their excited inquiries in a minute 
than we could answer in an hour, and making such a din 
that the king had to call them to order, and even to expel 
some of the noisiest of them. Pipes were, as usual, intro- 
duced. Some of the natives used a piece of green banana 
or palm leaf rolled up in a cone or cheroot shape, the 
narrow end of which they put into their mouths, when 
they had filled it with tobacco. After a few whiffs they 
passed it to the next person, as they did also with the 
pipe, and no doubt thought us uncommonly selfish in our 
protracted use of those which we had appropriated. At 
supper, which was soon announced, the broad green leaf of 
the banana served us for a table-cloth. Some roasted bread* 
fruit, like a large white loaf smoking hot, together with ex- 
cellent fish, " bomta," cooked in leaves, with an accompani- 
ment of bananas, fayees, and roasted taro, formed an excellent 
repast for hungry travellers. The water of the young green 
cocoa-nut, fresh from the tree, afforded us a cool and delicious 
beverage. The fluid found in the old cocoa-nuts, commonly 
called milk, bears little if any resemblance to that of the 
young nut. The former is never drunk by the natives, being 
considered unwholesome, which it certainly is. 

Supper over, and being fatigued by the day's labour under 
a broiling sun, I expressed my wish to retire to rest The 
house was consequently cleared of visitors, the king, queen, 
and family alone remaining with us. The lights of the huts 
had gone out, and I was just falling off into slumber, when I 
was startled by some one taking a place beside me. I was 
awake in an instant, and seized the intruder, whom I ejected 
in the most unceremonious manner, at the same time calling 
out to the interpreter, who, with the king, was immediately 


at my side. To my dismay I found that my visitor was a 
personage no less august than Her Majesty the Queen. I, of 
course, expected a tragic scene. Thoughts of the " green- 
eyed monster " flashed across my mind, but, to my surprise, 
the king informed me it was all right ; I being " Irikfe " 
(king of the ship), and he king of Eka-Hoa, he only acted 
with Marquesan politeness in presenting me with his wife. 
I was now in an awkward position ; I had seen a play en- 
titled, " The Loan of a Lover/' but never heard of the loan 
of a wife before. I expressed my astonishment to the inter- 
preter that so matronly-looking a lady should act so indis- 
creetly — a statement which he rather freely translated into 
something like a remonstrance that the lady was too old for 
my taste. Her Majesty, whose womanly vanity was greatly 
piqued by such an avowal, at once went off in high dudgeon,, 
and the king himself was by no means pleased at my conduct, 
in showing so little appreciation of the marked favour with 
which he had treated me. 

The following morning, on visiting the ship, I arranged 
with the captain that I should proceed in the boat along as 
many of the bays on this side as I could visit, returning to 
the vessel at our starting-point. Many of the natives here 
understand how to pull a good oar, and on this occasion I 
took a crew of them, amongst whom was a young fellow 
who seemed to have taken a particular liking to me. As is 
usual in such cases, he became my friend, and we exchanged 
names, a custom common among the South Sea Islanders, 
by whom it is regarded as establishing a kind of relationship, 
not only between the parties, but their people generally. 

The sail along the coast was a most delightful one, though 
the sun was excessively hot. The rowers partially protected 
themselves against it by anointing their bodies with cocoa- 
nut oil. The numerous bluffs here are for the most part 
precipitous and rugged, crowned, too, by a forest of " Ito," 


34 BAT O* TA ANA. 

or iron wood. The surf breaks on them with awful force, 
and as we passed from point to point our fearless boatmen 
hugged their base so close that we were frequently in the 
swell which the next instant foamed on the cliffs, and rising 
to a great height was dashed back in light spray from the 
overhanging rocks. The deep bays still presented the same 
quiet appearance, and every little indentation that was at 
all protected, was clothed with foliage to the water's edge. 
In one place, along a ledge of rocks, a spot was pointed out 
where a number of young girls had been seized and carried 
off to California by an American captain to be sold to the 
highest bidder, for the worst of purposes. 

After entering one or two minor bays, without any success 
in trade, we proceeded at once to the great one of Ta Ana, 
that which we had first observed on approaching the Mar- 
quesas, and the most capacious in the island. The rocky 
promontory, standing well to northward, shelters not only 
this but two adjoining bays, of which more hereafter. The 
natives of my crew were afraid to land here, their tribe 
being at war with the people of the place. We therefore lay 
on our oars while conversing with the natives assembled on 
the shore, one of whom swam to us with some fire held aloft 
in one hand to light our pipes. They were very anxious for 
the vessel to come into their harbour, but the interpreter 
said he did not consider it would be worth while, and, in 
fact, was so anxious to get away that I suspect he was afraid 
of being amongst them himself. It was late in the after- 
noon when we left Ta Ana. We had still several miles to 
pull before our return to Eka-Hoa, and, with a tired crew 
and a considerable sea on, we did not make much progress. 
In our course we passed the ship at some distance, steering 
towards the point we had left We raised a signal, but as 
the sun was declining behind the high hills of Dominica, 
and we were in the shadow of the land, possibly those on 


board did not observe it, for she held on her course. Not 
doubting, however, that she would soon round to, for the ap- 
pointed place of meeting, we proceeded towards it, and en- 
tered the bay at sunset. Our long delay had produced some 
anxiety among the natives, with whom we were now on the 
best terms, and the crowds on the beach received us with 
shouts of welcome. They were most urgent that I should 
remain another night with them, telling me the ship had 
sailed and I should not find her. I was not to be detained, 
however, to the great distress of my young friend, who had 
prepared for my supper a baked piggy-riggy, which was now 
brought down to the boat and put on board After a rub- 
bing of noses all round we left, many of the poor people 
being apparently really sorry at our departure. 

The sun had already sunk below the horizon when we 
cleared the bay of Eka-Hoa, and the short twilight of the 
tropics left us but a few minutes to discover the vessel. As we 
stood out into the wide Pacific the clouds were tinged with 
the brightest crimson by the rays of the departed orb, and 
the waves, tinted by their reflected colours, danced brightly 
around us, whilst the tall pinnacles of Dominica and Oatin 
showed their sharp outlines in bold relief against the glowing 
sky. The scene was a most lovely one, and I was able 
to contemplate it with the more satisfaction that we dis- 
cerned the vessel, though at a considerable distance, standing 
off the straits between the islands. The sea breeze had 
fallen away, but a gentle land breeze, just enough to fill 
our sails, began to breathe over the water, and we glided 
pleasantly, though slowly, on our way. We soon observed, 
however, that the ship was standing over towards Oatin, 
and in half an hour or so she passed beneath the shadow 
of the land, and was entirely lost to our view. 

We now, therefore, stood out to sea, to cut her off when 
she again left the land. By this movement we lost the wind 



and were compelled to take to our oars. After an hour or 
more of hard pulling, we distinctly saw a light, evidently a 
signal, from the ship to the shore, which we made for. At 
the same time a fire which we had been observing for 
some time on the hills of Oatin, suddeitfy began 
to spread. The cane brakes and jungle had taken fire — a 
common occurrence on the islands — and the flames ran 
along the hill-side, producing so strong a glare that the 
minute light from our vessel could no longer be distinguished. 
We had been for some time thus pulling towards the shore, 
when one of our men called out, " A light to larboard," and 
there it was, sure enough, at no great distance, passing us 
in an opposite direction. We hailed, but it was too far off, 
and the noise of the sea and wind, now considerably risen, 
was so great that any lesser sound could not be heard. We 
put about, and again stood to sea, the blazing hills of Oatin 
fortunately affording us a good landmark. The breeze, 
however, was felt by the ship more than by us, and conse- 
quently it was not long before, like an ignis fatuus, it again 
disappeared. It must have been now considerably past mid- 
night, and all hands were completely exhausted. We were 
far both from Dominica and Oatin, but, though very dark, 
we could see the little island of San Pedro looming up at no 
great distance. Though its shores are bold and inhospitable, 
we resolved to try what shelter it would afford, and after some 
two hours' labour we discovered a little cove where we found 
anchorage for our grapnel, and though the waves broke in 
boiling foam on the precipitous cliffs, we were so completely 
worn out with fatigue that we all at once sunk to sleep. 

With daylight we awoke, stiff and wet, either from the 
spray or rain that had fallen on us during the night. We 
now found that the little roast pig had been a most opportune 
present. A jack-knife soon divided him into equal portions, 
which we quickly disposed of. With freshened energies we 


withdrew from our precarious position, and on rounding the 
first point, saw the vessel once again near the Straits of 
Oatin. An hour or two's sail brought us alongside, to the 
astonishment of those on board, who expected our approach 
from the land side, as they supposed we had been all night in 
Ta Ana Bay, into which they had seen us enter, but from 
which they had not perceived our exit — at least, such was 
the captain's excuse for not attending to his appointment 

Notwithstanding our repulse from Resolution Bay, the 
glimpse I had had of it made me anxious to see more of the 
island of Oatin, and I ordered our course in that direction. 
Again we stood through beautiful passages between these 
picturesque islands, and about mid-day entered the bay, on 
this occasion with a fair wind. Cook's Resolution Bay — 
where a number of ships of any burthen may float in 
tolerable security, requiring, however, owing to the frequent 
gusts and sudden squalls, good ground tackle — is quite as 
beautiful as that of Nukaheva. The island, now almost de- 
populated by the wars of the natives, many of whom have 
been driven from it by the present king, affords facilities for 
cultivation equal, in proportion to its extent, to those of 
any of the group. The old French fort to the right, and in 
front some French buildings of wood, now evacuated, together 
with a few native huts, are all that remain of the settlement. 

We had scarcely come to anchor when we were visited by 
the king, in a whale boat rowed by four white men. Like 
other old chiefs, his body was entirely black with tattooing. 
On conversing with him, I found he spoke very tolerable 
English, and a little French. He informed me he had been 
to London, having visited England in his youth, as a sailor, 
as well as some parts of America. His travels, however, do 
not seem to have elevated his moral character, for he is said 
to be exceedingly- avaricious, tyrannical, and ambitious to 
make himself master of the whole island. 

38 A "beach-comer." 

We landed on the left side of the bay, on a platform of 
rock that forms an excellent natural pier, and proceeded at 
once to the house of the king, to which we had been invited. 
We found that His Majesty occupied one of the French 
buildings, now falling to decay, in a room in the upper part 
of which, furnished with table and benches, a bottle of brandy, 
with glasses, was laid before us, the king himself proposing 

our health and prosperity to the voyage. Dr. ft , who had 

subsequently a private audience with him, informed me that 
he was a member of the masonic order, strange though it may 
seem that this society should extend to a place so savage 
and remote. 

All the present inhabitants of this island might be sustained 
in one of its valleys, while in the other available parts could 
be grown excellent crops of sugar, coffee, cotton, or other 
tropical products. As there was no business to be done 
here, and I was anxious to gain Hana-ma-Nu Bay, in 
Dominica, where I understood there was a quantity of 
sandal wood ready for shipment, before nightfall we weighed 
anchor. The king, who had come on board with us for some 
present in acknowledgment of his hospitality on shore, was 
on the point of taking his departure, when one of his crew, 
an Englishman, came aft and begged the captain to take 
him from the island, as he was living in a miserable state, "a 
complete slave to this black nigger," as he most irreverently 
called the king, "and in momentary fear of his life." 
The captain refused. These " be&ch-comers/' he said, " were 
a bad lot, and the first to turn against you, no matter how 
much they were indebted to your kindness/ 1 I, however, 
interceded for the man, as I was sorry to see a countryman 
in such a position; and after ransoming him by a small pay- 
ment of 10$ to the king, he was shipped on the articles under 
the appellation of " Joe." How far the captain's words were 
true, subsequent events will prove. 


We arrived in Hana-ma-Nu Bay at an eventful moment, 
just on the termination, namely, of a three days' battle, in 
which not a single life had been lost, though much powder 
had been expended, the combatants taking care to keep out 
of range of the balls, many marks of which we saw on the 
bread-fruit and palm trees. In this bay there were two claim- 
ants to the dignity of chief. One of them was a man who, 
having bqen driven from his native valley for his insubor- 
dinate conduct, had some years ago taken refuge at this place, 
where he was subsequently joined by several kindred spirits. 
The king, an imbecile old man, with little authority amongst 
his own people, had not resolution enough to expel his un- 
welcome visitor, notwithstanding that he had soon given evi- 
dence of his intriguing character and ambitious designs. 
Being a man of great prowess, he soon found admirers in 
the valley of refuge, supported by whom he laid claim to the 
sovereignty of the bay, and demanded dues from the ship- 
ping that occasionally visited it. It was between him and 
the weak old king that the battle of which I have spoken 
was fought. He had thrown up some stone defences, which 
the king's party, though much more numerous, were afraid 
to attack, whilst, on the other hand, his men feared to leave 
their shelter to proceed up the valley against a much superior 
force, hid in a dense cover. An armistice had, however, just 
been concluded, by which the bay was for the time divided 
between these rivals; but, in all probability, the next en- 
gagement would place the ^usurper in possession of the sove- 
reignty of the whole bay and valley. 

We had not long cast anchor before the rival potentates 
were on board. The decrepit old king, who wore a red 
blanket, and had a pretty pet bird, which he frequently 
caressed, was evidently ill at ease in the presence of his ad- 
versary. The latter, a man of Herculean frame, naked, ex- 
cept for the maro, stared his opponent in the face, and made 


no secret of his contempt — laughing and sneering at every- 
thing he said or did. As we found that it was the parties up 
the bay with whom we had to trade, we shifted our vessel to 
the side claimed by them, to the great indignation of the 
giant chief, on whose side we had anchored. A few presents, 
however, appeased his wounded dignity. 

We at once commenced to take in sandal wood, of which 
there was a quantity already prepared, and a much greater 
quantity in the mountains, which, dreading an ambush from 
some of the hostile parties, no one on either side would ven- 
ture to go in search of — treaties being observed here only as 
long as they are found convenient. I, therefore, resolved to 
proceed inland to see whether an accommodation might not 
be effected by which we could secure it. I also learned 
that there was a considerable quantity collected in Ta Ana, 
on the opposite side of the island, where we had already 
called, and in Oto Hana, near it, which we had not visited, 
as the natives were represented as being particularly savage. 
I determined, therefore, while on my trip into the mountains, 
to descend on the opposite side, and learn whether it would 
be worth while again to take the ship round. A Peruvian, 
who had lived for many years on different parts of this island, 
agreed to act as my guide and interpreter. When the na- 
tives learned that I was about to undertake the journey, they 
gathered in numbers around me, beseeching me not to venture 
on it, as the Ota Hanians would surely kill us all. 

Our road lay up the valley, for some three miles, princi- 
pally through the now dry bed of a river, filled with huge 
boulders, which told of the power of the torrents that some- 
times washed through it. Though the houses of the natives 
are generally situated near the beach, at the upper end of 
this valley, on a little knoll, surrounded by groves of bread 
fruit and bananas, was a neat cottage and garden, belonging 
to a white man,, named George, on whom we called. Here 


he lived with his native wife and children, secluded from the 
world, and apparently happy. On entering the garden, to 
my surprise, I found a decently clad man working amongst 
the pine-apples. He invited us into his house, and placed 
before us ripe fruits, with the ever-ready pipes and tobacco. 
As he had little the appearance of that class of runaway 
sailors common amongst the islands, I asked him how he 
came to isolate himself in that retired spot. He told me 
he was a native of Ireland, had emigrated to America, and not 
being successful there, had left it in disgust, shipping, as a 
raw hand, on board a whale ship. Such a life was naturally 
uncongenial to him, and, on arriving at this bay, he had 
requested the captain to put him on shore, with his chest. 
Though the natives, of course, at first stole most of his 
things, he soon got on a good footing with them, and took 
to himself a wife, with whose family he lived some time. 
By cultivating some potatoes and fruits, which he sold to 
the ships that occasionally visited the place, he was enabled 
to purchase the piece of ground on which he now lived. I 
expressed my astonishment that he had not come down to 
the vessel, as white men invariably do. He said that at 
first he had gone on board every vessel that arrived, but being 
apparently looked on with suspicion by the officers and crew, 
he never went now unless he had the produce of his ground to 
barter. "But/' added he, with his native blarney, "had 
I knowed that I should have had the pleasure of meeting 
so agreeable a gentleman as yourself, I should certainly have 
been there before this/' 

Having finished our light repast, and knocked the ashes 
out of our pipes, we prepared to resume our journey, and 
George, as our host was called, consented to accompany us. 
Nearly opposite his place, we began' to ascend the cliffs, by 
what was called a path, scrambling at first among the huge 
boulders that for ages had been tumbling from the heights 


above. We soon reached the dense wood that springs out 
from the precipitous mountain-side, and, by aid of the 
branches, raised ourselves from point to point, occasionally 
getting a foot-hold in clefts of the rocks, or clinging to tufts 
of grass. Our path then lay over the face of one of the 
highest cliffs in the island, in some places quite perpendicu- 
lar, where roots of trees, or holes worn in the rocks, were the 
only holding ground. 

Leaving the others at the first hut we came to, with in- 
structions to await our return, the Peruvian and I pushed 
forward about two miles farther down the valley, passing 
through groves of cocoa-nut trees, and scrambling over masses 
of the fallen fruit decaying on the ground, which might be con- 
verted to valuable account. With the cocoa-nut, the banana, 
the taro, and other trees, the natives must have abundance of 
the necessaries of life. The first house we arrived at was 
the residence of a young chief, a friend of my guide, who 
gave us a hearty welcome, and soon laid' before us an ample 
provision offish, fowl, and roasted bread fruit — a most accept- 
able supper for wearied travellers. In conversation with our 
present host, I found that he was the legitimate heir-pre- 
sumptive of Oatin (his father the king, with his family, having 
been driven off to Dominica by the present usurper) . He had 
recently taken to himself a young and beautiful wife, who, 
according to the usual liberal hospitality of the Marquesans 
to illwtrwu* stranger*, was placed at my disposal. 

The following morning, though stiff with the previous day's 
travel, we resumed our journey to the valley of " Ota Hana u 
(the Yale of Spirits), the scene of many wild legends. Our 
route lay near the coast, over hills, for the greater part des- 
titute of trees, but covered with a luxuriant verdure. Occa- 
sionally we passed through shady glens, each with its pleasant 
brook, or pushed our way over extensive plots covered with 
wild pine-apples, whose rich fruit formed but a poor salve to 


our wounded limbs, torn by their jagged leaves. Through- 
out the day the sun had been oppressively hot, and we 
were completely worn out when we reached the first village, 
delightfully situated beneath the shade of an extensive 
bread-fruit grove, near the margin of a wide stream. The 
natives are more dreaded than those of any other part of the 
island, and the wildest legends that are told have reference 
to them. Our arrival produced the greatest excitement. 
Crowds assembled around the hut where I lay on some 
mats that had been promptly spread for me, and refreshed 
myself with a cooling draught of cocoa-nut water. I was 
too much fatigued to take any part in the conversation, 
and allowed my guide, whom the people greeted as an old 
acquaintance, to have it all to himself. 

The Peruvian, seeing me so exhausted, begged me not 
to proceed, as he said I was worn out, a thing which I 
would not by any means admit, but, as soon as I had 
obtained some rest, rose to resume our journey. We were 
followed by a crowd of the villagers, among whom was a 
young damsel, whose curiosity never seemed satisfied, and 
whose volubility of speech was only equalled by her boisterous 
peals of laughter at the jokes of our merry guide. This girl 
was celebrated as a beauty, but at the present time her face 
was so disfigured by some green pigment with which it was 
smeared that it was difficult to distinguish a single feature of 
it. When this pigment, which is worn for a week or two, is 
washed off, the skin appears much fairer, a circumstance 
which may in some measure account for the fact that the 
females of the Marquesas are of lighter complexion than 
those of the South Seas generally. 

The sun continuing to pour its vertical rays on our 
path, my head ached violently, and I was in a fever. My 
limbs too began to swell before we arrived at the little 
harbour of " Vai Mate " (Dead Water, as the native name 

44 A "wise woman." 

implies), where the shelter is so complete that a ripple is 
seldom seen on its land-locked waters, and in any weather 
vessels may lie with the utmost security. I felt so unwell, 
however, that I could not then enjoy the beautiful scene, and 
making my way to one of the first houses in the village, I 
threw myself on the mats. The place was of course soon 
crowded with visitors, who manifested the greatest sympathy 
when they heard I was sick. Fruit was offered in abundance, 
and some even hurried off to a distant part of the valley to 
fetch a wise woman, skilled in the healing art. On her arri- 
val, after giving me something to drink, she commenced 
rubbing, pressing, and pinching me, proceeding from the feet 
upwards, and accompanying her actions by a kind of wild song 
or chant. Whether it was owing to her skill or not, I cannot 
say, but certainly the fever speedily abated, my head ceased 
to ache, the swelling and pain of my limbs disappeared, and I 
was soon enabled to go out to look after business. 

I was more pleased with this spot than with any I had 
visited on the Marquesas, and if the natives were a little 
more civilised it would be, in many respects, the most eligible 
point for a settlement. The valleys, which are broader and 
more capable of cultivation, produce more fruits than the in- 
habitants can consume ; there is abundance of water power 
and pasturage land, without ascending into the mountains, 
and the tranquil little cove of the " Dead Waters " would 
afford perfect shelter to the tiniest craft. 

We had left Ta Ana by daylight, and as it was now late 
in the afternoon, and we had to return that night, it was 
time to depart. The sun, fortunately, was not so hot as in 
the forenoon, and I did not suffer so much from fatigue in 

On our return to the young chiefs house at Ta Ana, we 
found preparations of an unusual nature had been made; 
lots of taro, bananas, and bread fruit, and above all a nice 


little pig, being ready for the oven. The oven is prepared by 
heating stones on a fire of wood. When the stones are suffi- 
ciently hot, the articles to be cooked are placed amongst 
them, well wrapped up in the broad leaf of the banana, the 
whole covered with earth, and after an hour or two they are 
taken out, delightfully cooked. Hunger, I dare say, gene- 
rally added a good zest to my appetite whilst travelling 
amongst these people, but I always thought the food cooked 
in this way superior to that done in the most approved 
French style. 

The following morning, much refreshed, we started back 
to Hana-ma-Nu, where we arrived without accident or ad- 
venture. On proceeding down the valley, however, I soon 
discovered that something was wrong, for in passing some of 
the cottages, the usual salutation, " ca anha," was wanting, 
and in going through some rough ground ahead of my com- 
panions, where the forest formed a deep shade, three men 
approached me with anything but a friendly aspect. J halted 
and drew my pistol from its rest, George making his appear- 
ance at the same time. Seeing I was prepared for them, 
the men became officiously kind, declaring that they had 
supposed me a runaway sailor, whom, in expectation of the 
usual reward, they had intended to seize, an explanation 
which I did not believe, as a stranger of only a day's resi- 
dence is known by all the natives of the valley in which he 
may sojourn. 

On entering George's cottage, we found a solution of this 
strange state of things. The day I left the bay, the inter- 
preter, in company with Dr. R , had brought a quantity of 

things on shore to trade with, and to pay for articles already 
purchased. In the course of proceedings, he gave offence 
to a chief of the savage crowd, whose cupidity only wanted 
an excuse for plunder, and they became so troublesome that 
it was deemed advisable to remove the goods towards the 


beach. Whilst the interpreter was in the act of stooping to 
pack np some of them, a native raised a huge mass of rock 
above his head, to dash his brains out, an act of violence 
which was only prevented by the sight of the Doctor's revolver, 
which made the whole crowd fall back, permitting our party 
to reach the beach and make the usual signal for the boat. 
The savages were thus deterred for the moment from further 
demonstrations, but as their numbers increased they became 
bolder, the Doctor's undaunted front alone keeping them in 
check till the boat was reached, though even then the safety of 
our party was not assured, as the mate, alarmed at the threat- 
ening appearance of the islanders, feared to land. Old Bill, 
however, with the courage of a true British tar, jumped into 
the water and pushed for shore ; the rest of the crew, with a 
few more strokes of the oar, beaching the boat, receiving 
the whole party on board, and taking them back in safety to 
the vessel. This was the state of matters when I arrived 
alone at the beach, no intercourse having been held since 
the previous day between the vessel and the natives; and I 
had already fired three shots' from my revolver before a 
volunteer crew could be found to man the boat for shore, to 
take me and my companions on board. 



Island of Roahuga — Annoying Incident — Position of the Island of 
Tibrones — The Dangerous or Low Archipelago — Dean's Island 
— Coral Reefs and Lagoons — Tahiti — The Reefs and Lagoons 
around the Island — Discovery of Tahiti — Missionary Operations 
— Mr. Pritchard — The French Protectorate — Town and Har- 
bour of Papeete — French Institutions — Houses of Europeans and 
Natives — Native Costumes — The Promenade — Tattoo— Visit to 
Queen Pomare — Pomare Tame, the King Consort — Population 
of Tahiti — Productions of the Island — Departure from Tahiti 
— The Society and Georgian Islands — Huahine — Unsuccessful 
Attempt of the French to seize the Island — The Settlement — 
Contention between my Boatmen — Night in a Native Hut — 
The Captain's Party on Board — Family of a Native Teacher — 
Commotion in the Island. 

WIEN night set in we raised the anchor, and taking 
advantage of the earliest land breeze, dismissed our 
hostages, and, clearing to sea, stood over to the island of 
Roahuga, there, according to agreement, to leave our in- 
terpreter and his companion. The following morning we 
were off that island, which is thinly populated, and here we 
landed our friends, in a snug little cove where there were no 
native inhabitants, save the wives of the whites and a few 
attendants. These settlers had cleared a space for the 
culture of vegetables to supply such whale ships as might 
call at their port; and this, together with the raising of 
hogs and poultry, and the spontaneous productions of the 
island, afforded them a comfortable subsistence. 

It was during our passage between these islands that an 

48 the doctor's nroiscRKTioy. 

incident occurred to which we may possibly ascribe, in a 

great measure, the subsequent loss of the vessel. Dr. R , 

whose amiable qualities were not by any means more fully 
developed by some quarrels he had had with me, sitting up 
late one evening, commanded Juan, in no very gentle terms, 
to prepare something for him in the galley. Juan urged 
that as it was after hours his fire was out, and demurred at 
being set to work again ; whereat the Doctor, who had taken 
an antipathy to the boy, after some coarse language, knocked 
him down. The captain, who had already retired to his 
cabin, now interposed, saying, very properly, that he would 
not allow any one to interfere with his crew, and that if they 
did wrong it was his business to correct them. The Doctor 
replied he was quite able to correct them himself, and 
would strike any man on board, from the captain to the 
cook, who was insolent to him. The captain declared this 
an act of mutiny, and, going on deck, ordered the vessel 
hard up for Tahiti, stating, on his return to the cabin, that 
he would at once sell her there, she being, according to her 
papers, his property. 

I had, some time before, found out the character of the 
man in whose power I was placed, and had dreaded falling 
into the position in which the Doctor's indiscretion had now 
placed me. All the people on board were the captain's crea- 
tures, except the Doctor and myself, and between us there 
was, unfortunately, no unity at the time. My only hope of 
saving the vessel, therefore, was in talking the captain over 
to proper conduct, in which, with much difficulty, I at 
length succeeded. I hinted at the false position in which 
he stood as owner, making himself liable to prosecution on 
our return; and after giving him a pledge that I should 
never attempt any proceedings against him, he consented to 
put the vessel again on her course, on the Doctor apologizing 
to him. Things now seemed to bear a smoother aspect; 


but it was evident from the captain's subsequent behaviour, 
that he repented not having used his opportunity to rob us, 
and I felt the advantage he had gained by the Doctor's 
foolish conduct. 

Coasting round the southern end of Roahuga, we steered 
our coarse to Tahiti, and, with a gentle S.E. trade- wind 
abeam, glided noiselessly upon a tranquil sea without an 
object to disturb the monotony. The second day we sailed over 
the spot laid down in the chart as the island of " Tibrones," 
but no land was visible. This island is supposed to have 
been improperly laid down in the charts to the south, 
instead of north, of the Marquesas, as I am informed of the 
existence of one to the north not marked in any chart, which, 
from the multitude of sharks around it, whence its Spanish 
name of " Tibrones," is probably the same. On the third 
night, by the light of the star-spangled heavens, we could 
discern, away to windward, a long, low line of coast, just 
peeping above the waves. This proved to be Vaterlands, 
the most northerly and first of the " Dangerous " or « Low " 
Archipelago, and woe betide the unhappy craft that ap- 
proaches the shores of these islands without a good look-out, 
as on a dark night they are scarcely to be seen till the vessel 
is already among the breakers of their extensive reefs. The 
highest part of the " sand-heaps," as they are commonly 
called by sailors, is not generally more than from five to 
twenty feet above the level of the sea. 

The following morning we sighted the Kuric chain to lar- 
board ; at least the tops of its trees were seen fringing the 
horizon. We bore down on Dean's Island, the most extensive 
of the " Poa Motos," or Dangerous Archipelago, nearly 200 
miles in circuit. As ft was the first of these coral islands I 
had distinctly seen, when we approached close to its shores 
I went aloft to observe its formation. From the depths of 
ocean rises perpendicularly a great coral wall of from a quarter 

50 dean's island. 

of a mile to a mile in breadth, extending some 200 miles in 
an irregular circuit, its flat top terminating with low water 
mark. Running along, about midway on this wall, boulders 
torn from the mass by the action of the sea, sand, and coral 
debris, dead shells, and wreck, accumulated through ages, 
form little islets of some quarter of a mile in breadth, and 
varyidg from less than that to several miles in length, 
divided from each othei* where the current runs stronger 
across the reef. These intervening spaces can generally be 
forded, especially at low water, though deep holes and 
gullies frequently present themselves, and occasionally even 
channels of sufficient width to permit ships of the largest 
burthen to enter the lagoon within the barrier. Safely 
anchored in these still waters, the tempest-torn bark finds 
shelter during the roughest gales. Most of these islets pre- 
sent one continuous grove of cocoa-nut trees, with their 
nodding plumes and clusters of fruit interspersed with the 
pandanas and such other hardy plants as can exist on such 
an arid soil. The various fruits and esculents that grow 
spontaneously on the lovely volcanic islands of the Pacific 
are not here to be met with, nor, except on a very few of 
the islets, can any of them be cultivated. 

We coasted along the shores of Dean's Island for some 
time without apparently having been observed by the 
inhabitants. * The island indeed is but thinly populated, and 
we saw only two or three houses, and about as many canoes 
on the lagoon side. It seemed a spot where one could be 
content to pass his days, apart from the wear and tear of 
life ; but " distance Jends enchantment to the view/' and 
I had little idea then how soon I should have an opportunity 
of testing such an existence. The second morning following, 
though still some sixty miles from Tahiti, the cry of " Land 
ho, ahead ! w from aloft, told us that the " Gem of the Ocean/' 
as it has been called, was sighted. One or two spear points 


just peeping above the horizon were all that at first could be 
seen ; but soon the lower lands also began to appear, and by 
noon Tahiti with its varied outline had risen fully to our 

Tahiti was, no doubt, formerly two islands, though united 
by an isthmus connecting Tahiti proper, the larger, with 
Tairahu, the smaller peninsula. Tahiti now forms an island 
some thirty-five miles long by twenty-five broad. It is of 
volcanic construction, and is thrown up into numerous 
pinnacles, the loftiest of which is about 12,250 feet high. 
From the peaks in the centre spread narrow-ridged spurs 
towards the sea, for the most part covered with evergreens, 
and occasionally terminating in bold, wall-like precipices, 
over which the mountain rivulets tumble in miniature 
cascades. Many of these little rivers, uniting as they 
approach the sea, water the lovely valleys, and cross the 
narrow strip of plain that lies between the hills and the ocean, 
wearing a bed in the coral reef that fringes the shores of 
Tahiti (or rather the fresh-water preventing the growth of the 
coral) and dropping into the lagoon. This lagoon or channel 
between the fringe and barrier reefs almost encircles the 
island, and a great part of it is navigable for vessels of con- 
siderable burthen ; the outer, or barrier reef, on which the 
surge of the Pacific lashes in impotent fury, having many 
openings, through which shipping may pass securely to the 
safe and commodious harbours within, ten of which have 
good anchorage for vessels of any size, the smaller 
ones being chiefly used by the fruiting craft, that put into 
them for oranges, which are in season here for nine months 
in the year, and constitute now the chief product and trade 
of Tahiti. California derives its supply of this article from 
the island, and has several schooners in the trade. 

We approached the land off Point Venus, celebrated as 
the camping ground of Captain Cook when he first landed in 



Matavai Bay, and made these lovely islands interesting 
to Europeans by his glowing description of them. His 
memory is still revered by the natives. Cook, however was 
not the first visitor, as is often erroneously supposed. The 
honour of the discovery rests with the Spanish navigator, 
Pedro Fernandez de Gueros, who touched at the islands as 
early as 1605, though little was known of them till Wallace, 
by whom they were supposed to be a new discovery, visited 
them in 1767. During his stay the thievish propensities of 
the natives led to a collision between the navigators and the 
islanders, which, notwithstanding the immense superiority 
in numbers of the latter, ended of course, in their defeat, and 
inspired them with a wholesome dread of Europeans, that was 
beneficial to their subsequent visitors, Bougainville and Cook. 

The first missionaries arrived in 1797, by the Buff, from 
England, bringing with them several artisans, whose works 
in wood and iron created the utmost astonishment amongst 
the unsophisticated natives. Their missionary labours, how- 
ever, met with so little success, that on the visit of the 
Nautilus, the majority of them left for Australia, and 
the remainder, with one exception, shortly after followed 
to the same place. This was during an insurrection, 
which drove King Pomare from Tahiti to the neighbouring 
island of Morea, where the zeal of the remaining missionary 
was rewarded by the conversion of the king in 1812. 
From this period the cause progressed rapidly, and the 
victory of Pomare in a great battle gained over his refrac- 
tory subjects, being ascribed to his change in religion, the 
natives were easily induced to embrace Christianity, and 
to yield to the control of the missionaries, not only in Tahiti, 
but in the neighbouring islands, which acknowledged the 
supremacy of Pomare. 

From this time till the landing of the French, the mis- 
sionary power may be said to have been supreme. 


Mr. Pritchard, a missionary, became British consul, and 
from the two positions was the most influential man in 
the island with the queen and her people, in whom he felt 
the warmest interest. An opposition party, however, was 
formed against him, which had the sympathy of M. Mo'ren- 
haut, the consul for France. That gentleman, observing 
the immense influence the missionaries possessed over the 
people, thought it might be to the advantage of France to 
have similar assistance, and some French missionaries were 
accordingly invited to Tahiti; but on their arrival they 
wore rudely expelled from its shores by the natives, with 
the sanction, if not by the instigation, of their spiritual 
rulers. The French fleet, therefore, sailed into the harbour 
shortly afterwards, and imposed a fine on Tahiti, to an 
amount that Pomare and her government, as the commander 
well knew, could not raise. The queen, dreading the con- 
sequences that might ensue, was induced to place her king- 
dom under the protectorate of France. Mr. Pritchard in- 
dignantly protested against these proceedings, but as his 
day of power was now passed away, he struck the English 
flag and returned to England, as it was supposed, to induce 
the British government to take up the cause of the poor 

Meanwhile, to the astonishment of all Europe, these 
gentle islanders commenced that celebrated struggle com- 
monly called the war of independence, in which for a long 
time, though almost destitute of arms, they bade defiance to 
the power of France; the English residents and mission- 
aries, without much ground, I am sorry to say, holding out 
false promises to them of help from the British government. 
The capture of " Faa Tana," the mountain fortress of the 
Tahitians, through the treachery of some of their own chiefs, 
put an end to the war, and the people are now better go- 
verned than they ever were before, enjoying more security in 

54 Appearance of the island. 

their possessions than under their own queen, who, when 
she had power, was an avaricious tyrant, dispossessing her 
subjects of their property at her caprice. Pomare still re- 
tains the rank of queen, with a semblance of power, and a 
revenue from the French government of 5000$ per annum. 

The French are now firmly settled as a protectorate go- 
vernment, apparently to the entire satisfaction of the natives. 
The British missionaries, however, whom the French offered 
to place under salaries, if they would disconnect themselves 
from the London society, and place themselves under the 
French laws, with two exceptions, indignantly refused, and 
retired to other islands of the Pacific. Such is a brief history 
of Tahiti, from the first landing of the whites till the pre- 
sent time. 

From Point Venus, coasting along under easy sail, as close 
to shore as safety would permit, we could distinctly see the 
houses, shaded by luxuriant groves of orange-trees, bread- 
fruit, or palms. Amongst the most conspicuous of these 
was one of some extent, said to be the summer residence of 
the queen. A few miles further to the eastward is the en- 
trance to Tannoa harbour, a safe and commodious haven. 
At the head of the valley is the crest of hills called — from 
the form which they assume — the Diadem. There is a good 
passage from this, inside the barrier reef, for ships of any 
size, down to Papeete. It is narrow, but the wind blowing 
generally dead aft, with a good look-out it is perfectly safe, 
and is commonly used instead of the Papeete entrance. 
There are two French pilots, authorized by the government, 
who are usually attentive. On this occasion, however, as 
we remained some time opposite Tannoa unobserved, we 
steered towards Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, and in half 
an hour were off the passage. Some distance out to sea one 
is disappointed with the appearance of this place. The hills 
immediately behind the town are barren, and at this season 


(nearly midsummer) the red sterile soil is covered with 
scanty herbage, or dwarf shrubbery, though the tall peaks 
in the background, that rise into the clouds, are clad with 
flourishing trees and shrubs. Approaching closer to the 
white line of breakers, the shipping is visible, resting on the 
still waters of the harbour, With its little Moto, or coral 
island of palm-trees, in the centre. Stretching along the 
semicircular shores of the bay, and back into the plain, are 
seen the white houses of the town, not arranged in streets, 
but detached from each other, and shaded by evergreen 
trees and flowering shrubs, amongst which the bright 
hibiscus, the stately ito, the palm, the sweet-scented native 
teory, the shady bread-fruit, and the fragrant orange, are 
most conspicuous. 

As we neared the reef the wind fell, when the pilot came 
on board and took us out to sea, informing us that we could 
not enter that night. The following morning being Sunday, 
we beat again up to Tannoa, and passing down through the 
reef channel, anchored in Papeete harbour, where, as at the 
Marquesas, we were boarded by the French authorities. 
Except for spirits and arms, Papeete is a free port. The 
merchants on shore pay a tax according to the extent of 
their business, and a tax of residence. The natives pay a 
poll tax, for which they can compound by a short term of 
labour. The* revenue thus raised is not sufficient to defray the 
expenses of governor and suite, a military establishment, and 
well regulated police. These last, however, may be self-sup- 
porting from the fines at the Calaboose. The streets are 
lighted and kept in good repair ; principally by those unable 
to pay the fines imposed by the police. 

In so fertile a spot as Tahiti, the introduction in an ame- 
liorated form of the system adopted by the Dutch in Java, 
obliging the natives to cultivate and produce annually a 
certain quantity of coffee, sugar, cotton, tobacco, or other 


produce, might prove beneficial, compelling them to live by 
honest labour rather than by the prostitution of their wives, 
daughters, and sisters, as they so long have been in the 
habit of doing. On the other hand, this system might in- 
duce them to sell their lands to the whites at moderate 
prices; in which case, when they could no longer pluck the 
fruit from the trees, they would be obliged to work for an 
existence, the government regulating the price of labour, 
and enforcing all contracts. The strong prejudice against 
selling their lands to whites, instilled into them by former 
missionaries, is fast declining, and the title of a purchase once 
effected, and registered in the French courts, would be secure. 
We were scarcely at anchor before I was visited by my 
friend H., one of the principal merchants of Tahiti. I had 
been intimate with him in California, where he had also a 
place of business. With his usual hospitality he insisted on 
my making his house my home during my stay at the port ; 
and, as it was a most agreeable change from shipboard, I 
gladly availed myself of his kindness. The house was a large 
two-story building, erected in the Spanish style, with glass 
doors opening on the verandahs, which were shaded by the 
foliage of mulberry trees, through the rustling leaves of 
which a cool air was constantly passing into the spacious 
rooms, neatly furnished in the European style. Most of 
the houses in Tahiti, however, consist of only one story, and 
some are built of stone or plaster instead of wood. The 
principal street, and the business part of the town, faces the 
bay, forming a semicircle of about a mile in length, and 
terminating at the east end in the government dock and 
ship-yard (where there is a patent slip and every facility for 
repairing vessels), and on the west extending to the fort, 
mounting some ten guns, which commands the entrance to 
the harbour. From one of these points to the other a line of 
earth ramparts extends round the back of the town, erected 


by the French, but now falling to decay. A number of 
streets run back towards the ramparts, only partially built, 
crossing the Broom Road, the great leading thoroughfare. 
This road is part of a route originally made by the mis- 
sionaries round the island, and now much improved by the 
French, forming a splendid drive for some distance on either 
side of the town. 

The houses of the natives are generally in the outskirts, 
many of them lost to view in thickets of guava trees. 
Although some of them are built on the European model, 
the greater number adhere to the native fashion, which is 
admirably suited to the climate. An elliptical row of boran 
poles (a very light, straight, and white wood), about five feet 
high, are fastened in the ground and attached to a frame 
from which the rafters rise about six feet to the centre beam, 
supported by two uprights, and thatched with pandana leaves ; 
the poles of the wall being far enough apart to permit of a 
free current of air. Bedsteads, and a few Chinese trunks, 
constitute the principal furniture, and the floor is strewn with 
grass, on which mats are placed for sitting a la Turque. 
The natives are extremely indolent, and since their original 
games and dances, which were very licentious, have been 
abolished by the missionaries, they have few amusements 
except cards, of which they are passionately fond, spending 
whole days over them and gambling away not only all their 
money but even their clothes. Wine or beer is sometimes 
introduced, but ardent spirits are prohibited. A little cigar 
or cigarito, made from a leaf of manufactured tobacco 
scorched over a flame and rolled in a piece of banana leaf, is 
in constant use. The maker takes two long pulls, till his or 
her cheeks are distended with the smoke, which is passed out 
by the nostrils, and the cigarito is then handed to the next 
person, and so on till it is expended, when another is made 
and passed round in the same manner. 


About sunset all the natives, and indeed most of the resi- 
dents, resort to the beach for a grand promenade, and this 
is the time to see the beauties of Tahiti, they being then 
dressed in their gala costume, which is exceedingly pic- 
turesque. The old chip bonnets, stuck so unbecomingly on 
short-cropped heads, and ridiculous attempts at European 
dresses, have passed away, and a much more becoming and 
suitable costume is adopted. The dress of the men consists 
merely of a white or fancy-coloured shirt, with a pariew of 
scarlet or some other bright-coloured calico of a large pattern, 
which is swathed round the waist, tucked in over the shirt, 
and descends to the ankle. On the head a neat straw or 
Panama hat, with black ribbon, is jauntily placed, decorated 
sometimes with a wreath of flowers. The white flower of the 
Cape jessamine is generally stuck into holes in their ears, 
which are also occasionally adorned with gold earrings of a 
crescent shape. The girls, also, though often wearing a 
Panama hat with flowers, are frequently seen without it, 
their beautiful glossy hair, of which they take great care, 
falling in curls, in flowing tresses, or in long plaits down their 
backs, with wreaths of flowers tastefully arranged amongst 
it, while garlands of aromatic leaves and flowers are thrown 
over their shoulders. Their dress, generally of some bright 
pink or blue colour, is fastened at the neck and flows loosely 
to their feet, the everlasting pariew beneath completing their 
attire ; they rarely wear shoes. 

The time of my arrival was peculiarly propitious for seeing 
the famed beauties of Tahiti, for all the inhabitants of the 
island, as well as of some of the neighbouring ones, were con- 
gregating at Papeete. In anticipation of a line of steamers 
to run between San Francisco and Sydney, with Papeete as 
a calling point, the government were constructing extensive 
warehouses, to which the natives were called on to contribute 
timber, thatching, &c. The following day crowds of people 


thronged the roads to Papeete, and the bay was filled with 
boats, which, as they entered the passage, generally called 
at the little island in the centre, where the damsels dressed 
and decked themselves for the festival. Great rafts occa- 
sionally floated through the passages between the reefs, on 
which, beneath awnings of leaves, groups of brilliantly clad 
natives sat or reclined, singing at the top of their voices the 
old quaint, quick airs of their country, accompanied by the 
rattle of numerous drums (their national musical instrument), 
which they beat with exact time, producing, in connexion 
with the voice, stirring sounds that kept the party of 
dancers in the centre in constant excitement. On this event- 
ful occasion all restrictions were withdrawn, and native 
dances and music were permitted as long as the public peace 
was maintained. The Tahitians, at all times lively and of a 
contented disposition, seemed now, as they ran about, joking, 
laughing, and screaming with joy, to be in an ecstasy of 
delight ; whilst great hogs, poultry, baskets of provisions, and 
bunches of fruit were carried on poles towards the scene of 
the coming feast, to which the governor was to contribute 
wine ad libitum. 

The promenade this evening was, of course, unusually 
thronged. The soft eyes of the Tahitian nymphs were lighted 
up with more than their customary fire, and their fine, grace- 
ful figures had an air of greater abandon even than usual. 
There was a rivalry of display between the maidens from the * 
country and the city belles, many of whom, notwithstanding 
their dark skins, were really beautiful. It is melancholy to 
think, however, that in the whole assembly there was pro- 
bably not one who was not ready to barter her charms for a 
trifling present. 

At eight o' clock the tattoo is beaten by a company of mili- 
tary, who march through the principal streets, when the na- 
tives are obliged to retire to their houses. Sentries are placed 


at leading points, and any of them found straying after that 
hour are taken to the Calaboose. Quiet residents may, how- 
ever, remain out as long as they please ; and natives in their 
company are allowed to pass. After the tattoo any boats be- 
longing to the shipping in the harbour can only leave from 
the government wharf. These are under the eye of a sen- 
tinel, and the law preserves peace and order when in danger 
of being disturbed by drunken seamen. Strangers are often 
indignant against the French for these restrictions : but they 
are, on the whole, beneficial. The former regulation, with 
regard to the natives, is merely the continuance of a law 
established by missionaries generally throughout all the 
islands over which they had control. 

The second day after my arrival I went with my friend H. 
to visit Queen Pomare. Passing through an avenue, at which 
a sentinel was placed, we arrived at the palace, a large cottage* 
shaped house, pleasantly situated at one end of a green lawn, 
ornamented with trees and shrubs. We at once entered, 
without ceremony, from the verandah into a large public 
room, scantily furnished in European style, but abundantly 
strewed with mats, instead of carpets, on which squatted 
some women sewing. One pretty young girl, probably a 
princess royal, with a fan, brushed away the obtrusive flies 
from the face of a sleeping infant — a recent addition to the 
royal family, who lay on some bright-coloured pillows on the 
floor. The queen herself was seated on a sofa, but rose on 
our entrance, and advanced to H., whom she shook warmly 
by the hand, honouring me in the same manner on my being 
introduced. She seemed a decent, motherly-looking woman, 
of about forty-five years of age, with an expression of care 
on her face— which was certainly not handsome, and had 
little of that softness generally characteristic of the Tahitians. 
Her dress, on this occasion, was of black satin, made in the 
usual flowing style of the people. She displayed no orna- 


meats, and had neither shoes nor stockings. I observed 
on the wail a large oil painting in a gorgeous frame, repre- 
senting her in a magnificent European dress, in which I 
afterwards saw her — but I must confess not to advantage ; 
for it seemed out of character, and she did not look at 
all at ease in it. When she entered into conversation with 
H., which she did in a lively, fluent style, her face was 
seen to greater advantage, particularly when she smiled. I 
subsequently met Pomare Tame, the king consort, at dinner 
with H. He is a tall, handsome, noble-looking fellow, of a 
decidedly jovial disposition, his principal characteristic being 
a ready appreciation of the good things of this life in eating 
and drinking. Their children (I should say her children) 
were, most of them, handsome ; one of the boys — a lad of 
perhaps twelve or fourteen years of age, clothed in a blue 
jacket and white trousers — having a remarkably intelligent 
and manly countenance. When I first met Pomare Tanie he 
wore merely a black satin shirt and pariew ; but I saw him 
on another occasion in a general's uniform of bright sky blue, 
profusely embroidered with gold lace, and with large epaulets 
on the shoulders. In the cocked hat and boots, which he 
also wore, he did not appear at all at ease. 

Adjoining the queen's grounds are those of the governor ; 
the house much handsomer than that of Her Majesty. The 
government buildings are generally substantial structures. 
Besides a good and well-regulated public hospital, there is 
also a private one kept by Dr. Johnston, one of the oldest 
residents in the island, whose generous and amiable qualities 
have made him deservedly popular, both among natives and 

The population of Tahiti is now estimated at about 8000 ; 
and, notwithstanding an influx from the " Poa Moto " islands, 
the Harvey Group, and other places, it is decidedly declining. 
The religion professed by the inhabitants is still the same as 


that taught by the English missionaries, native teachers 
having taken the place of their former pastors. The French 
government, with its usual liberality in these matters, does not 
interfere with their religious observances, and the Catholic 
priesthood have made but little progress. Schools are con- 
tinued on the same principles as formerly; the natives 
generally learning to read and write, with the addition of 
a little knowledge of figures, beyond which their education 
rarely extends. A small sheet is printed weekly for cir- 
culation in the native language, as well as one in 

Owing to the extreme idleness of the inhabitants, the pro- 
ductions of the island, in which many miles of the richest 
land are allowed to lie waste, are not sufficient for its own 
consumption. Fish, cattle, hogs, poultry, and fruits are not 
only brought to market from the country, but are also im- 
ported from the neighbouring islands, affording handsome 
profits at Papeete. One small coffee plantation, indifferently 
managed, yields a return sufficient to induce much more ex- 
tensive operations in this article. The principal exports are 
pearl shell, cocoa-nut oil, and some arrowroot, collected 
throughout the islands of the South Pacific, in the various 
small crafts of this port, and brought here for transhipment 
to Europe. The wants of the numerous islands of the Pa- 
cific are supplied from Tahiti, and many whale ships and 
other vessels call here to re-fit. 

A Tahitian life is rather monotonous, as there are no places 
of public amusement. Cards and billiards, iudeed, are 
favourite pastimes, and music is cultivated in private families. 
Pleasant pic-nic parties to the numerous lovely spots in the 
vicinity are occasionally got up, the favourite resort being the 
picturesque waterfall at Faa Tana, where the scenery is beau- 
tiful. The best view of the town and harbour is from Tele- 
graph Hill, a fine background to it, and a point from which 


the island of Morea, some fifteen miles distant, becomes a 
striking feature in the scene. 

During our stay, which extended only to a few days, I dis- 
posed, at a good profit, of the stock procured at the Marque- 
sas, had the vessel painted, and laid in some extra merchan- 
dise, suitable for the " Harvey Group/* to which we were 

Near to our berth in the harbour lay the Martha, a small 
craft which had left California ten days after us, but, coming 
direct, had arrived some fifteen days previous. This vessel 
was owned and navigated by several young men, amateur 
seamen, with whom I had been intimate in California. Mr. 
Summers, with whom I had lived in the same house for some 
time, I had a particular friendship for, and we spent much of 
our time together here, along with Mr. Osborne, and other 
old Californian friends. When we were ready for sea, I 

bade adieu to my kind host H , and other friends in 

Tahiti, whom I left with regret, believing that we might 
never meet again: but with poor Summers and his com- 
panions, whom I expected to see in about two months in San 
Francisco, I only exchanged a passing good-bye, accompanied 
with some chaffing about our respective vessels, and jeering 
conjectures about who should be first in California. My 
friends, who were all in fine health and spirits, were very 
sanguine about the voyage, and as we raised our anchor, and 
stood out to sea, they gave us a hearty cheer, the last I was 
destined ever to hear of their manly voices. Poor fellows ! 
About a fortnight after we parted, they were cast away on 
the dangerous reefs of the Tonga Islands, some miles from 
shore, and every soul perished, a favourite dog being the 
only living thing that survived the wreck and reached the 

We sailed from Papeete in company with a Dutch mer- 
chantman, bound to Valparaiso, and a Californian clipper, 


with passengers for Sydney, but, as our courses were in 
different directions, we soon parted company, and rounding 
the northern point of Morea, lost sight of Tahiti. Morea 
presents a remarkable aspect, its outlines being very pic- 
turesque and fantastic, more so even than those of Tahiti. 
The island is, for the most part, mountainous, but it has 
some excellent harbours. Its inhabitants have dwindled 
down to a few hundreds. 

As we were obliged to call at some of the Society Islands, 
to take in cocoa-nuts as food for live stock, we decided on 
calling at Huahine, the first in our course. Tahiti and 
Morea are frequently laid down in charts as a portion of the 
Society Islands, whereas they belong to the " Georgian 
Group." The cluster to the westward, commencing with 
Huahine, alone constitute the Society Islands. 

After a sail of some hundred miles, we arrived, with a 
fair wind, in front of the principal settlement, situated on 
a narrow strip of flat land, at the extremity of a pleasant 
bay of about a mile in extent, backed with mountains, 
neither so high nor so precipitous as those of Tahiti, but 
clothed with foliage to their tops. The placid beauty of the 
scenery is much enhanced by the outer or barrier reef, and 
by the numerous motos, or little islets, covered with cocoa- 
nut groves, which in some places shut the ocean out from 
sight, giving the lagoon within the appearance of an inland 
lake. The light canoe, propelled by dark-skinned natives, 
glides with noiseless motion over these calm waters, the 
silence occasionally broken by the sweet voices of the soft- 
eyed, flower-decked damsels, chanting hymns in the soft 
Tahitian dialect, each taking her respective part. 

Missionaries did not arrive here till after they had been for 
some time established at Tahiti, but seem to have made more 
progress, and have continued unceasingly in their labours 
up to the present time. The only interruption was for a 


short period after the French took Tahiti, when the invaders 
made a descent with one or two vessels of war on Huahine, 
opening a fire on the settlement, and driving the natives into 
the interior, where, with a small force, they inconsiderately 
followed them. The agile natives, hid in impenetrable 
thickets, kept up a galling fire upon the French, retiring 
after each discharge, and quickly bounding behind some well- 
known bush, rock, or tree. After a fatal march of some dis- 
tance inland, the French were compelled to begin a still 
more disastrous retreat, since which time they have never 
returned to Huahine, probably considering it not worth the 
loss which its conquest would entail. 

On approaching the harbour we took a pilot on board. 
The entrance through the reef is a good one, and though the 
wind was blowing out from the land, by hugging the larboard 
reef, and standing across, there was room to work in. Our 
captain, however, who had lately been increasing his pota- 
tions, got nervous, and dropped anchor in the middle of the 
passage, to the great amazement of those on shore acquainted 
with the entrance. As the breeze continued and increased, 
and there was no immediate chance of getting out of our 
present position, I determined to land. The settlement con- 
sists of perhaps a hundred habitations, scattered around the 
bay, for the most part plastered and whitewashed cottages, 
with verandahs, but with many native built huts interspersed. 
The church, which is of stone, and the house of the king, 
both erected on little promontories, are prominent objects. 
The residence of the worthy missionary, Mr. Barfe, is plea- 
santly situated on a rising ground, overlooking the village and 
harbour ; a lovely spot for a residence. 

On proceeding along the Broom Road I saw the children 
bustling out of school, with all that hilarity habitual to 
youngsters at home ; the girls in their usual loose dress, but 
some of the lesser boys with merely a short shirt. Presently 



I met King Eramute himself, dressed in the usual white 
shirt and scarlet pariew, with a basket of books and a 
slate, for he attends regularly as a teacher in the schools. 
He speaks a little English, and is apparently a mild, good- 
natured young man, but rather deficient, I should fear, in 
vigour, for the position he occupies. 

I had anticipated that two days at most would be suffi- 
cient to do any trading with the residents, but such was the 
inertia of the whites settled here, that little was done 
on the first day, and nothing on the second. The captain, 
meanwhile, having got on board a favourite female friend, 
with whom he had been intimate on former visits, every- 
thing was neglected in the vessel. The next day the 
wind had increased almost to a gale, and as a heavy swell 
rolled through the passage, the ship jerked so severely on 
the cable, not having enough out, that it finally parted, and 
we were carried out to sea. On the third morning we again 
approached the passage ; the captain, who had had an extra 
allowance of Dutch courage, swearing that he would make 
his rr Sooky n take the vessel in, and he actually made her 
take the helm. I knew that the ruffian only wanted any 
opposition to his orders on board, as an excuse for carrying 
off the vessel to Tahiti, or elsewhere, to sell her. His pre- 
sent conduct, however, was too much to bear, and I was 
about to prevent it at any risk, when the mate — the only 
one. of the crew who seemed to take an interest in the ship — 
said he would look after it; and as the captain was evi- 
dently unfit for the duty, he piloted us safely in. 

The following day, procuring a canoe and a couple of 
natives, I went round the island to the opposite extremity ; 
and as we proceeded slowly, sometimes paddling and some- 
times pulling, along the shoal waters of the lagoon (a native 
standing on a board that projects over the stern for this 
purpose), I had an excellent opportunity of seeing the island, 


which is indented with many snug little coves, where vessels 
can lie securely. 

The hills throughout, generally rising from the water's 
edge, afford fewer spots for cultivation than those of Tahiti. 
The precipitous bluffs, in some places fronting the sea, 
are so clad with shrubs or creepers that they add little 
boldness to the aspect of the scenery, which, though beautiful, 
ia deficient in grandeur. 

Huahine, like Tahiti, has at one time been two distinct 
volcanic islands, the greater and lesser Huahine ; but these 
are now united by a coral reef, at all times partially, but at 
high tide completely, overflowed by water, permitting the 
passage of canoes and boats to the opposite side. The pas- 
sage, which in the centre widens to about half a mile in 
extent, is rendered dangerous from the numerous coral 
branches that rise near or above the surface. There are some 
flat tracts around its margin, on which are one or two small 
sugar plantations. As the cultivation of the cane, however, 
receives but little attention, a spontaneous production being 
generally preferred, the profits to the proprietors are not great. 

While I was occupied in contemplating the scenery, my 
attention was called to an altercation going on in an under 
tone between my boatmen. When we were about the centre 
of the lake, their voices, loud in contention, sounded strangely 
out of harmony with the peaceful character of the scene. Sud- 
denly Jim — a young man regularly employed by me, the other 
being only engaged for the occasion — called out, ''Cap- 
tain, you look out ; no good, Taata !" on which his oppo- 
nent, glaring with rage, sprang on his companion, and seized 
him by the throat. Hastening to the rescue, I at once 
separated them, and with some difficulty flung the savage into 
the water. Furious with rage, he hurled at us every epithet, 
both in English and Tahitian, he could command ; while 
Jim contented himself with exclaiming, in the vernacular, 



" Ere ! Ere ! oi uta, Taata me a ino I Taata fau fau \" &c. 
" Go, go ashore ! you ruffian ! you abominable beast !" 

From his explanation, when I inquired as to the cause 
of their quarrel, I understood that the rascal had been pro- 
posing to his comrade to rob me, a suggestion which had 
excited the indignation of the latter, and ended in the quarrel 
I had witnessed. Robbery, though of rare occurrence 
on these islands, is occasionally perpetrated, chiefly on 
drunken sailors wandering from the beach, who often 
return with empty pockets. 

The short twilight hadnow faded away, and the stars, though 
they shone brilliantly, were not sufficient to guard us against 
the rocks and shoals of the intricate channel. Jim, therefore, 
finding that, without assistance, he made but slow progress, 
having to jump out every few minutes to push the canoe off 
some shoal, finally proposed that we should put ashore and 
find a place to rest for the night " Ah ! no good here; too 
big stoney, by, by, canoe broke ; more good go 'shore ; bery 
good eak shicken, man ashore he cook 'im ; bery good, ah I 
by, by, sleepy sleepy, bery good ; here too much a-cold, by, 
by, canoe broke, too much a swim, swim no good !" 

The suggestion of a roast chicken or fowl ashore induced 
me to yield to my companion's advice, and the latter quickly 
brought the canoe near the beach, where, with a cry peculiar 
to the islands, he hailed the shore. His cry was soon re- 
sponded to by a voice at a little distance off, and in a few- 
minutes some blazing cocoa-nut branches illuminated a little 
point of land, on which we could distinguish a hut, and 
several natives approaching the water's edge. Winding our 
way through a tortuous channel, our canoe soon grounded on 
the white sand that skirted the shore. 

The hut, to which we were immediately conducted, was of 
small dimensions, though a number of occupants were 
sheltered beneath its roof. One bedstead and two or three 


Chinese trunks constituted the furniture, and the quantity of 
matting strewed on the floor showed that, though it was still 
early, the family had retired to rest before we disturbed 
them. Half a cocoa-nut full of its own oil, with some 
native cotton twisted as a wick, served as a lamp (the white 
fruit around the shell acting as a reflector), and gave us a 
pleasant light. 

Soon after my fellow traveller had satisfied the curiosity 
of our hosts by narrating the adventures of our voyage, a 
grilled fowl, accompanied by roast taro and sweet potatoes, 
with a few ripe bananas, was served on plates of the mulberry 
or banana leaf. The natives themselves, after eating some 
raw fish, eagerly devoured the remainder of the fowl I left. 
A patchwork quilt, such as the females take much pride in 
making, arranging the colours with great taste, was my only 
covering. During the night I was much troubled with mos- 
quitoes, which are very prevalent throughout these islands, 
though the natives declare they were unknown till the white 
race appeared amongst them, a not very probable statement. 

By dawn the following morning we were under way, a 
dollar having satisfied my host. We passed through the 
narrow strait that opens to the opposite shore of the island. 
The bright blue lagoon is so sheltered that not a ripple dis- 
turbs its surface. There are but few inhabitants on the low 
reef islands, and no one lives on the main. As we glided 
along, some little creek or bay presented itself, where a native 
hut might be seen peeping through the sheltering foliage. 
A sail of a few hours brought us to the extreme end of the 
island, where there is a settlement facing a secure bay, which 
can only be approached through the reef by small vessels. 

I remained for the night at the house of the native teacher 
of the district, finding that I could get all I required at this 
place. In the afternoon of the following day I was again on 
board the ship. Here I found everything in confusion, the 


deck and cabin crowded with natives, eating, drinking, and 
making themselves perfectly at home, with the captain in 
their midst. Notwithstanding the . menacing looks of the 
latter, I at once ordered these visitors, friends of his lady 
love, on shore. 

I now chartered a small schooner to run inside the reef to 
near the point I had visited, as the brig was too large to 
work up there. I proposed to the captain to take her up, to 
which he at first objected, merely from a spirit of contradic- 
tion, though it was the very kind of trip he liked. Finally, 
however, when I was about procuring another person, he 
proposed to go with a bad grace. We anchored the schooner 
in a pretty little bay on the east side, near the extremity of 
the island (some shoals preventing her rounding the southern 
shore to the settlement), and transported our merchandise 
across a narrow, flat point of land to the missionary's house. 

During the three days I remained at this place, I resided 
at the house of the old native teacher. He seemed a decent, 
civil miin, and his wife laboured to make me comfortable, 
though she was rather acquisitive; but his sons (one of 
whom acted as interpreter) were wild scamps addicted to the 
bottle, and his daughters were not by any means more im- 
maculate than the rest of these islanders, their vices being 
encouraged by their profligate brothers. 

I had almost concluded my business here when an abrupt 
termination was put to it by the arrival of a messenger 
from the king, summoning his loyal subjects to join him in 
repelling an invasion from Raiatea, and a revolutionary 
movement in favour of the old queen, formerly deposed and 
expelled from Huahine. All was now commotion;— old 
muskets were brought down from the roof, rusty bayonets 
were rooted up out of dark corners, most loyal sentiments were 
expressed, and loud vaunts of what they would do against the 
enemy of their king were reiterated by the young heroes 


of Huahine. Every canoe was in requisition. Our schooner 
carried some of the warriors, and many more, including a 
number of women, started on foot to join in the melee and 
battle in the cause of the monarch of their choice. 

Whether it was that this trusty succour did not arrive in 
time, and the king thought he was not strong enough to re- 
pel the invaders, or that he wished to give both parties " a 
fair field and no favour," or that he was too good a Christian 
to smite with the sword, I know not, but he certainly per- 
mitted several boat loads of Raiateans, under a celebrated 
Huahinean chief (who had been previously banished for dis- 
loyal efforts), to land without the slightest opposition ; and 
they were now lodged in the opposite side of the village, 
having thrown up a few sand heaps, which they honoured by 
the name of forts, though an ordinarily active man could have 
easily jumped over them, and which were neither guarded 
nor protected in any way. Up to the present time the most 
amicable relations seemed to exist between the contending 
parties. Not only the common partisans, but the principal 
chiefs of either force, passed unconcernedly (occasionally 
ostentatiously shouldering a musket, of which they appeared 
very proud) into the enemy's camp, where they squatted 
down to discuss leisurely the prospects of the coming battle ; 
the poor king, a most amiable young man, joining in their 
deliberations, or presiding over the school-room, at which he 
was much better than leading his people to repel his enemies. 
Thus he frittered away his time till the valour of his followers 
oozed out, and, with a few exceptions, they turned over to 
the enemy, when the old tyrannical queen was reinstated by a 
bloodless revolution, and the excellent young king, whose 
only fault was his gentleness and good-nature, was obliged to 



The Harvey Islands— Koro tonga — Mangaia — MankS, or Parry's 
Island — The Population and their Sufferings— Tomano Wood 
— Suspicions of the Captain — Night Fishing — Native Police at 
Mangaia — Mr. Gill the Missionary — Appearance of the Island 
— Its Trade — Trees and Fruit — Discovery of Mangaia — Davida 
— Troubles of the Missionaries — A Premature Step — Position 
of Missionaries in the South Sea Islands — Mr. Gill's Departure 
from Mangaia — Cultivation of the Taro — Surprised while 
Bathing — Charged with Misdemeanour — Evening Patrol — Re- 
turn to Manke — The Manke People — An Adventure of the 
Captain's — Purchase of a Canoe — Mitiaro— Atien — King's and 
Missionary's Law — Freaks of the Captain — A Hospitable Lady 
— Harvey Island — Productions of the Island — Aitutakfc — Mis- 
sionary Influence — Markets — Native Houses and Orange Groves 
—A Stray Waif. 

TT7E now proceeded again to sea, steering our course to 
" * Manke, or Parry's Island, one of the Harvey Group, 
These islands, ten in number, are situated between 19° 10" 
to 22° 20" south lat., and 155° to 161° west long. The great 
navigator, Cook, whose name they sometimes bear, had the 
honour of first discovering them as early as 1773. One of 
these (from which the others take their name), erroneously 
supposing it to be the principal of the group, he named 
Harvey Island. It is really one of the least important, being 
one, or rather two, of those low, sandy islands connected by 
a sea-washed reef, its scanty soil producing none of the tropical 
fruits save the cocoa-nut. It is about eighteen miles in 
circumference, and, when first seen, was reported as un- 
inhabited, but, on a subsequent visit of Cook, in 1777, some 


fifty or sixty natives were found on it, who are described by 
him as extremely savage, and thievish in their propensities. 
Rorotonga, containing a population of some 5000 or 6000, 
and measuring about thirty miles round, is the prin- 
cipal island of the group, not only in extent and popu- 
lation, but in fertility of soil and beauty of scenery. It 
has one or two harbours for small craft, which the others 
are deficient in. Cook never saw this island. The Rev. Mr. 
Williams, the indefatigable Polynesian missionary, is said to 
have first discovered this lovely spot. Some native teachers 
from the Society Islands were placed on it by him, and in 
about two years the whole population was converted to 
Christianity. New laws and customs were introduced, and 
continued to gain favour for some time ; but after the 
novelty had passed away, many returned to their old habits. 
This produced dissension, ending in a civil war, in which 
the missionary party, being entirely successful, they were 
enabled to establish thenceforth an uncontrolled influence 
over the people. 

Mangaia, or Mangeer, is some twenty-five miles in circumfe- 
rence, and has about two thousand inhabitants. The population 
of Aitutake is about the same number, and that of Atien, 
which has a circuit of about twenty miles, one thousand five 
hundred. Manke, or Parry's Island, which is not mentioned 
by Cook, is said to have been discovered by the missionaries 
in 1823. It is not more than sixteen miles round, with a de- 
creasing population of two or three hundred. Mitiaro, near 
it, is still smaller. Palmerston's, considerably to the west- 
ward (by some hydrographers included in the group), is a 
low cocoa-nut island, and uninhabited. This, with two other 
small, uninhabited islands, concludes the number. 

A pleasant sail of four days brought us to Mankfe. 
We approached it on the windward side, and, as there 
are no hidden dangers in its vicinity, but deep water 


close to the reef, we ran near enough to observe its 
general features. In form nearly square, a shoal extending 
out some two hundred yards lines its coast on all sides, 
the sea dashing violently upon it, and sending its breakers 
up to the bold but low range of cliffs, crowned with ito, or 
iron wood, which fringe the coast. Further inland we saw 
masses of gigantic timber of various forms and tints of 
foliage. Coasting as near the reef as advisable until about 
half way along the western side, the landing-place may be 
descried, a small indentation in the reef, which is marked 
by an upright ito pole placed near it. A sloping passage in 
the cliff, from a gravelly beach, offers a road into the forest, 
by which the island seems entirely covered. 

Aware that the settlement was in the interior (in this 
respect unlike most of the Polynesian islands), we fired a few 
shots as we sailed along the coast, and, when near the land- 
ing, had the pleasure of seeing a canoe put off to us, with 
some half-dozen natives, who were soon aboard. They were 
dressed in coloured shirts, with white or blue trousers, and 
in their manners were quiet and unobtrusive. We proceeded 
ashore in the whale boat ; the vessel, meanwhile, as there was 
no harbour, lying off and on. The so-called passage we 
found to be merely an indentation in the front of the bold 
reef, where the waves broke less violently than elsewhere. 
The natives when landing, observing that there are generally 
three large waves in succession, watch the moment when the 
last has burst on the shore, and, when the fourth rolls in, the 
canoe is carried on its crest into the passage, and before 
the receding waters can carry it back, the occupants have 
jumped out, and pulled it beyond the influence of the next 

On landing, I found many of the natives seated on the 
rocks, and, from the curiosity they evinced, it was evident 
they had not had much intercourse with strangers. They 


were all decently clad in gala costume. The women, gene- 
rally, were not so good-looking as those of Tahiti, wanting 
that grace and dignity of carriage usual among the latter. 
I found amongst them two white men, an Irishman and an 
American, the only foreign residents of this place, one of whom 
acts as interpreter. A well-made road leads, in a straight 
course, for about a mile through the forest, to the interior, 
where we emerge on a broad plain extending about a mile in 
each direction. Around its margin, and sheltered beneath 
fruit trees, are the cottages of the natives, for the most part 
in their primitive form, though we observed one or two stone 
houses whitewashed. On an elevation in the plain are the 
church and school-house, built of stone. 

The island is divided into three settlements, each with a 
separate king and government, as is the case in most of the 
islands in this group. Mank& and Mitiaro are subject 
to the three kings of Atien, by whom they have at times 
been much oppressed. The people of the latter island for- 
merly made periodical visits to those subject to them, when 
they not only appropriated to themselves what food they re- 
quired, but destroyed much more, and carried off the women, 
ultimately compelling the suffering population to retaliate 
upon their oppressors. This tyranny still continues, not 
even Christianity having yet succeeded in putting. a stop to 
it ; and the people of Manke remain in constant dread of a 
visit from their masters. 

The Tomano wood, the chief object of my visit to this 
place, I found in great abundance ; superior in quality and 
size to that of the other islands, the logs when squared being 
generally from two to three feet and upwards, and some 
twenty or thirty feet long. This wood, which, in colour, re- 
sembles mahogany, is most beautifully waved, and capable of 
a high polish, but very hard, and rather difficult to work. I 
found a considerable quantity already hewn, but at some dis- 


tance inland, and not sufficient for my demand. I therefore 
left the doctor on* the island, to procure more timber, and 
have the whole brought to the beach, ready for shipment on 
my return from Mangaia, to which place I directed my 
course the same evening. On leaving, aware of the bad 
character of the man in whose power I now was, I expected 
he might take the opportunity of my being alone again to 
try to rob me of the vessel. I therefore placed my pistols 
under my pillow, determined, whatever might be the conse- 
quences, he should never do so as long as I had power to 
prevent him. However, the voyage passed over without any 
incident of moment, except a row amongst the seamen, in 
which the skipper took part, rolling up his sleeves and 
challenging any of them to fight him, " John Bull or Yankee 
fashion ! " meaning by the latter, I presume, gouging, 
biting, &c. 

On the evening of the second day we sighted Mangaia, but 
considerably to leeward of it. From the sea, its appearance is 
less picturesque than that of any of the South Sea Islands I 
have visited. A mass of rocks rise almost precipitously to the 
height of from fifty to a hundred feet, their rugged fronts 
only partially clothed with the usual tropical covering. The 
comparative scarcity of timber is a striking feature of the 
place. The white buildings of the missionary establishment, 
at the principal settlement, Onoroa, on the north-west end, 
though pretty in themselves, are unsheltered with timber, 
and therefore have a bare appearance. They are conspicuous 
from a long distance at sea. 

Whilst yet some miles from shore, a whale boat, with 
several natives, reached us, bearing a note from Mr. Gill, 
the missionary resident in the district, inviting us 
to trade, and authorizing one of the natives to act as 
pilot. Having to beat to windward to reach the landing, 
night had long set in before we came up to it, and in the 


meantime a scene peculiar to Mangaia was for the first time 
exhibited to me. When darkness obscured every object on 
the island we observed many lights wending down the cliffs 
and passing out along the reef to the edge where the surf 
rolls. Here appeared numerous other lights, spreading along 
the whole line of breakers, waving to and fro, or whirling 
round, now dying out, and again flaming in the breeze, 
making the white foam, illuminated with their fires, sparkle 
like showers of brilliant gems. Even out at sea they were seen 
dancing amidst the waves, now dropping from sight, and now 
rising and shining brightly, tinging the ocean with streaks 
of crimson. On proceeding to the beach, we found that it 
was the Mangaia canoe fleet, night fishing, with one or two 
flambeaux of reeds in each canoe. The purpose of the display 
is to bewilder the fish by the light, and thus render them 
an easy prey. At Mangaia the greater part of the popu- 
lation is thus engaged, at the proper season, in torchlight 

Here we were boarded by another whale boat, in which 
were two white men, one a Corsican who had resided many 
years on the island, the other an Englishman. The former 
asked me to his house, and I gladly availed myself of his 

The landing was similar to that at Manke, perhaps a little 
better. A host of natives, with their torches, were ready to 
seize the boat the moment she touched the reef, and drag her 
beyond reach of the surf. As it was high tide, she had 
water enough to float her ashore, some eighth of a mile. Here 
I was immediately surrounded by a posse of Rikos, or native 
police, who officiously urged me at once to visit the mission- 
ary, a proceeding which at that late hour, I assured them, 
would be highly indecorous. As Joe, the Corsican, however, 
told me that the Rikos would not allow me to proceed till 
they had received instructions from him, I perforce consented 

78 MB. gill's hospitality. 

to be conducted, a kind of prisoner of state, to the dreaded 
presence of the " Mikenarfe." 

I was ushered into a neatly furnished parlour, where, in a 
few moments, Mr. Gill, who had just been retiring, entered. 
He received me most graciously, and on my apologizing for 
my most untimely visit, blaming of course the officious zeal of 
the Rikos, he said they had only done their duty, as no one, 
except on necessary business, such as fishing, was allowed to 
be out of his house after eight o'clock. After a short con- 
versation I rose to retire/ when Mr. Gill declared that he had 
no intention of allowing me to stay elsewhere, as he had a bed 
always at the service of visitors, and was only too glad to 
have the conversation of a stranger in a place so completely shut 
out of the world. Mrs. Gill, who meanwhile had entered 
and been introduced to me, also warmly pressed me to accept 
their hospitality, and as there is no resisting the appeal of 
ladies, I accepted their offer, acknowledging that I was very 
happy to enjoy the comforts of a civilized home. Of course I 
was eagerly questioned as to all that was taking place in 
Europe. Visitors to these shores should provide themselves 
with files of the latest papers, which may save them much time 
in conversation. 

That night I had the rare pleasure of enjoying a comfort- 
able night's rest in an English bed. In the morning I found 
that my apartment formed a portion of one of the wings of 
the house, which, with wide verandahs, enclosed on three sides 
a neatly flagged court-yard that opened behind to a graasplot, 
beyond which were the outhouses, concealed from the view of 
those in front by tropical shrubbery. The front opened from 
a similar verandah on a green lawn, ornamented with a few 
shrubs, and surrounded by a dense hedge-row of lime bushes. 
The grounds were enclosed by a wall of white stone, with 
neat gates painted green. The avenues were lined on 
either side by rows of the slender ti tree, with its plume 


of variegated leaves nodding on the top of its branchless stem. 
The mission buildings, which extended to the right and left, 
consisted of church, school-house, store-houses, &c. There 
are also some half-dozen houses of the same material, occu- 
pied by the principal chiefs or leading persons, which, with 
the residences of the other islanders, generally very similar to 
those of Tahiti, form the village of Onoroa, the capital, as it 
may be termed, of the island. 

The plateau over which the village is scattered, perhaps 
about a mile in length, and at this place two hundred yards 
wide, seems to have been at one time a water-washed reef, 
which has been afterwards upheaved all round the island. 
There are some fertile spots on it, but more commonly it is a 
mass of rugged rocks with stunted trees and shrubs struggling 
for [an existence among them. Behind this level rise the 
cliffs of another plateau, called the Mukatea, generally pre- 
cipitous, and about a hundred feet in height. A zigzag path- 
way of stone steps brings you to its summit, immediately 
behind the mission buildings, where you find yourself on a 
comparative flat, perhaps half a mile in breadth, the fertile 
parts of which are used principally for the cultivation of 
the comara, or sweet potato. There are also scenes of 
the wildest character, in which the rocks are rent and 
heaved into every fantastic form, softened, however, in their 
aspect by the many creeping plants that grow in luxuriant 
festoons about them, shading the path which has been cut 
through the cliffs. Among the heaps of boulders may be 
seen the brilliant hibiscus and the wild sweet-scented Cape 
jessamine, through which many varieties of bright butterflies 
pursue their flight, while active little lizards are continually 
crossing your path. Birds of beautiful plumage or note have 
no existence here. Some domestic pigeons, that have in- 
creased and grown wild, together with wild ducks on the 
ponds of the interior, afford a little sport to the game seeker. 


At the inland edge of the Mukatea is a cliff, as steep as 
that on the land side, from which the island proper may be 
said to be viewed, as, in all probability, the rocky plateau on 
which we then were standing had been at one time a sub- 
merged barrier reef; the deep valley below, with its streams 
and pools, its bright green taro patches, its huts on the more 
elevated spots, and the clumps of bread-fruit and cocoa-nut 
trees on them, was probably the bed of a lagoon; whilst the 
hills beyond, rising from the centre, bare, barren, and unin- 
habited, formed the original island. On the whole, Mangaia 
is to the man of science one of the most interesting islands 
of the Pacific ; and though it presents no extensive or grand 
views, like those of Tahiti, there are several beautiful little 
spots, splendid subjects for the artist's pencil. 

The principal trade of the island is in arrowroot, which 
the natives make of a superior quality, and in fishing nets 
and lines, which are sent chiefly to Tahiti, where they 
meet/ with a ready sale. A considerable quantity of live 
stock, fruit, and vegetables is supplied to the shipping that 
occasionally call here ; but as the landing is dangerous, Man- 
gaia is much less frequented than Aitutake or Rorotonga. 

The evening of the second day I had concluded my trading, 
and only awaited the arrival of a quantity of fish-nets and 
arrowroot, which I had purchased from Mr. George Gill. 
These articles were on their way to me from Tama-ana, a 
district on the opposite side of the island, where Mr. W. 
Gill, called by the natives " Gilly Ma," or Gill the Second, 
presides. As the evening was lovely, I strolled along the 
path to the Mukatea, and up its steep sides to the summit, 
from whence I proceeded along the main road, on each side 
of which are the native huts, surrounded by stone walls 
and amid plantations of bananas, comaras, and orange- 
trees, their branches already bending under loads of half- 
grown fruit. The less fertile portions of the Mukatea are 


those rocky spots where the pandanas, the boran, and the 
castor-oil tree only grow. The latter is in great abundance 
all over the island, and might be turned to profitable account ; 
a superior cotton is occasionally met with, and tobacco is a 
common weed. 

From the discovery of this island by Cook, in 1777, till it 
was visited by Mr. Williams, it remained in its savage state. 
The first two native teachers, one of whom was accompanied 
by his wife, were so rudely treated, the woman so grossly 
used, that they were obliged to retire. On a second visit of 
the missionary vessel, their efforts were more successful, a 
hurricane which occurred in the meantime having produced 
a partial famine, which they superstitiously ascribed to their 
bad treatment of the foreigners; and one David, a Society 
Islander, who seems to have been an energetic kind of man, 
with a colleague whose name I have not ascertained, landed. 
David, or Davida, as he was called by the natives, of course 
turned their superstition to account, made rapid progress 
with his new doctrines, and had soon a powerful party 
around him. He prohibited all heathenish practices, and 
their accompanying amusements, instituting the more moral, 
but perhaps rather stringent, missionary laws. The fines and 
imprisonments enforced for their breach raised a spirit of 
opposition which threatened the overthrow of the new order 
of things ; and, headed by their redoubted chief " Goliah, 
senior," the Tutaiaures, or devil's party, took their stand 
against what they considered oppressive laws, and an appeal 
to arms was the result. Davida, before the action, had 
prayers performed in his camp, and with the shout of re- 
ligious hymns for his martial music, like the fanatic soldiers 
of Cromwell, his followers rushed to conquest. Henceforth 
he seems to have got on agreeably with the people, and his 
name continues to be revered by them. 

During his administration, the place was visited occa- 


82 MR. GILL. 

sionally by white missionaries, who were all well satisfied with 
the progress of the inhabitants, and Davida had cause to be 
satisfied himself, for he had increased in worldly, as his 
people in spiritual comfort, they having allotted to him, not 
only lands for the use of the church, but also some taro 
patches, wherein consists the chief wealth of the natives. 
David was at last called to his fathers, and dying intestate, 
for he had no heirs to whom to leave his wealth, his property 
reverted to the original possessors. 

Mr. G. Gill, the first permanent white missionary, now 
arrived. Heretofore the church had been on the Mukatea, 
or inner valley, but Mr. G., preferring the coast plateau, asked 
and was granted land as a site for church and dwelling- 
houses. Having brought some cattle, with which the natives 
were greatly delighted, for they had never before seen an 
animal larger than a hog, they willingly appropriated some 
land for their use also. Mr. Gill, wishing to place the church 
in an independent position, demanded the lands formerly 
given to Davida, to continue in his use. This the present 
occupiers decidedly refused, and the controversy on the 
subject became so animated that the nation was divided 
against itself. Mr. Gill's cattle were said to come into their 
taro and banana plantations, destroying more than they con- 
sumed. This statement, possibly, was only an ill-natured 
apology for their uniting to build an extensive wall (a won- 
derful undertaking for such an indolent people), confining 
the very animals they were recently so much pleased with 
to the hilly and less verdant part of the island. It was not 
to be expected that a person devoting himself disinterestedly 
to their good could easily endure such ingratitude. The 
people of Tamarna, on the other side of the island, however, 
remained faithful to him. They, at least, had not the excuse 
of his cattle injuring them, and willingly responding to 
his call for assistance, they tore down the wall that had just 


been built. It was, however, obstinately rebuilt by the 
Onoroans, and, strange to say, the king and Ata the chief 
governor, who had all along been great friends of the mis- 
sionaries, would not interfere, and were even suspected of 
abetting the proceedings. It was only right that such 
temerity should meet with a proper punishment, and the 
following Sunday the king, the governor, and several others 
were excommunicated — that is, struck off the list of church 
members — a terrific punishment for these poor superstitious 
people, whose Christianity is not far removed from idolatry, 
its forms being more revered than its precepts. Mr. Gill 
also set Ata aside from the office of judge, and conferred the 
rank on a zealous church member, in every way worthy of 
the office, as he had been his devoted servant throughout all 
his difficulties with these stubborn people. The islanders 
were still further annoyed' at this appointment, as Ata was a 
chief, and the new judge one of the common people. This 
was a grand democratic stroke of policy, however, for the 
new judge dealt out laws at the missionary establishment, 
instead of at the king's house, where the great folk formerly 
had it all their own way; but as this arrangement inter- 
fered materially with the king's revenue, he would not re- 
sign his prerogative without a struggle. 

The law is administered in a very primitive style in these 
islands. Most of the married church members are appointed 
" Rikos," or police, whose object it is to find out the delin- 
quencies of their neighbours, which are principally confined to 
nocturnal meetings of the younger members of the community, 
absence from home, or being found alone in the house of 
one of the opposite sex, constituting a crime. The culprit is 
pounced on, and hurried to the Calaboose till Wednesday (trial 
day). The Riko's story is heard, there is no defence, no wit- 
nesses called in opposition, and no appeal, except to the mis- 
sionary, whose decision is conclusive. A fine is levied, gene- 

g2 . . 


rally as much as the culprit can pay, which is divided in 
shares between the Riko, the king, the judge, and (I believe 
I must acknowledge) occasionally the missionary. Therefore, 
as I stated, the king disliked the idea of giving up such a 
prerogative, when, with the judge, he could make his own 
perquisites. He accordingly continued to try all he could 
get hold of at the royal residence, whilst Mr. Gill, with his 
opposition judge, did the same at his own house ; and, as a 
a sharp look-out was kept by both parties, the people, no 
doubt, became extremely moral during this double administra- 
tion of justice. If so, the effect has not continued ; for 
the fair ones of Mangaia are notoriously as frail as when 
the missionaries first landed amongst them ; nor can their 
licentiousness, in this ' case, be ascribed to the immoral 
acquaintance with whites, for fewer strangers visit this 
place than most of the Christianized islands of the Pacific, 
and only two white residents, both married men, are in it 
just now. 

Mr. Gill next took a step still further to lower the in- 
fluence of the old king, which, however correct, perhaps 
was at the time a little premature. When a vessel arrived 
for trading purposes, the captain or owner was received as a 
guest at the king's house, where a market was held, the king's 
eldest son, Tere Mate, acting as interpreter, for which he re- 
ceived a fair remuneration. Mr. Gill also had now a market 
built at one side of the lawn in front of his grounds, imme- 
diately under his eye, and a new market man was ap- 
pointed. In addition to this grievance, Tere Matfe, the heir 
apparent, one of the most violent of the opposition party, 
was found, according to Christian principles, ineligible to 
reign, having been born before the king became a Christian. 
He was accordingly set aside by the missionary law, and the 
second son, born of another wife in Christian wedlock, was 
substituted for him. It is true the latter was a silly, worthless 


young man, given to the frivolities and sensualities of the 
place, where his position partly covered his faults, while the 
other was a very superior and intelligent native, having been 
to the United States, where he had acquired some knowledge 
of civilized life. This, of course, made him only the more 
dangerous, and it became the more imperative that he should 
be removed, as the success of the missionary cause depends 
on the power they possess over the people, and any conflicting 
interests should be unconditionally suppressed. As I have 
said the step was rather premature, for on the arrival of the 
first ship, after the new law, when the captain was taken to 
the missionary's house, it produced an insurrectionary move- 
ment, headed by Tere Matfe. Revolutionary sentiments were 
freely discussed, and in the excitement, charges, gross, and 
undoubtedly erroneous, were uttered against the reverend mis- 
sionary, which terminated finally in a demand that he should 
abdicate, and go into exile. They said they had never asked 
him to come, and they could now do better without him. 
There was much discussion and bad feeling, harsh charges 
and recrimination, but no bloodshed, as Mr. Gill resigned 
his charge, and carrying with him to the ship then lying 
in the offing his wife, family, and furniture, proceeded in 
it to the neighbouring island of Rorotonga. I use these 
revolutionary terms, for, in narrating a history of these 
islands since the establishment of Christianity (little ante- 
rior to this period being known or to be depended on), the 
missionary becomes, in most cases, the real head. He is high 
priest, lawgiver, and virtually, though not nominally, abso- 
lute monarch ; and, according to his disposition, may do 
much good or evil in his office. 

How ungrateful, how perfidious the conduct of these 
people, to drive away their pastor, who had so disinterestedly 
come all the way from England, solely for their good ! It 
is true, he left a variable and generally disagreeable climate, 


for one of the most salubrious and delightful in the world. 
He had a spacious house, far superior to what most of onr 
poor clergy enjoy at home, built expressly for him by the 
people. He could choose the site of that house in the 
loveliest spot on one of those lovely islands of the Pacific, 
perfect gardens of Eden. He had many servants to attend 
him, for little or no expense. There was no schism in 
faith here, no opposition to his particular dogmas, and a 
whole people to look up to him superstitiously as a superior 
being ; but what were these vanities to a Christian minister 
who had come here solely to convert the heathen, and look 
after their immortal souls ? It is further true that a re- 
spectable salary is paid to every missionary, which is increased 
with every child born to him. The fruits of the earth are 
yielded here almost spontaneously, and the other few neces- 
saries or luxuries of life are laid down at his door on the 
half-yearly visits of the missionary ship. Many of the mis- 
sionaries do an extensive trade with the natives, and as 
they are exempt from the tax that they have instituted 
against other foreign residents, amounting almost to prohi- 
bition to people of such small means as land here, their 
profits are enormous, cloth that costs threepence being sold 
at a shilling per yard, and everything else in proportion. 
Spirits are prohibited; and tobacco, though sold by the 
missionary, is not used on Sunday in Mangaia, under a 
severe penalty. 

It is thus evident that missionaries in the South Seas 
have an opportunity of acquiring wealth, and of having 
more of the comforts of life around them than their poor 
struggling brethren at home ; but, oh ! how much more 
delightful to the exalted mind it is to fill a position 
where they can benefit hundreds of their fellow creatures, 
where they can promote happiness, virtue, and love amongst 
a whole community, enlightening their minds and improving 


their habits, and therefore being looked up to by them with 
respect and veneration. In general this is pretty sure to be 
the case with a simple and primitive people, like the South 
Sea islanders, and if their system is not too severe, they are 
also regarded with love, but otherwise with fear, producing 
hypocrisy, falsehood, and dishonesty. I fear the missionary 
system is rather austere. 

Why was Mr. Gill so grieved at leaving Mangaia ? Was 
it that his disinterested labours, solely for the poor heathens' 
good, had met so ungenerous a return, or was it at' leaving 
his lovely island home? I know not, but in some six 
months he returned, and he is now monarch of all he 
surveys, while the intelligent, generous, but unfortunate Tere 
Mate (from whom I received much kindness in after days) 
overcome and excommunicated, hides his diminished head 
in his secluded picturesque little village of Tavangie. Here 
he has still a few friends, although he is under the ban of 
the Church, and the stranger that visits his cottage, prettily 
situated on a knoll amidst a grove of orange-trees, with his 
little fenced garden of flowers and perfumed plants, will be 
pleased with his kind hospitality, and struck with his intelli- 
gent conversation. His wife is dead, and he is a most ex- 
cellent father. His eldest boy, in whom he takes much pride, 
is very handsome. He does npt seem to have any ambitious 
views for himself, but fromsome hints dropped casually by him, 
he would evidently like the idea of his son one day being king. 

But leaving Tere Matfe and this long deviation, to return to 
Goliah, junior, the water-carrier (son of Goliah, senior, the Phi- 
listine chief), I walked with him as he dragged along his emaci- 
ated body and cadaverous face, working out the penance, by his 
present degenerate and arduous labour, of his father's heathen- 
ish sins. Along the road I saw many groups of children, 
young girls, and women, with the native calabashes, proceed- 
ing to the springs in the valley. The streams, rising in the 


inner hills, and flowing through the valleys, are spread out to 
irrigate the taro patches. They then collect in lakes beneath 
the cliffs of the Mukatea, and somehow find their way under 
the mass of rock out to the ocean. The younger females to 
whom I spoke looked frightened, and hurried on without 
replying, the older only answering in a reserved manner. 

The view from the cliff that overlooks the Onoroa valley 
is extremely beautiful. The ground immediately beneath 
is dotted with occasional cottages, half hidden in their groves 
of fruit ^rees. Beyond, the more level portion, where the 
stream runs, is terraced off, as the land descends, into in- 
numerable patches, irrigated by several little water-courses, 
which are seen gliding through the broad, bright green taro 
leaves that cover the greater part of the valley. 

The taro of Mangaia receives more attention in its cultiva- 
tion than that of any other island. The beds are kept constantly 
watered and weeded, which is the chief labour, though soil 
has frequently to be carried to them, after an excessive flow 
of water. When the root is ripe, the top is cut off and stuck 
again into the soil or mud, and in a few months is ready for 
gathering. The comara, or sweet potato, is planted in the 
same way in dry ground, but requires tilling. The women do 
all this work. 

Descending by a steep path, formed with some labour 
through a ravine of the cliffs, I proceeded up the stream to 
a spot where the hills, closing steeply around, formed a deep 
gorge, and the rivulet, bounding over some rocks into a broad 
pool, shaded by overhanging trees, invited me to a bath in 
its refreshing waters. It was not till I had partially dressed 
again that I was conscious of three figures standing on the 
hill a little above, silently watching my proceedings. When I 
accosted them, they laughed, and with a wild shout, started 
up the hill-side like so many frightened deer ; then, drawing 
together, had apparently a consultation. They were all dressed 


in native costume, that is, a pariew of tapa swathed round 
the waist, and falling to the ankle, and another strip of the 
same material, with a slit in the centre, dropping over the 
head in the form of a Chile poncho. One was fully a woman 
(her tapa being of bright yellow), but the other two were 
young girls, wearing the brown glazed tapa common to the 
poorer classes here. The eldest, whom her companions 
called Luta, had a gentle childlike expression, very different 
from that of her two little friends, with their defiant cocked- 
up noses. The trio were easily persuaded by signs to 
approach, and, assisted by the few words of English that 
Luta understood, we were soon on friendly terms. I took 
from my pocket a piece of tobacco, which I presented to 
Luta, who, to show her gratitude, threw her arms round my 
neck, gave me a loving embrace, and rubbed her nose ener- 
getically against mine. Then suddenly leaving me, the trio, 
with wild screams and laughter, dashed across the brook, 
up the opposite hill-side, and were soon lost in its wooded 
cover. I turned to finish my toilette, but, horror of horrors ! 
my spotless shirt and white trousers were changed to the 
brightest saffron by the simple Luta's guileless embrace. 

I sauntered along the banks of the stream, waiting for sun- 
set, and comforting myself with the reflection that yellow was 
not so observable in candlelight. I had not proceeded far, 
however, before I heard a hollow voice from the opposite side 
of the valley, shouting, " Cap'n, cap'n ! You come quicky, 
come quicky ! " and looking across the taro patches, I saw 
Goliah, with his arms swinging like the blades of a windmill, 
endeavouring to attract my attention. " Cap'n ! you come 
quicky — suppose no come quicky, no get a dinna ! " 
I told him I did not want any dinner, and would return by- 

But as I was unwilling to keep my host waiting, I deter- 
mined, confident in my innocence, though appearances were 


against me, to brave public opinion. Goliah, on seeing me, 
at once charged me with misdemeanor. "Ah! you no 
gooda cap'n ; ah 1 catching Oahene." 

" No/' said I, " Goliah, I did not catch girl ; girl catch me." 

" Ah ! Mangaia Oahenfe no good a ; what a name ?" 

"And suppose I told her name; what of that?" 

" Oh, by, by, riko catch 'im, putty im Calaboose/' 

"Well, will the rikos take me also?" 

" No, no ; cap'n eak a dinna ; mofe, moe missinary ; no 
catch a cap'n." 

" Oh ! they wont catch the captain because he lives at the 
missionary's !" 

Though, on my return, I modestly retired into the darkest 
corner of the room, a severe look from the missionary told 
of his unjust suspicions; but as any explanation must have 
implicated poor Luta, I determined to say not a word about 
the matter. The rikos' " arum," which is merely a hollow 
piece of tree beaten with a stick, sounded shortly after my 
return, telling me it was eight o'clock; and the patrol 
marched through the settlement, warning all stragglers to 
their homes, out of whicjh they must not be found after that 
hour under penalty of the laws. All houses here are subject 
to nocturnal visits of the police at any hour ; but the law is 
no doubt often infringed without being discovered. 

The following day, business being completed, I left for 
Mankfe. As we pushed away from the reef a number of 
natives, both male and female, shouted their farewell 
to us. 

Our return voyage to Manke was marked by no incident 
'of importance. On landing I found that nothing had been 
done during my absence towards procuring a cargo. Dr. R. 
had resolved to settle on the island, turn sugar planter, raise 
tobacco, coffee, cotton, indigo, and all the spices of the East, 
and had, for that purpose, contracted for about a mile of 


land at a yearly rent of 20$. It is true it was nearly all 
forest and rocky ground, which, if not suited for the 
doctor's enterprise, was still valuable from the tomano and 
other timber it contained. Fruit trees of various kinds could 
be raised in many places, where the other trees were cut down, 
and every part of the soil would grow cocoa-nuts for the ma- 
nufacture of cocoa-nut oil, which would be a much better in- 
vestment than the purchase of an estate in Ceylon, at a great 
expense, for the same purpose. 

I took up my abode at the king's house, which differed 
little from the rest, except that it was somewhat larger, and 
had a table and stools ; also some Delft ware, with knives and 
forks, appropriated to the use of white visitors. We fared well 
on roast pork, fowls, fish, &c, cooked in the native oven, to- 
gether with the fruits of the island. I set the people to cut 
timber, and employed a number more to haul it to the beach, 
and bring it alongside, at which I found them very expert, 
the men, as they swam and dived through the surf like water- 
fowl, laughing, screaming, and shouting. The work was 
carried on to the chorus of a wild low chant, not inharmo- 
nious, by which all their labour is accompanied. It took us 
about a week to put our cargo aboard, the cost being about 
three cents per foot. 

I was much pleased with the Mankfe people. They are 
amiable and hospitable, though some of them will cheat you 
if they can. The day before my departure, the king and 
governor, and some of the principal inhabitants, promised that 
if I would come back and settle there, they would give me as 
much land as I could cultivate. They are anxious that 
white men should settle with them, chiefly to assist in pro- 
tecting them from the aggressions of the Atienans. 

An incident occurred here, scarcely worth mentioning, 
only that it is connected with subsequent events. During a 
visit of the captain on shore he fell in love with the king's 


cook, a young girl of some seventeen or eighteen years of 
age. When supper-time came no cook was to be found, 
and it was at last discovered that the captain had carried her 
off to sea. The following morning, when the ship appeared 
off the landing-place (which should have been by daylight, 
as there was always cargo ready for her by that time, but 
the captain rarely had her up till nine or ten o'clock), some 
people were sent aboard to bring the girl back, but her fond 
admirer refused to restore her, and used violent language to 
the natives who had come for her. The king now imposed a 
fine of 10$ on the girl for going aboard ship, stating, very 
properly, that if he had the captain ashore he would fine him 
instead, but, as he had no control over him at sea, he could 
not do so. I was at last compelled to go aboard myself, and 
had great difficulty in getting the girl out of the captain's 
drunken keeping, he having her locked up in his own state- 
room. I insisted also on his paying the fine, which, with a 
very bad grace, he gave me an order to do, and I placed the 
memorandum in my note-book. 

♦ Before leaving, I purchased one of the beautiful tomano 
wood canoes of this place, so justly celebrated for their light 
and graceful form, and an article of trade among the other 
islands. The king, governor, and some of the chief per- 
sonages of the island, came on board in a large double 
canoe, to bid us a last farewell, and evinced much regret at 

Mitiaro, which we reached the following morning, is smaller 
than Mank6, and has probably been at no very distant period 
a lagoon island. Indeed, there is still a considerable pool or 
lake in the centre, and much of the interior is marshy and 
uninteresting. Its productions are arrowroot and live stock, 
with the usual island fruits. 

Christianity was established at Atien without difficulty, 
and its progress has been uninterrupted. Like Manke and 


Mitiaro, it has a native missionary (I believe a Rorotongan), 
to look after its spiritual interests. The native teachers of 
one island are always sent to officiate to the hearers of 

As at Mankfe, the settlement was also in the centre of the 
island, and the church may be seen on a conspicuous eleva- 
tion from ship-board, when a little distance off the land. 
The principal landing, as in the other islands, is on the west 
side, and, as any ship approaching can be seen from the 
central villages, there is generally a canoe standing out to 
meet you before you reach the landing-place, which may be 
known by an open space amongst the trees, with two conspi- 
cuous houses, used as the market-place. The people here are 
active traders, bringing everything from the interior, a dis- 
tance of some three or four miles, and they will generally 
carry their goods back again rather than take what they 
consider below the fair value. 

The country inland is more picturesque than that of either 
of the former two islands, rising gradually in rolling hills, 
with small but rich valleys intervening, watered by several 
running streams. Atien is divided into three districts, with 
a king over each. As in the other islands, one takes the 
lead, and, though nominally with no more power than the 
others, regulates the affairs of state. " Paul/' or " Paulo," 
with whom I stayed two days, is supreme king here. His 
sons are trading masters, and have the entire confidence of 
the missionaries, notwithstanding which, experience told me 
they were not to be trusted ; they will steal or cheat a little 
if they have an opportunity. The church and school here 
are large, commodious, and substantial buildings. The 
people are orderly in their conduct, and the settlements are 
prettily and healthily situated, each on the crest of a 
hill, presenting (with the rich, cultivated valleys beneath, 
the skirting forest, and the great blue Pacific ocean 


beyond), a scene entirely different from any of the other 
islands I had yet visited. 

The first night I spent ashore I paid a visit to an Eng- 
lishman, the only white resident, living in a house adjoining 
that of the king, and belonging to him, where he traded 
with the natives. His wife was a woman of New Zea- 
land, who spoke English remarkably well, and kept his 
hoase, decently furnished in European style, in neat order. 
Whilst sitting here, a native hastily entered, saying that the 
captain had sent him ashore in his canoe, to tell me that the 
vessel was drifting on shore. I hastened with the doctor 
to the neighbouring height, from which we could see in the 
moonlight the brig standing steadily but slowly out to sea. 
Satisfied that it was some drunken idea, we returned, but the 
night was bo lovely that we protracted our walk, till, observing 
that we were dogged by some men wherever we turned, we 
stopped and asked them what they wanted. They told us 
we must go home, as it was too late to be out. As we were 
then passing Paulo's, we entered, and asked him if he ob- 
jected to our walking about, to which he replied/" Not at 
all." Notwithstanding which assurance, on our again ap- 
pearing on the public road, we were once more stopped by 
the rikos, and desired to retire. We told them we had the 
king's permission. %i Yes, but you have not the missionary's," 
they said. We asked them if it was the king's or the mis- 
sionary's laws they obeyed ; and their answer was that the 
missionaries made all the laws, and that what the missionary 
ordered we must obey. We replied that in England mis- 
sionaries had no such power, and that having the king's per- 
mission, we should walk as long as we chose. To prevent 
a collision, however, of which there seemed some danger, 
we proceeded to the house of the missionary, who, after he 
had patiently listened to our lecture on his over-zeal and 
officiousness, declared that it was quite a mistake, and that 

BOB. 95 

he had not sent the rikos after us. This, however, was a 
falsehood, as we subsequently learned that he had ordered 
them to stop us, saying he did not care for the king's per- 

The following day a lad came to me and induced me to 
accompany him to the house of one of the natives of the 
better class. On my arrival, an elderly woman came for- 
ward to meet me, with every demonstration of joy, and taking 
my hand, she kissed it, and explained that she was a sister 
of the governor of Mankfe, from whom she had learned, by a 
letter she had received, that I was his particular friend, and 
if she did not show me hospitality she need never hope to 
see her brother again. A new mat was spread for me on 
fresh hay, and a profusion of viands was placed before me, in- 
cluding ti root, of which I ate for the first time. This root has 
an immense quantity of saccharine matter in it, and when 
cooked is chewed like sugar-cane or liquorice, but is much 
sweeter and coarser (like strong brown sugar) and exceedingly 
nutritious. When leaving, two of my hostess's handsome 
boys carried down to the boat a roast hog, some large 
bunches of bananas and pine apples, a basket of taro, &c, as a 
parting gift. I called at her house to bid her farewell, and 
make some trifling presents in return, and to my surprise, 
found there "Bob," the Huahinean Kanaka of our crew. I 
asked him what he did there when he knew that the boat 
was just about to leave. 

" Cap'n, speak me go shore/' was his reply. 

" Yes/' I said, " but you shipped to go the voyage, and 
you can't leave here." 

" Oh ! me ship go Carifona, me likey go Carifona ; ship 
he no go." 

" Yes, of course, the ship is going to California ; what put 
it into your head she was not?" 

" Oh ! cap'n speaky me he no likey more go Carifona, 


more good me go 'shore; s'pose me no go Carifona, me 
like go 'shore too quick !" 

I pondered for some time, to discover what could be the 
captain's object in sending this boy ashore, who was a fa- 
vourite of his ; but finding no better cause, I presumed he 
must have been drunk again, though I subsequently con- 
nected the event with an action which, if then conceived, 
was one of the most villanous ever premeditated by the 
worst of criminals. 

Amongst the many grand stories of his own exploits the 
captain had enlivened us with in the early part of the voyage, 
was one of his having been left on the Tonga Islands, during 
his sojourn in which a canoe, foil of Aitutakean natives, was 
carried away from their island, and driven on the Tonga 
shqres. King George of Tonga, it seems, possessed a fine 
schooner, built on his islands ; which he presented to Snow, 
who had found favour in his eyes, philanthropically coun- 
selling him to carry the unhappy castaways back to their 
homes. This he did, after which he got the vessel into a hole 
in a reef, where he left her. Whether it was dislike to have 
his gasconading discovered I cannot say, but he used every 
persuasion to prevent my going to Aitutakfe, stating there 
was nothing to be had there, that we had already made a 
good voyage, and that the season was getting late. I in- 
sisted, however, and he yielded with a bad grace to my 

Running before the trade winds, the following day we 
were off Harvey Island, which was in our course to Aitutakfe. 
It is a low, sandy, coral island, or more properly two 
islands, connected by a reef which can be forded at low 
water. In Cook's time, these two islands were at war with 
each other, which so decimated the inhabitants that, some 
time after the establishment of Christianity, the few remain- 
ing residents were removed by the missionaries to Aitutakfe. 


At the time of our visit, one white man, his two native wives, 
and some children, on one of the islands, were the only occu- 
pants. He had formerly a companion in his exile, but, 
strange to say, these two men, instead of being friendly to 
each other, became deadly enemies. The first departed with his 
wife to the opposite island, where they lived for some years in 
a state of hostility, till thesecond retired from the place, leaving 
the other in undisputed possession of the entire island. In 
these remote spots the manufacture of cocoa-nut oil is carried 
on with industry, and with a little skill the quantity pro- 
duced might be greatly increased. They also raise hogs, but 
the soil is poor, though much better than most of the low 
coral islands I have seen, and in some parts no doubt 
would grow sweet potatoes, bananas, and other fruits. It has 
a few stately forest-trees, and the Cape jessamine and other 
flowers grow in profusion, perfuming the air. George, the 
occupant of the island, seemed perfectly contented with his lot. 
Fish, the eggs of sea-birds, and the young sea-fowl themselves, 
are excellent food, and with these, and pig occasionally, 
together with bread, flour, and other necessaries purchased 
from the passing ships, he lived an easy and comfortable life, 
" monarch of all he surveyed." 

After concluding some trade with George, we pro- 
ceeded on our voyage, and the following day sighted Aitu- 
takfe. Approaching its southern extremity, we found a chain 
of low coral islets, or motos, connected by reefs with the main 
island, which at this side is also low and wooded ; while to- 
wards the north end, from east to west, it is hilly, but not 
mountainous. Extensive reefs, stretching far out from its sandy 
beach, protect its low shores from the roll of the ocean, with 
depth enough of water on them to enable small craft to ply 
in safety round the island at all seasons. In some places 
even vessels of considerable burthen would find a secure 
harbour, if there was any inlet for them ; but, unfortunately, 


98 „ REV. MR. ROTAL. 

like most of this group, Aitutakfe possesses no harbour; a 
narrow passage, which at low tide will not more than float a 
whale boat, being the only communication with the lagoon. 
At high water, and before it begins to ebb, a small craft of 
some sixty tons might possibly be kedged or hauled up, but 
the ebb tide flows out like a mill race, so that a boat with 
five oars can with difficulty stem it. 

I was astonished here to find the natives all speaking more 
or less English, and very decently clad in shirt and trousers, 
with neat straw hats of their own manufacture. Many carry 
some of these in their hands, offering them for sale to the 
visitors. Several begged in a whisper for a piece of tobacco, 
indulgence in the weed being prohibited by the missionary 
laws of the place. Mr. Royal, the present missionary, has 
been many years their sole pastor, and devotes himself ex- 
clusively to the instruction of the people. The island is 
becoming a great resort for whalers, as many as a hundred 
sail or more calling here annually. 

Though Mr. Royal is I dare say a good and straightforward 
man, we may be permitted to doubt whether the transforma- 
tion of the natives to Europeans of the modern type is 
altogether a desirable consummation. The coal-scuttle bon- 
nets, cropped hair, and sanctified look, are poor substitutes 
for the sunny locks, bright eyes, and happy countenances of 
these children of nature. 

" Gi' me piece bacca, cap'n, kiko no see !" was the first 
word*addressed to me on landing. Why prohibit so simple 
an enjoyment to a people for whom so few others are left ? 
The forms of religion are attended to amongst these islands 
with superstitious reverence, but morality of heart and life 
is perhaps at a lower standard than on the day when Chris- 
tianity was first introduced amongst them. Sincerely honest 
men, and truly virtuous women, are, notwithstanding all the 
missionaries have done, very rare commodities. 


My object in visiting Aitutake, was to fill up with 
oranges, it being the last port we had to call at before our 
return to San Francisco. As this was the first ship- 
ment made from this place to California, the natives were 
in great glee, hoping it was the commencement of a new 
and successful trade. There are three markets here, one 
of the three kings always presiding at each, and being in 
some measure responsible for the honest dealing of the 
people. The market squares were filled with natives, their 
baskets of fruits, vegetables, live stock, &c, displayed in 
proper order. 

Leaving the doctor to officiate at the market, I strolled 
through the settlement, taking the road to the right. It 
led me to the hilly ground on which the principal part of 
the village is situated. The light, cool huts of the natives 
have been supplanted by heavy, stout stone houses, white- 
washed, but in other respects without any approach to taste 
in their construction. They consist generally of four thick 
stone walls without partitions, except what a mat or piece of 
tapa affords. The floor is of earth, strewed occasionally 
with hay. Four large apertures, without window frames, 
give free access to wind and weather. One or two rude bed- 
steads, a chest or two, some baskets for food, half a dozen 
water gourds, and a few bundles, probably of tapa, complete 
the contents of the interior. Orange or other fruit trees 
commonly grow around them, and are scattered along the 
road in this direction for perhaps a mile. 

Descending to the low ground, a pleasant shady walk near 
the margin of the lagoon leads to the pools used for bathing. 
On my return, I found a message from the Rev. Mr. Royal, 
requesting me to dine with him. His house, in the rustic 
cottage style, with the usual wide verandahs, is prettily 
situated on the wooded side of a hill that overlooks the settle- 
ment, stretching away to the right and left, under the shade 



of palm-groves, or the spreading branches of the bread fruit, 
mixed with the perfumed orange and other trees. From the 
gate of the missionary grounds, some flights of stone steps 
lead up the terraced acclivity to the house, which, orna- 
mented with foreign trees and plants (amongst which I 
observed the custard-apple, loaded with its delicious fruit), 
has a pretty appearance. I was kindly received by Mr. and 
Mrs. Royal and family. After an invitation to spend the 
night with my host, which I gladly accepted, I took a walk in 
the opposite direction from that I had pursued in the morn- 
ing, which is more in the valley, and in denser shade. Many 
of the houses here are still of the native construction, as in 
Mangaia. I visited the interior of one or two, and found 
them strewed with hay, in the usual style, on which mats 
were placed for us to sit, h la Turque. I was hospitably re* 
ceived by their inmates, some "taro poey" being placed 
before me, which # 1 did not like so well as the bread-fruit 
poey of the Marquesas. Continuing my walk, a little girl of 
some six or seven years was brought to me by some of the 
natives, a lovely creature, with flowing auburn hair and 
regular European features, combined with the large, soft, 
lustrous eyes and the light olive complexion of the islanders, 
probably owing her existence to some sailor, who made but a 
temporary stay on the island, and possibly was not aware 
that he was the father of the lovely being before us. I was 
pleased to see the interest and pride the natives seemed to 
take in the little creature. To try their affection, I proposed 
to purchase her, but a soft arm, encircling the child, and 
drawing her to the bosom of one of the dark-eyed beauties, 
revealed the bond that existed between the two. With diffi- 
culty I persuaded them to allow me to bring her to the market 
that I might give her some little presents. The child was 
greatly delighted with the few trifles I presented to her, and 
bounded off to her home to display her riches, as wealthy, in 


the estimation of her wild little companions, as a young 

The following day we had almost concluded business, when 
I found I required something from the ship. I tore out a 
leaf from my memorandum book, not observing that it was 
already written upon, and wrote on it a request that what I 
wanted might be sent by one of the natives. As the article I 
wanted did not arrive in time, I dispensed with it, and having 
finished business went to dine with Mr. Royal. Here I found 
the skippers of the two other ships that lay jp the offing, so 
that we had quite a dinner party. One of them, strange to say, 
proved to be an uncle of Captain Snow, who, disgusted at 
being brought here against his will, did not once come 
ashore. Whilst we were still at dinner my second mate 
marched unceremoniously into the room, and in a mysterious 
manner presented to Mr. Royal a note from his brother and 
commander. The look of utter bewilderment on the face of 
our host, as he read the note, was most ludicrous ; but at 
last he found words to ask if the bearer was sure the billet 
was for him. 

"Yes," said the messenger, with stern dignity, "from 
Mr. S." 

" Then really, I must say," said our host, in his gentle 
way, " I cannot in the most remote degree comprehend it. 
I never fined him ten dollars, and I am not aware of any 
charge against him about women/' 

The note was now handed round ; amongst others, to the 
captain's uncle, who had just been speaking about Captain 
Snow's poor wife and children, left behind for some years in 
the Eastern States. The note was a tirade against the mis- 
sionary, with some mysterious allusion to his (Snow's) ab- 
duction of a girl, and a subsequent fine of 10$, which his 
reverence might pocket, &c. &c. When I read it, I could 
not resist laughing. An idea struck me, that in sending the 


note lately on board with the native, I must have used 
Captain Snow's memorandum authorizing me to pay the 
fine at Manke, for the abduction of the king's cook, and that 
in his usual muddled state, he must have conceived it by 
some means to have come from Mr. Royal, to whom he 
naturally sent the reply that placed him in such an absurd 
position ; and I subsequently found that such was the case. 



Departure for California — A Kanaka's Interpretation of a Meteor — 
Wreck of the Ship — Appearance of Natives — Their Attack re- 
pelled — Mahauta sent ashore—Onset of Savages — Our Landing 
on the Island — Costume— Native Huts — An Imp surprised — 
Insubordination — My Home on the Island — Breaking Cocoa 
Nuts — Attempt at Conversation — A Native Supper — Night 
Wail — March resumed — A Mara, or Sacred Ground — Curious 
Ceremonies — Terror of the Captain — Dance of Females — Mourn- 
ful Dirges — Ceremony of Adoption — Sararak — Divisions of the 
Island — A Native Plenipotentiary — Blunders made in acquiring 
the Language — Novel Appropriation of English Costume — As- 
sembly of our Officers and Crew — A Family Group — Alarm of 
Invasion — Recovery of my Sword — Ceremony of the Pehu — 
Numerous Relations — Etiquette for Relations — My Gratifying 
Progress in the Language. 

THE same evening we bade adieu to our good host, and 
with a pleasant breeze turned our head once more 
towards California. 

Dr. R., who had recently become exceedingly amiable, 
being satisfied with the success of our voyage, confidentially 
opened to me schemes for rapidly amassing great fortunes, 
clearly demonstrating the certainty of success. I had told 
him decidedly at the Marquesas that the present was the last 
transaction we .should ever be engaged in together, and had 
he now opened me a path to the wealth of Croesus, I would 
not have joined him in it. 

Walking the deck one evening, I was struck by the 
appearance of a remarkably large and brilliant meteor, 
occasionally observed on these seas, which, bursting suddenly 


to view in the firmament, descends slowly till lost in the 
ocean, illuminating the waters during its progress with a 
light like that of the moon. The sound of half-stifled sobs 
in the forward part of the ship drew my attention there, and 
on proceeding to the spot, I found the Huahinean Kanaka, 
Bob, crying bitterly. I asked him what was the matter, and 
after some difficulty, he informed me that his brother had 
died lately, and that the meteor just seen was his spirit, which 
come for him. I tried to reassure him, and prove the ab- 
surdity of the idea, but without the least effect. 

With the sailors forward I had never had much intercourse, 
save occasionally a pleasant word en passant. Thus 
matters stood on the night of the 6th of January, 1853, when 
I retired to rest. I was a light sleeper, especially in the 
neighbourhood of land, having no confidence in either the 
master or officers, and as we were passing near some islands 
laid down on our chart (although, according to the captain's 
observations, we should have been far out of sight of any of 
them) I felt uneasy. At four o'clock a.m., the changing of 
the watch awoke me, and as it was Mr. Snow's watch on 
deck, I did not feel again inclined to sleep. As the mate 
was turning in, he told the captain he saw something like a 
dark cloud ahead, and warned him to look out for a squall. 
It appears, from the statement of one of the boys in this 
watch, that shortly after he went on deck he saw Captain 
Snow come out of his cabin, whisper for a short time with 
his brother, and then retire. This he might have done by 
the back-door of the cabin without my observing it. On this 
occasion the oldest and safest hand of the watch was never 
brought on deck ; and the look-out forward consisted of two 
inefficient hands, one a Kanaka, and the other a mere lad. 
The man at the wheel could not see ahead, on account of the 
house on deck immediately in front of him. About twenty 
minutes after, as I looked through my cabin-door out on 


'deck, a shock like that produced by a collision passed through 
the vessel, and I thought I beheld land close to us. The 
ship's head, however, rose on the wave towards the sky, and 
I waited for an instant till she dipped again, when I beheld a 
long line of black, low coast stretching far on either side, girt 
with a circle of foaming breakers, the roar of which was 
already in my ears. A westerly wind blew dead ashore ; we 
were running right before it, and were not a gun-shot from 
the reef. I sprang at once on deck, followed almost imme- 
diately by all the crew. " Hard up !" some one shouted, and 
up went the wheel, the yards were trimmed to the wind, and 
the good vessel, obedient to her command, worked round, 
giving us yet a chance, when another voice called out, 
" Hard down" and the mate at the helm obeyed but too 
faithfully the order, depriving us of the last hope of saving 
the ship. The next moment her bottom struck a sunken rock, 
making the vessel reel, and almost throwing us off our 
feet. A white crested wave, raising us on its top, bore us 
onward with impetuous force, and dashed us amidst the 
boiling foam on the rugged walls of coral. Fortunately 
we went head on, and our bow struck into a little bight 
of the rock, where it was firmly bedded. About mid- 
ship we rested on a rock below, on which each wave that 
dashed on our stern and broke over us, raised the vessel, and 
let her drop with such force that we feared she would part in 
two. .The spars swung and shivered with the concussion, 
threatening to fall about our ears, and the sails, that no one 
ventured aloft to furl, began to lash the yards and fly in shreds, 
whilst the parting stays menaced us with tottering masts. 
Our only trust was that the vessel would hold together till 
daylight. The supposed cloud seen by the mate proved to 
be the Penrhyn Islands, laid down on every chart, and men- 
tioned particularly by Wilks. 
After adjusting some books and valuable papers that I 


unfortunately had on board, so that, in the event of my being 
able to return to the wreck, I might secure them, I went 
forward to the bows to see what chance remained of reaching 
shore. It seemed only some two or three hundred yards off 
the edge of the reef where we lay, and to my joy, I found 
the tide was ebbing, the surf less violent, and the rocks in 
front occasionally bare, while at the same time the wind 
was falling. We now anxiously looked towards the shore to 
see whether it produced cocoa-nut, and, as well as the grey 
dawn allowed us, we were glad to perceive indications that 
it did. The captain, in the meantime, had got an anchor 
out from the ship's stern, and was pretending to try and get 
her off, which, of course, every one knew was a vain attempt, 
as she was already bilged. She did not' strike heavily, 
and I was talking to the doctor about our chance of getting 
ashore and saving something, when it was reported that 
natives had been seen on the beach. I was proceeding again 
forward when a wild yell from shore sent the blood thrilling 
to my heart, and perhaps blanched my cheek. I ran to 
the bows, and by the increasing morning light could see many 
natives along the beach, who, as we appeared, renewed their 
yells. Under these circumstances, the captain was the only 
man who showed any signs of timidity, at which the doctor and 
I laughed, though I must acknowledge the position in which 
we found ourselves was by no means reassuring. 

Meanwhile, a shout from the bows informed us that the 
natives were coming on us ; and on looking over the side we 
saw them advancing with spears and clubs, which they 
brandished, uttering at the same time the most frightful yells, 
accompanied by horrid grimaces and contortions. I at once 
ordered a box of ammunition to be brought from below, and 
all the firearms being charged, we prepared for the attack. 

Our preparations were scarcely completed when I saw a 
savage face peer above the rail on the quarter, near where I 

A PAULEY. 107 

stood. As I had no idea then except of selling my life as 
dearly as possible, I sprang forward and made a cut at the 
head, which its owner dexterously avoided by dropping into 
the sea ; the same incident recurring frequently. The savages, 
finding every point guarded, withdrew from the attack, but 
kept swimming around the ship, diving at the same time like 
fiah, a feat at which the women are quite as expert as the men. 
We now tried to propitiate them by throwing things from 
the ship, which they eagerly swam or dived after, and then 
started with their prizes to shora 

As at this time it was low water and unusually calm, I 
proposed that we should all land together in the long-boat, 
after we had done our best to save something from the 
wreck. The captain at once vetoed this proposal by de- 
claring the boat was so stove in that it was useless ; and as 
for the whale-boat, it had been disposed of at Aitutakd. 
" But," said he, in his usual assuming style, " if there's any 
fighting to be done, I'm the man that's ready to join any 
one !" Dr. R., who was as brave as a lion, looked as calm 
as I was excited. In fact, I was much annoyed at the loss 
of the vessel. I proposed, therefore, that we should imme- 
diately make an attempt at landing, under the doctor's 
command. He was ready in a moment, and I was particu- 
larly anxious that we should all make the effort together ; 
hut several of our boasting crew held back from the 

In the meantime a parley was held between a native of 
Aitutakd (Mahauta by name), from the bows, and some 
natives on the reefs below. We found, happily, that, 
although there was much difference in their languages, there 
was such a similarity that they could make themselves under- 
stood by each other. What transpired in their lengthened 
conversation seemed sufficient to induce Mahauta to trust 
himself amongst them and, seizing a proper opportunity, he 


dropped into the sea and made for the shore. The whole 
crowd followed him, and we, who were left entirely to our- 
selves, awaited anxiously the result of the Aitutakan's bold 

On reaching the shore, as I afterwards learned, he pro- 
ceeded directly inland, followed by the entire population, 
and for some time we were left in doubt as to his pro- 
ceedings. A crowd, however, soon appeared again on the 
beach, with Mahanta in their midst, who made some signals 
to the ship, but whether of a friendly or a warning character 
we could not comprehend. 

After a time, Mahauta returned on board, stating that he 
had been well received by the natives, and that they had 
requested us all to land, assuring us of good treatment if we 
would allow them to take the cocoa-nuts which they learned 
from him were aboard, and of which there was a scarcity at 
that time amongst the islanders. The terms did not alto- 
gether suit me, for I was satisfied that, if the natives were 
allowed to come on board, a scene of plunder, if not of 
slaughter, would ensue. The captain had supplied himself 
with Dutch courage from the brandy bottle, which he par- 
ticularly recommended to the doctor and myself but which, 
as I knew I required all the coolness of mind I possessed, I 
declined, and threw the liquor overboard. He then made 
a maudlin-heroic speech to the crew, stating that he was 
going to risk his life ashore to see how the land lay, and it 
he fell in defence of the ship, they would know how to 
revenge his loss. The natives, however, did not give 
him time to carry out his bold design, for many of them 
were already coming over the bows, to whom no resistance 
was offered. I now got two of the men to join me in 
guarding the entrance of the cabin; but soon the savage 
host came pouring in on all sides. At first their astonish- 
ment at everything they beheld was so great that they did 


nothing but stare around in amazement, uttering occasion* 
ally loud exclamations, accompanied by wild gestures, horrid 
grimaces, and slapping the hips — a habit which I observed 
to be peculiar to them. They soon discovered the cocoa- 
nuts in the hold, and all that could at once went down the 
hatchway and set to work to secure the treasure. From this 
task, however, they were ere long recalled by one who seemed 
to have authority over them, by whose order they com- 
menced a fantastic kind of dance, yelling, rather than singing, 
a sort of barbarous accompaniment to it. This completed, 
they plunged again into the hold and resumed the work of 

By this time the deck was so crowded with natives that 
there was scarce moving room amongst them, and I found 
that some of them had made their way into the cabin, and 
were already pillaging it. Seizing my sword, I rushed in, 
and they precipitately retreated, evidently much alarmed at 
the shining steel, and many even jumping overboard. The 
captain begged me, for God's sake, to lay aside the weapon, 
or we should all be murdered. The doctor, also, quietly 
remarked that resistance now would only make matters 
worse, and we might as well land whilst the natives had 
their attention occupied. 

I went forward to see in what state we now were, and 
found the vessel's head almost high and dry on the reef, 
having been driven farther up since she first struck. On 
returning to the cabin, to try and save a few articles of 
wearing apparel, I found it filled with savages; lockers, 
drawers, and boxes having been broken to pieces, and their 
contents appropriated as plunder. I did not attempt to save 
anything, and in shirt and trousers, hat and shoes, I pre- 
pared to reach the shore. As I came to the spot where the 
doctor stood lowering a rope over the bows, old Bill made 
his appearance, with a small stock of clothes. The doctor, 


who seemed for the first time excited, immediately turned 
to him and proposed that they should assist each other. I 
was about to descend by the rope he had lowered, feeling 
somewhat nervous, as I was no swimmer and the surf was 
breaking with great violence on the rocks beneath, when the 
doctor, in an insolent manner, ordered me to find a rope for 
myself. I was, of course, greatly incensed by his conduct, 
but cool enough not to provoke a quarrel at such a moment. 
It did me good, however, for my anger cured my fear. I 
seized some of the broken rigging in a worse position farther 
aft on the bowsprit, and watching the moment when the 
receding wave left the rocks beneath bare, hastily slid down 
and stood on the almost dry reef. To avoid the rapidly 
advancing rollers, I started at once for shore, still some two 
or three hundred yards distant, when I was overtaken by a 
wave, which did not, however, stop my progress, and some 
of the natives, rushing into the water, I soon, with their 
assistance, got ashore. I had scarcely touched dry land, 
when, as if to prove that their conduct was not prompted by 
humanity, my pockets were rifled of their contents. One 
even tried to get my hat, but I stoutly resisted him, and was 
allowed to retain it. 

Some groups of women and children, who were congre- 
gated on the shore, appeared much terrified. The dress of 
the former consisted merely of a kind of short kilt, called a 
" titche," formed of a quantity of cocoa-nut leaves, slit into 
fine strips like grass, and fastened to a cord at the top, which 
secured it round the loins. The mass of hay, as it might be 
considered, drops down to near the knee, where it is cut 
square off and sloped up a little on the one side, coquettishly 
showing the proportion of the leg more than would be con- 
sidered strictly decorous in discreet society. They some- 
times, also, wear what is called a " pariew," a short mantle 
of matting, made from the cocoa-nut leaf, split as fine as 


straw and plaited in such a way that it narrows up towards 
the neck, round which it is fastened, fitting on the shoulders 
and falling below the waist. The men only wear a small 
"marow" fastened round the loins, and the children are 
completely naked. 

On my return to the landing, being free to move about, 
I saw Dr. R. sitting on a stone, looking very savage. I did 
not go near him, for, though I was not silly enough to 
quarrel with him at such a time, I still resented his absurd 
rudeness. He had retained his bag of clothes, but was after- 
wards robbed of it — a loss which he attributed to my de- 
sertion of him, as he was pleased to call it. 

Being left in perfect freedom, and satisfied that there was 
no immediate attempt to be made on our lives, after a short 
rest we passed on into the interior, to discover what kind of 
place we were doomed to spend it might be the remainder of 
our lives in. I was soon enveloped in the obscurity of an ex- 
tensive cocoa-nut grove, that seemed, indeed, as far as I 
could see, to extend over the whole island. Here and there 
I observed also a stiff, ungainly pandanas tree, with its few 
straight, pole-like branches leafless, save where they ter- 
minated in bunches of crisp and prickly leaves, fully re- 
presenting the barren spots in which they love to dwell. 
A tall, rank weed, not unlike the aloe, also occasionally varied 
the scene. A rude kind of vine, in some places, trailed 
along and partially hid the arid, sandy soil, and the graceful 
palm tree offered its grateful shade, after the intense heat I 
had experienced on the white, sandy beach. 

I soon lost sight of the shore, though I knew its direction 
by the moaning sound of the breakers. Pushing on through 
the jungle of tall weeds, I suddenly came on an open space 
of some hundred yards square. It was encircled by tall, 
flat stones, some six feet in height, though generally much 
lower, but not more than a few inches in thickness ; a sort 


of " Stonehenge " in a small way. Through the open spaces 
I could observe several more stones of the same kind, some 
lying horizontally supported by others, not unlike the crom- 
leighs or Druid temples of Ireland, but more regular in form, 
and evidently intended for tombs. I had seen something 
similar, but not nearly so regular or extensive, on the Mar- 
quesas — their holy ground, which was viewed with so 
much superstitious veneration, that death was the penalty 
of any one who invaded its sacred precincts. I did not fear 
being detected had I crossed it, as, since I left the beach, 1 
had not seen or heard a single native (the entire population 
apparently being engaged at the wreck) ; but, not wishing to 
disregard their religious superstitions, 1 took a little path 
that led again through the groves, and, to my astonishment, 
found myself in a few moments once more at the water's 
edge. I thought at first I must have returned to the beach 
I had left, but the appearance of the waters before me, of a 
pale transparent blue, as calm and bright as a mirror, con- 
vinced me I was on another part of the shore. I sat down 
on the log of a cocoa-nut tree, and tried to mark out a line 
of conduct for myself. From the intercourse I had already had 
with the natives of the South Seas, I was convinced that the 
proper course to pursue was to associate with them on such 
terms as to impress them with the idea of their inferiority, and 
at all risks to keep firm in any difficulties that might arise. 
Truthfulness and honesty they can, perhaps, the more appre- 
ciate, because they are rogues themselves. As to the ship's 
company, I felt that it would be a difficult piece of policy to 
manage them, and I resolved to stand aside for a little till 
I should see how things might develop themselves — to re- 
main, so to speak, passive, taking on myself for the present 
no position of authority. I had not mingled much with the 
people on board, and they had, therefore, little personal 
knowledge of me. I was well aware they would revolt at 


any assumption of authority on my part, particularly as I 
was neither commanding in stature nor noisy. Dr. R., 
therefore, was the very man for them ; and I knew that he 
could well maintain the dictatorial manner which he as- 
sumed amongst the sailors, his personal strength and intelli- 
gence both being beyond the ordinary range. 

The day, though lovely, was rather hazy. As I peered 
towards the horizon, I observed some dark streaks, like low, 
narrow clouds lining its edge, and I knew at once it was 
land — low coral islands, like the one I was on — about seven 
or eight miles distant. Was this one of a cluster of islands, 
or was it a portion of a great lagoon reef, with islets 
studded around it ? 

On my return to the beach from which I had started, I 
heard as I approached the shouts and yells of the savage 
tribe, still busy at their work of plunder. I concluded that 
the island could be little more than a quarter of a mile broad 
from shore to shore, though, from the view I had along both 
coasts, it must be several miles in length. In recrossing I 
observed some low sheds, which, as I saw no other dwelling- 
places, were doubtless the residences of the natives, though 
the most miserable shanties I had ever beheld for human 
beings, consisting merely of four inclined sticks, about five 
feet in height, with two uprights and cross beam, forming a 
light frame for a small roof. At the base the house is some 
six feet wide by eight long, the whole covered by a thatch of 
the cocoa-nut tree, formed by splitting the bough and platting 
the leaves, till enough are linked together to reach about half 
way up the frame, on which it hangs so loose that it can be 
lifted or dropped at pleasure. Other boughs are then fastened 
on in the same manner, but secured to the frame till all is 
covered in, the ends being closed by platted boughs secured 
to the uprights. Those I saw on the present occasion had 
the leaves supported by a stick, and the owner being at the 



beach, I crawled on all fours through the aperture to observe 
the furniture of the interior. 

This was not of the most costly description. A roll of 
sinnet and a coarse bag-net were suspended from the ceiling, 
a rough mat of pandanas leaf partially covered the sandy 
floor, and another was thrown over what seemed a bundle at 
the far end. Curiosity tempted me to lift the latter, when 
I beheld an urchin whose little black eyes seemed fairly to 
start out of their sockets as they stared at me ; while his 
mouth, which was about as broad as his face, emitted the 
wildest screams of terror I had ever heard. Nearly as much 
frightened as the child, I backed out of this den and at the 
same moment the little imp, throwing up the opposite side 
of the house, darted into the woods; and, though his 
yells still were heard, modulated by distance, he was out of 
sight in an instant. 

It was almost sunset when I returned to the beach, where, 
to my great disgust, I observed that some of our men were 
occupied in carrying great baskets, made from the cocoa-nut 
leaves, containing cocoa-nuts and other articles saved from 
the wreck, which they were bearing inland under the direction 
of the natives, who were already employing them as slaves. 

On my appearance several of the savages ran towards me, 
and, pointing to the baskets which were being rapidly made 
by the women on the spot, to be filled by the men, they 
desired me (as I could understand by their gestures) to 
commence work with the others. This I decidedly declined 
to do, at which they seemed very angry. However, it made 
no difference to me, as I had resolved on a course of 
conduct; and the present was an excellent occasion for 
evincing my resolution. Not content with refusing to work 
myself, I hastened to two of the men near me, and begged 
them to desist, telling them it was much better we should 
lose our lives at once by resisting these people's orders than 


have our existence made a burthen to us by becoming slaves 
to them. One of them, " Joe/' the fellow I had taken off the 
Marquesas at his own urgent entreaty, replied, that " Jack 
was as good as his master in this place, and every man could 
do as he liked." " Oho l» thought I, " this is the kind of 
insubordination I foresaw ;" but I merely replied, " I never 
was your master, my man ; I only advise you to a course I 
pursue myself, and you will find before long which is right' 1 
— as to his sorrow he afterwards did. The other sailor 
(" Painne," as he was subsequently called by the natives) 
threw down the basket, saying, " He would work no more 

for the d d savages/' The influence I thus exercised 

seemed to make considerable impression on the natives, and 
I have no doubt I was heartily anathematised for my in- 
terference. The air of dignity I assumed did not seem to 
impress them ; but my manner caused some discussion, in 
which one, who apparently possessed authority, appeared fa- 
vourably disposed towards me. Three little boys who obeyed 
his instructions, I presumed to be his sons ; and a party of 
men and women working under his directions made me think 
he must be a person of some importance. 

At sunset various little groups began to form and move 
off in different directions, the men invariably armed with one 
or more long, slight spears, made of the cocoa-nut wood, the 
women also carrying a kind of club of the same material. At 
last it came to my turn. The man whom I had formerly 
noticed with the three children (together with a party of 
some seven or eight men and women) told me to follow 
him. I accordingly wheeled into rank, and, guarded fore 
and aft, started with the small party in Indian file, by a 
narrow and circuitous path through the wooded grove. The 
course we took led us at times through the centre of the 
island, at others it brought us near to the shore, and even- 
tually to the calm lagoon, or smooth sea, I had seen in the 


116 A HAMLET. 

daytime. A pleasant breeze now just ruffled its waters, and 
made the air pleasantly cool. 

Here some children joined one of the boys before men- 
tioned, the other two haying been sent on some errand. 
They all looked at me from a distance with an expression of 
fear and awe, which indeed was, in some measure, exhibited 
in the manners of the older members of the party. A 
shout from the still waters drew my attention in that 
direction, and I observed the two boys pulling a canoe, loaded 
with stuff from the wreck, oyer the shoal of the reef, 
which I now saw extended out from both sides of the 
island. After a walk of a mile or two we abruptly turned 
inland, and in a few minutes halted at a little hamlet, I 
might call it, in an open space, strewed with white gravel 
from the sea beach, and planted round with young cocoa- 
nut trees, whose bright leaves completely shaded the three 
little huts that half occupied the space ; while another, par- 
tially hidden by some pandanas trees, was evidently the 
cook house. The white gravelled plot was scrupulously 
clean, and looked prettily bright in the surrounding dark- 
ness of the forest. A mat, taken from the house, was spread 
on the ground for my use, and I sat, or rather reclined on 
it. The natives also used mats, sitting a la Turque. " This, 
then," said I mentally, " is, I presume, to be my home, per- 
haps as long as I live ; and God only knows how long that 
may be, amongst such wild beings !" But on looking around 
the little group before me, they did not seem the same 
yelling savages I had beheld all day. They had now the 
appearance of rational beings, spoke quietly, and I even 
thought kindly to each other, and frequently laughed with a 
pleasant cheerfulness that astonished me. 

After the articles from the canoe — sails, rigging, iron bolts, 
hoops, nails, clothing, cocoa-nuts, one or two drinking 
utensils, and other things, including two hogs — had been 


carried up to the houses they returned to their mats. Two 
of the boys took the husks off some green cocoa-nuts by 
placing on end, on the ground, a three-cornered piece 
of wood, called a " co," on the sharp point of which, sup- 
porting it in an upright position with the soles of their feet, 
they struck the nut till they had driven it through part of 
the husk, which they stripped off. The nuts are then handed 
over to the women, who with a stone crack them through 
the centre, preserving the water in a wooden bowl. With a 
piece of mother-of-pearl, called a " tue," some six inches long, 
and tapering to a point, and about two broad at the base, 
where it is nicked like a saw, they scrape the meat very fine. 
This they do by placing a half nut between their legs, press- 
ing the edge down with the left thumb, holding the " tue," like 
a pen, in the right hand, and scraping from the edge down- 
wards, the left forefinger pressing on and assisting the 
others in the operation, which, when a large quantity of 
" neu oara" (as I soon learned it was called) has to be made, 
is very fatiguing to the hands. It is then mixed with some 
of the water of the nut (one cocoa-nut making about half a 
shellful) till about the consistency of dough, and is ready 
for use if it is to be eaten raw. If it is to be cooked, more 
is put into the shell, and another is placed on the top, careful 
cooks covering with a piece of leaf the hole, or eye, to 
prevent the entrance of dust. This article forms the chief 
subsistence of the people. 

During the preparation of supper, many questions or re- 
marks were addressed to me ; in answer to which I could 
only shake my head, to signify I did not understand what was 
said. This, however, they did not comprehend, for in ad- 
dressing me again I observed they shouted in a high pitch 
of voice, " Co ai coe !" an expression which they frequently 
used. I thought it might be some complimentary phrase to 
which I was bound to reply. I responded, therefore, in the 


language of the Harvey group, of which I knew a tew 
sentences, with the word "maitake" ("very good.'*) 
Thereon an excited discussion ensued ; the word " maitake," 
after passing from month to month, thenceforward became 
my name ; and very naturally, for 1 subsequently found that 
41 Co ai co&" meant, « Who are you?" or "What's your name ?" 

As I had been so successful with these two words, I used 
them in reply to all subsequent questions, which seemed 
rather to bewilder my examiners. It afterwards proved they 
had been asking me the names of my father, mother, 
sisters, brothers, and kindred generally ; and such a host 
of "maitakfes" utterly astounded them. One sceptic, however, 
shrewdly suspecting that I did not understand them, ad- 
vanced towards me, and placing a hand on each shoulder, 
while he brought his face close to mine, shouted at the top 
of his voice some words, each of which was slowly and dis- 
tinctly uttered. Then drawing back, apparently satisfied that 
I must comprehend that, he encouragingly waited my reply. 

In the same deliberate manner I placed a hand on each 
of his shoulders, which made him appear a little nervous, 
though he looked round with a smile, and made some re- 
mark evidently to this effect, " You see I found the way to 
make him understand me 1" But what was his consternation 
when, in his own loud and distinct manner, I shouted, " I — 
don't — understand— one — word — you — say V 3 He looked 
perfectly bewildered, and, with the rest of his countrymen, 
seemed to think it was an utterly hopeless case. 

My first dish of " neu oara " was now presented to me, but 
it was mawkish, watery stuff, and hungry as I was, I could 
scarcely finish it, not for want of encouragement though, 
for they evidently pressed me in the kindest manner to eat ; 
one elderly lady with remarkably short' petticoats, com- 
ing over and patting me as if I were a petted baby, while she 
repeated the words, " A kai 1 a kai ! teo neu oara/ 1 


Some dried boughs of cocoa-nut that quickly flared up 
when they were thrown on the fire, lighted with fitful gleam 
the swarthy figures and strange scene around. I could 
scarcely realize the truth of my position, and could not help 
asking myself if it was not all a wild dream. 

I crawled into one of the sheds and lay on a single mat that 
covered the rough ground beneath. With my head on a 
pillow of -wood I disposed myself to think : not to sleep, for 
between the hardness of my bed and pillow, anxiety for the 
future, and the excitement of the day past, my mind was ill 
disposed for rest. The night was perfectly still. There was 
not even the usual rustling of the leaves of the palm-trees in 
the night air, the low monotonous moan of the breakers 
alone being distinctly heard. I had lain some hours, turning 
restlessly on my hard pillow, when another sound came 
through the silence of night, a low cry or wail, distant at first, 
but apparently taken up at different points, and coming 
nearer and still nearer, until it was re-echoed in the same 
low tones in the house opposite. It might have been a 
dirge for the dead, and was not disagreeable at first, particu- 
larly in the lower notes, though the higher were decidedly 
discordant, and, when long continued, irksome. 

An old man and a boy, who were in the tent with me, 
joined in the melancholy chant, the former rolling his head 
from side to side. This continued perhaps for an hour, when 
the sound died away gradually as it had commenced, and 
save the endless moan on the sea-shore, all was silent. I 
did not sleep that night, however. 

The following morning all our little community was astir 
by daybreak. I was taken with them to the inland water's edge, 
where we all performed our ablutions in a small pool, fenced 
from the sea by a stone dike, of which there are many along the 
shore. Outside of these barriers all dirt and filth are cast, 
nothing of the kind being allowed to pollute the land. 

120 A "MARA." 

By this time both men and women of the party with 
whom I had been all night were armed, and with a guard 
front and rear we were marched in the direction we had come 
the night previous, but by a different route. From houses 
that we passed we picked up successively the mate, the 
second mate, and others, each with his particular guard ; 
with whom, ere long, we arrived near the site of our wreck. 
In this, which happened to be the most thickly settled por- 
tion of the island, we found in one of the houses the 
doctor, captain, and one of the men. In a short time all 
the crew and the entire population of the island were con- 
gregated. We then continued our march, each under the 
charge of some particular native, the party I had arrived 
with still claiming me as their especial property. Mahauta, 
the little boy who had slept in the house with me, had 
got over his fear in a great measure, and hung much 
about me. This I encouraged, not because I felt any affec- 
tion for him, but I was aware that on the Marquesas the 
people had a great veneration for boys ; and I thought that 
if they meditated any sudden act of treachery, I should seize 
the lad as a hostage. 

After a quarter of an hour's march we halted at a rugged 
and bleak spot. Blocks of coral rock were strewed around, 
and piled in masses of every form, as if rent and upheaved 
by an earthquake. The tall fara weed grew rank, showing 
that the spot was rarely visited. Numerous pandanas trees 
darkened more than usual the deep shade of the grove, but 
not enough to hide the tall stones of a " Mara" (or sacred 
ground) that appeared beyond. There were few or none 
of our party who were not aware that, on the Marquesas and 
other islands where cannibalism is practised, such spots are 
dedicated to these horrible orgies — their fellow-beings being 
here offered as a sacrifice to their gods. 

The women and children, who are not allowed to enter 


these holy precincts, now stopped with looks of fear, whilst 
all the men proceeded a few paces farther. Looking around 
on our people, I saw that all were serious, some blanched 
with fear. Four young men rushed with their spears 
to the edge of the mara, as if about to attack an enemy ; 
and, facing each other with the most horrid contortions of 
visage, rapidly uttered or rather yelled a kind of incan- 
tation, to frighten away the evil spirits that always haunt 
these spots ; and such faces were surely enough to frighten 
spirits or mortals either. When this " hai-ing," as it is 
called, was concluded, the whole concourse of men hastened 
within the precincts of the mara, as if afraid that the wicked 
spirits might get in before then\. Two old men, girt round 
with cocoa-nut leaves, whom I supposed to be priests, took 
seats on either side the mara, some distance further up than 
the rest. Three young cocoa-nuts were then placed on a 
flat stone in front of us, near which stood four young men, 
decked with wreaths of green leaves. At a given signal from 
the priests two of these, stripping two pieces of husk from 
the cocoa-nuts before them, ran with great speed to a point 
where they deposited one piece of the husk, immediately 
darting back as if the devil was after them. Each then got 
behind one of the tall mara stones, near the priests, where 
they were out of danger, and presented the other pieces of 
husk. This they did in a slow and decorous manner, very 
tinlike the unseemly haste they had evinced the moment 
before ; raising their hands high above their head and putting 
the husk down before the priest, who, without looking up, 
took it with a meek and reverend air befitting the occasion, 
bent over it, uttering a low, hurried prayer or charm, and 
then with his right hand threw it over his left shoulder. 
The same ceremony was repeated till every part of the place 
was purified of the devils that made it their habitation. The 
whole affair was curiously like the infantine game of " Pussy 


in the four corners/ 1 though the ceremonies were evidently 
performed with perfect faith in their efficacy. The whole 
party then advanced to an altar— a heap of rude stones. A 
youth, having cut three small branches from a young cocoa- 
nut tree, platted the leaves of each into something resembling 
the form of a man, and handed them to an old chief that I 
had before observed as a leading person* amongst them. On 
receiving the three gods, as I believed them to be, he 
ascended the altar, and all heads remained bent in awe 
till the ceremony was concluded. 

O Packa, as this chief and high priest was called, on re- 
ceiving one of the cocoa-nut gods, ascended the altar, and, 
seating himself in front of a large stone, while he held his god 
in both hands, began to glance wildly round in every direction, 
his eyes wandering over the crowd of bowed figures before 
him. A trembling motion, commencing in his hands, ex- 
tended through his whole body till every limb shook in the 
most violent manner, the muscles working and the veins 
swelling almost to bursting — a sign, as these ignorant 
creatures believed, that he was possessed by a spirit. After 
uttering a few incoherent sentences, which subsided to 
a low prayer, he lifted his leafy god and struck him 
violently against the stone before him, repeating the same 
process with all three. The idols, having thus done their 
part in the ceremony, were unceremoniously thrown aside 
amongst a heap of rubbish. The three cocoa-nuts, which 
had remained on the altar all this time, were now removed, 
and we were marched once more out of the mara and 
seated near its boundary. The captain, I saw, had been in 
no less terror than myself, and doubtless from the same cause 
— the belief that these rites were preparatory to a human 
sacrifice. ' He trembled violently, and his colour was a sickly 
white. Dr. R 1 must acknowledge, seemed more an- 
noyed and angry than frightened. 


The three cocoa nuts that had played such an important 
part in the whole proceedings were now produced, and, after 
some more ceremonies, were broken, and handed, one each, 

with signs that we were to eat them, to the mat«, Dr. R , 

and myself. Was this to indicate that we three were selected 
the first for sacrifice ? Such was evidently the opinion of the 
doctor, for, stretching out his long bony hand over to me, he 
said — " I think we may bid farewell to each other, Lamont ; 
we are selected first to be cooked ; I suppose they want to 
put us in condition by feeding us first." 

The natives then proceeded, taking us with them, to a 
little pool of fresh, water, into which they plunged, and, 
stooping their heads, with a peculiar action of the arms 
splashed themselves over as ducks do with their wings. 
When urged to do likewise, some of us objected. Our 
refusal seemed to give them so much annoyance that we com- 
plied, and, after ablutions, one of the little boys who had 
taken charge of my clothes handed them to me, apparently 
well satisfied at my performance. I was astonished that they 
did not endeavour to take any of our wearing apparel, but 
neither on that nor on any other occasion did I ever hear of 
an article in use being stolen from any of our people. Some 
voluntarily resigned them to the savages and went naked, an 
act of urbanity they lived to repent, for the natives after- 
wards considered them no better than themselves, and 
treated them accordingly, although at first they seemfed 
pleased with them for doing so. 

The ceremonies, however, were not yet entirely concluded. 
When dressed we were again marched off to a clear space 
near the beach, where the women were congregated. These, 
after some hesitation, as if from bashfulness, stroking down 
their " titches," placed themselves in position opposite to each 
other, and began a very absurd dance, though (unlike the 
other islands of the South Seas) there was nothing indecent 


in it. Raising one hand in the air and lowering the other 
towards the ground, they waved them rapidly, at the same 
time (after scraping the ground with their feet to make it 
smooth) rising on their toes, with their knees partially bent. 
Then looking wildly sideways at each other they commenced 
a quick-step, beating the ground as rapidly as they could 
hop from one foot to the other, changing their position occa- 
sionally, and elevating now the right and now the left arm, 
accompanying these gestures with a low guttural sound not 
unlike that made in calling chickens. This dance, called 
the " shukai," is performed on all public occasions, and much 
admired, though the fair dames sometimes require a little 
pressing to commence. 

On the conclusion of the dance, after some further pre- 
liminaries (for I noticed that everything done required dis- 
cussion) they seated themselves cross-legged on the ground 
in two long rows, the men arranging themselves in two 
lines behind the women. The same low, mournful chant or 
wail that I had heard in the night was then commenced, ac- 
companied by a clapping of hands in slow time. The women 
shook their heads in a mournful way, by no means re- 
assuring, as they looked at us, and while their song con- 
tinued tears fell from their eyes. Their voices, before low 
and plaintive, now rose to a piercing and unearthly yell, and 
the hands were clapped more quickly and violently, an 
act to which they were stimulated by sundry pokes behind 
from the men's spears. The men themselves also now 
joined in with their deep voices, and, strange to say, 
they too commenced crying. The women became so 
excited that they began to cut their arms with small 
clam shells, which, in the midst of all their distress, they 
had been leisurely sharpening on stones for the purpose. 
The more they cut the more they screamed, with the most 
discordant sounds, the men also joining in and accompanying 


them in this outrageous proceeding. Before they ceased their 
legs, arms, and faces were streaming with blood, and as they 
wiped away the ever- flowing tears, now mingling with the 
red stream on their cheeks, their visages became perfectly 

When they were completely exhausted by this operation, 
we were all marched to the point from which we had 
started in the morning, where, to our great satisfaction, we 
were left comparatively alone. I afterwards learned that 
the ceremony through which we had passed was a form 
of adoption, each of us becoming from that time forth 
the chosen child of some leading man in the place; 
standing in the same position to all his relations as 
his own children, and even enjoying some additional 

As our respective and respected parents now urged us to 
return home to the bosoms of their families, we were con- 
strained to obey them. The following morning, however, 
we were to assemble at the house of Dr. R. to consider 
how we should act in our present circumstances. 

Sararak, it appeared, was the appellation of the island on 
which we were wrecked. The name of that central portion on 
which we were cast away was Mangerongaro. The northern 
division on which I lived, and of which my respected parent 
was chief, was called, strange to say, Tahiti; whilst the 
southern, the most extensive but least populous part, was 
named Haka Shusha. The latter division had been at one 
time a separate kingdom, but conquered and almost depeopled 
by Sararak, it was now dependent on it. The whole island 
was from four to five miles long, and about a quarter broad ; 
the waterwashed reef on either side extending nearly as much 
more. This, I subsequently found, was a portion of an ex- 
tensive reef some thirty-five miles in circuit, with various 
islands dotted on it, of which Sararak was about the largest. 


The reefs between the islands can, for the most part, be 
forded, particularly at low water; but there are three passages 
of sufficient width and depth to admit of the entrance of 
vessels of one or two hundred tons burthen: one at the 
north-east, the others at the north-west side of the lagoon. 
The various inhabited islands (some fourteen in number) are 
in a constant state of feud with each other, though alliances 
are sometimes formed for mutual protection. 

Meanwhile, a plenipotentiary from one of the neighbour- 
ing islands came to the court of O Pae Tangata, my august 
father, Iriki (King or Chief) of Tahiti, or* North Sararak, 
and after some exclamations of wonder proceeded to make a 
lengthened speech, no doubt highly complimentary to the 
new found prince of the royal line of O Pae Tangata, a name 
which he frequently repeated in his address. Seeing, how- 
ever, that I cast many wistful glances at the neu oara 
now ready for me, he abruptly concluded his oration, and 
after a pause, himself looking towards the food at the same 
time, inquired of me, " Oa hungy coe ?" This sounded so 
like, " Are you hungry ?" that at a venture I replied, " h," 
which I had already observed meant " Yes." Tremendous 
excitement was the consequence of my answer, it being 
evidently regarded as a sign that I had found my tongue 
at last, and could speak their language. One of the women 
darted to a basket belonging to the stranger, and took there- 
from a fine cooked fish done up in leaves, together with a 
blackened cocoa-nut shell of neu oara, also apparently 
cooked, repeating, " Teo neu oara, taw e teo ika" ("ika" 
is the common name for fish amongst the islands, and I 
saw " taw " meant cooked), to all of which I replied, 
" E, e !" to their great delight. As I ate they looked on, 
repeating frequently, " Oa hungy, oa hungy V 9 (" He is 
hungry ") in a plaintive voice, waving their hands in their 
own peculiar way, and shaking their heads. 


When I had finished, they said, in an approving manner, 
" Oa ma kona coe ?" Here was a puzzle ! I listened as 
they repeated the sentence till I had the sound correctly, 
and thought the safest plan would be to repeat the phrase, 
which I did. A bewildered look, with the usual expression 
of astonishment, " Ka oaia !" was the result I had told 
them, in answer to their inquiries if I was satisfied, 
that they had eaten enough, whereas, in conformity with 
the rites of their faith, they had been fasting the entire 
day as austerely as any devout Catholics could have done* 
In this manner, through many absurd blunders and ridicu- 
lous mistakes, I gradually acquired a knowledge of their 
language ; though it was not till I had begun to lose hopes 
of escape that I took any interest in learning it. 

During the remainder of the evening, in despair of making 
anything of me, my friends left me pretty much to myself, 
whilst they entertained the visitor with a display of various 
articles belonging to the ship. They endeavoured to push 
their legs through the sleeves of a black dress coat that 
had been mine, after the manner they observed I wore my 
trousers, till I showed one of them how to wear it properly. 
As an evidence that he thoroughly understood my lesson, the 
illustrious ambassador, seizing a pair of black trousers, stuck 
his arms through them, and ensconced his head in the body, 
so that he could not find his way out till he roared for assis- 
tance. Shirts they seemed from the first to understand and 
appreciate; and any piece of cloth they could gird round 
them or lie under they appeared to value; but trousers 
^ere evidently an incumbrance, which they neither under- 
stood nor liked. The black pair referred to I afterwards 
saw torn to pieces on a boy as he climbed a rough cocoa- 
nut tree. Coats (which they adopted on state occasions) 
were worn after their own fashion — that is, with the sleeves 
fastened round the loins in front, and the tails swinging with 

128 a calamity! 

graceful dignity behind. Sometimes they were to be seen 
with one boot or shoe, and nothing else ; for as every one 
wished to adorn himself with some part of the newly-adopted 
costume, it was necessary to make the limited wardrobe 
go as far as possible by division of the articles among as 
many as could be supplied. Stockings were usually left 
to the women, by whom they were worn as a kind of 
cross-belt, secured, top and toe, on the shoulder, and 
occasionally even used as a dress turban on festive occa- 
sions. A very broad-rimmed Spanish wool hat of the 
doctor's so delighted the natives, that they wore it 
each two days in succession; a tall savage, whose huge 
head was twice too large for it, sporting it one day, 
while the next an urchin peered from under its wide 
shadow, holding up its spacious sides lest it should suddenly 
descend and extinguish him. 

It is their habit, whilst seated cross-legged, if anything 
is to be passed from one to another, to pitch the article, as 
they will not take the trouble of rising to carry it ; and 
as they have no brittle commodity, this habit is not to 
be wondered at. Amongst other things produced from the 
house was a drinking-glass, which was brought forth to 
gratify the curiosity of the ambassador, who was sitting 
on the opposite side of the wide circle. Each article when 
exhibited had been thus thrown to him ; and as the tumbler 
particularly excited his admiration, it was propelled towards 
him in the same manner, and coming down on a stone, 
shivered into a thousand pieces ! — a calamity at which the 
women, who had taken a great fancy to the glass, expressed 
by their lamentations the deepest regret 

This closed the evening's proceedings ; and while our 
visitor made his escape in the midst of the excitement, 
1 also seized the opportunity, as it was now dusk, to 
retire to my " bed — not of roses ;" for it consisted 


of rough coral gravel, and I found had been made softer 
for me since last night by an extra layer of the same 
material — " Penrhyn Island feathers/' as some of our people 
called it. Notwithstanding this delicate attention, how- 
ever, and that I doubled up my Panama hat to keep my 
head from too close contact with my pillow of wood, I 
slept almost as little as on the previous night. 

The following morning I did not wait for my mess of 
cocoa-nut, of which I was becoming very tired, and would 
have started off to our appointed meeting, but men, women, 
and children gathered round me, and attempted to prevent 
my abrupt departure. Go I would, however ; and in spite 
of all their murmurs I proceeded to the rendezvous. Here 
I found that several, who, like me, lived at some distance, 
had not arrived, probably detained by their anxious rela- 
tives. I did not like this endeavour to keep us separated, 
and looked on it with suspicion, as indeed we all did on 
every movement of the natives, whom we were unable 
altogether to trust as friends. 

This day we proceeded at once to business. It was 
observed that the ship's boat had been washed ashore 
very little injured ; and after discussing the possibility of 
making any other land in her, it was proposed to lengthen 
and raise her with timber from the wreck, and out of the 
abundance of sails and cordage, to rig the enlarged boat 
schooner form. For this purpose it was necessary to 
collect the materials which the natives were daily carry- 
ing away ; and as we might anticipate visitors from the other 
islands, these depredations would be increased. As no one 
of the houses occupied by any of the crew was large 
enough to hold such materials, we determined to build 
one, and to cover it with canvas from the sails, construct- 
ing it in such a manner that some of us could live in 
it and protect the property. Dr. R., myself, and a few 



others were chosen for doing so. Scarcely had we arrived at 
these conclusions when a number of natives appeared, and 
urged us to follow them, as if something extraordinary was 
about to occur. There was indeed a vague rumour that we 
were about being attacked by some of the other islanders ; 
but this I scarcely supposed, as from the excitable character 
of the natives, I was satisfied there would be a greater 
sensation if such were the case. We were, however, mar- 
shalled in the same manner as on the previous day ; and on 
arriving at a certain point, found there an assemblage of 
entirely new faces — the population of one of the neigh- 
bouring islands. Although they were all armed with spears 
and clubs — an invariable rule with these people if they only 
move a short distance from home-— they were freely inter- 
mingling with each other, and were evidently friends. The 
strangers proved to be the people of Mutagohichy, the 
next nation to the north, and allies of Sararak. Some of 
the same ceremonies had to be gone through with them 
that were performed yesterday — namely, the pehu, or wail- 
ing and gnashing of teeth portion, and the singing, crying, 
cutting, screaming, and bleeding scene, with the omission, 
however, of the mara devotional exercises. 

Thoroughly tired, I hurried off as soon as I possibly 
could ; and as I had not yet eaten anything, and it was now 
afternoon, I turned my steps towards home with an appetite 
ready for my mess of cocoa-nut, which I had felt so little 
inclined for in the morning. It was rarely that any of us 
were allowed to be alone, for wherever we moved we were 
generally followed by a number of the natives. On the 
present occasion, however, I had slipped quietly off, and now 
wandered by a lonely path that led towards my house. 
When I had arrived at that rocky portion of the island 
where the tall hara weeds throve luxuriantly, occasionally 
hiding the winding path from view, the sound of voices 


ahead attracted my attention. I stopped under the shade of 
a young cocoa-nut tree to observe who it might be, and soon 
perceived a little family group of strangers — a kind of ad* 
vanced guard of some new nation — consisting of two men, 
with their wives and some children. I had remarked in 
other Polynesian islands, and I found it so here, that in 
opposing tribes there are always a select few who, either 
from mutual relationship or religious privileges, can unmo- 
lested visit either place, — and such I supposed this group to 
be. The women trotted on in front, carrying baskets, of 
food, looking back from time to time to chat with the men, 
who were armed with their spears. Their conversation was 
evidently about the foreigners who had landed on these 
islands, the sight of whom was looked forward to with the 
utmost eagerness. They had approached close to the spot 
where I stood when I suddenly made my appearance to 
them. The women, on thus beholding me so unexpectedly, 
screamed with fright, dropped their burthens, and fled 
behind the men for protection. The latter, though nearly 
as much alarmed, threw themselves at once into an atti- 
tude of defence, brandishing their spears in a threatening 
manner as they pronounced the words I had so frequently 
heard, "Co ai coe?" The children, who were walking 
behind, fled screaming into the forest, and were lost sight of 
in a moment. To run away, or even evince fear under such 
circumstances, would have been to provoke instant death, 
for if I had fled their spears would undoubtedly have been 
sent after ma I therefore put on as pleasant a face as I 
could, and held out my hand in a frank conciliatory manner. 
They hesitated about making too ready an acquaintance; 
but as I approached within reach, they, one after the other, 
placed their hands in mine, giving the back instead of the 
palm to my grasp, showing that they were unacquainted with 
our manner of salutation. They also saluted us in their own 

K 2 


peculiar manner with a kiss — not on the mouth, which they 
consider disgusting. After a time, however, some of the 
better-looking young damsels appeared to concur with us in 
thinking that our mode of performing the ceremony was 
by no means so disagreeable as they had at first deemed it. 

After the salutation, called " shungai," at a hint from the 
men the ladies, throwing off their pariews, which they never 
keep on while performing this dance, favoured me with the 
''shukai" (before described) — a little private entertain- 
ment on my own account, for which, I suppose, I should 
have been much obliged ; but I was well pleased when we 
separated, though they were evidently delighted with their 
new acquaintance. 

When I arrived at home I found the house deserted ; and 
as my hunger was still unappeased, I searched the baskets 
suspended from the house for food of some kind, but they 
were empty. I looked at the tall cocoa-nut trees, which 
bore fruit that, though generally anything but inviting to 
me, I would gladly have partaken of; but the labour of 
ascending these trees is very great, and not without danger. 
Besides, such work would have humbled me in the opinion of 
the natives, and if I commenced to labour for my own food 
I should be obliged to continue it. Besides, it is only the 
poorest natives that do so, the more opulent having others 
to do such things for them. If I were obliged to do what I 
had no great capacity for, I should sink to the lowest scale 
in the estimation of the natives. At present I was evidently 
considered a superior being, and while so regarded could 
easily maintain my supremacy, and, if necessary, increase it. 
So I made up my mind to starve a little longer rather than 
risk my position. 

Returned to the place of rendezvous, I found all hands 
employed in carrying the materials from the wreck to the 
summit of the beach (the highest portion of the land being 


only about twelve feet above high water), to am open space, 
where a good view of the ocean was to be had, and from 
which any ship passing might be seen, making it a desirable 
locality for the proposed house. I had not long joined in 
the labour when a tremendous excitement among the natives 
again disturbed us. The men, with wild and broken expres- 
sions, hurried from place to place, gathering rapidly into 
armed knots; while the women, screaming, carried off 
bundles of such valuables as they possessed, evidently to 
secrete them. Had I not already observed how much fuss 
these people make about the slightest matter, I should have 
said they expected a total massacre. 

Our little band was hastily collected, and we were made 
aware that a hostile tribe was approaching, for we were all 
presented for the first time with arms, either a spear or club. 
A spear of some ten or twelve feet long, of sharply-pointed 
cocoa-nut wood, was handed to me. These instruments, 
some of which, I observed, were pointed with fish-bones, are 
called " taus." The long, light, paddle-shaped club used by 
the women is called a " coerari," and is used in battle prin- 
cipally for breaking the spears of the men of the opposite 
party. The women, heading the onset, are rarely attacked 
by the men, and it is seldom that any of them are hurt 
except by accident, or by the Amazons opposed to them, 
when there is a little bloodshed. The loss on either side, 
however, is usually confined to a quantity of hair from the 
head, which they lay hold of with great pertinacity, to dis- 
play afterwards as a trophy, if they can appropriate it. To 
prevent such a catastrophe the women on both sides gene- 
rally cut off a considerable portion of their hair preparatory 
to going into battle. 

Before a general engagement it is not uncommon for the 
belligerents to sit down at some distance from each other, 
and survey their opponents in an apparently calm manner, 


strangely at variance with their former excited state. 
Speeches are made, which, if not of a conciliatory tendency, 
are met by a shower of abusive and derisive epithets, with 
which their language is well supplied. At the distance of 
perhaps a hundred feet stones and spears are discharged, the 
latter with much precision, though the natives, by the exer- 
cise of great agility, are often able to avoid them. Both 
sides accompany their movements with the most frightful 
noises and grimaces, to intimidate the enemy. 

As I walked, or rather ran, amongst the crowd, a woman 
passed near me, bearing, to my astonishment and delight, 
my sword, which I had left behind me in the vessel. I 
sprang towards her, and had no difficulty in securing what I 
justly (under the circumstances) considered a prize, as I 
knew something of its use, whilst the spear would have been 
of little value to me. The woman, who was too much 
frightened at my sudden attack to offer any resistance, at 
once dropped the sword on my seizing her arm. " A fair 
exchange is no robbery/' said I, handing her the spear, 
which she took with a rueful countenance. I now felt a 
degree of confidence that I had not enjoyed since I first set 
foot on the island. With such a trusty weapon the slight 
wooden spears of the natives were little to be dreaded in a 
close, sheltering forest ; not that I intended to join in the 
anticipated combat if I could possibly avoid it. I presumed 
I had met the advanced guard of the enemy this morning, 
and they seemed as friendly towards me as the people 
amongst whom I now lived. I felt in the position of the 
woman who, watching the fight between her husband and 
the bear, said, " she did not care which beat." I was pre- 
pared to join the strongest side, having neither profit nor 
honour to fight for. 

Our quick march carried us some half mile farther north 
on the island than I had yet been, to the borders of a little 


fresh- water lake in tbe centre, having only a narrow passage 
of sandy beach between it and the salt lagoon to the right. 
On either side of the lake a dense mass of the tall hara weeds 
afforded an excellent cover for an opposing force, the open 
space to be crossed exposing the attacking party to the fire 
of a hidden enemy. On reaching this point, a halt was 
called, and whilst we lingered under cover we could see by 
the quantity of spears and clubs, and the heads rising above 
the hara weeds, that a powerful party was opposed to us, 
apparently as numerous as our own, with our allies, the 
Mutagohichians, who accompanied us. The word " O Muka," 
which I heard constantly repeated, informed me that the foe 
were from the island of that name. After much discussion, 
of which I understood nothing, friendly relations were 
established, and the opposing parties mingled together, but 
still with apparent distrust. A position was awarded to the 
visitors as ground for their encampment; and we had once 
more to undergo the ceremony of the pehu, during which, 
as we sat with our weapons laid on the ground, my sword 
was again stolen, and I did not see it for many months 
after. This concluded, the usual curiosity evinced itself in 
these people with regard to us. We were examined again ; 
our dress was regarded with wonder; and as their olfactory 
nerves seem to be particularly sensitive, we had to submit 
anew to the ordeal of smell. 

One young lady of the new comers, an apparent belle, 
after placing her nose against me, repeated the words " Na 
kakaria ;" and as I knew they resembled an expression in the 
Marquesas for "sweet-smelling," I "laid the flattering 
unction to my soul" that I had found favour in her eyes, 
and endeavoured to be as amiable as possible towards her; 
but she fled on my approach. Our fair skins did not 
seem to be appreciated by these dark beauties, unless as a 
matter of wonder; and with few exceptions the younger 


females generally fled from us either in fear or dislike 
But if I was astonished at this antipathy, so different 
from the feeling with which the soft and winning islanders 
of the South Seas generally regarded us, I was still 
more surprised at the great interest evinced by the few 
I have excepted. The agueish old women were the most 
affectionate, clapping their breasts and exclaiming invariably, 
" Matua Oahenfe." The younger ones used the same expres- 
sion, but with more reserve. The word, I soon learned, 
meant a mother, but in a more general sense, a relation. One 
old lady, all scars and scores, who rushed after me with 
dishevelled locks, embraced me as her dearly-beloved nephew, 
and perhaps introduced me as such to a loving uncle. This 
girl that steals forward rather timidly, is anxious to be on 
good terms with her newly-found cousin; and that young 
woman holds aloft a plump little naked savage, whom, like 
an affectionate uncle, I am to clasp to my bosom as a sister's 

The worst of it was, I soon found I had so many relatives, 
even fathers and mothers, that I was always forgetting my 
nearest connexions, and falling into ridiculous mistakes. 
The laws of the island forbid marriage with any relative as 
near as a second cousin ; and I occasionally horrified some 
young lady, who proved to be a near relation, by the 
tender advances which in amorous moments I made to her, 
with the most honourable intentions. 

In these relationships they have some strange observances. 
A mother can kiss her son, but he must not embrace his 
mother; a sister and brother, on meeting after a long 
absence, cannot fondly rush into each other's arms, but 
must sit down facing each other, and nod their heads, one 
to one side the other to the opposite ; and the adopted child 
may not touch the food the parents have to eat, as in that 
case they dare not use it. 


A tall handsome aunt of mine, notwithstanding her dis- 
approval of my love-making, seemed to take a particular 
fancy to me, and used all her eloquence to induce me to go 
with her people to "Omuka." Taking from her neck a 
thick bunch of finely-plaited human hair, such as we see 
guard-chains made of at home, she placed it round mine. 
Nothing, however, could have induced me to leave Mange- 
rongaro at present, where all hands were necessary to further 
the work for our escape; although I intended, if possible, 
before leaving, to see more of the place fortune had cast 
me on. 

Little was done towards our work this day. On my return 
home I found several visitors, for whom, to my delight, they 
had "killed the fatted calf" (or at least hog), which they 
seemed to relish amazingly, eating the fattest part without any 
accompaniment, and devouring four times the quantity that 
an English ploughman could dispose of. Notwithstanding 
my ravenous hunger, a very small portion of it satisfied me, 
that falling to my share being entirely fat, which they seemed 
to relish most. During supper my fond parents began to 
show off my acquirements to their visitors. I had already 
learned that " co-ai" had something to do with inquiring 
the name of anything, and had ascertained the name of my 
father, " Opai Tangata," my mother, " Moshishe," and of 
my brothers, Taranga, Mahauta, and Naratairo, three nice 
youths. To their inquiries during supper of what was the name 
of such or such a one, made in an insinuating voice, as if ad- 
ressed to a spoiled child, I answered, I fear, in rather coarse 
language in my own tongue, for I was not pleased that they 
had not kept for me any of the lean of the hog- Even with 
my roughness, however, they seemed better pleased than 
with my more usual silence, and continued to coax till I 
had finished supper, when feeling in a better humour, I 
indulged them by repeating not only all the names I had 


learned, but those of some of the visitors mentioned to me. 
Of this they seemed never to tire, and at each repetition an 
exclamation of surprise or amusement followed, as " A wai !" 
"Aha-ha-ha-a!" "TemichiOpaiTangata!" ("Astonishing!" 
"Well done! 11 "The child of Opai Tangata!") until I 
became so tired of the folly that, though it was not yet quite 
sunset, I retired to rest. After I left them, they went to the 
quarters of a pig I had tied to a cocoa-nut tree, which, pro- 
bably not having got its supper, they found almost as silent 
and unaccommodating as myself. They kept at a respectful 
distance from it for some time, but gradually advanced till 
one of them pricked it with the end of his spear, when 
it uttered a deep grunt, which sent them flying in all 
directions. One or two sought shelter in my shanty, and 
tremblingly inquired, " Co ai ho manu ?" (" What do you 
call that bird ?") for so I knew the term " manu" meant over 
all Polynesia. Amused before, I now laughed outright at 
their absurdity, my mirth bringing in the whole tribe, who 
all repeated the question. I thought of the old adage, " A 
pig may fly, but he is a very unlikely bird/' As long as I 
laughed the simple natives most heartily joined me, repeating 
the question, and evidently believing there was fun in it, 
though the point was unknown to them. Their mistake 
was, however, in some degree intelligible. They had never 
seen an animal larger than a very small rat, that lives prin- 
cipally in the cocoa-nut trees ; and being acquainted with 
many large sea-fowl, they had rather hastily arrived at the 
conclusion that the pig was a bird. 



Recovery of Valuable Instruments — Construction of a Boat — The 
Doctor and his Party — Search for Nails — Native Pilfering — 
MahautaNue — The Great Chief — Native Dances — Discovery 
of another Sister — Threatened Attack of the Tapukans — Night 
Attack repulsed — Ideas of the Natives — Timber on the Island 
-^-Construction of Native Canoes — Varieties of the Cocoa-nut — 
Ororo— The Utc— Construction of Huts and Manufacture of 
Arms — Preparation of Food — Supper — Expedition in Search of 
Cocoa-nuts — Native Legend of their Origin — Land Crabs — 
Further Progress in the Language — A Family Island — Curious 
Custom — Commotion excited by the Doctor — Another Dis- 
turbance—Don Juan—- Annoying Conduct of the Captain — Old 
Monitu — Journey to Matunga — A New Proposal of Adoption 
— Molly Bawn — Meeting with " my Aunt." 

The following day, though often interrupted by the new 
comers, we had gathered together as much of the wreck as 
we considered sufficient to build a house and complete the 
boat. The captain's sextant and nautical works had been 
strangely preserved and recovered from the natives, and the 
chronometer belonging to the ship had been found by one of 
the sailors under a tree, the second day after landing, still 
going. It had been taken from the mate, when trying to 
save it on landing, by one of the natives, who, on looking 
into it, and finding it alive as he supposed, got frightened, 
and threw it away from him. We kept up this delusion 
about the chronometer, and no matter how many were in the 
house whenever it was wound up, on hearing the works 
they hurried precipitately out, believing it to be a spirit. It 


was perhaps wrong to abuse their credulity, but as this was 
an object so essential to our salvation, we thought fit to keep 
them in dread of it, or they would have endeavoured — as 
they did with everything we set a value on — to steal it 
from us. 

A few days afterwards I found a chart of the South 
Pacific, which completed all that we required for navigating 
our proposed craft. This chart I have still, with the captain's 
track marked on it to the Fenrhyn Islands, and an ob- 
servation taken on the spot, showing indisputably where we 
then were; although, in the letter he published after his 
escape, that individual declared " he was wrecked on an 
island not laid down on any chart or nautical work in his 

The house was completed — a rude frame, the roof covered 
with sails from the wreck, and the sides of irregular boards, 
to prevent the entrance of the thievish natives, for anything 
that we required they immediately coveted, having sense 
enough to believe there must be some value attached to it, 
though it might appear useless to them. The boat was now 
drawn up near the house, but we had many difficulties yet 
to encounter. We had neither pitch nor nails, neither boat- 
plank nor proper tools. Provisions, being below in the ship, 
had gone to the bottom, but a very small quantity of to- 
bacco, fortunately for those habituated to its use, had been 
recovered. This had been placed in the hands of the doctor, 
by whom it was sparingly distributed from a scarlet Chinese 
chest, in which he had secured it, and which greatly excited 
the cupidity of the natives. 

When the house was finished the doctor was regularly 
installed as its head, and most indefatigably he stuck to his 
post, rarely if ever leaving it. Several of us would willingly 
have relieved him, but he resolutely declined, though he 
growled about his confinement. His temper, not the most 

FRANKS. 141 

amiable at best, was soured by what he had now to endure ; 
being a man incapable of philosophically putting up with 
trifling inconveniences. The food, the uncomfortable 
lodging, and the habits of the natives so irritated him, 
that it was far from pleasant to be much in his company. 
This to me was rather disappointing, as he was the only one 
who would have formed a suitable companion, being an 
educated and really intelligent man. 

Dr. ft., however, had with him two companions more 
congenial to his taste, although they differed very much in 
character, except that they were both most extravagant 
liars and cringing sycophants. Joe, a rude, illiterate English 
sailor, who since his residence on the Marquesas had dreaded 
and hated the whole Kanaka race, and was as great a 
coward as bully, had seen the bold front with which from 
the first the doctor had met his dreaded enemies, and had 
at once placed himself under his protection, bearing with- 
out a murmur the insults which he heaped on him. 
Frankfe, our former steward, was a handsome young man, 
rather addicted to flattering those who he thought might be 
useful to him. He had lived much amongst the natives of 
the Society Islands, with whom he had been a great beau — 
in fact, a rather refined specimen of what sailors understand 
as a " beach-comber/' Franke, who was rather delicate in 
health, and whose weakness was aggravated by his life in the 
islands, having managed to make the doctor believe that he 
would be useful to him, had thus secured a place in his 
family. Here he found the beautiful Tokarora, the belle of 
all Sararak, and the adopted daughter of "Opaka/' the 
doctor's father, not only the greatest beauty, but the richest 
heiress on the island — to whom he thought it might be 
advantageous to him to pay court. 

In commencing the boat, our chief want was nails, for we 
had procured the use of some tools that the natives by 


diving had recovered from the wreck. A quantity of hatchets, 
knives, and files that we had had on board for trading 
had also been found. One of the sailors had foolishly 
shown them how nails might be used in making matas, or 
fish-hooks, &£., and from that time every nail, every piece 
of wood with nails in it, had to be secreted from their 
sharp eyes. We therefore kept a fire constantly burning, 
into which, when unobserved, we threw such pieces of 
of timber as contained nails; and at night, or by dawn, 
we searched amongst the ashes for our prizes, for during 
the day we had always a crowd of natives about the house, 
watching for opportunities to carry off whatever they set 
their covetous eyes on. 

Their constant attempts at robbery indeed provoked quar- 
rels that continually threatened to terminate in a general 
rupture. These rows were most commonly commenced by 
Dr. B.., not only on account of attempted thefts, but of 
other peculiar habits of the islanders to which he could never 
accommodate himself. When his food was brought to him, 
for instance, by the fair Tokarora, she would come in com- 
pany with a young man of her household, a near relative, 
and of course equally related to the doctor.. The native, 
with the usual habit of the people, would lift a bowl of 
neu oara to his nose, to ascertain whether the flavour was 
such as to recommend it to their illustrious relative, to whom 
he would then hand it with a complimentary speech, for 
which his only reward would be a blow on "the head with the 
doctor's stick. The irritated islanders would then fly in all 
directions for their spears, whilst the white men rushed to- 
wards the house with such weapons as they could lay their 
hands on — generally pieces of wood or iron. We had also 
one of my pocket-pistols, which, with a few cartridges Juan, 
the Chileno, had found, and brought me some days after 
we landed. The noise made by this weapon when dis- 


charged, and its destructive power, greatly intimidated the 

Our work on the whole progressed bat slowly, particu- 
larly for the first fortnight, during which time we were 
constantly receiving visits from some of the neighbouring 
islanders, by whose presence our labours were perpetually 

The " pehu" on these occasions was attended by all except 
the doctor and myself. The doctor could not be prevailed on 
to sanction these solemnities by his presence; but at the 
earnest solicitations of my friends I attended that of the 
great kingdom of Tepuka, the terror of all the group, the 
Typee of the Penrhyn Islands, with its illustrious chief, 
" Mahauta Nue," or Mahauta the Great. This island (some 
eight miles distant from Mangerongaro) only perceptible on 
clear days, had been mysteriously pointed out to me by one 
of the natives, whose serious and angry looks, coupled with 
the words " Mahauta Nue/' sufficiently indicated the fear 
that name inspired. 

I was anxious to see this great warrior, whose visit 
took place one morning about a week after our arrival. 
From the excitement produced not only amongst the people 
of our own island, but the strangers encamped, I could easily 
comprehend the estimation he was held in. On arriving at 
the edge of the lagoon, where the people of Tepuka still held 
a parley with those on shore, I saw by the number and size of 
their canoes that the island inhabited by them must be the 
most populous of the group. Negotiations being concluded, 
our party were marched off to a convenient open space for 
performing the pehu. One group after another arrived from 
the different canoes, for the people having to bring their food 
with them, disembarking is an occupation that takes some 
time. At last a buzz of " Mahauta Nu^ !" announced the ap- 
proach of the great chief. I looked, expecting to see one of 


the tallest and wildest savages I had yet beheld, but on the 
contrary saw a man not much above the middle height, 
whose corpulency made him appear even short in stature. 
His head was covered with thick clustering curls, partially 
sprinkled with grey; his large, frank, good-natured face 
was surrounded by bushy whiskers and beard ; and he had a 
fine expansive forehead, beneath which beamed an eye bright 
with good-nature and even benevolence. 

After the pehu, the shukai and one or two other dances were 
performed by the men in a circle, with their hands joined. 
Mahauta ordered all their movements, running from place to 
place with an alacrity that I could scarcely have credited in 
one of his habit of body. Occasionally he joined in the per- 
formance, evidently to show them what to do, but more com- 
monly stood in the centre with me, who, as chief of the 
party in the absence of Dr. R., was now acknowledged by all 
to be the great man of the strangers. 

He had of course a thousand questions to ask, and much 
to tell me, in which the name of his island figured conspicu- 
ously. He was sadly disappointed when he discovered that 
though he shouted at the top of his voice close to my face, I 
could not comprehend him. Taking my hand he hurried off 
with me in his usual quick manner to the beach, pointing to 
the canoes and to Tepuka. I shook my head, pointing towards 
where we were employed at the boat. He impatiently waved 
his hand, and delivered a long oration in the most voluble 
manner, repeating " Tepuka su marfe " very frequently, by 
which I understood he meant "Tepuka very good," to 
which of course I always acceded ; and when he said, €S A 
kino Sararak," I nodded assent, at which he was highly 
delighted, a circumstance from which I concluded that " a 
kino" meant " bad." He had with him a sweet young girl 
of some ten years (at home the same form would have repre- 
sented fifteen or sixteen), who was almost constantly by his 


side, and whom he occasionally drew in a caressing manner 
under his large arm, beneath which she seemed to nestle in 
pleased security. She was slight and delicate, with no re- 
semblance whatever to her father, Mahauta, except in a cer- 
tain amiable expression common to both. A boy, on the 
other hand (evidently her brother), who shared only a portion 
of the father's love, was his very image, save that he had not 
quite so pleasing a countenance. 

The little girl, on being spoken to by her father, hastened 
to a canoe, from which she speedily brought forth a cooked 
fish, done up in leaves, and some cooked neu oaro, together 
with a cocoa-nut bowl containing a kind of shellfish (also 
dressed) which I had not yet seen, resembling clams. These 
I found particularly agreeable, and to express my estimation 
of them repeated the words, " Su mare," at which the little 
girl clapped her hands in ecstasies, running to her father 
to tell him of my approval. Removing the fish from its cover 
of leaves, and having got over the fear and timidity which 
she at first evinced, with her delicately pointed fingers (these 
people have the most perfectly formed hands I ever beheld) 
she took the bones from the fish, and raised it towards my 
mouth — an excess of politeness on her part with which I 
would fain have dispensed. As it seemed to give her much 
pleasure, however, I permitted myself to be fed from a pair 
of hands that Nature had surely shaped for a model. When 
I had finished eating I would have rewarded my little hostess 
with a kiss, but, starting back in horror, she exclaimed, 
"Matua oahene ! Tu oahene oau I" "lama relative — a 
sister I" thus informing me of what I did not know before, 
that I had been adopted as a son of the great chief. 

Whilst sitting here the little girl asked me my name. I 
answered, " Mai take/ 1 Her next question was, did I know 
hers, to which I promptly replied, " Mary." At this she 
laughed heartily, and calling her father told him her name 



was Mary, " Mark oau." This he made her say over fre- 
quently, calling those around to listen to it, and repeating it 
himself with evident pleasure. • 

I now rose to depart, to their great disappointment. They 
had even set their minds on carrying me with them ; and 
when I left a flash of anger shot from the eyes of Mahauta, 
warning me that his character had its fierce as well as its 
gentle aspect. Little " Mary" must have seen it also, for 
she shrank cowering down, hiding her face in her beautiful 
hands. Was it possible these were the fierce Tepukians, and 
that this kind and loving father was the savage Mahauta ! 
1 felt almost sorry that 1 had not gone with them. Duty 
compelled me to remain till our work was completed, but if 
I could afford time before the boat left I decided on visiting 
his and some of the other islands of the group. 

The Tepukians did not return from their encampment 
that evening, nor for three subsequent days. The Kanakas 
of our crew, who to some extent understood the language of 
these people, informed us that, disappointed in a fair share 
of the plunder of the wreck, they were determined to attack 
the house. On hearing this, I decided on taking up my 
quarters in it, for although the doctor might make himself 
disagreeable, our hopes of escape were all collected there, 
and that was my chief object at present. Therefore, during 
the remainder of the stay of the Tepukians (three or four 
days), I took up my abode at the house. This was one of 
the most unpleasant periods of my life on these islands. 
Besides the constant anticipation of an attack by the natives, 
it rained throughout each night a perfect deluge. The other 
three residents of the house had selected spots to lie on 
where the rain penetrated less than at other points, but I 
had to shift from place to place wherever the shower-bath 
was occasionally less violent. If I slept for a time, it was 
generally to awake in a pool of water. Nor were the nights 


the worst, for in the daytime I could not venture forth for 
food, though I was starving, and my family friends would not 
bring it to me, anticipating danger at our little castle. They 
were most anxious for me to leave, however, but the more 
they pressed me the more resolved I was to remain. 

On the second day of my absence from my maternal resi- 
dence, my respected mother came with some food for me, 
which she showed temptingly at the door. As I advanced 
towards her, however, she retreated, holding it out as an 
inducement for me to follow her, as we might tempt a child 
with some sweets. Hungry as I was I gave up the absurd 
chase, and that evening lay down after a day's fasting on 
a sleepless resting-place. 

The night we divided into watches as nearly as we could 
guess the time, three sleeping whilst one stood sentry at the 
door. On one occasion, during my watch, just before day- 
break, when I was bethinking myself to search the ashes of 
our fire, which, in spite of considerable rain, I had managed 
to keep alive all night, its light shining on the dark skin of 
an Indian stealing towards the house betrayed the approach 
of an enemy, and not of one alone, for a moment after, be- 
hind a fallen log a little beyond the fire, I saw the gleaming 
eyes of another. I was completely hidden in the shade of 
the doorway, and knowing how easily they were frightened, 
when taken by surprise in the execution of any evil intent, 
I seized a piece of hoop-iron I had fashioned into the appear- 
ance of a sword, and with a shout dashed from my conceal- 
ment at the figure beyond the fire, who, together with some 
others that had approached, took to his heels, and ran to- 
wards the Matunga encampment, a short distance off. As 
they approached it their cries brought out the whole popula- 
tion with spears poised to resist what they supposed to be 
an attack. I found it was now time to halt, but dared not 
retreat, for if I had turned my back they would most pro- 

l 2 


bably have hurled their spears. Their shouts, however, 
roused the encampment on another island, the natives of 
which, supposing they were about to be attacked, raised their 
cry to arms and this drew the attention of the Matungians 
in that quarter, when I quietly retired. Such little events 
were of daily occurrence, and kept us always in an excited 

On the third day, in passing a house near our place, a 
woman called me to her and handed me a piece of yam that 
had been carried from our ship. Now yam was one of the 
few things that I never could eat on board ; but although on 
the present occasion it was only half cooked, I thought I 
had never eaten anything so delicious in my life. During 
the two following days I called at the same place, at the 
same time, and on each occasion received a small piece of 
yam. This for four days was all I had to live on, so that 
I was delighted when the Tcpukians took their departure. 
Had I told the doctor the state of hunger I was in, he 
would, no doubt, have readily shared his allowance with 
me, but this I could not conscientiously do, as he had 
little enough for himself. 

At last the various islanders ceased their visits, and we 
were left in comparative quiet. Having lately withdrawn 
from my home-circle, and kept aloof generally from their cere- 
monies and amusements, the people had begun to look on 
me with dislike, and this the bad temper I was in from 
sickness and hunger no doubt increased. Now, however, 
when my friends were able to remain at home instead of 
being out all day watching their food-lands for fear of the 
depredations that might be committed by their visitors, and 
I was released from my duties at the house, my return was 
hailed with joy by all. 

Coming home one evening with one of the little boys of 
our house, I learned the names of all the islands of the group. 


I also asked him the name of all collectively, hut it was some 
time before he could comprehend my meaning. At last, 
however, the idea struck him ; he clapped his hands, and 
shouted, " Te Pitaka !" which I concluded was the native 
name of the Penrhyn Islands. I subsequently found, how- 
ever, that "Te Pitaka" meant "The Circle/' and might be 
equally applied to a finger-ring or a circle of islands. Their 
idea of the whole group, thirty-five miles round, was doubt- 
less too great for them to dream of calling the islands 
collectively by one name. This was their world, and 
though they knew that another land must exist where these 
great ships came from, one that they called "Te Tera 
range/' or "The Land beyond the Sky/' they could not 
conceive of its being so large as their entire circle, or " Te 

When, in my attempts to instruct these people, I informed 
them about the various other nations of the world, their 
extent and population, they could not realize facts so 
far beyond their comprehension. Had I told them that 
Great Britain or Russia was as large as Sararak, some four 
or five miles long and a quarter broad, they might have be- 
lieved me. To tell them either was as large as " Te Pitaka" 
would have been risking my character for veracity; but 
if I had succeeded in enabling them to understand the 
simple truth, they would still have regarded it as utterly 

As I was little wanted now at the house, except occasion- 
ally to gather such portions of the wreck as might be useful 
to us in our shipbuilding process (the carpenter work being 
confined to the captain and one or two of the sailors), I spent 
more of my time at home or wandering through the island. 
I visited the houses of all the other men of our crew, and 
found few of them so comfortably situated as myself. All 
got enough to eat, but complained sadly of the constant 


cocoa-nut food, with which they were perfectly satiated. 
This, though it seemed to disagree with me more than any of 
them, I felt the smallest of my miseries. 

On entering the house of old Bill I saw several articles 
from the wreck — amongst the rest a number of cakes of 
soap. These he had endeavoured to explain the use of, but 
they could not comprehend ; and as I saw how valuable it 
might be when my clothes became dirty, I determined to 
have some of it if possible. I lifted a piece, smelled it as 
they do, pretended to taste it, and, in apparent disgust, 
threw it a considerable distance from the hut. They laughed 
heartily, repeating, " E, e, a kino !" They had evidently 
been tasting it themselves, and, as I afterwards learned, 
finding it bad in its raw state, thought it required cooking, 
which, as may be believed, did not make it more palatable. 
Shortly after I left the house, and, proceeding to the place where 
I had thrown the soap, kicked it before me till out of sight 
of the natives, when I picked it up and carried it home. I 
never enjoyed the benefit of it, however, for it was stolen 
the next day, perhaps for a second cooking experiment. 

At another house I found a quantity of feathers emptied 
out of a mattress that they might use the cloth. Of 
these I collected as much as, sewed up in a piece of sail- 
cloth, made me a little pillow, which was subsequently a 
great comfort to me, as I generally carried it with me in 
moving through the islands. This was not, however, till I 
had injured my Panama hat, that I had been in the habit 
of folding up to save my head from the hard log, which 
always gave me a headache. 

Our household at Tahiti (I called our place the " Cb&teau") 
yent on now in perhaps the same monotonous way as it had 
done before we arrived amongst them. With the dawn of 
day all hands turned out to the beach to perform ablutions, &c. 
The boys betook themselves to some land yet unknown to me 


for a supply of cocoa-nuts for the clay's consumption. 
My respected father, in conjunction with my still more 
sedate and very stupid uncle, worked at a small canoe that 
seemed almost completed when I first saw it, but which, at 
the rate they progressed, must have been years in construc- 
ting ; and from the way in which these canoes are made, and 
the means of building them at their disposal, this is not to be 
wondered at. On these islands grow a few large trees 
of a species called by them " To/' not the ito, or iron 
wood of the other islands, but rather a soft wood, different 
from anything I had observed amongst them. When this 
has arrived at maturity, being then three or four feet in 
diameter, it is felled — a work which formerly, with their 
little tokfe, or adze, made from the queen conch, must have re- 
quired indefatigable labour, but which with the axes they now 
have, and hoop-iron for their tokfes, is more speedily and easily 
performed. The trunk is rolled to the beach of the lagoon, 
where the action of the sea, the alternate damp and heat 
as the water flows over it and then leaves it to dry, partially 
decomposes or softens it sufficiently to enable them to split 
it into pieces of various sizes, the longest and narrowest of 
which are selected to form a kind of keel about a foot broad, 
rounded at the bottom and hollow inside. From this they hew 
out the canoe. The keel slopes gradually up at either end till 
it rises above water-mark, terminating in a solid point called 
the isu, or nose. Various pieces, no matter how irregular in 
shape, are now cut exactly to fit into each other. These are 
rounded off with much labour, and polished up with a kind 
of substance, half-coral, half-sponge, that is found on the 
rocks in the lagoon, and is used as sand-paper. The edges of 
the pieces intended to match each other are marked with burnt 
wood, the uneven parts being smoothed till they are made 
closely to fit. The boring of holes along the margin of each 
piece with a sharp stone or shell, assisted by a sharp-pointed 


cocoa-nut stick, is, as may be conceived, an almost endless 
work. The different parts are now united with cement made 
from the husk of the cocoa-nut steeped in water and pounded 
like flax ; the same material being used for oakum to stop 
the seams and holes when the pieces are sewed together. 
The body of the canoe is not built the whole length of the 
keel. The solid parts before-mentioned, projecting out of the 
water, serve as an imaginary cut- water, but, I think, rather 
retard than assist its progress. However, they prevent the 
bow or stern, both of which are bluff, from sinking into the 
trough of a wave, and protect the canoe from the rocks with 
which they must sometimes come in contact. As speed 
can be no great object with such a people, no doubt the 
canoe suits their purposes. The upper tier of pieces has a 
broad ledge, on which the propellers sit { whilst a seat in 
front and rear projects over the isu for the guider and steers- 
man. The paddle is long, the blade narrow and curved. 

I wondered at first why they did not excavate their canoes 
from the trunk of the tree by fire, but I subsequently found 
that as there were only some dozen of these trees on the 
whole group, there would not have been timber enough for 
the number of canoes they required if made in that way. 
Cocoa-nut wood is unsuited for the purpose, as it sinks in 
water, is very hard to work, and decays readily. Their 
a comities/' or bowls, the only utensils they have except 
cocoa-nut shell cups, are also made of this wood. Their 
tokfe or adze handles, together with their shark hooks, and 
occasionally the framework of their houses, are made of 
a kind of shrub, with a slight perfume, resembling myrtle. 
Everything else is made from the cocoa-nut tree, except their 
"tufes" (spoonB), or "mataus" (fish-hooks), of pearl shell. 
When they can obtain no fish, which their wars sometimes 
prevent them from venturing from their homes to catch, the 
little nutriment received from the pandanas and cocoa-nut is 

pood. 153 

their sole food. The cocoa-nut, so important an item in the 
economy of savage life, has different names in its various 
stages. In its earliest for use it is called " makumako." The 
vai manga is the top of the young cocoa-nut before it has be- 
come husk. It has a vegetable taste like that of a bitter 
turnip, and is eaten by the natives to fish. The water in , 
the inside is used for drinking. The " neu mata" is the 
half-grown nut with soft pulp, from which is principally made 
the " neu oara." The " moto moto" is the ripe cocoa-nut, 
with the husk still green, and from it is made the " poey," in 
the same manner as the neu oara, only more coarsely scraped. 
This is commonly dressed in wooden bowls at their feasts, 
when there are many to be served, and is not considered so 
delicate as the " neu oara." Then there is the " mangaro," a 
particular kind of cocoa-nut, the husk of which when chewed 
has a sweet flavour like sugar-cane, and when cooked is very 
sweet and nutritious. The water it contains, however, is 
exceedingly bitter, and supposed to be injurious. The old, 
dried cocoa-nut, called "sakarfe," such as is imported to 
Europe, is never eaten, but, with the liquor in it, called by 
us milk, is considered deleterious, and thrown away. I 
have known very bad consequences arise from its use. The 
sakarfc is reserved principally for making "ororo," one of 
the greatest treats they can offer to a visitor, and an in- 
variable accompaniment of their feasts. It is also given to 
sick persons, being a laxative, and the only medicine they 
wre acquainted with. 

To make ororo well requires some skill, and is the 
highest accomplishment of Te Pitaka. It is made of the old 
sakare finely scraped, to which is added a certain portion of 
the vegetable part of the young nut before alluded to, the 
acid of which produces slight fermentation. A proper 
proportion of cocoa-nut water is added, with a small 
quantity of neu mata. Some of this mixture is placed 


in the husk of a certain cocoa-nut, after being well pounded, 
washed, and cleansed of its powdery portions, leaving only a 
fibrous substance, and the juice is expressed with a churning 
motion, producing a white, milky substance, which, as it in- 
creases in the bowl, foams up like new milk from the cow, 
and has a pleasant look. 

The illness I felt from my new mode of diet attracted the 
attention of my native relatives, who prepared a bowl of 
ororo for me, and its attractive appearance at once induced 
me to swallow a quantity of it before I perceived its strong, 
oily flavour. I would have stopped, but they all exclaimed, 
"Aino! aino!" (" Drink! drink!") so earnestly, doubtless 
believing that it would do me good, that I managed to swal- 
low a cocoa-nut shellfull of it. It had indeed an effect, and 
a very instantaneous one, for it acted as an emetic, and I 
became deadly sick — a feeling which I never knew it to pro- 
duce with the natives, who will drink upwards of a quart 
with little inconvenience. 

The " uto," a kind of fungous apple, that fills the space 
formerly occupied by the water, when the fruit has begun to 
sprout, is a real treat. To cultivate this, the sakare is 
buried in the ground, and when supposed to be ready for 
use is dug up and cooked, but only used on great occa- 

The meat of the old nut is also sometimes burned black, 
and by chewing it in a peculiar way the oil is extracted, 
little or none of the saliva being mixed with it. With the 
oil thus obtained they anoint their bodies. Even the greatest 
belles in all Te Pitaka may be seen in the morning, particu- 
larly if visitors are expected, chewing away at this black 
cake, the white juice passing with a peculiar hissing sound 
between the teeth to the hands, to be rubbed over the body, 
which soon shines with the lustre so produced. 

The cocoa-nut not only affords them their chief, sometimes 


their entire food, medicine, and decoration, but also their 
clothing, which I have already described in the tichd 
and parieu. I should have mentioned at the same time that 
the parieu is sometimes made large and double, serving them 
as a dress by day, or as a covering by night, when it is 
opened out. This is called a " cau sho," but is not in 
general use. 

Their houses or sheds are made of the cocoa-nut branches, 
and their arms of the wood of the same tree. The manufac- 
ture of the tau, or spear, requires all their ingenuity, and is 
to them a troublesome task. A tree that bears no fruit is 
selected, and by continued chopping with their tokfes is 
felled, and cat into lengths of about twelve feet. Some 
straight lines are then drawn along the log, and several 
hands begin to chop along the line, through the hard sur- 
face wood, till they arrive near the pithy centre. It is then 
turned over, and when the opposite side is indented, wedges 
of stone or wood are driven in along the chopped lines till 
the log is split. It is thus divided into halves, quarters, and 
eighths, which are moulded off into long, delicate spears with 
the tokfc, and finally polished with the " poerare," a kind of 
rasp, of fish skin, fastened on a stick. Many spears are 
broken in this process, the wood being very brittle. 

The "coerare/' or club, is of the same material, but 
stronger, and ornamented with some carving on the blade 
end. Their " akaha," or cordage, for fishing-lines and other 
purposes is made from the husk of the cocoa-nut after being 
steeped and beaten ; and their " totos," or bag-nets, the only 
kind used by them, are made of this cordage. They also use 
rolls of cocoa-nut leaves for fishing, as will be hereafter ex- 
plained. The images of their gods are also made of this, to 
them, most invaluable tree. 

But to return to family affairs. When the boys are gone to 
the distant " kaiing," as the food-lands are called, one of the 


men strikes fire by means of a small branch of soft wood 
placed on the ground. Squatting opposite it, he holds it in 
its place by one of his toes, whilst some one places a foot 
on the opposite end for the same purpose. This piece 
of stick having been previously cut flat on the upper side, a 
pointed piece of harder wood, when it can be procured, is 
held in the right hand obliquely against the lower piece, 
something as we hold a pen, with the left hand pressing 
on the fingers of the right to add force to it. It is at 
first gently moved along the line, the motion being gradu- 
ally quickened, till some brown dust is scraped up at one end 
of the incision thus made, and the friction being then increased 
in velocity, the wood finally smokes and takes fire. A dry 
piece of poro, or husk, brought from the house where it is kept 
for the purpose, readily ignites when the burning dust is de- 
posited in it, and being waved backwards and forwards is 
soon in a blaze. A fire is thus prepared, and by the time 
the boys return the stones which are placed on the top of the 
pile are sufficiently heated to form an oven. The women 
scrape the food, and prepare it as before mentioned, for 
breakfast. ' Sometimes cooking is dispensed with in the 
morning, and indeed it was not until I made them under- 
stand that the raw food made me sick, that they got into the 
habit of dressing it regularly. Occasionally a light repast 
from what was left the night before forms an early break- 
fast, in which case a more ample meal is prepared about 

During the day my quiet mother paid or received visits. 
Squatting cross-legged, she conversed on the affairs not only 
of her own island, but of all Te Pitaka ; for every one is 
here known to the other, and no death, birth, or marriage 
occurs on any island that is not soon heard of throughout the 
group. Where so few incidents occur in their monotonous 
lives such events are of course more than a nine days' 


wonder. The extreme heat of the day is generally spent in 
a siesta by every one. Women sometimes occupy them- 
selves in plaiting mats or parieus, or making tichfes. My 
mother, being a grave woman, and a great chieftainess, did 
not seem much interested in her newly-adopted son; but 
my aunt, a sister of my father's, and a poor relation — a very 
fussy little woman too-— was most assiduous in her attentions. 
It was she who generally scraped my food, though she had 
two children of her own to look after. The eldest, a boy of 
about eight years, a delicate, ill-tempered brat, was her 
favourite, perhaps because every one else disliked him. He 
sometimes went with my three younger brothers for food, 
but not often, as he generally came home crying because the 
unfeeling little wretches had amused themselves at his 
expense by calling him "Mata pike" (crooked eyes, or 
squint). These people have an inordinate amount of 
vanity, and are exceedingly sensitive to ridicule, yet 
have no delicacy in ridiculing others. This lad, whose 
face generally had little pretensions to beauty, had de- 
cidedly cross-eyes, which were to him a ceaseless cause 
of grief from the remarks to which they exjx>sed him. 
The sister, some four years old, was a most singular and 
precocious child. Her large black eyes never seemed to 
emit a ray of pleasure, nor did a smile ever play around her 
compressed mouth. She already materially assisted in 
household duties, which she set about always in the gravest 
manner; her mother talking to her as if she were an old 
woman, and imposing, as I thought, too much labour on 
the child, whom, for some unaccountable reason, she did 
not seem to like. When her mother was absent, she would 
call her brother to her assistance ; and though he sometimes 
proved recalcitrant, ordered him about like a little woman. 
I generally interested myself in her behalf, but my kindness 
did not seem to elicit from her any sentiment of gratitude, and 

158 SUPPEB. 

sb e showed unequivocal signs of distrust, though, unlike most 
of the children, none of fear. Eventually, however, a complete 
change took place in this respect. A bright look of pleasure 
illumined her grave and melancholy face whenever I ap- 
peared, and she came with delight to receive my accustomed 
embrace. My attentions ameliorated her condition with her 
mother ; but the imp of a brother, I soon found, punished 
her in various ways in my absence, for she showed me the 
marks of the little fiend's nails in her tender arms. This, 
however, my threats, assisted by the terror with which he 
regarded me, soon put a stop to. 

Supper with these people is the principal meal ; and I soon 
learned to appreciate it myself. When fish is to be had at 
all, that is the time it is always used, fresh from the oven, 
and served in great profusion. At this meal the natives 
discuss the events of the day and the affairs of the island, 
and every one seems happy and jolly. 

I had proposed once or twice to accompany the boys to 
the food-land, but this was always in a mysterious manner 
objected to. I was not much surprised, because none of the 
other people were permitted to wander far ftom their homes 
when it could be prevented, lest they should go off to some 
other island. At last, however, I insisted on going with 
them one morning, and was reluctantly permitted by 
the old people to go, greatly to the delight of the young 

The boys, as we passed along, sung their wild island 
songs, or joined in their grotesque dances, and tried to 
amuse me by their ridiculous grimaces. When they 
produced a laugh they were greatly delighted, all 
joining in it to an extravagant extent. When we reached 
the freshwater lake before-mentioned, it was almost 
empty, and I found it rose and fell with the tide, 
though it was but slightly brackish. It is used only for 


bathing in, for which purpose it is greatly resorted to. Some 
distance beyond this were what appeared to be the founda- 
tions of stone walls, many of them intersecting our path. I 
afterwards saw similar erections in other parts of the 
island, but could never get a proper explanation of them, 
the natives merely saying they had been houses, but appa- 
rently knowing nothing more of them than I did. These 
remains, like the huge stones of the maras, that are evidently 
made of composition, though the natives believe them to 
have come out of the sea, led me to believe that another race 
must have at one time inhabited this little portion of the 
globe — perhaps swept away by some catastrophe spreading 
destruction over their island, to be replaced by the descend- 
ants of others, thrown upon its shores in some chance canoe. 
The legend of their origin told by the natives themselves, is 
that Mahauta, a great chief, and Ocura, his wife, came from 
the land beyond the sky, bringing cocoa-nut, hara, fish, 
birds, &c. ; but of the origin of these architectural remains 
they are utterly ignorant. 

Crossing a shallow creek that connected the sea with 
the lagoon, and landing on a small island, a most dreary 
scene presented itself. The arid sands were at spots scantily 
covered by creeping plants, and a few stunted pandana trees 
only made the scene more bleak. Many cocoa-nut logs lay 
stretched along the ground and across our path, mouldering 
to decay, whilst numerous trees, still erect, but branchless, 
and rotting where they stood, swayed to and fro in the 
wind, threatening to crush the passer by in their fall. 
The hot sun shone fiercely on our uncovered heads, and the 
white sandy road burned like a lime-kiln, the heat flickering 
from it in a like manner. Though the dazzling sands are 
distressing to the eyes, there is, strange to say, little ophthal- 
mia amongst the natives. The pain in my feet was the 
worst to bear, for the shoes I came ashore in, a rough boot, 


and a patent leather shoe, both for the same foot, that 
Juan had found for me, were completely worn out. I 
tried to make substitutes of palm-leaves, but they held to- 
gether no time, so that I was reduced to Father Adam's 
primitive foot-gear, and began to dread a reduction of my 
whole costume to the same simple style. 

The only residents of this dreary place were hosts of 
tupas (land crabs) and cavios (land lobsters). These are held < 
in the greatest abhorrence by the natives, because they eat 
filth, and nothing could exceed their disgust when I made them 
understand that these animals were much esteemed in other 
countries. The land crabs, some nearly a foot long, are so 
tame that they dispute the path with you, viciously spreading 
out their great claws. The lobsters, although of the most 
brilliant colours — scarlet, orange, blue, or green, marked with 
white — are the most disgusting things imaginable, and are 
generally to be seen in the evening stealthily crawling towards 
the beach. On the approach of an enemy they hurriedly 
retreat, stern foremost, pulling themselves back by their 
tails, and pushing at the same time with their enormous 
claws. If molested, they will start up a tree in this manner ; 
their retreating motion, when ascending, having a most ab- 
surd appearance. When they cannot readily escape, they 
prepare for combat, and look very formidable. Though, 
measuring about two feet in length, however, they are so 
awkward in their movements that they are not really dan- 
gerous, and a blow with a stick soon finishes them. I thus 
killed one, to the great disgust of the boys, who believed 
that it would pollute the ground, and would not take it up to 
throw it into the sea. If by chance I afterwards amused 
myself by pointing with the stick which had killed the un- 
lucky animal, they would scamper off nearly crazy. The 
boys screamed, " Kara oa to rakau 1" I repeated these 
words inquiringly, motioning as though I threw away the 


stick. " E, e, e \" was repeated earnestly. Showing the 
stick, I said, " Rakau ?" and was answered in the affirma- 
tive. I thus learned that " Kara oa rakau 1" meant 
%t Throw away the stick/' and so gained each day a further 
knowledge of their language, which is easily acquired, and, 
ending in vowels as every word does, is not inharmonious. 
It requires little assiduity to learn a language where you 
hear no other used. These people are indefatigable talkers, 
and, whether we understood them or not, they kept chatter- 
ing away. They could not endure, however, to hear two or 
more of us white men conversing in English, supposing, 
perhaps, particularly if we laughed, that we were ridiculing 
them. Although in such cases they would join us in the 
laugh, they would also invariably beg us to desist. 

I endeavoured to learn how the place through which we 
were passing became a desert, and why not a single tree bore 
a sheltering branch. The boys evidently understood my 
question, but said nothing ; and it was not till long after- 
wards that the mystery was solved. About twelve years 
previously a solitary white man had landed on the island — 
the first and only one before our appearance on it — and had 
swum ashore near this spot from some ship or boat. The 
savage appearance of the first natives he saw so frightened 
him, that at their approach he again plunged into the sea for 
refuge, but was speared and slain. Some time after this the 
cocoa-nut trees in the neighbourhood died off, most likely 
from old age, but, as the natives superstitiously believe, to 
punish them for their merciless destruction of the white man. 

After fording another narrower creek or estuary ,we arrived 
atanisland something larger than the one just passed, partially 
barren, but retaining still a considerable quantity of live 
trees. This, I was informed, was the island of " Hangary," 
and belonged to our family. A considerable portion of it 
was occupied by a more extensive " mara " than any I had 



yet seen, though, from the number of weeds that filled the 
space and climbed round the huge grey stones, and also the 
condition of the house in its centre, which was mouldering 
to decay, it had evidently long been out of use. Anxious to 
see what the place contained, I was about to enter it, when 
violent screams of terror uttered by the boys arrested 
my steps, and I was obliged to proceed with them towards a 
point whence their cries had been answered. It was old 
Monitu, whom we soon met running to see what was the 
matter. When the boys told him, he at first looked incre- 
dulous, but eventually laughed heartily at my boldness, 
though, being himself a priest, I thought he would have 
been angry. Perhaps, aware of the humbug he practised, 
he was not astonished at its being despised. I marked this 
at the time, and felt assured that it would be easy to impress 
the natives with a more exalted idea of the Supreme Being 
than that which they possessed. A pure religion is the fun- 
damental principle of civilization, and these simple people 
might be raised by its influence to as high a standard of 
morality as any in the world. Witness the offspring of the 
mutineers of the Bounty on Pitcairn's Island, a band of 
outlaws, and contrast these with the Tahitian women, noto- 
rious for their licentiousness. Yet, before their so-called 
civilization, they were the most moral and virtuous com- 
munity in the world — a proof that their religious training is 
not as efficacious as it should be. 

We now proceeded onwards with old Monitu, a sort of 
Friar Tuck in his way, and soon reached a lonely little house, 
the only inhabited one on the island. Here I beheld the old 
invalid who had paid us a visit in the canoe. I was invited 
to spend the day and * night with my friends, but declined. 
The eldest boy (who, besides being an adopted son of O Pae 
Tangata, was the real son of Monitu) showed me a tenant* 
less house, in which he informed me I could sleep. The 

ALARM, 163 

only thing inside, except a sleeping mat, was a little basket, 
closely sewed up, suspended from the roof, which Artebiade 
approached, and kissed sorrowfully. I asked him what it 
was, supposing it to be some household god, especially as, on 
my endeavouring to look into the basket, he beseechingly 
urged me to forbear. I desisted then, but my curiosity being 
awakened by his earnestness, I chose an opportunity, when 
they were all occupied collecting food, to open the basket 
sufficiently to peep into its secrets. I found in it a little roll 
of fine matting sewed up, on opening which I beheld a little 
human skull and the mouldering bones of a young infant. 
Unwilling to show, by further questioning, that I had been 
disturbing what they considered sacred relics, I let the matter 
pass for the present. 

Not long after my return from Hangary, while occupied 
one day with my morning meal, the wild yells that I had 
now become so familiar with told me that a quarrel had 
occurred, and, as the sounds came from the lower end of 
the island, I was satisfied that our people were connected 
with it, especially as the natives sprang for their spears. I 
myself seized a weapon I had made of a hoop of iron, and 
rushed towards the site of the wreck, where, on all exciting 
occasions, our little party congregated. My friends, par- 
ticularly the women, tried to hold me back, but I shook 
them off; and, notwithstanding the pain of my feet on the 
burning sand and sharp, rugged coral rocks, I outstripped 
them all, running in the same direction. On my arrival at 
the house I found several of the white men surrounding it, 
with such weapons as they could lay their hands on, while 
off through the trees in every direction were the natives, 
shouting and brandishing their spears in the most excited 
manner. The more immediate friends of the white men 
were among them, and endeavouring to prevent the threat* 
ened attack. From the house proceeded the sounds of loud 

v 2 


lamentation, and, on entering, I found the doctor seated, 
livid with rage. The two wives of " Opaka " (his mothers) 
were crying and tearing themselves in the greatest distress, 
and the gentle Tokarora was weeping in unison. I asked 
the doctor what had happened, but only received a volley of 
vituperation for, as he said, our desertion of him. 

I learned from some of the people that, during the absence 
of the rest at breakfast, the doctor had quarrelled with and 
struck some of the natives; who, returning in force, had 
attacked him with clubs; and though, no doubt, he de- 
fended himself with his usual bravery, they had handled 
him pretty roughly before any of our people or his Kanaka 
friends could come to his assistance. 

This quarrel renewed the distrust that had formerly 
prevailed between the people of Sararak and us, which, 
during the presence of the stranger, had altogether subsided, 
as we had then relied on each other for mutual protection. 
A few days after this the Aitutakian Kanaka foolishly joined 
in a wrestling match with the natives, when one of them, 
becoming excited, threw him, and was proceeding to mal- 
treat him, when the little Chilano, Juan, ran, forward and 
struck the savage a blow with his fist that made him reel— 
a mode of attack entirely novel to these islanders. Smart- 
ing with the blow, he turned on his new antagonist, for he 
was a great warrior ; but " Don Juan " put himself into a 
pugilistic attitude, and gave the savage another well-directed 
blow, on receiving which he darted with a yell towards his 
spear, two or three other natives at the same time seizing 
their arms. I was too far off to use a stick I had in my 
hand for Juan's protection, and was partially hidden from 
their observation by a quantity of hara weeds ; but, picking 
up a stone, and uttering a loud yell similar to their own, I 
hurled it at the angry savage when he was on the point of 
darting his spear at my little friend, directing it with so true 

"DON JUAN." 165 

an aim that it went close past his head, and checked his 
rage. The next instant I jumped over the haras, flourishing 
my stick, making a great noise, and looking as fierce as 
possible. My sudden appearance had the desired effect, for 
the party fled in dismay, and I contented myself with pitch- 
ing a few stones after them. Juan felt very grateful for the 
rescue, and (although he had always seemed to like me 
before) from this time forward, during my residence on, and 
long after my escape from, the island, he showed himself 
devotedly attached to me. 

" Don Juan," as we commonly called him, was twenty 
years of age, but from his size, his bright colour, and 
gay manner, he would have been considered about eighteen. 
He had the regular Chilano face, dark olive skin, large 
black eyes, straight black hair, rather flat, round coun- 
tenance, some colour in his cheeks, and a bright, ani- 
mated expression. With his appearance and disposition, 
it was no wonder that he made a deep impression on the 
hearts of some of the dark-skinned beauties amongst whom 
he was cast. 

Our little craft now progressed, though slowly, towards 
completion, when an occurrence took place that threatened 
to destroy all our hopes of escape through its agency. To- 
wards the captain, on whom, as I have said, we were 
compelled to rely for its construction, there was a universal 
feeling of dislike, and none had more cause for it than my- 
self. Yet we managed to smother it; and, indeed, his 
assiduity in the work he had undertaken claimed our for- 
bearance for other faults. I saw, however, that it was with 
the utmost difficulty the doctor could restrain his fiery 
temper, and disguise his hatred to this man. One day the 
captain came into the house for some food, which he alleged 
had been left there for him by his brother, a notorious 
glutton, by whom, as it was nowhere to be seen, it had most 

166 matungA. 

likely been consumed. The captain, however, threw out some 
insinuations, to which the doctor, who considered that they 
were directed against himself, replied by calling the captain 
a liar, adding many other contemptuous epithets too gross to 
be repeated here. As the latter retreated from the house, 
the doctor followed with the intention of thrashing him; 
but the sight of the nearly completed boat brought our 
position, I suppose, to his mind, for he returned gloomily to 
the house. I felt dreadfully annoyed, for I knew we were 
completely at the mercy of this ruffian, who, to annoy us, 
would even injure himself. Yet I could not condemn 
R., who had only honestly given vent to the feelings that 
I had been labouring to restrain. The result was, as I anti- 
cipated, the captain struck work, and the boat remained m 
statu quo. Thoroughly disgusted with this state of things, I 
went up to Hangary the following morning to spend the day 
with old Monitu, which, since my first visit, he had often 
pressed me to do ; for it seemed I had found especial favour 
in his wife's eyes. On my arrival, after I had eaten 
something, the old lady arose with an effort, and motioned 
to me to follow her. When we arrived at the edge of the 
lagoon, she directed my attention to an island, about the 
most northerly on this (the west) side, of which she had 
much more to tell me than I could comprehend. Matunga, 
as she called it, I understood was a beautiful place, with 
abundance of cocoa-nuts and fish, and all or most of it be- 
longing to herself. I thought she invited me to accompany 
her there, but bf this I was not then certain. On our return 
to the house, I made Monitu understand my willingness to 
proceed to Matunga, at which both seemed delighted. This 
was the more surprising to me as heretofore none of our 
people had been allowed to leave the island, our movements 
being jealously guarded. 
The next morning old Monitu and Artebiade appeared 


on the beach with the canoe from Hangary, informing me 
they were bound for Matunga. I had no idea that our journey 
was to commence so soon, and would fain have gone to see 
the doctor before I started. It was thought, however, 
that that would occupy too much time. My " father and 
mother " seemed to dread my leaving them, but finally they 
consented ; and with the display of much feeling on their 
side, we parted. It was full tide; and the boy, wading 
behind, pushed the canoe over the shoal reef till we 
arrived at Hangary, where we found my old invalid aunt 
seated on the beach awaiting us, with another of the boys, 
and some baskets containing fish, neu oara, and young water 
cocoa-nuts, or vais, for the journey. 

" All aboard," we were propelled with two poles for some 
time along the reef dividing Sararak from the next island, 
above two miles distant. Close to our right were the 
blue waters of the lagoon ; and far to the left the white 
fringe of breakers, marking where the waves of the great 
Pacific ceaselessly rolled. The canoe, at one time, grated 
on a coral patch ; but the savages immediately jumped out, 
and pushed her off into the deep smooth water of the lagoon. 
The lashings of the different parts of the canoe are easily 
cut by the sharp branches of coral. Of this they are 
exceedingly careful, and I have never felt the canoe touch 
ground in this way without hearing exclamations of alarm 
from the islanders. 

The old man and the two boys now betook themselves to 
the paddles, chatting and laughing all the way. The old 
woman alone maintained a solemn gravity suitable to what 
seemed to her a great occasion ; and I observed that she 
often checked the others in their mirth. 

As the boys soon got tired of the " ho &/' or paddle, 
our progress was very slow; and it was afternoon when, 
passing through a long shoaling passage in the reef, 

168 "molly bawn." 

we at last beached our canoe at Mutagohiche, the ally, 
and in a measure tributary, of Sararak. Before we 
had reached the shore the whole concourse of natives 
were gathered on the beach, yelling in the usual manner. 
I was conducted in a kind of triumphal march to the 
house of a person who had been a visitor at our hut for 
some days, and here I had to undergo a " pehu." The 
gentleman who presented me with some cocoa-nuts took 
particular pains to inform me that I was to be his son ; and 
a most unprepossessing-looking father he was, with a low 
forehead, half-closed little piercing eyes, which his eyebrows 
and hair nearly hid, and a pinched-up face, almost covered 
with coarse, straight, bristly hair. He so disgusted me with 
his familiarity that, in a rage, I ordered him off in a voice 
so threatening that the whole mob fled in a panic. Soon, 
however, recovering their self-possession, they began to laugh, 
as I supposed, at their foolish trepidation, and ventured again 
near me. 

One of the boys even brought me some fish from the canoe, 
of which I made a hearty meal, my new father begging some of 
it. I answered him by throwing a quantity in his face — an act 
that caused great laughter at his expense. After the meal I 
set out for a stroll, still followed by my persevering parent, 
whom no affront could discourage. I soon discovered that 
he possessed more land than any chief in the island, and was 
what might be called a very wealthy man. My independence, 
which was not very pleasing at first, made him cringe to 
me, though he may have hated me for it. I took a prejudice 
against these people, with one or two exceptions, and I never 
got over it. 

As I strolled along, little "Molly Bawn/' as I had 
called her when she came to Mangerongaro, made her 
appearance, and, in her gentle winning way, took my hand, 
which, to the extreme astonishment of the crowd that 


continued to follow us, I allowed her to hold. This seemed 
to make rather a favourable impression on them, and they 
began to think me less of a monster than I had at first 

" Molly Bawn," who was about ten or twelve years of 
age, was a general favourite. Her skin was so fair and 
her features so regular, that she might have been taken for 
a half-caste. This child became particularly attached to me; 
and her gentle manners soon won my sympathies. 

After about half an hour's walk in a northerly direc- 
tion, we arrived at rugged, rocky ground — a perfectly 
barren space. The natives now urged me to return, and 
endeavoured to make me understand by signs that if I 
passed a certain boundary I should be killed. At the same 
time, the little girl and one or two women began to cry, and 
as I had no wish to offend their prejudices, I consented to 
return. I subsequently found that this was the boundary 
line between Omuka and Mutagohiche, two divisions of an 
island some four miles in length, which were at war with 
each other. 

At night, on retiring to rest, the little " Fardoroughu," 
as I called my Mutagohiche sire, was as distressingly 
officious as at meal-time. From time to time he would call 
out my name, and when I answered he would say, " Moe e 
moe I" (" Sleep, dear, sleep 1") He and others were indeed 
so troublesome, that the following morning I urged an early 
departure, glad to escape from this rude place, where 
even the women were so different, those of Sararak being 
invariably gentle. From infancy up to twenty years of age 
the girls are often very beautiful. Above that age, the men 
are fine specimens of the human race, being tall, stout 
fellows, with handsome bushy beards, generally black, but 
sometimes tinged with auburn. 

At Mutagohiche the natives are all congregated near 

170 MY AUNT. 

one spot, forming a considerable village, for mutual protec- 
tion against their more powerful neighbours of Omuka; 
whilst the people of the latter place, having no dread of an 
attack from their despised enemy, are scattered over 
their little country, each on his own possession. From this 
island the reef extends out into the lagoon about half 
a mile, and can only be navigated by their canoes at high, 
water. As it was now low tide, we kept out in the lagoon. 
While we advanced we could hear shouts on shore, and 
occasionally observed the natives running along the white 
sandy beach, screaming as they scampered out through the 
shallow waters on the reef, and beckoning us to wait for 
them. This we consented to do, and pulled to the edge, on 
whose rugged sides we kept the canoe from grating by stick- 
ing one end of the paddle into a patch of coral branches, 
and securing the other to the edge of the light vessel. 
Thus safely at anchor, we awaited the screaming natives, 
who, the soles of their feet being as thick as leather, ran 
over the coral points apparently unscathed, and were soon 
alongside. I found, to my surprise, among them my tall, 
handsome aunt, who had presented me with the she at 
Mangerongaro, on the arrival of the Omukans there. 
On seeing me she seemed greatly delighted, and clapping 
her hands, uttered the usual exclamation, " Aoae Maitake g !" 
(the £ being a note of endearment in common use). She 
advanced, waving the right hand with that peculiar oscil- 
lating movement called by the natives " shara shara ;" and 
when I got out of the canoe she ran forward and embraced 
me — a salute which, as she was a very fine young woman, 
I would have returned cl I'IrlandaUe, had not a scream of 
alarm reminded me of our relative positions. Her husband, 
a fine, tall, handsome fellow, with short curled hair and 
beard, united with her in urging me to remain with them ; 
and it was apparently with great regret that they allowed 


me to depart. As we sailed away the little group stood in 
the same spot and waved their hands in farewell, repeating at 
the same time, in a melancholy voice, the words, " A hana, ft 
hana !" (" Go, go !") which probably meant farewell. These 
people, strangely, have no salutations of this kind in their 
language either at meeting or parting, nor have they any 
expression of thanks, " Su mare" (" very good") being used 
instead. Indeed, they are a thankless race, as without 
any delicacy they would take everything you had, and ask 
for more. On the other hand, they are usually generous, and 
will readily share what they have with others. Some are 
foolishly extravagant and prodigal, freely lavishing their 
cocoa-nuts till they are reduced to beggary ; while others 
hoard up their " utos" till they rot in the ground. 



Harbour of Omuka — Troublesome Hospitality — Prevalence of Dis- 
gusting Sores — Pikoche — Bathing — Cure of Chera Puna — Stroll 
over the Island — Insolence of a Powerful Chief resented — De- 
parture for Matunga — Kind Reception in Mangerongaro — 
Taharua — Eakara — Excellent Fish — Turua — Ceremony of the 
Mar& — Native Idols — The To Tree — Superstitious Observance 
— Sacrifice of a Turtle — Created an " Iriki " — Ocura — Enter- 
tained by Turua — His House — Opposition to my Departure 
from the Island — Pursued by the Natives — Attempts to escape 
— Offer of a Canoe— My Departure — Etiquette of Reception — 
Consecration of my House — Completion of our Boat — Success- 
ful Launch — Preparations for the Departure of our Comrades — 
Call at Tokerau — Accident to the Boat — A Flattering Offer— 
The Boat once more off — Unaccountable Course taken by it — 
Pleasant Sail along the Coast — Return of the Boat — Renewed 
Trouble with the Captain — Tokarora — Proceedings of the Doc- 
tor — Recovery of the Greater Part of the Works of Shakspeare 
— An Invitation — Biche de Mer — Storm on a Journey. 

T7VERY island has a general landing-place, to which 
-*-* foreign visitors invariably repair. This is generally 
where a break in the reef allows the canoe to come close up 
to the beach ; and there are few islands without one or more 
such apertures. The kingdom of Omuka is particularly for- 
tunate in its little harbour. The wide reef we had been 
coasting along narrows towards its north end till it abruptly 
turns into the land, which, on the other hand, bends out 
into the lagoon, forming a quiet little cove. A pier of coral 
boulders has also been built out some distance into deep 
water, so that at all times of the tide canoes, or even vessels, 


may come alongside. As we approached this point the 
crowd, which we had seen increasing along the shore in a 
state of the utmost excitement — for I was the first of our 
people who had left our own island — rushed into the water, 
and soon our canoe was surrounded. Men, women, and 
children literally filled the little bay, preventing further 
progress. Such a Babel I never before heard. My 
island name, "Maitake!" resounded above all the other 
din as it passed from mouth to mouth. At length Monitu, 
who seemed to have control everywhere, made them leave a 
passage to the shore ; but before I could land several stout 
savages had seized me in their arms, raised me on their 
shoulders, and with yells of triumph brought me to a larger- 
sized house than common, where they deposited me. The 
proprietor, a short, fat young man, with rather an unprepos- 
sessing countenance, was, it appeared, a leading chief, and a 
friend of Monitu's. His wife, with a child on her knee, was 
an exceedingly gentle little creature, but apparently afraid of 
her lord and master. A question was asked them by some of 
the people, to which they answered, "Cary" ("No"). A 
great sensation immediately followed. The men shouted at 
the women in the most violent manner, and, slapping their 
hips, ordered them off for something. Away the women 
scampered in various directions, but soon returned, some 
with cocoa-nuts, some with neu oara, and some with fish. 
As much food was then pressed on me as would last me a 
week ; at which the gentle little woman whose guest I was, 
seemed sadly distressed. I reassured her, however, by 
the words, "Su mare," signifying that I was perfectly 
satisfied. Poor little " Pikochfc 1" how different she was 
from her boisterous and officious husband, whose patro- 
nising manner I was obliged to check. This (being a great 
man) he did not like, and consequently we never* got on 
well together. 


Before leaving Mangerongaro I had observed on many of 
the natives disgusting sores spreading all over their bodies, 
caused, no doubt, by eating flesh-meat, which they had never 
done till the wreck of our vessel, except, perhaps, on rare 
occasions, human flesh. They led us to understand, how- 
ever, that they never had anything of the kind till our arrival, 
and it appeared to be their opinion that we had brought the 
disease to them in the ship. We did not relish this accusa- 
tion, as it might prejudice them against us, but thought 
that it might avail us as a pretext for saving the lives 
of a few hogs that still remained. We told them, there- 
fore, that it was owing to their eating pork. This complaint, 
which spread rapidly all over the islands, was henceforth 
called " poerka." In one or two cases it proved fatal, particu- 
larly in Omuka, where it seemed to be worse than else- 
where. I endeavoured to explain to them that an infected 
person should not come into contact with the hale. 

This disease became a source of great annoyance to us, 
as we not only had many disgusting sights constantly before 
us, but were excluded from the little pools for washing, 
which the natives used indiscriminately. We were debarred, 
too, from fresh-water bathing, and obliged to put up with the 
sea water alone. The natives of Polynesia generally wash 
with fresh water after being in the salt, and here it was even 
a superstition that, if you did not do so, some calamity would 
happen. Our dissenting from their habit, therefore, was a 
source of immense annoyance to them, and a great bore 
to us. 

It may be conceived that the continued visits of such 
patients were not very agreeable, and I became anxious to 
leave; but as I found that the great mart, ceremony was to be 
performed on my account on the morrow,this was impossible. 

The ceremony was similar to that at Mangerongaro, 
with the omission of the pehu, which had been gone through 


the day before. I remained some time observing the stones, 
&c. of the Hard, whilst the rest of the men performed their 
ablutions. Going towards the beach for the same purpose, I 
met Pikochfe, who, not aware that I was one of the unwashed, 
came forward to salute me ; but some of those who followed me 
calling out, " Huie atua I" (that " there was a spirit in me"), 
the poor little woman, with a look of horror, fled at her 
utmost speed ; for here, as elsewhere, the women are more 
superstitious than the men, and more scrupulous in the 
observance of their religious rites. 

Bathing is resorted to as a cure for all complaints, and is 
attended occasionally with superstitious forms. In passing 
one of the pools, a good-looking little elderly woman be- 
sought me to stop and see her daughter, whom she had 
brought down to bathe. The child, of about ten or eleven 
years of age, was, notwithstanding her delicate appearance, a 
most lovely creature. Her hair was a dark auburn, and 
clustered over her head in short classical curls. Her eyes, 
large, soft, and melancholy, were generally hid by the droop- 
ing lid and long curved eyelash. Her nose, though short, 
and broader at the base than beauty would warrant, suited 
the style of face, and her lips also, though too thick for our 
ideal of beauty. Prom the anxious inquiries of her mother, 
who seemed to dote on her, I saw that something was ex- 
pected of me. After reassuring the child, therefore, by speak- 
ing in a kindly tone, I took her to the pool, and bathing her 
burning forehead with the cool water, blew gently on it to 
relieve her headache. This, from her exclamations of plea* 
sure, it evidently did, and her mother went off rejoicing, no 
doubt in perfect faith that her daughter was cured. Whether 
what I had done had any beneficial effect I cannot say, but 
the next time I saw " Chera Puna" she had entirely recovered. 
The cure caused quite a sensation, and thenceforward I was 
looked on by many, especially the women, as a" tangata 


kichfe," or spirit doctor — a belief which, I must confess, I was 
unscrupulous enough to turn to my benefit on many future 

As I was not to embark for Matunga until evening, I used 
my time in wandering over the island. There is a great 
sameness throughout the whole group. The north point of 
Omuka appeared to have been planted at no distant period, 
many of the palms being yet too young to bear fruit, which 
is not usually seen till after seven or eight years' growth. 
The people seemed to have a greater abundance of food than 
those at Sararak. 

Wherever I moved through this place, Monitu hovered 
around me like a guardian angel, more in character than ap- 
pearance I must say. I proceeded on one occasion a con- 
siderable way down the island, and called at the house of an 
old grey-haired chief, apparently a person of great impor- 
tance, from the manner in which I was urged to visit him. I 
felt annoyed at first by his cavalier reception of me, and he, 
I suppose, was equally displeased at the air of dignity I 
assumed in his presence. He appeared to take a fancy 
to my hat, and asked me for it. I of course refused, on 
which he attempted to seize it. I repulsed him rather 
rudely, when, with an alacrity I scarcely gave him credit 
for, he sprang from the ground and caught hold of a spear 
that hung at the roof of his house. The people surrounded 
me, and tried to hurry me off; but thinking it better not to 
show fear, I replied in warm terms, shaking my fist in his 
face, which put him beside himself with rage. Before he 
could attempt to use his spear, however, Monitu appeared, 
and his presence was sufficient to quell the old man's wrath. 
By resenting the insolence of a powerful chief I made the 
inferior people more subservient to me. This little incident, 
however, seemed to alarm Monitu greatly, and he hurried 
our departure for Matunga before the time intended. 


This part of our voyage was entirely performed on the 
deep waters of the lagoon, the reef being covered with 
boulders or rugged coral patches that made navigation on it 
dangerous to canoes. When about half the distance, I was 
delighted to discover a broad, clear passage from the lagoon 
to the ocean (about two hundred yards at its narrowest part), 
and, although a heavy sea broke on the reefs on either side, 
not a flake of foam was to be seen on its entire surface. I 
therefore presumed that vessels of two or three hundred tons 
at least might enter with safety. I had two reasons for being 
satisfied with this discovery. In the first place, when our 
boat was completed, the launching of it across the reef into 
the ocean, even at the calmest time, would be attended with 
danger, whereas, by conveying her to the lagoon, she could 
sail safely through the passage. This would not only afford 
us an exit, but be the means of bringing a small schooner 
into a safe harbour, should I return to establish a pearl fishery 
here, there being abundant evidence of extensive pearl oyster- 
beds to be found along the shore of every island. This 
valuable discovery, however, ultimately proved the cause of 
much misery, and perhaps irreparable injury to me. 

The old invalid had gone on before us the previous night 
in another canoe, and, whether she had impressed the people 
with some wonderful idea of my importance, or Monitu 
had sent word that noise was offensive to me, I know not, 
but I was received much less boisterously and with greater 
marks of respect than elsewhere. I was also much pleased 
with the appearance of the place. The island was only about 
a mile long, but it was broader than any of the others — per- 
haps half a mile. Here was one great dense palm grove 
whose shade seemed impenetrable, and the little bay we 
entered by a break in the reef was sheltered by a kind of 
shrub that here grows into a tree, its branches extending 
out on either side till they dip in the tide. Before our lan/U 


178 THE PEHU. 

ing, some men came to the edge of the water and made a 
lengthened speech, I presume welcoming me to their shores, 
accompanying it with a grotesque and rather undignified 
dance, during which, however, they maintained great gravity. 
One of the natives I recollected having seen before, but 
under what circumstances I could not then remember. 

When the speeches were finished a general rush was made 
to my canoe, every one, even some of the young ladies, hail- 
ing me with a kiss. There was a perfect struggle who should 
gain possession of me, and I was carried on their shoulders in 
a most uncomfortable manner. 1 resigned myself, however, 
to my fate, and, with the customary wild shouts, was borne 
to the centre of the island. Here, in a cleared space, strewed 
with coral gravel (around which were some houses, forming 
a kind of plaza, or public place), I was deposited on a mat 
in the centre, whilst some of the leading men with palm 
branches drove the multitudes from around me, and formed 
an extensive circle, in which they seated themselves. 

The first ceremony was the pehu. In this case the women 
formed two rows, one on either side of me. Two men who 
were selected for the purpose seated themselves at each end of 
a mat a little distance off, and began to interrogate me. I 
understood but little; but according to the expression of 
their faces I ventured to frame my answers, and it was highly 
amusing to see the effect my replies occasionally produced on 
the assemblage. By their looks and exclamations of astonish- 
ment and horror, it appeared that my answers were not only 
unsatisfactory> but so contradictory, that they began to 
suspect I did not comprehend them. The idea struck me to 
make a long speech in English, during which they looked 
bewildered ; but when I concluded I repeated the few sen- 
tences I had learned in their own language, which were hailed 
with intense delight. 

One of my interrogators was a man I had recognised on 


the beach. Although still young, not more than twenty-seven, 
he appeared the iriki, or chief. I now remembered he was 
the same I had chased from the fire one morning, when I 
was on guard at the house in Mangerongaro. By signs I 
reminded him of the event. He was quite delighted at 
the flattering recognition, and explained the affair to the 
rest, who all expressed equal pleasure. He was a remark- 
ably fine-looking native, about five feet ten inches in height, 
and stout in proportion, with a good forehead, high nose, 
large animated eyes, a profusion of close-curled hair and 
beard of an auburn tinge. His name was "Taharua." 
His wife, "Mau Kakara," was a little delicate-looking 
woman, with soft, large black eyes, and very long black 
straight hair. I have never seen a people amongst whom 
there is such a discrepancy of appearance between male 
and female. The men are tall, powerful, fierce-looking 
fellows; whilst the women are little and gentle, except in 
old age, when, from their scars, they become coarse and 

Mau Kakara ("the holder of perfumes/' as her name 
literally signifies) was a great belle; and, being a beauty 
and a woman of rank, never descended to any occupa- 
tion. As a mark of distinction, however, she scraped some 
cocoa-nuts expressly for my use, which I ate out of com- 
pliment to her. Other food was urged on me from all 
quarters, including some bowls of fish hot from the oven. 
As they presented the latter they repeated the name, 
" ruchfe," making me understand there was none of this 
description in Mangerongaro. It appeared to be a particular 
delicacy or favourite with them ; and I must acknowledge I 
never in my life ate any fish as good. The gravy, too, which 
flowed round it was of the richest description. These coral 
islands produce a great variety of fish, many of them of 
very superior flavour; but none are equal to the ruchfe, 

x 2 

180 TURUA. 

which certainly made me a greater lover of the finny tribe 
than I had ever been before. 

Night approaching, I had many pressing invitations from 
the leading people to retire to their houses. A fine-looking 
young fellow of about twenty-five, who, together with 
his wife, had sat near me during the proceedings, greatly 
prepossessed me in his favour. Turua, as I heard the 
girl, who had something very amiable in her expres- 
sion, call her husband, seldom spoke, although he seemed 
as anxious to attract ' my attention as the others. I 
observed, however, that he exerted himself to suppress 
the constant tumult. When he did address me, his voice 
was low and mild, and evinced a diffidence that greatly 
raised him in my favour. Notwithstanding, however, the 
pushing and whispering of his wife, who urged him to put 
in a claim for me to be their guest, his modesty kept him 
back ; and my only alternative was to decide on remain- 
ing with Taharua, who seemed greatly delighted by the 

The following morning, by daybreak, the assembling of 
all the people at the house where I slept aroused me. The 
women, in their holiday attire, told me that the ceremony of 
the mara was again to be enacted. This varied a little from 
those I had previously witnessed in two respects. I had 
myself to officiate in the removal of the cocoa-nuts from 
place to place. After an extra quantity of yelling and dan- 
cing, an old priest entered the mara-house, and brought forth 
a long stick, with an immense bundle of feathers and other 
things tied at one end, like a huge duster or mop. This he 
held aloft in fear and trembling, whilst he uttered some in- 
cantations, striking it, not against a stone, as the leafy gods 
were struck on a former occasion, but against the back of the 
other officiating priest. This broom-Btick or mop was, in fact, 
the representative of one of their great leading gods, of whom 


there are four, two good and two bad. The two good gods 
give life, and all that is necessary to its preservation — gifts 
which the other two are constantly endeavouring to coun- 
teract. One of the amiable spirits is married, and I even saw 
his spouse at a death-bed scene, in the form of a piece of 
wood, with a lock of human hair fastened at one end. These 
people believe that the spirit of the dead, after haunting for 
some time the ground it was familiar with in life, leaves for 
some distant region; and at night they imagine they see 
their departed friends in the stars overhead, many of which 
are known by native names. 

In the evening a walk through the island satisfied me that 
it was the most productive I had yet seen, and in a particular 
spot, the only one throughout the group fit for such a 
purpose, I believed a few banana-trees might be cultivated. 
This was under the shade of a gigantic "to-tree," which 
the natives showed me with great pride. Its branches at 
night became the resting-place for flocks of sea-fowl ; and 
the sand beneath, impregnated with guano and decayed 
leaves, consisted of a soft soil not seen elsewhere. This 
soft earth was a favourite resort for the young people, 
where they enjoyed their athletic sports, or sat in listless 
indolence, as they do for hours together, chatting about the 
every-day occurrences of the islands. 

Throughout my walk no act of rudeness occurred. One 
or two men went in front clearing the path of all obstruc- 
tions; and when, on one occasion, I hurt my foot, some 
of the people dropped on the ground with pitying excla- 
mations, and rubbed it tenderly with their hands. Others 
walked at a little distance behind, and on either side, as a 
kind of guard, keeping off the children and those who 
were curious from pressing too near to me. Close to me 
were Turua and Taharua. The latter was rather imperious 
with his followers, driving them off with his spear; but 


the former was quiet and gentle, a good-natured smile 
constantly playing on his features. 

The following day, to my surprise, we were again all 
marshalled and marched to the sea-shore, where I found 
a turtle sprawling on its back. After some words were 
repeated over it by one of the priests who had officiated 
at the mara, Turua stepped forward to the edge of the 
water, and, in a menacing attitude, seemed to denounce 
some one, throwing up his arms, and vociferating at the 
top of his voice, as if threatening an imaginary being 
at sea. The turtle (or "hona," as they call it) had, it 
appeared, a spirit in it, which, being driven out by one 
of the priests, was threatened with vengeance by the 
bold warrior if he attempted to return. The unfortu- 
nate turtle was at once conveyed to a mara, different 
from the one we had visited the previous day, and, after a 
few ceremonies, was beheaded and disembowelled. A 
large fire was then prepared on an elevation of stones, 
and it was sacrificed to the gods. On our return to the 
gravel plot, where the people had again all assembled, a 
mat was placed in the centre for me, and the cooked 
turtle, cut into small pieces, was served up in the 
shell, in which it had been roasted. Monitu, Taharua, 
and Turua sat at a respectful distance on the mat, the rest 
of the people forming an extensive circle somewhat farther 
off. My three privileged friends, diving their hands into 
the meat, selected the most tempting pieces, with which they 
endeavoured to feed me. This I rather declined, and was 
allowed to help myself. As they looked, at every mouthful 
I took, like hungry dogs, I offered one or the other a piece, 
which was laughingly accepted and devoured, my generosity 
being received with flattering comments from the circle. 
Extending my liberality, I threw some pieces to Ocura and 
Mau Kakara, when, to my astonishment, the women jumped 


tip and fled in terror, shouting, " Huie atua V 9 Taharua 
and Turua held my hands, and, shaking their heads, gravely 
repeated the same words, but Monitu only laughed heartily 
at my mistake. After these ceremonies I became a person 
of great importance, and, from this time, bore the title of 
"Iriki" (king or high chief). Probably this was awarded 
me as a matter of compliment, to induce me to remain 
amongst them. It is not, at any rate, a position of much 
distinction, for their kings have very little power beyond that 
which the influence of property, or the number of friends, 
procures them. In these respects I should have had con- 
siderable power in Matunga, for I had been adopted by half 
the people on the island, and, as they are bound to support 
their relations, and the land of the parents belongs to all 
their children in common, I stood in a good position ; but 
the subsequent attachment of these people towards me formed 
a stronger tie, and gave me an almost unlimited control over 

After some time, finding that the crowd which always fol- 
lowed my movements had dispersed, I stepped out whilst the 
natives took their noon siesta. I had scarcely left the house, 
however, when Turua, who had apparently been waiting for 
me, came running forward, and pressed me, with his win- 
ning smile, to accompany him. This I did with plea- 
sure, and he led the way by a path I had not before 
seen, through the centre of the island. The densest portion 
of the grove he pointed to with evident marks of satisfaction, 
as the trees were all loaded with fruit; and the district through 
which I was passing, I was informed, was mine, because, I 
knew, it was his. So dense was the shade here, that the sky 
was completely obscured from our view, and it was only when 
I had arrived at a neatly-gravelled space that I observed a 
house, to which our path led. A little girl was busily engaged 
preparing a native oven, and a young woman was sitting in 

184 OCUBA. 

front . of the house, with her head down, scraping neu 
oara. Neither observed us till we were close upon them. 
On seeing us, the young woman, who proved to be Ocura, 
dropped the food she was preparing, and, clapping her hands, 
advanced timidly, and saluted me. She then ran into the 
house and spread mats for us to sit on. 

Ocura, when she married Turua, was one of the richest 
heiresses in Omuka, being the daughter of a great chief, 
not only in that place, but also in Matunga. All the 
property came from her; for Turua, being a younger 
son, was not at all wealthy. Ocura was very ambitious, 
and was always stimulating her husband to take a more 
leading part in the affairs of the nation than he felt his 
position warranted, or his natural diffidence would allow. 

Supper was, at last, announced by the little girl. Turua 
sprang up one of the nearest trees like a monkey. These 
people climb better than any of the other islanders I had 
seen ; and soon a few shocks on the ground told the little 
girl that the " muco mucos" had fallen, when she immediately 
ran and fetched them to the house. These young nuts are 
easily skinned, and, the tops being broken off, a delicious 
beverage is ready prepared by the hand of nature; for 
there is no more refreshing drink than the water of the 
young green cocoa-nut, with its cool and slightly tart vege- 
table taste. The blackened fish-bowls were opened, and 
proved to contain my favourite ruchfe. A shell of neu oara, 
smoking hot, was brought in ; and when the upper cover was 
removed, the little leaf was seen spread on the top, to prevent 
dust entering by the eye of the upper shell — a precaution that 
is taken only by very exemplary housekeepers. 

After washing her beautiful little hands in water poured 
on them from the eye of a large entire shell, used as a water- 
jug, Ocura brought down a small bag of fine matting, and, 
from a number of pearl tufes, or Fenrhyn spoons, selected 


one brightly polished on the back as well as front, but not 
much improved by some rude carving on it. 

A greater treat was in reserve for me, namely, a couple of 
cooked " utos" (or apple of the growing nut), which I pre- 
tended not to know. After trying a piece, however, I sud- 
denly clapped my hands in their own fashion, and, placing one 
hand over my mouth, exclaimed, " Ka oaia — su mare !" 
(" Good heavens ! how delightful !") at which Turua burst 
into a loud laugh, and Ocura, in her delight, threw herself 
before me and kissed my feet ! 

After supper it began to grow dark, and soon a number of 
the natives who had been searching for me arrived. Taha- 
rua, who seemed to think he had a particular claim on me, 
begged me to return with him. I was about to do so when 
Turua, urged by Ocura, asked me to remain where I was, 
and I acceded, to the evident chagrin of the other, who went 
off with his pretty little wife in high dudgeon. This house 
was larger and differently constructed from any I had seen 
in Sararak, although there are several in Matunga, Omuka, 
and elsewhere like it, as I afterwards observed. A framed 
roof, about ten or twelve feet square, is supported on two 
stout uprights of the pandanas-tree, the eaves reaching to 
about five feet from the ground. Some pegs or slight stakes, 
of about a foot high, are driven into the ground around the 
house, immediately under the eaves, and at night long narrow 
mats of cocoa-nut leaf are fastened to, or laid against, these 
pegs, forming a shelter from the blast. Otherwise the house 
is entirely open all round ; and on windy nights, as may be 
supposed, admits of the most perfect ventilation. 

Besides the little foot-curtains around the house, the 
portion of it that I occupied was partitioned off by another, 
and, airy as it was, in this fine latitude I did not find 
it unpleasant. At this time I slept with my clothes on, 
which was a great means of using them up rapidly, as I had 


to wash them the oftener. This I did by taking them into 
the sea when I went to bathe, and after rinsing, leaving 
them on the hot stones to dry. Here I often left them bo 
long, that they were nearly cooked; and often when I 
lifted them they stood out, with the heat and the salt, like a 
board. Sometimes, on the other hand, in damp weather I 
had to put them on wet, to which circumstance, with the 
wet from rain that I had to suffer from, having no change, 
I ascribe a subsequent long and severe rheumatic attack. 

I spent a few days on this island even with some degree of 
pleasure, so assiduous were its people to make me comfort- 
able ; but, as I had been now a week absent from my com* 
panions, I became anxious about proceedings in that quarter. 
Confident that endeavours would be made to complete 
the boat sooner or later, I told Monitu of my desire to 
return. He looked astonished, and intimated to me that I 
was to remain here altogether. As well as I could compre- 
hend him, he maintained I had consented to this before coming 
on the journey — which perhaps, in my ignorance of what he 
said, I might have done. Our discussion brought a number 
of the people round, who all remonstrated with me. Some 
said I was hungry, and ran to fetch food ; but this not suc- 
ceeding, they renewed their expostulations. One or two 
even spoke angrily; but, as I turned on them rather sharply, 
they received from the rest such a volley of abuse that they 
were glad to " hide their diminished heads/* All, however, 
would not do ; I insisted on getting a canoe, and, from feeling 
annoyed, became angry. They were now silent, and withdrew 
from me, falling back on passive resistance ; that is, I might 
go if I could, but they would not assist me. I felt, therefore, 
very anxious. A wide and deep channel separated me from 
my friends and the hope of escape, which my fears of de- 
tention made me picture as just at hand, for I felt assured 
that the boat would be finished about this time. I hastened 

I8LET8. 187 

to the beach, and tried to launch one of their canoes, which, 
being clumsy, weighty affairs, I found it impossible to move. 
I then ran to Turua, and tried to get him to assist me, but 
he went off and hid himself. 

I now thought of getting back again by some of the more 
northerly islands, which I had no doubt I could reach by 
crossing the reef on that side. I accordingly waited till 
noon, when the natives generally take their siesta, and started 
along the outer sea beach, which was little frequented, so 
that I might not be interrupted. To the north-east 
are two little islets a few yards square, with clumps of 
trees on them — good landmarks for vessels making the 
land. As I crossed I heard behind me the shouts of the 
natives, who had missed me, and were on the search. Not- 
withstanding the rough coral of the reef, which lacerated my 
feet, I soon reached the cover of the first islet, which again 
hid me whilst I gained the second. It appeared that the 
natives were at fault on arriving at the water's edge, for they 
did not follow for some time, as I had crossed from the sandy 
beach through a part of the island where it was rocky, and 
left no footprints to trace me by. A little further still was 
a bare hummock of sand, gravel, and stones. I was already 
half-way across, though the coral gravel was so rough that, 
with my torn feet, I could scarcely endure the pain of walking 
on it. However, I ascended the islet to see what the rest 
of my path was like, when lo ! directly beneath, the waves 
broke in foam around its base; and between it and 
the next island, the coveted land of refuge, was another 
deep-sea passage, wider than the former, its sides fringed 
with lines of breakers. A rock I saw in the centre, or 
rather nearer the Matunga side, would form no resting-place, 
did I attempt to swim, for it was just below water, and the 
sea broke violently on it. 

I now found that Matunga was isolated from the main 


reef. I was therefore a prisoner, completely at their mercy. 
Angry and grieved, I sat on the mound, which, the excite- 
ment over, I dreaded the pain of walking on. Looking 
over it, I observed for the first time that it was hollowed out 
like a cone, and intersected with paths of large flat stones, 
some lines of which crossed over the summit and descended 
to the water's edge. The place had, at one time, been used for 
some peculiar ceremonies, but of what nature I could never 
afterwards learn. I now both heard and saw the natives 
crossing the reef in great numbers; and, as it would never do 
to betaken back a kind of prisoner, I hastened down one of 
the causeways, and reached the first islet just as they were 
emerging from it. They uttered shouts of joy on beholding 
me, and ran forward to embrace me. As I did not wish 
them to think I had been making an unsuccessful effort to 
escape, I put as good a face on the matter as my distress 
would allow. 

I was too much dispirited by this failure, and the pain of 
my feet, to attempt anything further that day. So I lay in 
the house the remainder of the evening, perhaps more savage 
in temper than the poor islanders. A great council was 
held, and much discussion took place, evidently relative to 
my return ; but, as nothing resulted from it, I presumed 
they were determined to detain ma The following morning, 
by daylight, I slipped to the beach to try and remove a canoe 
to the water ; but it had been drawn up higher than usual, 
and I found it impossible to move it. After breakfast 
I again appealed without success for assistance to leav<3. 
Driven to desperation, I started off for the reef, determined 
to attempt the passage, although I was but an indifferent 
swimmer, and thought it probable that there would be a great 
current flowing out, which is usually the case. However, 
although my hopes of reaching the other side were slight, 
I resolved to risk it. 


I lived near the southern end of the island, and it did not 
take me long to reach the reef, followed at a respectful dis- 
tance by some of the people ; but when I entered the water 
and made towards the passage, they raised a yell that soon 
brought the whole island after me. The women cried and 
screamed, the children followed their example, and the men 
ran before me to stop my advance, whilst some even seized 
hold of me. These I struck at furiously in my excitement, 
and it was some time before I could understand that a canoe 
was at my service. Satisfied with this, I became calm and 
good-tempered again, and the natives were now as anxious to 
make ready for my departure as they before had been to de- 
tain me. A canoe was got into the water, and one or two 
branches cut from a palm-tree were soon converted into 
baskets, which were filled with fish, cocoa-nuts, &c., for the 
voyage. The natives were by this time all seated in a great 
semicircle facing the beach (for they seldom stand when it 
can be avoided), and I had to pass round them, that they 
might all salute me before my departure. Long after we had 
left their hospitable shores, their farewells were heard, 
" Ahana coe ! Ahana, Maitake I A hoke mai !" repeated in 
mournful tones ("Go, go," or "Farewell, Maitake! but 
come back to us !"). At Monitu's dictation I uttered the 
response, " Ana ho co& I Ana ho !" (" Remain/ 4 or " fare- 
well !") 

Besides Monitu and the boys, we had a stout young man 
with us who materially assisted in our progress. The old 
invalid was left behind, and, without further incident worth 
mentioning, I arrived at Hangary that evening. Painful as 
my feet were with my flight at Matunga, I was too glad to 
land on any part of the island I looked on in a measure as 
home, to object to walking the rest of the way. 

After the boys, therefore, had collected some cocoa-nuts, 
we started, and had not proceeded far along the main island 


when we met several of the people, who, on seeing us, raised 
a shout, and, waving their spears, performed the "haL" 
One of them, stepping forward, delivered a long complimen- 
tary speech. This must be done before they salute you, no 
matter how glad they may be to see yon. No undignified 
haste of greeting can be sanctioned in Te Pitaka. My name 
was now shouted at the top of their voices, until it was an* 
swered further along the island, and so carried throughout 
the length and breadth of it. I was astonished at meeting 
no more people, and equally so at getting a glimpse of a few 
running in haste before me, as if in fear of my approach ; 
but, on my arrival at home, I found they were all congre- 
gating there. There was a great assemblage already, and 
more were arriving. They seated themselves quietly in a 
row as they came, apparently without noticing me, or, if they 
did, it was only by a glance and a little wave of the elevated 
hand. I would have advanced to shake hands with my 
honoured parents ; but they retreated from me, and, pointing 
to a mat, said, "Na hoke ratha" (" Sit down there "), 
which they hastily repeated until I had taken my place. In- 
deed, had I been acquainted with the etiquette of Te Pitaka 
at the time, they should not have been compelled to speak 
to me at all, as they were not accustomed to do so 
on such grave occasions. A pehu was again performed, 
which ended in the usual crying, scratching, and cutting. 
Speeches were delivered in the gravest manner by my 
father and mother, who approached, stooped, and kissed 
me. I had then to pass along the double line of persons 
seated, to be kissed by them all in grave silence, whilst at 
the same time they shook their heads and waved their hands. 
If I had just risen from the dead, our meeting could not 
have been more melancholy. 

After the ceremonies were got through, however, they be- 
came lively as usual, and I amused them with some account 


of my voyage; but the few additional words in the language 
I had acquired seemed to give them most delight. On 
retiring to my house, I was surprised to find it shut up, and 
surrounded by a circle of small palm branches, nearly a foot 
distant from it, while others were placed about the roof, 
from which, on opening it, I found also several suspended 
in the interior. I asked for an explanation of this, and was 
given to understand that as the house was " huie a tua," or 
consecrated to my use, no one could invade its holy pre- 
cincts till I had entered it myself, when the prohibition 
was removed. 

Anxious about the remainder of my comrades, I proceeded 
shortly afterwards to our house, where the news of my arrival 
bad reached by the vocal telegraph almost as soon as I had 
set foot on the island. I found R., Franke, and Joe at 
their accustomed post ; but there was no one near the boat, 
which made me suppose that nothing further had been done 
to it. In this I was mistaken, as I learned that, on the soli- 
citation of the rest of the hands, the captain had consented 
to resume work,, on condition that the doctor should not sail 
with them, which was acceded to. No doubt he had hoped 
to get his brother with him ; but this was objected to, as 
the crew, still dreading that he might abandon us, stipulated 
that I should go, as had been previously proposed. Of 
course I was delighted with the arrangement, but it did not 
suit the captain, who disliked me even more than he disliked 
the doctor ; and, after some days, he revoked the decision, 
saying, as before, that B., being more of a sailor, would 
be better suited for the voyage. Having agreed to this 
previously, I had no reason to contend now, nor did I much 
care which of us went, as I was anxious to learn something 
more about the capacities of the island for a pearl fishery ; 
and, hoping they would be able to bring us relief in about 
a month, I might as well spend my time here as go to the 


Hervey Islands and back again, especially when my re* 
maining might be a source of considerable profit in making 
search for the pearl beds during their absence. 

In a few days more our little craft was completed in 
every point, except that she was not caulked and provisioned 
for the voyage ; but, as we had no pitch, the former seemed 
difficult. The latter, too, was douBtful, for having no 
means of purchasing necessaries, we were forced to depend 
on the good- will of the natives. However, the crew did not 
require any advance-money on the voyage. 

We had fortunately saved a little barrel of tar from the 
wreck, and to this we added some slaked lime, made from 
coral boulders sufficiently burned in the fire. We had also 
old ropes enough for oakum, which some of us were now con- 
stantly employed picking. At last the caulking was com- 
pleted, the masts were adjusted, and the sails bent ; a jib, 
fore, and main-sail, with the requisite rigging, were provided ; 
and the rudder was worked with a long tiller. Our boat was 
only half-decked forward, with a small deck aft, and one 
plank round an open space in the centre. Bags of gravel 
ballast were prepared, and our little ark — our hope of de- 
liverance — was ready for launching on the waves, by which 
we earnestly prayed she might be carried in safety to a 
friendly shore. About this, in the tropics, where favourable 
trade winds generally blow, few of us had any apprehensions. 
The captain, the mate, the doctor, and Joe were selected 
as a crew. I had spoken to the Matungans about a supply of 
provisions for the boat, which they had promised to provide 
if the people of Sararak refused. This I told my friends. 
My information about the two passages, the position of 
which I could point out from Mangerongaro, gave them great 
confidence and pleasure. Not to rely entirely on the natives, 
our people had used the mode of fishing on the reef by torch- 
light common to the rest of Polynesia, but not practised by 


these people, and had killed a number of the puses, or 
white-speckled eel, which we had skinned, boiled in salt 
water, and dried in the sun, to the evident horror of the 
natives. Indeed, so greatly were they disgusted with our 
handling them, that one or two of the crew who had 
been seen doing so, and were suspected of having eaten 
them, were not allowed to enter their houses for some time 

All hands were now to apply to their respective families 
for a supply of cocoa-nuts. This was readily promised by all, 
except one or two miserly old wretches ; but the deficiency 
was made up by Opaka, the head chief, who was as generous 
as he was brave and intelligent. Then came the grand 
movement, being no less than the removal bodily of the boat 
from the sea-shore to the lagoon. The interest of the natives 
in the progress of the little vessel had been increasing almost 
equally witH our own. They had expressed the strongest 
doubts about her floating without an "eava," or outrigger, and 
now they were anxious to see the experiment tried. They 
had told us when the time came to "ara hokfe" (make a 
great call on the people), and they would all come. Accord- 
ingly, spars were fastened across her, so that several shoulders 
could be applied to them ; and, when all was ready, one fine 
morning the call was made, and the whole population was 
soon congregated. It was a great event, being the first sail 
vessel that was ever launched on their shores. Every part of 
her, where a native could place a broad shoulder or stout 
arm, was pressed, and she was raised aloft and borne along 
amidst the acclamations, shouts, and yells of the wild mul- 

At first our progress was most successful, but towards the 
centre of the island the trees were so close that we found 
the spars, rigged across, too wide to pass through them, and 
we had to make retrograde movements more than once before 




arriving at the opposite shore. We were much alarmed at 
this, for the natives, whose excitement carried them on with 
the work vigorously at first, began to flag, and should they 
leave us here, we were lost. However, they renewed their 
exertions, and a wider though more circuitous path being 
found, the little vessel was lowered, amidst the wildest ex- 
citement, into her proper element in one of the bays of the 
reef, where she floated still and upright, to the astonishment 
and delight of the natives. When they found her crank, how- 
ever, without the ballast, they pronounced her " a kino " 
("no good") ; but that being adjusted, they were quite 
satisfied, and when she sailed out on the quiet waters at a 
brisk rate, pleasure and wonder seemed to unite in making 
them for once mute. 

The following day donations of old and young cocoa- 
nuts began to be brought down to the boat, whilst water was 
scooped out of one of the shallow pools to fill k five-gallon 
keg, a tin turpentine can, and an open bucket, the only 
utensils we had for holding it; and this, together with that 
from the cocoa-nuts, was to form a six to eight days' supply 
(about the time calculated for the voyagers to make one 
of the Hervey Islands). Aitutake was the one proposed, 
where so many whale-ships call. 

After we had been upwards of six weeks on the island, 
the morning of the eventful day at last broke fair and 
beautiful, with a brisk easterly breeze. Everything seemed 
propitious as we hastened to the rendezvous. The four men 
about to leave looked grave, and it struck me, for the first 
time, what danger they might be incurring in so small a 
craft, which looked much less, now that it was in the water and 
loaded, than it had done when in progress of building. The 
old boat (her under works) I knew was strong ; I had been 
in her in some bad weather myself round the islands, and 
she sailed well before she had been built on. How sbe might 


act now, or how the new part might stand the sea, had yet to 
be tried. 

At length the moment of departure came. Our little party 
gathered round our four comrades in the boat, and bade 
them farewell. As I shook hands with each, I felt the 
possibility of our never meeting again, being all nearly alike 
in positions of danger. Whatever cause of anger I had 
against any of them, I from that moment banished it from 
my mind, and with an earnest prayer for their safety said the 
word farewell. The grappling iron was raised, the sails 
shaken to the wind, and the boat stood out into the lagoon at 
a brisk rate, amidst the cheers of the crew and the shouts of 
the natives. It had been stated by the captain that he in- 
tended calling at Tokferau, the island at the north-east side 
of the wider and farther passage, that he might observe its 
capabilities before venturing through it, as I had only seen it 
from some distance, and on its worst side. The natives had 
received information of this somehow after they were started, 
and got into a state of wild excitement, declaring that 
the Tokferau people would kill them and seize the boat, and 
it was determined that a considerable force should start im- 
mediately after them, to render assistance, or guard them if 
in danger. 

A select body of thirty warriors being chosen, O Pai Tan- 
gata's war canoe was launched. This was about half an hour's 
work, by which time the boat was nearly out of sight. 
They begged me to accompany them, which, of course, I was 
only too glad to do. Two boys were seated in the bottom of 
the canoe with wooden bowls to bale out, this occupation re- 
quiring constant attention; for their clumsy vessels, con- 
structed of many pieces, all leak more or less. We started 
at a rate that promised ere long to bring us up with the boat, 
but this violent effort soon flagged, and we afterwards moved 
more leisurely, till, stimulating themselves by shouts, the 



rowers resumed their former speed, but again eased off, so 
that the entire voyage of some eight miles must have taken 
us nearly two hours. 

Approaching Tokerau, the island I would have fled to 
from Matunga, we saw our little craft, her sails furled, 
quietly riding at anchor in a lovely bay formed by a bend 
in the island and a break in the reef. There was depth 
enough of water there for a vessel of considerable burthen 
to approach the gravelly beach, and be moored to one 
of the low cocoa-nut trees, whose branches bend over till 
they dip their long leaves in the tide, which is so calm and 
transparent, that the numerous coloured fish can be dis- 
tinctly seen sporting over the white sandy bottom. 

Our appearance seemed to cause a sensation amongst the 
natives, who had been assembled on the beach; but 
they retired till assured of our pacific intentions. 

We landed, and found a house near the water's edge 
appropriated to the boat's crew, where I was surprised 
to find a quantity of things put ashore. On reaching the 
house I was sorry to discover that the boat had met 
with an accident, the captain having run against a 
tuka or coral shoal. This, however, had done her little 
injury, only making a very small hole in her bows, but 
enough to prevent her going to sea in that state. As a pre- 
caution against such accidents, some materials for repairs 
had been placed in the boat on starting ; and a piece of sheet 
lead and tarred parcelling, after she had been hauled up on 
the beach, made her sufficiently tight to proceed on her 
voyage. To my annoyance, however, the mate and Joe 
growled discontentedly, and seemed disinclined to proceed 
further; the latter saying he knew that " the captain had, 
for some ends of his own, done it on purpose/' This, at the 
time, I thought absurd ; yet it flashed across my mind, as 
I had before remarked, that his brother and he separated 


with the same composure they had evinced any day previously 
when going to their meals. As I could not reassure the 
fellow, I volunteered to go in his stead if T should be accepted. 

The people of Tokfcrau seemed very intimate with my 
name, having heard of my visit to Matunga, to which place 
they are subject. The three houses near the beach were 
crowded with the Sararak people ; and I was glad to accept 
an invitation to the dwelling of an old chief, where I was com- 
fortably lodged, and had a good supper of fish. In the morn- 
ing, when I was about to depart for the boat, the old governor, 
whom I had entertained a little with my conversation the pre- 
vious evening, caught hold of me, and begged me to stay, 
offering me his daughter, a fine buxom young woman of about 
twenty, whom he called Ruberau Shfe. This was the more 
flattering as it was the first proposal of the kind made to any of 
the whites. The young woman herself, "strange to say, seemed 
quite agreeable ; the ladies of this group having heretofore in- 
variably repulsed any advances from admiring foreigners, 
perhaps commanded to do so by their lords and masters, 
who are very particular about their women, differing in 
this respect from most of the Polynesians. Nor is this 
virtue confined to the men ; for the women of the Penrhyns 
are, up till the time of their marriage, models of purity. 
After that event, however, they sometimes form little private 
attachments, and have affaires du coeur similar to those in 
more civilized communities. 

Though it was a difficult matter to refuse such an offer, 
having no desire to remain at Tokerau, and fearing that 
such an alliance would bind me in the eyes of the people to 
their island, I urged, in a becomingly delicate manner, the 
necessity of my return to Mangerongaro, and begged to 
decline the intended honour. To my astonishment, the lady, 
with some of her companions, burst into a loud laugh at 
the sentimental look I cast on her. The old chief, however, 


appeared to have so set his heart on the match, that, to 
escape his importunities, I ran down to the beach. 

Here every thing was ready for the voyage. Joe had 
changed his mind, and had decided on proceeding with the 
boat. So, after another farewell, they started, with a 
brisk favouring breeze that promised in the first day to 
carry them well on their way. To Aitutake was about six 
hundred miles, and with the present wind, should it last, 
they might arrive there in four or five days. I, together 
with the natives, followed their course along the shore till 
they passed out from the smooth waters, through the passage, 
to the wide Pacific Ocean, whose waves in the strong breeze 
were tipped with white crests. When the little vessel was 
fairly out to sea, and the natives had all returned to their 
huts, I sat on a rock watching its progress, and was sur- 
prised to see it change its course — instead of proceeding 
along the Omuka coast to the southward, standing right up in 
the wind's eye to the eastward, and labouring in a heavy sea. 
I was lost in speculations as to what could be the meaning 
of such a proceeding, when I was summoned to the canoe 
about to leave. Here I found that the Tokfcrauans had 
brought down a present of cocoa-nuts to each of our party, 
apparently more as a peace-offering than a token of love ; for, 
as I afterwards learned, the people of Sararak are as much 
dreaded as those of Tepuka. 

The men now took their time, and propelled the great 
canoe leisurely along the northerly shore instead of returning 
home. As I looked over the side, I saw in several places 
along the shoals quantities of onches, or pearl oysters, and 
amongst the coral branches of every form an infinite variety 
of fish of the most brilliant hues — scarlet, bright yellow, 
crimson, black, the freshest emerald green, and clear blue, 
the forms as peculiar and new to me as their colours. I have 
no doubt that these waters would produce many specimens 


of the finny tribe unknown to the naturalists of the civilized 
world. In looking down into the water to watch the gradual 
ascent of a shoal over which we passed, the impression I had 
was that of ascending a hill which, near the surface, ab- 
ruptly terminated, the opposite side descending to an invisible 
depth, and giving to the observer a sudden shock, as if he had 
just passed over a tremendous precipice. 

Coasting thus pleasantly along, we arrived off the flat 
sandy shore of Ruahara, where our appearance seemed to 
spread consternation amongst the people, whose cries we 
heard from one end 'of the island to the other. When we 
landed, the male population appeared to have fled or with- 
drawn to a distance, and we were met on the beach by a few 
women only, who, by their wobegone expressions, seemed 
to presage calamity. However, after some conversation 
their countenances brightened ; and, appearing to be recon- 
ciled to the visit, they signalled to the men, who soon re- 
turned and mingled with our party. In a few moments they 
began to ascend the cocoa-nut trees in all directions, till a 
sufficiency of nuts was collected, when to each of us was awarded 
" a tai rangahura" (or " one ten.") Opaka took me with 
him to a house some distance off, where I had a bowl of 
beautiful little fish, like our gold ones, presented to me. 
Indeed, throughout the voyage he had been particularly 
attentive; and I learned that, now the doctor was gone, 
he had adopted me in his stead. I also found on our 
journey how much this man was respected or feared abroad 
as well as at home, and an extra share of cocoa-nuts was 
appropriated for his use. 

It was late in the afternoon when, with our load of cocoa- 
nuts on board, we turned our course homewards. As we 
coasted along I begged them to call at Matunga, anxious 
to see the people again who had shown me so much 
hospitality. After some discussion, for they evidently con- 


ndered this place mare dangerous ground than those 
previously visited, they started for it. Here we heard con- 
siderable shouting also; hut instead of women, as at Bua- 
hara, we found the beach covered with armed men, 
.apparently determined to dispute our approach. When they 
saw me, however, and learned that no hostility was intended, 
they willingly permitted our landing; but I was the only 
one allowed to leave the boat. Several of the natives 
went to gather me some cocoa-nuts, but they had not 
been long thus occupied when a cry of "Te oaka, te . 
arorangfe!" (" Jhe white man's boat !") resounded through the 
island; and many ran from the beach to inform me that 
the boat was returning. Unable to credit this, I rushed 
to the water's edge, my companions, who were jumping 
into their canoe, calling loudly on me to come. I then beheld 
the schooner, which had indeed entered the passage, heading 
back towards Mangerongaro. We were about equal distances 
from that place ; but, notwithstanding that our people pulled 
lustily — stimulated, perhaps, by their proximity to Omuka, 
their mortal enemy — the schooner arrived some time before us, 
I at once hastened to where the doctor gloomily- sat 
against a palm-tree. In answer to my inquiries, he briefly 
told me that, after leaving the lagoon, instead of proceeding 
on their voyage, the captain insisted on standing up into the 
wind, carrying all sail, to try the boat, as he said. He thus 
kept beating and plunging into a head sea, taking water in 
over the bows, and straining the poor craft all day, till her 
new upper works began to leak a little ; and between this 
and what they took in over the deck, the primitive pump 
they had made would not keep her free — of course not — 
and he appealed to the rest to return. Disgusted with the 
captain's conduct, convinced of his perfidy, and seeing that he 
had not the slightest intention of proceeding on the voyage when 
he left, they thought it better to come back. I asked him 


if any other arrangement had been determined on. He said 
no ; and, save myself, he knew of no one that could be relied on 
to form part of another crew. At present he thought it would 
be better to give up the attempt till the boat was re-caulked, 
though he believed she could perform the voyage without it. 

Thus two days, that would have carried them half-way with 
a fair wind, were unfortunately lost. 

I told the doctor I was ready to go in her for one ; and, 
begging him not to take the things out till I should return, 
I hastened to see if I could form a crew. With the excep- 
tion, however, of Kanaka Bob (who still seemed to have a 
lingering dread of being eaten by these people), I could not 
get another hand ; and for the present we were compelled to 
give it up. As it was generally believed that it was the 
captain's desire now to make off with the boat, in company 
with his brother and one or two others he might select, we 
provided against this by seizing the instruments, spars, sails, 
and rigging, which were all carried to Opaka's house, where 
the doctor and Frankfe now resided, and where they had my 
pistol and some other arms to protect them, the frame-house 
having been destroyed before their departure. The natives 
took back the cocoa-nuts they had bestowed on us, and we 
seemed as far from escape as ever. 

The following day, at a meeting of some of our people, it 
was resolved that no further trust should be placed in the 
captain; and it was understood that the doctor, the mate, 
and myself, with some others, should form the next expedi- 
tion. As the boat, however, was in a bad condition — as this 
was the season of hurricanes, which, though of rare occur- 
rence, occasionally happen here, — and as the trade-winds 
were uncertain, it was determined to put off our departure 
till after March, when the fine weather of the tropics would 
be again established. 

This was the signal for the breaking up of our party. 

202 the doctor's ukase. 

Heretofore the work on the boat and the hopes it inspired 
had bound us to Sararak ; but now our people began to yield 
to the invitations they had from other islands. In a few days 
Painuk left in a canoe on a friendly visit with a party from. 
Omuka. Juan and Harry, constant companions, slipped off 
one bright morning across the reef to Mutagohiche. The 
people of our island did not like this desertion ; and when 
the mate and old Bill attempted to leave, they were pursued 
and brought back. The two Huahinian Kanakas, who ate a 
tremendous quantity, had become a burden to their friends, 
and were allowed to pass over to the enemy undisturbed. 

The captain now commenced work on a little flat-bottomed 
boat, which he soon completed. He became very popular in 
his neighbourhood, and received the title of " iriki " or chief 
of the district of Mangerongaro ; but, as there was now no 
occasion for appearing on friendly terms with him, I no 
longer spoke to him. 

Opaka had now retired to another of his houses, having 
given up the one the doctor and Franke were in to their use. 
Here they were daily favoured by the visits of the beautiful 
though coquettish Tokarora, on whom, it was reported, the 
doctor smiled benignantly. Suddenly, to the surprise of 
those who had been acquainted with his amorous character in 
the other islands, he issued a ukase to the effect that who- 
ever harboured a regard for any of the nut-brown maids of 
Te Pitaka would fall under his displeasure and forfeit his 

I was, like the rest, astonished at the doctor's conduct, be- 
lieving that he entertained tender feelings towards the fair 
Tokarora, then in the bloom of youthful womanhood. I 
learned, however, afterwards that he had made proposals 
(how honourable I don't know) to the young lady, by whom 
they were scornfully rejected, and that this was the cause 
of his becoming suddenly a misogynist. The doctor was 


not aware of the strict laws that existed in Te Ktaka 
against the intermarriage of relations, or he would not have 
felt so indignant at this refusal. 

Things passed on very quietly now. I spent much of my 
time in the water, and would have given anything for a good 
book. One day, as I was returning from the beach, a piece 
of paper floated by. I seized it, and, to my astonishment, 
found it was a leaf of the immortal " Bard of Avon." Another 
and another flew past, and loud laughter diverting my 
attention to where some imps were amusing themselves, I 
darted forward, and, to my disgust, beheld the sacrilegious 
young heathens tearing out leaf after leaf from a volume of 
Shakspeare, which they also occasionally pitched into the air, 
screaming with delight as the wind carried the leaves aloft. 
With a yell about as savage as that of their sires I rushed at 
them, when they fled in all directions, leaving the spoil 
behind. I found the remnants of one or two private account- 
books that had belonged to myself scattered about in the 
same manner, and a book on common law in a precarious 
state. I seized on these treasures, and conveyed them home 
in triumph. Afterwards I also found a hymn-book and a 
copy of Moore's works almost entire. These had been 
brought from the wreck, and stowed away by the natives, 
who, not being able to " read, mark, or inwardly digest them," 
had handed them over to the tender mercies of the juveniles. 

On my return home I met two of the boys, who had come 
in search of me, and had a great deal more to tell me than I 
could comprehend. I understood, however, that some one 
was dead in Omuka or Matunga. On my arrival at my hut 
I found strangers. One was an old woman whom I did not 
recollect, and the other Monitu's daughter, a young widow, 
who requested me to come to Omuka to eat fish, " eka," as 
she called it. As I had for some time eaten cocoa-nuts only, 
I accepted the invitation. 


But what was to be done with my books, my treasures ? 
If any circumstance should occur to prevent my leaving 
these islands, they would be more valuable to me than a 
diamond mine. An idea struck me,. and I tried its effect. 
Showing the books in as mysterious a manner as I could 
command, I pronounced in a solemn voice the dreaded 
words, " Huie atua I" The women jumped back with an 
exclamation, and I took the precious volumes into my cabin, 
and placed them in the roof, where from that day they were 
never displaced by other hands than my own. I found the 
words had the desired effect, and I did not forget them. 

The following morning, everything being prepared, I 
set off, accompanied by my father. As we had no canoe we 
were obliged to perform the journey to Hangary on foot, 
where the women insisted on waiting till the tide fell, 
as .they disliked wetting their tiches, the salt water 
being injurious to them. O Pai Tangata now gathered 
another basket of young cocoa-nuts, and the two women 
were loaded like camels with a basket on each hip, support- 
ing them in their place by their arms passed over them 
behind. One of them carried a third basket on her shoulder, 
and held it in its place by her teeth. 

Each of the women wore a parieu and a pare, or face- 
shade, a little mat made from palm-leaves, which rests on the 
forehead, projecting slightly, the two ends being tied behind. 
It forms an excellent shade for the face, their thick masses 
of hair alone protecting the head. 

I found the reef at low water rarely deeper than the knee, 
and for the most part covered with a white sand, that made 
it agreeable walking, but in some places full of little prickly 
shells that stuck in the feet, and in others covered with live 
coral that, to me, was almost impassable, though the natives 
did not seem to notice it. In such places I trod on biche 
de mer, or sea-slug, with which these reefs abound — a valuable 


article of commerce in China — but the kind found in such 
shoal water is generally of an inferior quality, there being 
some seven or eight different varieties. The common black 
one is something like the land-slug or snail at home, 
but from three to twelve inches long. Many of them are of 
a whitish-brown or dirty-red colour, and all of different 
value in the Chinese market ; to prepare them for which, 
after being gathered, they are partially cut open, thrown 
into a vat, their entrails taken out, well boiled, and then 
thoroughly dried in a heated house, with various racks or 
shelves for the purpose. The operation requires the greatest 
care, for if any damp remain in a single one it might spoil a 
cargo. Large fortunes have been realized in this trade, the 
slugs being worth about 80$ a picul in China ; while their 
collection with native labour, and the expense of the voyage, 
could not exceed one-half, and might be done for less than 
a fourth of that amount, when a good fishing-ground has 
been discovered. 

When we had crossed about half over the reef we came to 
a dry sandbank, where we sat down and regaled ourselves 
with delicious draughts of cocoa-nut water, consuming 
enough to empty one of the baskets. On leaving, the 
morning had been as bright and lovely as it generally is 
in the tropics ; but now the sky had become suddenly over- 
cast, the blue waters of the lake had taken a darker shade, 
and splashed angrily against the edge of the reef in miniature 
breakers, threatening one of those sudden and violent squalls 
common to these regions at this time of the year. The heavy 
black cloud that hurried up from the horizon, spreading its 
dark mantle rapidly over the whole visible expanse, told 
us of the deluge of water we might expect. The poor 
women, regardless of themselves, only expressed their soli- 
citude about me; and, taking off their parieus, fastened 
them round my waist and shoulders, thus affording me 

206 A STORM. 

shelter, but leaving themselves naked to " the pelting 
of the pitiless storm" which had now commenced in 
earnest. The younger woman appeared very much fatigued, 
and when I took her heaviest basket seemed most grateful, 
although she at first objected to my carrying it. 

1 may be considered very selfish in appropriating to my- 
self the only covering of the poor women, but I knew their 
tanned hides would receive no injury from exposure, whereas 
I wished to keep my clothes, in which I must remain all 
night, as dry as possible. 

The storm continued with unabated fury till we reached 
the opposite shore. The people of Mutagohiche were all 
withdrawn to their huts, and, as I had no interest in these 
people, I urged our progress onward, and keeping along the 
beach, passed their village unnoticed. When the gale abated, 
the weather cleared up as suddenly as the storm had burst 
on us, and the sun shone again as if no cloud had ever 
obscured its brightness. 



Our Reception in the Omuka Territory — Carious Manner of Dis- 
posing of the Dead — Ceremonies and Superstitions relating to 
the Departed — Costume worn for Mourning — Ororo — Visit to 
" Relations " — Coquetry — Games of the Polynesians — A Wife 
*et apart for me — Strange Conduct of the Natives — Encounter 
with some of them — Visit to " Grandpapa" — Manner of catching 
Plying Fish — The Mararo — Sight of a Vessel in the Distance 
— Disappointment — Pearl Fishing — Pearl Islands — Operations 
of the Divers — Value of the Oyster Shells — A Misadven- 
ture of the Captain's — Arrangements for our Departure— Pro- 
posed Visit to Tepuka — An Attempt to Escape temporarily 
baffled — Opaka's Generosity — Refusal of my Guide to proceed 
— Renewed Attempts to detain me — Difficult Journey — Ma- 
hauta Nud — Hostility of a Priest — Tepuka Pashues — The Great 
Mara — Ancient Tombs — A Great Curiosity. 

OUR appearance in the Omuka territory was hailed with 
the usual shouts, and by the time I had arrived at my 
destination, its northern point, an immense crowd followed 
in my wake. With a retinue that might have honoured the 
visit of an eastern prince, I made my appearance before the 
modest little Pikoche, who, overwhelmed with confusion and 
delight at finding herself in so public a position, could with 
difficulty make the accustomed complimentary speech, which 
she stammered through with the assistance of some old 
ladies, who kindly prompted her, and then conducted me to 
where her husband was. 

As I approached the spot, I observed a most disagreeable 
odour, that became more offensive when I arrived at the 
house. To my surprise, I found him ensconced in a small 


house, newly erected, and entirely closed up, except an aper- 
ture about two feet square, merely sufficient to admit the pas- 
sage of his food, some of which I saw lying at this entrance. 

When he had made a speech, I was taken to the back 
of the house, where his wife and I entered. After a little 
conversation, he told me to go and see Monitu, who was 
waiting for me. In a similar house, at a little distance, I found 
him, in the midst of a smell almost intolerable. I en- 
' tered at the back as before, and, in doing so, knocked my 
head against something, which, on looking up, I perceived to 
be a long bundle of matting bound up with sinnet. A hor- 
rible idea crossed my mind, the thing looked so like a 
mummy, and I asked what it was. " Teo Matua Oahenfe !" 
said Monitu, in a melancholy voice. 

" Good heavens !" exclaimed I, as I bolted from the house, 
not waiting even for the salutation that my venerable relative 
was about to bestow on me. % 

It was, indeed, my old invalid aunt tied up in the bundle, 
and suspended from the roof— literally hung up to dry. 
This was the first instance I had seen of a disgust* 
ing custom which I subsequently became only too familiar 

The occasion of a death produces more ceremonies than 
any other event. When the spirit has finally left the body, 
the relatives give themselves up to unrestrained grief, some- 
times knocking their heads against a block of wood or stone, 
or throwing themselves violently on the earth. The husband 
or wife of the deceased, or the nearest relative, after the 
corpse has been laid out, lies down beside it, and both 
are covered up with a mat for several hours, whilst the 
friends and neighbours perform a pehu, cutting themselves as 
usual. The body is then anointed with cocoa-nut oil, and a 
priest, approaching with a piece of young palm branch, formed 
to represent the human body, draws it over the skin from the 


head to the feet, as if extracting something from the body. 
As he performs the operation, he shakes out the imaginary 
contents on the ground, telling it to go, " Ahana !" When 
the spirit has thus been all " gathered to its fathers/' the 
priest repeats some words, when it betakes itself to the 
groves, where it may often be seen at night, particularly 
about the maras. Here it appears even in the daytime, 
and is considered dangerous, doing all kinds of mischief, even 
biting its victims if it can catch them. 

The different articles commonly used by the deceased be- 
fore death are then brought to the corpse, that it may have 
the same comforts in the world to come as in this. The 
" kia," or sleeping mat, is lifted by two women, who, with 
opposite corners in their right hands, hold the others aloft, 
while they repeat a little rhyme, telling the departed to go in 
peace with the good mat. They then perform a dance, similar 
to the Shukai, concluding by very unceremoniously throwing 
the mat towards the corpse, repeating " Ahana I" ("Go I") 
which is responded to by others of the crowd, using the same 
word as a kind of " Amen." An " epo," or drinking-cup, 
" txkh" or spoon, " matau," or fish-hook, and it may be one or 
two other articles, are thrown into the mat before the body is 
sewn up in it by means of a wooden Bkewer and sinnet. 
The body is then hung up in the house of the deceased, 
which, with the exception of one little aperture, is entirely 
closed up. Here the chief mourner shuts himself up with 
his deceased relative for three or four months, till corruption 
is far advanced, when the body is generally buried. If the 
deceased has been a great warrior and chief, he is buried in 
the mara; if he has left behind no very near relative or 
attached friend, he is interred at once. Several of the rela- 
tions generally go into mourning — that is, shut themselves up 
in separate houses — for a longer or shorter period, as their 
grief dictates. 


An amusing feature of their mourning is the costume 
worn when they are obliged to leave the house, which 
they seldom do till nightfall. They issue forth under an 
immense kind of basket made of palm leaves, and intended 
to represent their voluntary prison ; and as this great mass 
is seen moving along, with nothing but a pair of feet visible 
under it, it has a most absurd appearance, especially when 
two meet and stop to converse. In fact, they are not unlike 
a couple of animated haystacks. 

Although the spirit has been dismissed from the body, as 
long as the latter remains in a decomposing state the ghostly 
being hovers about his former abode, and dire would be his 
vengeance against the survivors if he did not receive his ac- 
customed supply of food, and that in lavish profusion. 
Ghosts, however, having generally indifferent appetites, two 
men or more are selected to dispose of what is left. This is 
a great honour, and is anxiously coveted by all the friends ; 
but it is generally known beforehand to whose lot the distinc- 
tion will fall. A most absurd scene generally occurs on such 
occasions. These gentlemen, like certain church dignitaries, 
mocJe3tly disclaim all desire for the honour they aspire to, and, 
as if to avoid it, seek some hiding-place, where, however, 
they can easily be found, though it takes considerable per- 
suasion, and even force, to drag them to their post, where 
they daily gorge themselves to an alarming extent. They 
are bound, however, to supply a certain quantity of cocoa- 
nuts themselves to the feast. The poor women, who have to 
perform all the cooking, dare not partake of it themselves, 
it being "huie atua." Whatever remains undisposed of 
must be thrown into the sea, as no one else can touch 
it. On such occasions a dance called the "capa," which 
will be described afterwards, is frequently performed. 
In the neighbourhood of the house of mourning there 
must be perfect quiet, and no cooking is permitted. Cocoa 


nuts are not dropped from the trees in the usual manner, but 
carried down or lowered with a rope. 

On account, then, of this " mate/' or death, in my family, 
I was summoned to Omuka, and the honour of eating the 
" manga huie atua," or spirit's food, was thrust upon me. I 
frequently partook of cooked orora, by itself, or mixed with 
neu oara, which was really an excellent mess. 

The second day after my arrival the people of Matunga 
came over to see me, and encamped along the water's edge, 
where they remained for some time, having thrown up little 
temporary huts very quickly. Ocura carried me off to show 
me her land, or mine, as she politely called it, and brought 
me to the house of her father, a very respectable-looking, 
middle-aged man. The elder daughter, Tepo (the Night), 
though not very good-looking, had a bright and intelligent 
countenance, and always a great deal to say. As her father 
was a widower, she took entire management of the house- 
hold, and no one thought of disputing her arrangements. 
Amongst her juvenile companions, too, she seemed to hold a 
despotic influence, for to her everything was referred, and her 
opinion was given in a peremptory tone, rarely questioned, 
except by a younger sister, whose insubordination was not 
unfrequently severely punished. 

In all my wanderings about Omuka, my sister or aunt Tepo 
— for she was both, I believe — was generally my companion. 
We became great friends. I liked her for her smartness and 
vivacity, and she, I imagine, was flattered by my notice oi 

The Matunga people were very anxious that I should form 
a matrimonial connexion, and stay with them. As I hoped 
to bid them " a fond adieu " before a month was out, I de- 
clined the honour. Tepo, however, one night, when the 
question had been discussed, whispered mysteriously to me to 
follow her ; and, starting off, she joined some one at a little 

p 2 


distance, apparently hiding behind a cocoa-nut tree. This 
proved to be the young beauty, Chera Puna, to whom I had 
acted the doctor on a former visit, and who now seemed per* 
fectly recovered, and more lovely than before. On my 
approach she darted off to another tree, and when I went 
towards her set off as before, but evidently with the wish 
that I should follow her. Amused at this little coquetry, but 
tired of its nonsense, I was about to return when Tepo seized 
me, and angrily ordered Chera Puna to advance, which she 
did slowly, sideways, with her head bent down. Her pretty 
innocent face was scarcely visible amid the masses of 
dark auburn curls that clustered round it ; and, as she paused 
occasionally, she lifted imploringly her large soft eyes, 
which even their long curved fringes could not hide. Al- 
though still a girl — a mere child, in fact, in expression 
and manner — her figure was as perfect as her face. 
When she came near me, I took her hand in mine, and 
she laughed sweetly when Tepo called her my wife, though 
she was evidently somewhat embarrassed too. 

On arriving at the house of her mother, one of the 
few good-looking elderly women of the place, I found a 
company of young people invited for the occasion. After my 
mat had been spread, and something to drink placed before me, 
the company, by the orders of Tepo, began to amuse me by 
throwing up, after the manner of the Chinese balls, a number 
of little cocoa-nuts that drop from the tree when about the 
size of walnuts. At this they are very expert, making it a 
game by counting up to a hundred. When one drops a ball, 
another takes it up, and so on till a certain number has 
been achieved. 

Another game common among the Polynesians is that 
of twisting on their fingers, by the aid of their mouths, a 
piece of cord into various forms, like what is called cat's- 
cradle by children at home. In these sports the oldest as 


well as the youngest often indulge. The children have also 
a simple dance. Four stand in opposite corners, and keep 
hopping to some words, repeated, rather than sung, at certain 
intervals by the dancers. Those at the opposite corners 
change places when mistakes of position occur. These errors 
lead to great vituperation and discussion, occupying more 
time than the dance. 

During these proceedings Chera Puna, sitting down be- 
side me, put the seeds of some hara nuts into my hand. These 
are procured by pounding the hard nut between stones with 
considerable labour. Two seeds, about the size of small peas, 
are thus extracted, which are considered quite a treat. This 
occupation is generally performed by young girls; and a 
present of a few is an especial favour. As I opened my hand 
to examine them the action was observed, and poor Chera 
Puna was again thrown into confusion by the scream of 
merriment occasioned at her expense. On the whole, how- 
ever, like young ladies generally, she seemed rather pleased 
in having a supposed admirer ; and when I called her my 
wife, her mother settled the matter by informing me that 
whenever she was old enough for marriage I could have 
her. This I knew, by the laws of Te Pitaka, could not 
be for two or three years yet ; an arrangement which, in the 
present state of things, suited me completely, though I 
had no idea of trifling with the young lady's affection. 

I had remained* here about a week, and was thinking of 
revisiting ^f atunga, when one evening the approach of an 
illustrious visitor was announced. It was Franks, or " Te 
Miche ta Longa Mane" ("the Son of the Long Man"), as from 
his residence with the doctor he was supposed to be. Franks 
at first anxiously encouraged this supposition, the doctor 
being regarded as chief of the white men; but finding that the 
roughness of his reputed father brought on him a good deal 
of odium, he, after the departure of the latter, laboured assi- 


duouBly to disabuse the minds of the natives of this idea. 
When he was conducted to my quarters, he told me he had 
stolen quietly off from Mangerongaro, but on arriving at Muta- 
gohiche, the natives had attempted to detain him ; and it was 
only the sight of my pistol, which he had borrowed from the 
doctor for the occasion, that had carried him through to 
Omuka, where he was anxious to join me, and visit 
Matunga, of which place I had spoken to him in high 
terms. It was therefore arranged that he should proceed 
with me on the following day, several canoes being at my 

About noon the next day three canoes were in the water, 
prepared to start, when Franke came down with me to the 
appointed spot with his bundle ; for he was the possessor of a 
priceless blanket and pillow. I jumped into one of the 
canoes, telling him to follow. The boat in which I was, how- 
ever, was immediately pushed off into deep water, and 
Franke was about to enter another, when he was again 
jostled aside, and the second boat also was shoved off. I 
saw they did not want him with them, but I was determined 
that he should come, and commanded the remaining canoe 
to take him in ; which, after an angry discussion with the 
others, they reluctantly did. Franke would have returned 
ashore, but this I would not allow, as. I thought it was their 
desire again to detain me in Matunga ; and I hoped, with 
his assistance, I might be able to launch a canoe in the 
event of their trying to prevent my departure. 

We now moved slowly along, and as we were passing the 
point of the bay where the pier was built, one of the chiefs 
suddenly jumped up, and, at his command, Franke's bundle 
was thrown ashore. Franke, of course, followed it, fearing 
they wished to rob him of it. Determined not to proceed with- 
out him, I also jumped overboard, and reached the landing. 
Highly indignant at the treatment my companion had re- 


ceived, I called to him that we should return with as little 
delay as possible to Sararak. 

A new danger now presented itself. The people in the 
canoes, who had been occupied in abusing each other for 
permitting my departure, observing our intention of leaving, 
called on those ashore to prevent us. These, with their 
spears, immediately surrounded us, menacing us with their 
weapons if we attempted to proceed. Having the stout 
stick, I advanced in front of Franke, when one of the islanders 
seized me ; but I shook him off, and, with a shout as wild as 
their own whoop, dashed forward on their ranks, knocking 
Shi Shi, one of the first, heels over head. The unexpected 
onset threw them into momentary disorder, leaving a free 
passage for a time. Flourishing therefore my stick, I made 
my way, followed by Frankfe, to where some hara weeds 
hid us from the view of our enemies. A violent quarrel 
fortunately ensued between the Omukans and my Matunga 
friends, in the midst of which we hurried from the scene. 
But our adventure had not yet terminated. 

We had nearly reached Mutagohiche boundary-line, 
where we knew we should be free from pursuit, and were 
already congratulating ourselves on our escape, when we 
found that the report of our adventure had already spread 
even through this thinly- inhabited part, and learned that 
the savages were still in pursuit of us. We therefore left the 
pathway for the sandy beach, where we were partially hidden 
by a kind of small bush, and had just started with renewed 
energy, when suddenly three natives, bursting through the 
bush, stood in our way with spears poised, prepared to dispute 
the passage. The same manoeuvre availed me here as on 
the former occasion. With a flourish of my stick I dashed 
forward, making them rush off more quickly than they had 
appeared, and we crossed the boundary-line without further 
interruption. Here, after our two-mile race under a burn- 

216 OLD MOAN A. 

ing vertical son, we were glad to rest and regale ourselves with 
some cool " vai neu," or cocoa-nut water, before proceeding 
on our journey, which we did the same evening, arriving in 
Sararak before nightfall, where our return was hailed with 
the usual demonstrations. 

A day or two after these events I learned that an important 
member of our family, whom I had not yet seen, had, 
during my absence, arrived from some other island. This was 
no less a personage than my venerable grandpapa ; and as it 
seemed he longed to clasp his celebrated grandchild in his 
aged arms, I was urged to visit him. This I at once re- 
solved to do. After some three miles' walk we arrived at a 
house which I had* formerly believed belonged to Opaka, 
but I now learned was the property of old Moana, his 
father. As we approached I observed the old man seated 
at the entrance, the hot sun shining on his silvery head. 
He was so absorbed in reflection that he did not per- 
ceive us. He held a white china plate in his hand, 
which had been a part of our cabin service, and was no 
doubt moralizing on the progress of art, illustrated by 
the manufacture of a utensil so superior to the primitive 
cocoa-nut shell from which he dined. He appeared de- 
lighted with the reflection of light on different objects as 
he turned it in his hand. When it flashed across the face 
of an old woman who was bringing an epo of water from the 
well, it caused her to drop the vessel with an exclamation of 
surprise and alarm. The old man laughed till the tears ran 
down his wrinkled cheeks, and lifting the plate to his lips, 
kissed it with affectionate delight. Often as I visited old 
Moana — for he was very kind to me — I never saw him on a 
fine day without his plate, its reflections in the sunbeams 
being a source of endless amusement and wonder to him. 

A few days after this I paid a visit to Opaka's house, or 
rather houses, in Haka Shusha, over each of which one of 

: i-uu,* jK-r-^uj*. 


his wives presided. I had been often asked here, hut the 
road was very rough, and hurt my feet so much that, on a 
former effort to reach it, I had been obliged to turn back. On 
this occasion Opaka took me over the reef where it was sandy, 
and, now that the tide was out, afforded an excellent path. 
During the three days I remained at his house, which was 
pleasantly situated on the highest point of the bank, facing 
the ocean, he seldom left me, and never tired of listening to 
my attempts at describing the wonders of my land. He 
seemed to comprehend the meaning of my broken Kanaka 
better than any one else, and gave me more assistance in 
acquiring a knowledge of his language than any of the others, 
taking pains in making me repeat the words over till I had 
them correctly, the pretty Tokarora being usually our com- 
panion. The other natives, too complaisant} were always 
satisfied with whatever I said or did. 

On the third day we sat chatting in the usual quiet 
way, when a shout at a distance set the whole house- 
hold in commotion. As Opaka started excitedly to his 
feet, I asked him, in his own language, what was the 
matter. "Eia ha? w said I. "No, te mararo/' he re- 
plied; and, without waiting to give me further explana- 
tion, he seized a "toto," or bag-net, from the roof, and 
darted along the beach, calling on the rest to follow. Fully as 
excited as himself, and shouting at the top of their voices, 
" Mararo 1 mararo \" each seized a mat-basket of some kind 
and rushed wildly off in the same direction. I followed 
them as quickly as the rough ocean shingle, with its burning 
stones, would permit. With their long hair streaming, and 
their eyes gleaming with excitement, I saw them diving 
into the hollow curve of the breakers that raised their 
• white heads aloft, soon to appear again some distance off 
beyond the force of the waves. Men, women, and children 
alike fearlessly plunged beneath the foam, seemingly as much 


at home as on land. The multitudes in the sea, at first scat- 
tered over a considerable extent, now began to concentrate 
towards a point, not only keeping up an incessant noise with 
the voice, but jumping half-way out of the water, and, as 
they descended, striking their elbows to their sides, and clap- 
ping their hands, producing a report like a pistol-shot. I 
now observed shoals of flying-fish skimming the water in 
terror in every direction, often rising beyond the nets of the 
circle of men, who raised their arms to catch them, and often 
escaping % in their flight the baskets of the outer guard of 
women and children. When the circle was sufficiently con- 
tracted to concentrate the fish in a mass, the men dived 
amongst them with their nets, which, goon becoming too 
heavy for them to support, were emptied into the baskets of 
the women behind, who proceeded with them ashore, riding 
behind the crest of a breaker that would dash an ordinary 
swimmer headlong upon the rocks, and returned again after 
they had emptied them. In about half an hour the shoal 
was all dispersed or caught, and each family had a bountiful 
supply of flying-fish, or " mararo." Every time these fish 
appear (and it is an event of common occurrence here), 
they produce the same excitement. I have seen many 
that have flown on board vessels I have sailed in, but 
never any so large as those caught about the Penrhyn 
Islands, which average the size of herrings, and many of 
them even larger. 

A certain quantity are laid aside as a sacrifice to the Spirit, 
and over them a lengthy prayer is said in a low voice, 
with the hand raised and the head bent. As the Spirit, 
however, does not appear to claim them, the captors dispose 
of them as they think proper, the women only not being 
permitted to eat them. A similar prayer is always said 
over one or more of every lot of fish caught, and a piece of 
the tail is generally bitten off to mark the " huie atuas." 


Some of the mararo were appropriated to me, and I 
was to return to Opaka's for them ; but, in the mean- 
time, I went to pay a visit to Dr. R., whom I had not 
seen for some days. 

An evening or two afterwards, an event of most exciting 
interest to the white men took place. While I was bathing, 
the shrill cries of the natives were heard throughout 
the island, mingled with the shout of " Te oaka hufe ! te oaka 
hufc \" {" The great ship !") To reach the shore and make 
my toilet — not a tedious operation in those days— was the 
work of a minute ; and, trembling with the hope of de- 
liverance, I made my way across the island towards where 
I saw the crowds rushing, a signal fire, already blazing on 
the beach, directing us to the spot. Dr. R, who in cases 
of emergency threw off his habitual lethargy, and acted 
with energy and spirit, had reached a portion of the 
wreck, the bows of which, with the bowsprit, still clung 
together on the reef, and was fastening a signal-pole to 
the latter, on which he had raised a shirt or some other piece 
of drapery, to attract the attention of a distant vessel. Alas 1 
so distant that we could with difficultv make out her character. 
At length, however, we discovered she had two masts, the upper 
half of which only was visible above the horizon. All thoughts 
turned, of course, to our boat ; but, unfortunately, she had 
been dismantled, and required to be ballasted, without which 
she could not sail. Besides, to carry her across the island 
would require still further preparation, and to launch her 
over the reef would be risking our only means of delive- 
rance, whilst to sail out by the passage was directly in an 
opposite direction, and it would be night before that could 
be accomplished. A canoe was then sought on the lagoon 
side; but alas I the smaller ones had been all re- 
moved for a fishing excursion, and only a large war oaka, 
much weightier than our boat, remained, which we could 


not move, and the natives were not disposed to render us 
any assistance. 

Daring this time not only was the fire kept np by dried 
palm boughs and remnants of the wreck, but the withered 
leaves that hung in quantities around the pandanas-trees 
that here lined the coast, were set on fire, and raised a cloud 
of smoke that must have been seen at a great distance. 
To our joy the schooner at last observed it, for it was 
noticed that she had gone about, and now either lay -to or 
was approaching us ; but, being so calm, it was difficult to 
tell which. With the most anxious hopes we stood watch- 
ing her movements. She had evidently observed the fires 
and hove-to, but did not venture to come nearer to us. I 
now remembered what, in my trepidation, I had forgotten. 
I had seen a canoe on the sea-beach the day of the 
mararo fishing, and, calling some of the men to join me, 
I ran to the spot, ahd found her still there. The mate, 
old Bill, and Kanaka Bob were with me, and, by our 
united efforts, we got her to the water's edge. A number 
of the natives, who had in the meantime collected about us, 
endeavoured to prevent our launching her, asserting that she 
was "maumau" (leaking), and that we should assuredly 
be drowned. This caused a little more delay; but we 
eventually got her across the reef and through the surf- 
how I know not, I was in such an excited state. The 
first thing I distinctly recollect was that one of the men 
had stopped paddling, who, when I urged him to con- 
tinue, replied, that if he did not assist the other to bale out 
we should sink. There were, therefore, but two of us to 
paddle, which we did with a will, changing our places, when 
tired, with the balers. 

A breeze, in the meantime, had sprung up, which the dis- 
tant vessel evidently felt, for she began to recede rapidly 
from our sight, and was soon entirely lost to us. We were 


now a considerable distance from land, the sun was rapidly 
dipping towards the horizon, and, as it was folly to proceed 
farther in such a frail boat. I was obliged to consent with a 
heavy heart to the repeated demands to return. We reached 
the shore in safety, where a number of natives awaited our 
arrival, and pointed out a break in the reef, where they as- 
sisted us to land with ease. Thus this hope fled almost as 
soon as it appeared, and I now looked to the boat as our only 
chance of escape, for we knew not when a ship would again 
approach these savage shores. 

It was about two months since we had first landed, and 
during all that time, with the exception of his brief voyage 
in the boat, the doctor had scarcely left the house. As the 
time was approaching, however, when he hoped to bid farewell 
to the place, he, like the rest, became anxious to see something 
more of the island ; for which purpose Franke and he left for 
Omuka, while I, in company with the mate, took charge of 
his house. For many days past the captain and his brother, 
with one or other of the Huahinians, had been making 
excursions in their little punt, employing their time more 
profitably than the rest of us in pearl fishing. They brought 
ashore from time to time a quantity of oysters, but what 
success they had in pearls I am not aware of. 

As it was not my object that the natives should get an idea 
of the value of pearls, I induced the two Kanakas to leave for 
Mutagohiche; and as the best quality are found in the 
deepest water, which requires good divers, the probability is 
that, by their unaided exertions, the success of the captain 
and his brother was not great. The mode of pearl fishing 
here being a little different from that of the Oriental fishers, 
of which many accounts have appeared, I may as well de- 
scribe it as generally practised. 

The pearl fisheries in the South Seas are worked more for 
the shell that produces the well-known article of commerce 


called " mother-o'-pearl" than for the pearls occasionally con- 
tained in them, which are neither so abundant nor of so fine 
a quality as those found in the East. Although the pearl 
shell is not common at Tahiti, all brought from these seas go 
under the general appellation of " Tahitian shells," as they 
are usually brought to that market by the various small 
craft employed by the merchants of Papaiti in this business. 
From Tahiti they are shipped for Europe, where they are 
considered of a superior quality, but are not sorted into 
sizes as those of the East, which deteriorates from their 
value. The pearl oyster is found in the lagoons of those low 
coral islands or reefs so numerous in the Pacific, most com- 
monly in those still waters that abound with tuckas, or coral 
shoals or rocks, around the base of which the oyster clings, 
but more detached, and not in the quantities found elsewhere. 
The shells average about six inches, the largest being from 
twelve to eighteen inches in breadth ; the thickest and 
broadest, free from worms, are the best. When an island is 
found to contain a sufficient quantity of oysters to make the 
establishing of a fishery an object, arrangements are made 
with some of the natives of those parts celebrated for their 
divers. The contract, arranged with the chiefs, stipulates 
for the services of the divers for a certain period ; but as the 
islanders are unable to keep any record of time, this part 
of the agreement is rarely, if ever, honestly observed, and 
they may be employed as many years as they should be 

There are many pearl islands where the hostility of the 
natives precludes landing, but in most cases this is overcome 
either by presents or by force. When the divers have been 
established they are conveyed in boats to the proper locality, 
where they go down, without the assistance of weights, 
to the depth occasionally of ten fathoms, gathering as 
many oysters from the rocks as they can place under their 


arms, and carry in their hands. When they arrive on the sur- 
face, after having been upwards of a minute beneath, the blood 
is often seen bursting from their noses, and even their ears, 
from the pressure of the water. A sufficient quantity having 
been collected, they are brought ashore, and opened in the 
presence of the overseer of the fishery, a white man, who has 
been left in charge of the divers, and to whom the pearls are 
to be delivered. The shells are then packed up in large, rude 
palm-leaf baskets to await the return of the vessel, perhaps 
Six months after her former visit, when they are taken on 
board. The proprietor has frequently to purchase the best 
of the pearls from some one on the island, but at such a rate 
that they leave him a handsome profit ; and, though they 
should have been his without purchase, as he cannot dis- 
cover the thief, it is his best policy to say nothing about the 
matter, or none might be offered him on his next visit The 
shells alone, however, afford an abundant return if the affair 
is properly managed. These have fluctuated so much in value, 
particularly lately, that it would be difficult to form an ap- 
proximate estimate of the profits, which, when the business is 
understood by those who have an intimate knowledge of the 
islands, are very great. Without such knowledge money is 
often badly invested in entering into this branch of com- 

There was no. danger, however, of Captain Snow's losing 
much money in his fishery, as the capital invested was the 
value of his little punt, a worthless enough craft in any other 
part of the world. In his explorations on one occasion he 
almost lost his life. His brother and he, as I heard, had 
reached the far side of the lagoon, and landed on the 
shores of " Tau Tua," an island opposite, when they were 
attacked by the natives, and rather roughly handled, only 
saving themselves by flight to their boat. I cannot vouch 
for the truth of the story ; but it is probably correct, for 


the captain was taken ill that night (it was said with the 
fright); and the next day, he being no better, some of the 
natives belonging to his place came to me and demanded the 
sails, &c. of the boat, that they might go with her for a 
celebrated " medicine man/' residing on a distant island. I 
told them, if they wanted a doctor, to take one of their canoes 
for him. They said the captain had sent them for the sails ; 
but as this to me was the very best reason for not giving 
them, I desired them angrily to be gone. One of them 
then attempted to seize those that were suspended from the 
roof; but I knocked him aside, and, lifting an axe, drove 
them from the house. I now suspected that the illness was 
merely a pretence to procure the things belonging to the 
boat ; and, some of the savages still loitering about the house, 
I told them I should cut down the first one that put a hand 
on the sails, with which pleasant assurance they went off, 
and I was troubled no more on this head. 

It was the middle of March when Dr. A. returned. We 
had then a conversation about our journey, and it was de- 
cided that, instead of the Hervey Islands, we should endea- 
vour to make " Manahikfe " (the Humphrey's Island of the 
charts), lying to the westward of us, only two or three 
days' sail with a fair trade wind, which we might certainly 
calculate on after the 1st of April, till which time it was 
resolved we should not start. There was to be no change of 
the individuals forming the crew, and the mate was to take 

As I was anxious before my departure to see as much of 
the capabilities of the pearl fishery as possible, and as none 
of our party had yet seen anything of the islands to the 
south, I told them I should make a visit to Tepuka, and be 
back in ten days at farthest, as I supposed nothing would be 
done to the boat till my return. I was assured that nothing 
should be done till the 1st of April. 


When I had spoken of my intended visit to the Tepukans, 
the Sararakians loudly opposed it, violently asserting that 
the latter would kill and eat me. As I knew, however, that 
these people were deadly enemies, that the same story had 
been told me in the Marquesas, and, as a prophecy, had 
proved untrue, I determined to risk it, although the Tepu- 
kians had certainly a bad name for ferocity all through the 
group. Nevertheless, knowing that great opposition would 
be made to the attempt, I decided to slip off quietly. For this 
reason I announced that I intended to pay a visit to Opaka, 
whose place in Haka Shusha was about two miles on my 
route, where I resolved to spend the night, and from thence 
start by early dawn. Before leaving I went to the doctor's 
to bid him good-bye; and as the people I was about to 
visit were of such dubious character, I took the pistol from 
the chest. Against this the doctor remonstrated, but in 
such a dictatorial manner that I was at first inclined 
to resist. However, reflecting that he had to guard 
our means of escape, I returned it. It was now the 18th 
of March. " Remember/' said I, " I shall be back within 
ten days; until then it is understood nothing is to be 
done with the boat." The doctor, who had never been 
in a very amiable temper since my last visit to Opaka's, 
did not answer, but the mate replied in the affirmative; 
and, without a suspicion of treachery, I bade them 

I slept that night at Opaka's ; and the following morning, 
before the other inmates were astir, when the grey dawn was 
breaking, I quietly left the house, and reached the shore of 
the lagoon. Nothing could exceed the tranquillity of the 
scene before me. The sun was just rising from the ocean 
beyond the opposite shores, and the position of ine eastern 
islands was marked by low black lines along the horizon. 
Tepuka, only occasionally seen from Mangerrngaro, was 


now distinctly visible some eight or nine miles distant in a 
direct line, but some fifteen by the reef which I had to 
traverse. Etuchaha, where I proposed to remain a night, 
was more than half the distance, and one or two motos, or 
small islets, intervened. Not a ripple agitated the calm 
waters of the lake, and the deep solitude of the dark groves 
behind me was undisturbed even by the rustle of the light 
palm boughs. The tide was out, and the white sandy reef 
afforded me a splendid road to travel on. Not a living 
object was to be seen, and with buoyant spirits I sprang 
forward on my journey with a speed that would have soon 
made pursuit a vain attempt. 

All at once a shrill scream broke harshly on the still- 
ness, and the next instant a little girl, who lived at 
Opaka's as a kind of servant, broke from the copsewood 
that fringed the margin of the lagoon, rushed towards 
me, and accused me of my intended flight. She had seen 
me stealthily leave the house, and suspecting something 
was amiss, with Indian cunning had followed me. Having 
heard of my proposed visit to Tepuka, and aware of Opaka's 
opposition to it, she had at once divined my intention, and 
endeavoured to frustrate it. I was obliged to return to where 
she stood, frightened at her own temerity, as I looked 
furiously at her. I talked kindly to her, however, and in- 
duced her to come with me some way along the beach till I 
thought I had attained a safe distance, when I again 
commenced running. But the ground was now so bad 
that the child could pass over it as quickly as myself, and 
kept up with me, crying lustily, but dreading to give a 
louder alarm, as I threatened her when she did so. It was 
fortunate, however, that she did accompany me; for on 
arriving at the extreme end of the island, where the reef 
takes an abrupt turn to the east, I found a kind of boat 
passage deep enough in parts to take me over the head, with 


ft current like a mill-race running through it. If I had at- 
tempted the passage at that spot it might have proved fatal. 
The girl, however, rushed in after me, and catching my 
dress, pulled me back, pointing to the usual crossing-place, 
which I found bad enough. 

As I entered the water a shout of joy from my little com- 
panion drew my attention, and I saw Oapka running at the 
top of his speed, with his two spears in his hand, and the 
pare on his head, as if prepared for a journey. Some dis- 
tance behind were his wives, and one or two other natives. 
Although I was far in advance, there was no time to be lost, 
for if caught in this passage, where the bottom, filled with 
huge boulders and sharp stones, was so rough, and a current 
running so violently that I could with difficulty keep my feet, 
I could offer no resistance. I was about half-way across, 
where the water came up to my middle, when I observed 
my pursuers had ceased to follow me up the channel, but had 
turned out to the edge of the reef at a part where it extends 
far into the lagoon. Already Opaka had dashed into its waters, 
and was swimming towards the opposite reef, with the evi- 
dent intention of cutting off my retreat ; and although he 
had only one hand at liberty, the other being occupied 
with his spears, and had fully a quarter of a mile to swim, 
there was little doubt he would be able to effect his purpose. 
He was not followed by the others ; but, as I gained the shore, 
I observed a group of natives emerging from a house I had 
not previously noticed, who joined him as he landed. I 
expected them to rush furiously on me, as the Omukans 
had done on a similar occasion, and looked around for a 
stick, but there was none at hand. The result proved, 
however, that I had nothing to fear on this head ; for when 
Opaka approached me he knelt down, and, kissing me, 
merely supplicated me in the most earnest and touchiug 
manner to return, using every argument to induce me to do 



so. The road, lie assured me, was very difficult, rough, and 
jagged, as by holding up his fingers in every direction he 
endeavoured to illustrate to me. Then planting his foot on 
the ground, he sprang up with a cry of pain, and seizing it 
in his hands, twisted it about in apparent agony, until, de- 
lighted with his own brilliant idea, he joined in my amuse- 
ment, and fairly rolled on the ground with laughter. Taking 
him in this humour, I jocosely bade him adieu, and once 
more started on my way. Finding I was resolved to pro- 
ceed, he begged me first to come up to the house erected 
for fishing parties that occasionally visited the spot, and 
ordered the women to get me some food; which, as the 
journey was likely to be tedious, I was not sorry to accept. 
He was so kind as to order one of his people to accompany 
me, giving him careful instructions for my. safe conduct; 
and long after we had left the shore Opaka stood out on 
the reef calling, "Ahana coe, Maitake e, ahana coe, 
Maitake 6 !" which might be rendered, " Go, Maitake, 
and God l?less you V 3 

We now stood out towards the ocean, and found the 
rocks, though rough, covered with a red sea-moss, that made 
them soft and agreeable to the feet, except where the waves 
had left the honeycombed coral bare. From his taciturn 
manner I judged my guide was not well pleased with the 
task appointed by the iriki. Being a Haka Shusha man, 
he was only subject to Opaka through fear, but was the 
better guide to the territories of the Tepukans, whose ally 
he had formerly been, and whom he still regarded as 

About half-way to Etuchaha is a small island abounding 
with cocoa-nut trees, but uninhabited, though it has some 
houses and an old mara. It belongs to Tepuka, and since 
the subjugation of Haka Shusha has been abandoned on 
account of its dangerous proximity to Sararak. From the 


same cause it has few cocoa-nuts, as it is frequently plun- 
dered by the latter. We, however, found enough to refresh 
us as we rested under the shady palms, relieved for a time 
from the piercing rays of the sun, so powerfully felt on a 
march over the exposed reefs. 

Footsore and fatigued, I arrived at Etuchaha, where my 
appearance created the usual excitement. At the extreme end 
of the island, where a deep but narrow channel separates the 
reef from the high land, I was obliged to swim across with 
a crowd of natives of all ages, who had long before met 
and were accompanying me ; and, like a second Neptune, I 
arose from the waters to receive the homage of my amphibious 
followers. I was at once presented to the Iriki Maurfe, a 
fine-looking fellow, and Her Majesty, his wife, a very amiable- 
looking, tall woman, with a soft drawling voice. Maure, 
taking my hand, led me to his house, amidst the shouts of 
his savage subjects, over whom he seemed to have consider- 
able control. His " hare nue "(big house) was situated beneath 
the shade of a to-tree, and a wide gravelled space was sur- 
rounded by some smaller dwellings. He seemed to assume 
more state, and was more respected, than any of the chiefs I 
had yet seen. Here a mat was spread ; and food, of course, 
was immediately laid before us. 

With an elderly lady, who brought me a bowl of fish, I 
was very much entertained. From the first she had en- 
deavoured to seize on me as her natural property, clinging 
to me, pushing others off, and abusing them. Even Maurfe 
was not spared by her tongue ; and, from her frequently 
repeating, " Matua Oahen V I guessed she was one of those 
relatives of whom I already had such a variety. 

There is nothing peculiar about this island ; the same high 
sandbank fronting the ocean, and sloping to the flat on the 
lagoon side. Like Matunga, it is very prolific ; and its cocoa- 
nut groves form an intense shade over every part of it. In 


time of active war its inhabitants generally retire to Tepuka, 
to which they are subject, or rather allied. 

In the morning I called my guide to proceed with me to 
Tepuka; but he peremptorily refused. I threatened him 
with Opaka's vengeance ; but, from his indifference, I sus- 
pect that my friend had told him to prevent my further 
progress. I asked Maurfe for a canoe, and he said he would 
take me in the evening, as he was going there himself; but 
as the same excuse was again and again repeated, I had no 
doubt that their object was to detain me amongst them. 
This I was the more convinced of, as I saw a canoe some 
distance from shore going towards Tepuka, that had left this 
place whilst I was at breakfast. In the evening, finding there 
was no hope of assistance, without informing any one I 
started again on my journey, taking the outer part of the 
reef, which I found, like that I had passed in coming here, 
covered with red sea-moss. 

This is the most extensive stretch of water- washed reef 
around Te Pitaka, being some three miles long and half a 
mile in breadth, without a dry spot, save where here and 
there a huge boulder has been torn from the coral mass, 
and heaved up in some frightful storm to the broad flat 

When it was found I had gone off, there was, as usual, 
some screaming, and a few followed and tried to detain me; 
but I repelled them rather roughly, and was left to pursue 
ray lonely way. 

The first half of my journey being moss-clad, I got over 
pretty well ; but my path afterwards began to change its cha- 
racter. Deep holes and fissures presented themselves ; and 
these I had to avoid, till at last, possibly losing the proper 
track, I found the water gradually deepening. It was now 
above my waist ; the tide was evidently on the increase ; 
and I was still nearly a mile from Tepuka. To return over 


the broken rocks I had lately passed, with the deepened 
water, would be difficult, if not impossible. Besides, I dis- 
liked the idea of going back defeated. A swell from the 
breakers, too, occasionally rolled along the reef, that almost 
threw me off my feet. Near the edge of the lagoon, how- 
ever, was a clump of boulders, which, if I could reach them, 
would afford me a resting-place. I turned in that direction, 
but the water deepened rapidly ; and as they were about a 
quarter of a mile off, I could not hppe to reach them by 
swimming. My frequent bathings had improved me much in 
this exercise, but now the current ran too strong against me. 
Wherever I moved, the water was up to my armpits ; and 
I began to feel strangely uncomfortable. How long the 
tide had yet to rise I was not aware, but its receding 
was my only hope of escape, as I knew it did not rise 
more than about three feet. I stood still to observe its 
progress on my own person — a horrible sensation ! to watch 
its slow advance, and calculate the chances of escape, or 
the certainty of death. As my eyes wandered over the ex- 
pause of waters, to my inexpressible delight I beheld a 
canoe with some people at no great distance in the lagoon, 
bending towards Tepuka. I shouted at the top of my 
voice, and they paused. I shouted again, jumping and 
splashing in the water to attract their attention ; and a 
man, who had stood up in the canoe, answered to my call, 
and came rapidly to my rescue. I hastened to meet him, 
and was soon taken on board, where, besides the man, were 
a woman and two boys. They had been fishing beside 
some rock in the lagoon, which had prevented my seeing 
them, and were now returning to Tepuka. Naturally 
astonished at the position they had found me in, the boys 
seemed as frightened as if I were some huge sea-monster 
they had got into the boat with them. The man and 
woman, however, who had seen me at Mangerongaro, at once 

232 ONE 07 mahauta's wives. 

recognised me, and, repeating my name, expressed their 
delight at having assisted me* 

I now began to feel the excessive pain of my feet, which 
the anxiety of my position while in the water, where they 
had been cut and pierced by the coral and little sharp- 
pointed sheUs, had prevented me thinking about. 

As we pulled along shore my boatman called out my name 
to some stragglers on. the beach, who passed it up through 
the island ; and, by the time we arrived at the landing-place, 
a large crowd had assembled, who, instead of killing and eat- 
ing me, as had been prophesied, evinced every mark of rude 
but kind attention. On landing, I asked for Mahauta Nufe, 
and they at once lifted me as they had done at Matunga, 
and carried me to one of his houses, pleasantly situated on 
the high bank of the opposite shore, and protected from the 
south winds by thickly-foliaged pandanas-trees. One of 
his three wives, that presided over this quarter of his 
dominions, was a remarkably handsome woman, with re- 
gular European features and beautifully-curled auburn hair. 
Her skin also was of a lighter shade than common. Her 
carriage and expression might be called aristocratic, and 
there Has something in her manner that conveyed the same 
impression. Had she been on any of the civilized islands, 
I should at once have proclaimed her a half-caste. I re- 
collected having seen this woman in Mangerongaro, at 
the Tepukan camp, where her appearance had struck me; 
and she now seemed much gratified at my remembering 
her, and spoke of it with evident pride to those around. 

On my inquiries for Mahauta, they informed me he was 
"Mai aroa" (a long way off), but would soon return. 

I had been seated under the shade of one of the aforesaid 
trees, and the crowd, momentarily increasing, was becoming 
distressingly affectionate, when a harsh voice from behind 
made them all start to their feet, and the next instant I was 


left entirely alone. Even Mahauta' s wife, who had sat beside 
me with my hand in hers, harried from me at this stern sum- 
mons. When I looked around for the owner of- the com- 
manding voice, I beheld a figure that I at once recollected 
having seen during the visit of these people at Mangeron- 
garo. He had lived in one of the canoes, and would not 
contaminate his feet with the soil of his enemies, as I 
believe he never landed during his stay* 

He was a tall and remarkably spare old man, with long 
silver-grey hair and beard, beneath which his shrivelled dark 
skin had a strange effect. His eyes were small, but fiery ; 
and his dried-up skin had contracted his mouth, so as to 
exhibit his white and still regular teeth. I was not yet 
sufficiently acquainted with the language to understand the 
harangue which, when I approached him, he delivered with 
much volubility, accompanied by the usual slapping on the 
hips. From the epithets that I occasionally heard, and his 
actions, I judged that it was anything but flattering to 
myself; and I imagined that he was urging them to sacrifice 
me, not to his gods, but to his appetite. This was one 
of their priests, and knowing they possessed great power 
I did not feel very comfortable. While I was indulging in 
very disagreeable anticipations, the shout of "Mahauta 
Nufe !" spread through the wide circle, which opened to 
admit their celebrated and beloved chief. 

Little though I valued life in this place, my heart bounded 
with delight, as I considered his appearance a reprieve from 
certain death. In breathless haste he broke through the 
throng, and was about to rush to me, when he was arrested in 
the action by the old white-haired priest, who in the most 
vehement manner denounced me. Mahauta hesitated and 
walked up and down, occasionally stopping to appeal, as it 
seemed to me, to the old man's humanity. I tried, all this 
time, to catch Mahauta's eye, and at last succeeded. I held 

234 MAHAUTA Ntj£. 

out my hand, and nodded with apparent confidence — a 
feeling which was far from my heart — reminding him at the 
same time of our intimacy at Mangerongaro. The noble 
Mahauta at once sprang towards me, and, throwing himself 
on the ground, performed the usual salutation ; after which 
he attacked old White-head with a volley of abuse, sending 
him off in a burst of indignation. Even with his success, the 
chief did not appear very comfortable, and urged me away 
from the place to one of his other houses, farther removed 
from the residence of the priest, where I could be more im- 
mediately under his own protection. 

The people would have carried me again; but, notwith- 
standing the soreness of my feet, now much inflamed and 
swollen, I insisted on walking. Instead of the sand common 
to the other islands, Tepuka, strange to say, is almost en- 
tirely formed of rough coral gravel, and is possibly of more 
recent formation than the others, or has been completely 
washed over at times by the waves of the southerly tempests. 
Observing the pain the rough ground caused me, the people 
brought mats from their houses and branches of palm-leaves, 
and strewed them in my path, to make it easier. In this the 
children of Mahauta were particularly active ; and, when any 
of them became rather noisy, they were reminded of it by a 
shower of gravel from the hands of their father, the ordinary 
chastisement of juvenile delinquents. When we arrived at 
his house the crowd kept a respectful distance, forming a 
large circle round the place. With a sharp fish-bone 
Mahauta now began to extract the points of shells that had 
broken in my feet ; and although he performed the operation 
with as much tenderness as possible, it was so excessively 
painful, the parts being much inflamed, that I was obliged to 
make him desist. 

When it was time for the evening meal, amongst the 
privileged guests were two chiefs — one an old man, 1 think 


an uncle of Mahauta — and another from the farther end of 
the island, with his son and daughter, both nearly grown up. 
The latter was very pretty and modest-looking, and presented 
me with a shell of " pashu^s/' the excellent shell-fish before 
mentioned, which are very abundant here, and the chief ac- 
companiment to their cocoa-nuts. They are fished for prin- 
cipally by women, who, in their search for them amongst the 
rocks, to which they are found adhering tenaciously at a 
considerable depth, swim often a mile or two from shore, 
carrying with them a basket and a piece of hoop iron, or 
sharp stone, to detach them from their beds. They take 
also a paddle or other piece of wood, which, placed partly 
under them as they swim, helps to sustain them in the 
water, and, at the fishing ground, supports the basket into 
which the shell-fish are cast on arriving at the surface. 
These women will sometimes remain two or three hours in 
the water, being perhaps unsurpassed by any natives of the 
Pacific in diving and swimming. 

The following morning my feet were in such a state that I 
could not put them to the ground; and, whatever pain it 
might cost me, I found it imperative that the irritating par- 
ticles should be extracted. My operators, of whom I had 
two or three, certainly performed their task very effectively, 
but a fish bone is not the most efficient instrument for 
probing one's feet. 

The following day, as I was able to move about, I was shown 
their great maxa, celebrated throughout the group for its 
extent, the size of the stones, and for some peculiar religious 
qualities. In the centre were several tombs of great Tepuka 
chiefs, long since called to their fathers. The large stones 
forming these structures would not have made contemptible 
monuments for some of our own illustrious dead. One in 
particular was pointed out, supposed, as well as I could un- 
derstand, to be that of the founder of their race, the original 

236 A " FOREIGN " BIRD. 

Mahauta, who came here with his wife Ocura, bringing in 
his great canoe cocoa-nuts and other plants for the earth, 
fish for the sea, and birds for the air. As he is universally 
admitted to have landed in Tepuka, we may infer that he 
came from the southern islands, and not from a land beyond 
the sky, as the ancient faith of the islanders would lead us 
to believe. 

After leaving the mara the next greatest curiosity was a 
" manu te arorangfc," or foreign bird. My interest was now 
a little excited. I hoped to have discovered some novel 
specimen of ornithology ; but what was my surprise to behold 
a splendid red cock, or " rooster/' as our American friends 
call it — one of those formerly belonging to our ship, which, 
as I approached, clapped its wings, and gave a loud crow, as if 
in recognition of an old friend. I must confess the sight of 
it gave me more pleasure than if I had discovered a dodo or 
any more fabulous bird ; and I question whether the goose of 
golden-egg memory could have afforded me greater gratifica- 
tion than this familiar fowl, which brought a thousand re- 
collections of past times, my distant home, and its quiet 
domestic happiness. 

I imitated its crowing so well that it answered me, to the 
inexpressible delight of the natives, who, as I repeated the 
experiment, came rushing in crowds to hear me speaking to 
it, as they believed — an impression which I was wicked 
enough to confirm. When they asked me what it said I told 
them, as well as I could, that it desired me to pray that 
it might always have plenty to eat, and that they would 
not allow the children to hurt it. Their credulous looks 
and exclamations appeared so ridiculous, that I could not 
help laughing, and thus, I fear, did no credit to my own 
story. I told them if they had a " oahene mow," or hen, 
for it, they might have many young, to which they joyously 
replied they had j and off we went to another part of the 


island, where they triumphantly showed me a large white 
Muscovy drake, also from the ship. Greatly amused at 
their simplicity, I explained to them their mistake, at which 
they appeared very much disappointed. The cock had cer- 
tainly no right to complain of his treatment, for, being really 
a magnificent bird, with a splendid tail, he was held in great 
estimation; but the poor duck, though well fed, being un- 
clean, got many a thump as it waddled through the houses 
of the natives. 

I believe Mahauta was at this time preparing for a great 
warlike expedition; for, in wandering through the island, I 
observed the various parts of one or more canoes that had 
been taken asunder now being scraped and polished up, pre- 
paratory to being again put together with new cordage. I 
suppose it was a secret matter, for he said nothing to me 
about it. On this day I visited another of his houses, pre- 
sided over by his favourite wife, a young and beautiful 
woman, rather embonpoint, and apparently greatly attached 
to him. Whilst he was with me he invariably had me seated 
on his great stout knees, as he sat cross-legged; or, when I 
objected to this, on the mat close beside him. He was not 
by any means so intelligent a man as Opaka ; but was always 
up to fun, and greatly delighted when I mimicked the pecu- 
liarities of some of the people. During supper, when I 
ridiculed old Taha's great mouth and voracious manner of 
eating, he dropped his own food and lay down to laugh. 



Mahauta's Resistance to my Departure — A Great Man insulted— 
Inhospitable Natives — Sufferings from my Feet — Mahauta's 
Children — Penrhyn Canoe under Sail — Return to Haka Shusba 
— Unaccountable Departure of the Doctor — My Hopeless Situa- 
tion — Designs attributed to the Captain — -Great Attention 
shown to us by the Matungans — Franke's Determination to 
marry — Stay in Sararak — The Captain's Boat "tabooed" — 
Angry Discussion — Caught in an Attempt to remove the Boat 
— Visit of " Old Monitu " — Artifice to recover the Doctor's 
Dagger — A Difference proposed for Arbitration — Acquisition of 
a Pistol and Powder — Manufacture of Lead Balls — Renewed 
Disturbance about the Boat — An Act of Perfidy — An Unex- 
pected Visitor — Haka Moe Kakara — Habits of the Native 
Women — Visit to Matunga — Importance attributed to the 
Married State — Curious and Irritating Scene — Numerous Visi- 
tors — A Messenger from Matunga — Absurd Apprehensions pro- 
duced by the Flying of a Kite — Native Quarrels — An Alarm — 
A Friendly Visit — A Stratagem of Turua's — Violent Epidemic 
— Illness and Recovery of Chera Puna — Animosity excited 
against us — Speech of an Old Chief — My Reply. 

AS I had seen all that I required here, I resolved to pro* 
ceed up the western side of the lagoon. On mentioning 
my intention, it received the usual opposition, and on the 
following morning I had an angry debate on the subject 
with Mahauta, whom I left in high dudgeon at my desertion. 
When I proceeded on my journey, his boy and girl, who had 
become much attached to me, followed, crying heartily, as 
well as some of their juvenile friends, who joined the chorus 
in sympathy. The natives, hearing the cries, began to as- 


semble, and, finding that I left in opposition to the wishes of 
the Mahauta family, endeavoured to oppose my progress in a 
fashion different from any I had yet met, and one likely to 
be more effectual. This was a kind of passive resistance. 
Masses of them congregated directly in my path, through 
whom I could with difficulty force my way. This accom- 
plished, I encountered palm boughs interwoven from tree to 
tree. These, however, not being very high, I at first cleared 
with a bound, to the infinite astonishment of the natives, 
who are not expert at this exercise, for which, in their level 
country, they have no occasion. They are neither good 
runners nor walkers, having a bad gait, lifting their feet 
very high — I presume from the habit of walking among 
stones and wading on the reefs. Higher fences of the same 
kind I either broke through with the weight of my body, or 
bore down with a heavy stick I had supplied myself with 
before leaving. This opposition was carried on for some 
time, with the best temper on their part, though I confess I 
became irritated myself. I soon came, however, to a part 
of the island where the people showed rather a different 
spirit. Not content with placing themselves in my way, 
they began to jostle me and push me back with evident 
marks of bad feeling. This I knew was the opposite faction, 
and the children of Mahauta now cried more lustily than 
ever, and begged me to return. This I would not do. Defeat 
would have been ruin to my position, which it was an 
essential matter for me to maintain in case I should ever 
come back on a pearling expedition. 

At this juncture a gigantic native seized my hat, and 
drew back with it. Forbearance was of course now out of 
the question. I rushed towards him with my stick, on which 
he took to his heels, and, as I had a sore foot, he would pos- 
sibly have outstripped me. Picking up some stones, there- 
fore, I sent them after him with so good an aim that he 

240 A "great man" insulted. 

instantly dropped the hat, and quickened his pace till he ' 
lost to sight amongst his native groves. 

There was now a tremendous sensation, for it was a great 
man I had struck. Some ran for their spears, enraged at 
my insolence. The children made off, screaming to their 
parents to help me, and fortunately there were not wanting 
many to respond to the call. A wrangling match, as usual, 
now took place, during which, attended by two or three 
women and some children, I got clear of the crowd, and was 
soon splashing amongst the waters of the reef, accompanied 
by a young man whom I had observed following me from the 
time I started, and who, I suspect, did so at the instigation 
of Mahauta. 

The reef at this point was so rough, and my feet were 
so painful, that on arriving at the next island, only inhabited 
by two families, I found I must abandon my enterprise. 
The people of the place, too, were so reserved and rude that 
they would not give me a drink of cocoa-nut water to quench 
my burning thirst. This, I suspect, was in accordance with 
the orders of Mahauta, as I saw my companion conversing 
with the natives privately after our arrival. It was quite 
impossible for me to proceed farther that day unless' I had a 
canoe, which the natives peremptorily refused; and, fearing I 
should seize one then on the beach, some of the young people 
carried it out to sea. Worn out with the difficulties I had 
had to encounter, I lay down in one of the miserable huts of 
this place. 

I had not long been in this position when, to my great 
delight, I beheld peeping into the hut the faces of Mahauta's 
children. They waved their hands and shook their heads in 
a manner expressive of sorrow, and coming in, threw them- 
selves down beside me, begging me to return, which I at 
last, apparently with reluctance, acceded to. The boy now 
produced a basket of provisions he had brought for me, con- 


taining 'some muko-mukos, from which I at first quenched 
my consuming thirst, and afterwards was able to attack the 
neu oara and fish with equal gusto. The lad had taken 
such an affection for me that, though he was rather for- 
ward, it would have been difficult to avoid liking him in 
return. When, with much persuasion, I arose to accom- 
pany them, their joy was unbounded. The young girl 
danced about me, clapping her hands, throwing her 
beautiful arms around me, and kissing me after the formal 
and unloving manner of her people. She looked so lovely 
in her bright and joyous movements, that I also threw my 
arms round her graceful form, and kissed her after the Eng- 
lish fashion. This was against all the rules of Pitaka de- 
corum. She looked thunderstruck, and so ashamed that the 
next moment she took flight, but soon returned, smiling 
and joyous as ever. 

The young Mahauta now insisted on my carrying a spear 
he had brought with him, perhaps supposing it added to 
my dignity ; after which, proceeding to the beach, he com- 
manded the canoe to be brought in shore.. He was obeyed 
with alacrity, and we all returned to Tepuka, where Mahauta 
received me in his former friendly manner. 

Wearied and ill from my recent exertions, the next day I 
remained in the house. Indeed, since my arrival on the 
islands I had scarcely ever been well. The heat, of course, 
was enervating, and the cocoa-nut diet did not agree with 
me. When I had abundance of fish I was well enough, but 
this was only occasionally. When I had to live on cocoa- 
nuts alone I was invariably attacked with diarrhoea. 

The following morning, being the eighth from the day on 
which I left Mangerongaro, I told Mahauta that I was about 
to take my departure, and asked him for a canoe. He, of 
course, again endeavoured to induce me to stay, but being 
now sensible that opposition was useless (my firmness or 



stubbornness being to the natives, who are fickle as the wind, 
an unaccountable quality), he put a canoe at my disposal^ 
which was to land me at Haka Shusha, as none of his people 
dared land at Sararak. 

I now for the first time saw a Penrhyn canoe under sail. 
Its mode of propulsion is, I should think, the most original 
to be seen in any part of the world. The sail is as simple 
in construction as it is primitive in appearance. For the 
purpose three long palm-boughs are cut from the nearest 
tree, and, after a few strips of bark have been torn from them, 
they are conveyed to the canoe. The lower or thick end of 
a bough is placed at the bottom of the canoe, with its 
long slender leaves standing perpendicularly to the height 
of about ten feet, and made fast to the cross-bar of the out- 
rigger, which runs across the little vessel. A bough is then 
placed on either side of this, attached to it at the bottom, 
but inclined outward, and also fastened to the cross-bar. At 
the top the slender ends of the latter are bowed over to the 
centre end, the mingling leaves of all being interlaced a little 
to present further resistance to the wind. This, when com* 
pleted, forms a broad saiL Strips of bark are fastened to the 
most extended part of the outer boughs, which are again se- 
cured to the stern outrigger : and thus the cocoa-nut tree sup- 
plies more of their necessaries — sails, masts, spars, and rig- 
ging being all constructed in a few minutes from its boughs. 

As there is no step for the mast to rest in, this de- 
ficiency is supplied by a little boy, who sits in the bottom 
of the oaka with his feet against it. By trimming the 
lee side of the sail a little aft, the boat will keep her 
course by the help of the paddle when the wind is on the 
quarter, but will not sail on a wind; or even with the wind 
abeam, when, having little hold on the water, she drifts to 
leeward. When the wind shifts thus the sail is taken in in 
as primitive a manner as it is set. The lashing being cut, and 


the back-stays cast off, away goes the whole ship's rigging 
overboard, the work of refitting being very speedy and easy. 

Towards the end of our voyage we had the wind on the 
quarter, blowing pretty fresh, and I had to remain with my 
feet at the bottom of the mast, whilst the small boy sat on 
the out-rigger to keep her from capsizing, moving out on it 
or in again as the wind increased or fell. 

In about an hour and a half we landed in Haka Shusha* a 
distance of some eight miles, my boatmen cutting away their 
sail, and paddling off again with all their might, in fear of 
being caught by their enemies. 

I now directed my steps towards Opaka's, en route to 
Dr. R., whom I would take a little by surprise, it being 
two days before my appointed time. It still wanted fivq 
days to the end of the month, and I determined, on my 
return, to have the boat promptly hauled up and repaired 
as far as practicable, to have her ready for the first favourable 
opportunity. As I hastened along the familiar strand I felt 
in better spirits than I had done since I had landed on these 
islands, for deliverance seemed before me. I was well to-day, 
and felt stronger. In a pleasanter frame of mind than any I 
had enjoyed since the day of our shipwreck, I reached the 
house of Opaka. To my astonishment it was closed up in 
mourning. When I came near enough to be observed, the 
people commenced a low whining wail, and issuing from 
their dens, approached me, exclaiming, " Oa hana te bote, 
oa hana te Longa Manfe ! no to michfe Opaka oa hana !" 
(" The boat is gone, the Long Man is gone I the child of 
Opaka has left us I") 

It was not possible ! I would not believe it, and in my 
rage I told them they lied. They pointed to the cuttings on 
their bodies as an evidence of the truth. "Who accom- 
panied him ?" I asked. " The mate, the captain, and his 
brother," was the reply. This was still more improbable. 

E 2 


What I the doctor ally himself with the man on whom he 
had heaped every abusive epithet, and who, he had sworn, 
should never leave in the boat again whilst he had life? 
After our mutual pledge that we should go together in the 
next attempt, he could not have been base enough to desert 
me without any cause that I could then think of. 

I at once hastened to learn the truth or falsehood of this 
statement. I arrived at Dr. R.'s house, which was shut up 
and tabooed. He was indeed gone ! And all my hopes of 
deliverance, at least for a time, were gone with him ; for, as 
he had an idea of pearling here, I felt satisfied he would not 
disclose the position of the island until he could return him- 
self with a vessel, for which purpose he must first reach Chile, 
he having no means elsewhere of entering into the matter, 
and, even thence, his return was doubtful. 

I cannot express the utter hopelessness that I then felt ; 
and it was with difficulty that I could refrain from tears as I 
sat on the ground before that deserted house. Many of the 
natives, who had heard of my return, were gathered around, 
and with a delicacy wonderful in so rude a people, kept at a 
little distance on beholding my distress. One of them, how- 
ever, at last approached, and told me that Frankfe and Joe 
were still here. I at once went, conducted by natives, to 
the place where they were, and was informed by Franks 
that no sooner had I left than the captain and the doctor 
arranged that they, the mate, and second mate should at 
once proceed with the boat to Humphreys' Island before I 
could return ; and so expeditious were they, that in six days, 
two before my return, they were under way. I asked 
Frankfe how he, who had so devotedly attached himself to 
the doctor, happened to be left behind. He said he had 
suspected latterly that the doctor would object to his accom- 
panying him, and hinted at his jealous disposition having 
been excited recently against him. "And for the same 


reason/' said he, " I thought that the doctor would try and 
get off without you also, if possible/' He said he had 
remonstrated with him on his conduct, and stated that if I 
were there I would not allow the captain or his brother to 
go in the boat. 

Joe said his reasons for refusing to go again in the boat 
were his fears that there would be bad work before the 
end of their journey, however short it might be, for both 
the captain and the doctor had threatened each other's lives. 
Before he left the former time, whilst we lay at Tokferau, 
the captain had told him the plan he meant to adopt was 
to approach one of the neighbouring savage islands, and cast 
the doctor, adrift, after which he should return and take 
his brother off, and the whole party should proceed to a 
certain beautiful uninhabited island he was acquainted with, 
and there raise live stock quietly for a few years, till they 
had a sufficient quantity for a cargo to California, by which 
means they could soon realize a fortune. 

"But," added Prank, "there is a chance of overtaking the 
boat yet, for the doctor said, if the weather proved un- 
favourable, he would remain at Tokferau for a good wind ; and 
as it has been rather squally, possibly they may not have 
ventured out" 

" Why did you not tell me this before, instead of keeping 
me here talking nonsense?'' said I. "Will either of you 
accompany me, for I shall start there immediately ?" 

Joe declined, but Franke at once volunteered. 

" Come along," said I. " But first let us return to the 
doctor's house to find a hoop-iron weapon and knife I left in 
the roof. As for my pistol, I suppose he carried it off with 

I found that he had not only done so, but, strange to say, 
had also broken up the other things, as well as my knife. 
What his objection could be to our possessing arms for our 


protection I could not conceive, unless lie feared that some 
of us might follow the boat. I saw that we were likely to 
meet with opposition, and as we must have arms of some kind, 
I thonght that O Pai Tangata would give us native spears. 
The captain and his saintly brother I was determined should 
be compelled to leave the vessel. 

We hurried, therefore, to the house of O Pai Tangata, 
where I found all my friends assembled to perform a pehu on 
my return, and great was their disappointment at my refusal 
to participate in the ceremony. On making my object 
known, they at first endeavoured to dissuade me from it ; 
but, as I was starting off on foot, O Pai Tangata told me his 
canoe was now in order, and at my disposal. Taking an old 
blanket (in the possession of one of the natives), to use 
it as a sail, I fastened it to a palm-branch, and our little 
party was soon under way. The distance by sea was only 
seven or eight miles, which, with a light wind and the 
paddles, we accomplished in about two hours. As we ap- 
proached Tokerau I looked anxiously towards the landing- 
place and along the beach for the little schooner, or for some 
appearance of the excitement that her presence would have 
occasioned; but everything bore the quiet, monotonous 
aspect common to these shores in their usual state. My 
last hope, therefore, was gone — the boat had certainly de- 

Loud shouts to the larboard attracted our attention, and 
we beheld a number of canoes from Matunga rapidly ap- 
proaching. I had been seen from the shores of that island 
when passing, and the whole male population now advanced with 
loud shouts of friendly greeting, notwithstanding my former 
rude departure from them. Franke, thinking of their late 
treatment of himself, beheld their approach with conside- 
rable distrust ; but I assured him of his being well received 
on this occasion, otherwise I would return with him* As 


there was a possibility, too, of the schooner putting back, I 
was anxious to be near the entrance to the lagoon. 

On the approach of the natives they were most profuse in 
their demonstrations of attachment to me— -each individual, 
as his canoe came alongside mine, performing the most abject 
salutations, and begging me to return to my own island, 
where everything was at my disposal. I told them I could 
only land on condition that Franke, who was my adopted 
brother, should be treated in the same way as myself. This 
they declared should be the case. With every demonstra- 
tion of joy we were accompanied to the landing-place, which 
was crowded with the women and children evincing equal 
delight. A grand pehu was of course performed in honour 
of our party; and Franke, who had never received so much 
attention before, was greatly elated, for in their desire to 
please me, they lavished as much attention on him as on 

On proceeding to the house formerly appropriated to me 
by Taharua, I found it decked out with the tabooed palm- 
branches, its precincts having been held sacred during my 
absence. One side of Turn's great house— the half I had 
occupied — was also tabooed, as were various parts of the 
island I had been in the habit of visiting, the pool of fresh 
water where I bathed, one or two spots along the beach, and 
some cooking utensils. Certain cocoa-nut trees were hence- 
forth appropriated to my use, from which it was a deadly sin 
for any even of my nearest relatives to eat, though I might 
present their fruit to strangers. In most communities 
there are trees thus tabooed belonging to departed friends, 
and their produce can only be made use of by bartering 
them for others of a similar character. 

Franke appeared much disappointed when the extreme 
attention he had received on his first landing began to 
decline ; and he soon astounded me by the declaration — I sup- 


posed on that account — that he intended to leave the island. 
As he was resolved to go, and I felt indebted to him for 
sharing my recent voyage here, I told him I should accom- 
pany him. I had the usual difficulty in getting off; but, on 
my earnestly assuring the natives of my intended return, 
they reluctantly appropriated a canoe to our use to convey 
us to Omuka. From thence we proceeded on foot to Sararak, 
through Mutagohichfe, where I had no intention of stopping ; 
but meeting with my young friends Juan and Harry, who 
had taken up" their abode there, they induced us to visit their 
houses, and entertained us most hospitably. Having met 
with kinder treatment than I had experienced on my first 
visit, they had adopted this island as their head-quarters, and 
taken unto themselves wives. These were the first matri- 
monial connexions formed here by any of our people, and 
Franks was so enraptured at the exhibition of conjugal 
felicity, that he, too, determined to marry, his choice falling 
on the beautiful Tokarora. 

The following morning we crossed the reef at low water, 
and were received in Sararak with the usual honours, more 
particularly as the place was deserted by nearly all our 
companions, whose curiosity had led them to the neighbour- 
ing islands. Frankfe at once proceeded to the house of 
Opaka, at the other end of the island, on his mission of 
love, so that I was left for a time almost alone amongst the 

During my present stay in Sararak I made myself more 
popular amongst the people than I had heretofore been. I 
told them of the manners and customs of other countries, 
particularly interesting the women by descriptions of dresses, 
the various kinds of food, and household economy generally. 
Night after night, before retiring to rest, I had a crowd of 
attentive listeners urging me to tell them of the foreign land 
— "Caranga te arorange." The men were delighted with 


my description of our means of travelling — on horseback, in 
carriages, railways, and steamboats — of which, however, they 
could form but very indistinct ideas, though I cut out some 
little models in wood to illustrate my instructions. But their 
chief delight, perhaps, was in accounts of our mode of war- 
fare, our battles by land and sea, the power of artillery, 
and some mimic battles, in which the male population joined 
with such ardour that I was obliged to discontinue them. 

The little punt built by the captain had been placed on 
his departure in a house hallowed by the strictest taboo. 
Wretched as it was, I knew that this boat would at all times 
afford me a certain means of transit from one place to 
another, and I was determined to have it at any risk. On 
one occasion, when the people were in their best humour, 
I made the proposal to them that they should deliver me up 
the boat. My request struck them with consternation. They 
told me it was impossible to break the taboo, and coaxed me 
not to insist. The people of Mangerongaro proper, who had 
been the captain's more immediate friends, and on whose 
land the tabooed boat rested, violently opposed the proposi- 
tion, and our meeting finally broke up with a declaration on 
my part that I would have the boat, and one on theirs of 
determined resistance. 

It might have been about a week after our angry discus- 
sion, when the affair seemed forgotten, that I decided to 
remove the punt from the taboo-house. It is usual for the 
natives to take a siesta during the hottest hours of the day ; 
and about noon of a very sultry day, when all lay sleeping 
in their huts, and everything was as still as midnight, I 
brought Frankfe and Bob to the taboo-house, and told them 
I wanted their assistance in hauling the boat to the beach. 
The Kanaka was alarmed at the proposition, but feared to 
refuse. Franks readily consented. For my own part, aware of 
the frightful consequences of the breach of a strict taboo in 


the Marquesas, it was not without trepidation that I began 
to tear down the barrier of sacred palms, conducting the 
whole proceedings with the utmost caution ; for we were in 
the centre of one of the most populous districts, and could 
hear the sonorous tones of more than one sleeper at no great 
distance. The boat was not very large, but it was clumsy and 
difficult to carry, so that we were compelled to lay it down 
on our way to the beach. Whilst thus resting a little girl 
passed near enough to observe our object, and immediately 
gave the alarm. I sprang forward in a threatening manner 
to make her cease her cries; but my movement only in- 
creased her terror. With reiterated screams, she eluded 
my grasp, and darted through the woods, calling for assis- 
tance, which was soon rendered to her. We had only a short 
distance to convey the boat to the water, and had almost 
arrived at the beach, when a wild shout told us the natives 
were upon us ; and almost instantly I felt myself seised in the 
grasp of a powerful chief, who secured me so that I could 
offer little resistance. Incensed at finding myself pinioned 
by a savage, I uttered a shout of rage, which made him relax 
his grasp sufficiently to permit my wheeling round, and the 
next moment he measured his length on the ground, in con- 
sequence of a well-directed blow which I administered to 
him. This sudden attack on their chief threw the remainder 
into a state of confusion, from which they had not time 
to recover before we had the boat in the lagoon, and were 
pulling away out of reach of their spears, using the seats for 
paddles ; the latter having been left behind in the hurried 
launching of the boat. 

It had been my intention to proceed with our prize to one 
of the neighbouring islands, where the taboo of this was not 
respected ; but to this course several objections now occurred 
to me. The boat was leaky from having been long out of the 
water, which made the want of seats to be uncomfortably felt, 


they being our only paddles ; and as she was very crank, 
to stand was impossible. Franke, too, not having brought 
his matrimonial arrangements to a conclusion, was re- 
luctant to leave ] and I decided, therefore, on putting into 
the Tahiti district, relying on my friends there to sustain 
me in my acquisition. On landing there, I found the people 
divided between their horror at my breach of the taboo, and 
their desire to serve me. The restoration of the abducted 
property was almost instantly demanded ; and I was urged 
by my friends to give it up, which I decidedly declined to 
do, hinting at my influence with the Matungana to help me 
in my demands. A private conference was therefore held, 
the result of which was, that the boat was delivered into my 
hands. That night, about midnight, I was awakened from 
my sleep by the tread of numerous feet, and the suppressed 
sound of voices in the vicinity of my house. I at once sus- 
pected that it was a party bent on carrying back the boat; 
and I was rising to endeavour to prevent the accomplishment 
of their object, when the two boys of O Pai Tangata, who 
slept near me, threw themselves before me, begging me not 
to go out, as it was the spirits, and they would surely kill me. 
Though not much afraid of spirits, on second considera- 
tion I thought it impolitic to enter into a struggle with these 
people at night, when I should ,most probably suffer defeat, 
which would certainly deprive me of all influence among 
them. I pretended, therefore, to believe the boys, and 
lay down again on my hard bed in no very enviable 
mood. When morning broke, I found my fears realized. 
The boat was gone— carried off, as they stated, by the " Huie 
atua." This, for reasons of my own, was a statement 
I did not attempt to dispute at the time. I soon found it had 
not been taken back to the place from whence we had 
abstracted it, but was hidden in the house of a chief, who 
watched it with jealous care. 



The following day old Monitu arrived on a visit from 
Matunga with the dxied-up remains of his dearly-beloved 
spouse rolled in her winding mat ; and as the event afforded 
an opportunity for feasting, with "pehus," "capa/' and 
other dances, I had hopes of being enabled once more 
to carry off the boat; but all the time it was so closely 
watched that I could not attempt it, particularly as I was 

On great occasions like the present the natives generally 
display all their finery, and I anticipated that my sword, 
which I had not seen since the first week of landing, would 
now make its appearance amongst the general decorations. 
Pieces of cloth, rope, old stockings, and canvas were paraded 
grotesquely about their persons, but the coveted weapon re- 
mained secretly stowed away. I was still searching for it, 
wheu Franke reported the discovery of Dr. R/s dagger, 
that he had seen in the possession of the chief of Haka 
Shusha, and which had been stolen from the doctor by his 
venerable mother, Pusfc. As this was a much-coveted article 
— a weapon the flash of which was greatly dreaded in the 
hand of a white man — I felt that to recover it a little artifice 
and much caution would be necessary. Picking up a piece of 
hoop iron, I proceeded to the house of the Haka Sbushan 
chief (whose* name I now forget), where I was hospitably 
received. During the day I produced the piece of iron, 
saying I should like to make him a fish-hook if he had a 
file — which I was aware he had. This he readily gave me, 
and after working with it for some time, till I had a long 
strip filed off, I told him I required something to cut 
it in two. He at once pushed his hand into the roof of the 
house, and produced the long-lost dagger; which, however, 
after a moment's pause for reflection, he evidently hesitated 
to deliver into my hands, offering many excuses, and ex- 
pressing his opinion that, as I had cut the iron so far 


with the file, I might do the remainder with it. This I 
apparently acceded to, and asked him to give me a 
drink of cocoa-nut water. In order to comply with my 
request he innocently laid down the dagger, which I at once 
sprang upon. He was for a moment so astounded that he 
sat in stupid amazement I told him that as it had been 
stolen from our house I alone had a right to possess it. He 
was not inclined to part so easily with the weapon ; 
and when I turned to leave the house he stood in my path, 
and furiously seizing an axe that lay near, seemed disposed 
to dispute my passage. A flourish of the glittering knife, 
however, was enough to make him get out of my way. For- 
tunately for me, most of the people of the district being 
at the time away fishing, his shouts for assistance were only 
responded to at first by two or three old women. Before I 
got to the firm sandy beach, however, where I knew I could 
outrun them, if such a step was necessary, two young men 
with spears joined the pursuing party, and came on in so 
fierce a manner that I was obliged to take shelter behind a 
tree, which gave me time for a parley. Threatening them 
with the vengeance of both my white and Kanaka friends, 
I managed to get from tree to tree till I reached the 
beach, where they contented themselves by following me at 
a distance till we arrived at Mangerongaro. Here we were 
soon joined by a crowd of natives, friends of both parties, 
who agreed that the affair should be left to the arbitration 
of O Fai Tangata, before whom the whole population of the 
island assembled, to hear the matter laid before him, and his 
decision on it. 

A great many speeches were made, of which I then under- 
stood but little; and finally my august father, as he was 
anxious to conciliate the chiefs, aiming as he did at supreme 
command, recommended me to return the dagger, at the 
same time giving me a peculiar look, from which I un- 


derstood that he wished me to retain it. I then endeavoured 
to make them understand that as the article had been stolen 
from the doctor it should be returned to him, and the thief 
punished, as in the white man's country. I also added that 
as I was the principal person amongst the whites, it was my 
duty to retain the weapon in the doctor's absence. Should 
they decide that I ought to give it up, I threatened to break 
it into pieces first, and then go off to one of the islands of 
their enemies, never returning to them again. O Pai Tangata 
said what I urged was just, and my threat of joining their 
opponents had some effect in making the others agree with 
him; but he said the people were afraid that on some occa- 
sion I might use the " tib&" (knife) against them, and if I 
would give it to him, my father, they would be satisfied. 
Wishing to conciliate them as much as possible, being now 
determined to make another effort to recover the boat, I 
acceded to this, and hung the dagger about his neck, well 
knowing that I could get it when I required it. The meet- 
ing, therefore, broke up, all apparently satisfied [except the 
Haka Shushan chief and his household. 

About this time I found near the site of our old house 
some powder cartridges, and though they had been wet, I per- 
ceived, when I dried the powder in the sun, that it was still 
effective. This I rolled up in numerous pieces of pailcloth 
to preserve it from further injury, and set about seeking for 
my Colt's revolver. All my search, however, proved fruitless, 
and I believe it had never been recovered from the wreck. 
One of the natives brought me a large horse pistol/which, as 
he did not know the use of it, he presented to me. I 
now cut up a pewter spoon found in a friend's house for slugs, 
and began to feel myself in a more comfortable position for 
defensive operations, should I be compelled to put my arms 
into use. 

During Monitu's stay we had several other visitors to the 


island, amongst the rest two more of oar crew. To make 
room for these strangers the coveted boat was returned to the 
taboo-house. I now urged Franke, if he intended to join 
me, to make arrangements to do so at once, as I was de- 
termined, whilst I had the assistance of the two extra hands, 
to get off the boat. His affair, however, seeming as far from 
a settlement as ever, I gathered our men together one day at 
noon, and, before the people were awakened from their nap by 
the shout of a woman on the beach, I had the boat in the 
water, and was about to paddle her once more towards my 
home, where I intended only to stay long enough to put 
some clothing, &c. into her. 

My delay, however, was longer than I had anticipated, for 
I had scarcely got into the boat when down came the 
whole Mangerongaro faction, armed to the teeth, with old 
Tere at their head in a towering passion, declaring that, in 
spite of all opposition, he would carry off the boat with him. 
He and his party certainly looked rather formidable as they 
advanced flourishing their spears; but when I turned the 
boat up on its side as a partial cover, and presented the 
pistol in one hand, while I flourished the bright dagger in the 
other, he cooled down wonderfully, particularly as I talked 
rather pompously about the warlike abilities of the white man. 
I was very glad, when we came to a parley, however, that 
prevented my courage being put to the test. One shot, 
indeed, would in all probability have dispersed the crowd, 
but I should in that case have been obliged to evacuate the 
island — a»step which I did not wish to take. 

It was ultimately agreed that I might retain possession of 
my prize if I did not carry it off to any other island, in which 
they feared it might be seized and kept as a trophy. That, 
they said, was their only objection to my having it. On 
these terms it was taken up to my house, and placed under 
the shade of a spreading pandanas-tree. 


Confident in the good faith of the people, I commenced to 
make a mast and sprit from part of the wreck, together with 
new rowlocks ; and as she was so crank, I removed the seats 
nearer the bottom of the boat. I also made a pair of new 
paddles from staves of puncheons. All this took some time 
to accomplish, as I had only a hoop-iron tokfe (or native adze) 
and my dagger to do my carpenter work with. I had much 
difficulty, too, in finding nails, the natives having consumed 
the greater part of them for fish-hooks. I presume the 
people considered that these preparations boded some dan- 
gerous movement; for, when I had all completed, one 
morping the boat was missing. Furious at their perfidy, I 
called on Frankfe to join me, and we resolved at once to leave 
the place. Accordingly, with our little bundles on our 
shoulders, we prepared to march. The natives were greatly 
alarmed at our leaving them in anger, to join, no doubt, the 
ranks of their enemies. The whole population was soon 
collected. At first some of the younger warriors seemed in- 
clined to dispute the road with us by force ; but as I ad- 
vanced with the pistol and dagger, and Franke followed close 
in my rear with a long knife, they fell back to a respectful 
distance. The older men, with more tact, seeing that their 
menaces only made me more resolute, threw themselves in 
my way unarmed, whilst Monitu and O Pai Tangata fell at my 
feet, begging me to remain, and saying they would give me the 
boat to use it as I pleased. Franks, however, urged me to go 
on. The fact was, he was rather displeased with the fair ones 
of this place, who had shown little disposition to appreciate 
his merits. On my stipulating, however, that he should 
have a wife, he returned with me perfectly satisfied. A feast 
was prepared for us — not the " fatted calf/' but pofc fish, and 
orora. Whilst we were discussing these savoury viands, 
the loud shouts with which the natives accompany any 
amount of exertion, told us they were bringing back the 


boat, which, borne on their shoulders, soon made its appear- 
ance, and was laid at my feet. Thus, by persevering in my 
just demands, I not only gained my immediate object, but 
acquired that unlimited control which I ultimately exercised 
in several of the islands. 

The following morning, on my return from bathing with 
Frankfe, I found all my family and their friends grouped 
about our little hamlet, and a strange young girl, apparently 
in rather a distressed condition, seated immediately in front 
of my house. I had approached close to this spot before she 
observed me ; but immediately on doing so she bounded off 
to the shelter of a neighbouring palm-tree, where, crouching 
down and peeping round it, she gazed at me, the very type of 
savage wonder and fear. Her large dark eyes were animated 
with a brilliant expression, her nose was small and straight, 
and her bright lips were parted, showing her exquisite teetli ; 
whilst the long black but dishevelled tresses, which she 
had flung from her forehead, fell over and partially en- 
veloped her graceful form. Such was " Haka Mofe Kakara" 
( u The Sweet Sleeper"), my destined wife, as they now in- 
formed me. There was one thing that puzzled me about 
her; she had evidently been married before, for she wore 
the tichfe, and was certainly a very youthful widow, not 
more than sixteen. I was informed that she had only just 
been married, and, disliking her husband, had never lived 
with him. I suggested the possibility of the same result in 
my case, which they politely declared impossible. I, how- 
ever, did not aspire to the conjugal state; and the wild 
.appearance of my destined bride, notwithstanding her beauty, 
frightened me from such a responsibility. Frankfe, who 
feared that if I refused there would be no chance for him, 
urged me to accept the flattering offer; and my relatives 
stating that she had been brought from another island ex- 
pressly on my account, I was constrained to take her to my 



borne. Nothing, however, could induce her to come within 
reach of me for some time. It was only by treating her as 
one does a shy colt — that is, offering her, with a great deal 
of patting and persuasion, something to eat — that I managed 
gradually to gain a little confidence, and encouraged her to 
approach me. I suppose she had been told horrid stories 
about me. Our union, however, did not turn out a happy 
one. I never could tame or civilize her, and she always re- 
garded me with a certain amount of fear. Yet I am sure I put 
up with the native habits of my savage spouse with exemplary 
forbearance, some of which scarcely bear allusion to. What 
would an English gentleman say if he saw his wife eagerly 
engaged in the pursuit of a novel species of game in a friend's 
head, and cracking each successive trophy of the chase 
between her pearly teeth ? 

A week having elapsed without the appearance of any wife 
for Franks, he, thoroughly disgusted with his bachelor state, 
resolved to change his locality. I would willingly have 
handed over my better half to him, but this would have been 
resented as against all the laws of order and decency. I told 
my friends that I intended paying a visit to my relatives in 
Matunga, who would naturally be anxious to become ac- 
quainted with the new member of their family ; and as there 
could be no objection to so reasonable a proposition, after the 
requisite quantity of food had been prepared for the journey, 
1 started for Matunga in my boat, with " The Sweet Sleeper" 
and Frankfe. 

With a fair wind and Frankfe's blanket for a sail, we 
skimmed along over the still waters of the lagoon, to the 
great delight but no small fear of my wild bride, who had on 
her best tichfe and parieu. Never having been in a canoe 
without an outrigger before, she could scarcely be persuaded 
that it would not capsize ; but as we neared the little bay of 
Matunga, and found its shores crowded with natives to receive 


us, she seemed very proud of her position, and assumed a 
degree of dignity becoming her new state. We were received 
with great attention ; and, for the first time, I observed the 
importance here attached to the married state. Poor Franks 
was forgotten in the general enthusiasm. This I felt sorry 
for, as it formed the commencement of a jealousy that sub* 
sequently increased to a bitter extent. 

I remained here for about a month very pleasantly. My 
only difficulties were conjugal ones, arising from certain pre- 
judices of my wild, untutored bride. No persuasion, for in- 
stance, could induce her to insert a comb in her long, wild 
locks, which would have been the better for one in many 
respects. If I looked angry and commanded her (for I never 
attempted chastisement, as the sailors too often did), she fled 
in terror into the woods, to come back crouching in fear. 
I should certainly have sent her home, but such a proceeding 
is sometimes resented by the friends in the most summary 
manner, unless the separation is consented to by the wife. 
I cannot say there was ever much affection evinced for 
me by the dark-eyed Haka Moe Kakara, though she ex- 
hibited a considerable amount of jealousy — a strong trait 
in the Kanaka character, produced more from wounded 
vanity than love, their conquests being a constant theme of 

One day, on returning to my hut, I saw a group assembled 
round it, and my lady officiating on the head of a huge native 
reclining in her lap. I thought this would be a good oppor- 
tunity of showing her my disgust at such a proceeding. I 
was neither- astonished nor angry at what I saw, but pre- 
tended to be frightfully so, and rushing on the man before 
he could raise his head, I kicked him with such force that I 
fairly knocked him over. A scream of horror was uttered 
by the group, for though such strong measures were occasion- 
ally necessary, I rarely resorted to them. The native, furious 

s 2 


with rage, on recovering his feet, showed a momentary in* 
tention of retaliating, but fled on a second attack. The 
screams of the women soon brought, as 1 anticipated, a 
crowd to the spot, which gave me an opportunity of ex- 
plaining how disgusting the practice was to white people. I 
even said that if my wife did not give it up I could not live 
with her. This scene had the effect of checking the practice, 
at least in my presence, through the island generally. As 
for Haka Mofe Kakara, she fled ; and, as she did not return for 
the remainder of the day, I told the natives that she had left 
me, and I should now return to Mangerongaro. Must I 
confess it ? Scarcely had my honeymoon passed when I felt 
it a happy release to be delivered from my bride, and hasten- 
ing to my boat, I pushed it into the water, and, without 
leave-taking, was soon beyond fear of pursuit. In half an 
hour I had landed on the opposite island of Omuka. 

I was met on the beach by Tepo, who conducted me to her 
house, and, whilst preparing some food, ordered, in her im- 
perative manner, a " tamari " (boy) to run and find her father, 
whilst she sent another to climb for cocoa-nuts* The latter 
seemed to hesitate for a moment, whereat, lifting a handful 
of gravel, she flung it in his face, and, dreading a second ap- 
plication of the same kind, he was fain to start off, at which 
she clapped her hands and laughed heartily. Then, having 
no one to rub fire, she darted off to borrow some, as she knew 
I preferred the neu oara cooked. She was soon back, and at 
the same time her father arrived. They asked me what had 
brought me over, and when I told them that I was return- 
ing to Mangerongaro they were greatly vexed, asking me 
anxiously if Turua and Ocura had not treated me well, 
and why they had let me come away unprovided with food. 
I told them of my having to get rid of an undutiful wife, and 
that Ocura and Turua, who were always very kind to me, did 
not know of my departure. I expressed my determination 


to leave them, as I did not like to stay in Matunga any 
longer. At this they both began to cry, and Tepo, taking 
her fathers hand, led him outside, where they had a private 
conversation. -On coming back she told me to await her 
return, saying that her sister would attend to my food while 
she went with her father to catch some fish. 

Some two or three hours after Tepo's departure, I was 
astonished to find Turua and Ocura at the house with a pre- 
sent of fish, cocoa-nuts, &c v the little girl having quietly 
gone off for them to prevent my departure. They were 
soon joined by Taharua and Mau Kakara, together with a 
number of other Matungans, urging my return. Their fre- 
quent glances towards an object at a short distance drew my 
attention in the same direction, and, notwithstanding the 
bundle of matting in which she was enveloped as a kind 
of mourning, I at once discovered, from the black eyes that 
glanced beneath it, and the long, jetty locks that strayed 
out of it, that the " Sweet Sleeper" was hidden under its 
shade. Although I was annoyed at her following me, I could 
not help laughing at the ridiculous figure she cut. This was 
taken as a good omen by those present, and they promised 
to do whatever I desired, provided I would remain. She her- 
self was not by any means so complaisant ; but as I knew it 
would be very disagreeable to return to Mangerongaro after 
casting her away so soon, and to remain here separated would 
be equally so, I was constrained to give her another trial. I 
found her improved, but more afraid of me than ever. 

A few days after this a messenger came to me from Ma- 
tunga, urging my immediate presence. One of the Kana- 
kas of our crew was said to be making a strange bird fly 
over the tops of their highest cocoa-nut trees — a proceeding 
which they were afraid might blast them. I at first 
laughed at the idea, supposing their island had been visited 
. by some bird strange to them ; but when a second messenger 


arrived, stating that they held the bird with a string, I felt 
my own curiosity excited sufficiently to make me proceed 
with them. On my arrival I found that the object of their 
terror was a paper kite with a tail of leaves, the flying of 
which, I explained, was a common diversion in our country. 
As they would not be appeased, however, I ordered the amuse- 
ment to be discontinued. We were working off their pre- 
judices by degrees, and it was policy occasionally to yield to 
them in trifling matters. 

Franke considered this an arbitrary measure, and, being 
unsuccessful in a love-suit here as in Mangerongaro with 
Tokarora, he said he would leave Matunga altogether. He 
had for some time past been less friendly with me, and, 
for the first time, I suspected that jealousy of my influence 
with the natives was the cause of it. He thereupon pro- 
ceeded directly to Tepuka, an island hostile to Matunga, 
where he had always been treated with kindness. He 
laboured to induce the Tepukans to make a descent on Ma- 
tunga, hoping, as he could not subvert my power by diplo- 
macy, to do it in war — a design in which he was earnestly 
seconded by the ruffian Joe. His efforts, however, were un- 
availing, though the warlike demonstrations to which the 
Tepukans were stimulated by their new allies kept us in con- 
stant excitement. I had no wish that our party should 
join in the quarrels of the natives, but I stated distinctly 
that if they were attacked I would give all the assistance in 
my power to either Matunga or Sararak, where I was looked 
up to as a chief. 

Tepuka, notwithstanding its warlike preparations, had 
made only a few predatory excursions amongst the neigh- 
bouring islands. As a descent was about being made by 
Omuka on Mutagohiche, the inhabitants of which were very 
inhospitable to white men, most of the Matunga warriors had 
gone across to the former island, leaving only the women, a 

a "friendly visit." 263 

few old men, and children with me to protect our homes. 
One morning I was suddenly roused from my mat by the 
alarm-cry of " Taka oatch& !" and by the screams of several 
people round my house. I learned on inquiry that the 
cause of their terror was a report that the Tepukans, after 
plundering Ruahara, were making sail with hostile inten- 
tion for Matunga. 

A beacon-fire was lighted on the southern point of land to 
alarm our friends of Omuka on the other side of the channel. 
Three large war-canoes of the enemy, however, were already 
seen approaching our shores with such rapidity that much 
mischief might be done before we could procure succour. I 
therefore collected all the old men, women, and children, 
and placed them, with arms in their hands, amongst the tall 
hara weeds near the beach, where, partially hidden themselves, 
their spears and clubs were ostentatiously displayed. When 
the canoes came within hailing distance their occupants paused 
and performed a complimentary salutation. In reply to my 
questions as to the cause of their appearance at this time, 
they said that, being in the neighbourhood, they had merely 
come on a " haka ki kitchfe" (or friendly visit) to me, and 
begged me to go with them. I said that though they were 
my particular friends I could not at present ; for having heard 
that Tepuka intended to attack Matunga, of which I was 
u iriki," and where I had much " food-land," I was bound 
to protect it, and would certainly fire on the first man that 
attempted to land — " tanga te hatch'a chfere," (" make the 
thunder speak"), as they expressed it. They assured me they 
had no hostile intention, but should be greatly delighted if 
I would come on board their canoes to receive the " shungfe," 
or salutation. I was about to do so, when an old woman 
rushed out from the bush and begged me not, as they 
only meant to get hold of me, and then attack the place. I 
reassured her, however; and, handing her the pistol, drew 


my dagger as a preferable defence in case of treachery, and 
made a great display of it, its bright flash filling them with 
terror. Then, wading out, I boarded each canoe in succes- 
sion, walking on their broad gunwales, and receiving the most 
abject salutations as I passed, never for a moment forgetting 
the necessity of guarding against surprise. This ceremony 
concluded, they retraced their way towards Ruahara, to 
our infinite satisfaction and relief. About half an hour 
afterwards, when several Matunga and Omuka canoes had 
arrived, the men seemed furious M&ith disappointment at the 
escape of their enemies, all declaring the valorous deeds they 
would have performed had they only met. They might still 
have pursued them, but they were content with this display 
of valour in words of menace uttered at a safe distance. 

I was informed by the new-comers that Turua had been 
dangerously wounded in the last engagement, and was lying 
at the point of death. Seriously anxious about this young 
man, for whom I felt a strong affection, I at once hastened 
in my boat to Omuka, where, to my satisfaction, I found he 
had only received a slight spear wound in the leg, and had 
sent the message to try its effect on me. He was delighted 
at my prompt visit as a proof of attachment, of which both 
he and his wife boasted to their friends. 

At this time a termination was put to all warlike opera- 
tions by the breaking out of a violent epidemic, resembling 
an intermittent fever. This malady commenced in Man- 
gerongaro, and spread over the entire group, causing many 
deaths. The white men as well as the natives suffered from its 
ravages ; but as the former took greater care of themselves, 
it in no case proved fatal to them. In one respect, however, 
as I had foreseen in case of such a calamity, it involved us 
all in jeopardy. The disease commencing in Mangerongaro, 
where we at the time were sojourning, the superstitious 
savages at once declared that we had brought it with us 


in the ship ; and several who had been all along hostile to 
us asserted that we had intentionally introduced it in order 
to kill them and take possession of their lands — an idea of 
which their minds could be disabused only by considerable 

The cocoa-nut food produced virulent sores on some of our 
men. Old Bill was in such a state that his life was despaired 
of. I visited him in Omuka, where the epidemic was very 
severe. By inducing him to follow a few simple prescriptions, 
I succeeded in alleviating the disease, if I had not the good 
fortune to cure it. Chera Puna, meanwhile, trotted about 
with me like a little dog, amusing me with her innocent 
prattle. When I was leaving for Matunga, I took her on a 
visit there, and her mother presented her to me as my 
affianced wife, to be formally married when she was of proper 
age. On our arrival, she, with becoming propriety, took up 
her abode at the house of a friend. I was, however, speedily 
recalled to Omuka, on account of a quarrel which had sprung 
up between the natives and the whites, it being said the latter 
were all to be massacred. I proceeded at once to the scene of 
action, where the natives were very much excited against us. 
Their councils were not conducted with that form common 
in the other islands of the group. In fact, they were merely 
gatherings of the people in the open air, where they sat 
in an irregular circle under the shade of the palm- 
trees. In these councils absurd charges were brought 
against us and the "huie atua oaka," or spirit-ship. A 
venerable old chief on one occasion got up, and addressing 
himself to me and other whites who happened to be present, 
asked us, " Did they not give us food and shelter? Did they 
not give us wives, the choicest of their islands? Did they 
(the men) not fish for us, their children climb the loftiest 
trees for our food — and what did they get in return ? We 
never worked for them, nor even for ourselves. We abused 

266 a chief's speech, and my reply. 

them, their children, and their women ; we brought sickness 
amongst them. Before, we had made them suffer much from 
the poerka sickness, from which few died, and these only 
children ; but now we had brought a disease that was cariy- 
ing off their warriors, their best men. Why had we come 
to their land ? They had never any sickness like this before 
we came, and, if we remained, we should be bringing other 
complaints to carry them off. Better for us to leave. They 
would furnish us with canoes, and we must return to our 
own land/' 

We were of course obliged to decline this generous offer, 
it being impossible for us to go to sea in their canoes without 
compass, chart, or nautical instrument. In replying to the 
principal charge brought against us, I said — 

" Some fools amongst you say we brought this disease in 
the ship to kill you all. You acknowledge I am iriki of the 
white men ; then / must have brought it. Had I done so, 
would I not let you die, instead of going among you night 
and day to cure you ? Do they not send for me round all 
the Pitaka to cure them ? Have I not made many of your 
own people well again ?" 

" Atchica, atchica !" (" Truth, truth !") exclaimed several, 
a testimony of approval by which I was encouraged to pro- 
ceed : — 

"You say you do not want us to remain with you. 
I am glad of that, for there are some of the islands that 
would not let us leave them if we had the opportunity. We 
want to go — (sensation) — but not in your canoes, which are 
worthless things ; we want to go in the white man's canoe, 
which will sail over the great waves of the ocean without 
sinking or leaking. Give us back our axes, our knives, &c., 
and we shall make one. You say we give you nothing for 
our food; that is a great lie. We have given you more 
already than all your island is worth. Have you not got 


axes, knives, fish-hooks, beads, clothes, &c. (tokfes, tib&s, 
mataus, matu matas, kau shos, &c.), that you could never 
make, and never saw before ? One of them is worth all I 
ever received from you, and in other islands I could buy more 
cocoa-nuts than are on the whole Pitaka with what you have 
got from me. Here are so-and-so/* (naming several present 
with whom I saw various trifles from the wreck, many of 
them worthless in reality, but of inestimable value to them) ; 
" give us these things of ours, and we shall go at once to some 
land where we can buy as many cocoa-nuts as we want." 

This direct appeal was conclusive. The rubbish held by 
those addressed as treasures, disappeared instanter, as if they 
feared an immediate seizure. " Cary, cary, co ai ahana 1" 
(" No, no, you must not go !") " Taie te, kaiing sumar&ng, 
anohe coe V (" This is the best country — remain with us I") 
&c. &c., were exclamations which we heard repeated by all. 

" Ah V 9 said I, in rather an amiable mood, " I know I 
have some friends here, but there are many in Omuka who 
did not like the white men, so we shall all go to Tepuka or 
Mangerongaro" (islands of their greatest enemies). 

A shrewd-looking fellow, in passing me, remarked, " White 
man's talk is too good — Kanakas are*all fools !" 



My Return to Matunga — Abject Superstition — Religious Cere- 
monies — Visit to Omuka — A Novel Remedy for the Prevalent 
Epidemic — Requested to visit Mahauta Nue — Illness of Opaks 
— Landing of that once dreaded Chief in Omuka — Great Ex- 
citement — Ravages of the Epidemic in Mangerongaro — A 
"Fono," or Council — Induced to wear a Peculiar Badge — Con- 
ciliatory Address — Death of Opaka — Performance of Sacred 
Rites at the Mara — Attempt to recover my Sword — Appoint- 
ment of an Iriki — Departure for Haka Shusha — Reception by 
the Tepukans — Diving for the Pashu — Visit to Oeura — Ex- 
pression of Violent Grief — Island of Taimata — Inhospitable 
Reception — Lovely Scene — Haka Puta — Another Mahauta A"u2 
—A Blighted Tract — The Tautuans— Curious Fish — Visit 
to Haka Puta's Mother — Descent of the Natives of Sararak — 
Stripping the Cocoa-nut Trees — Regarded with Suspicion by 
the Tautuans — An Intruder — Invasion of the Matungans— 
Conference — The Matungans persuaded to retire — Extensive 
Shoal — Compelled to take a third Wife. 

T RETURNED to Matunga, my « Island of Tranquil 
**■ Delights/' in time to behold a ceremony that I had not 
before witnessed. The islanders were all assembling at the 
great mara to behold the invocation of " Atua/' their 
. supreme god, whose power they desired to see exemplified in 
the cure of an old man of high standing among them. 

After much jumping and running about, and many 
prayers or incantations, which I believe none of the 
uninitiated understood, the old chief prostrated himself 
before the Huie Atua house. The priests, trembling with 


fear, brought forth from it the god of feathers, " shreds and 
patches/' with which, after many more mumbled prayers, 
they struck the chief three blows. The latter then rose, 
and the crowd dispersed. Fortunately for the reputation 
of the Atua the patient recovered, a result which was attri- 
buted to the power of their favourite idol. 

Matunga had not, up to this time, suffered much from the 
epidemic, but both Mangerongaro and Oinuka were severely 
scourged by it. I crossed over to the latter, where I was 
supposed to effect some cures. Thence I proceeded to Muta- 
gohiche, where the disease had not been very prevalent, and 
where the terror of the natives at the epidemic was only 
equalled by their delight at the mortality among the Omu- 
kaii8, their most deadly foes. Here I was particularly fortu- 
nate in the recovery of one of their chiefs, and of a woman 
who was taken ill the night of my arrival. 

A few days after my return to Omuka a deputation of 
several women, including two of Mahauta's wives, came from 
Tepuka with a request that I would visit Mahauta Nue, who 
was sick to death, and desired to see me in all haste. As 
Franke, however, had prejudiced me against these people by 
stating that they had resolved to drive all white men from 
their island, I refused to return with them, to their great 
distress. Shortly afterwards I heard, with much regret, of 
Mahauta's death. He was, perhaps, the most powerful chief 
of the group. His friendship had been of use to me on all 
the weather islands, where his name was dreaded ; and on 
one occasion he had saved my life. I heard that he had in- 
tended to endow me largely with property from his great pos- 
sessions, but my ingratitude induced him to cut me off with 
something less than a shilling. Strange that his great rival 
and most dangerous enemy should be so near his end at the 
same moment I Opaka, who bad often laughed at my 
mimicry of some of their absurd rites, had begun to see the 


folly of them ; but, as sickness weakened body and mind, lie 
returned to the superstitions on which his early faith had 
been built. When he was in a precarious state the physicians 
and sages advised him to visit a certain eminent priest who 
lived in a secluded spot in the centre of Omuka, in the very 
heart of his enemy's country. He therefore sent a deputa- 
tion to the Omukan chief, asking for permission to visit his 
celebrated wise man. His request was granted, and he was 
already as far as Mutagohiche when rumours of treachery 
prevented his farther progress ; and it was not till one of bis 
wives and other female relatives came to me, begging my 
assistance, that I knew of his illness. 

After our recent quarrel with the Omukans I did not 
presume on much influence with them, but hastened with 
Opaka's messengers to see him at Mutagohiche, where I 
found him surrounded by the whole of his people in the 
greatest trepidation and distress, for his name had been 
equal to a host against their foes. I could scarcely have 
recognised, in the emaciated, palsied form before me, the 
powerful and energetic warrior I had seen a month pre- 
viously. A ray of pleasure lighted up his pain-stricken face 
as he weakly pronounced my name on seeing me. His anxious 
inquiries as to the possibility of entering Omuka showed me 
how much his heart was set on it ; and I resolved he should 
go at all hazards. When I assured him that I would see 
him safe into the house of the spirit-man, he seemed greatly 
pleased. I felt rather surprised that they did not ask me 
to try my healing powers on so great a person, which, as I 
was sure he was dying, would have brought no credit to me. * 
I suppose, however, they wished to propitiate the great 
spirit-man they were about to visit. 

I sent word that evening to the Omukans that, on the 
morrow, I intended to land with Opaka on their shores; 
at the same time telling my messenger, Juan, to pro- 


ceed to Matunga with the same information, well assured that 
if there was any danger in the expedition, I should soon have 
some friends to stand by me. The following morning we 
started in three of the best canoes, with crews of picked war- 
riors, too few to arouse mistrust in their enemies, but powerful 
enough to make some resistance in case of attack. It was 
years since a Mangerongaro warrior had been in Omuka, 
and on the last occasion they had met in battle ; Opaka haying 
then routed the Omukans with great loss, killing several with 
his own hand in single combat. It was, therefore, with un- 
disguised fear that they now approached the landing-place, 
which we found crowded with armed enemies. As we entered 
the bight in the reef, and Opaka beheld on either side the 
hostile faces peering into the canoe to get a sight of the 
once dreaded chief, he was overcome with terror, and com- 
manded a halt I myself, and the chiefs who accompanied 
him, participated in some degree in his terror, for we saw 
that the crowds on the beach were very excited, and, to all 
appearance, preparing themselves for a fray. Standing in 
the bow of the boat, I thought it prudent to address the 
people, telling them I had brought my father amongst them 
on a friendly visit, at the invitation of " Tone Oharrfe," their 
king ; that Opaka was about to consult their great spirit- 
man, whose powers of healing were so famous, and that 
they must allow him to pass up into the holy place. If 
any one attempted to injure him, I said, he must first 
attack me, his son, who came to protect him. I was 
answered by reiterated assurances of their peaceful inten- 
sions, of which I felt the more confident as I saw some friends 
of mine busy clearing a way at the spot where we intended to 
land. When the great Opaka, however, was raised from 
the canoe, feeble and trembling, a shout of derision and 
hate spread through the crowd ; at which I sprang forward, 
pistol in hand. An old woman at the same moment 


dashed forward, and, fronting Opaka, demanded, in scream- 
ing accents, the restoration of her beautiful son. A man 
beside her, in as wild a manner, raising his spear, asked 
for his brother, who had been left dead on the sands of Man- 
gerongaro, and a cry of vengeance was thus raised against 
the chief who had deprived them of their dearest relatives. 

The pressure was becoming too strong for me, single- 
handed, to resist, and it was with the utmost difficulty 
I could keep a space clear before Opaka, by which we 
progressed slowly towards our destination. If we once 
arrived there, I knew we were secured by the taboo ; but I 
had given up all hope of getting so far, when a shout at a 
little distance diverted the attention of our assailants. In a 
minute little Juan was flourishing his hoop-iron sword by 
my side'; and Turua and several Matungans did their best 
to quell the excitement. I of course availed myself of the 
diversion to facilitate our advance ; and as we pushed for- 
ward under the shade of the cocoa-nut groves, supporting 
the old man, I saw him, notwithstanding his danger and 
debility, casting looks of envy and covetousness up to the 
well-filled boughs above. We had almost arrived at our 
destination when a powerful savage, the same who had first 
demanded his lost brother, bounding in front of Opaka 
with a yell, raised his spear, which, in another moment, he 
would have buried in the old man's body, if I had not 
noticed the movement, and thrown myself suddenly on him 
with such force that we both came to the ground together. 
The next instant Opaka was in the Huie Atua house, where 
he was safe from further danger. 

This place was much resorted to by natives of all the 
group ; but as the old priest's fees were considerable, it vas 
only by those whose means were most abundant. Although 
the incantations employed by this Polynesian JSsculapius 
were similar to those used by brethren who had not the 


dame reputation, his cures were said to be much more certain. 
Perhaps the situation of his house, more than usually ele- 
vated, and the restored confidence of the patient, had some 
effect. Shortly after this there came here a child of O Pai 
Tangata's, so ill that I should have given him up, but in 
about a month he was in as good health as ever. 

In Mangerongaro the epidemic had made more ravages 
than elsewhere; and as each death was the occasion of feast- 
ing, their cocoa-nuts became so scarce that they were com- 
pelled to "masanga te kaiing" — that is, put a restriction on 
the indiscriminate use of them. To " masanga," taboo, or 
put a ban on certain trees, or even districts, is a matter of 
every-day occurrence with the economic landowner, that the 
supply of nuts may not fail ; but to have the ban put on 
every tree throughout the island, and to be reduced to a 
very moderate allowance of food, was soon the cause of great 
^ suffering, as was seen in the cadaverous countenances of the 

As the general masanga must have the approbation of 
all the adults of the island, the white men were urged 
to return to Mangerongaro, to participate in it. We, 
therefore, found ourselves once again in the island on which 
we were originally cast, and had many adventures to recount 
to each other. 

After our arrival a great "fono," or council, was held 
near the house of O Pai Tangata, at which the whole male 
population was assembled, as well as many women, and 
crowds of children, in the distance, under the shade of 
the surrounding palm-trees. Our own party was also 
there, Nvith the exception of the two Society Island natives, 
to bring whom several messengers were sent. As they did 
not arrive, however, I went myself, and, to my surprise, 
found them in a state of great fear. Bobo pleaded hard to 
remain, saying, "No good, masanga; Kanaka here no 



good, you Bee ; by-and-by Kanaka eat white man." And 
it was with the greatest reluctance they consented to accom- 
pany me. 

After a great deal of talking on the part of the natives, 
with the usual excitement, the restrictions of the masanga 
were finally agreed to among themselves, and all the men 
placed around their necks a piece of platted sinnet as a badge 
of their acceptance of it. The white men were generally 
opposed to its adoption, however, to the evident distress of 
the natives, who begged us, as their children, to wear it, as 
they wished the other islands to understand that we were 
peculiarly the people of Sararak, where we had been first 
adopted by the sacred rites of the mara, and to which we 
could always come as a home. 

Anxious at all times, as far as our supremacy permitted, 
to conciliate the natives of Sararak, I, with much difficulty, 
got our people to accept of the badge. I was not aware at 
that time (but afterwards learned) that it implied a consent 
to joining in their marauding expeditions, which, of course, 
I repudiated. 

I now rose and told them that, as we were the people of 
Sararak, like themselves, and had good fathers and food- 
land, we would accept their masanga. All our people having 
been adopted here, we looked on Sararak as our nation. In 
our own country beyond the sea there was such plenty that 
we had been always accustomed to enough of food, and could 
not, like them, put up with half quantity. We would, 
therefore, betake ourselves to the various islands of the 
Pitaka, where there was yet a sufficiency, leaving them more 
for themselves, and when their trees again bore fruit would 
return to eat with them in happiness. 

The applause my announcement of accepting the masanga 
created was dashed by the latter part of my speech, for they 
had anticipated that, if we did not join in their forays, we 


would at least remain to protect their homes in their absence, 
or assist them against the reprisals that their attacks would 
probably provoke. 

I had for some time past been meditating an excursion 
round the group, notwithstanding the repulse of some of 
the whites from the inhospitable shores of the "Tautua" 
islands ; and I was the more anxious to go as I had been 
informed of a ship passage into the lagoon on the north-east 
side, more commodious than either of those with which we 
were acquainted. I determined to start with Juan on my long- 
meditated excursion in my little boat. The morning was 
settled for our departure, and I was making some new 
thole-pins for the boat, when I was disturbed by exclama- 
tions of despair. Hearing the name of Opaka frequently 
mentioned, I dropped my work and hastened to the beach, 
where I beheld three canoes, from which the sounds of woe 
proceeded. I at once concluded that the great Sararak chief 
was no more, which was indeed the case. The whole popu- 
lation of the island was soon assembled on the shore, and 
his body was carried in a solemn manner by four chiefs to 
the mara. Opaka's two favourite wives were allowed on this 
occasion to approach his remains in the mara, but only by 
crawling on their hands and knees, with their faces towards 
the east, retiring backwards in the same abject position. The 
body remained here for a few days, in a temporary house, 
before it was removed to his own residence at Haka Shusha, 
where it was hung up in mats suspended from the roof in the 
usual way. One or two of the departed chief's wives remained 
in the house with it at all times, whilst several families 
throughout the island shut themselves up in mourning. 

I had now two reasons for delaying my tour of discovery : 
the first, my anxiety to learn how Opaka' s death would influ- 
ence my position (O Pai Tangata being so near a relative), 
and the second, my resolve to attempt the recovery of my 

T 2 


sw&rd, which, during his life, the old chief had secreted with 
such jealous care. 

The election of a supreme Iriki, or king, the satire popu- 
lation did not seem in any hurry about, and as soon as the 
first period of grief was oyer in the household of Opaka, I 
went on a visit of condolence to his wife, Tupa. A burst of 
sorrow was my greeting, but she soon evinced the usual 
female curiosity. I asked her where my father had left mr 
sword, for I was sure he would like me now to hare it as it 
belonged to me. She was silent in a moment, and tried to 
evade answering. However, I pressed the question, and she at 
last whispered that it had been taken, before Opaka's death, 
to the house of O Parry, who now had it secreted. As 
this sword would be a most valuable acquisition on my pro- 
posed journey, I resolved to leave no stone unturned for its 
recovery. I therefore hastened off to O Parry's, whom I found 
suffering under the epidemic, which still continued, but in a 
more mitigated form than at first. He, of course, denied all 
knowledge of the coveted article, and when I told him that 
I knew it was in his possession, he was very angry, and 
asked, "Who told me?" at the same time again denying 
the fact. 

I whispered in a hollow voice that it was the white man's 
Attia told me, the sword being a Huie Atua one. I also said 
that the spirit wanted me to have it before, but as Opaka 
would not give it up the presiding genius of the whites 
would not allow their Huie Atua man to cure him. I knew 
he had it, I said, and if he would not restore it he would 
die also. 

He turned to his wife and told her what I had said. Her 
little round face suddenly elongated and turned pale, while she 
hastily moved to the side of her husband, as if she expected 
some one to rise in judgment against her. At once surmis- 
ing where my treasure was secreted, I moved into the hut, 


and raising the boards at the place she had just left, dis- 
covered my long-coveted sword half-buried in the sand. 
O Parry's little wife, who was very fond of her husband, 
asked me, with tears in her eyes, if he would die now, or be 
exposed still to the Atua's anger. I assured her she need 
not have the least apprehension, for Parry would surely 

A few days afterwards a near relation of the late Opaka 
made his appearance from Ruahara, and created a con- 
siderable sensation. The day after his arrival I was summoned 
by O Pai Tangata to Haka Shusha. As I proceeded to that 
solitary part of the island, I found all the people hastening 
in the same direction, but keeping a mysterious silence as to 
the cause of their meeting. I soon discovered, however, that 
it was to appoint an Iriki in place of Opaka. He having 
died without male issue, my father and the Ruahara chief 
were the principal competitors for the position of the de- 
parted Iriki. After much discussion, it was finally ar- 
ranged that our new friend should rule over the territory 
of Haka Shusha (depopulated when conquered by Opaka, 
but now again raised into a separate kingdom), and that 
my father should be monarch of Sararak. 

Cocoa-nuts, in all their stages — from the young vai to the 
cooked uto— were placed in neat baskets, ornamented in a 
way I had never seen before, and, after passing through 
various hands, during which prayer was muttered over them, 
they, together with orora and fish, were laid at the feet of 
both the chiefs, who did ample justice to the repast. 

Nothing further occurred to delay our departure. Juan 
and his young wife having all in readiness, we pushed our 
little boat from under its shade of palm-trees and passed 
over the white sand into the lagoon just as the sun appeared 
above its opposite side. 
I entered the boat, where the bride and groom had already 


taken their seats, and we at once struck out vigorously 
for Haka Shusha, determined to test the new monarch's 
hospitality. We were soon at the landing-place, and, after 
beaching our bark, a few minutes' walk brought us to the 
settlement, which we found deserted, except by an old woman 
and a half-witted boy, the people being all on a fishing expe- 
dition. Returning to the boat, I made for the little island 
where Opaka had overtaken me on my former flight to 
Tepuka. The Haka Shushans were fishing in the very pas- 
sage that I had found such difficulty in crossing. They were 
still spearing, an exercise at which they are very expert. 
However, we went to a hut, where a young girl was cooking 
some ohos, and were presented with a large one just from the 
sand-oven in its swathing of leaves. Hot, rich, and juicy, it 
made, with cocoa-nuts that we had with us, an excellent break- 
fast for the three. "Without further delay, we then proceeded 
along the southern reef to the eastward, and in the evening 
were hailed with shouts of greeting from the small though 
thickly peopled island of Etuchaha, the inhabitants of which, 
though separated by several miles of submerged reef from 
the Tepukans, are closely allied to them, and known by the 
same name. 

Notwithstanding my long absence and renouncement of 
all connexion with the Tepukans, they received me* in the 
most friendly way; and Maurfe, their king, was as hos- 
pitable as formerly. Not only had this island suffered very 
little from the epidemic, but there was abundance of food on 
it, which induced us to make a sojourn of several days. At 
the same time I had an opportunity of learning how I might 
be received in Tepuka proper. If I had any doubts with 
regard to this, they were soon set at rest ; for, in a day or 
two, Mahauta Nue's two children arrived to urge me to pro- 
ceed with them at once. They had both grown perceptibly, 
particularly the little girl ; yet she was still the same delicate- 


looking, timid creature, the very opposite to her manly, 
rather rough, brother. She was very expert at catching 
small fish by diving, an exercise in which she excelled all 
the other children of her own age. . The women are gene- 
rally as good divers as the men, particularly those of Tepuka, 
in whose waters principally is found the pashu, a large white 
corrugated clam, which, when cooked in a cocoa-nut shell, 
is excellent. Those of a large size are only to be had by 
diving several fathoms. The women often swim out with a 
paddle two or three miles into the lagoon to a favourite 
toka or rock, at the base of which the pashu is found im- 
bedded amongst the coral, from which it is dissevered by a 
piece of strong wood, stone, or iron. Two or three may be thus 
secured before coming to the surface. "When the diver 
reaches the floating paddle, to which a basket has been 
attached, the shells are opened, and the fish are placed in the 
basket, as the former would be too weighty to swim with to 
the shore. 

In a few days we left for Tepuka in convoy of several canoes 
from Etuchaha. The whole party started ahead of us— each 
striving which should convey the first tidings of our approach. 
We proceeded meanwhile more leisurely, sometimes rowing, 
but more commonly poling our little boat over the shoal 
parts of the reef. We made a halt at the small, solitary 
island before alluded to, where, under the pleasant shade of 
its palms, we luxuriated in the refreshing beverage derived 
from some young vais, which Juan had plucked from a small 
tree he had ascended. We did not leave till past mid-day, 
and it was nearly sundown when we pushed into the deep 
shadow of the little cove, on the sands of which the Tepukan 
fleet was drawn up. 

Though we were received by some with the usual noisy 
demonstrations, I observed that many of the faces had not as 
friendly an aspect as I could have wished, and I wis not 


long on the island ere I discovered that there was a strong 
party, whose feelings were anything but favourable towards 
me. Those opposed to me were chiefly the younger and less 
influential men in the northern portion of the island, where 
Franks resided. We were, however, hospitably entertained. 

The second night after my arrival I went to pay a visit to 
Ocura, the favourite wife of the late great Mahauta, who, 
being still in mourning, could not leave home in the day- 
time. However, as I approached her house, she came out 
to meet me, and sat with me at a neighbouring hat. 
When I spoke of Mahauta's goodness and friendship for 
me, she burst into a paroxysm of grief; and, with pierc- 
ing shrieks, ran towards her own house, from which we 
afterwards heard moaning and wailing, and occasional 
bursts of grief; at last some wilder screams mingled with 
several severe blows; then, suddenly, all was still. Even 
the loquacious natives, who had gathered around me, were 
silent for once. On entering the house we found the 
graceful form of the wretched Ocura stretched senseless 
beside a cocoa-nut log, the blood disfiguring her death- 
like features. After the manner of these people in violent 
grief she had beaten her head against the fallen tree till 
she dropped senseless beside it, and it was with much diffi- 
culty that she was restored. 

During my few days' sojourn here the natives presented 
me with a blue-striped sailor's shirt, a flannel one, and a 
pair of dangaree trousers, trophies of the wreck. The 
first was strong and little worn, having beep in the posses- 
sion of an old woman who kept it hung up in her house 
as a curiosity and decoration. It was not without much 
solicitation that she parted with it, though, when I presented 
her with my old ragged one instead, she seemed well pleased 
with the exchange. My thick cloth trousers, though much 
admired by the natives, were in a sadly dilapidated condition, 


bound together in various parts by fish-bones. The blue 
shirt I gave to Juan, who required it as much as myself. Our 
dress was much admired. The chief treasure I obtained was 
a large sheet, formerly my own, held by the possessor in 
great estimation. This I was anxious to secure as a sail for 
my boat. I could not obtain possession of it, however, other- 
wise than by stratagem. During our evening meal, when a 
crowd assembled to see the " lions feed," I told them won- 
drous stories of the manner in which our small boats were 
managed with a sail, their beating to windward, and the long 
voyages we performed in them. They were rather incredulous 
at this, believing that without an outrigger so small a boat as 
mine must capsize. I said I would show them to-morrow 
how I could manage my boat with the aforesaid sheet— a 
proposal with which all, except the possessor, were delighted. 
On the morrow, however, his remonstrances were of no avail, 
and he was induced to hand it over to me. Though my 
performance in the little flat-bottomed punt, which slid 
away to leeward, would not have gained applause with a 
regatta club, it was sufficient to establish me in the posses- 
sion of my sail. The poor fellow actually wept in parting with 
it, but I was hard-hearted enough to hold to it. Some of 
his friends, observing his grief, relented in his favour ; and 
fearing the reaction might become general I determined to 
leave at once. 

I told Juan to send his wife over the reef to the little 
island where a termination had been put to my former 
attempt at exploration. He and I then, without formal 
leave-taking, pushed off— the natives supposing we meant 
merely a passing visit to a chief from whom we had had a 
pressing invitation, through his pretty little daughter, who 
now accompanied Juan's wife over the reef. 

My arrival at the spot I had formerly left in such disgust 
was hailed with feelings very different from those which had 

282 TAMATA* 

greeted me on the previous occasion. The few inhabitants 
gathered round us with every demonstration of friendship ; 
an oven was at once heated to cook fish, pashus, and neu 
oara for our entertainment. We were soon joined, too, by 
the overland party, augmented by several young people from 

By daylight we were astir ; and Juan's wife having, with 
proper forethought, secured provisions for our morning meal, 
we proceeded directly to the boat. Leaving a little group, 
apparently uninhabited, which appeared to be sprinkled with 
gaunt, barren, or scathed cocoa-nut trees, scrubby pandanas, 
and rank hara weeds, we made for the nearest island of any 
importance, winding our way with difficulty through a 
channel of broken coral. On reaching the shore the boy 
ascended a cocoa-nut tree, of which there were but few in 
the island, and with what he procured we made our morning 
meal, which proved rather scanty. Leaving the girl and 
boy on shore to find their way along the beach, we in the 
boat wound along the reef, with a gentle breeze from the 
shore swelling our new sail. The innumerable shoals re- 
quired our constant attention. When the sun shines on 
the water, it is almost impossible to discern them till you 
are on their tops. Their rugged edges, and numerous needle- 
points, render them very dangerous. Keeping as close to 
the reef as we dared, that we might be in communication 
with the pedestrians, our progress was but slow. We found 
the island very bare of food (the first attention of the 
natives), many of the trees being dead. Tamata, as it 
was called, formerly belonging to the Tautuans, as did all 
the eastern group, but it was now a tributary to Tepuka, 
the natives of which had ravaged and nearly depopulated 
it. There were no inhabitants along the line we had 
traversed, but on rounding the next point, we came to a 
pleasant little bay, where a party of natives were fishing with 


the "rau rau. JI They seemed to have made a good haul, 
-which so occupied their attention that they did not notice us 
till close upon them. As we did not know how we might be 
received we kept to seaward of them, having previously taken 
in our friends, who were much more alarmed than we. As 
soon, however, as we got to a safe distance from the natives, 
I hailed them. The sound of my voice had an electrifying 
effect. Dropping the "rau rau/' they rushed with wild 
shouts to their canoe for their weapons, which they bran- 
dished in a most threatening manner. 

When the boy, however, stood up and explained who we 
-were, one of the party advanced with the usual friendly 
gestures. On his nearer approach I recognised him as the 
Tepukan who had visited us in Mangerongaro. After the 
customary salutations he entreated us, with native supersti- 
tion, not to approach nearer or they would catch no fish, but 
to proceed to the settlement a little beyond the opposite 
point, and await their arrival. They would follow us there 
in a few minutes, and in the meantime his wife would enter- 
tain us. 

As our breakfast had been but a light one, and the morn- 
ing air had whetted our appetites, we pushed on in anticipa- 
tion of a comfortable meal. With a little labour at the 
oar we soon found ourselves at the landing-place, where 
our tiny bark was drawn up high and dry upon the beach. 
Pushing inland we approached a cluster of mean-looking 
houses, apparently deserted, as there was no stir of life till 
Juan began to ransack the roof of the nearest hut, where 
the native treasures are generally bestowed. A menacing 
scream then told us we were not unobserved, and several old 
women were soon around Juan, who informed them he was 
looking for something to eat. This was literally true, for 
there was nothing to be seen in the houses except one or two 
old sleeping-mats. The natives of this island, which is 


situated between contending nations, find it necessary for 
security to secrete their property. 

We told them that their men were coming with lots of 
fish, but in the meantime we would take what they had to 
offer. Instead of entertaining us hospitably, however, they 
sullenly left us one after another, not even their natural 
curiosity detaining them. We awaited the return of the 
fishers for some time, but as they did not come we ordered 
the boy up the best supplied tree. This he soon denuded of 
its cocoa-nuts, in spite of the violent expostulations of the 
old women, who, as each nut fell on the ground, uttered 
screams of anger, and even threats of vengeance. They 
sneered at our retorts, imagining that their proximity to 
Tepuka secured them from such distant foes ; but, fortunately 
for our veracity and farther influence, a very few nights 
afterwards they were invaded by our Mends of Sararak— 
an event which I turned to account on more than one 

Seeing the bad feeling that existed against us here we did 
not await the return of the men, but pushed off to sea with 
no very pleasant anticipations of our next encounter with the 
Tautuans. We coasted along their shore for a mile or two, 
till, observing another opening in the reef leading to a more 
densely timbered shore, we cautiously passed into it. The 
passage led us not only to the beach, but, by a deep pool, 
overshadowed by palms, and bridged by a fallen cocoa-tree 
log, to a spacious shoal lagoon in the centre of the island. 
We beached our boat under the overhanging trees that 
spread their feathery branches across the little channel. 
After a close inspection of the ground on either side, we 
discovered neither footprints nor any other signs of popula- 
tion, except a few decayed and long-deserted huts. Secure 
from danger, therefore, we undressed and plunged from the 
rustic bridge into the transparent pool, an exercise which we 


enjoyed for an hour or so, whilst the girl prepared our mid- 
day meal, after partaking of which Joan and I went to 
survey this part of the coast. 

I found that the lagoon opened at its northern side to the 
sea-bound reef, across which at this point the sea also washed 
into the main lagoon, separating that portion from a still 
more densely wooded island on the opposite shore. This, I 
was informed by our Kanakas, was " Muta Muno," which we 
might expect to find inhabited. After a little delay we got 
into our boat and pulled to the other island, where we 
found a convenient landing-place. "We observed the palms 
had been so entirely stripped of their fruit that we could find 
none to allay the thirst which exposure to the sun produced. 
We proceeded, therefore, cautiously inland to an elevated 
ridge about the middle of the island, fearing a surprise from 
the natives, who had been represented to us as treacherous 
and fierce. There was still no evidence of inhabitants 
except an old house going to decay, but we found some 
fruit-bearing trees, one of which our boy immediately began 
to ascend. At the same moment, however, the well-known 
alarm cry (" Taka oatche 1") was heard a short distance off, 
and then we became aware of the presence of an observer in 
the shape of a young girl, who peered in terror at us behind 
a cocoa-nut log. When we approached nearer to her she 
raised her voice in loud tones of alarm, and was responded to 
(at a distance apparently) by a hundred others. This was 
the more provoking, as I was anxious to establish a friendly 
intercourse with these people, having become assured, from 
the multitude of old pearl-shells along the island we had 
left, that this side of the lagoon was most prolific in 

Juan ordered his wife to go forward alone, to reassure the 
young stranger, which she did. As they spoke, the wild 
shouts of the savages told of their rapid approach ; at which 


the manner of the young girl changed, and she urged us to 
fly to our boat, and put to sea, or we should all be killed. 
I told her that I did not want to leave, as I had come to 
make friends with her people, and with her particularly, she 
was so lovely. What a little flattery will do ! Even the heart 
of the savage yields to its influence. The large soft eyes 
opened in a kind of pleased wonder, and, springing forward, 
the maiden jumped into the boat, which had now been 
pushed into the water, and promised to take us to a place of 
safety. Seeing, however, that the boat was too small to hold 
us all, she ordered the boy and girl to remain, as they would 
not be injured; but urged us to push off instantly. Indeed 
it was high time, as we could already see the red forms of the 
natives rushing along the ridge we had just left; but we 
were beyond reach of their spears when they gained the 
beach, and surrounded our two young friends, to whom, I 
was happy to see, they offered no violence. They called on 
our new companion " Haka Puta" (the heiress, or holder 
of possessions) to come back ; but she replied that she was 
going to land at her own place, where they were to join her. 
On hearing this they returned quite peacefully along the 
sandy shore, keeping abreast of us as we coasted along the 
fringe of the reef some quarter of a mile. 

Haka Puta at once squatted herself in the stern of the 
boat, from whence she issued her commands in the most 
dictatorial manner. She was very communicative, too, and, 
notwithstanding her imperious manner, full of fun, ridiculing 
our ungrammatical Kanaka, It appeared she had gone with 
her father, a leading Tepukan chief, to Sararak, when some of 
her tribe first visited us; but I did not recollect her, though 
she did me. 

We had already reached her house when the pedestrians 
began to make their appearance. As they approached they 
performed the "hai," and made other demonstrations of 

MAHAUTA Nlji. 287 

friendship, so that all fear of danger was removed for the 

It was finally arranged that we should proceed to the 
quarters of the great chief, who, like the late Tepukan king, 
was called " Mahauta Nue." He adopted me, whilst his 
brother, apparently an older man, yet inferior in rank, took 
charge of Juan and his wife — an arrangement which did not 
seem at all satisfactory to our self-willed young friend, who 
looked on us as her especial property. Mahauta presented 
me with his spear as a mark of confidence. He was tall, 
athletic, and well-proportioned. 

On our march we passed by a waste tract of some extent, 
on which were some gaunt and plumeless palm-trunks rapidly 
going to decay. I asked Mahauta how the district had he- 
come blighted. " Oa oahea," he answered — that is, " The 
crest of the tree has been cut off." When this is done it 
soon dies, and the timber falls rapidly to decay. I suggested 
that he should replant it He looked over the land in a melan- 
choly manner, and, shaking his head, said, " Who would eat 
it ? — we shall be all dead, and our children, perhaps, in other 
lands/ 1 I subsequently learned that this was the scene of a 
great battle, where the people of Tautua (then the most 
powerful and dreaded of the group, having themselves sub- 
jected all the east coast) had been defeated by their united 
enemies of the opposite shores, who had destroyed their trees 
and killed so many of their warriors, that they had never 
since been able to regain their power. Their population 
daily decreasing, they were no longer able to guard their ex- 
tensive territory, and, for safety, were compelled to concen- 
trate their small force as much as possible in one spot to 
avoid being cut off in detail by their merciless enemies. 

After crossing a partially sea- washed reef, we came to a 
small island of about half a mile in extent, well wooded with 
palms, and possessing quantities of a shrub, not unlike 


privet, bearing a small pink flower, and ere long emerged on 
a narrow slip of reef, over which the sea dashed with sufficient 
force to form a continuous rapid towards the lagoon, mating 
the footing very precarious. 

We soon reached our quarters, and, while the evening 
meal was in preparation, were of course the centre of attrac- 
tion. Our dress, our hair, and our persons, as far as we would 
permit, were made the object of their investigations, but their 
timidity was such that they were easily checked when too 
obstrusive. The luxury of an extra coating of gravel was 
spread on the floor of our huts to soften our beds, on which, 
after the fatigues of the day, we slept soundly. 

The following morning my first object was to explore 
the island, the only striking features of which were its 
prominence, rendering it a good position from which to 
see passing ships, a fresh-water lagoon and swamp in the 
centre, and more appearance of an alluvial soil than I 
had before met with. I regretted deeply that I had not 
earlier been aware of the existence of such a spot, as I 
have little doubt yams, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin seed, 
so unsuccessfully planted in Sararak, would have thriven 
here; and if we were to dwell long in this place, these 
fruits would have been an inestimable treasure. Satisfied 
with the position of the island as a look-out post, and 
there being apparently an abundance of fish (especially my 
favourite, the " ruchy "), I determined to take up my abode 
here for some time, if the hospitality of the people, which, 
at present was liberal enough, did not flag. 

On my return to the village my breakfast was awaiting 
me. Sundry little black cocoa-nut utensils, filled with various 
kinds of fish, were placed before me, together with a mass of 
very small scarlet fish, pressed and baked into akind of cake— 
a very palatable dish, that I had not seen before. This little 
fish, which is secured in great shoals, when dried, pressed, 


cooked, and eaten cold, forms an agreeable meal. I was 
intently engaged discussing all these bounties, the donor of 
each article reminding' me that he was the contributor, 
when, with a ringing laugh, a pair of soft hands pressed 
tightly on my eyes, and my head was drawn back. As soon 
as I could disengage myself, I beheld the merry face of 
Haka Puta leaning over me. I told her to sit down beside 
me, and partake of the good things before us — a request with 
which she complied so heartily that I was not astonished at 
the rotundity of her person. Haka Puta was very youthful, 
but decidedly stout. Nevertheless, she was extremely pretty, 
and her limbs were beautifully formed. Her hair had the 
auburn tings common at this place, and her eyes were large 
and lively. Throughout the day she trotted after me wherever 
I went, and at night her reluctant parting for her own village 
showed that already a friendly feeling had been established 
between us. 

We had been about a week here when we were aroused 
one morning by the alarm cry, " Taka oatchfe !" and I had 
scarcely reached the beach when I observed several canoes, 
containing about one hundred warriors, rounding a little 
promontory to the southward, and rapidly approaching the 
landing-place of Muta Muno. The Tautuans, of course, 
flew to arms, but resistance would have been useless, as they 
could not muster a third of the above number in fighting 
men. They therefore kept together at their little stronghold! 
determined to oppose the invaders if they advanced so far, 
but to make no attempt to prevent their lading. The 
women rushed to the scene of action, Juan and I follow- 
ing ; and their yells and noise were enough to have scared 
a more civilized army. Our present visitors, however, 
were proof against such sounds, and already the cocoa- 
nuts were falling in all directions before the hand of 
the spoiler. On our way I was joined by Haka Puta, who, 



ever on the alert, had learned that it was ray friends of 
Sararak who had made the descent. She begged me eagerly 
to assist in saving her land from plunder; and I assured her 
of my best exertions on her account, though, remembering 
the half-starved condition of these people when I left them, 
I had not much confidence in my influence over them in 
their present excited state. 

, On beholding me their labours were for a moment aban- 
doned, whilst they performed the customary salutations ; but, 
as time was too precious for much ceremony, they hurriedly 
resumed their work. I was astonished at the rapidity of 
their movements. The trees that had any number of nuts 
were ascended in a minute, and the fruit was rapidly 
wrenched from the stem, and dropped to others beneath, 
who, before picking it up, tore off a strip of the husk, and 
tied two together, forming what is called an " echik." When 
ten of these pairs had been collected they were, by a rapid 
movement, ingeniously twisted together, forming "echuckau," 
tens, but literally twenties, as the Kanakas generally count 
in pairs. These bundles were carried to the beach by the 
old men, to be ready for removal at a moment's notice. 
Their progress was like that of a host of locusts, all behind 
their path being left bare. 

On arriving at Haka Puta's land, I had much difficulty in 
saving it from plunder, for many who had got into the trees 
before I saw them had already gathered quantities of nuts. 
In every instance, however, they good-naturedly obeyed my 
order to com£ down ; though some of the leading men ex- 
postulated with me about my interference, reminding me 
that these people were our enemies, and that they showed 
great clemency in not taking their lives. 

When a sufficient quantity had been collected to fill their 
fleet, they had a grand gorge after their lengthened absti- 
nence, before starting on their return voyage. Whilst thus 


occupied, I tried to bring O Pai Tangata and Mahauta Nu$ 
together, but neither seemed willing to trust himself in the 
other's presence. The people of Sararak were very anxious 
that I should return with them; but as I was in good 
quarters I declined. They went off in high spirits across 
the lagoon, their canoes laden to the water's edge. The 
village of the Tautuans was very silent that night ; and our 
next morning meal was much later than usual, as the people 
had now farther to go for food. They were also thrown 
into the greatest distress by a report that Matunga was 
preparing an expedition against them. 

As the people of Matunga had at all times an abundance 
of food, their healthy trees bearing prolifically, and their 
insular position affording them a constant supply of fish, I 
had shown them the folly of provoking quarrels with their 
neighbours — where they could gain nothing, and might lose 
much. This reasoning they seemed fully to appreciate, as, at 
my expostulation, they had relinquished an expedition against 
the same place on a former occasion. I therefore did not 
believe in the report, and endeavoured to reassure the 
Tautuans. My exertions, however, were useless, and the 
whole community fell into a state of the greatest dejection. 
- They seemed also to look on me with suspicion — not 
without apparent reason, as in both cases it was my imme- 
diate friends that were making the attack. It was in vain I 
assured them that if the Matungans arrived I would prevent 
their injuring them, for they remembered how little I had 
interfered on a recent occasion. Haka Puta, who still 
trotted about with me everywhere, was the only one who 
seemed fully to trust me, amusing me with her innocent 

On account of the suspicions of the natives, I told Juan, 
the second day, that the following afternoon we should 
proceed on our expedition, to which he readily acceded. 

v i 


Not so his fair spouse, who positively declined, having, as it 
subsequently proved, private reasons for wishing to remain 
where she was, whilst Juan was rather desirous for their 
departure. During our stay in Tepuka a good-looking 
young fellow, whom the girl represented as her "tenia" 
(brother or cousin, the same word implying both) had been 
a constant visitor at their lodgings, and, since oar arrival 
here, had made a second visit to us. In Juan's absence I 
had seen the fellow in rather closer intimacy than is con- 
sistent with these people's ideas of such near relationship. 

The next morning, shortly after daylight, our little com- 
munity was dismayed by the arrival of a messenger from the 
opposite shore, with tidings that the Matungans, together 
with a number of the people of Tokerau, were concealed 
in the woods we had just left, and we might immediately ex- 
pect them, with a white man by whom they were led. I was 
now satisfied that the Matungans were in reality on the 
march, and at once concluded that Frankfe, who had long 
been jealous of my influence, had taken advantage of my ab- 
sence to excite them to this expedition and to make himself 
popular by joining in it. Uncertain, therefore, how far my 
inflence might have been dispelled, I felt anxious about the 
result. Some of the Tautuans talked of flying to their most 
distant island, or even to Tepuka; others of putting to sea 
ia their canoes. Their wavering councils were brought to a 
hurried conclusion, however, by the appearance of the enemy's 
fleet advancing rapidly across the passage. Mahauta at once 
declared his intention of opposing their landing, and the men 
hurried to arm themselves with less noise and more determi- 
nation than I had yet seen amongst these people, while 
the women rushed off, screaming, to secrete such little 
household valuables as they possessed. 

The little group of warriors, each armed with several spears, 
collected around their young chief on the bank above the 

franke's plans overturned. 293 

strand, towards which the canoes were heading. An occa- 
sional muttered exclamation, or the names of such of 
their assailants as they recognised, were the only sounds 
amongst them. I observed with, surprise, what I had never 
seen before, that the men were entirely nude, and I after- 
wards learned that, in cases of extreme affliction, they 
throw off the maro. I kept, with Juan, in the background, 
having recognised Frankfe, and not wishing him to know 
I was here till the Matungans were within speaking 
distance, when I hoped to be able to resume my influence 
over them before he had time to concert hostile measures. 
As they approached I saw that all the boats were filled with 
familiar faces, but I looked in vain for Turua, who alone had 
refused to join the expedition: I hurried down with Juan 
to the strand, calling out their names, and with my hand 
waving the friendly salutation, " Shara, shara." In an in- 
stant all Franke's plans were overturned. Every canoe 
stopped, and their crews, shouting my name, " Tanie Mano, 
e," waved the shara, shara; whilst, notwithstanding Frankfe's 
discomfited looks and remonstrances, the leader of each boat 
rose and made the speech of welcome. This ceremony over, 
I told Taharua of the recent incursion from Sararak, the 
poverty of the people, their kindness to me, and my determi- 
nation to protect them. They all assured me of their friendly 
intentions, and asked for permission to land that they might 
meet my new friends in peace. I could not, however, restore 
confidence to the Tautuans, and Mahauta begged me to take 
them to the landing-place on the adjoining island. It was 
at length arranged that those with Taharua alone should land, 
while the others remained in their canoes. The Tautuans 
then seated themselves, and the Matungans, after saluting 
me, sat down near the others in a group. Taharua took 
his place beside Mahauta, whom he saluted — an act of friend- 
ship which was returned by the latter. It was evident, how- 


ever, that there was no great love or confidence on either 

The evening meal occupied them till it was dark, which 
prevented the danger of any pilfering that night, as they are 
too superstitious to venture out for such a purpose at late 
hours. All, therefore, retired to rest in peace. 

By daylight I was astir, and hastened to the house where 
Franke, with some of the younger men, had slept, but, as I 
feared, it was already deserted. I hurried to Taharua, and 
with him went in search of the others, whom we discovered 
in the act of climbing some trees. We ordered them back 
to the beach. Taharua was in a towering passion, but they 
excused themselves by throwing all the blame on Frankfe, 
who had incited them to this breach of their promise. 

The morning meal over, after a pressing request for me 
to return with them, they took their departure without 
having pulled a single cocoa-nut; and, as they paddled 
off from the shore, shouted their farewell, €t Ahana, Tame 
Mano, ahana !" with peculiar melancholy voice and action, 
which I returned after their own fashion, calling out their 
names respectively to each. 

I had a special object in remaining at Tautua. I had 
heard the people mention the existence of a shoal, of several 
miles in extent, lying off the point of the group to the north- 
east. As well as I could make out from their conflicting 
statements, this shoal was about ten miles from the land. I 
have since found that it is not laid down on any chart, nor 
does Wilks, who* pretends to give a correct survey, allude to 
it, though it is an object most dangerous to ships approach- 
ing the islands in that direction. As the sea breaks over it, 
however, except in fine weather, the danger may be observed 
before it is too late, except in such a case as ours. Accord- 
ing to report it abounds with fish and pearls, though the 
latter statement is denied by many. All, however, agreed 


that they could not venture to it on any but a perfectly calm 
day, and, though Mahauta had promised to get up an expe- 
dition for the purpose, there was always something to pre- 
vent it 

I got tired of their procrastination, and resolved to proceed 
on my journey. This, however, was not so easily done. They 
had now found I could serve them, and were anxious for me 
to remain. Our cockle-shell of a boat would not convey four 
of us across the passage, where a strong ocean swell set in ; 
and as they had always some excuse to prevent our having 
the use of a canoe, I determined, with the help of my party, 
to launch one early in the morning, and, having made the 
opposite coast, leave it for some of the natives to come and 
take back. Haka Puta was the only obstacle to this plan, as 
she constantly followed me about, and, if she saw me taking 
a canoe, would certainly give the alarm. I therefore 
arranged to get her out of the way. In the morning 
I told her I was going to visit her mother, and asked her 
to accompany me, which she did in high good humour. 
We had passed to the opposite island, and were wending our 
way through its shady groves when I said I was taking 
her home, as I intended leaving for Matunga in the morning. 
She did not understand me at first, and was in great joy, 
believing she was to accompany me, but when I undeceived 
her she burst into a passion of grief, and, squatting down, 
said she would go back and tell Mahauta, who would pre- 
vent our getting away. I tried every persuasion to induce 
her to come on with me, but to no purpose. As she persisted 
in sitting on the ground, crying violently. I told her if she 
would not come with me to her mother I must leave her, and 
would go away at once. I bade her good-bye, but she would 
not answer, except by renewed crying and sobbing. I 
therefore left her, I confess with no small feeling of regret. 
Her disappointment, however, was only temporary, for in a 


few minutes her cries had ceased, and I believed she had re- 
turned to her own house, when the patter of rapid feet close 
behind made me look back, and the next moment Haka Puta 
threw her arms round me, and, half- laughing, half-crying, 
said I had only been making fun, and was not going to leave 
them to the attacks of their enemies to be murdered, or 
starved to death, or if I was I should at least take her 
with me. 

I felt sorry for her, but I was inexorably hard-hearted, 
and told her I should leave that evening. I tried to dis- 
engage myself from her, but, throwing herself on the ground, 
she clung to me, exclaiming, " Cary coi ahana ! Cary coi 
ahana !" (You shall not go) . She screamed for help, and 
not without success, for several women — amongst the rest 
her mother — attracted by her shrieks, rushed to her as- 

All things considered, why not take unto myself another 
wife ? Having two already I need not scruple about a third, 
and, so resolving, I raised my dark-skinned beauty from her 
recumbent position, patted her the head, and calling her 
my wife, said I would now really take her to Matunga; 
whereat, in testimony of her delight, she brought her nose 
into contact with mine, and treated me to an amount of 
friction which was more flattering than agreeable. Our 
party continued to swell till nearly the whole village had 
congregated, and when they learned the result of all the 
noise, the entire crowd returned in great joy to the hamlet. 
As for the little girl, she seemed overjoyed beyond all proper 
decorum, dancing along before the party, and performing her 
merriest antics for my amusement. 

Couriers were despatched to bring in all the kith and kin 
of the bride and their friends. All mine should have been 
present also, but, as they belonged to the enemy, and besides 
were too remote for the hasty arrangement, we dispensed 


with any of them except Juan, who was to be my grooms- 

The marriage breakfast was not magnificent, although in 
the royal family. It is not usual for these people to 
make much, if any, distinction on such occasions ; and they 
have nothing corresponding to our bridecake — in fact, it was 
strictly an ordinary meal, the same as on any other 
day. The bride herself was not visible, custom, rather 
than modesty, compelling her to remain in retire- 
ment. After the morning meal, the different groups as- 
sembled round the chiefs tent, where the groom and his 
friends were already seated. The men formed in a row for 
the pehu, and the women, before sitting down, arranged 
their titches, that they might not crumple them, as they pre- 
pared to join the chant. The bride, meanwhile, had not 
appeared ; and it was not till she had been angrily called, 
that from a closed tent some young girls emerged with what 
seemed to be a bundle of mats in the centra. This, however, 
was really the young bride, who, coming forth, ran towards 
the tent where I was seated, and then darting back was 
again enveloped in the mats, and withdrawn to the re- 
motest corner of the house. The bride does not entirely 
disrobe herself of the matting for several days after the mar- 
riage, when she appears with the titchfe, which she wears con- 
stantly for the remainder of her life. Whilst the young lady 
hides her maiden blushes under the matting, and the gen- 
tleman sits demurely, but more confidently, in front of the 
hut, the ceremony of the pehu commences, accompanied by 
rather an extra amount of crying, scratching, and bleeding, 
making a most melancholy affair of the happy event. The 
bride is then handed over to the oldest relatives or friends 
present for some further ceremonies; which over, the happy 
couple retire to their new abode. 
After the first few days' feasting, the conjugal state did 


not make much alteration in my habits, nor did my young 
bride become more staid of matronly in her deportment. 
Indeed, her vivacity seemed rather to increase, and her 
greatest achievement was to get me out of the fits of 
despondency which I could not avoid frequently indulging 
in, as my hopes of escape were daily diminishing. On the 
other hand, I had established friendly relations all round the 
group, and could command assistance from any quarter in 
time of danger ; but this was a poor solace where, amongst 
a host of barbarians, life was of so little value to me. 



Plan of a White Kingdom — Proposed Departure — Matrimonial 
Disturbance — Ruchd Fishing — Departure — Reception at Ma- 
tunga — A Shakspeare Lesson — Haka Puta's Amusements — Dis- 
agreeable Habits of the Natives — Rayheys — Fishing Expedition 
— Chera Puna — Presents — Curtain Lecture — Scarcity of Cocoa- 
nuts — Departure from Matunga — Farewell to the Noble Turua 
— Passage through the Mutagohiche Territory — Affairs of the 
Islands — The People, their Jealousies and Wars — Misadventure 
to Haka Puta — Arrival in Sararak — Important Council — The- 
atrical Representation of our Shipwreck — The White Feather 
shown by Franke — A Tranquil Life in Mangerongaro— Unwel- 
come Visit of the Tepukans — Great Festivities — The Mukatea 
— My Mission to the Tepukans — Factious Proceedings amongst 
ourselves — Quarrel between Turua and Ocura — False Alarm — 
Danger of Wooing for another — Jealousy. 

I HAD at this time a serious intention of forming a white 
kingdom. The barren and deserted islands on the other 
side of the channel, whose few aud scattered cocoa-nut trees 
were the common property of all who chose to rifle them, 
would, if properly cultivated, nearly suffice to support our 
small party, with our wives — especially as many of us had 
claims in other parts of the group, which we could at all 
times fall back on — till the young groves, which we should 
at once set about planting, had arrived at maturity. The 
chief difficulty in this plan was the disaffection of Joe 
and Frankfe, who, if they did not join us, would most pro- 
bably, on our withdrawal permanently from the other islands, 
excite against us the animosity of the more distant ones. 
However, with Buahara and our firm allies, the Matun- 


gans, on the one hand, and my newly-made friends and 
relatives on the other, our position was good. There is so 
little food for the mind in a monotonous life that with 
such an idea as I had now got I could not rest till I had 
endeavoured to put it into execution ; and I once more re- 
solved to return to the west of the group to confer on the 
subject with my companions in distress. Juan was de- 
lighted when I informed him of my resolution, for, as I 
learned from him for the first time, he had been in a most 
uncomfortable state of mind for several days past. I had 
observed in the village the tall beau from Tepuka, before 
mentioned, who assumed to be a relative of Juan's wife. 

Accordingly, I declared that it was my intention to 
take my departure on the morrow. Of course, the usual 
objections were offered ; but finally, our arrangements were 
made for the second day from that date, and as we could 
not leave without a suitable supply of food, preparations 
were set about for a day's fishing extraordinary. The 
ladies busied themselves with their cooking apparatus, 
whilst some of the youths were sent across the channel to 
form a temporary encampment of palm-boughs close to the 
point, that being a celebrated fishing ground. 

The following morning Juan and I proceeded to our 
accustomed bathing-place, but we had not been long there 
when, to my astonishment, he abruptly left me and returned 
to the village. A few minutes afterwards, shouts of alarm and 
confused noises made me aware of some untoward event. I 
ran to the scene of action, where I saw a number of figures 
passing at full speed, whilst many of the women were wail- 
ing and wringing their hands. On asking the cause of all 
this disturbance, I found that Juan, on his return, had dis- 
covered the suspected stranger inside his house, the sides of 
which were let down. At once bursting in, he had en- 
deavoured to grapple with his unbidden guest, who, eluding 

A STORM. 301 

the friendly embrace, had dashed out, and made for the 
wood, Juan after him, brandishing his formidable iron 
sword, and, like the veriest savage amongst them, yelling 
vengeance. At this moment the tall visitor emerged from the 
wood like a hunted wolf; and when, with a glance over his 
shoulder, he saw the dreaded sword of Juan brandishing clo.c 
behind, terror was expressed in every feature. As they ran 
along the open beach I sprang forward to join in the pursuit, 
when several of the natives threw themselves before me, and 
begged me, instead of assisting Juan, to stop him, for they 
assured me, should a Tepukan be killed among them, the 
consequences would be dreadful. Juan did not require my 
assistance, however, for jealous rage augmenting his speed, 
he rapidly gained on his foe. Already the dangerous 
weapon was raised for a furious cut when the islander, 
springing down the bank, dashed into the water where it 
deepened at the edge, and struck out for the opposite coast. 
Juan, fortunately, did not attempt to follow the amphibious 
savage, who, skilfully avoiding the stones thrown after him 
was soon out of danger. 

The savage must have been greatly alarmed, for Juan's 
domestic peace was never troubled by him again. The 
thrashing which, on his return home, he gave his spouse, 
seemed to have been so satisfactory to his wounded feelings 
that when, on the following morning, our fleet started for 
the Contra Costa, he was the jolliest among us. 

The ruchfe fishing was very successful. We had abun- 
dant feasting that day, and baskets were filled for our journey 
with utos, neu oara, &c. We had scarcely lain down, how- 
ever, when one of those sudden changes that occur in these 
lands took place. The lovely starlit heavens became over- 
cast, the thunder rolled, and the rain fell in torrents during 
the entire night. The only way to bear it was to sit up, 
gathered into as small a compass as possible; but sleep at 


length overtook me. Towards morning I awoke, lying in a 
pool of water, from which, as it was not very cold, I did not 
experience much inconvenience at the time, though the fre- 
quency of such exposures has had since a most injurious 

After an early breakfast of ruch£ — the best fish in the 
world, cooked in a manner that Soyer could not excel — we 
selected as a servant a young lad, a poor relation of Haka 
Puta's, and took a melancholy farewell of our kind friends. 
Juan and I proceeded in the boat, the two women and the 
boy journeying afoot along the beach, whilst the shara-shara 
and oft-repeated " Ahana !" were waved and shouted to us 
with feelings of genuine sorrow. Our boat was loaded with 
provisions, and our friends were delighted to receive us, as 
we were enabled to afford them such a meal as they had not 
enjoyed for some time past. 

In the evening we were joined by a family from the further 
end of the island, with whom was a tall, handsome-looking 
young girl, whom I had met on my previous visits to this 
place. I was pleased to see her, though my little spouse 
treated her very coolly, and on her departure said, " She won- 
dered how I could speak to such an ugly thing I" I thought 
nothing of her little jealousy at the time, but subsequently 
had cause to remember it. 

The following morning my boat was carried down to the 
beach by the officious natives, who had taken it into the in- 
terior, hoping to induce me to prolong my stay, and Haka 
Puta and I took our departure, the rest of my party follow- 
ing overland to Tokerau. As we sailed leisurely along the 
shore towards the point facing Matunga, I could distinguish 
amongst the shouting crowds on the beach many familiar 
faces, and when we entered the little sheltered coral cove the 
natives plunged into the water and hurried us, skiff and all, 
over the pebbly strand, until our boat was sheltered under 


the young palms. This to me had always been a pretty spot, 
but it now seemed doubly sweet, for I returned with joy to 
it as my home. The pleasant isle of Matunga lay smiling in 
tranquillity across the passage, the dense shade of its groves 
only hiding from my view the many sincere friends that I 
knew crowded its shores, anxiously awaiting my return. I 
did not, therefore, delay long at Tokerau, but procuring a 
canoe started across the channel (some three miles in width). 
A gentle breeze filled my little sail sufficiently to keep her 
ahead of the other laboriously-propelled canoes, to the de- 
light of their boisterous occupants, who vainly endeavoured 
to pass me. 

We had not proceeded half the distance when we discerned " 
the forms of natives on the beach. As we neared the 
shore, they Tan along the strand, waving hundreds of palm 
branches, generally one in each hand, Turua and Taha Rua 
conspicuous amongst them. 

My bashful partner declared it was impossible for her to 
land ; she could never go amongst so many strangers. My 
threats and entreaties were of no avail, and I had at last 
forcibly to land her on the beach, when she at once made a 
dart towards an inverted canoe, under which she managed to 
conceal herself. Here I was compelled to leave her and pro- 
ceed towards the expectant assembly, whilst some women, 
who had been sent to hasten my approach, tried to induce 
my modest spouse to quit her nest. 

Arrived at the council-house, I found the population of 
Matunga drawn up in the usual form, the women seated in two 
rows facing each other, with a space in the centre, the men 
standing behind them. On my approach all shara-sharaed 
and shouted my name. Several of the chiefs made lengthened 
speeches, accompanied by a short dance, on the conclusion of 
which they approached the spot where I stood apart and per- 
formed the most abject salutations. A mat was then placed 


in the centre, where I was compelled to sit. In vain I endea- 
voured to prevent their catting themselves, for on so eventful 
an occasion such an important part of the ceremony could 
not he omitted. When, however, their bleeding bodies and 
fatigued appearance showed that they had had enough of it, 
I was called on to pass round the delighted circle and receive 
their homage. 

Franke and Joe, during the pehu, had been endea- 
vouring to turn the affair into ridicule, to the great disgust 
of some of the natives. Since my return they had been 
treated with entire neglect. This pair of worthies, finding 
Matunga daily becoming more uncomfortable, took their de- 
parture for Mutagohiche, whose people, having recently had 
a misunderstanding with their ancient allies of Sararak, were 
more anxious to cultivate the friendship of white men than 

I was sorry to find that many of my friends looked with 
coldness on poor Haka Puta, which she had perception 
enough quickly to observe ; but being naturally intelligent 
and animated, amongst the young people of her own sex she 
became a universal favourite, and, after the morning meal, it 
was usual to see her, with a crowd of other young women, in 
some favourite resort, retailing to eager ears stories of 
foreign lands which she had learned from me the preceding 
evening. This gave her considerable importance, which she 
seemed rather to enjoy. 

My study of Shakspeare was a mystery which even her 
intelligence could not fathom. I endeavoured to make her 
understand the use I made of the book, but her comprehen- 
sion must have been rather confused, for she would sit a long 
time gazing at its mysterious pages (as likely as not upside 
down), and eventually would lay it down in blank disappoint- 

On one occasion, when she was looking at one of the little 


cuts with which my copy was illustrated, and which I had 
frequently, but unsuccessfully, tried to make the natives 
comprehend, I pointed out to her, with a sharp fish bone, 
the eyes, nose, mouth, &e., of a face strikingly distinct. At 
once observing the resemblance, she clapped her hands, 
and excitedly exclaimed, " No te mata e te miche !" (" The 
face of a child I") I then explained the rest of the figure, 
and finally the whole picture, telling her what the characters 
were — the king, his queen, chiefs, &c., the style of dress, 
and so on, to her infinite delight and astonishment ; and 
soon I saw her squatted in a circle of excited companions, 
to whom she was endeavouring to describe what I had just 
enabled her to understand. Such instructions afforded her 
great pleasure. Every evening it was my office to explain 
one of the pictures, and the following day she would com- 
municate what she had learned not only to the young 
people, but to the motherly women, the old crones, and not 
unfrequently the first chiefs, especially when anything striking 
was on the tapis. The translation, it is true, was of the 
freest; and I doubt whether the Bard of Avon would have 
recognised his characters as represented by the little savage 

In my wanderings she was constantly by my side, sharing 
the popularity bestowed on me. Her tongue, to be sure, was 
a most active member, but I myself was fond both of talking 
and of hearing others talk. When, in my deficiency of the 
language, I failed in making myself fully understood, her 
absurd translation was most amusing, as she always pre- 
tended perfectly to comprehend me. Her interpretation 
of their language to me in cases of difficulty was a master- 
piece of mystification. She would insert in her discourse at 
any point, and no matter how irrelevant, the three or four 
words of English she possessed. When she succeeded in 
making me understand her, she considered it a great 



triumph, and, dapping her hands, performed all kinds of 
joyous antics. She evinced, however, a greater amount of 
jealousy than was agreeable ; and when any of our female 
acquaintances occupied more of my conversation than she 
considered proper, she very unceremoniously ordered us 
to " manieniewr !" which may be expressed in our vernacular 
by the vulgar phrase, " shut up !" or in more polite, but 
less forcible English, " Silence !" Her chief delight was 
to show off her privileges, and the liberties she could take 
before the chiefs or great men of the island. When sitting 
in council amidst these "potent, grave, and reverend 
signers," she has not unfrequently stolen behind me, jumped 
on my back, and, to the astonishment of those around, pulled 
me to the ground before I was aware. Sometimes, when walk- 
ing, she would spring on my back, and insist on being car- 
ried. This, however, I cured her of by carrying her one morn- 
ing to a rock in front of the village, a little distance from the 
beach, where the water reached my waist, and from which 
she could not return without wetting her tiche. Here I 
left her screaming and imploring me to take her off, the 
usual crowd of idlers on the beach laughing at her all the 
time; nor would I remove her till she had promised to 
conduct herself with more matronly propriety in future. 

Haka Puta proved an excellent housekeeper. Naturally 
cleanly, she readily adopted my instructions. Her willing 
resignation of the disagreeable habits of her countrywomen 
made her culinary arrangements very satisfactory. Living 
in peace and plenty, "monarch of all I surveyed," I 
should have been perfectly content, but for the constant 
yearning for home. Thoughts of absent friends, of my 
business, and of my future in the world, carried my mind 
away in discontent from a lot often envied by my comrades 
in bondage. I still wandered to the beach morning, noon, 
and night, in the hope of beholding a white sail nearing our 


island prison. In my restlessness I resolved to visit Omuka, 
leaving Haka Puta in charge of Harry, who, with his sweet 
young wife, was then in Matunga. Haka Puta showed 
much opposition to my absenting myself, the reason of which 
I did not at the time know ; but, on my return, Harry told 
me she had kept them awake half the night with her com- 
plaints that I had goue off to Chera Puna, and left her 
altogether. On my landing, she ran into the water, and 
threw her arms around me with a demonstration of affec- 
tion rarely exhibited by these formal people. 

A few days after my return our people were thrown into 
a state of alarm by information that the Tepukans were 
€t making their spears" — in other words, preparing for war — 
and it was feared that Matunga would be chosen for a 
descent. The same day a deputation from Omuka sum- 
moned our chiefs to a council ; and, on the next, our fleet 
was on the move over the calm waters of the lagoon. On 
approaching the rapid current of the passage, the paddles 
were vigorously plied, wild shouts accompanying the un- 
usual effort ; which, as they spread from canoe to canoe, 
stimulated the rowers to their utmost exertions. As we 
wound our way through the forest of coral, we approached 
a large party of our neighbours busily occupied with their 
nets among a shoal of " rayheys," a fish something like the 
bream, that occasionally visits these shores in great 

The boats encircled the school, the occupants beating the 
water with their paddles, and driving the fish towards the 
shoals or bays in the reef, where they were captured in the 
leafy folds of the rau-rau, or even by the hands of those on 
the banks. So engrossed were they with their business, 
that we were unnoticed till in their midst, when a few 
friendly greetings were interchanged. While passing a canoe 
full of young people, who had come to observe the sport, 

x 2 


several of those in my boat exclaimed, "Tanie Mano, tera 
Chera Puna!" But I looked in Tain for the large black 
swimming eyes, fringed with long lashes, and the grace- 
fully-curling auburn locks of the lovely girl. At length, 
however, a cowering form in the bottom of the boat, con- 
eealed by a cau-sho, was pointed out as the Omuka belle. I 
turned towards Haka Puta to direct her attention to the 
sharer in her lord's affection, when lo ! I found her en- 
veloped in the same disguise. " Hallo!" thought I, "here 
are rows brewing in the camp." But I took no further 
notice, nor, indeed, thought more about the matter at the 

As we neared the shore, where a crowd had already assem- 
bled to welcome us, poor Haka Puta's distress was complete. 
Some of the girls rudely pulled aside the short leaf mantle 
that hid her abashed head, so tbat I had to interfere on her 
behalf. When we retired to the house allotted to us she 
cried most bitterly, and begged me to take her back to 
Matunga, where she had been so happy. Next day, how- 
ever, the intelligent young Tepo, who called to visit us at 
daylight, made herself agreeable to her new connexion ; and 
they soon became great friends, leaving me at liberty to 
visit my relations in various parts of the island. 

Towards evening I returned by the house of Chera Puna, 
a retired, sheltered spot near the beach. She sat on a mat 
in front conversing with her mother, apparently, from the 
energy of her gestures, on some exciting topic. She did not 
see me till I was close to them, when, with an exclamation of 
surprise, she threw herself on the mat, covering her face 
with her hands. I spoke to her, and asked her to look up, 
and welcome me back, but she would not ; and it was not 
till her mother insisted on her getting up and accepting of 
some of the presents offish, &c, with which I was returning 
laden, that I could get her to speak. A present of this 

haka puta's jealoust. 309 

kind is always a token of friendship, and as it is used as a 
sign that quarrels have been arranged, the refusal of it is 
considered a declaration of enmity. As she rose from the 
mat her large soft eyes nearly overflowed with tears, but 
when I spoke gently she seemed rather pleased, and got into 
better spirits. She, however, decidedly refused to visit me 
whilst Uaka Puta was with me, and on my proposing to bring 
the latter to see her, she indulged in a torrent of abuse against 
her, telling her mother she was an ugly Tepakan, with cross 
eyes and a big mouth, at the same time stretching her fea- 
tures into a ridiculous caricature of her rival. The sobriquet 
of Manua nufe, applied by Chera Puna to Haka Puta, stuck 
to the latter, to her no small chagrin and disgust; but 
she retaliated by calling her rival "Mata nufe" ("Big 
eyes"), " Wa wa piki " (" Crooked legs"), and similar choice 

Whilst I sat in rather close proximity beside Chera Puna, 
endeavouring to re-establish myself in her affections, one of 
my Matunga friends passed, and in a meaning tone asked if 
I had any word for Haka Puta, as he was going her way. 
As this unfortunate sally made Chera Puna again sulky, 
and the sun was rapidly sinking to the waves, I took my de- 
parture, and soon reached our Matunga encampment, where 
I found Haka Puta seated apart from our friends, finishing her 
evening meal. I offered her the remainder of my presents, 
but I could not induce her to touch anything I had brought. 
Believing she fretted at her residence among strangers, after 
a few gifts to my Matunga friends and their visitors, I re- 
tired with her, and endeavoured, but in vain, to recall 
her lively spirits. At last, tired of her unusual and unac- 
countable temper, I lay down on my mat and left her to 

All was quiet for a time, but suddenly the calm was dis- 
turbed by a storm of violent invective. Mrs. Caudle never 


poured such a flood of curtain-lecture on her unfortunate 
spouse as the young Haka Puta launched against me. " Are 
you not ashamed of yourself, bringing a young girl from her 
good friends to desert her among strangers, the enemies 
of her people? Shame! shame ! but I shall leave to-mor- 
row r 

With some difficulty I introduced a remark to the effect 
that she had no canoe. 

"No canoe 1 No, true; but I can swim; the girls of 
Tautua can swim better than the Omuka men, and I will 
swim back" (ten miles). " You wouldn't give me a canoe 
even to save me from the sharks ; but you can keep your 
canoe for Chera Puna, and your fish for Chera Puna — Wa 
wa piki ! — and you can go to her and leave me. Why did 
you not stay with her when you presented her with fish and 
cocoa-nuts? Why did you not keep her in your arms? 
Why come back to me? I don't want you. For shame ! 
Go off to her now !" 

Turua was not only a generous, but rather a prodigal 
young fellow, and although his domain was wide, the nume- 
rous guests that partook of his hospitality, along with his 
increased family, began to thin bis cocoa-nuts, and, notwith- 
standing Ocura's hints to be more careful of their staff of life, 
we suddenly discovered one morning that the land had to be 
mas-anga'd — a fact which at first was concealed from me. I 
soon perceived, however, that after the guests had taken their 
departure, the rest of the family were restricted in the quan- 
tity of their food. Just at this time a deputation of three 
women, relatives of O Pai Tangata, came to request my im- 
mediate presence in Mangerongaro, as the chief was deadly 
ill, and wished to see his son. I had had two or three mes- 
sages previously from my friends in that place, but Haka 
Puta's objection to going amongst strangers, and my affec- 
tion for the Matunga people, made me disinclined to leave. 


Nevertheless, under present circumstances, I decided to 
proceed in a few days, and, giving my Mangerongaro ac- 
quaintances some cocoa-nuts and fish, I sent them off with 
a message to that effect. 

Next morning, whilst Ocura was busied in washing up 
some of the cooking utensils, and Turua mending the meshes 
of his toto, preparatory to a fishing excursion, I called 
Haka Puta into the house from the midst of a laughing group of 
companions, to inform her that the next day we must depart 
for Sararak. She cried and entreated to remain, till, rather 
annoyed, I asked her — speaking louder than was prudent — if 
she was not ashamed to see Turua and Ocura depriving them- 
selves of food for our sakes. 

On passing Turua I observed him resting his face in both 
hands, and, fearing he was ill, I pulled away a hand to ask 
him what was the matter, and found the tears flowing down 
his cheeks. Throwing his great brawny arms around me, 
he begged me not to leave him. He had heard what I had 
been saying, and declared he would always have abundance 
for me. " He would fish every day — his hooks were new and 
his nets freshly mended ; if his cocoa-nuts were thinned, his 
friends had plenty, and they must yield them to me, or he 
would return to Matunga and let them meet the Tepukans 
alone/' I had much difficulty in appeasing his grief; but 
when I assured him of my friendship and the necessity of 
visiting Sararak, where my father was ill, he at last con- 
sented to my departure. 

The following morning, as they knew I always carried 
out what I proposed, poor Turua was at my hut with 
baskets of cocoa-nuts and ruchfe, Ocura having cooked 
them after dark for the journey. As our little party 
wound its way, single file, by the narrow path through the 
village, Turua and Ocura bringing up the rear, the parting 
salutation was shouted from many a distant hut, " Ahana! 


Tanic Mano, ahana V while the more friendly ran to offer 
the " shungae," or parting-kiss. I led the way, spear in 
hand, axe, sword, and pistol slung around me, as usual on 
my travelling excursions. My hair was now yery long, 
my beard thick and bushy. My trousers were in a rery 
dilapidated condition, only kept together by the help of 
my fish-bone needle and bark thread, but in so coarse a 
fashion that I was fain' to wear my nondescript coloured 
shirt over them as a tunic. My costume, howerer, was 
greatly admired by these people, whatever might have been 
thought of it by those who were accustomed to garments 
of a more civilized fashion. 

At the entrance to the Great Mukatea, which separated us 
from Mutagohichfe, our friends had to stop, as they dared not 
enter the neutral ground, where ambushed foes might sur- 
prise them from rock or hara brake, as they had done only 
a few weeks before, when they had speared one of two young 
Omukans who were on a scouting expedition, and had ven- 
tured too near the enemy's lines. 

On the sand of the beach, under the shade of a large 
pandanas, we seated ourselves, and opening the well-lined 
baskets, partook of our morning meal. We invited Turua 
to join us, forgetting that, by the laws of the country, my 
father could not eat of the food he had given to me, or that 
I had touched. However, he climbed a neighbouring tree, 
and joined us in our breakfast, though he partook of it more 
frugally than we did. Our meal over, we at last parted with 
the kind-hearted, noble Turua, whose team flowed un- 
restrainedly, and whose farewell "shara shara" we heard 
echoing from the beach as long as we were within sight 
or hearing. 

We had gone half through the Mutagohiche territory, 
having passed many tenantleas huts, before we were observed, 
as, since the murder of the young Omukan, these people, 


fearing an attack, had concentrated themselves at the farther 
end of the island. They knew well that I disliked them ; 
and as there was not much love lost, I resolved to pass 
through without waiting. Besides, Joe and Frankfe were 
among them — a fact which did not offer a further induce- 
ment for tarrying. However, as the people knew the 
influence I possessed with their neighbours and old 
allies of Sararak, with whom they had just had an un- 
pleasant disagreement, they were most anxious to con- 
ciliate me with offers of hospitality; and as I was tired 
and foot-sore, and it was getting late for crossing the 
reef to Sararak, where they would be anxious to give me a 
formal reception, I accepted the invitation to remain till 

By daylight, without any leave-taking, we started on our 
journey across the reef. It had long been a scheme of mine 
to unite the whole of the western islands, the most northerly 
and southerly of these being my best friends ; but this 
Mutagohichfe was a barrier. The two extremes, Matunga 
and Sararak, were on much more friendly terms ; but whilst 
the latter was an ally of Mutagohichfe, Omuka could not be 
conciliated. It was, therefore, to subdue the people of 
Mutagohichfe that I had instigated the last war against 
them. I had intended to have them obliterated as a nation, 
and attached to Omuka, but the recent threat by the 
Omukans to ship us all in canoes from the islands made 
me hesitate about increasing their strength. 

As my hopes of escape lessened I began to take a greater 
interest in the affairs of a people amongst whom I might 
have to spend the remainder of my life ; and it was only 
natural I should use the influence I possessed to my own 
advantage. With Franke, however, espousing the cause of 
Mutagohiche, and Joe that of Tepuka, I had little hope of 
carrying out my original scheme; and the recent saucy acts 


of the Omukans induced me to change mypolitics in respec t 
to uniting all the Leeward Islands. I therefore, daring my 
lengthened and silent journey across the reef, determined, if 
possible, to have Mutagohichfe given up to Omuka, but, on 
the other hand, get Sararak to unite with Tepuka. 

Strange as my talk of overturning kingdoms and forming 
alliances may seem, it is to be remembered that I was certainly 
the greatest statesman of this little world, and such schemes 
were the only rational occupation for my mind. These 
simple people could be more easily moulded to the educated 
will than a more enlightened community. Even amongst 
them, however, events continually occurred to frustrate 
my plans for entire control — which, to be candid, I 
aimed at, and most probably, as matters tended, would have 
achieved, had I remained a little longer amongst them. 

The leading men of Matunga, Sararak, and Tautua were 
all subservient to my will; Omuka was most friendly; 
the Tepukans, since the death of Mahauta, were divided, 
but by my alliance with Haka Futa, I had now the most 
influential chiefs on my side. Tokerau and the northern 
islands were influenced by Matunga, and the southern by 
Tepuka. Such was my political position with the natives 
at this moment. The remainder of our ship's company, 
excepting Franke and Joe, and perhaps one of the Tahitians, 
were also favourable to me. 

So deeply was I engrossed with these reflections that I had 
entered to the waist the deep channel which it was necessary 
to cross before I could land on the little islet of Hangary, 
when a scream behind reminded me of my amiable spouse, 
whom I had most ungallantly forgotten. She had popped into 
the channel nearly overhead, preserving, however, the baskets 
of provender, but at the sacrifice of the tiche. I hastened to 
the rescue, and carried the provisions safe to land; but .the 
" beautiful" tichfe, in which she was to present herself before 

THE PEHU. 815 

my friends of Sararak, no longer descended in a graceful fall, 
but hung around her like a dripping " rau-rau." We had to 
call a halt whilst she retired to a remote part of the island to 
dry this elegant garment in the sun ; meanwhile I entertained 
myself by " prospecting " among the provision baskets. 

We bad scarcely resumed our journey when the familiar 
" thump, thump" of cocoa-nuts on the ground informed me 
that my retired territory was invaded, and, in native fashion, 
I gave the alarm : " Taka oatche & kai kai a !" (" Hallo, 
rascals ! robbers there I") A familiar voice aloft responded : 
" Card to kai Tanie Mano ; no te taina na o£. Aoafe ?" (" It 
is no thief, Tanie Mano, it is your brother : how are you?") ; 
and rapidly descending the tree, Mahauta expressed the 
greatest joy at my return. 

As we crossed the narrow passage dividing us from the 
main land of Sararak, we were perceived by several natives, 
who, as if to announce my arrival, shouted my name in a 
loud voice. When we landed, we were astonished to see the 
people flying before us, as if they feared we were infected 
with the plague ; the men at the same time, adjusting the 
bone tops of their spears. On reaching O Pai Tangata's 
house we found it deserted, and the boys informed me we 
must go down to Mangerongaro, as the pehu was to be 
performed at the council-house, where O Pai Tangata pre- 
sided since the death of Opaka, he being now the Iriki Nufc, 
or Great King. As I proceeded to the pehu I passed several 
houses of old friends, most of which were vacant when I 
reached them ; but, in some cases, I saw the inmates hastily 
flying before me, instead of offering the welcome with which, 
on ordinary occasions, I was received. 

At the council-house I found not only the whole of Sararak 
assembled, but also the people of Haka Shusha. Having 
taken my seat on the appointed mat, the usual ceremonies — 
cutting, bleeding, singing, screaming — were performed. The 


subsequent capa dance had a more imposing character than 
I had before witnessed. The masses of rank weeds under the 
dense growth of palms had been cleared away, thus opening 
up a vista towards the blue waters of the lagoon. A number 
of huge rugged stumps of the pandanas, with their straggling 
roots, were ranged on one side of the avenue, supporting in 
terraced rows two lines of stems or branches of the same 
tree, which served as rude seats. Here were ranged the men 
of the nation, all decorated with festoons of leaves hanging 
scarf-like across the shoulder, while in each hand they held 
a small green branch from the palm-tree. The chiefs 
had also long belts, plaited at the waist, hanging down 
in fringe to the knee. This part of their dress was made 
from bark of a light colour, and on their swarthy bodies 
looked well. Their heads were bound with many folds of 
broad sinnet. Each carried a long wand with a loop at the 
end, to keep the performers in straight lines, which was done 
by placing the wand along the rank, holding in check those 
who were too forward, or throwing the noose over the heads 
of the more retiring, to bring them up to the line. 

The scene was at once imposing and ludicrous. When, for 
example, in the twilight of the grove, the warriors had taken 
their elevated seats, each with a melancholy motion waving his 
palm-branch in time to the low chant commenced by the 
women, who were seated in corresponding rows before them, 
and the chiefs stood at intervals in the open space with upraised 
wands, while the young people were grouped, with wondering 
and awe-struck eyes, around the holy precincts, the spectacle 
was most imposing ; but when the rage of the chiefs broke 
forth at certain men who had mistaken their positions, the 
recriminations and blows with which they pursued the de- 
linquents produced a most absurd effect. All, however, 
was arranged at last, and the whole ceremony went off well. 
A grand feast followed, in which, having fasted since morn- 


ing, I heartily joined ; and so the first day terminated, for 
our festivities were not yet concluded. 

The next morning we were invited in a mysterious 
manner to accompany the family to another grand meeting 
in Mangerongaro. On our way we were joined by several 
groups, and as they were all talking about the ship, I sup- 
posed that some more of the wreck had been washed ashore. 
On approaching the scene of our sad catastrophe, I saw a 
number of the natives occupied in erecting a platform, which 
I was informed was intended to represent our ship, the wreck 
of which was to be enacted in several scenes. As I had 
never heard of any such entertainment amongst the natives, 
I awaited the performance with much interest. I even as- 
sisted them a little in rigging the vessel, as their ideas on 
this point were rather imperfect. 

When all was completed, and lots of provisions had been 
put on board, a dozen fellows mounted aloft, one of them 
having borrowed my sword to represent me, and the tallest 
native undertaking the character of Dr. It. A wonderful 
noise was kept up on board the supposed craft, no doubt to 
give some idea of working the ship, as no amount of work 
is done here without much shouting. A woman then stole 
quietly towards the beach with a pit ce of puro (cocoa-nut 
husk) in her hand — with what object those who have resided 
on theselslands will understand ; but on reaching the sea she 
dropped the puro, and running hastily back, approached some 
men feigning sleep, to whom she communicated her fears in 
pantomime, pointing towards the sea. The men then jump- 
ing up, rushed to their spears, and mustering together, lurked 
about the precincts of their cover till they were alarmed by 
the shouts and the waving of weapons of those on the 
platform, whom, with a formidable yell, they immediately at- 
tacked. Those below endeavoured earnestly to mount the 
platform, one of them flourishing the sword in a manner 

318 franke's vanttt wounded. 

equally dangerous to friends and foes. Eventually a boarding 
was effected, and the provisions were carried off. During 
the performance a number of boys frequently passed me on 
all-fours, making a noise something like that of dogs. On 
the return of the men these youths scampered off 
amongst the woods, pursued by the men with their spears, 
who, pretending alarm when the boys turned and shouted 
"Bow-wow!" fled in their turn. The actors themselves 
were so amused that they could scarcely play their parts, 
and on the conclusion of their performance they all sat down 
in the highest good humour to partake of our " dejeuner satu 

The following day the appearance of Juan with my boat 
afforded excuse for an additional feast. The cocoa-nuts being 
abundant since the masanga, great quantities were consumed, 
and orora flowed in every hut. My boat was carried to the 
recently-erected platform, where it was decorated with green 
boughs, and a feast given in honour of its completion was 
accompanied with the usual ceremonies. 

These little attentions to me so wounded the self-esteem 
of Frankfe, that he took his departure for M utagohichd. The 
evening before he left, however, he told the natives that 
they were foolish in offering honours to me, as the white 
men thought nothing of me, any of them being quite as able 
to protect them as I was. 

The night after his departure I overheard a good deal of 
altercation amongst some of my friends in reference to 
Pranke's depreciation of me. As I was determined at all 
hazards to maintain my influence, it would have been a 
folly to allow this matter to pass without taking some 
notice of it. I therefore told my friends that Frankfe was a 
very brave man indeed, and that I was going to perform a 
salutation he had demanded, and would start for Mutagohichfe 
before daybreak the following morning. 


My march across the reef, during which my feet were 
pierced with the miiiute unicorn-shell and the prickly coral, 
did not improve my temper. On my arriving at the oppo- 
site shore, several of the islanders, who, with their habitual 
keen observation, had noticed my approach and awaited my 
landing, saw at once that something was wrong, and anxiously 
inquired what was the matter. I gave them no reply, which 
so inflamed their curiosity, that before I had reached Frankfe's 
quarters the greater part of the inhabitants had assembled 
around me, which was just what I desired. 

I found Franks seated at breakfast in his hut, and sur- 
rounded by his more intimate friends. Appearing directly in 
front of him, I called on him in Kanaka to come outside and 
answer for his insolence. This he declined to do, and, turn- 
ing as pale as his shirt, declared he had never said the words 
I charged him with, assuring me, moreover, of his willing- 
ness on all occasions to obey my commands. As his answers 
were in English, I took care to translate them in a loud voice 
to the natives. The many friends his absurd boasting had 
attached to him were amazed to see him so submissive in my 
presence, and were now satisfied that he was a mere braggart, 
while I resumed the high position I had originally held in 
their opinion. 

I next hastened to Joe's quarters, in another part of the 
island. He also denied having used offensive words, and 
although I knew that he had, I was satisfied with his dis- 
claimer. After calling on Juan and Harry, who resided in 
this neighbourhood, I returned to the cottage of a friend, 
where breakfast was waiting. Whilst at this meal, with a 
host of islanders around, whose conversation was all on the 
recent events, my two friends Franke and Joe approached. 
The latter was looking very wroth, and talking earnestly 
to his companion, a gasconading fool, whom he was evi- 
dently stirring up against me. In a blustering manner they 


approached the spot where I sat, feeling rather uncomfortable, 
for had they attacked me then they would have taken me at 
a great disadvantage ; but I addressed them in an uncon- 
cerned way, as if our differences had been all arranged. This 
disconcerted them a little at first, but Joe soon resumed his 
usual audacity, and in a bullying tone said he wanted to 
know what brought me over to talk to them in the way I 
had done that morning before the natives. I said that I had 
already told them, and was glad that they had not only dis- 
avowed all intention of insult, but had expressed feelings 
of friendship. Seeing that these two were bent on re- 
venge for the humiliation I had brought on them, I was glad 
when, on looking through the grove, I saw Juan and Harry 
approaching, knowing that when my faithful allies came up 
I should have sufficient support ; and I said to Joe, who was 
spokesman, that as soon as I had done my breakfast I would 
talk to him. He insisted, however, on an immediate ex* 
planation. I requested them to wait only a few moments, 
which they very unwillingly did. Meanwhile Harry and 
Juan pushed their way through the crowd which the loud 
and angry voice of Joe was rapidly bringing around us, and 
as the pleasant sound of Juan's carracko broke on my ear, 
inquiring, (t What is all de row, signor?" I pitched the re- 
mainder of my breakfast aside, and springing to my feet, 
exclaimed, " Now, Joe, I am ready to give you any explana- 
tion you may require. 1 ' Never was seen a pair of more 
crest-fallen heroes 1 After some paltry excuses, they retired 
in confusion. There was, besides, further help at hand than 
I had calculated on; for some of my friends of Sararak, 
suspecting the correct cause of my early exit, and fearing 
a quarrel, had followed me, to render assistance, if ne- 

For a short period I had a tranquil life in Mangerongaro, 
we having made an alliance with Tepuka, which, for a time at 


least, prevented danger from that quarter, and strengthened 
Sararak sufficiently to intimidate her foes to the north. 
Nothing could exceed the kindness of the natives to me at 
this period. In consequence of my conduct during the epi- 
demic, they had endowed me with supernatural powers; 
whilst a little firmness in some cases of difficulty made 
them imagine me a prodigy of valour. As I was always 
kindly with the women and children, I had a powerful ally 
in the sex, Heaven bless them ! who rarely omitted sending 
me contributions of fish or pashus when they were aware 
that our house was deficient in these agreeable commodities. 
As for Haka Puta, she, having plenty to eat and nothing to do, 
was quite enraptured with the place, and her lively manner, 
her wonderful stories from Shakspeare, &c., in addition to her 
general intelligence, made her a universal favourite. 

I was becoming anxious to return to Matunga, when we 
were one day thrown into a state of alarm by the appearance 
of the entire Tepukan fleet. There was an immediate rush 
to arms ; and the beach was soon crowded at the point to 
which the canoes were heading. On their approach within 
speaking distance, however, they drew up abreast, and, in 
long complimentary orations, declared their friendly feeling ; 
claiming our hospitality, and asking where they were to 
disembark and encamp. 

The whole Tepukan nation, and some of their dependencies, 
men, women, and children, had come like a pack of 
hungry wolves, from their own exhausted shores to the 
more abundant ones of Sararak. However, it was too 
late now to oppose their landing, and, indeed, it would 
would have been dangerous at the present moment to ^ 
quarrel with them. But we took the precaution of 
placing their encampment in Haku Shusha, itself rather 
barren, and interposing the desolate rocky Mukatea of that 
district between them and us. Here, before night set in, 



they had already raised up a complete village with the ready 
materials which the cocoa-nut houghs afforded. 

On the other hand, we were equally busy in Mange- 
rongaro, for' the Sararak warriors were uncomfortable at 
the close proximity of their ancient foes, evincing the Utile 
faith they had in their sincerity. The men remained 
under arms, and the women secreted any articles of extra 

During upwards of a week that these people honoured us 
with their presence they were feasted regally. Cocoa-nuts, 
in all their various forms, were prepared for them ; orora was 
as common as sea-water. They were entertained also with 
capas and pehus, and the more novel entertainment of the 
theatrical performance, " The new and amusing pantomime 
of the brig Chatham? to the infinite delight of a crowded 
and highly enthusiastic audience. 

While these festivities were going on I received a press- 
ing message from my Matunga friends to return immediately, 
as they wished for my advice on some matters of vital im- 
portance to the state. I accordingly set off, greatly to the 
chagrin of poor Haka Puta, who would rather have stayed 
where she was. She soon recovered her spirits, how- 
ever, and her lively prattle beguiled the way till we had 
reached the farther point of Omuka, where I found my 
Matunga friends encamped. As I approached the beach the 
Omukan tribes crowded to the spot ; and I was soon sur- 
rounded by them, their anxious inquiries showing how much 
interest had been excited relative to the Tepukan visit to 
Mangerongaro, and the proposed alliance, which alarmed 
them greatly. When I told them that the visit the Tepu- 
* kans meant to pay us was entirely a friendly one, they pro- 
tested against their being allowed to land on their shores 
except as deadly enemies. At the same time, they took the 
precaution of sending for the few Matungans who were still 


on that island ; and compelled some Ruahara young men, 
then at Matunga, to remain, in order to strengthen their 

A short time after my arrival we heard that the Tepukan 
fleet had gone into Mutagohichfe, but unaccompanied by 
their new allies of Sararak, which gave great relief to the 
minds of the Omukans, who now seemed to regard - 
the purposed visit with less aversion. When, subse- 
quently, we received a deputation — of women, of course — 
requesting that they might be allowed to sojourn a few days 
on our shores, it was agreed that I should go down and 
invite them. , The following morning, therefore, I got my 
boat under way, and proceeded to Mutagohiche, where my 
mission to the Tepukans was soon arranged, much to their 
satisfaction. I was most hospitably entertained by the 
latter; and it was nearly sunset when I again started for 
Omuka, not having had time to see any of the white men, 
who had all followed the steps of the Tepukans in their 
present journey, to share in the festivities attending it. 
Already the shade of the short twilight had set in, and I 
had passed the last hut on my way back when, as I was 
about to enter the solitary desert of the Mukatea, I heard a 
rapid step behind, and, looking round, beheld Harry hurry- 
ing towards me. 

" Well, Harry," said I, " what is the matter? Anything 
wrong in Mutagohichfe ?" 

" Oh no, sir/' he replied. t€ I merely heard that you had 
started alone for Omuka, and as there are so many strangers 
about, and these Tepukans are bad fellows, I thought it 
would be advisable to accompany you/' 

I assured him of my entire want of fear on this head, 
and requested him to return; but he insisted on accom- 
panying me to the end of my journey. A mile or two 
farther brought us into the heart of the gloomy Mukatea; 

y 2 


where huge boulders, promiscuously heaped together into 
fantastic groups, and the hara weed, occasionally rising in 
tall clumps, afford ample shelter for lurking foes. Secure, 
however, as I felt myself in the friendship of the natives, I 
never dreamed of danger; but Harry, with more prudence, 
kept a sharp look-out ahead. 

The sun was just' dipping into the crimson wave when 
Harry, suddenly starting back, said he saw some one like 
Joe, he thought. We watched intently the pile of rocks 
where the figure had disappeared, and I soon saw Franke 
skulking behind it. Immediately after, both Franke and 
Joe emerged from concealment, and, passing rapidly in- 
land, partially hidden by such cover as the place afforded, 
were soon lost to our view. Harry shook his head ominously, 
putting the worst construction on their appearance; and 
from the bad feeling with which these men regarded me, I 
have little doubt that had I been alone and unarmed I should 
have found myself in a critical position. However, we pro- 
ceeded on our journey without farther incident, and arrived 
in safety at our destination. 

The Tepukans, assured by me of safety during their stay, 
had landed and drawn up their canoes on the beach, leaving 
them, as a measure of precaution, only a short distance from 
the sea, raising a breastwork for their protection, and keep- 
ing afloat their largest war canoe, with a strong body of men 
in it, to protect the shore party in case of danger till they 
got their other canoes launched, arrangements which showed 
more skill in warfare than I had given them credit for. 

I had just returned to my own hut, after an inspec- 
tion of the Tepukan encampment, when a crowd of Omukans 
came running to inform me that my boat had been smashed 
on the beach, and rendered entirely useless. Making every 
allowance for the exaggerations that the natives were ad- 
dicted to, I was truly chagrined at the news, as there was so 


little of the wreck left about the islands that I might find it 
difficult to mend even a slight damage. On arriving at the 
spot, I cannot express the distress I felt on finding the gun- 
wale and upper plank of the starboard side broken, and 
several holes, as with a native spear or some roughly-pointed 
instrument, pierced in the lower plank, which I knew no 
native would have attempted. Joe and Frankb I had no 
doubt were the culprits. However, as I had no proof, I 
could not charge them with it, and merely contented myself 
with assuring those who had followed me that I was certain 
it had not been done by the Tepukans, against whom such a 
charge would have been hailed with delight, as affording a 
pretext for an attack. There was no help now but to repair 
the damage, if practicable, and this I could only ascertain by 
daylight. With some weeds and cocoa-nut husk I plugged 
up the holes, and, placing the canoe on the shoal water of 
the reef, found that she floated without much leakage. I 
accordingly pushed her out, and pulled her to a point near 
the settlement where the reef, terminating abruptly, fringes 
the deep bay, at the end of which is the landing-place. The 
boat had leaked so little that I thought she would be safe 
enough to carry me the required distance, and, taking my 
seat, I set off lustily for the shore side. Whether the strain- 
ing or the deeper draught displaced the caulking I cannot 
tell, but suddenly the water poured in and away she went 
beneath me. I had no alternative, therefore, but to swim 
ashore, in doing which, I must confess, I felt very uneasy, for 
I had heard that sharks and alligators were in the neighbour- 
hood. Striking out, however, for the beach, I soon reached 
it, and, proceeding to my own house, sent a native for the 
boat and turned in to sleep soundly after my fatigue. The 
next morning I was suddenly awakened by a rude shake and 
the voice of Haka Puta, who, in great excitement, begged 
me to save her father, who was in the Tepukan camp, which, 


as I could hear by the yells that reached me, the savages 
were now attacking. 

Hurriedly seizing my sword and pistol, I ran in the first 
place to the camping ground of the Matungans, which I found 
deserted) save by two or three women, from whom I indis- 
tinctly learned the cause of the quarrel. It appeared that 
when my friends discovered the boat was smashed they were 
determined to have revenge on the Tepukans, whom they 
accused of the act. A rush was accordingly made on them 
from all points, but these brave people, already on the alert, 
presented so bold a front behind their breastwork of canoes, 
that their assailants hesitated about making a general attack. 
A strong body jumped into the water, however, and boarded 
the large war-canoe afloat. The guards, taken by surprise, 
fled to join their friends, now in a worse position on shore. 
The Matungans, emboldened by the capture of the canoe, 
were preparing for other exploits, when I came rushing down 
between the combatants. 

For a time I called in vain on the Matungans and Omukans 
to retire. But when at last I told them that I had guaran- 
teed the Tepukans safe conduct in their land, they replied 
that the Tepukans had smashed my boat, an act for which 
they desired to have revenge, and told me to stand aside, for 
nothing should prevent their punishing them at once. I re * 
minded them that it was by their own council I had been 
requested to invite the Tepukans to their shores, on their 
assurance of safety while sojourning amongst them, and if 
the treaty were not carried out to the letter I would do my 
utmost to restrain them. They, on the other hand, insisted 
that it was the Tepukans who had broken the treaty by the 
wanton attack on my boat, which they had destroyed, 
and they did not understand how I had shown no desire 
to retaliate. I assured them it was not the Tepukans 
who had broken my boat; but, notwithstanding my strong sua* 


picions, I dared not charge the commission of the outrage in 
what I felt convinced was the proper quarter, as I had no 
positive proof to support my accusation. 

At this juncture Joe and Frankfe, with old Bill, whom they 
had recently gained over to their faction, came pushing 
through the crowd that had gradually assembled round me 
in dispute, the rest of our crew being by my side. Joe, in a 
swaggering manner, charged me with raising quarrels among 
the natives on my own account, and, appealing to the other 
whites, asked them if it was right that I should endanger all 
their lives for my private disputes, adding that if such a 
course were persisted in I should have them all massacred 
some morning. At the conclusion of his harangue, I stepped 
forward to him quietly, but with a manner that showed I was 
in earnest, and said, " If, before the sun of this day sets, I can 
discover who broke my boat — and I have already my suspi- 
cions of the right man — he shall swing from the boughs of 
the tree under which we are standing. This is no idle threat ; 
you well know it was not I who provoked this quarrel; I am 
here now to appease one that these people have taken up 
voluntarily for my sake, and I have succeeded for the pre- 
sent. You have seen my influence over them. They are in- 
dignant at the injury perpetrated against me, and if I only 
find sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of the real culprit, 
I shall give the ruffian up to their just retribution." 

Joe and his companions, on hearing this, somewhat modified 
their bullying attitudes, and, muttering indistinct threats, 
slunk from the assemblage with a less confident air than they 
had exhibited when they entered. Joe himself immediately 
departed from Omuka, to which he never returned as a resi- 
dent during the remainder of my sojourn in the islands. 

Much as I might boast of my influence with the natives, 
I had great difficulty in getting them to resign to the 
Tepukans the splendid ijew canoe which they had seized] 

328 ocura's jealousy. 

and it required all the arguments of my Matnnga friends to 
assist me in accomplishing this object. 

All this time the Tepnkans lay behind their cover, prepared 
for an attack. They had succeeded in getting one canoe 
launched, into which they had bundled some of the oldest men. 

It was finally arranged that the canoe should be restored 
on condition that the Tepnkans returned by the same route 
as that by which they had arrived, and that they should not 
visit the friendly powers of Omuka to the north — conditions 
which they strictly fulfilled, more, however, through fear 
than honesty. 

We proceeded on our course, and while we paddled leisurely 
along the fringe of the reef my companions informed me that 
Turua and Ocura had had so serious a quarrel that they were 
separated, and had not spoken for several days — a state of 
affairs of which both were, doubtless, by this time tired. 
Having more influence over them than any one else, it was 
hoped that I would act as mediator between them — an office 
which was now frequently imposed upon me. 

On landing, I proceeded immediately to Ocura's residence, 
where she sat in a woful plight. On seeing me she at once 
commenced a tirade against Turua, interrupted at intervals 
by bursts of crying and indistinct threats, from which I 
gathered that jealousy was at the root of the matter. She de- 
clared her intention of never speaking to him again, and it was 
with some difficulty I succeeded in appeasing her anger. 

One night I was suddenly roused from my sleep by the news 
that the Tepnkans were again making a descent on us ; and 
the messenger urged my immediate presence on the beach. 
I was soon on the strand, where I found the population 
rapidly assembling. By the starlight we could see several 
black objects out on the lagoon, which we soon made out to 
be a fleet of well-manned canoes. In silence we placed our- 
selves in ambush to watch the proceedings of our supposed 


invaders. When the canoes grounded some distance from 
the shore, and their crews jumped out to pull them inland, 
our people, shouting the well-known cry, "Taka oatchfe, 
kaia !" dashed into the water. The strangers, in the great- 
est consternation, cried out, " No, Ruahara an 1" assuring 
us that they were our friends of Ruahara; and when we 
found that such was really the case, we received them with a 
friendly welcome. I must confess I felt rather disappointed 
that I had not the satisfaction of fighting the Tepukans, 
against whom I had conceived a kind of national antipathy. 
Amongst these visitors was a fine young girl, whom I 
had seen some months before, on my first visit to Ruahara. 
It struck me she would make a capital wife for Painufc, 
to whom I at once proposed the matter, extolling her in 
such glowing terms that he finally agreed, provided I could 
gain her consent. Retiring, accordingly, with the dark- 
skinned beauty into the deeper shade of the grove, I told 
her, after a little flattery, that so fine a girl should be the 
bride only of a white man — a proposal to which she 
listened complacently till I informed her for whom I in- 
tended her; when she started from me in great indignation, 
having been, as I afterwards learned, under the persuasion 
that I was paying court to her on my own account. As 
Painufe, however, was a much finer looking fellow than I, it 
took only a little coaxing, and a further supply of flattery, to 
bring her into pleasant temper again, and to draw from her 
a partial consent. Meanwhile, Haka Puta, who had been 
down to the strangers, passed near the spot where we sat 
in confidential chat. I called her towards us, but she 
proceeded as if she had not heard, evidently in no pleasant 
mood, for she assumed as much dignity in her carriage as her 
little dumpy form would admit of. 

After a short visit to the beach I returned to my house. 
On approaching that usually tranquil spot I was alarmed 


to hear screams ; and running to the place from whence the 
sounds proceeded I saw Haka Puta engaged in mortal combat 
with my new friend the proposed spouse of Painue. I 
confess I was wicked enough to remain concealed at a short 
distance from the scene of battle to observe the issue ; the 
more satisfied to do so as my wife, though much the 
smaller, had a decided advantage. Haka Puta was a 
perfect little fiend in the attack. With one hand twisted 
through the long hair of her supposed rival she drew her head 
into " chancery/' and dealt repeated blows with such effect 
that the poor young stranger screamed in agony, and vainly 
tried to extricate herself. I was soon obliged to come to 
her relief, and had some difficulty in getting the little tiger 
off her. In vain I pressed Haka Puta for an explanation ; 
all I could get from her was an occasional " Haka ma cofe, 
haka ma !" (" For shame you, for shame !") Being per- 
fectly unconscious at the moment of anything to be ashamed 
of, I turned to the other (who was bathing her swollen face 
at a safe distance) for enlightenment. She was as much at 
a loss as myself, but informed me that, seeing there was a 
fire at my place, she had come to ask Haka Puta for a 
lighted brand, and that, after her request had been granted, 
she was stooping to lift it, when my worthy spouse pounced 
upon her in uncontrollable fury, the cause of which she was 
quite ignorant of. 

This put a stop to my diplomatic marriage, for the young 
girl hastened the departure of her people before I could 
bring it to a conclusion; Painufe shortly afterwards re- 
turning to Omuka and his ill-tempered wife. From Haka 
Puta herself I soon learned the cause of the quarrel, which 
was merely another fit of jealousy ; and although I got Painue 
to corroborate my story, I believe she still suspected that I 
had been making love on my own account more than on his 
when she passed us. 



The Beacon Fire — Appearance of the Tepukans — Hostility of the 
TepukaDs — Measures taken to guard against it — My Mission to 
Tepuka — Halt at Tautua — Proposed Castle — Head-quarters at 
Matunga — On the Look-out for a Ship — A Sail in Sight— 
Refusal of the Natives to assist me— Reported Escape of 
White Men — Disappointment of my Hopes — A Stormy Night 
— Formation of a Canoe — Miserable Tools — Involved in Native 
Quarrels — Joe's Malicious Proceedings — Defeat of the Tepukans 
— Completion and Launch of my Canoe — Her First Day at 
Sea — Appearance of a Ship — Determination at all hazards to 
effect my Escape — Exciting Adventure on board the John 
Jppleton of New Bedford — My Appearance — The Vessel at- 
tacked by the Matungans — Grief of the Natives at my De- 
parture — Curious Taste of my two Native Followers — Aticu — 
Patriotism — The Cone of Rorotonga — The Central Missionary 
' Station — Conclusion. 

THE following day the Ruaharans took their departure, 
and on that occasion a more disagreeable incident oc- 
curred than the female fight. Frankfe, who had been for a 
short time resident in Mutagohiche, had now returned to 
Matunga with a new wife. He was accompanied by a 
friend, whom, during his absence in Mutagohiche, he had 
assisted in abducting the wife of a native of the island — 
an act of friendship that met with a proper return, for 
whilst he was down at the beach with the rest of the people 
he missed his own wife, as well as him whom he called his 
particular friend, from the crowd. He hastened at once to 
the house of the latter, and observing all the sides let down, 
quietly lifted up one, and was about to enter when the 

382 fraxk£'s escape from matunga. 

missing couple dashed out at the other. Franks gave chase 
to the woman in the first place, and, knocking her down, 
most ungallantly beat her till she was insensible. Goaded 
by the jeers of his savage companions, he then made an 
attack on his quondam friend, and drove him into the woods. 
The latter, on being joined there by some of his tribe, de- 
clared his intention of murdering Frankfe that night. 

Since the time when the boat — which, by the way, I had 
succeeded in mending — was injured, I had held little or no 
intercourse with Frankfc, though he always positively denied 
having had anything to do with that outrage. Yet, on this 
occasion, he came up in a state of terror to my house, and 
informed me that the natives intended to attack him in the 
night It would only have served him right to let them 
do as they pleased with him; but as it was no part 
of my policy to allow a white man to be killed by the 
islanders, I consented to stand by him, and went to 
his house for the night, this, he acknowledged, being 
.a sufficient protection. No sooner, however, was he 
out of danger than he denied having had any occasion 
for my assistance. The following day he made his 
escape from Matunga, taking Bill with him. Both joined 
Joe in Tepuka, where they conjointly vowed vengeance 
against the Leeward Islands, and Matunga in particular. 
The terror they had been placed in on their former visit kept 
them at a respectful distance ; but they made a number of 
spears, and put together, or reconstructed, some large canoes. 
As this was considered the sign of a hostile movement 
against some one of the islands, the sounds of warlike pre- 
paration were heard in every quarter. Our people again 
betook themselves to Omuka to concentrate their forces ; 
whilst I was left in charge of the island. I kept guards all 
along the beach, but when I went round at night I generally 
found them asleep. 


In order to learn how far the reports were true, I resolved 
myself to pay some of the other islands a visit. Besides, 
Haka Puta was anxious to revisit her friends, and I had 
therefore a double reason for the trip. As some of our people 
were at the same time leaving for Ruahara I determined to 
accompany them. We accordingly crossed the channel to 
Tokerau, and then proceeded on foot. 

On entering a barren tract of one of the Ruaharan 
islands, two natives of our party, considerably ahead of the 
rest, suddenly stopped, and panting with fear, hastened back 
to report that they had seen footprints on the sand, no doubt 
those of Tepukans, who were lying in wait to surprise us. 
So great was their fear that they would have returned, though 
near the end of their journey, had I not prevented them. 

On reaching a hamlet, we kept aloof from the houses, 
that we might not be delayed in our progress by the 
endless questions of the people. In passing the principal 
house of the place, however, we were observed, and, hearing 
my name called repeatedly, I stopped a little, and was sur- 
prised at Haka Puta's urgent and imperative demands for 
me to proceed. I, nevertheless, not only stopped, but ordered 
her to do the same, when, regardless of my commands, she 
started off at full speed, throwing down her baskets of pro- 
visions to accelerate her flight. Her unaccountable conduct 
was soon explained by the appearance of the tall and graceful 
Ruahara belle, who came bounding through the brushwood 
towards me. This was the young girl who had caused Haka 
Puta so much jealousy when I sued her as a bride for Painuk 
After the usual salutation of these island beauties, she begged 
me to come to her house and await the return of her family 
from a fishing excursion ; but, dreading the wrath of a jealous 
wife, already sufficiently provoked, I had to bid her a hurried 
adieu, and hasten after my party, whom I found seated at the 
margin of a little lake. Haka Puta kept sullenly apart, and, 


on my presenting myself, assailed me with a shower of vitu- 
perative abuse. I found it impossible to persuade her that 
the recent meeting had not been preconcerted, she persist- 
ing in the declaration that this had been my only object in 
the journey. 

It was late at night when our party arrived at the straits 
that separated us from the Tautuan shores. In vain we 
lighted a large fire and waved flaming branches for a canoe ; 
the people of the opposite village were either asleep or feared 
an enemy. Cutting, therefore, a few palm branches as a 
partial shelter from the sea-breeze, we stretched ourselves 
on the sandy beach, and, after our fatiguing march, slept 
soundly till morning, when one of our party swam the 
passage to inform our friends of our presence, and we had 
soon the satisfaction of seeing a canoe push off towards our 

Our return of course produced the greatest excitement and 
joy, evinced by the quantities of fish and cocoa-nuts presented 
to us. A week passed rapidly and pleasantly, and I had 
almost forgotten my mission to Tepuka, when one of the 
late Mahauta Nu&'s wives and his lovely little daughter 
presented themselves and urged me to go with them. 
In selecting a deputation, the Tepukans could not have 
made a happier choice to propitiate me, as the woman was 
amiable, and the child, who was much attached to me, 
lovely and gentle. With these companions and Haka Futa, 
who had now completely recovered her temper, I started the 
following morning, and arrived at Tepuka about mid-day. 
We passed on to my usual residence at the house of Tah&, 
followed by crowds of the people, whom I at once charged 
with their intended invasion of Matunga. All the leading 
men assured me of their disapprobation of any attempt on 
that island as long as it was my home, asserting that the 
report of the attack had originated in the idle talk of some of 


their young men. On the following day, however, in passing 
through that quarter of the island inhabited by Joe, I found the 
people by no means so anxious to hide their real sentiments, 
some of them actually avowing their desire to visit Matunga, 
particularly when Joe made his appearance. That gentle- 
man, too, informed me of his intention of joining them in 
their descent on us as soon as they had prepared a large war- 
canoe, on which I had seen them at work, and their stock of 
spears was made up. 

Thus the evil I had so long laboured to prevent, the 
mingling of white men in the quarrels of the natives, must 
inevitably occur ; in which case the hostilities were likely to 
become of a more dangerous character, most probably, 
if we remained much longer on the group, ending in the 
destruction of all our party. However, the contest could 
not be avoided, for concession to a man like this would only 
make things worse. In a few days, therefore, I left the 
Tepukans, resolved not to return till their pride had been 
humbled; for, notwithstanding their discomfiture on their 
last visit to Omuka, the alliance they had formed at Mutago- 
hichfe, and the friendly terms on which they now were with 
Sararak, made them too confident in their bearing to- 
wards us. 

On my way back I stayed a short time at Tautua, where I 
received from Haka Puta's connexions reliable assurances 
that they would not join the Tepukans in any attack on us. 
I visited also Buahara and Tokerau, and told the natives 
that Tepuka was arming for an attack, and that they must 
be prepared with all their young men to assist us, to which 
they willingly acceded. On my return home with the news 
of the preparations for war there was great excitement, 
and they lost no time in providing themselves with arms. 
The straightest palms were selected for destruction, and, 
with the help of the steel axe of the stranger, their lofty 


tops soon came crashing to the earth. Their trunks were 
then split up by the slow process of chipping with the native 
tokfe along the straight, string-measured lines on the various 
sides. From the rudeness of these appliances, notwithstand- 
ing the greatest care, a whole tree was often destroyed with* 
out producing one complete spear. Their fleet had also to 
be refitted, and several canoes were taken asunder for recon- 
struction ; amongst others three large war-canoes that had 
not been in use since my arrival. In Mutagohiche and 
Mangerongaro we heard they were equally busy, so that, if a 
war took place, it was likely to be general throughout the 

I now made Matunga my permanent head-quarters. The 
spears were completed, and the canoes were ready, before 
any enemy appeared. Indeed, the threatened attack was 
delayed so long that things subsided into their ordinary 

During all this time I had never ceased to keep my daily 
watch for the ship that never came. It was approaching the 
season when whalers from the north frequently take a voyage 
through the southern latitudes to fill up with sperm oil after 
their cruise amongst the regions of the bight whale, which 
produces the common whale oil. A piece of land had been 
apportioned to my sole use on a promontory that had an 
extensive range of view to the north-west side, the best point 
from which to reach a vessel, should one approach these 
shores, being on the lee side of the group, where she might 
heave-to with safety. Here I resolved to erect a house of 
better construction than any that had been yet attempted, 
and to fence in my ground. For this purpose it was neces- 
sary to visit Mangerongaro for such timber from the 
wreck as might still be found, most of it having been con- 
sumed. On this occasion I had no difficulty in leaving the 
Matungans, as my absence was only to be for a short time, and 


to enable me to make my permanent abode amongst them. 
I intended to erect a building of sufficient height and 
strength to secure it against any ordinary attack ; whilst 
a breach in the reef left a way of escape open to seaward, 
should it be required. Having parcelled out the ground, I 
spread the sail of my little boat to the breeze, and, with the 
sheet in my hand and Haka Puta holding the tiller (which 
she could now manage splendidly), we were soon scudding 
over the lagoon, passing so near the shores of Omuka and 
Mutagohichfe, that in the former we could distinguish the 
natives at their avocations, and in the latter hear the sound 
of voices. 

On my arrival at Mangerongaro, I found great difficulty 
in collecting a sufficient quantity of the wreck. Such pieces 
as I could procure were at great distances, and many of the 
weightier ones in such positions amongst the rocks that they 
were difficult to remove. One day, as I was staggering under 
the weight of a huge plank that I had been dragging from a 
distance, I heard, some way off, yet distinct enough to make 
my heart bound with hope, the long wished-for words, " Te 
oaka nue 1" (" The great ship !") The sound to me was a 
promise of redemption. Home, lost friends, past scenes, 
crowded on my mind, almost overwhelming my reason. Cast- 
ing the plank from my shoulder, I rushed towards the village, 
where I found the natives running to and fro in almost as great 
excitement as myself, rapidly arming, to be prepared for any 
emergency. In answer to my earnest inquiries, I was in- 
formed that a large ship had been reported by a canoe as 
having been seen passing the island of Tepuka. 1 begged 
the natives to launch a canoe on the ocean side, but could 
not get a man to lend a hand in transporting one across the 
island from the lagoon, where they were commonly kept. 
They availed themselves of every ridiculous excuse for their 
passive detention of me. Suddenly, I recollected having 



seen in Haka Shusha, near the dangerous outlet to tlie sooth, 
a large canoe in such a position that I thought I might be 
able to get it into the water. Half-frantic, I ran along the 
now naked sands of the inner reef, regardless of the prickly 
coral points and shells. When I got to the spot, a sail was 
distinctly visible keeping along the coast. The sight added 
fresh energy to my exertions, and, with the assistance of 
some broken pandanas boughs as rollers, I succeeded in 
getting the cumbrous machine into the water. Alas ! all 
my toil was in vain. The canoe leaked so badly that I 
could not keep her five minutes afloat; and as the ship 
already stood well up to the southern end of Haka Shusha, 
my labours seemed doomed to be fruitless. Some natives 
approaching, I desired them to make a fire, and, having col* 
lected great piles of the withered leaves of the pandanas, I 
kindled them into flames, hoping to attract notice from 
the vessel. I also went out on some rocks at the extreme 
end of the island, and, attaching my shirt to a spear, waved 
it to and fro in the expectation of its being seen by some one 

When the noble vessel came towards the point where I stood, 
I shouted at the top of my voice, which, however, was lost 
in the sound of the breakers. Oh 1 how my heart sank and 
hope died in my breast, as I saw her glide rapidly from me. 
When she had well cleared the land, she again rounded to 
and stood up along the western shore towards Sararak. An 
idea now flashed across my mind that some of our people re- 
siding in Tepuka might have got on board, and were bringing 
the ship round to Mangerongaro to my rescue. The wind 
was on her quarter, and though she swept along more rapidly 
than I could run, I pursued her with all the anxiety of de- 
spair. The sun had already set, but the crimson sky still 
showed the ship in black- relief, when, panting with fatigue, 
I reached the Mangerongaro village. A canoe was just then 


about landing over the surf. I ran down the bank and 
into the water, praying them to take me on board ; bnt«the 
next moment they were all landed on the reef. On my 
approach they cast their boat off into the receding wave 
and the next instant it was caught in the breakers, hurled 
back on the rock, and dashed to pieces. In my disappoint- 
ment I called on the natives to assist me in launching 
another canoe, one that since my departure had been brought 
to the beach ; but they kept aloof, and even ran from me 
when I approached them. One of the Tahitians, who had 
arrived just then from another island, rendered me such 
effective help that the canoe was actually beginning to move 
towards the sea, when the natives laid hold of it and pushed 
it back ; and so effectual was their opposition, that all hope 
of overtaking the vessel was lost. The light from her 
quarter, that for some time had flickered like a guiding 
star across the wave, gradually disappeared ; and, fatigued in 
mind and body, I threw myself down on the beach a prey to 

Various reports soon reached me. Some said that the 
vessel had hove-to off Tepukaj. that Juan, Joe, and Frankfe 
had got on board there ; that Juan had requested the captain 
to come to Mangerongaro for me, and that though, on the 
approach of night, he had been obliged to go to sea, he would 
come back in the morning. There was much that was 
plausible in the story, and I became calmer as I reflected 
that it was rational, however deceitful my informants might 
be. The drowning man will catch at a straw to save him- 
self from sinking. Nevertheless, fearing that the vessel 
might lose the bearings of the island during the night, I 
kept the whole coast in flames with pandanas and hara 
leaves, boughs of palm, &c. 

The long looked-for morn appeared at length, but no 
ship 1 The day brightened and passed, the evening shades 


set in, and still there was no appearance of her. As she 
might have run more off in the night than she could make 
tip in the day, I still kept the beacon fires bright during 
another sleepless night; but the ship was gone. I now 
learned that, in addition to those mentioned as having made 
their escape, Paiau, our Aitutakan native, had got some of 
the savages to assist him in transporting my boat across the 
island, and had made his way with it to the ship. My 
canoe, therefpre, which had been of such service to me, 
was irretrievably lost. 

This disappointment completely overwhelmed me. I be- 
came so savage that the natives feared to approach me. I 
lay in my house, and if any one came near I drove him 
off When I slept, they stole to the entrance of my hut, and 
placing food for me, would sit down at a distance, and watch 
till I had taken it. 

These gentle attentions at last won me partially to my 
former equanimity of temper ; but my mind was still bent on 
the hope of escape. By my calculation it was now the latter 
end of November, and as at this time of the year I did not 
know how soon another whale-ship might come in our direc- 
tion, to be prepared for her was henceforth the sole object of 
my existence. 

Bousing myself from the lethargy of despair, I proceeded 
to construct a boat of such size and weight that I should be 
able to move it myself on land, and, at the same time, large 
enough for safety in the event of having to put out to sea 
after a vessel. For this purpose I went round the coast 
in search of one of the logs of tomano wood from our cargo, 
many of which had been upheaved by the heavy seas during 
some violent gales. 

A log which I selected as suitable for my purpose had 
been thrown by a storm one night far up on the beach 
amongst some rocks, whence my unaided strength could not 


remove it. I therefore sought the aid of old Bill, who had 
arrived in Mangerongaro when the ship was off the coast, 
and as I was still on the island, and now provided him 
with as much food as he could dispose of, he became my most 
devoted vassal. 

After much labour, Bill and I got the log on the water, 
but at a part full of boulders and fissures, over which it could 
not be rolled without the greatest difficulty. Poor Bill on 
one occasion was knocked down, and received such injury 
that he was iors de combat for the day. Naturally not very 
active, he felt so unwilling to renew the struggle, that I was 
compelled reluctantly to abandon it, and take a much smaller 
log near the village. This we did not attempt to remove 
any further than up the bank beneath the straggling arms of 
two old pandanas trees, where some palm boughs, extending 
from limb to limb, made a partial shade from the direct rays 
of the sun. 

Now that all was ready for the construction of a canoe, 
how was it to be accomplished ? The tools with which I 
had to commence working on a solid log of one of the 
most impervious kinds of timber, were of the most miserable 
description. So earnest, however, was my desire for the 
means of escape, that, nothing daunted by the difficulty, I 
blocked out the form, and at once set to work, grinding 
rather than chopping out the interior with a large axe. 
Immediately after my early morning meal I hurried to the 
little shed on the beach, which I called my ship-yard, accom- 
panied by Bill, and after labouring till my. clothes were damp 
with perspiration, I lay down whilst Bill took a spell, only 
to resume my toil after this little rest. We worked till 
noon, when we bathed and ate ; after which, notwithstanding 
the heat, we laboured on till darkness prevented further pro- 
gress. Thus we worked from day to day, oppressed with 
the. constant dread that another vessel might appear without 


our having the means of reaching her. The fear of audi a 
result enabled me to endure double the fatigue of my more 
robust comrade* 

Amongst the articles of trade left on board ship when she 
came ashore was a number of adzes, some of which I heard 
had been saved from the wreck. I had frequently searched 
for them since the commencement of my labours on the 
canoe \ but without success. One day, however, when at my 
usual task, a native arrived from a neighbouring island 
with one of the much-coveted tools, which I seised with the 
greatest eagerness. Although it was only a trade adze of the 
commonest description, and had never been sharpened, it was 
to me at that moment of more value than its weight in gold. 
I now set to work with still greater activity. But alas ! my 
ardour was soon damped. The instrument was blunt, 
the wood very hard; and as I was unaccustomed to the 
use of the tool, it was necessary for me to work with great 
care. Notwithstanding all my caution, however, before the 
day's work was over I cut my great toe so badly that it was 
nearly severed close to the foot. The following morning 
saw me at my post with unabated ardour, but much more 
guarded in the use of this awkward tool, with which I en- 
deavoured to cut more from me; but so badly did I use it in 
this manner, that, on one occasion, when I had a particularly 
hard knot to encounter, I struck it in such a position that 
my much- valued implement broke right across the blade, 
obliging me, to my great distress, to resume the old axe. 

It took me upwards of a fortnight of unceasing labour to 
block out the form of the canoe, and I then began to exca- 
vate it, a work which was even more tedious. Remembering, 
however, the plan of Robinson Crusoe, who had burned out 
his canoe, I procured some poro, which produced a slow fire 
admirably adapted for the purpose, but from its smouldering 
quality too tedious in its progress for me. The addition of 


chips from the log made it burn much more strongly, but 
required the closest attention to prevent its spreading to- 
wards the edge of the canoe. Once, when I left it in charge 
of Bill, I found the flames had made such progress in a wrong 
direction as compelled me not only to alter its shape, but 
also lessen its size, thus entailing nearly a week's further 
labour. My work was at one time greatly interrupted by 
the presence of the whole Tepuka nation, who coming on 
another friendly visit to their allies, again encamped in 
Haka Shusha, and during the day were constantly with us 
— at least, the greater number of them — seriously impeding 
my progress by their continual chatter. 

So fully, however, was I occupied by my daily labour that 
I took little notice of their proceedings. Even the lively 
prattle of Haka Puta could not divert me from my indefati- 
gable work. I was aware that a Tepukan expedition was 
starting by sea to Mutagohiche, and that the Sararakans 
were going by land across the reef, but had no idea of their 
ultimate aim, if indeed at the time of departure they had 
anything else in view than a merely friendly visit. Every 
soul joined in the procession as it started along the strand, 
the Tepukan fleet keeping as near in-shore as they could 
safely venture in company with the land party. With the 
exception of some of the old people and young children, Bill 
and I were left undisturbed in our occupation. We had 
already taken our mid-day bath, and were returning to work 
at the ship-yard, when Haka Puta, breathless from the speed 
with which she had run, came and informed us that the 
Tepukans, aided by the joint forces of Sararak and Mutago- 
hichfe, had, with Joe and his gun, sailed against Omuka and 
Matunga. Much as I objected to embroil myself in the 
quarrels of the natives, I could not think of allowing Joe to 
fire on the poor islanders without an effort to save them if I 
was still in time. With the utmost speed, therefore, I 


hurried to my house for my sword and pistol, giving my 
knife and spear to Bill, and started for the scene of battle, 
which had been so carefully kept from my knowledge. 
During the journey I had abundant time to reflect on the 
course I ought to pursue. It was impossible I could any 
longer act a neutral part. The kindness and affection with 
which the Matungans had always treated me made it incum- 
bent on me to protect them from the aggressions of any of 
the ship's people. At the same time it was unfortunate that 
I should be compelled to take part against the Sararakans, 
by whom I had been treated with no less consideration. 
For their allies I had little or no sympathy ; and, as Joe had 
joined in the attack more in enmity against me than in good- 
will for his friends, I resolved to use my utmost exertion to 
defeat, even at the cost of my life, the schemes at which he 
was labouring. 

On reaching Mutagohiche I found that all my warlike re- 
solves had been, for the present, useless, the Sararakans having 
already returned. The warriors of Mutagohiche also were 
arriving in breathless haste, a few of them badly wounded — 
one with a spear through his body, and another with a thrust 
through the chest, from the effects of which he shortly after 
died. The men of Sararak, who had been coerced into the 
fight by their powerful neighbours, never stood a charge, but 
took to flight at the first attack ; my worthy parent, O Pai 
Tangata, their chief, being the first to head the rout. When 
the land forces advanced, the Tepuka fleet, as I learned, had 
made its way to the northern part of the island, hoping to 
intercept the Matungans, whom they had observed approach- 
ing the shores of Omuka. Entering, however, through an 
inner passage in the reef, they had so far avoided them that 
they were already nearing the land when Joe, enraged 
at the escape of those he most disliked, fired his piece, 
causing such terror among them that they all jumped over- 


board and swam for shore. The Tepukans might now have 
taken possession of all the Matungan canoes, to them most 
valuable prizes, but they generously returned to assist the 
shore party, whom they saw advancing along the sandy 
margin of the lagoon. Before they had effected a landing 
on the reef the discomfited Matungans had joined their 
friends, and with them attacked the approaching enemy, 
whom they compelled to retreat before the Tepukans could 
come to their assistance, the Omukans thus performing a 
masterpiece of generalship worthy of a better cause. They 
were unable, however, to pursue the foe far, for fear of leaving 
in their rear the canoe division, which was still formidable, 
and contented themselves by keeping pace with it along the 
margin of the water, taunting and daring their foe to land, 
till Joe fired again, shooting a woman in the leg and grazing 
a young girl's neck. This shot caused amongst the victors 
a general panic, which might have been successfully followed 
up by the enemy had they been properly led ; but they con- 
tented themselves with this display, and made their way, 
without stopping, to Haka Shusha. When I accused the 
Sararakans of perfidy in secretly joining the Tepukans 
against my friends of Matunga, they assured me they never 
intended to fight, which was the cause of their apparent 
cowardice. However that may be, they certainly did not 
act with that courage which rumour gave them credit for, 
they being accounted as brave a tribe as any of the group. 

Fearing a malicious attack on my work in Mangerongaro, 
I returned with the people of that place. During the few 
days that the Tepukans remained at Haka Shusha, much 
bad feeling existed. Joe's favourite project against Matunga 
was not to be averted. Although he could not get up 
another combination, he succeeded in stirring up a part of 
the Tepukans to make a night attack on that island, now left 
unprotected, its warriors being all encamped in Omuka. 


• « 

This expedition, in which he did not join himself, was much 

more disastrous in its results than the former. It was con- 
ducted so secretly that I believe even the Sararakans knew 
nothing of it till the following morning, when the return to 
their shores of two canoes with a number of wounded men, 
bringing the tale of their disasters, informed them of the de- 
feat and loss their unwarrantable attack had so justly merited. 
I was attracted to the scene of the disaster by the soupds of 
wailing and the thronging crowds that flocked towards the 
lagoon reef, where two canoes had just touched, and where a 
Tepukan chief was recounting their adventures, whilst 
several pale and bleeding men in the bottom of the boat 
attested the truth of his story. It seemed that on the pre- 
vious evening a proposition, emanating from Joe, to make a 
night descent on Matunga, had been rejected by a council of 
the leading chiefs of Tepuka; but cupidity and the love of 
adventure had excited in a number of the younger men 
the desire to plunder. Three war canoes, containing some 
sixty men, had accordingly started about midnight; and, 
having effected a landing, had carried on the work of spolia- 
tion with such rapidity that their boats were soon loaded as 
deeply as their safety would permit. 

Once again embarked, the terror inspired by their pre- 
sence no longer restrained the voices of the women, who 
raised a cry of rage and grief that was heard over that and the 
neighbouring island, whilst the blaze of the beacon-fire told 
their friends in Omuka that danger or distress was at hand. 
The latter responding at once to the call, the united forces 
of Omuka and Matunga proceeded to sea in such canoes as 
they could muster; for, since the recent attack of the 
Tepukans and their allies, the Omukans had been employed 
in the reconstruction of their war canoes, and had only their 
smaller ones ready for use. Not observing in the night th6 
direction that the enemy had -taken, they naturally advanced 


towards Matunga, when a messenger, swimming with the 
news, informed them that the marauders, anticipating 
pursuit, had directed their return by a circuitous 
route, far out in the lagoon. As their three large canoes, 
loaded nearly to the water's edge, made but slow progress, 
the lighter skiffs of their pursuers were rapidly approach- 
ing them when day was breaking over the eastern islets. 
The canoes of the Tepukans being scattered, their enemies 
were enabled to attack them in detail, and the first was 
nearly overpowered before the others could render it assis- 
tance. Finding themselves overtaken, they hove-to and 
prepared to resist, but, hampered with their plunder, the 
shower of spears from their enemies told with more effect 
than the volley they returned. The Omukans, with loud 
yells, dashed in to board them, overturning the heavily- 
freighted canoe in the attack, and forcing its occupants to 
take to flight by swimming, diving occasionally to avoid 
the spears or the club-strokes of their pursuers. O Harfe, 
a leading Omukan, impatient of the slow progress of his 
canoe, sprang into the sea after a hostile chief, and de- 
spatched him with numerous stabs while they struggled in 
the waves. Another whom he overtook he seized by the hair, 
and nearly severed his head from his body. When the third 
canoe came to their assistance the enemy were almost over- 
powered, and many of them were badly wounded before they 
were able to effect their escape. Had the whole of the 
Matungans and Omukans been able to come up in time, the 
Tepukans would have been all destroyed or captured ; and so 
severe a loss in warriors would have exposed their country to 
frightful inroads. As it was, seven were killed and a great 
number wounded— a loss which, amongst these people, is 
considered the sign of a serious engagement. On the 
other side there were only a few wounded, and those but 


Shortly after the arrival of the canoes two natives saved 
themselves by swimming, one of them reaching the north 
end of Sararak with just strength enough to raise himself to 
the reef, where he was found in a senseless state with no 
fewer than seven wounds, and the broken shaft of a spear 
sticking about a foot out from his back. This man recovered, 
but the other, who reached Haka Shusha, also bleeding pro- 
fusely from many wounds, died shortly after landing. That 
evening the Tepukans struck their encampment; the newly 
made friends parted more determined enemies than ever; 
and we were left to the quiet of our monotonous life once 

My canoe, which was something of the whale-boat 
fashion, sharp fore and aft, was now advancing to comple- 
tion ; but unfortunately the dimensions of my log precluded 
the breadth of beam I could have wished. 

I was very proud of my craft when finished. I had made 
many a model ship in my boyhood, but this was my first 
attempt at veritable boat-building. It was completed in 
about a month, during which my labour was indefatigable. 
The natives, to whom such a vessel would have been 
a work of years, at first laughed at the idea of my ever 
finishing it; but towards its completion seemed to take 
great interest in it. On the day I pronounced it ready 
the whole population was afoot, having volunteered to 
carry it across the island to the lagoon. With the usual 
demonstrative noises it was taken by them to a quiet 
little bay, where, to their great delight, it floated lightly 
without an outrigger. But alas I I at once saw that, as I 
had feared, it was too crank to dispense with this in- 
variable accompaniment to the island craft. Impatient as I 
was to try its powers, I immediately set about adding this 
necessary appendage ; but it was well on through the next 
day before I had it completed, and then, such had been my 


haste, that the lashings were very insecure. Indeed, I only 
intended them as a temporary arrangement, as I could no 
longer await the anxious moment when I could feel myself 
secure in what I then considered my ark of salvation. And 
such an ark ! I would now scarcely venture on a mill-pond 
in it, much less launch out into the rolling waves of the 
great Pacific. 

The last lashing completed, paddles ready, and thole- 
pins in their places, " Now for it, Bill/' said I, " she will 
hold us both." Bill doubted it much ; but in we stepped 
with great caution, our combined weight bringing the gun- 
wale close to the water's edge, to Bill's discomfiture, for he 
could not swim. " Hurrah 1 for Matunga," I exclaimed, as 
I plied the paddles, and we shot into the lagoon. The 
natives crowding on the beach, having no idea of our leaving 
them at the time, shouted to us to come back. 

The clouds, meanwhile, gathered in a manner portentous 
of one of those sudden squalls that generally warn such craft 
as ours to look to land rather than sea for safety ; and before 
we had cleared the north point Bill could scarcely keep our 
boat clear by constant baling. I thought it advisable, there- 
fore, to draw near the shore, for with two in her I could not 
keep the little thing afloat. Even in the lagoon the strong 
gale had raised a nasty sea; and during the delay alongside 
the reef, my indifferently constructed outrigger was so 
roughly handled that when I put out to sea again it evinced 
signs of dissolution, and was soon a complete wreck. It was 
only by the closest attention that I could keep this crankest 
of little vessels from going bottom upwards. Finally, I got 
her hoisted up on the reef at a high point, nearly dry, where 
leaving her, I proceeded across towards Omuka, greatly dis- 
concerted at my partial shipwreck. 

At Omuka I hoped to meet some of my Matunga people. 
It seemed, however, that they were all mustered on their own 


island, for a grand fishing expedition, in which they were 
to be joined by such natives of Omuka as still remained 
behind. 1 determined to avail myself of the opportunity to 
join my old friends, and retired early to dream over the ad- 
ventures of the day. 

With the dawn all in the village were up, the early fishing 
party making an unusual stir in their noisy prepara- 
tions. I was at breakfast with Ocura's father when two 
women, en route for Ruahara, sat down opposite to my 
tent. They asked me if I had deserted Haka Puta, as she 
had come to Mutagohichfe the previous evening in tears, 
saying I had left her. In fact, my canoe had occupied so 
much of my thoughts that I had almost forgotten my interest 
in her. The rebuke, however, determined me to return for 
the little girl, repairing my canoe on the way, and collecting 
such remains of the wreck as were necessary for the con- 
struction of my long projected house. 

I had already bid adieu to my friends, spoken the " ahana," 
made the " shara shara," and with a native spear in my 
hand was starting on my way, when once again my heart 
bounded at the shout of " Oaka nufe I" I stood for a moment 
spellbound, and then rushed with the crowd towards the 
north end of the island, looking across the lagoon to Tokerau, 
where it was reported a sail had been seen. That island, 
stretching across from west to east along the north of the 
lagoon, had many breaks or fissures, which in high tides 
were washed by the sea, thus connecting them with the inside 
waters, but at ebb were vacant spaces or vistas, through 
which the ocean at the north could be seen. Through one of 
these, it was said, the sail had been observed. While I was 
doubting the truth of the report, a wild shout from the crowd 
dispelled all uncertainty, and a stately ship, her tall spars 
crowded with white sails, appeared in sight. 

My brain seemed bursting, till a flood of tears came to my 


relief, leaving me composed and resolved. Hurrying to my 
house, where I had left my pistol, I charged it carefully, put- 
ting in three slugs. Several of the natives who had eagerly fol- 
lowed asked me why I made " hacha tera" ready ? I replied, 
" To shoot any enemy that might land ;" for I was deter- 
mined to prevent any one from coming to reap the benefits 
that the pearl island afforded without my fair award as itB 
discoverer. On the other hand, if the vessel proved to be a 
whale ship, I made up my mind to board her or die in 
the attempt. When I reached the beach the canoes were 
already pushing off for the Omuka passage. One large war 
canoe, of too great draught of water to be easily launched, 
alone remained, and as I reached the shore it glided into deep 
water. O Hark, the chief who had distinguished himself 
in the recent sea fight, was the captain of this oaka. I 
covered him with my pistol, and ordered him to take me 
on board. His people shouted to. him to go on. I told 
them that they called me self-willed, and they knew me 
too well to doubt that I would fire on them, if they put a 
paddle in the water without me. They begged me to put 
ddwn the pistol; but I knew my advantage, and kept 
O Harfe still covered with it. All kinds of excuses were 
made to seduce me from my determination of going with 
them ; but I furiously commanded them to put in shore, 
or I would immediately fire. Alarmed for his own safety, 
the chief ordered the canoe to put in, and I sprang on 

I offered every inducement to prevail upon them to take 
me out to the vessel. They should receive presents of knives 
and fish-hooks, with which the big ship was well stored. All 
became so excited that they urged the canoe forward, and 
did not withdraw paddle till we were gliding through 
the passage into the Pacific. Then, for the first time, they 
rested on their oars, and gazed on the tall ship, now clearly seen 


from the northern end of Tokerau, some three or four miles 
distant, and standing away across our path to the south- 
ward. I entreated them to lose no time, for already 
the ship was crossing our course. I took off my shirt, and, 
fastening it to the end of a spear, waved it to and fro. Joy- 
ful sight ! The vessel hove- to, having evidently observed the 
signal. We neared a point of Matunga (the spot that I had 
selected for my proposed house), where some natives were on 
the beach, but at too great a distance for me to recognise 
them. When we came abreast the point they were not 
fifty yards off. Two of them, Ocura, wife of "Turua, and 
Mau Kakara, wife of Taharua, jumped into the water, 
and swam out to cut us off. They called to those in 
the canoe to stop, but I urged them on. O Hare represented 
that the people of Matunga would kill them on their re- 
turn if they assisted in my escape. The women, meanwhile, 
rapidly approached, calling me by name. There was no 
time to lose. Drawing my knife, I threatened to attack 
the crew at once if they did not all give way — a command 
with which they thought it best to comply ; for the canoe 
was propelled at such a rate that the poor women were 
soon left behind. 

This struggle had delayed us considerably ; and I found 
on looking seaward that the ship was again standing out to 
sea. I had recourse to my flag, and once more I had the 
gratification of seeing her heave-to. Perceiving this, the men 
took heart, and we soon neared the ship. I saw she was a 
fine American whaler. Her numerous crew, armed with 
cutting spades and boarding knives, lined the gunwale; 
whilst the cabin windows were thrown open to permit the 
use of musketry formidably presented towards the advancing 
savages. This hostile display, however, was not without an 
apparent reason ; for behind us there came pressing nume- 
rous canoes filled with armed natives, vociferating in their 


wild language with as wild action, and presenting a very 
formidable appearance. 

When within hailing distance, the crew refused to proceed 
unless I promised to return with them. I evaded a direct 
reply, which did not. satisfy them, for they made a demon- 
stration as if they intended to return. I had again resort, 
therefore, to the pistol, but was suddenly pinioned by a 
powerful native behind, who threw his arms around me. I 
contrived, with the strength of despair, to wrench my pistol 
hand from his embrace, when I placed the muzzle over my 
shoulder in the direction of his face, at which he was fain to 
release me in such a hurry that he fell prostrate in the canoe. 
The rest, in alarm, again plied their paddles ; but O Harfe 
shouted to the surrounding canoes to intercept us. This they 
did, but the sight of my weapon made them clear the way. 
When near the vessel a line was thrown from the ship, 
which I seized, and was hauled up on board the John 
Jfpleton, whale ship, of New Bedford, Captain Isaac Taylor, 

I immediately asked for the captain, and was con- 
ducted to him. I expressed my gratitude for his assist- 
ance in my escape, and he recommended me to go down 
to the cabin. I presume he observed my nervous state, 
for I trembled from head to foot. I took his advice, 
and lay for a moment on a sofa, but could not rest. I 
walked up and down, and passing the captain's cabin, stared 
wonderingly on a looking-glass, in which I caught a glimpse 
of a figure as savage as that of any of the natives. My hair and 
beard almost covered my face ; my head was protected from 
the sun by the remnant of a Panama hat, held together by 
fish bones ; my bronzed skin appeared through my thread- 
bare shirt, which exposed my neck, chest, and arms ; and a 
remnant of blue dangaree trousers, whose ragged ends 

A A 

354 THE "SHUNGE." 

scarce reached my knees, left my feet and legs bare. 
"Well might I start at the strange figure I presented to 

Hearing a great commotion on deck, I hastened up again. 
In getting the ship under way, the natives from one of the 
Matunga canoes had made a dash and boarded the vessel. 
The sailors would have heaved them overboard, but they 
dung about us, begging me to take them with me. We got 
them all away at last, except two (Tangera and Kai Poa), 
whom the captain permitted to come with us. I bent over 
the rail, uttering farewells to the poor creatures who had 
evinced so much attachment to me. When I bade them 
the " ahana !" they set up a cry, and begged the " shunge" 
before our final parting. Anxious to comply with so revered 
a custom, but at the same time fearing they might seize me if 
once again in their power, some of the sailors kindly made 
a rope fast round my body to secure me whilst I went over 
the ship's side to allow my foot to be kissed by my poor 
friends as their canoes passed beneath. 

After the ceremony, I went to the taffirail to give them a 
last adieu, when, in our wake, I beheld the canoe of Taharua, 
who, with Turua and some other Matungans, was pulling 
with all his might to reach the ship, now feeling the wind. 
One of them, observing me, called out my name, when 
all desisted pulling and looked up to where I stood. 
Turua beat his head against the gunwale of the canoe till he 
dropped, apparently senseless, in the bottom of the boat; 
Happy as I felt at my deliverance, it was not without much 
pain that I parted with these generous friends, who, as I sub- 
sequently learned, together with many of the other islanders, 
went into close mourning aftet my departure, scarifying and 
wounding themselves as usual. 

. Before sunset the last glimpse of Te Pitaka had disap- 
peared, and the wide ocean was again around me. I knew 


not whither I was bound, nor did I care, for I had civi- 
lization around me, and listened to words of interest in my 
native tongue. Now that the ship was again fairly on her 
course, the captain had leisure to attend to me, and 
was very kind, ransacking his lockers for some little de- 
lieacies to tempt my appetite, that, whether from recent 
excitement or change of food, had almost left me. Now that 
I had attained the consummation of my ardent hopes, I felt 
feverish, ill, and depressed in spirits. My good friend the 
captain endeavoured to rouse me, and after dinner made 
me take a genuine gin-cocktail prepared by himself. As he 
stood with one foot against the bulkhead, and the other against 
the table, to steady himself in the important process of 
tossing it from glass to glass, his pleasant jokes did more 
to raise my spirits than his highly extolled prescription, 
good as it was in its way. Desirous that I should 
enjoy a long-lost luxury, the steward put a feather-bed 
into my bunk, which, though delightful when I first laid 
my wearied frame on it, after lying so long on the coral 
gravel of the islands, soon made me so hot and feverish 
that I could not sleep, and I had to get up and rest 
on the wooden bench in the cabin. It is astonishing, 
however, how soon I again learned to appreciate so natural a 
comfort, and before the end of the voyage I enjoyed it suffi- 
ciently to -regret its absence, when, in subsequent wander- 
ings, I had to resume a couch much the same as that I 
had escaped from. 

The two natives were a great amusement to the crew. Of 
course all they saw was a source of curiosity and wonder ; and 
I was continually applied to for the names of various things 
and their uses. All food, except their native cocoa-nuts, was 
disliked. Even sugar, of which I gave them a lump, they 
spat out with a grimace, saying, " Oa tih 1" (" It is salt 1") 
which was the common exclamation by which they expressed 

856 aticu. 

their appreciation of most of the eatables they tasted. Sea 
biscuit was the grand exception. Of this they were very 
fond ; and to it and their supply of cocoa-nuts they finally con- 
fined themselves. For my own part, I made the cocoa-nut 
part of my daily meal for some time, fearing the effects 
of too rapid a change of diet. The natives had also a 
great antipathy to work. They would take up the broom 
to sweep the decks with wonderful energy for a few minutes, 
and then throw it away, saying, with quiet nonchalance, 
"No, I don't like it; it makes my back ache/' They 
went aloft as well ap any old salt; but when there was 
reefing or anything like work to be done, they preferred 
being below. 

A few days' sail to the southward, with a fresh trade- 
wind nearly abeam, brought us in sight of the pretty 
little island of Aticu. We intended to have made my 
favourite isle, Mauk£, but found it too far to windward. The 
captain wished to take in some fresh provisions, and I 
advised his calling at one of this group as the best for that 

On landing with him, the people seemed pleased to see 
me again. I made inquiries as to when the missionary 
vessel might be expected amongst them ; but as there are 
only native teachers on this island, it is rarely visited by 
that vessel. I was informed, however, that she was ex- 
pected in the following month at Borotonga or Maugier. 
The two Matungans and Bill remained on shore during 
the delay here. The former were much amazed at the 
forest of various trees, and the undulating ground, which 
afforded them an abundance of amusement in walking up 
and running at full speed down the slopes; but the flow- 
ing streams and abundant supply of fresh water, in which 
they loved to bathe, charmed them most. Tet when I 
asserted the superiority of this over their sterile sandy 


ides, they maintained that their own country was far more 

" Breathes there a man with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, 
This is my own, my native land ?" 

The Aticuans were most anxious that our party should 
remain with them ; and old Bill, who was much charmed 
with these people, resolved, as he said, to "cast anchor 
here/' It was at the last moment, when the boat was about 
to shove off, that he finally decided; and I could only 
bid my old and faithful ally a hurried farewell on the 
reef, gaining the deck just in time to see his red shirt 
disappear through a path in the forest as the crowd of 
natives left the beach for their inland villages. I felt great 
regret at parting with him. He had many peculiarities, 
but with Prince Hal I might exclaim, "I could have 
better spared a better man !" I have never been able to 
hear of him since. 

A few days more and " Land ho 1" from the mast-head 
made us all jump into the rigging, whence the misty blue 
cone of Rorotonga was seen peering above the horizon. 
Sailing free, as we now were, this lovely island became 
momentarily more distinct ; and as its blue mountains rose 
from the waters, the Matungans, gazing with wonder on this 
new phenomenon, exclaimed, "Aroa hacka taka!" ("What 
a height !") "Na arua kiangal" ("It is two lands !"), 
placing one hand above the other, to indicate there was land 
on the top of land. 

This is one of the most lovely of all the palmy isles of the 
Pacific ; but though its beauties, developing themselves as 
we rapidly neared it, charmed me, a greater delight filled my 
breast as I approached this favoured spot, for I had friends in 
Rorotonga, the central or principal point of the district, with 
a printing establishment, a depdt of books, tracts, &c., 


whence native teachers are famished to the less civilised or 
Christianized inlands. I longed to roah into the canoe that 
approached as we hove-to. I felt ashamed of this temporary 
forgetfulness of the kind captain's attention, and of my anxiety 
to get off from him, when he came to renew his oft-repeated 
offer of taking me to New Bedford ; but the time spoken of 
appeared interminable, he having to go to New Zealand to 
conclude his voyage, where he might be considerably de- 
tained; whilst deliverance seemed now at hand through Roro- 
tonga, my intention being to proceed from thence by the 
missionary boat to Tahiti, and then by a trading vessel 
to California. The captain told me of the uncertainty of 
getting from these islands, and said his roundabout route 
might prove the nearest way home ; but, full of hope, I de- 
termined to land. 

The shades of evening, as they gradually deepened, warned 
the captain that he must haul off from the dangerous reefs 
of these islands. I bade farewell to all hands; Tangera 
was already in the canoe; Kai Poa, by much persua- 
sion, remaining with the captain, who wished to keep 
him. I now stood on the gangway to bid farewell to Captain 
Taylor, who came forward with a little bundle, a change 
of clothing, to which also the kind mate contributed. The 
gift was so generously and delicately made that I could not 
but gratefully accept it. The good ship rounded to her 
course, and the brave fellows on her deck gave us three 
hearty cheers, which we returned with a will. This was too 
much for Kai Poa, who sprang from the rigging into the 
waves, making it necessary for us to put back and pick him 
up. The quickly-setting sun of the tropical twilight dropped 
beneath the waters ; the tall ship gradually disappeared ; and 
the island loomed solemnly before us as we passed through 
the breakers of the reef into a little bay, where the canoe 
was grounded. 

"good night." 359 

It would be very pleasant to tell of the goodness of these 
people ; .of their venerable pastor, Mr. Pitman, whose almost 
daily guest I became during my residence among them. 
But here we are at Rand's cottage; my couch is ready; I 
must turn in and say — " Good night 1" 





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