In the South Seas Being an Account of Experiences and Observations in the Marquesas, Paumotus and Gilbert Islands in the Course of Two Cruises on the Yacht "Casco" (1888) and the Schooner "Equator" (1889)

By Robert Louis

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...Transcribed from the 1908 Chatto & Windus edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org





...

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... 1908

...

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... VI. GRAVEYARD STORIES
...

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...tons,
spent four months among the atolls (low coral islands) of the Gilbert
group, and reached Samoa...

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...on the horizon. Eight
degrees south, and the day two hours a-coming. The interval...

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...whether of man or beast, in all that
quarter of the island. Winged by her...

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...schooner turned upon
her heel; the anchor plunged. It was a small sound, a great...

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...the eyes of animals and some Italians. A kind of
despair came over me, to...

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...so that a person who has a
tincture of one or two may risk, not without...

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...her fine lines, tall spars, and
snowy decks, the crimson fittings of the saloon, and the...

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... ...

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...stained with woad; and when I paid the
return visit as a little boy, I was...

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...feet from the earth, and accessible by a broad stair.
Along the back of this, and...

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...two facts—the distasteful behaviour of our earliest
visitors, and the case of the lady who rubbed...

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...a man, magnificently tattooed; and
it was of Toma that we asked our question: ‘Where is...

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...on
the beach. This reserve and dignity is the finest trait of the
Marquesan.



CHAPTER III—THE MAROON


Of...

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...the eastern hill, and the glow of the
day was over all.

The glow continued and increased,...

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...it stood open on the
blue bay and the _Casco_ lying there under her awning and...

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...inconceivably small; poor Tari’s
wages, which were thus economised, would scarce have shook the credit of
the...

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...toleration of the Anglo-Saxon. The next
day he brought me a pig, and some days...

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... When I had
sat down with them on the floor, the girl began to question...

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...Or take the valley of Hapaa, known to
readers of Herman Melville under the grotesque misspelling...

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...through the gap of Tari’s isthmus, Ua-huna was seen to hang
cloudlike on the horizon. ...

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...grave, and even the body of
the dead, have been always particularly honoured by Marquesans. ...

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...are subject to a disease seemingly rather of the will
than of the body. I...

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...the Marquesan, never industrious, begins now to
cease altogether from production. The exports of the...

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...beast. The intelligent
agents of this world are to his mind the men who are...

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...Polynesian
trembled for the future. We may accept some of the ideas of Mr. Darwin’s
theory...

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...strike or even stone its mother, and the mother, so far
from punishing, scarce ventures to...

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...most idle,
invention in a race the least progressive, this grim, pagan
salvation-army of the brotherhood of...

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...sterility. But the Samoans are, by all
accounts, as fruitful as at first; by some...

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...point of
view that we may instance, among other causes of depression, the decay of
war. ...

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...ere I have done, where I may go to meet criticism. I
have said nothing...

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...declare themselves better informed. I should prefer the
statement of an intelligent native like Stanislao...

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...up
in the house or succeed to the estates of their natural begetters. That
the one...

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...of weight and fame, late leader of a war upon the
French, late prisoner in Tahiti,...

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...the spell: it was shrewdly supposed the
spirits would not hearken. And so the old,...

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...pork; they must not approach a boat; they
must not cook at a fire which any...

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...years ago a drought killed the breadfruit trees and the
bananas in the district of Anaho;...

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...opportunity to learn the nature and
operation of the others; and, as the art of making...

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...showed
himself the least discountenanced. The other case was opposed in every
point. Mr. Regler...

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...of sea, I continue to think
it very hazardous, and find the composure of the natives...

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...his own slate takes down
the figures and computes the total. The trader, finding them...

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...have ever returned to pay a visit of
remembrance to their teachers. These, indeed, come...

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...and clamber so much about the face of precipices,
for an end that makes us smile;...

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...type of all that
is most sound in France, with a broad, clever, honest, humorous
countenance, an...

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...of this excellent man. He sailed with us from
Tai-o-hae to Hiva-oa, a dead beat...

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...It was midwinter when we came
thither, and the weather was sultry, boisterous, and inconstant. ...

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...Our enamoured countryman was
more resolved; he was tattooed from head to foot in the most...

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...furniture;
its whitewashed walls covered with inscriptions in Marquesan and rude
drawings: one of the pier, not...

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...their liberty. The French are certainly a good-natured people,
and make easy masters. They...

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... I heard that one man was kept six days with his arms bound
backward round...

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...course
he sold me opium!’ he broke out; ‘all the Chinese here sell opium. It
was...

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...king, Temoana. Odds and
ends of his history came to my ears: how he was...

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...the back, mounting
forest glades and coronals of precipice. Here, in the strong
thorough-draught, Her Majesty...

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...so might Madame Brohan have warmed and condescended to
Madame Broisat in the _Marquis de Villemer_....

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...impotent officials. And yet though the
hereditary favourer, and one of the chief props of...

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...me; and I could not but
fear he was only forestalling a taunt that he had...

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...in the South Seas; and one
which well illustrates the common, ignorant habit of regarding races...

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...of gain, nor with any lively wish to please, that the ordinary
Polynesian chooses and presents...

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...Anaho, and he would tell
the folk of Anaho, ‘If you don’t take care, your neighbours...

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...the story of the days of his decline.
A time came when, from the failure of...

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...missionary tends, for
instance, to be continually busied about dress. She can be taught with
extreme...

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...and,
except for some brute utility in the prohibitions, no advance. To call
things by their...

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...begin to follow the version
of Kauwealoha; it is a good specimen of Kanaka English; and...

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...a foreigner in a language only partly acquired! A
thoughtless reader might conceive Kauwealoha and...

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... ‘This is a great thing for your great nation to boast of, before...

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...conclusion that the _Casco_
was going down, and swim through the flush water to the rail...

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...flesh after he is dead is far less hateful than
to oppress him whilst he lives;...

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...lust after flesh-pots. Add to this the
evidences of over-population and imminent famine already adduced,...

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...house to consummate
the rite in secret, carrying his proportion of the dreadful meat in a
Swedish...

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...first visit to a cannibal high place.

The day was sultry and clouded. Drenching tropical...

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...keep the house, for to encounter the priest upon his rounds
was death. On the...

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...eyes could pierce through the dark undergrowth, the
floor of the forest was all paved. ...

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...women and the commons; and, for those who
were privileged to eat of it, there were...

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...little French fort, now disused and deserted,
overhangs the valley and the inlet. Atuona itself,...

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...grew pleasantly
spaced upon a hilly sward, here and there interspersed with a rack for
drying copra,...

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...no
man’s land, it was the more readily ceded to a stranger. The stranger
was Captain...

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...a party from Haamau came under safe-conduct to eat of it.
These passed early by Taahauku,...

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...employed, a party of Moipu’s young men, decked with red flannel
to indicate martial sentiments, came...

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...gone too
far, and the quarrel was instantly patched up. But the more serious wars
were...

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...the nearest danger. He had bought a piece of land from
Timau, chief of a...

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...a stranger in the Marquesas. He comes instantly on two
names, both new to him,...

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...the sister island, Nuka-hiva.
Sails were seen steering from its mouth; now it would be a...

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...the English
manner; and, coming to an anchor some way outside the _Casco_, showed at
last the...

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...instance of the same. He had read of the South
Seas; loved to read of...

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...in one corner of
the cockpit to his appointed task. He had been hired, as...

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...to drink; was of course far too great a
gentleman to rise and get the water...

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...our cockpit, eating, drinking, delivering his
opinions, and pressing the ship’s company into his menial service....

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...near on both sides above a narrow and rich ravine. Its
infamous repute perhaps affected...

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...populous houses turned out their
inhabitants to cry ‘Kaoha!’ to the passers-by. The road, too,...

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...of arabesque invention, should display it
nowhere else. Here, at last, I had found something...

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...and those who
lie to the westward come and go in their canoes. I never...

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...of the Marquesas. But she, the more fortunate, lived on
in her green island. ...

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...you not rather show him the cemetery?’ I
saw it; it was but newly opened,...

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...he was sent on these errands in preference even to the son.
Plainly we have here...

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...as seen us,
and knew only that we were inestimably rich and travelled in a floating
palace....

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...Most men thus circumstanced contrive to buy or brutally
manage to enforce their independence; but many...

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... So might some strict
clergyman at home address a worldly visitor: ‘Go to the theatre...

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...ceremonies. The church had been taken, with
its jolly architect before the door; the nuns...

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...at every point
the opposition, came with a certain feudal pomp, attended by retainers
bearing gifts of...

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...were all cowled in cloud,
and the ocean-river of the trades streamed without pause. As...

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...multiplicity of reefs, the wind intermits, squalls are frequent from
the west and south-west, hurricanes are...

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...drunken-looking
course upon the chart both testified with no less certainty to an
impetuous westward current. ...

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...sea and sky: a ring of white beach,
green underwood, and tossing palms, gem-like in colour;...

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...shore copied our manœuvre and outsailed us. Once
and twice Raraka headed us again—again, in the...

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...green tuft of thicket; only instead of the
stagnant waters of a marsh, the live ocean...

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...its presence.



CHAPTER II—FAKARAVA: AN ATOLL AT HAND


By a little before noon we were running down...

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...paid in my time to view many curiosities; never one so curious as
that first sight...

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...lagoon for the sake of the breeze, now back under the palms
for love of shadow.

Not...

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...with an unblunted sense of my surroundings.
I was never weary of calling up the image...

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...love the broken coral, whence they grow with that
wonderful verdancy that makes the beauty of...

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...for your
dessert, is a dish to be remembered with affection. But when all is...

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...it was marked with the red spot.

Some two hundred yards distant is the beach of...

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...of them indifferently from
within and from without. According to the natives, these bewildering
vicissitudes are...

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...had taken ship some two
days previous to our arrival, and were all now engaged disputing
boundaries....

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...penalty alone. He was condemned in
five years. The period, when I had the...

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...was covered with the usual clinker-like fragments of
smashed coral, not only coco-palms and mikis but...

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...made a
strong impression of sincerity. The plain service, the vernacular Bible,
the hymn-tunes mostly on...

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...to try on
the sea-chests, drawing each in turn from its place against the wall.
Heads of...

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...his true character
appeared, the only use he made of the estate was to leave the...

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...land-lady at last; here was
every character of the proprietor fully developed. Should I not...

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...seen no more. She had women on board, and children, the
captain’s wife, a nursemaid,...

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...so soon as he has fingered it he disappears.
He knows your ship; so soon as...

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...held infectious. Fe’efe’e, being a creature of
marshes and the sequel of malarial fever, is...

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...is my question!’ he
exclaimed. ‘For by all that I can hear of their doctrine,...

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...discipline. ‘The veto on
liquor,’ said Mr. Magee, ‘brings them plenty members.’ There is...

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...he.
‘Yes,’ she returned, ‘but listen again! Do you not hear something
supernatural?’ His attention...

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...by the gift of
nature, singular and useful powers. They say they are honest,
well-intentioned ladies,...

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...moonlight and crude shadows on the sand, the scattered
coals, the sound of the low voices...

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... And yet there was one touch of the
pathetic haunted me: that so much youth...

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...but the grains of this dust were gross like cherries, and the true
dust that was...

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...a solitary house, that this borderer of the grave should fear a
little wind and a...

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...conjuration, basely to shield herself, basely to
dedicate another in her stead. One thing is...

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...perhaps I had spoken lightly. A dark squall burst on the side of the
mountain;...

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...do
not mean to tell. The chief and his sister were persons perfectly
intelligent: gentlefolk, apt...

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...the re-imprisonment; between-whiles, he goes his
malignant rounds. ‘Did you ever see an evil spirit?’...

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...coming. Mr. Donat was
once pearling on the uninhabited isle of Haraiki. It was...

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...‘You are yet in
time,’ said he; ‘a spirit has just run past my door carrying...

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...people tended
the dying and bewailed the dead, and had no thought of peril. But...

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...said the father; and Rua supposed
the stranger had swum off to them from shore. ...

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...until water came, and the body re-interred face
down. The still recent staking of suicides...

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...of her dead husband. In all these cases we may suppose the process,
whether of...

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...dead. In her life the sister had been dainty in the
island fashion, and went...

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...were got on board the
canoe the wife smelt carrion. ‘How is this?’ she said....

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...the sight of this dishonoured tabernacle, the
princess prayed she might continue to be numbered with...

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...and on a certain
bright June day in 1889, adorned in the Hawaiian fashion with the
garlands...

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...and the shark-tooth
sword are sold for curiosities. Ten years ago all these things and
practices...

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...few were perched on piles in the lagoon;
the rest stood at random on a green,...

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...cannon. It was impossible
to see the place and not to fancy it designed for...

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...and
first and last I had the same impression; he seemed always drowsy, yet
always to hearken...

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...it was a common thing to see the subjects
(staggering themselves) parade their drunken sovereign on...

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...wife. She was one that had been sealed to him; that is to say...

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...the eyes of Kanoa, he slew with
his own hand three sailors of Oahu, crouching on...

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...sat in the maniap’
before the palace gate expecting his recruits; Maka by his side, both
anxious...

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...of his brother: King Tebureimoa is afraid of the Old Men. Terror
of the first...

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...quality of the king’s thoughts; and
yet I had but the one sight of him at...

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...in one of the six foreign houses of
Butaritari, namely, that usually occupied by Maka, the...

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...tree-top answers; and beyond again, in the bosom of
the woods, a still more distant minstrel...

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...be left destitute. ‘The
perilous, hairbreadth ridi’ was our word for it; and in the...

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...on
the island, and one of the only two in the archipelago; their house
besides, with its...

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...had the name on the beach of ‘a
perfect gentleman when sober,’ but I never saw...

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...Hawaii. Queen Victoria proves
nothing; Kalakaua and Mrs. Bishop are diagnostic; and the truth is...

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...hymn-book and the Bible; in his face, a reverent gravity:—beside
him Mary his wife, a quiet,...

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...To see him weekly flogging a dead horse and
blowing a cold fire was a lesson...

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...low but stirring hum of speech.

The oval shed was full of men sitting cross-legged. ...

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...pleased it should continue. That pleasure had now
sometime ceased; the bout had been prolonged...

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...of frizzed hair, delighted the company with a humorous
courtship of a lady in a manner...

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...again encased in striped pyjamas;
a guardsman brought up the rear with his rifle at the...

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...was shouting to the
prince. Yet a while the pack swayed about the bar, vociferous....

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...dog; the other impotently fought and
scratched. So for a moment we saw them wallow...

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...the eaves thickly
pattering, the lofty palms dripping at larger intervals and with a louder
note. ...

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...her son) was free from these
intrusions. Not only my house, but my neighbourhood as...

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...fifteen degrees with the
horizon; cocoa-nuts do not fall on successive nights at the same hour...

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...gin, and sells it the most recklessly, the lion’s share of copra is
assured. It...

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...of the Wightman coterie. It was
egregious enough that I should now intrude unasked in...

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...have sold them before.’

‘I have nothing to do with Tom and Mr. Rick. All...

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...you talk
so much of; but I mean to lose it the way I want to,...

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...sat deep into
the night like a pack of schoolboys, preparing the revolvers and
arranging plans against...

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...to us they swaggered in
the town, like plaided Highlanders upon the streets of Inverness,
conscious of...

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...effort.

Presently the troop stood up in a body, the drums forming a half-circle
for the soloists,...

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...which possessed him from head to foot, seemed transfigured; once
it was as though a strong...

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...artificially nasal; I notice all the women affect that
unpleasantness. At one time a boy...

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...The song was of course out of season, and the performance
only a rehearsal. But...

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...corner, and melted before the attractions of a magic
lantern, like a glacier in spring. ...

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...doubtful; and Queen
Victoria’s son was bound to maintain the honour of his house. Karaiti
was...

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...from her fat shoulders and come out a monument of flesh,
painted rather than covered by...

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...but towards the end a woman appears,
who has just lost her husband; and I suppose...

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...extended, passed through and through each
other’s ranks with extraordinary speed, neatness, and humour. A...

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...shed
was densely packed with people. In the midst, on the royal dais, the
lantern luminously...

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...a trader’s wife in the Gilberts is, besides, unusually
enviable. She shares the immunities of...

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...were harsh, but
not without a certain stamp of high-mindedness. Stealthy adultery was
punished with death;...

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...go home to your people,’ said he. ‘But in the mean time
go and light...

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...very sure the proceeding was unsafe; and she soon perceived a man
and woman watching her....

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...to fill and
light the pipe; Nei Takauti handed hers in silence to the wedded page;
but...

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...he seemed to say; and his stern officer
reiterated her commands with secret imperative signals. ...

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...in the outset, his dear-bought armoury sunk in his own lagoon.
But the impression had been...

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...clothes, laden
with mats and presents, and bringing with them a magazine of food, on
which they...

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...call him lusty rather than fat; but his gait is still dull,
stumbling, and elephantine. ...

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...to the ship. He oscillates
between the cabin, where he is entertained with strange meats,...

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...take him all,’ replied his majesty,
and became the lord of seventeen boxes at two dollars...

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...captains. Ships of
his have sailed as far as to the colonies. He has...

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...the matter up with this proposal: ‘Tuppoti {283} I
mi’take, you ’peakee me. Tuppoti you...

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...ear; has spies who report daily; and had rather his subjects sang
than talked. The...

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...that we should be left
four-and-twenty hours in suspense and come within an ace of ultimate
rejection....

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...our case the mouth had the most
to do with it, and it was by our...

Page 206

...of sight of the village. It was shown to the king, and the
town promised...

Page 207

...score of moving naked legs. In all the affair servile
obedience was no less remarkable...

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...The salad was devoured
by the hen—which was her bane. The shalots were served out...

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...pluck down the palisade;
he need not be specially active to leap from the beach upon...

Page 210

...Tembinok’. He does not aim at
popularity; but drives and braves his subjects, with a...

Page 211

...more memorable) suffered it to putrefy before the palace
gate. Doubtless his growing years have...

Page 212

...puts up a double stake, and receives in return two hands to
choose from: a shallow...

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...a row of leering faces. Tembinok’ would be within, the flaps of
the cabin raised,...

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...a bath of milk. Countless
shining stars were overhead, the lagoon paved with them. ...

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...it in the roof,
whence he could radiantly produce it on the morrow. Although this...

Page 216

...the well. About half-way
he found my wife watering her onions, changed buckets with her,...

Page 217

...sentries (each by a small clear fire) cooking syrup on their
posts—and this chimæra waiting with...

Page 218

...shifting soil. Yet when I got back to Equator
Town, where all the lights were...

Page 219

...foot. Ah Fu could
not control his merriment. On my side, knowing what must...

Page 220

...(for instance)
were tapu on the quarter-deck of a man-of-war; and he begged in
consequence that we...

Page 221

...saw but little of the commons of the isle. At first we met them...

Page 222

...soft as flutes and with quiet
intonations. Hope told a flattering tale; I put aside...

Page 223

...absence, even when they were alone, I have seen Apemama women work
with constancy. But...

Page 224

...to doubt
the beneficence of that stern rule. A curious politeness, a soft and
gracious manner,...

Page 225

...what we call our
liberty. Did they like it? and what was their sentiment toward...

Page 226

...in the bush, twice cried to me with a sort of gentle ecstasy, ‘I
like you...

Page 227

...or seems to give, plenty of opportunities; day and
night he goes abroad alone, whether armed...

Page 228

...the king was very sick; went down, diagnosed the case; and took
at once the highest...

Page 229

...is broken by
shallow bays. The reef is detached, elevated, and includes a lagoon
about knee-deep,...

Page 230

...living on the ocean side of any open atoll; and Tamaiti must have had
strong nerves,...

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...part trellised. Trophies of
advertisement-photographs were hung up within for decoration. There was
a table...

Page 232

...after all; he need no longer
dissemble, and he plunged at once into confessions. He...

Page 233

...the first time—a tall, lank, raw-boned, serious
North-Sea fisherman turned brown; and there was a third...

Page 234

...handed over to Terutak’, the leading practitioner or medical
baronet of Apemama. His place is...

Page 235

...not approach
Terutak’, since I had promised to buy nothing in the island; I dared not
have...

Page 236

...Tamaiti the infidel sat with hanging head and
every mark of dejection. Terutak’ streamed with...

Page 237

...the thing in
hand. Their eyes glowed, the girl beat her breast, in senseless animal
excitement....

Page 238

...of the
newspapers had already placed the box upon my table as the gift of
Tembinok’.

I made...

Page 239

...now go home, leaving that fire-lit family party gloating over
their new millions, and consider my...

Page 240

...meet her revolting paramour, and received at
sea the seed of a predestined family. ‘I...

Page 241

...possessed every accomplishment. He knew sorcery, he was
the best genealogist of his day, he...

Page 242

...me of Aramis.’ Such is the
portrait of Tembinatake, drawn by an expert romancer.

We had...

Page 243

...My
brothers, my uncle go away. All the same.’ This was said with a
dejection...

Page 244

...day ignorant of their fate.

So far history. And now a moment for conjecture. ...

Page 245

...The reference is to Maka, the Gawaiian missionary, at Butaritari in
the Gilberts.

{122} Elephantiasis.

{156} ...