"The Governor has been spending a long time on the coast, and a little while ago he met a fighting expedition on the Musa River. There were about 200 fighting-men, who had come from somewhere near Cape Nelson, in their canoes. When pursued, they threw overboard limbs of the people they had killed, already cooked and partly eaten. Eight of them were shot and one captured alive by the Government party. The Maisin people of Collingwood Bay are known as a great fighting people, and this expedition may have come from as far round as that. ... It is in their district that I want to extend our work."--Rev. Copland King (in a letter, October 22, 1895).
Chapter IV. Collingwood Bay (1898)
SIR William MacGregor visited Dogura towards the end of 1895, on his way back from the north-east coast, where he had settled some troubles between the miners and the natives, and explored a good deal of new country. Especially had he found a wonderful inland valley on the upper reaches of the Musa River, which runs into Dyke Acland Bay, about thirty miles north of Cape Nelson.
The Governor told Mr. King that now would be the time for the Mission to follow up his work among a people who had been "soundly beaten and humbled"; and he added that he meant to write to the Primate and warn him that unless the Anglican Mission intended to take up its work seriously, he would be compelled to invite some other Mission to enter the newly-opened country, which was far too important to be left. Something must be done by somebody!
The General Secretary of A.B.M. visited New Guinea about the same time, and his report stated that "we have three hundred miles of coast line, and so far have only feebly occupied forty-five."
Alas for Mr. King! This laggard advance had not been for want of steady work and willingness on his part. He had been "Head of the Anglican Mission in New Guinea" for more than three and a half years, and for all that time there was never another priest to help him, except for an odd month or two now and then.
Even as Maclaren, by sheer personal force and attractiveness, had got the thing going, so Copland King, by sheer dogged perseverance and hard work, had kept it from collapsing.
But here was the Governor urging extension, not only up the two hundred and fifty miles of further coast, but into the "wonderful valley of the Musa River."
No wonder that Mr. King felt "tantalized" to hear this, knowing, as he thought he knew by experience, what it meant, and remembering that "judging from their rate of progress up to the present, the time they would have to wait, even before they could move into the next bay, was yet to be counted by years."
Maclaren had been all round Collingwood Bay in 1890, and had gone ashore at Uiaku and Yuayu and Wanigera with the Governor.
Copland King had also been there in the Merrie England in 1893; and had tried to go again in the following year in the Mission schooner, but got into difficulties, and was obliged to turn back. He had made another and very successful attempt in July, 1895, of which he wrote as follows:--
"It was an adventurous and exciting trip. We examined the coast carefully, and landed wherever we could find villages. At Uiaku the excitement of the natives was intense. They waded into the water to meet the dinghy, and kept up a continuous roar of greeting. My boys, who landed with me, thought their time had come; but the natives were only shouting vigorously for iron, in the form of plane irons, of which I had taken care to bring a good stock; and when they got me on shore they would not let me off again until I had exhausted the trade bag.
"We went on to Wanigera, not yet known by that name, and received the same tempestuous welcome. These people proved to be expert thieves, and stole the handkerchief out of my trouser pocket, the watch out of my pouch, the sock out of my boot while on the ground beside me, and the trade I had already purchased from them, with the utmost ease. However, anything I missed was returned to me when I asked for it. But when I called there again on my way back from Cape Nelson they would not let me into their stockaded village, because I had brought no iron ashore to trade with."
In October, 1896, Mr. King spent three weeks in the same neighbourhood, and though the natives were "a little quieter than before," they were boisterous enough to impress a layman who accompanied him.
Mr. Clark, who had only been a fortnight in the country, described this visit with all the delicious freshness and vigorous simplicity of a new-comer.
"We made an early start," he wrote, "and having a favourable breeze, the schooner soon reached the Guruguru Lagoon, the inner end of which terminates in a river, up which Mr. King and myself went in the dinghy. We met some natives and induced one to get into the boat with us to act as pilot, and it was as well we did, for the village was a long way up the river, and the natives the worst kind we had met.
"We endeavoured to explain to the man the object of our visit, and succeeded so far as to make him understand that our object was peace; also that we were not representatives of the Government.
"On landing we were immediately surrounded by some scores of filthy and painted savages, and immediately afterwards some dozens of their warriors, all armed with spears, made their appearance from an ambush where they had been awaiting our arrival. They put down their weapons and joined the noisy, jabbering crowd around us. Our own boys got very frightened with this crowd, and were glad to get away, and so was I, for their noise and clamour was dreadful. . . . We got away without mishap, and once more boarding the schooner we headed for Sinapa, where we anchored in a pretty little bay with a sandy bottom and entirely screened from the surging swell of the ocean.
"The next morning (Sunday) we were bothered with several canoes coming off and wanting to trade, and we had some difficulty in making them understand that we could not trade on that day. After English service on board, in which we three solitary white men kneeled, surrounded by a concourse of jabbering heathen, we, together with our eight natives, went on shore to hold the first native service ever held on this part of the New Guinea coast. After a deal of persuasion we got ten of the much-dreaded Maisin people to join us. When we started to sing they began to dance, and it was as much as our own boys could do to keep from laughing. We now all kneeled, and Mr. King, trying to use words that they would understand, prayed God to bless this people, and the Mission in their midst. At the service in the afternoon on the beach there were thirty natives present, besides our own boys, and they were fairly attentive. . . . Long before we were up next morning, the first canoe came alongside, quickly followed by others, until we were surrounded by a clamouring crowd. . . . They swarmed on our deck, and peeped into every nook and corner, and you needed eyes at the back of your head, for they would steal anything they could lay hands on. After some hours of this, we went ashore, for this is the spot chosen for a station. The tide being low, the water was not deep enough to carry the dinghy over the reefs and shoals without risk, so we went in one of the canoes, with four men besides ourselves, and two girls, the girls doing the paddling.
"After landing and inspecting the land, we were taken across the bay--about a mile--to a freshwater creek, where the natives were making sago. On the way, we were met by a canoe from Uiaku, some four miles further on the coast. It contained ten or twelve natives, men, and their chief, Wanigera. This man is worthy of more than passing notice, for he has great influence over his people, and I think will be our friend. He is tall, well-built, with well-formed features. On state occasions, such as the visit which he was about to make to our schooner, he is wonderfully got up. His hair is pushed back from the forehead, shaven in fact, and hangs down the back to his shoulders in little ringlets, about as thick as a lead pencil, but clogged with coconut oil and dirt. Across the front of his head he wears a roll of human hair, bleached with lime to an auburn tint; immediately in the front of this, across his forehead, he wears a band of woven stuff, skilfully and artistically covered with small shells and ground stones of several colours. At each end of this forehead-piece there is a white shell, the shape and size of a hen's egg. These shells are worn just behind each eye. The top of his head is surmounted by an elaborate head-dress made of feathers and other things. In his ears are several kinds of ornaments, some reaching to the shoulder, and very effective. In addition to all this, he wears a pair of flat tusks through his nose, and they hang down right over his mouth. This makes him look like a walrus. Round his neck are several shell necklaces, and a small museum of curios. Now comes his robe of state, given him by the Government party some three years ago, and consisting of a grey flannel shirt, worn without buttons either at neck or wrists, hanging from the shoulders, and blowing about with the wind in true regal style. Beyond this, with the exception of the usual native wrapper round the loins, there is nothing except a ring made from coconut shell, and worn round each leg below the knee--the Order of the Garter!
"On our return to the schooner, we found him on board, sitting on the deck, tailor fashion, and his painted warriors standing up around him, some on deck, but mostly on their canoe. After exchanging greetings and drinking a coconut he graciously accepted a stick of tobacco from us. He seemed pleased when we told him that we were coming to his village next day. After about an hour of trading with his followers--for the old chap considers it infra dig. to trade himself--he and his party left, much to the relief of the natives in the other canoes, for they are very frightened of these people. Whenever they speak of them it seems to be with awe, and they always get out of their way. There is no doubt about them, they are savages, cannibals, and are always on the warpath.
"Next morning we went on to Uiaku. There is no anchorage, and it is exposed to the full force of wind and sea, and the coral reefs all round make the landing dangerous. Mr. King went first, with two boys, and the boat came back for me. Before starting I hesitated a good deal as to whether I should take a revolver Mr. King lent me or not, but after a few moments silent prayer, I took it off and decided to go without it. The boat could not get close in because of the breakers, so I was carried to the shore, and never will I forget it. I was immediately surrounded by scores of them, and they pushed and huddled me along the beach. They pulled me about, opened my shirt, pulled up my trousers, in fact I thought they were going to strip me.
"All this time I saw nothing of Mr. King, nor he of me. I did not know where he was, and my own two boys got shut out from the crowd round me, so I was unable to make myself understood. I pushed and made signs, but all to no purpose; they would not let me out. And what with the heat of the day, and the close, sweltering heat coming from their greasy hides, I thought I should have swooned. All this time I was being felt all over, and my clothes nearly dragged off me. By and by they opened out and led and pushed me along to some houses, where I found Mr. King surrounded by just such another noisy mob, but under the care--so to speak--of the old chief. Mr. King was sitting upon a sort of raised platform, and the 'Walrus' was standing in front of him. When he caught sight of me he opened out a passage and brought me up to Mr. King, alongside of whom I was soon seated. He had a laugh when he saw me, and wanted to know where I had been and what I had been doing. I told him as well as I could. I gave the old chief a looking-glass and a bead necklace, and I never got away from him after that.
"After some time spent in buying curios, I took out my watch from the pouch on my belt to look at the time, and then occurred one of the most amusing incidents of the trip. The old chief wanted to look at it, but instead of letting it go I held it up to his ear, and the look on his face as he heard it tick was something to be remembered. He took the tusks out of his nose and had another listen, then he put my hand with the watch in it to the other ear, and his face widened into a broad grin. Then he got up off the ground, where he and I and a few old men had been sitting, and said something to the others; then one after another did they thrust their heads forward for a listen. Some would jump back when they heard it, others would smile, but they all had a look of wonder, and they watched me put it away, and then touched the outside of the pouch. During this time Mr. King had been busy a little distance away with another group; but coming to me he said, 'Shall we go on board?' I said, 'Yes; I'm very nearly done up.' So to signal for the dinghy, which we had sent back to the schooner for safety, I put my fingers to my mouth and whistled rather loudly. Then there was another surprise, and I had to do it over and over again till the arrival of the dinghy. I was glad to get on board the schooner, and as the sea was too rough for their canoes, we were left in peace for the rest of the day. Sleep that night was difficult, for the little ship tossed about in a frantic manner."
They paid a short visit to Wanigera--a large village belonging to the Ubir people, though bearing the same name as the old Maisin chief--and then returned for a few days to Sinapa, to cut the boundary lines of the proposed station, while the captain tried to paint his schooner as she lay at anchor: but the natives, who were there in hundreds, took a fancy to the line of crimson paint that ran round the boat, smearing it on their faces, and afterwards wiping their hands on the white sides of the Albert.
On the way back to Dogura, they "anchored one night at a place called Mukawa, it being dark before we let go." (It is Mr. Clark, again, who writes.) "Next morning, Sunday, we had our English services on board as usual, and native on shore, trying to induce any who might be looking on to join us. The place was very beautiful: a sandy bay shallowing gradually out, the beach backed by overhanging shady trees, a freshwater creek running through them, and behind these a row of undulating grass hills, perhaps two hundred feet high. Each end of the bay is protected from the swell by coral reefs, thickly timbered. . . . After morning service the captain and I climbed the hills, and found some villages; we counted ninety-two houses, but they were rather small. They are well-built, and the beams and supports fantastically carved and painted. These people originally lived on the shore, but they moved up the hill to be safer from the attacks of the terrible Maisin tribes, who came down the coast in their canoes."
Three months later (January, 1897) Mr. King was in Australia, travelling and lecturing and preaching, with permission from A.B.M., to collect especially for the Collingwood Bay extension."
"It is felt," said a Sydney missionary magazine, "that the opportunity should not be thrown away, for the Roman Catholic missionaries have already petitioned the Governor for permission to extend their work to this very place. Our immediate occupation," the editor went on, "would be a definite reason against such permission being given."
And so, yet once again, the Anglican Church was being forced on to unoccupied ground in New Guinea; though even then the advance was not made with any very great speed. When April came, the month in which Copland King had hoped to get back to his work, the Executive Council of the Australian Board of Missions could only tell them that "money had come in so sparingly for the Collingwood Bay extension scheme, that nothing definite could be settled."
In June, they had formally to consider Sir William MacGregor's request for "definite information"; and they resolved that "as soon as the sum of £500 was in hand, and a clergyman in Priest's Orders available for the work, the extension to Collingwood Bay should be undertaken," and the secretary of the council was instructed "to advertise in the daily papers for a clergyman in Priest's Orders, and to send copies of the advertisement to the Bishops."
And then, in July, Bishop Stone-Wigg was appointed, and things had to wait until he reached the diocese.
Mr. King, however, with a party of Taupota boys, went to Collingwood Bay in the following April, and began to clear the land at Sinapa, where the new station was to be established; and while he was there, the S.S. Mount Kembla arrived from Australia with material for a large house. The captain of this steamer contracted malaria on the trip, and was unconscious when the vessel got back to Sydney Heads. He died in the little boat that was carrying him ashore just before it reached the wharf.
The Merrie England called at Sinapa early in May, with the Bishop and a Government party on board, including Lord Lamington, then Governor of Queensland. Mr. King was still there, but towards the middle of the month he returned to Dogura, leaving Harry Mark in charge. Somewhere about half-way back he met the whale-boat, bringing an advance party for the occupation of Sinapa. Tomlinson was in charge, and he had with him three new laymen and a new South Sea Islander, who had arrived with the new Bishop a week before. The S.S.I, was Jimmie Nogar, who lived and died at Wanigera, and now lies buried in the native cemetery there, after "eight years of faithful and capable work."
This party had left Dogura on a dark wet Friday night, the 13th of the month, with a skipper who knew many useful things about New Guinea and its natives, but nothing at all of sailing, and a crew of new chums, only one of whom even pretended ever to have been in an open boat before. The people at Dogura had said good-bye to them somewhat sadly when they started on their hundred mile trip along the unknown coast: for in the dismal darkness and the pouring rain, and considering the sinister reputation of the wild country for which they were bound, and their individual incapacity for ever getting there, the venture seemed a rather desperate one: but at midnight, half drowned with rain, and already having lost their way, these travellers very wisely turned back, to make a new and more cheerful start next morning.
One of the party kept a log, from which it appears that five nights were spent lying awake in drenching rain, and six days bumping on to reefs, and trying to dry their clothes. Stores had given out at Dogura and they had brought away but three boxes of matches: provisions had been taken for three days, and they lived for the rest of the time on yams and sago and dough-nuts, made by a cook "who did his best," but who had only had one day's practice before the trip began: their drink consisted of what rain they could collect in frying-pans and saucepans and pannikins during the night. Every time they tried to land they were driven out to sea again by the barrier of reefs, impenetrable to these inexperienced landsmen: sometimes they found an anchorage between midnight and two o'clock, and once they spent the whole night running out to sea: but all the time their spirits were kept up by the little New Guinea boys who sang, "God save the Queen," and "The strife is o'er, the battle done," continually in the Wedau language.
The Rev. W. H, Abbot, who was to be in charge of the new district, followed soon afterwards in the schooner; and five hours after he had left Dogura the whale-boat got back, bringing word that the place chosen for the house was too sandy, and that when the holes were being sunk for the piles, fresh water was reached at three feet. One of the white men had come to get the Bishop's advice, and he had had a rough nine days' journey, and was badly sunburnt.
The Bishop started off at once in the whale-boat, and met the returning schooner, with Abbot on board, a few miles from Sinapa. The latter was in need of ladders, knives, and other appliances for his work of clearing and building, and was on his way to Dogura to get them; but as he reported that the difficulty about the ground was settled, the Bishop went back to Dogura in the schooner.
Mr. Abbot, who had his first and very sharp attack of fever just before they reached the head station, has himself recorded the doings at Sinapa.
"It was three weeks," he wrote, "since the advance party had gone on, and as we expected that a good deal of the house would be up we took a heavy load of furniture, and anchored about eight o'clock at night. There was no one on the shore to meet us, and I surprised them at a sort of choir-practice sing-song in their native house. Where is Bayly?' was my first question, and I noticed that the rosy, healthy Mr. Sage was another colour now. I also noticed the mosquitoes. Mr. Bayly had started for Dogura in the whale-boat; Mr. Sage had had a succession of attacks of fever, with constant vomiting and delirium; Mr. Dakers had had his eyes bunged up, and his arms, legs, and hands swollen horribly by the mosquitoes; and no one had had a decent night's rest since landing. The native boys had spent the nights walking about, and their cries of 'left! right! left! right!' as they turned the corners, marked time, and got into step again, at last became maddeningly monotonous. The white men, partly protected by their clothing, went to bed in their ulsters, boots, and gaiters, with their heads in boxes for lack of mosquito curtains.
"I discussed the situation with Mr. Tomlinson, and we decided that it was our duty to stop where we were, come what might. My chief argument was that Sir William MacGregor had chosen the place for us, and he must be right. In the morning I inspected everything, and found that not a pile had been laid: hole after hole had been dug, and as soon as they were dug they filled with water: you could push a pole through the foundations as if it had been soft mud instead of sand. So we had our first committee meeting, laying down as a proviso that we were bound to stop where we were, because it was impossible to move the house anywhere else, and the site had been allotted to us.
"By the time our meeting was over, the chief of the district had arrived, and I explained through Mr. Tomlinson, who has picked up the language in a most extraordinary manner, that I should go away unless all the tribe worked for me, promised him a nice present if he made them do what they were told, and sent him off. They arrived in crowds, and didn't they work! It was extraordinary! From nine till one, half of them were carrying the huge piles from the shore to the spot we had fixed upon, the other half were put to clearing, and from half-past two till six they went at it again. At one o'clock I gave everybody a little bit of tobacco for working so well. After lunch there was very little singing or talking: they were tired. I learned two words, one was 'Bagi Bagi' ('work away!'), and the other was 'Tauba' ('well done!'). I should think I said them six hundred times. After each pile they wanted to sit down, and I had to keep them moving. No one would believe how exhausting it was, keeping them at it. If you did not keep moving, all the natives quietly sat down. I dosed myself in between whiles and at the end with quinine, and went to bed dead beat. When I paid them, I told them all that they must come to a service I should hold on the next afternoon (Sunday). I told them to come in all their finery, feathers, flowers, and all, but I am sorry to say they did not come. We had our own services in the morning, and we had settled to have our first native service at three. But there were no natives! At four they arrived in crowds, not to see us, but to fish, which they did very unsuccessfully. There were three huge canoes full of boys with a big net. They dropped the net in a big circle, and as the net fell in, at intervals the natives jumped in outside the net. When all was ready, and the two ends had been drawn together, all the boys began yelling, splashing, and beating the water to drive the fish back.
"As soon as the first catch was landed I saw that now was our only chance of getting a congregation, so I told them all to come on land. They refused to come, making signs that they were there to fish. However, they came, and it was most exciting shepherding them up through the scrub. Tomlinson went first, chatting away, his arms working like a windmill inviting them onward. I was in the rear, talking English, and showing my fist when any one tried to break into the scrub. When we got up to the house we made them all sit down, and I had to decide whether to run the risk of frightening them by putting on my surplice, or to preach to them as I was. I decided to run the risk, and disappeared into the house, expecting to find them gone when I returned. The effect when I came out in my gaudy Oxford hood was magical. They probably thought I was an extra special wizard, and a very subdued 'sh-sh-sh' went round the crowd.
"Before I began, I told Mr. Tomlinson to tell them that the first man I saw move I should have out in the centre with me. We began with a hymn, all standing, and I felt as if I was back in the Old Country at Kettering, where we had a big Bible class of rough factory lads, who came to while away an hour and to worry their teacher, and never for a moment did I take my eye off the livelier members of my flock. Afterwards, we had prayers, and we made them all kneel upright with hands together. When we came to the address, Mr. Tomlinson was quite extraordinary as an interpreter. He has only been here three weeks, but he managed, with the help of my odd gestures to emphasize the points, to hold them with fixed attention for a quarter of an hour. Then I gave them God's blessing, and this really was the most touching part of the whole service. They saw the white men reverently kneeling, and not knowing why they did it they too joined their hands together and bent their heads. As I went into the house I felt inclined to sit down and cry aloud from thankfulness of heart that God had been so good to us and given us such help. As soon as I had changed I came out to tell them to come next day to 'Bagi Bagi,' and that the work must be finished."
The people rolled up again in the morning, and Mr. Abbot spent most of the day sitting on different logs under a white umbrella, crying out "Tauba" and "Bagi Bagi" alternately. The natives soon saw the joke of it, and greeted him with yells of "Bagi Bagi," "Tauba, Tauba," whenever he came near. His written account of these earliest days ends with the statement that he had ordered an extra big canoe from the chief, and that he meant to get hold of some lovely bright blue paint he had seen in the store at Dogura, "to give it style and let them know I am coming."
It proved impossible, however, to build at Sinapa, and after much coming and going, and consulting and suggesting, the Bishop went into the matter on the spot, and searched the bay again for suitable sites. He at last decided to establish a temporary station at Wanigera, thirteen miles or so beyond Sinapa; and the native houses were pulled down and made into a raft for removal, but it drifted ashore and was lost. The schooner was loaded up with boxes and stores, and as she went across the bay on a pitch dark night some of the boxes were lost overboard, and she got upon one of the reefs with which the bay is peppered; but Mr. Abbot and the two other white men were landed at last on the bare beach near the Wanigera villages, where they lived in borrowed houses until their own were ready. The imported building material was left at Sinapa until a schooner could be chartered to carry it back to Mukawa, where the Bishop had decided to put the large house; and though a couple of South Sea Islanders remained to guard the stuff, the natives managed during the four months it lay there to steal nearly all the nails and iron spouting, and white ants got into the timber.
About the time that the mission party settled at Wanigera, some warriors of an inland tribe, the Doriri, made a raid on the Maisin people of Uiaku, and killed fifteen of them, including the old chief who had been so friendly with Mr. King and Mr. Abbot. When Sinapa proved unsuitable, he had wished to invite the missionaries to his village, but the other men of the tribe objected, and so they had moved on to Wanigera. At about the same time these Maisin people themselves had tried to "rush" a big trading vessel at Sinapa, and had only been driven off by the use of firearms.
There were several villages at Wanigera, and the largest was hemmed in by mangrove swamps, and there was a high palisade on the seaward side with a low doorway in the centre. When the white people began to carry their things from the shore towards the village, the principal man hurried forward and barricaded the doorway, and Mr. Tomlinson, who had picked up some local words at Sinapa, had to parley for a long time before they would let the strangers come into the village and give them a place to sleep in. After a few days they got the natives to build a house on the beach, between two of the smaller villages.
"The people here," wrote Mr. Tomlinson, "remind me very much of our early days in Bartle Bay, and one can see better the change that has come over the people there during the time we have been living among them. Here, day by day, if a man is going to his gardens or on a short journey, he must have spears on his shoulder for protection against sudden attack, and thieving and deceit are very common indeed. But there are several who have made themselves friends of the white man and have got back for us several tomahawks and knives which had been stolen.
"One old man, named Sevaru, who is a chief in his village, has exchanged names with me, and so I am always 'Sevaru' to his people, and he is 'Mr. Tomlinson,' or 'Mesitom,' which is their nearest possible approach to my name."
Three months afterwards, when the Bishop was at Wanigera, he found that school work had begun, with a dozen or so of station boarders as a nucleus. "Mesitom" made an impression on the Bishop, who wrote of him as follows:--
"'Government and missionaries,' said Mr. Tomlinson the other day, 'say cannibalism is bad, but it's very good,' and he licked the lips that encircle a huge mouth, and made a movement of his hands as though he had got the thigh bone into position, and was gnawing it eagerly, finally stroking his throat with his fingers, as though he could imagine the luscious morsel passing slowly down his gullet. He has three wives and a large supply of children."
They had their ups and downs at Wanigera in those early days; and though permanent work in Gollingwood Bay did not really begin until some time afterwards, when an unusually capable and devoted layman lived in the villages and up and down the coast for ten very fruitful years, yet book after book might have been written about this one station alone, and its clever meteoric pioneer priest; and several dramas, and at least one tragedy, and half a dozen comic operas about the things that were said and done in the neighbourhood, and about the trips of exploration that Mr. Abbot took along the coast and inland to the Musa River; and about Jimmie Nogar, South Sea Islander and strong man, who was the permanent factor in this first party and the adviser and right hand and faithful helper of those who followed; and about the Doriri; and the crocodiles.
Some months after they settled on the beach at Wanigera, Mr. Abbot wrote an account of the small beginnings of ordered life on the mission station.
"We have a new kitchen," he wrote, "a chapel that will hold thirty, and a dining hall where we have our meals together. The white teachers sit at a high table running across the top end of the room, the boys at a table running down the room, James Nogar at a little table at the other end. There are eleven boarders. The dining hall is also for the present the school. But soon we shall have to move into a larger building, when I allow the village boys to attend. I am more than astonished at their capabilities. The discipline and behaviour would compare well with any State school. Now I have a nucleus who know a little of drill, a little of discipline, a little (very little) of singing, writing, and arithmetic. I shall each week take in day scholars. I don't know when I have been so busy as now, and I am perfectly happy. What is it that makes one able to live happily with little companions of twelve years old on a vocabulary of about forty words for ordinary use? I think it is the real feeling of companionship with God. As a missionary in a place like this you can see some of the results of your work. You feel, in a very real sense, God's messenger; and however imperfect your work may be, if you were not doing it, probably just at present it would not be done."
The writer of these lines had not then been many months in New Guinea, nor was it long before he found his way back to London slums; but he has here expressed in few words, most clearly and with complete truth, the secret of a New Guinea missionary's joy and usefulness.