Project Canterbury

First Impressions of a Stay among Savages

By R. S. Jackson

From Mission Life, Vol. IV Part I (new series) (1873), pages 269-281.

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Bishop of Malaita, Church of the Province of Melanesia, 2008


BY THE REV. R. S. JACKSON, until recently a Clergyman in the Diocese of
Christ Church, N.Z.

AS soon as it was light, the schooner was headed towards the land (San Cristoval). After a hasty breakfast, the boat was lowered, my things put into it, and, accompanied by Brooke and Tilly, I and the boys, who were to stay at Wango, were pulled ashore. We had to pull about a mile I suppose, and I had leisure to admire once again the beautifully rich vegetation of these South Pacific islands.

It is not exactly what I expected to see; the foliage of the trees is very similar to what I have seen in other countries, only the leaves are rather larger and more abundant, and the colours very rich. Of course the cocoanut-palm is a new feature in the landscape to me; but I expected to see nothing but strange shapes in the plants, and a great many more gaudy flowers. The trees here are not so overgrown with creepers as in the Banks' Islands and New Hebrides, and there is more grass between them.

We landed on a sandy beach, dark brown sand, near where a freshwater stream ran into the sea, and through the trees we espied the roofs of huts, the smoke from which we had already noticed from the sea.

Contrary to what I had been led to expect, there was a group of natives collected on the shore to greet us, foremost among whom I was glad to recognise my old friend, the lad Buruhi; but he was stark naked, like all the rest, his teeth were black and his lips red from chewing betelnut, and a pipe was stuck in his armlet.

I may say here once for all that the betelnut, with its concomitants, lime and pepperleaf, or else the tobacco-pipe, is never out of the mouths of these people; and this applies to both sexes and all ages. Their mouths therefore are a disgusting sight; otherwise they are a well-made and pleasant-looking people; some of the men are handsome, and some of the women really pretty.

Well, we had scarcely stepped ashore when I was secured by the [269/270] chief Rohian as his peculiar possession. At the same time he struck me as being the most disagreeable-looking man among them; though I afterwards got accustomed to his face, and found him very--yes, gentlemanly in his behaviour. He came up to me saying, "You all the same Joe?" (He meant that I had come instead of poor Atkin, for a trading vessel had already informed them of his death.) And when Brooke replied for me in the affirmative, he exclaimed, "You belong a me;" and directed that my baggage should be carried to his section of the village, where, he said, a house was specially provided for me.

By this time his elder brother, Taki, had come on the ground; a short, wiry figure, with a very shrewd, but good-humoured face, and a look of promptitude and decision. He was dressed in a coarse cotton shirt, and a straw hat, and a tortoiseshell ring hung from his nose. He commenced talking to Tilly in a rapid manner in broken English, but soon addressed himself entirely to Brooke, and relapsed into his native tongue. B. kept nodding and making affirmative sounds, and said he understood him, which was more than I did, though I had been studying the language. Tilly gave him to understand that the schooner would return in about a week's time, and that we should want some firewood then, which he was to cut.

We were to have brought an axe and a saw for him; but it was forgotten in our haste. However, he soon launched Atkin's boat, and fetched them himself. Meanwhile Tilly bought some cocoanuts for the boys who still remained on board, paying for them with small plugs of tobacco. He got quite a backload for a small piece.

Seeing that I was well received, he did not linger, but soon put off again, and left me to the mercy of these natives. It was an entirely novel position, and I felt it to be so; but I must say that fear was not one of the emotions which filled my breast. I inwardly breathed a prayer (which I had offered up repeatedly during the last few days) that God would bless my sojourn here, and help me to do Him good service. Then I tried to throw myself entirely into my new duties.

Rohian led the way into the village, which I found to be a collection of about twenty low thatched huts, several having a little courtyard in front, surrounded by a low fence to keep out the pigs. The gable end is the front of these huts, and some have a small raised platform before the aperture, shaded by the projecting roof. Such was my house, which had, however, no courtyard, but opened, as it were, straight on to the street. Climbing on to the platform, and pushing aside the framework of sticks which did service as a door, I had to step down again into the house, and immediately struck my head against a sort of loft which was fashioned in the centre of the front room. This was about ten feet square; in the centre was a round native oven, i.e., a [270/271] hole filled with stones; in the left hand was a bedstead covered with a mat, and along the other side ran a supported shelf. The house, the bedstead, the shelf, the fence, every piece of architecture, in fact, was composed, like the door, of round sticks tied tightly together. There is no such thing as a board at Wango. There are no windows in the houses, and the darkness is increased by walls and roof being blackened with smoke. I forgot to mention that round trunks of small trees lay on three sides of the fireplace for seats. Stumbling over these obstructions, I reached the door of the inner room, simply a hole in the side of the partition, and here I had again to step over' a part of the dividing wall, which was left knee high. Before I had been long at Wango I got very tired of this continual climbing.

My eyes being now accustomed to the darkness, I noticed that the sandy ground was my floor, that the same shelf was continued along the right side of the room, while the further half was occupied by a very low bedplace,--again a framework of sticks, a few mats of cocoanut leaves being thrown upon it. This room was rather larger than the other, and in the vacant space I deposited my trunk, &c.

Rohian busied himself in putting the place in order, and his caricature of a housemaid's. dusting was very amusing. He then asked me whether I wished to eat, and in a very short time brought me a piece of yam, nicely boiled in a saucepan which Atkin had left behind him. This, with a mug of tea, a couple of light biscuits, and a little potted meat, made a very fair breakfast.

I sat on my platform for a little while to be stared at, and endeavoured to answer the questions put to me in the Bauro language, sometimes succeeding pretty well, sometimes provoking my hearers to laughter. They themselves articulate so badly that I had great difficulty in catching what they said. But I made it a rule never to encourage their attempts at speaking English, and never to answer them in that language; otherwise I should never have learnt a word of theirs.

By-and-bye, a party of them set out for another village in the interior, or "bosu," as they persisted in calling it: "bosu" being Bauro English for bush. I proposed to accompany them, and off we went, Rohian in front, armed with two long spears--the first weapons I had seen here,--then I, then Buruhi, who carried me across the streams; then a string of young men and women, carrying wooden dishes and baskets of food, and each provided with a small bag, hung on the arm, wherein was betelnut, pepper-leaves, and the short piece of bamboo in which the lime is kept, together with. a little pointed stick to apply it with. This stick is dipped into the lime and then drawn through the teeth.

I had no conception how far we had to go, else I should not, [271/272] perhaps, have joined the party; however, the path led first along the beach, where there was a breeze, and afterwards in the shade of the bush, so that I was not overwhelmed by the heat. One of the natives carried my umbrella, but I did not use it. When we had walked for some distance along the shore, part of which was very tedious travelling on account of the sand, we were met by a party from Hane, a village further down the coast, who were armed with spears. After staring at me, they seemed to conclude that it was safe to join us and, accordingly, did so. Here we found another stream, into which all my companions plunged, and I felt very much inclined to do the same. Crossing this water and getting into the wood, we came to a yam ground, where we made a short halt in the shed which is to be found in all these gardens for the labourers to rest in. I distributed bits of tobacco to the Hane men, and then we started again. I had shaken the sand out of my shoes when we halted, and my friends now recommended me to take them off altogether, as we were going along a very muddy path. But I, at last, succeeded in making them understand that I preferred keeping them on, lest the roots and stumps of plants should hurt my feet. We soon crossed another stream, which ran over a rocky bed, and in heavy rain must form some pretty waterfalls. Here we made another halt, there was more bathing, and one or two attacked the food. It was a mash compounded of cocoanut, yam, and almonds, and was of a lilac colour. I tasted a little; but it was too rich and oily for me to make a meal of. They were amused when I said that it would soon make me sick, and Rohian produced a biscuit which I had given him, and I took a small bi of it as a preventive. Now the track led up a hill, and there was fresh merriment at my failing breath. One of the party, however, handed me his spear and I helped myself along very well. Indeed, their behaviour towards me was throughout most considerate.

At about eleven o'clock (I could only guess the time, as I had no watch) we reached the village of Paoasi, a small place, but, apparently, famous as the dwelling of drum manufacturers. In the seaside villages there is always a large house, open at both ends, where the canoes are kept. Here it was represented by the drum shed. The drums are pieces of the trunk of some hardwood tree, from four to nine feet in length, with a slit in one side, by means of which the trunk is hollowed out. There were many of various sizes ranged along the sides of the shed. Presently three young men squatted down, each opposite a separate drum, and commenced their music. It was not without a certain mellowness of sound, though at first it jarred upon my ears. After a few preliminary blows, apparently to get into proper tune, they got into full swing, and I noticed that the shell of the drum was thinner in, some places than in others, and therefore [272/273] produced a different sound when struck. Each performer also handled his sticks in a different manner. I watched the youngest closely; he played on the smallest instrument, and his motions did not seem as complicated as those of the other two. With the stick in his left hand he struck the centre of the drum in regular time; while with that in his right he struck first close to the other stick (while it was raised), and then a little distance off. Presently, I took the sticks from him and began to play the drum myself, much to the amusement, and apparently to the approval of the audience, for a young man soon stepped forward and said in English, "Very good!" and then supplanted me in my turn.

Being thirsty, I was given a green cocoanut to drink, and then we went a little further to an assemblage of empty houses, the owners of which had gone to work in their yam ground. On their return, I entertained them by writing down their names in my note-book and reading them out; also, by drawing the queer figures which they had carved on the uprights of their eating-house. Some bananas were brought to me and a hot yam, and I was invited into the house of the oldest man (or chief) to eat. I gave an account of the death of Bishop Patteson, Atkin, and Stephen, and then we started homewards. On the way back Rohian allowed to escape from him some expressions of the jealousy which exists between him and Taki, saying that the boat which Atkin left in Taki's charge, really belonged to him (Rohian). Luckily, I did not at once understand what he was talking about, so I was saved from making any indiscreet answer. He also told me that they would kill the cattle which Atkin had brought to Wango, as they got into their yam grounds. I demurred to this, saying that when I came again next year I would catch them and milk them. But I was too tired to talk much, and was glad when we got back.

During my absence a large canoe had arrived from Tawatana, a village down the coast, with twelve natives and a white man, who all wished to see me. I went to Taki's house, and found the white man asleep, so left word that when he woke he would find me at my house. I got a newspaper and sat down on a log by the sea-shore, where I was soon surrounded by the Tawatana men, who came begging for tobacco. With the eldest of my scholars, Ben Taro, for an interpreter, I told them that "my heart (my stomach in the vernacular) was sad because they only thought of smoking: teachers like myself thought of widely different things." They grinned, but evidently not esteeming me a satisfactory person, soon left my company. However, I fetched a cake of tobacco, and gave each of them a pipefull, which they accepted in default of a larger present, and I was troubled by them no more.

[274] It was now near sunset, so I got Rohian to boil me some water, and made my tea of cocoa and biscuit. Then I called my two baptized scholars, Ben and Harper, into my sleeping-room, and having closed the door we had prayers. This practice I kept up both morning and evening during the whole of my stay. I stuck a sperm candle into the round side of half a cocoanut-shell, and set it on a large oil drum which Atkin had used as a fireplace, and on which I had spread a newspaper. Buruhi was also in the room; but he took no part in the prayers, having only come in to prepare my bed. I had noticed a young woman chopping cocoa-nut fronds, and plaiting them. These were spread under my cork bed, on which I laid a blanket, and all was ready. After prayers I sat on my verandah or balcony, enjoying the moonlight and playing with some little children, till the white man made his appearance. He was a young sailor, who had been left to trade with the natives for cocoa-nut oil about three months ago; but he said that his supply of tobacco, &c., was run out, and he expected to be obliged to leave soon, for another white man at Makira monopolised all the trade by paying higher prices.. He was on his way to the island of Ugi, to see whether he could obtain any tobacco from another white man there: I .suggested that both of them should come and join me in an English service on Sunday, to which he readily consented. At about ten o'clock I bade him good-night, and he embarked on his canoe, as the moon was bright.

I was going to shut my front door, when a young native prevented me, saying he would sleep in the outer room, to protect me. I agreed, but I had to beg of him to put out the firestick, which he had brought to keep his pipe alight, as the smoke from it made my head ache.

Read the Psalms for the day, and lay down, but slept little, partly from heat, partly from excitement.

Friday, 17th May.--I was very glad when I heard the bird called "wage" whooping, and saw through the chinks of my hut that day was breaking. There is also a solitary white cock, who struts about the village and crows in a melancholy manner, all his wives having fallen victims to the wretched curs which swarm here, and make a most dismal howling on the approach of a stranger. I cannot imagine what the people keep them for, unless it be for their teeth, to sell to the natives of islands farther north, where they are accounted very valuable. Had a delightful bathe in the stream. Made offers of beads for eggs, saying that I would like to have a couple of eggs every morning for breakfast. But they replied that they did not care for beads--they, only wanted tobacco. They give me scarcely any peace with their begging; though I have given them to understand that I have only a very little tobacco by me. Got Ben to boil some [274/275] water in his small boiler, and we washed our clothes, Ben helping me with mine, while the younger ones washed his and theirs. Then they went to a village called Arisi, where Atkin had planted some bananas, and I went to Taki's house to write my journal. He was gone to work, as I was informed by his father, a blind old man, whom I found sitting on the ground, rubbing a piece of bar-iron on a lump of sandstone, to make a knife of it.

Taki is the merchant prince of Wango, and possesses much property in the shape of knives, tomahawks, three guns, a couple of sailor's chests, saucepans, &c. This house contains but one room, large and lofty, with a small glass window at one end. Part of the wall is decorated with Illustrated London News, many of the pictures being turned upside down. He has made a trip to Sydney, and his little boy, who is now at Norfolk Island, spent five months there, and can speak English fairly well. But Taki has not adopted a civilised mode of life, and when I once proposed to bring some clothes for him and his people, if they would wear them, he replied that it was better to go naked, because of the rain.

Several people came to look at me while I was writing, and professed to admire my performance extremely; but their ejaculations generally ended in a petition for tobacco, or beads, or fish-hooks. However, I pretended to be absorbed in my work and paid no attention to them; so after awhile they went away. By-and-bye, Taki returned, and I said I supposed he would be very angry with me for making so free with his house; but he told me to come whenever I pleased. He then asked whether I had any powder and shot, that we might shoot pigeons. I had, however, come without any arms or ammunition, thinking it well thus to show my confidence in their friendliness on my first visit.

Taki then began to lament for the Bishop and Joe (Atkin), saying he would like to go to Santa Cruz and kill all the people there. He grinned in admiring wonder when I said that revenge was bad, and that the Bishop had expressly written to our chief (the Governor) not to shoot any one for his sake.

I had some difficulty in getting through the day and keeping my hangers-on amused; so I got out my pencil and drew a sketch of the houses opposite my door.

After a while Buruhi came and brought me a couple of eggs of the "au-au." This is a large bird which buries its eggs in vegetable rubbish, and lets them hatch of themselves, from the heat of the decaying matter cast on them. The eggs are larger than goose eggs, and of a rich yellowish pink.

They are very good eating, fried in salt pork fat. Buruhi also gave me some little white rings which he had bought for me long ago with [275/276] some blue beads I had given him when he left Norfolk Island. He is a very affectionate fellow, and it grieves me to see him giving himself up entirely to savage life, after having seen a better mode of living. He seems to be rather fond of a very nice-looking girl, named Marara, Stephen's sister, and I will do my best to get them both to come to Norfolk Island. This afternoon I took a walk with them and a number of boys in the bush, and wrote down the names of a great many plants, birds, &c. The birds here are very numerous, and have very beautiful plumage. Went to bed early, being very tired, as there is no seat with a back to it about the place. But again I could not sleep, from thinking of the extent of the work to be done here.

Saturday, 18th May.--It rained this morning, so I simply donned my mackintosh when I went to bathe, without putting on any other clothes. I mention this to show how warm it is here, and that putting on of apparel is more a sacrifice to decency than a comfort.

It is also very damp here, and matches are quite useless; I have always to touch them with a piece of burning wood before they will ignite.

Distributed fish-hooks to the children, giving a larger number to my own boys; but they did not seem inclined to go a-fishing, though I asked them to do so. The independence of these young monkeys is very striking: a child will think nothing of saying "I won't," when bidden to do anything by its parent. The fact is, so few children are born to these people that they spoil those they have. Many of them are bought from the inland villages, where the women seem more prolific, or else child murder is not so rife as on the coast. I took a census of the inhabitants of this hamlet to-day, and discovered that there were forty-four souls in all: 14 grown up men, 16 women, 2 young girls, and 12 children: no infants. Dysentery had decimated the population a few years ago.

Went into the large boat-shed and copied some of the drawings on the beams and uprights. They represented native customs: dancing, feasting, fishing, &c. There were also pictures of evil spirits shooting at men and fighting with each other. Some of these live in the sea.

Paid a visit to old Taemae, the guardian of one of my little boys, Ohairengi by name, an exceedingly gentle and intelligent lad.

I was much pleased with old Taemae; he is a thorough gentleman, very kindly and communicative. I inquired after Samuel Raumaran, a former scholar of ours, who has gone astray, and who was an adopted child of my old friend, he having bought him long ago with 110 fathoms of native shell-money. The young fellow had gone to live at Tawatana, so I did not see him. Watched the women preparing their mid-day meal, which was done as follows:--pounded almonds and grated yams were mixed with the juice of minced [276/277] cocoanut, so as to make a thick mash, which was then wrapped in large leaves, and baked in the hot stones of the native oven. When they lighted the fire, the smoke was too much for me, and I took my leave.

The people of Paoasi came to visit me to-day, and I gave presents to the two couples, who I was told had taken care of one of our scholars, now at Norfolk Island. To each I gave a green cotton handkerchief, a piece of red braid as an ornament for the head, a little string of red beads, and a cake of tobacco.

After this Buruhi invited me to his brother's house. On the way we passed a hut with a low fence all round it, and Buruhi told me it was the dwelling of ghosts, who made a noise there at night. He was quite afraid of going near the place; but I jumped over the fence and looked into the hut, where I saw a heap of logs piled up in the centre, as though some one had been buried there. On arriving at our destination I made a present of a cake of tobacco to Buruhi's father, and also to his brother, and then tried to draw a sketch of the court in which we sat, at their request. I admired the figures and patterns which they had drawn on their little cane lime-cases, and they said it was easy enough to draw with a pencil as I did, but not so easy to make figures with a bit of burnt cocoanut-shell. So I got them to burn a bit for me, and I certainly found it more difficult to make distinct and regular strokes with such an implement, which I had to keep blowing all the while I was at work, in order to burn the lines into the cane. However, I succeeded in drawing the figure of a man throwing a spear on Buruhi's lime-case, and my drawing was softer than theirs.

I had to hasten away suddenly, for I remembered that I intended to kill a pig to-night for to-morrow's dinner. I soon found, however, that it was no easy matter to procure a pig, for the people would sell me none but very thin ones, though I offered a very good American morticing-axe and two strings of beads for a small one. Told Rohian that at Opa and Florida our Missionaries received presents of pigs, and never had to buy any food. He replied that he used also to make presents to Atkin, but that he did not know me yet. A little while after he himself began begging, so I answered him in the same terms, that when I knew him better I might perhaps give him something. The people all laughed at the repartee; but I did not get any pig.

After prayers this evening, when I had lighted my candle, and sat down to read, Rohian came into my room wanting to look at pictures. He was followed by others, and as I had resolved to maintain the privacy of the inner apartment, I suggested that we should all go into the outer room, where I sat and talked with them for a while. Having no pictures, I produced a Bauro vocabulary, and got Buruhi to read [277/278] the sentences out of it; was much pleased that he had not forgotten how to read.

Whit Sunday, 19th May.--Raining all the forenoon. Dressed in black to-day, and put on a white shirt, to mark the difference in the day; for at other times we wear coloured flannel shirts and blue serge coats. After breakfast I got the three small boys, Waro, Bauman, and Ohairengi, to read the 10th chapter of St. John to me in the Mota language, and explained to them that Christ's followers were like Himself, shepherds of His sheep, seeking to do good to men. And I tried to point out the difference between us and the traders and slavers, who only came to visit them for their own selfish purposes, introduced vices among them, and often did literally "steal, and kill, and destroy." They seemed very attentive, and the natives who stood round were silent, listening with looks of wonder to such a long discourse in a foreign tongue. After this I retired into my bed-room with Ben and Harper, and read the ante-communion service for the day. Explained the 2nd chapter of the Acts to them, earnestly urging them to do what lay in their power towards spreading the knowledge of God by their words and example, and to pray for the help of the Holy Spirit.

While dinner was preparing I took a walk in the bush by myself, and soon lost the path. After wandering hither and thither for some time, I grew alarmed lest I should have to stay there all night. Prayed for guidance, and then struck for the sound of the sea, which I soon reached, and found I was close to Wango. As soon as I got home I changed my wet trousers lest I should catch the ague, and then went to entertain the white man, who had returned from Ugi in my absence. I had made a biscuit pudding, and gave the remains of it and some raspberry jam to the natives, who enjoyed it greatly. Then Jim and I retired into my bed-room, and he gave me a shocking account of the immorality of the natives, and of the diseases introduced among them by whalers, &c. I had to call out angrily to some children who began pulling my thatch apart, in order to look at us from outside. We then had prayers, and so to bed.

Monday, 20th May.--The whole population of this village, and of those within a short distance of it, turned out to-day to go to a feast at Paoasi. I started to go, too, and my boys put on their best clothes for the occasion. But I noticed that Taki and others did not seem to desire my company, for they kept telling me that the way was long and fatiguing. We stopped at a new boat-house for a few minutes, and I seized the opportunity to inquire what was the occasion of the feast. When I learnt that it was to rejoice at having killed a man of a hostile village, I told Taki it was bad, and turned back in displeasure. I spoke to my boys, and told them that this was the day [278/279] of their trial: if they were in earnest about following the teaching of our Lord, they would not go to the feast; and I am glad to say they all came back with me. Took a walk along the shore and collected a quantity of shells which children brought to me, paying for them afterwards with small fish-hooks. When this got abroad I was beset by the women who had been left behind, and who now crowded round me, offering shells, ornaments, and implements for sale.

Taemae came to see me, and asked me whether they should ever see the Bishop and his fellow-martyrs again. I was rejoiced at this first opportunity of preaching the glad tidings, and told him of the creation, of Adam's fall, and of the promise to all those who should follow God's Word that they should live for ever with Him.

When Taki returned I asked him to get a boat's crew together for me, as I wanted to go to Hane to-morrow.

Tuesday, 21st May.--Got up at break of day, and collected my crew after some little trouble, the biggest and strongest of them hanging back and giving no assistance in launching the boat. They wanted to let my boys pull; but I told them that if they wished to obtain the tobacco I had promised them, they must work properly for it. The sea was very calm, and the sun did not get hot till we reached Hane, which is about two miles distant from Wango. The people had scarcely risen from sleep; but we soon saw them coming in a long string to meet us, for we had to walk some little distance along the shore before we reached the village.

My principal object was to visit the relations of Baewa, a boy who had stayed at Norfolk Island, and presently his guardian was pointed out to me, his father, as in so many cases, being already dead. This man was the chief of the village, his name Waidoso. He was short and fat, and had a tame bat hanging from his hand; he looked very funny, but pleasant withal. On arriving at his house I wrote down the names of Baewa's relations, and distributed presents to them. Gave plugs of tobacco also to the men standing round, and fish-hooks to the children. These poor little creatures were quite terrified by the manner in which their excited parents dragged them forward, and several of them cried. Rohian wanted to engage in buying a pig at once; but I said that I was very hungry, and when I had eaten I would go to business. Ben, who acted as interpreter, seemed rather scandalised at my asking for food in this manner; but I did not know that the yams had to be cooked yet. However, they brought me a baked fish wrapped in leaves, and after I had eaten I drank some water out of a cocoanut-shell, and then looked at their pigs. As usual, they would sell none but lean brutes, so our bargaining was soon over. The dialect of this people is different to that of Wango, so I could not talk to them, but I bought a few shells, and exhibited my umbrella, which excited great admiration.

[280] Harper also displayed his newly-acquired learning by writing down some of their names and giving them to me to read. Ben was buying combs and asked me for beads; but I had none but large ones, which they did not care for. After a while it was announced that food was ready, and we were invited into Waidoso's house to partake of baked yam. I made all my boys stand up and take off their hats while I pronounced the Mota "grace" in use among us. When we had eaten here we were taken to another house and had some more baked yam; then, again, to a third; and I know not how many more times we should have been entertained, had I not declared that I could eat no more.

The wind was rising, and my crew began to be impatient to return; so we went to the shore, accompanied by all the inhabitants of Hane. They wanted to trade in yams, but my stock of tobacco and fishhooks was exhausted. They made me a present of a basketful, however, and several of the men came and stroked my arms and legs, saying I was a "macrahagoro," a good chief, because I had made them presents. "The other Jack" (a sailor, who had been trading among them) used to beat them.

My people were at pains to make them understand that my name was not Saki, but Sakseni. I returned to Wango like a prince, sitting in the stern of the boat, with my umbrella over me. I did not pull as the heat was so great.

On our return I was again surrounded by a crowd wanting to sell shells, &c. One man brought a small snake, which I skinned and hung up for the ants to eat the flesh off the bones. A young native, seeing the skin, looked displeased, and said "that was his holy spirit." He was a handsome figure, standing there with his arm raised, as he pointed to the snake. How they kept worrying me to give them things! I could get no peace; and old Taki quite sickened me with his covetousness. Poor creatures! they have so few possessions, that it is no wonder. Would to God they had an equal desire for the true riches!

I went to bed early, being utterly tired out, but had not slept long, when I was awakened by something moving under my pillow. Thinking it might be a snake, I struck a light and shook out my bedding, but found nothing. The creature came once more, but I thumped my pillow and it fled. I have since been told that it must have been a large crab, of which there are a great many here. There are no rats at Wango, nor flies, nor mosquitoes.

Wednesday, 22nd May.--A vessel which had been descried, on the horizon yesterday evening, was this morning seen coming from the direction of Ugi, and was pronounced to be the Southern Cross. I accordingly went round the village and gave presents to each [280/281] person in return for their kind treatment of me. I asked them whether they wished me to come again? "Yes," cried they; "and bring very much tobacco, and axes, and beads, and red braid." "Ah!" said I, "you do not want me really; you only want tobacco." At which they laughed. I told them that if I did come again I should want to buy a piece of ground to build a school-house on, and that I would kill one of the cattle and make a great feast.

Quite a multitude collected to help in carrying water to the boats which had now reached the shore. Some natives went on board the schooner to pump up the water out of the canvas tanks in the boats into the iron ones in the hold. Others carried my goods to the beach; others paddled about in their canoes, selling cocoanuts. It was an animated scene. I went on board to dine, but returned again to have one more bathe: I wanted to take away a couple of little boys with me; but the parents of the one lived at Ugi and the parents of the other would not let him go. Lay at anchor all night. Several canoes put off to the ship; but we told them to go back again, and they did so without demur.

May 23rd.--Set sail, but soon lost the wind, and only crept up to Ulawa during the night.

May 23rd.--Dead calm. Could not get near enough to Ulawa with the vessel for it to be safe to lower a boat, so waited till some canoes should put off to us. At about 10 A.M. one or two paddled out from the shore, but were only persuaded with the greatest difficulty to draw near the vessel. Slavers had been among them and almost depopulated their villages. I cried out to them that this was "the Bishop's vessel--a good vessel; they need not be afraid." And little Waro, who belongs to Ulawa, shouted out the same words in their own language, but still they held aloof. At last Waro's brother came and recognised him, and took him away after we had given him some presents. When they found that we were really friends, they invited us to come ashore and they would give us some pigs; but there being no wind this was impossible.

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