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in the grass; we were followed ; and present, that they may learn the sweetsoon a sonorous voice from a nearer ness of the feast !" glade called our names distinctly, and Poor Waimata trembled violently as cried, “To the high-priest! Return these words were pronounced, but she immediately!”
did not speak a word; and I fervently “Let us not go," said Waimata. “We hoped that her quick feminine wits shall see terrible things."
would devise a way to save herself, at “We will hide ourselves,” I answered. least, from a forced participation in But, as I spoke, we heard, at the same these terrible rites, She could not instant, the sound of heavy steps that plead the religious interdict which forapproached our retreat.
bade women to eat in the presence of Waimata trembled. Why were we men, for that edict her father had just pursued and abruptly recalled in this suspended. What could she do? manner? No jealous notice had been As for myself, I did not care so much. taken heretofore of our association; we Certainly, I could not disobey the comhad never avoided being seen in each mand of the priest, for I was alone, and other's company, and were accustomed quite in the natives' power. They might to wander alone with as much freedom add me to their horrible bill of fare as Paul and Virginia in their lonely is- without the slightest ceremony or comland. Was this an ominous summons ? punction. Why should I not comply
We knew that we could not now, if unhesitatingly with the priest's comwe would, conceal ourselves; and we mand? Yet, my first impulse was to dared not pause. We rose reluctantly try to escape unobserved. I noticed, from the soft grass, and turned our steps however, that a certain tattooed and down the hillside; and shortly we met, brawny warrior kept constantly near as he ascended the flowery path in me, and closely eyed my movements. search of us, the herald with his conch- He was the king's runner-a man who shell.
had traversed on foot, bearing a mili“E viti-viti (Hurry)!” said he; and tary proclamation, the distance from the added,
The cooking of the men is king's town to the farthest village of nearly done. The high-priest enjoins the island, not less than twenty-one that you appear at the feast, and bring miles, in two hours and a half. It was his daughter with you. He has released impossible to escape from such an agile you,” turning to Waimata, “ from the guard as this. I resigned myself to the tabu."
inevitable. It was a relief to find that there was No sooner had Waimata and I rejoinno apparent anger in the summons. ed the group of revellers, who filled the Nor did I regret that they obliged me grove of tutui-trees near the temple, to appear at the banquet. At the least, than the opening of the ovens began. Waimata and I must look on during its These were trenches, ten feet in length progress. Should we be compelled to and about five in depth, filled to the join in it?
level of the earth with heated stones We retraced our steps together, silentand packages of flesh and vegetables, as if leaving Eden, though each with a the latter thickly wrapped in folds of different reason. To her, the return the giant banana-leaf, and heaped over seemed longer than the ascent of the with a mound of fresh earth to retain mountain; to me, the reverse was the the heat during the cooking process. case.
Vegetables and meats prepared for the As we entered the place of the ovens, table in this way have a peculiar freshthe herald blew a powerful blast upon ness and delicacy of flavor, which does the conch-shell, and then cried out, not survive the ordinary methods of
“Behold the son of the white man, cooking. This culinary process is calland the daughter of the great priest ! ed the lunau ; and under this name it The great priest commands them to be is known and practised, not only in the
Fiji Islands, but throughout the extent edges of the mats. A perfect Babel of of Polynesia. At last I was to see it chattering confusion prevailed; and, applied to the dark purpose of canni- when the “food-bearers" appeared, the balism. The Fijian natives prefer hu- clamor was doubled. Yet there was no man flesh, cooked in this manner, to any longer any turbulence or disorder. The other food, and actually discriminate its savages were now in the best spirits. flavors with the gusto of experienced Waimata left me at this stage of the epicures.
proceedings. Going to her father, she The head-cook walked among the engaged him in earnest conversation. earth-covered ovens, and snuffed the va- He frowned, tben smiled. What she pors that oozed from their thick caps said I could not hear; but I saw at a of loam and banana-leaves. When, at glance that she had prevailed upon him last, his experienced nostril recognized to replace her under the talne, which the precise flavor which indicated that forbade her to join in the feast. She their contents were sufficiently steamed, turned to rejoin me, but a gesture from he gave a signal to a number of stalwart the priest deterred her. He motioned men who were called, from their office, her away. She obeyed reluctantly, and ulini—" earth-worms,” or “ borers." I followed her with my eyes as she passed
These advanced to the fuming ovens into the depths of the wood, taking the and rapidly threw off the earth, employ- path that led toward my father's house. ing for the purpose a kind of scoop or When she was nearly out of sight, shovel made of the large mottled tor- she turned around, unobserved except toise-shell. Then, snatching the upper- by me, and, taking from her brow the most layer of still hot stones from the fillet of ohia blossoms that she wore, steaming packages below, and dexter- she kissed it and tossed it with a light ously tossing them aside, they removed, gesture toward me. By this act the with gigantic wooden knives, the great Fijian lover invokes good luck at partpackages of food from among the heat- ing. In a moment she was lost to sight, ed stones.
and I was left without a friend among Under the shade of the nearest da- the savages. manu and tamarind trees mats had been I looked back upon the feast, which spread upon a layer of fine-leaved fern- was already spread. The larger part fronds; and large wooden dishes, cary- of the bodies, in fragments, filled heaped from the trunk of the dilo-tree, were ing-full the great platters. Vegetables made ready to receive the repast. Not and fruits, but in comparatively small less than two hundred of these platters quantity, were provided. The smell of were laid ; and vegetables, yams, sweet the steaming banquet came up strongly. potatoes, the kalo-root, and a few bread- I shudder to remember that the perfume fruits, were already brought on in small- seemed a dreadful delight to me, tired, er wooden dishes.
hungry, and worn after the fierce exciteThen the conch-shell sounded again, ments of the day. giving the signal for the feast.
The natives fell to eating like hungry The “food-bearers,” twenty in num- wolves. I still retained, however, suffiber, received from the “ borers,” upon cient repugnance to cannibalism to have smooth slabs of tamarind plank, the declined the repast, bad I been left to packages of banana-leaves. Marching my own choice.
But the messenger in single file, they bore these to the from the high-priest came to me, bearbanqueting-mats. With a dexterous ing a fork of peculiar construction, and movement they freed the packages of elaborately carved in a very hard but their contents, and deposited them, light wood. steuming hot, upon the great platters. " The great priest sends you Na Un
Meanwhile, the people were seating dre-undre (the name of his fork), and themselves, or rather reclining, quite in bids you use it in honor of the king's the ancient Roman fashion, upon the god."
At the same time another messenger trembled for my father as he addressed brought me, upon a small wooden plat- these severe words to such beady savter, a fragment of the revolting food. ages. I saw the executioners handle
There seemed to be no escape for me. their clubs uneasily, and feared lest my The natives ceased eating, and looked father should fall a victim to their sudat me. I hesitated, and, for a moment, den rage, as other missionaries in the there was perfect silence. At that mo- South Seas had already fallen. But my ment an approaching step was heard—à father's fearless air combined with the quick, imperious step, that crushed the now somewhat quieter temper of the tamarind-twigs sharply under foot. savages to lessen the danger. While
All eyes were turned in the direction all eyes were turned in the direction of of the new-comer. He emerged from the new-comer, I found an opportunity the thicket at a point directly opposite to slip away unobserved ; and, concealto where I sat; and, before any one else, ed behind the trunk of a large pandanusI recognized him, and shrank suddenly tree, I watched the varying passions that away in time to avoid bis notice. swayed the revellers. They glanced It was my father!
restlessly at each other, evidently not a He burst indignantly upon the scene, little annoyed at the unwelcome intruhis eyes fixed now upon the orgies sion upon their banquet. A grim smile which he, like me, now beheld for the of humor played upon the face of the first time, and now upon the high-priest chief-priest. who presided over them. Fresh from the "Perhaps the nganga e (foreigner) is docile nations of Tonga, my father bad hungry," said he. “Let him partake not learned the danger of defying the of the bakolo, and he will not be so Fijian temper. Entering abruptly into angry with us." the presence of the revellers, he re- Had my father appeared half an hour proached them eloquently; he blazed earlier upon the scene, the savages with indignation; and the very rash- would have forced him to share their ness of his daring abashed them. Cast- feast, or slain him in anger at his reing a piercing glance upon the princi- fusal. But one approaches wild anipal chiefs assembled, "What means this mals with comparative safety after they wicked revel ?" demanded he. “Is it have been fed. My father did not lose true, then, that the men of Fiji devour bis self-possession at the proposition of their brothers ?”
the priest, nor did he tempt the canni“Perfectly true," replied one of the bal temper. by abruptly declining it. borers, rattling his necklace of sharks' Forgetting his sternness, he answered, teeth as he spoke, and smiling grimly. “ I thank the priest for his invitation.
“Are there no pigs upon the island,” But how can I like that which I have continued my father, “that you must never learned to like ?" eat this shameful food ? Do not the “ Bakolo! bakolo !” cried a hundred hills produce the ohia, the maia (plan- tumultuous voices. "Let the foreign tain), and the vi-apple? Are there not priest eat bakolo! There is abundance fish in the sea, and poultry in your gar- here to suit his appetite !” dens? Is the crop of the bread-fruit. Their wild eyes kindled again at the and the dalo utterly dead, that you thought of having a white man so comshould kill and eat your countrymen ?” pletely in their power. The friendly
“You speak truly,” said the borer; king was absent upon an expedition “but these things are scarce, and bakolo against a distant island, and the party is sweeter and more plentiful."
of the high-priest had absolute control “ Wretched men,” rejoined my fath- during his absence. They were hostile er, “ do you not know that the Great to my fatber, for the king had said, Spirit is displeased when you kill men “ These priests make me more trouble and devour their flesh ?”
than they are worth. Let us see whethThe people murmured sullenly. I er the English religion will not serve
better ;” and he had extended hearty king Kamehaemha, and of the foreign aid to my father's work.
Judge,* who brought the laws to the Two natives, who stood near me, kingdom. But do they never eat men spoke as follows in an undertone: in Hawaii ?"
“ Did you ever eat bakolo haori (white “ They do not, and never did. If man's flesh) ?"
they had eaten men, they would never "Once, in the island of Milo. There have had one king over all the islands, we captured a boat's crew of English and a great Judge from lands beyond men during the last oulai uca (rainy the sea. No people can be powerful moon). We had a great feast.”
who eat up the bodies of their own citiImagine the alarm with which I heard zens." this dreadful "aside." There could be “ But the Hawaiians eat dogs ! ” but one fate in reserve for my father. Certainly."
I saw the borers and the earth-worms " A warrior cannot live upon dogs. glance at their implements; and, at a He must eat the flesh and the noo (spirit) signal from the priest, two of the exe- of men." cutioners and a cook left the company “But suppose there were no need of and went toward the place of ovens, as fighting ?” said my father. if to prepare the fires for another vic- “Then we might, perhaps, live withtim.
out bakolo." I was about to betray my conceal- This was a more important admission ment, and to intercede for my father's than I had ever heard from a Fijian
but at that moment his voice rose warrior. He is not the only Polynesian clearly above the tumult-for the sav- savage who ranks human flesh as the ages had continued their clamor since most important article of his food, and the priest desired my father to eat. uses every pretext to obtain it. He
Agreed," said my father; “I will manifests no shame and practises no eat bakolo, if you still insist, after I concealment with regard to this cusshall have spoken to you. But first let tom. His religious precepts, the habits me tell you a story, and by that time I of his society, and even his filial and shall be hungrier than I am now, and fraternal duties, are construed as justiyou will have a fresh appetite."
fying this hunger, and cannibalism is The Fijian is not without a sense of ingrained in a hundred ways into the humor; and my father, long practised very fibre of the Fijian. When, thereat dealing with the Polynesian savages, fore, I heard the high-priest admit the knew that the surest way to disarm their possibility of abandoning cannibalism, temper was to approach them with hu I felt that my father's words had pro
His utmost address, however, was duced at least a part of their intended needed here. His life would cost the effect, and that he had escaped the danpriest's party nothing more than the fine ger of immediate violence at the hands of a few whale's teeth.
of the savages. The Fijian, in his ordiAddressing his dangerous audience, nary mood, is a sufficiently amiable savmy father told them stories of the Ha- age. Volatile, social, irritable, voluble, waiian Islands—a country in which the he may be called the Frenchman of the Fijian feels great interest. For these Pacific. savages, though separated from their To suit the talkative mood of his aucomparatively civilized kindred by an dience, my father turned his speech into interval of three thousand miles of
the form of a dialogue, which, if not ocean, regard the little kingdom of the quite Socratic, was entirely to his purlatter as the very ideal of power and pose, for it diverted the attention of the prosperity, and look upon their ruler as natives. . Their principal men plied him the most puissant of princes.
with questions and dilemmas, arguing “We are glad to hear," said the
* Chief-Justice Lee, who fram.ed the Constitupriest, at last,“ of Hawaii, of the great
tion of the Hawalian Government.
the advantages of their own customs : “Never fear," said he; “I ate my and the demerits of those which he ad father at the last full moon. What the vocated, and drew the most glowing Lakembans say—that old men are bad pictures of the felicity which awaited eating—is all nonsense. In two months the Fijian warrior in the land of spirits. : you will learn to like their flesh.” My father replied with great eloquence " What have you in that pot?” I and readiness; yet I well remember that asked, willing to change the subject of the savages then seemed to me to hold conversation. their own in argument. I was at heart “ The head of the tall chief. It is to as much Fijian as English.
make a drinking-bowl for the priest. The debate happily closed without a He must have a big stomach (opunui) quarrel. Evening approached, and the who can empty such a goblet as this.” savages began to scatter to their houses, And he sought to detain me, in order promising to think upon the questions to explain the processes by which he that my father had earnestly urged upon proposed to convert the cranium into a them. They presented him with a sacerdotal drinking-bowl. whale's tooth in token of respect, and - But I had seen enough of horrors for illogically proceeded to execute a war- the nonce; a mental reaction, indeed, dance and to sing a tumultuous heathen was commencing; and, making my essong in his honor.
cape from the presence of the grim offiOccupied with their latest impres- cial, I was soon well on my way toward sions, the natives made no search for my father's house. me; and, when I saw them pacified, I The sun was sinking, and the cool felt assured that they were the most in- shadows of the grove began to gather teresting people in the world. When around my pathway. All was quiet. their song was finished, my father made The few houses that I passed were quite a prayer in the Fijian tongue; the sav- . deserted, and the whole population of ages, sitting among the wrecks of the the island had apparently flocked tofeast, seemed to listen with interest; ward the place which I had lately left. but I slipped rapidly away, hoping to As I pressed homeward, the only audi. reach home before my prolonged ab- ble sounds were the shrill chirping forsence should be remarked. I made a est-voice that the natives think to be slight détour in order to avoid the place ' produced by the tree-shells, and the of the ovens. But, as I passed the bure, deep murmuring rote of the surf upon I met, to my dismay, one of the earth- the coral reef. worms,” a gigantic and ferocious native Suddenly a light figure bounded from of Lakemba. He was busily heating the thicket, and fell eagerly upon me, water in a large earthenware caldron almost as a leopard springs. It was that was already simmering over a brisk Waimata. fire in the edge of the wood.
“Dearest,” said she, “why have you “Why do they not bring out your waited so long? I feared that they had father?” he cried. " The ovens are slain you." ready, and the water boils."
" They would not let me come away,” “They will not hurt him," I answer- returned I. “They wished to make my ed, trembling, for “swift-coming death” father and me eat with them." seemed written in the face of the fright- “I saw him going thither, and dreadful tattooed savage.
ed that he might never come away. “Ah! then we will eat him another Then I hid myself to watch for you. day,” observed the earth-worm.
The patient girl had lain in ambush men of Lakemba are often hungry." ever since the feast; she was faint and
I must have betrayed renewed alarm worn after the excitements of the day. at these words, for the wretch at once “ Have you waited here all the afterproffered me a kind of cannibal com- noon for me?" asked I. fort:
“Yes, dear. I dared not go further