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however, it was fortunate that we had age with which to bind the planks tofound an early shelter. The unusually gether. They peeled the bark from mild trade-wind increased to a gale. some of the fresher drift-wood that the There was much distress among the storm had cast upon the beach, and native craft that happened to be at sea, made from it a rough rope, which, howand three out of four canoes that I saw ever, proved too short for their
purpose, approaching, laden with fish and dried and they seemed to look despairingly bananas, from a windward group of is- at their work. But at this moment the lands, were driven into the breakers and mast and sail of a shipwrecked canoe swamped among the reefs before my were driven by the storm upon the sand, eyes. Their fragments were shattered within a stone's throw of the unfinished upon the sharp coral; and the billows raft. Seizing this jetsam eagerly, they thundered remorselessly over the wreck, found enough cordage upon it to serve surging up like wreaths of white flame their purpose; they hoisted the rescued upon the altar of Neptune.
spar, unfurled a small portion of the From our front doors I could watch sail, and, launching boldly forth upon the disaster, as these canoes and their the angry water, the shipwrecked nacrew of natives, who belonged to a dis- tives were soon scudding away to leetant island, capsized, one after another, ward before the storm, the water breakin the tumbling surf. The natives strug- ing every moment quite over their pergled with all their savage address and ilous craft. strength, and the more powerful sur- I was lost in surprise when I saw vivors, fighting their way through the these savages thus commit themselves billows, reached the shore; while many, anew to the danger they had just esin spite of their efforts, were whirled caped. Why were they not content to under water by the combing of the surf, remain upon their little island until the beaten against the coral reef, and killed. tempest should abate ? I now saw, for the first time, the dark I strolled out toward the bure, or side of the Fiji character. No effort Fijian house of worship, hoping to was made to rescue the shipwrecked learn from a company of natives I saw men; the natives looked upon the ex- assembling there something about the citing spectacle with the same apathy strange acts that I had observed. As I with which brute animals see each other entered the shadow of the damanu trees slain. It surprised me equally to see that surrounded it, I overtook the chiefthat the survivors, fifteen in number, priest of the island. He was a man of having made their way to a small islet, powerful stature and forbidding physiwhich the natives called “Fan Rock," ognomy; his face was painted in geofrom the peculiar shape of the single metrical patches of different and vivid tufted palm-tree that it bore, made no colors, and his abundant black hair was signals of any sort to the mainland, and dressed with the utmost care-frizzed did not even seek rest or shelter during and plaited so as to resemble an enorthe continuance of the storm. On the mous wig, and powdered with scarlet contrary, no sooner had they escaped and orange powder. The Fijian barfrom the dangers of shipwreck, than bers have incredible ingenuity and skill; they seemed to be ill at ease upon the and I knew, from this display of their shore. They evidently dreaded some art upon the person of their priest highunseen danger more than the storm ; for est in rank, that some important rite they began, with the greatest celerity, was about to take place. I had not to construct a raft upon which to make long to wait for the satisfaction of my their escape. Aided by my father's spy- curiosity. glass, I could see them collecting frag- The priest beckoned me to follow him. ments of drift-wood and wreck, and "Come with me, son of the white man,” endeavoring to build a rude catamaran; he said; “I will show you what bakolo but they were hard put to it for cord- (victims designed for baking) the great god Ndengei has sent to us this day.” for paddles, and set up a dismal minor And he proceeded at a measured pace chant, which, the wind now lulling sudtoward the neighboring temple. denly, I could distinctly hear.
As he spoke, a wild drum-beat rolled The natives on shore, who were gathout from the glade--a strange, barbaric ered together to the number of about tattoo. I had never heard such a sound three hundred, intently watching this before, and it alarmed me even before ferocious chase, set up wild yells of deI knew its import, as if it expressed its light when they heard this death-song. own dark meaning. But a sense of I turned to a warrior of somewhat dread or danger heightens, when it is more affable appearance than the rest, not too acute, in temperaments like and asked him, in Fijian : mine, the feeling of pleasurable excite- “Are these strangers enemies, that ment. I promptly followed the grim our warriors pursue them so ?” savage as he strode into the shadow; “No," he answered; "but it is the the branches of the great dilo and da- . custom of Fiji to eat all nganga poho manu trees creaked and groaned in the (shipwrecked men). And the men of gust, and the palm-branches seemed to Lakemba are hungry to-day, for the ulu make weird and deterrent gesticulations. (bread-fruit) crop is poor." I was glad to reach the open space
The wild excitement of the savages again ; but a sight met my eyes which possessed me. I was to see a cannibal I can never forget as long as I live-the
This, then, was the reason why sight of the pursuit of blood.
the shipwrecked men had made such We had now approached the seaside desperate efforts to escape. upon the lee of the island, keeping pace As I spoke with the savage, the warwith the course of the catamaran that canoe overtook the helpless company I had just seen launched by the ship- upon the raft. With the wildest yells the wrecked natives; and that craft had warriors leaped upon it, and instantly now gained the stiller water. But, as clubbed its wretched crew, taking care, it rounded the point behind which lay however, to kill none of them outright, the quiet lagoon, I saw two powerful but stunning them with a blow upon war-canoes put off in hostile pursuit of the head, or maiming them with their the catamaran. It was a chase at hope- carved war-clubs. The warriors transless odds. The shipwrecked crew, now ferred their victims, fifteen in number, drifting not more than the third of a to their own canoe, and turned its prow mile from the shore, made the most toward the shore, singing a wild and desperate exertions to gain the open sea discordant song of triumph as they again, hoping that the war-canoe would not follow them beyond the stiller water; A young girl named Waimata, the but a powerful tide drew them shore- daughter of the chief-priest of Lakemba, ward. The pursuers gave the most seeing that my face alone, among the frightful howls, and smote the sides of
savage company, showed any pity the canoe in time with the flat of their for these wretched victims, came runpaddles as they took them from the ning to me with tears in her eyes. water, making the whole hull, sixty or 6 Minamina maori au į tela nganga !” seventy feet long, resound like an enor- (“I have great sorrow for these men !") mous wooden drum. I never heard a she said. She threw her arm around sound so appalling and so powerful; it me, as if craving sympathy. I returned could be heard for miles, even against the embrace fervently; for, among these the wind; and the fugitives seemed to terrible scenes, it seemed as if hers was recognize in it the knell of their cruel the only real human heart remaining in doom. Seeing the war-canoes rapidly the world. gaining upon them, they abandoned the She was one of the few really handlast hope; they threw away the pieces some girls, judged by a high standof rough plank which they had used ard, that I have seen in the South Sea
Islands. She had been an attached and under the palm-trees alone, and which faithful friend of mine from the first the astrologers of the tropics believe to day of my arrival from Tonga, when I be inspired by the soft fire of the antwas strongly impressed with her appear- arctic constellations. ance. She was of lighter complexion But this was no time for sentiment. than the other savages, and might pos- As we watched and listened, the howlsibly have in her veins the blood of · ings of the natives filled the air. The some early Portuguese explorer or Span- war-canoes rapidly regained the shore. ish buccaneer—the first discoverer of The victims, still moaning and writhing, this group of islands. · Her features were dragged from the raised platform were full and ripe; her long and wav- of the canoes, and thrown ashore by men ing hair, though fine, was intensely who seized them by the hands and feet, black; but her eyes were of a soft olive and, swinging them violently to and fro tint, and were her most charming fea- to gain momentum, tossed them upon ture. Now gentle and languishing, now . the sand-beach with as little concern as full of a lambent fire, now pleading, now they would show in handling the carpassionate, they were the very incarna- casses of hógs or sheep. Several of the tion of the tropics ; bloom, and per- captives lay where they fell, apparently fume, and warmth, and color, the mystic quite stunned by the blows they had melodies of wild birds, and the reful received; others raised themselves upon gence of the southern stars, all seemed their hands and knees, and entreated to be intimated in the wonderful expres- for mercy; and one stalwart and mussions of this wild maiden's eyes. From cular savage, apparently a chief-for he them she derived her name. “ Wai- had received no injury, and still retainmata” signifies, in the Fijian dialect, ed his mantle of birds' feathers and “ a tear."
necklace of polished sharks' teeth-rose I had felt, indeed, a romantic love to his feet, and attempted to plunge for this young girl from that first day again into the sea, as if hoping to esupon which I saw her. She was pres- cape by diving. But the Lakemban cnt at our disembarkation upon her warriors seized him, and were about to native shore, and had watched me as beat him upon the head with a jagged we landed, turning her soft shy glances fragment of obsidian, a variety of volupon mine as she bade me welcome to canic rock much used in the manufacLakemba. Since that time we had met
ture of weapons. almost daily, and tenderness had grown Suddenly, however, a herald stepped up between us; but she was of a more forward among the assassins, and cried : timid nature than the other native girls, “E uoti oe! Mate-mate te Tahuna and, in spite of her tropical blood, less i te poo!” (“Stop! The high-priest easily to be won. Besides, she was the wishes the skull of the chieftain for a daughter of the chief-priest, and was drinking-Vessel !) consequently watched, as are all the Instantly the chief was respited, but high-born girls in this savage aristoc- only for a more cruel fate. Throwing racy, with jealous eyes. She was re- him upon the ground, the natives tied served from ordinary lovers, and was to his hands and feet together. Securing be given in marriage to a chief of high all the other victims in the same manstation, upon bis return from the dis- ner, they fastened the stems of wild tant island of Mbau. She was now, as vines around their wrists; four natives I supposed, about fifteen years old; but then seized each vine-stem, and set off she had the development and the charm at the top of their speed for the umu which come, in colder climates, only nganga (place of ovens), yelling wildly with maturer years.
as they ran, and dragging their wretchIt was not difficult for me to see that ed prisoners head-foremost over the she felt for me something of that de- broken ground. The larger part of the licious passion which blooms perfectly assembled datives followed this fright
ful procession, singing wild songs as to me, by saying that her countrymen they ran, in honor of “the man-eating believed the strength and the martial god."
spirit of the victim to be transmitted I remained, with Waimata, upon the to the man who ate him. She pointed shore, uncertain, for some moments, me to a large theoua tree standing near. whether to watch the orgies longer, or Its ancient bark was covered with deep to seek safety in flight. I was still held and regular incisions, scored off by tens, by a subtle bond to civilization. It in the manner of a supercargo's tally ; was a voice from the antipodes that for the Fijians, like civilized men, count kept me in doubt.
by the number of their fingers.
“ That is the record of the great war"In Fiji all shipwrecked men are rior Kalono,” she said; one mark for
each man he has eaten during his life. “But you do not eat men ?" I asked. So many marks, so many men. They
“Never! never!” said Waimata, her are kini" (infinite). eyes filling with tears. “I could never I counted the tallies. They were more bear to touch the ai ino (accursed food), than ninety in number! If this record and my father has never forced me to were to be trusted—and I afterward satdo so, though sometimes he threatens isfied myself that it was not exaggeme."
rated--this rapacious warrior had eaten, “Let us go to the bure" (temple). during a long and warlike lifetime,
“I will lead you thither," said Wai- nearly a thousand men ! The natives mata ; and, stepping out from the shade of the island now looked upon him as of the palm-trees, we ran a short dis- quite invincible-as being, in fact, in tance, overtaking the savages, who were himself equivalent to a regiment of men, dragging the still living victims. since his personal prowess was augment
The news of the shipwreck had al- ed by that of all of his victims. ready spread to the nearer hamlets, and “ He thinks that, if you will do as the natives were flocking by hundreds Kalono did, you will become so strong to the scene of excitement.
that nobody can harm you,” continued As each party of natives reached the Waimata. “And the women are seldom thatched temple, or bure, where the can- allowed to eat of men, lest they should nibal orgies were to occur, they dashed become as strong as their masters.” violently against a particular rock the But I thought that I discovered a head of the victim, often already sense- more sinister meaning in her father's less, whom they were dragging. This words than her interpretation conveyed. rock, deeply stained with the blood of Meanwhile, the preparations for the many a previous festival, was looked savage revel were actively making. upon with as much veneration as the Large pits had been dug in the ground; caaba of the Mohammedans. It stood near them, fires of ciri-viri, and other at the eastward corner of the bure ; for light woods, were already burning fiercethe east is the “sacred quarter” of the ly; and in them, as they blazed, the naheavens in Fiji. Those of the victims tives placed numerous stones varying who had survived were reserved for the in size from that of the fist to a man's torture.
head. Come, son of the white man," spoke While these were heating, other naup a dozen voices to me, as I appeared tives addressed themselves to the task in the open space before the temple, of preparing their victims for the oven. " and see how we do when Matani, the I tremble as I recall what then I saw god of storms, sends us a banquet.” for the first time.
“Do not fail to eat of it,” said the high-priest, “or you will some day It was to be the greatest feast that yourself be made a banquet for others.” Lakemba had known for more than a
Waimata explained this last speech year. “The kind god," said the natives,
“had been very good to them in ship-. the victims are uniformly devoted to wrecking so many men at this particu- the banquet. lar time.” For it was a year of scanty I think the savage priest more than crops, and many of the savages, assem- half believed what he said. The Fijian bled for this feast, had gone actually honestly regards the man who is about hungry for weeks—a rare occurrence, to die as already dead. He often buries however, in fruitful Fiji, where the nat- parents, relatives, dearest friends, in the ural bounty of the earth suffices for the latter stages of severe illness, before the maintenance of its idle inhabitants. last breath has passed away ; sometimes
I could now understand the rapacity while the survivor is still quite conscious, with which these savages seized upon and able to speak distinctly. Strangely their victims, their eagerness to slay and enough, the victims of these barbarities to devour them. But their fondness for do not complain that their fate is pretorturing them-whence did this pro- mature, but accept it with the best of ceed? It was evidently not malignant; grace. there was no grudge between the cap- There is, indeed, a strange nearness tors and their prey. The men whose to the brute-animal in the savage of the bodies were now lying around in ghast- South Seas. These shipwrecked captives ly dismemberment, whose blood crim- did not seem to regard their tortures so soned the rocks, the grass, and stained much an outrage, as a matter of accithe garments of spectators who were dent and fate; and this captivity, mutiwaiting to feed upon their flesh, would lation, and cruel death, was precisely have been received, had they landed what they would have inflicted had the without injury from the storm, with the conditions been reversed, and they had utmost kindness.
been the captors instead of the captives. The same blind sentiment which, I Even the sufferings of the wretched vicam told, occasionally leads ignorant tims hardly seemed distinctively human; sailors, upon the seacoasts of the East- their groans and cries were recalled to ern United States, to grudge“ lending me more vividly in later years by those a hand,” in case of disaster, to their of the wounded chargers which I saw fellow-fishermen, appeared in its fullest upon the battle-field of Custozza, than development among the island savages. by any expression of pain which I have
The New England fisher thinks it ever heard from man. unlucky to interfere to save from death The torturing was done, the last an individual whom Providence is evi- wretched captive slain; but the savages dently endeavoring to drown. But if still danced and shouted wildly, their this duty be urged upon him by his eyes flashing and their nostrils dilating at skipper, he will render a reluctant as- the terrible sight of blood; yet it seemed sistance, growling, and apparently ex- an excitement of the animal instincts pecting to be drowned, some day, in even more than of the mind. They retribution for thus tampering with the appeared hardly less intelligent and volFates,
untary in thus attacking their fellows The savage, on the contrary, gives who were in calamity, than the stags of full play to his superstition. He car- the Orinoco seem when they turn upon ries the same feeling to its logical ex- and trample the wounded bull. I seemtreme, and finds it unlucky, in such a ed to be watching the orgies of beings case, not merely to rescue, but even to not far remote from an animal ancestry, spare, the man who is marked of the wild and savage as the boar or the eagle. Fates. Hence the sacrifice of the ship- Yet this spectacle actually brought wrecked.
me into a certain sympathy with it. Logical savage! A religious custom The sight of the deliberate killing of bases itself upon this sentiment. When a human being is doubly brutalizing the gods are about to destroy, man when accompanied by circumstances so should aid them in their work. And atrocious as those I have described ;