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right in him, even while bestowing him desk, one of which love-letters is already and all her riches upon another woman; quoted; the portrait was better used, and from the grave he turned away to for it hung in the state drawing-room, wander to and fro through the earth for the room where Miss Pulsifer's last will another year, and when it was over he was read in presence of her dead body, came home, and—we all knew that he and Ruby never entered the place withwould do it, did we not ?—married out glancing first at the picture and Ruby Pynsent, who had patiently wait then at the centre of the room; and ed, sure, with the wisdom of even the though the great hearth might be heapweakest woman, that he would come at ed with logs and the sunshine stream in last.
at the great south window, that room Yes, they married, and Margaret's had always a chill for her, and perhaps bedroom furniture was with remorseful for her husband also. care stowed away in a little locked . But there ! Margaret Pulsifer forgave chamber at the top of the house, where them, and blessed them, even after she moth and rust and mould and rats soon knew herself dying to leave them alive made an end of nearly all except a few and together: and if she could do it, of the love-letters in her ebony writing- why should not we?
HESPER was keen against the dusk,
The lilacs breathed faint balm ;
As music to a psalm.
Watching the warm moon rise
Low in the dreamy skies.
“O tender twilight peace," I thought,
“My mood is not as thine !
A hope that was divine !
Fair garden, quiet gate,
Seems now so dark a fate!"
A soft touch on my shoulder,
A fluttered hand in mine ;--
Hope was again divine.
“Forgive it!” “ Gladlier still I”
“A thousand, if you will !”
LOVE IN FIJI.
WAMATA and I were landed safely made the island to blossom like a upon the “Island of the Gods."
Hedged round with the impenetrable I named it “Waimata's Garden." screen of religious mystery, we thought It was an atoll or ring-shaped coral that the most curious pursuit would not island, about two miles in diameter, enventure to trace us to this tabooed hid- closing a mirror-like and perfectly ciring-place; for though the more intelli- cular sheet of salt-water that was rather gent natives could hardly fail to suspect more than a mile across. This, unlike that we had endeavored to escape to
the central basins of all other atolls that gether, they would not suppose the I have ever seen, had no apparent compriest's daughter capable of committing munication with the ocean ; yet its sursacrilege by invading the sacred terri- face rose and fell gently with the tides. tory of the “Luve-na-wai."
A subterranean channel evidently joined Secure, therefore, from molestation, as it with the outer sea. Nothing I have we expected to be, at least until the ever seen impressed me more deeply time of the recurring annual visitation with the mystery of Nature's mighty for sacrificing to the island deities, we mechanics than the slow rise and fall set about making ourselves comfortable of the surface of this imprisoned water, upon the island.
that seemed to inspire and expire the The previous visits of the sacrificing tidcs like some marine monster, so vast parties proved to be a source of imme- that it needed to draw its breath but diate maintenance to us. The offerings twice in the day. of bananas, oranges, vi-apples, and bread- The shores of this salt-lake were lined fruit, that had been deposited during with a sloping beach of the softest and many past years upon the idol-shrines, whitest sand, the detritus of the fine had borne abundant fruit upon earth, if tropical corals; the outer beach was not in the heathen heaven ; for their broader, and composed of a darker and seeds had germinated in the light but tougher sand that had been thrown up rich soil, and the whole island had be- by the action of the billows. The circome a garden of fruit. A thousand cular and concentric outlines of both cargoes of the most delicious tropical beaches were as perfect as if they had esculents could have been gathered upon been traced by a pair of dividers with this little island alone when Waimata mile-long legs. Their curves were matheand I landed upon it. The cocoanut matically accurate. and the date-palm already grew there “ It is the eye of Kai, the sea-god," in abundance, the tough nuts having said Waimata, as, after beaching our been borne from afar upon the billows canoe, we strolled to the highest point and cast upon the sandy shore, where of the atoll to inspect our new kingthe receding waves had left them to ger- dom. “This round lake in the middle minate. The spontaneous forces of na- is Kai's pupil; and the cocoanut-trees ture and the solemnities of the Fijian are the fringes of his eyelids." religion had conspired to set forth our I did not know, as she spoke, whether larder. The waves, the sea-birds, and her language was that of poetical feeling the wilder worshippers of that wild or of a sincere superstition; nor did I region, had brought to us the seeds care at the moment to inquire; I merely of a hundred fruit-bearing plants, and
"Do you think it would offend Kai na-wai. But clinging firmly to the long if I should climb a cocoanut-tree and elastic boughs, or rather gigantic leaves, throw you down some of the niu" of the plume, I retained my seat securely (green fruit) ?"
and began to throw down the fruit. “I am pretty hungry,” she answered. Falling from a height of sixty or sev
So we had supper. I twisted into a enty feet from the ground, the toughestfirm thong a strip of hibiscus-bark that shelled cocoanut is liable to break and I peeled from a tree in the adjoining lose its delicious contents, unless care be thicket, and fastened it to my ankles in taken to make it strike upon its point, such a way as to hold them about ten the strongest part of the shell. This inches apart; then clasping the slender, can be done only by a skilful and sciencylindrical shaft of the tallest cocoanut- tific manœuvre. Twirling the cocoanut tree with my arms, I made of my banded forcibly from left to right, I let it fall feet a step or fulcrum upon which I as- point downward. It thus passed through cended the tree by means of a similar the air rotating, as a rifled shell or conimotion to that by which an inch-worm cal ball is fired from a gun, and struck mounts a clover-stalk. More rapidly, if the earth, its target, upon the point. not more gracefully, than that insect, I Arnistrong or Parrot might have learned climbed to the swaying and airy plume the theory of rifled projectiles from the of the tree. The wind still blew freshly, practice of the South Sea islanders. But and swung me about in my giddy perch; success in firing the cocoanut to the and I felt like the traveller who climbs ground so adroitly that its shell shall Strasburgh spire during a gale, and not burst upon the concussion is attained clasps the rocking column as it wrestles only after long practice and the destrucwith the storm.
tion of many good cocoanuts; as Liston The moon shone low in the horizon, spoiled a bushel of eyes in learning to and sent up a troubled reflection from operate for the cataract. the centre of the circular lake. It seem- One by one I twirled the puts to the ed the reproving glance of the god Kai, ground; then gazed around the horizon, and for a moment I hesitated to pluck and endeavored to pierce the darkness in the sacred fruit. Waimata lay on the the direction of Lakemba. The light bank below me; unromantic maiden! clouds dispersed as the moon set; and she was eating oranges, and I saw her glowing through the haze of the horizon glance wistfully at near banana-tree I saw the steady lurid flame of a beaconthat offered its tempting spike of gold fire. en-yellow fruit.
The islanders were making search for “Have you not enough to eat al- us. The beacon was lighted upon a hill ready?" I inquired.
that bore the name of the high-priest; “I think you may as well throw down it was his signal of alarm; and I knew the niu, now that you have climbed the that every corner of Lakemba would be tree," answered Waimata, peeling anoth- rummaged to find the missing ones. er orange and throwing away that side Would the pursuers, divining my lack of it which had ripened upon the south- of reverence for this sacred place, follow ern or colder side; for in these abund- us hither, and capture us in Waimata's ant islands we ate only the sunny side Garden ? of fruits.
I slid rapidly down the trunk of the . I sacrilegiously twisted a sacred cocoa- tree. Waimata was opening the cocoanut from its stem. The tree did not nuts, which contained the fresh and blow over upon the commission of the aromatic nectar that is known only in deed ; but a great gust of wind swayed the tropics, for it never survives exporit more violently than ever, and I feared tation—the milk of the unripe cocoanut. that the god Matani, the Fijian Æolus Possibly I remember it with the too enor Boreas, was coming at once to vindi- thusiastic palate of youth ; but that excate the offended majesty of the Luve- quisite flavor, as I certainly believe,
“O'erpassed the cream of your champagne, this island,” thought I; “ and I never When o'er the brim the sparkling bumpers reach,
heard of a ghost that could strike out That spring-dew of the spirit, the heart's rain."
from the shoulder or break a cocoanut. And so under the clear starlight we shell with his fist." supped for the first time in Waimata's Waimata, taking with her one of Garden,
the robes that we had used as sails for It was warm and clear, and the mild our canoe, slipped my bark thongs current of the trade-wind poured over around her ankles, and mounted as easithe island, and sighed in the cocoanut ly as I had done to the top of the tree. plumes, a lulling, slumbrous sound. There, bending the elastic leaves togeth
"I will make a shelter for us in this er, and securing one to another by means thicket for the night,” said I, “and we of the tough fibre of the central leaflets, will build our house to-morrow."
wbich the islanders use instead of cord, “No," returned Waimata, “I will she formed in ten minutes a safe and sleep in a palm-tree.”
elastic couch for herself at the height “Nonsense! you will fall; and then of at least fifty feet from the ground. I what good of our coming away so far looked on with curious interest as I saw together ???
her thus ensconce herself in the upper “I shall not fall. You shall see how air. I will manage it. You may sleep at the “When will you come down?” said I. bottom of the tree."
“ When the watch-fire on Lakemba “Why not in the nearest palm-tree to “
grows pale.” yours ? "
And she nestled herself among the “Because I wish you to defend this garlanded plumes of the palm. I lay
down at its bell-like bole, and fell away “But you are not in danger now." into troubled dreams, in which the La
“How do you know that ?" said kemban watch-fires blazed luridly all Waimata, " Something tells me that I night, and Waimata was carried away am in more danger of being killed and from me to be sacrificed by howling eaten here than I ever was at home."
savages to the offended deities of the I had heard her express a similar fore- island. boding in her father's house.
It seemed but a moment before I woke. “Besides,” continued she, “I want The sea was perfectly quiet; the soft you to keep the luxe-na-wai from com- murmur of the surf was the only sound. ing up after me in the night.”
The southern cross shone out brightly; The poor girl evidently feared equal but there was a vague hint of the morndanger from human enemies and from ing-rose beyond the islands that lay upon those ghostly visitors with which, an the eastern horizon. A column of smoke infinite multitude, the Fijian peoples rose straight into the air from the expirland and sea. Had she any authentic ing watch-fire in Lakemba, and a meteor premonitions in the matter? I saw no fell behind it as I looked. The palmdanger from men, and had experienced tree by my side stood motionless as a very little from spirits; yet the idea of marble stalagmite. I glanced upward being set upon guard, in good faith, into its plume. against ghosts, gods, or wood-gnomes, Waimata was not there! was, I confess, somewhat staggering. I leaped to my feet and called her What should I do in case a company name, but there was no answer. A flock of these Polynesian demons should make of tropic-birds, disturbed by the unfatheir appearance ?
miliar sound, rose and sailed away
from After a little reflection, however, I the neighboring thicket. I looked summoned up my courage and promised around, and saw faint traces in the to defend the foot of the tree against all grass. My eye, practised in woodcraft, invasion until the morning.
told me that they were the imprints of “At any rate, there are no men upon a sandal. The diverging toes revealed
the fact that a Polynesian foot had made she must have hidden it in her hair; them. But they were not Waimata's; and now it reappeared as a last token they were the imprints of a sandal larger from her upon her mysterious disappearthan either she or I could wear.
ance. Had it fallen from her as she was But the most mysterious circumstance spiriting through the air ? And I of all was, that though Waimata had glanced upward, half expecting to see disappeared, her own footsteps were no- her who was dearest to me borne onward where to be found.
upon the vans of the lure-na-wai, and Distracted with fear, I climbed to the dropping to me this treasured memento top of the palm-tree. The couch of at a parting which was destined to be braided leaves was precisely as she eternal. might have left it peacefully. I almost I saw notbing but the fast-fading stars. fancied that it retained her warmth. I pressed rapidly onward, following the
I slid rapidly down the trunk and dreadful footprints that might belong followed the footsteps. The length of to a demon, for all that I knew, and that their stride convinced me that I was seemed certainly connected with the likely to meet in the person of him who same mysterious agency that had caused made them a powerful enemy.
Waimata's disappearance. The steps led seaward. Half distract- The east was now flooded with red ed, I followed them rapidly. There light, that shone through the cocoanutwere no other traces. It seemed as if trees. The tide was coming in rapidly, Waimata must have been rapt away and would soon obliterate the steps that bodily from the top of the palm-tree, I had traced, by this time, to the very since no vestige of her appeared upon margin of the waters. They led me to the earth. I was now firmly convinced the foot of a gentle hillock that rose of the presence of gods as well as of upon the bank; then, turning suddenly men upon the island, which evidently seaward, they were lost in the ocean. merited the epithet of Enchanted. I The last trace of Waimata was gone, remembered her dark fancies of the and I was left, not alone, upon this aight before, and my own troubled haunted island, but seemingly in the dreams.
power of malign and gigantic beings. Suddenly the track left the turf and How soon I, too, should be rapt away, struck the white sand of the outer beach. whether by land, or air, or sea, I knew I noticed that it seemed unusually deep, not. Would it be to rejoin Waimata ? too deep for even the gigantic weight I fell upon the sand at the point where of the person whose foot must have the last footsteps were obliterated, and made it.
prayed to the Fijian god Kai to take Midway across the beach a single scar- The tides crawled slowly up tolet flower lay beside the track. It was ward my feet. I regretted that I was unlike any that I had seen in “Wai- able to swim; I wished that they might mata's Garden.” But it was identical wash me away and draw me down into with those which she had tossed to me their depths. The sea-birds came wheel. on the day of the cannibal feast, a few ing over me, uttering loud cries and weeks before. It was the brilliant co- brushing me with their wings, as if to rolla of the ohia-blossom (Eugenia ma- scare away the intruder upon their solilaccensis).
tudes. I picked it up. It is not a fragrant I lay half-stupefied. The sun rose, flower; but this diffused the perfume and the trade-wind began to come in of the noni, a favorite cosmetic of Wai- gently from the sea. A vast aerial mata's.
bridge of cirri reared itself between I remembered, too well, that I had the Enchanted Island and Lakemba, given her such a flower but yesterday, its abutments the two distant islands, as we came out to see the battle of the its roussoirs countless flakes of fretted canoes. I had not seen it since, but cloud that lay motionless against each