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other, and spanned the entire distance high, well-proportioned, lithe, and musin sharp relief against the blue. My cular, sole-leather color; with curly hair thoughts travelled along that airy that hung to his shoulders, sparkling thoroughfare to my father's home. black eyes, and the true look of the
The tide crawled nearer and nearer. cannibal in his tattooed face. He wore a I resolved to let the water have its will bone amulet and a few shark's teeth of me, and to be swept away without a around his neck; and his chest and struggle. What a fine death, to be abdomen were decorated with battledrawn into the meshes of planetary pieces by the first artists of Fiji, done in force, to be made one with the tides a dark-blue pigment. The landscape-art and the currents of Nature !
There are of the same national school was illustratimaginative compensations for being ed upon his back, which bore a larg comurdered by the moon.
coanut-tree executed after the methods I do not know how far my fancies of the Fijian realists. The trunk of the would have led me; for my dreams tree occupied the site of his spinal colwere broken suddenly.
umn, the articulations of which accentA hoarse, deep voice called out from ed, in the most admirable manner, the the waters.
rced-like joints in the stem of the pic“E te Rii!" it said. “O Prince ! tured tree; while its foliage branched arise and receive homage ! "
out luxuriantly over the scapular region I jumped to my feet more quickly of the savage, and its long leaves exthan I had ever done before.
panded upon his shoulders. A rear view A brawny savage, breasting the rip- of Orion was a view of a man as trees ples, came in with the frothing tides. walking; and this view I liad when the A surge of foam marked his path as he savage, drawing himself up to his full swam; and he shook his long dark locks height in the edge of the surf, turned and flung from them a thousand briny himself rapidly around three times bediamonds. Almost as I bounded from fore advancing to shake my hand. This the sand he came within his depth, and he did to avert any baleful possibility walked shoreward, his huge and unclad that might attend the use of the new bulk looming momently from the water. name by which I had addressed him. He was a host in himself; but he made a I did not wish to inquire for the cregesture of obeisance as he came. I dentials of this strange envoy. I simply named him Orion at the first glance, for demandedI had read Lempriere's Dictionary in
“ Who are you ?” my father's library; and here was the “I am the herald of Prince Kanuha,” demigod himself appearing, but slightly replied he. transformed as my vassal.
“And what brings you to this tabooI had not the slightest idea who this ed island ?" savage might be, or where he came from; “I am a stranger in these waters. but I took a cue from Greek and from But I was commanded to remain by the Fijian superstition, and, assuming the Queen." tone of that superiority which I saw I heard this answer with conflicting him ready to award me, I cried out: fear and joy. He must know of Wai
Advance, Orion, and tell me the mata's whereabouts; but was she not news of the waters."
more likely to be his captive than his Ile was a little staggered at the mys- superior ? tic vocable by which I had addressed We confronted each other alone upon him. He evidently considered it a sort the beach. It was essential that I should of incantation, and advanced more slow- keep up the fiction that I was a highly; so that I had full time to study the chief'; for he could make himself masappearance of the savage as he rose from ter if he chose : he had the physical, I the water.
the moral superiority. How to preserve A tawny fellow, six feet and a half the balance of power ?
It was necessary to adopt the tone of military emergency. The enemy would command at once.
effect a landing before I could issue him “If you are Prince Kanuha's herald," an order. I said that we would reserve said I, “make the Prince's obeisance." that name for use at leisure. It would
He threw himself flat upon the ground, do better in peace-times, I thought; or and I placed my foot upon the trunk of it might serve for an old-fashioned Secthe tattooed palm-tree. By this act he retary of the Navy. became my vassal; and his respect for I was full of impatience to learn what me was not diminished by his perceiv- had become of Waimata. But he said ing, through the deep bronzing that the nothing more of the Queen” whom he climate had given to my originally had met; and I thought it best not to tawny complexion, that I was a foreign- betray any anxiety by questioning him. er and a white man.
I would first feel of my authority a little. In a neighboring group of islands, an How came you to my island ?" I American skipper, the captain of a Nan- continued. tucket whaler, had lately actually made “I was sent to announce the return himself the master of the people. He of Prince Kanuha, from Mbau to Lahad commenced his conquests by trad- kemba.” ing, giving the natives bits of old iron Kanuha was the hideous savage to in exchange for cocoanut-oil and tor- wbom Waimata had been promised by toise-shell; and he ended by buying out her father. Would Orion, in case he their kingdom, and installing himself should recognize Waimata, remain faithas absolute prince over a population of ful to my secret ? or would he escape several thousand savages.
He was a
from me and betray us to the Lakemman of tact and ability; he called the bans ? ablest natives into his councils, and re- “Where is your canoe ? " I asked. tained their support by crafty man- “Behind yonder hillock." agement and judicious gifts; he had his “ It shall be the flag-ship of my navy," grass palace, his heathen temple, and his I remarked. “We will inspect it at harem ; he made war and conquests in But where did you come from neighboring islands; and at the time when you swam ashore just now?” of my escape from Lakemba the history “From the Sea-Cave," returned Orion. of this sailor bold was well known What the Sea-Cave could be I had not throughout southern Polynesia.
the remotest idea; but it would never Orion supposed that I had taken pos- do to seem ignorant of my own possessession of the Island of the Gods for the sions. purpose of erecting a private monarchy. “We will go to the Sea-Cave,” said I. "I name you Orion,” said I.
And we walked toward the beach in shall be Minister of War and of the the direction of the sandy hummock I Navy upon this island."
have mentioned. Orion led the way. “Oliona, Oliona,” repeated he, imitat- His footsteps were identical with those ing the sound of the word as closely as I had just been following ! the limited resoures of his dialect would I remembered hearing old natives tell admit (for his language, though it of caves in the coral-island, the enclosely resembled the Lakemban idiom, trances of which were subniarine, and was deficient in consonant-sounds, and that were kept a secret to all but a few required each syllable to close with a explorers, who used them as places of vowel); "that is a convenient name.” refuge and concealment. But I had re
“What is your name at home?” de- garded them as possible only in a mythimanded I.
cal geology. The coral insect builds Ku - ku-hi-pa-kai-i-ke-ho-ku-lan-gi,” solidly, and leaves no caverns in the fluently responded my Minister of War. foundations of his work, Professor
I informed him that his name would Dana, the accomplished geologist of the be too long to use in case of any sudden United States Exploring Esperdition,
which visited these islands after my de- She must have been in the Sea-Care, parture from them, has elaborately de- thought I; where else? for close to the scribed their formation.
seaward edge of the little hillock by Wondering, therefore, what secret of which we stood Waimata rose to the my dominions I was to learn, I followed surface of the water. She shook the Orion to his canoe, my newly-acquired brine from her locks; she smiled, seeing navy. It was a handsome craft, some us, and struck out for the shore. forty feet in length, with carved outrig- In a moment she had reached the land, ger, sail-pieces lashed with fine cinet, and stood again by me, as one risen from and full equipage of paddles, cordage, the grave. She was clad in a short tunic; and sails; while a large assortment of a string of rosy sea-shells encircled her gods was stowed in the forepoint. Our neck. I bad never seen her looking protection was assured. Whatever wind more beautiful. might blow, we should be able to invoke We clung to each other for a moment, the correct deity for any possible point speechless. She perceived my agitation of the compass. The nautical and the at her reappearance, and divined that spiritual apparatus of the craft were I was ignorant of the way in which her equally complete.
absence had occurred. Together, we My eye took in these details at a strolled aside, commanding Orion to glance. We should be able to command await our return. the seas in our vicinity just as long as “Where have you been since I bade my Secretary of the Navy remained faith- you good-night?” at last inquired I, ful to my fortunes.
when we were beyond hearing-distance How to retain this savage upon the of our vassal. island, how to conciliate him, or how to “In the Sea-Cave," returned Waimata. dispose of him in case of necessity, were “I have been preparing it for you.” questions already turning themselves “ But why did you leave me without over in my mind and weaving a tangled letting me know ? and how did you web of thought around the central query, manage to get away without awakening Where was Waimata ? My eyes fell upon me, or leaving any trace behind ?” the sand as I approached the cave.
“I saw the canoe of Kanuha's mesDirectly before me lay the footprints senger by the first morning light. I of Waimata, the same traces which I knew that he belonged to a tribe that had often followed in the sands of La- did not respect the sacred island ; and kemba. I uttered an involuntary shout when he turned his course this way I of surprise. Orion looked at me sharply. thought that I would remain concealed
“They are the footsteps of the Queen," until he left." said he.
“How did you know his canoe ?" The situation was tantalizing in the “By the shape of the sail. It is only extreme. The strange savage knew Kanuha's craft that have a sail like that." more, just now, than I did concerning And she indicated to me the peculiar Waimata; yet I did not venture to ques- triangular outline of the sail, a figtion him.
ure that I had already noticed, without I looked seaward. A light breath of knowing that any peculiar significance the trade-wind now fanned our faces; attached to it. Waimata was an expert but the surface of the water slept almost in all the nautical heraldry of the islands. unruffled, an unbroken sheet that merged “But why did you come down from into the bright horizon of the east. the palm-tree ? "
Suddenly, as a loon rises from the “I am telling you. The messenger depths of a lake, a strange apparition landed by starlight, and saw this tree became evident upon that smooth ex- from the beach ; for its knotted plumes panse--an apparition so incredible that attracted his notice, and he knew that I could hardly believe the testimony of there was an inhabitant upon the island. my eyes.
So he came straight toward us. I watch
ed for him from the top of the tree; for mata and I returned along the beach to I could parley with him safely there if bring our own canoe to the Sea-Cave's there should be danger; and if he were mouth. obedient, I intended to prepare a sur- It was an errand of not more than half prise for you."
an hour. We came flying back before the “So you surprised me by deserting now freshly-blowing trade-wind, and me!"
beaching our canoe, awaited Orion's “I thought I should return before you return. woke. When the messenger approached, Staggering under a load of fruit, that Ku-ku-hi"
eminent personage soon appeared among “I have named him Orion," said I. the colonnades of cocoanut-stems.
“ When Orion approached I stood up “And now," said I,“let us go togethin the palm-tree and commanded him to er to the Sea-Cave." come silently to the foot of the tree. He Bidding Orion to follow us, we plungobeyed; and I knew that he was dis- ed into the water and came, with a few posed to be friendly. Then I motioned strokes, to the face of the steep declivto him not to disturb you, but to lean ity that formed the seaward wall of the against the trunk of the tree and re- mound. ceive me upon his shoulders as I de- I was not then sufficiently acquainted scended. So I mounted upon bis back with science to perceive the geological and he carried me away.”
solecism of which Nature had been In all the South Pacific islands there guilty in raising this hummock upon
the are no beasts of burden; larger quad- shores of a coral island. But, now that rupeds, indeed, than the pig are un- I endeavor to write an intelligent acknown; and the chiefs, lacking horses, count of my adventures, I can explain ride upon the shoulders of their vassals, what may seem incredible to any but an who are trained to perform the duties experienced geologist—the formation of of roadsters and pack-horses in a very a cave in a coral reef. satisfactory manner. There is a regal Waimata and I paused before the coral signal of command, used when the chief- cliff, sustaining ourselves by that turtletain desires to mount; and this signal like movement of the hands which swimWaimata had employed.
mers use when "treading water.” Orion “ And where did you go ?” demand- followed us at two fathoms' distance, and ed I.
floated before him a bunch of cocoanuts. " To the Sca-Cave. I knew where it “ Take a puhi maitai” (a good long was; but I never told you of it, for I breath), said she, “and dive after me." intended to take possession of it and And as the loon dives, so Waimata prepare it for our occupancy before let disappeared. A ruffling of the water, a ting you know that there was any such few shining coils of ripple thrown to place."
the surface, and she was gone. “ But why did you choose this time Orion watched me; and I feared that for taking possession ?”
he suspected my ignorance of the island. “ It was necessary; for I must assure Unequal as was our strength' on land, it myself that Orion would be our servant, would be mere madness to give him any and there was nothing else for him to do opportunity for a breach of the peace but to put the Sea-Cave in order." in the water.
“And is that the place where you have Waimata did not reappear. been hidden since daylight ? "
I passed the order to Orion, “Follow “ Yes. I will take you to it soon." me!” and taking a full inspiration, And, calling Orion to our retreat in the dived toward the rock as Waimata had thicket, she said,
done. “Take out some ripe cocoanuts to the Keeping my eyes wide open, and push Sea-Cave."
ing vigorously forward at a depth of Orion disappeared in the forest. Wai- not more than five or six feet from the surface, I found that the face of the rock tive inverted from the subaqueous point opened before me, and offered a portal of view! How strange and sudden the of entrance. A broad cleft in the very transmission of sound beneath the wafoundation of the island yawned gloom- ter, how intense and metallic its characily; and the tide was sucked into this ter ! What a novel sensation the ear dark chasm.
receives when it listens, far below the I felt of the roof and sides of the sub surface, to voices that come down to it terranean channel. They were not co- from the upper air! I would like to ral, but lava ; sharp and jagged in some write a story for an audience of divers. places, in others worn smooth by the They alone could understand the imaction of centuries of the tides, and fes- pressions of the five new senses that the tooned with trailing mosses.
diver enjoys; for each sense has a novel The current drew me onward into the extension and scope when employed in depth; and a chill scemed to strike an unfamiliar mcdiuin. The poets have through the water as I advanced. I attained reputation for familiarity with struck out vigorously, for it was im- nature; but theirs is only a half-accompossible to retreat against the tide. My plishment; they have known the pature breath was already beginning to fail. of the air, not the nature of the water. Should I be trapped in some of these I knew both; and seeing the diffused subterranean crevices, and stunned or yellow gleam of the light ahead, I knew drowned ? I was shooting forward at a that it was the light of a torch in a dark fearful velocity, for the channel contract place, that it was burning in pure air, ed as I advanced, and I was going I
and that it was not more than ten yards knew not whither, hurled forward into distant from me. So, plucking up courthe very subterranean abyss of nether age, I shot myself along with powerful darkness. The water was now absolute- strokes. ly black around me.
I heard the metallic clicking of stones I bruised my knee sharply, but did struck together under water, apparently not feel the pain. My breath was nearly to direct my course, and knew the siggone; I had but half a minute longer nal to be intended for me. before insensibility would supervene.
The channel widened, the water was Waimata betrayed me ?
now full of yellow light. The thought was one that I could not In a moment I rose panting to the accept; yet it gave me a desperate surface. I gazed around. I was in an strength. I swam as I had never swam immense submarine
stood upon the sandy beach which lined Hardly three strokes more, and I saw its ocean-floor, and a gigantic torch of a faint, suffused, and yellowish light tutui nuts cast a flaring illumination gleaming in the water above and before upon stalactites of lava, and the ribs of
a groined lava-vault that hung overhead. How few civilized people know how It was a vast and secret grotto, hidden sunlight looks when seen from under away in the very heart of sea and earth. water, or torchlight ? Were this record Waimata welcomed me with a warm meant for the public, I should not detain embrace. “Here," said she, “ we can the reader here to describe my own pri- live happily, if Ku-ku-hi-pa-kai-i-ke-hovate experiences of Nature as viewed ku-lan-gi does not betray us.” from under water. But often have I lain “Any man might become a traitor upon my back, eyes open, at the bottom under such a name as that,” returned I. of a shallow stream, and studied the “ Call him Orion, and see if he will not cloud-colors through the medium of two behave well under a foreign baptism." elements! How well I know the weird Waimata laughed and said, “We aspect that field and forest put on when shall have to drown him if he does not.” seen with their tints diffracted and fused Was she then quite a savage at heart? in the flowing water, and their perspec- IIad she more of the tiger-cat in her