"Tellin' up? Why, you seed un down below, didn't 'ee? Iss you did now."
Completely puzzled what to think, Joan shook her head.
"Lor' ha' massy! don't never tell me he didn't shaw hisself. Why, the sodgers was barely out o' doors 'fore he comes tumblin' in to shutter there, and after a bit he says, 'I'll just step down below,' he says, and out he goes; and in a quarter less no time back he comes tappin' agen, and when I drawed open for un by he pushes, and 'fore I could say 'Knife' he was out and clane off."
"You haven't a bin dreamin' of it, have 'ee?" said Joan, her face growing pale with apprehension.
"Naw, 'tis gospel truth, every ward. I've a had a toothful of liquor since, and a bit o' caulk, but not a drap more."
"Jerrem's comin' up into t'other room," said Joan, not wishing to betray all the alarm she felt: "will 'ee go into un there the whiles I rins down and says a word to Eve?"
"Iss," said the old man, "and I'll freshen mysen up a bit with a dash o' cold watter: happen I may bring some more o' it to my mind then."
But, his ablutions over and the whole family assembled, Zebedee could throw no more light on the subject, the recital of which caused so much anxiety that Joan, yielding to Eve's entreaties, decided to set off with all speed for Crumplehorne.
"Mother, Adam's all right? ain't he here still, and safe?" cried Joan, bursting into the kitchen where Mrs. Tucker, only just risen, was occupied with her house-duties.
"Iss, plaise the Lord, and, so far as I knaws of, he is," replied Mrs. Tucker, greatly startled by Joan's unexpected appearance. "Why, what do 'ee mane, child, eh? But there!" she added starting up, "us'll make sure to wance and knaw whether 'tis lies or truth we'm tellin'.—Here, Sammy, off ever so quick as legs can carry 'ee, and climber up and fetch Adam back with 'ee."
Sammy started off, and Joan proceeded to communicate the cause of her uneasiness.
"Awh, my dear, is that all?" exclaimed Mrs. Tucker, at once pronouncing sentence on poor old Zebedee's known failing: "then my mind's made easy agen. There's too much elbow-crookin' 'bout that story for me to set any hold by it."
"Do 'ee think so?" said Joan, ready to catch at any straw of hope.
"Why, iss; and for this reason too. I—"
But at this moment Sammy appeared, and, without waiting for him to speak, the two women uttered a cry as they saw in his face a confirmation of their fears. "Iss, 'tis every ward true; he's a gone shure 'nuf," exclaimed Sammy; "but by his own accord, I reckon, 'cos there ain't no signs o' nothin' bein' open 'ceptin 'tis the hatch over by t' mill-wheel."
"Awh, mother," cried Joan, "whatever can be the manin' of it? My poor heart's a sinkin' down lower than iver. Oh Lord! if they should ha' cotched un, anyways!"
"Now, doan't 'ee take on like that, Joan," said Mrs. Tucker. "'Tis like temptin' o' Providence to do such like. I'll be bound for't he's safe home alongst afore now: he ain't like wan to act wild and go steppin' into danger wi' both his eyes wide open."
The possibility suggested, and Joan was off again, back on her way to Polperro, too impatient to wait while her mother put on her bonnet to accompany her.
At the door stood Eve, breathless expectation betraying itself in her every look and gesture. Joan shook her head, while Eve's finger, quick laid upon her lip, warned her to be cautious.
"They're back," she muttered as Joan came up close: "they've just marched past and gone down to the quay."
"What for?" cried Joan.
"I don't know. Run and see, Joan: everybody's flocking that way."
Joan ran down the street, and took her place among a mob of people watching with eager interest the movements of a soldier who, with much unnecessary parade and delay, was taking down the bill of reward posted outside the Three Pilchards. A visible anticipation of the effect about to be produced stirred the small red-coated company, and they wheeled round so as to take note of any sudden emotion produced by the surprise they felt sure awaited the assembly.
"Whatever is it, eh?" asked Joan, trying to catch a better sight of what was going on.
"They'm stickin' up a noo reward, 't seems," said an old man close by. "'Tain't no—"
But the swaying back of the crowd carried Joan with it. A surge forward, and then on her ear fell a shrill cry, and as the name of Jerrem Christmas started from each mouth a hundred eyes seemed turned upon her. For a moment the girl stood dazed, staring around like some wild animal at bay: then, flinging out her arms, she forced those near her aside, and rushing forward to the front made a desperate clutch at the soldier. "Speak! tell me! what's writ there?" she cried.
"Writ there?" said the man, startled by the scared face that was turned up to him. "Why, the warrant to seize for murder Jerrem Christmas, living or dead, on the king's evidence of Adam Pascal."
And the air was rent by a cry of unutterable woe, caught up by each voice around, and coming back in echoes from far and near long after Joan lay a senseless heap on the stones upon which she had fallen.
The Author of "Dorothy Fox."
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
SEVEN WEEKS A MISSIONARY.
The sights of Honolulu had not lost their novelty—the tropical foliage of palm, banana, bread-fruit, monkey-pod and algaroba trees; the dark-skinned, brightly-clad natives with flowers on their heads, who walked with bare feet and stately tread along the shady sidewalks or tore through the streets on horseback; the fine stone or wooden residences with wide cool verandas, or humbler native huts surrounded by walls of coral-rock instead of fences; the deep indigo-blue ocean on one hand and the rich green mountains on the other, dripping with moisture and alternately dark and bright with the gloom of clouds and the glory of rainbows, still wore for me their original freshness and interest—when I received an urgent request to come to Waialua, a little village on the other side of the island. My host, to whom the note was addressed, explained to me that there was a mission-school at that place, a seminary for native girls. It was conducted by Miss G——, the daughter of one of the missionaries who first came to the Hawaiian Islands fifty years before. She had been sent to this country to be educated, like most of the children of the early missionaries, and had returned to devote herself to the mental, moral and physical welfare of the native girls—a task which she was now accomplishing with all the fervor, devotion and self-sacrifice of a Mary Lyon.
At this juncture she had forty-five girls, from six to eighteen, under her care, and but one assistant. The English teacher who had assisted her for several years had lately married, and the place was still vacant. She wrote to my host, saying that she had heard there was a teacher from California at his house, and begging me, through him, to come and help her a few weeks. I signified my willingness to go, and in a few days Miss G——, accompanied by a native girl, came on horseback to meet me and conduct me to Waialua. A gentleman of Honolulu, his sister and a native woman called Maria, who were going to Waialua and beyond, joined us, so that our party consisted of six. We were variously mounted, on horses of different appearance and disposition, and carried our luggage and lunch in saddle-bags strapped on behind. Maria's outfit especially interested me. It was the usual costume for native women, and consisted of a long flowing black garment called a holoku, gathered into a yoke at the shoulders and falling unconfined to her bare feet. Around her neck she wore a bright red silk handkerchief, and on her head a straw hat ornamented with a lei, or wreath of fresh, fragrant flowers, orange or jasmine. Men, women and children wear these wreaths, either on their heads or around their necks. Sometimes they consist of the bright yellow ilimu-flowers or brilliant scarlet pomegranate-blossoms strung on a fibre of the banana-stalk—sometimes they are woven of ferns or of a fragrant wild vine called maile. Maria was seated astride on a wiry little black horse, and instead of slipping her bare feet into the stirrups she clasped the irons with her toes. Besides her long, flowing black dress she wore a width of bright red-flowered damask tied around her waist, caught into the stirrup on either side and flowing a yard or two behind.
Waialua, our destination, was about a third of the way around the island, but the road, instead of following the sea-coast all the way, took a short cut across an inland plateau, so that the distance was but twenty-seven miles. We started about one o'clock in the afternoon, the hour when the streets are least frequented, and rode past the shops and stores shaded with awnings, past the bazaars where sea-shells and white and pink coral are offered for sale, through the fish-market where shellfish and hideous-looking squid and bright fish, colored like rainbows or the gayest tropical parrots, lay on little tables or floated in tanks of sea-water. Men with bundles of green grass or hay for sale made way for us as we passed, and the fat, short-legged dogs scattered right and left.
Although it was December, the air was warm and balmy, tree and fruit and flower were in the glory of endless summer, and the ladies seated on verandas or swinging in hammocks wore white dresses. For one who dreads harsh, cold winters the climate of Honolulu is perfection. At the end of King street we crossed a long bridge over the river, which at that point widens out into a marsh bordered by reeds and rushes. Here we saw a number of native canoes resting on poles above the water. They were about twenty feet long and quite narrow, being hollowed out of tree-trunks. An outrigger attached to one side serves to balance them in the water. A fine smooth road built on an embankment of stone and earth leads across this marsh to a strip of higher land near the sea where the prison buildings stand. They are of gray stone, with miniature towers, surrounded by a wall capped with stone, the whole surmounted by a tower from which waves the Hawaiian flag. In front is a smooth lawn where grow century-plants and ornamental shrubs, including the India-rubber tree. It is much finer than the so-called palace of the king, a many-roomed, one-story wooden cottage in the centre of the city, surrounded by a large grassy yard enclosed by a high wall.
The land beyond the marshes is planted in taro and irrigated by a network of streams. Taro is the principal article of food used by the natives: the root, which looks somewhat like a gray sweet potato, is made into a paste called poi, and the tops are eaten as greens. The plant grows about two feet high, and has an arrow-shaped leaf larger than one's hand. Like rice, it grows in shallow pools of water, and a patch of it looks like an inundated garden. As we passed along we saw half-clad natives standing knee-deep in mud and water pulling the full-grown plants or putting in young ones. Reaching higher ground, we cantered along a hard, smooth road bordered with short green grass. On either side were dwellings of wood surrounded by broad-leafed banana trees, with here and there a little shop for the sale of fruit. This is a suburb of Honolulu and is called Kupalama. We met a number of natives on horseback going into town, the men dressed in shirts and trousers of blue or white cotton cloth, the women wearing the long loose gowns I have described.
At last we reached the open country, and started fairly on our long ride. On our left was the ocean with "league-long rollers thundering on the reef:" on our right, a few miles away, was a line of mountains, divided into numerous spurs and peaks by deep valleys richly clothed in tropical verdure. The country about us was uncultivated and generally open, but here and there were straggling lines of low stone walls overgrown with a wild vine resembling our morning-glory, the masses of green leaves starred with large pink flowers. The algaroba, a graceful tree resembling the elm, grew along the roadside, generally about fifteen feet high. In Honolulu, where they are watered and cared for, these trees attain a height of thirty or forty feet, sending forth long swaying branches in every direction and forming beautiful shade trees. Now and then we crossed water-courses, where the banks were carpeted with short green grass and bordered with acacia-bushes covered with feathery leaves and a profusion of yellow ball-shaped flowers that perfumed the air with their fragrance. The view up and down these winding flower-bordered streams was lovely. We rode for miles over this monotonous country, gradually rising to higher ground. Suddenly, almost at our very feet, a little bowl-shaped valley about half a mile in circumference opened to view. The upper rim all around was covered with smooth green grass, and the sides were hidden by the foliage of dark-green mango trees, light-green kukui, bread-fruit and banana. Coffee had formerly been cultivated here, and a few bushes still grew wild, bearing fragrant white flowers or bright red berries. Through the bottom of the valley ran a little stream, and on its banks were three or four grass huts beneath tufts of tall cocoanut palms. Several scantily-clad children rolled about on the ground, and in the shade of a tamarind tree an old gray-headed man was pounding taro-root. The gray mass lay before him on a flat stone, and he pounded it with a stone pestle, then dipped his hands into a calabash of water and kneaded it. A woman was bathing in the stream, and another stood at the door of one of the huts holding her child on her hip.
We passed through three other deep valleys like this, and in every case they opened suddenly to view—hidden nests of tropical foliage and color. The natives were seated in circles under the trees eating poi, or wading in the stream looking for fish, or lounging on the grass near their huts as though life were one long holiday.
Now we entered a vast sunburnt plain overgrown with huge thorny cactus twelve or fifteen feet high. Without shade or water or verdure it stretched before us to distant table-lands, upholding mountains whose peaks were veiled in cloud. The solitude of the plain was rendered more impressive by the absence of wild creatures of any kind: there were no birds nor insects nor ground-squirrels nor snakes. The cactus generally grew in clumps, but sometimes it formed a green prickly wall on either side of the road, between which we had to pass as between the bayonets of sentinels. Wherever the road widened out we clattered along, six abreast, at full speed. Maria, the native woman, presented a picturesque appearance with her black dress and long flowing streamers of bright red. She was an elderly woman—perhaps fifty years old—but as active as a young girl, and a good rider. She had an unfailing fund of good-humor, and talked and laughed a great deal. My other companions, with the exception of the native girl, were children of early missionaries, and enlivened the journey by many interesting incidents of island life. At last we crossed the cactus desert, ascended an eminence, and then sank into a valley grand and deep, shut in by walls carved in fantastic shape by the action of water. Our road was a narrow pathway, paved with stone, that wound down the face of the cliff. The natives call this place Ki-pa-pa, which signifies "paved way."
As we were making the descent on one side we saw a party of natives on horseback winding down on the opposite. First rode three men, single file, with children perched in front of them, then three or four women in black or gay-colored holokus, then a boy who led two pack-mules laden with large baskets. All wore wreaths of ferns or flowers. When we met they greeted us with a hearty "Aloha!" ("Love to you!"), and in reply to a question in Hawaiian said that they were going to Honolulu with fresh fish, bananas and oranges.
We climbed the rocky pathway rising out of the valley, and found ourselves on the high table-land toward which we had shaped our course. It was smooth as a floor and covered with short rich grass. Instead of a broad road there were about twenty parallel paths stretching on before us as far as we could see, furrowed by the feet of horses and pack-mules. Miles away on either side was a line of lofty mountains whose serrated outlines were sharply defined against the evening sky. Darkness overtook us on this plateau, and the rest of the journey is a confused memory of steep ravines down whose sides we cautiously made our way, torrents of foaming water which we forded, expanses of dark plain, and at last the murmur of the ocean on the reef. After reaching sea-level again we passed between acres and acres of taro-patches where the water mirrored the large bright stars and the arrow-shaped leaves cast sharp-pointed shadows. We rode through the quiet little village of Waialua, sleeping beneath the shade of giant pride-of-India and kukui trees, without meeting any one, and forded the Waialua River just where it flows over silver sands into the sea. As we paused to let our horses drink I looked up at the cluster of cocoanut palms that grew upon the bank, and noticed how distinctly each feathery frond was pencilled against the sky, then down upon the placid river and out upon the gently murmuring sea, and thought that I had never gazed upon a more peaceful scene. Little did I think that it would soon be associated with danger and dismay. Beyond the river were two or three native huts thatched with grass, and a little white cottage, the summer home of Princess Lydia, the king's sister. Passing these, we rode over a smooth green lawn glittering with large bright dewdrops, and dismounted in front of the seminary-gate. The large whitewashed brick house, two stories and a half high, with wide verandas around three sides, looks toward the sea. In front of it is a garden filled with flowers and vines and shrubbery, the pride and care of the school-girls. There are oleander trees with rose-colored blossoms, pomegranate trees whose flowers glow amid the dark-green foliage like coals of fire, and orange and lime trees covered with fragrant white flowers, which the girls string and wear around their necks. Besides roses, heliotrope, geraniums, sweet-pea, nasturtium and other familiar flowers, there are fragrant Japanese lilies, and also plants and shrubs from the Micronesian Islands. On one side is a grove of tamarind and kukui-nut trees, mingled with tall cocoanut palms, which stretches to the deep, still river, a few rods away: on the other is the school-house, a two-story frame, painted white, shaded by tall pride-of-India trees and backed by a field of corn. My room opened on a veranda shaded with kukui trees, and as the "coo-coo-ee coo-coo-ee" of the doves in the branches came to my ears I thought that the trees had received their name from the notes of the doves, but afterward learnt that kukui in the Hawaiian language meant "light," and that the nuts, being full of oil, were strung on bamboo poles by the natives and used as torches.
The morning after my arrival I saw the girls at breakfast, and found them of all shades of complexion from deep chocolate-brown to white. Their glossy black hair, redolent of cocoanut oil, was ornamented with fresh flowers, and their bright black eyes danced with fun or languished with sullen scorn. The younger ones were bright and happy in their expression, but the older ones seemed already to realize the curse that rests upon their decaying race, and to move with melancholy languor, as if brooding over it in stifled rebellion or resigned apathy. Some would be called beautiful anywhere: they were graceful in form, had fine regular features and lovely, expressive eyes; others were attractive only on account of their animation; while one comical little negro girl, who had somehow got mixed with the Malay race, was as ugly as a Hottentot, and a veritable imp of darkness, as I afterward learned, so far as mischief was concerned. The girls were dressed in calico, and wore no shoes or stockings. When they had eaten their beef and poi, and we had finished our breakfast, each girl got her Hawaiian Testament and read a verse: then Miss G——, the principal, offered prayer in the same language. When this was over the routine work of the day began. Some of the older girls remained in the dining-room to put away the food, wash the dishes and sweep the floor; one went to the kitchen to wash the pots and pans; and the younger ones dispersed to various tasks—to sweep and dust the parlor, the sitting-room or the school-room, to gather up the litter of leaves and branches from the yard and garden-paths, or to put the teachers' rooms in order. The second floor and attic, both filled with single beds covered with mosquito-netting, were the girls' dormitories. Each girl was expected to make her own bed and hang up her clothes or put them away in her trunk. A luna, or overseer, in each dormitory superintended this work, and reported any negligence on the part of a girl to one of the teachers.
Miss G—— was the life and soul of the institution—principal and housekeeper and accountant, all in one. She had a faithful and devoted assistant in Miss P——, a young woman of twenty-two, the daughter of a missionary then living in Honolulu. My duties were to teach classes in English in the forenoon and to oversee the sewing and some departments of housekeeping in the afternoon. Miss P—— had the smaller children, Miss G—— taught the larger ones in Hawaiian and gave music-lessons.
The routine of the school-room from nine to twelve in the forenoon and from one till four in the afternoon was that of any ordinary school, except that the girls who prepared the meals were excused earlier than the others. One day in the week was devoted to washing and ironing down on the river-bank and in the shade of the tamarind trees.
The girls had to be taught many things besides the lessons in their books. At home they slept on mats on the floor, ate poi out of calabashes with their fingers and wore only the holoku. Here they were required to eat at table with knife and fork and spoon, to sleep in beds and to adopt the manners and customs of civilization. Now and then, as a special privilege, they asked to be allowed to eat "native fashion," and great was their rejoicing and merrymaking as they sat, crowned with flowers, on the veranda-floor and ate poi and raw fish with their fingers, and talked Hawaiian. They were required to talk English usually until the four-o'clock bell sounded in the afternoon. From that until supper-time they were allowed to talk native, and their tongues ran fast.
On Wednesday afternoons the girls went to bathe in the river, and on Saturday afternoons to bathe in the sea. It usually fell to my lot to accompany them. The river, back of the house a few rods, had steep banks ten or fifteen feet high and a deep, still current. The girls would start to run as soon as they left the house, race with each other all the way and leap from the bank into the river below. Presently their heads would appear above water, and, laughing and blowing and shaking the drops from their brown faces, they would swim across the river. The older girls could dive and swim under water for some distance. They had learned to swim as soon as they had learned to walk. They sometimes brought up fish in their hands, and one girl told me that her father could dive and bring up a fish in each hand and one in his mouth. The little silver-fish caught in their dress-skirts they ate raw. The girls were always glad when the time came to go swimming in the sea, for they were very fond of a green moss which grew on the reef, and the whole crowd would sit on rocks picking and eating it while the spray dashed over them.
Waialua means "the meeting of the waters," or, literally, "two waters," and the place is named from the perpetual flow and counterflow of the river and the ocean tide. The river pours into the sea, the sea at high tide surges up the river, beating back its waters, and the foam and spray of the contending floods are dashed high into the air, bedewing the cluster of cocoanut palms that stand on the bank above watching this perpetual conflict. In calm weather and at low tide there is a truce between the waters, and the river flows calmly into the sea; but immediately after a storm, when the river is flooded with rains from the mountains and the sea hurls itself upon the reef with a shock and a roar, then the antagonism between the meeting waters is at its height and the clash and uproar of their fury are great.
Sometimes we went on picnic excursions to places in the neighborhood—to the beach of Waiamea, a mile or two distant, where thousands of pretty shells lay strewn upon the sand and branches of white coral could be had for the picking up, or to the orange-groves and indigo-thickets on the mountain-sides, where large sweet oranges ripened, coming back wreathed with ferns and the fragrant vine maile.
But we had plenty of oranges without going after them. For half a dollar we could buy a hundred large fine oranges from the natives, who brought them to the door, and we usually kept a tin washing-tub full of the delicious fruit on hand. A real (twelve and a half cents) would buy a bunch of bananas so heavy that it took two of us to lift it to the hook in the veranda-ceiling, and limes and small Chinese oranges grew plentifully in the front yard. Of cocoanuts and tamarinds we made no account, they were so common. Guavas grew wild on bushes in the neighborhood, and made delicious pies. For vegetables we had taro, sweet potatoes and something that tasted just like summer squash, but which grew in thick, pulpy clusters on a tree. The taro was brought to us just as it was pulled, roots and nodding green tops, and of the donkey who was laden with it little showed but his legs and his ears as his master led him up to the gate. Another old man furnished boiled and pounded taro, which the girls mixed with water and made into poi. He brought it in large bundles wrapped in broad green banana-leaves and tied with fibres of the stalk. He had two daughters in the school, and always inquired about their progress in their studies. One day, happening to look out of the front door, I saw him coming up the garden-walk. He had nothing on but a shirt and a malo (a strip of cloth) about his loins: the malo was all that the natives formerly wore. Neither the girls who were weeding their garden, nor the other teachers who were at work in the parlor, seemed to think that there was anything remarkable in his appearance. He talked with Miss G—— as usual about the supply of taro for the school, and inquired how his girls were doing. When he was going away she said, "Uncle, why do you not wear your clothes when you come to see us? I thought you had laid aside the heathen fashion." He replied that he had but one suit of clothes, and that he must save them to wear to church, adding that he was anxious to give his daughters an education, and must economize in some way in order to pay for their schooling.
The fuel needed for cooking was brought down from the mountains by the native boy who milked the cows for us and took Calico, Miss G——'s riding horse, to water and to pasture. One day, when one of the girls had started a fire in the stove, a fragrance like incense diffused itself through the house. Hastening to the kitchen, I pulled out a half-burned piece of sandal-wood and put it away in my collection of shells and island curiosities. A few days afterward an old native man named Ka-hu-kai (Sea-shore), who lived in one of the grass huts near the front gate, came to sell me a piece of fragrant wood of another kind. He had learned that I attached a value to such things, and expected to get a good price. He inquired for the wahine haole (foreign woman), and presented his bit of wood, saying that he would sell it for a dollar. I declined to purchase. He walked down through the garden and across the lawn, but paused at the big gate for several minutes, then retraced his steps. Holding out the wood again, he said, "This is my thought: you may have it for a real." I gave him a real, and he went away satisfied.
Every Sunday we crossed the bridge that spanned Waialua River near the ford, and made our way to the huge old-fashioned mission-church, which stood in an open field surrounded by prickly pears six or eight feet high. The thorny prickly pears were stiff and ungraceful, but a delicate wild vine grew all over them and hung in festoons from the top. While Pai-ku-li, the native minister, preached a sermon in Hawaiian, I, not understanding a word, looked at the side pews where the old folks sat, and tried to picture the life they had known in their youth, when the great Kamehameha reigned. In the pew next to the side door sat Mr. Sea-shore, straight and solemn as a deacon, and his wife, a fat old woman with a face that looked as if it had been carved out of knotty mahogany, but which was irradiated with an expression of kindness and good-nature. She wore a long black holoku, and on her head was perched a little sailor hat with a blue ribbon round it, which would have been suitable for a girl six or eight years old, but which looked decidedly comical and out of place on Mrs. Sea-shore. She was barefooted, as I presently saw. Two or three times during the sermon a red-eyed, dissipated-looking dog with a baked taro-root in his mouth had come to the door, and seemed about to enter, but Mrs. Sea-shore, without disturbing the devotions, had kept him back by threatening gestures. But when the minister began to pray and nearly every head was bowed, the dog came sneaking in. Mrs. Sea-shore happened to raise her head, and saw him. Drawing back her holoku, she extended her bare foot and planted a vigorous kick in his ribs, exclaiming at the same time in an explosive whisper, "Hala palah!" ("Get out!" or "Begone!") The dog went forth howling, and did not return.
A few days later Miss G——'s shoulder was sprained by a fall from her horse, and she sent for Mrs. Sea-shore. The old woman came and lomi-lomi-ed the shoulder—kneaded it with her hands—until the pain and stiffness were gone, then extracted the oil from some kukui-nuts by chewing them and applied it to the sprain. All the time she kept up a chatter in Hawaiian, talking, asking questions and showing her white teeth in hearty, good-humored laughs. In answer to the questions I put to her through Miss G——, she told us much about her early life, the superstitions and taboos that forbade men and women to eat together and imposed many meaningless and foolish restrictions, and about her children, who had died and gone to Po, the great shadowy land, where, as she once believed, their spirits had been eaten by the gods. We formed quite a friendship for each other, and she came often to see me, but would not come into the house any farther than the veranda or front hall, and there, refusing our offer of a chair, she would sit on the floor. I spoke of going to see her in return, but she said that her house was not good enough to receive me, and begged me not to come. Just before I left Waialua she brought a mat she had woven out of the long leaves of the pandanus or screw pine, a square of tappa, or native cloth, as large as a sheet, made from the bark of a tree, and the tappa-pounder she had made it with (a square mallet with different patterns cut on each of the four faces), and gave them to me. I offered her money in return, but she refused it, saying she had given the things out of aloha, or love for me. On my return to Honolulu I got the most gorgeous red silk Chinese handkerchief that could be found in Ah Fong and Ah Chuck's establishment and sent it to her, and Miss G—— wrote me that she wore it round her neck at church every Sunday.
One of my duties was to go through the dormitories the last thing at night, and see that the doors were fastened and that the girls had their mosquito-netting properly arranged, and were not sleeping with their heads under the bedclothes. A heathen superstition, of which they were half ashamed, still exercised an influence over them, and they were afraid that the spirits of their dead relatives would come back from Po and haunt them in the night. They would not confess to this fear, but many of them, ruled by it, covered their heads with the bedclothes every night. In my rounds, besides clouds of bloodthirsty mosquitos, I frequently saw centipedes crawling along the floor or wall or up the netting, and sometimes a large tarantula would dart forth from his hiding-place in some nook or corner. The centipedes were often six or seven inches long. They were especially numerous during or immediately after rainy weather. Little gray and green lizards (mo-o) glided about the verandas, but they were harmless. Scorpions are common in the islands, but we were not troubled with them. They frequent hot, dry places like sandbanks, and are often found in piles of lumber.
We had fine views of the scenery as we passed to and fro between the main building and the school-house—the sea, fringed with cocoanut palms; the fertile level plain, dotted with trees, on which the village stood; and the green mountains, whose tops were generally dark with rainclouds or brightened with bits of rainbows. It seemed to be always raining in that mysterious mountainous centre of the islands which human foot has never crossed, but it was usually clear and bright at sea-level. After an unusually hard rain we could see long, flashing white waterfalls hanging, like ribbons of silver, down the sides of the green cliffs. From the attic-windows the best view of the bay could be obtained, and it was my delight to lean out of them like "a blessed damosel" half an hour at a time, gazing seaward and drinking in the beauty of the scene. Waialua Bay was shaped like a half moon, the tips of which were distant headlands, and the curve was the yellow, palm-fringed beach. Into this crescent-shaped reach of water rolled great waves from the outside ocean, following each other in regular stately order with a front of milk-white foam and a veil of mist flying backward several yards from the summit. The Hawaiian name for this place is E-hu-kai (Sea-mist), and it is appropriately named, for the floating veils of the billows keep the surface of the entire bay dim with mist. Gazing long upon the scene, my eyes would be dazzled with color—the intense blue of the sky and the water, the bright yellow of the sand, the dark rich green of the trees, and, looking into the garden below, the flame-scarlet blossoms of the pomegranates, the rose-pink flowers of the oleanders and the cream-white clusters of the limes and oranges.
It seemed a land for poetry, for romance, for day-dreaming, and the transition from the attic-window to the prosaic realities of house and school-room work was like a sudden awakening. I was destined before leaving the place to have a still more violent awakening to the reality that underlies appearances. Nature in these beautiful islands is fair and lovely, but deceitful. During long months of sunny weather the waves gently kiss the shore, the green slopes smile, the mountains decorate themselves with cloud-wreaths and rainbows; but there comes a dreadful day when the green and flowery earth yawns in horrid chasms, when Mauna Loa trembles and belches forth torrents of blood-red lava, when the ocean, receding from the shore, returns in a tidal wave that sweeps to the top of the palms on the beach and engulfs the people and their homes.
And the human nature here is somewhat similar. The Hawaiians are pleasing in form and feature, graceful, polite, fond of music and dancing and wreathing themselves with flowers, and possess withal a deep fund of poetry, which finds expression in their own names, the names they have bestowed upon waterfalls and valleys and green peaks and sea-cliffs, and in the meles or native songs which commemorate events of personal interest or national importance. But they too have their volcanic outbursts, their seasons of fury and destruction. The last public display of this side of their character was on the occasion of the election of the present king. The supporters of Queen Emma, the defeated candidate, burst into the court-house, broke the heads of the electors or threw them bodily out of the windows, and raised a riot in the streets of Honolulu which was quelled only by the assistance of the crews of the men-of-war then in the harbor—the English ship Tenedos and the United States vessels Portsmouth and Tuscarora.
I come now to the rebellion which broke forth in Waialua school when I had been there three weeks. A month or two before one of the school-girls had died after a brief illness. The old heathen superstition about praying to Death had been revived by the lower class of natives in the place, who were not friendly to the school, and had been transmitted by them to the older girls. While yet ignorant of this I had noticed the scowls and dark looks, the reluctant obedience and manifest distrust, of ten or twelve girls from fifteen to eighteen, the leaders in the school. The younger girls were affectionate and obedient: they brought flowers from their gardens and wove wreaths for us; they lomi-lomi-ed our hands and feet when we were sitting at rest; if they neglected their tasks or broke any of the taboos of the school, it was through the carelessness of childhood. But it seemed impossible to gain the confidence of the older girls.
One day Miss P——, the assistant teacher, received word that her father was quite sick, and immediately set out for Honolulu on horseback. Miss G——and I carried on the work of the school as well as we could. A day or two after Miss P—— left a tropical storm burst upon us. It seemed as if the very heavens were opened. The rain fell in torrents and the air was filled with the flying branches of trees. This continued a day and a night. The next day, Sunday, the rain and wind ceased, but sullen clouds still hung overhead, and there was an oppressive stillness and languor in the air. Within, there was something of the same atmosphere: the tropical nature of the girls seemed to be in sympathy with the stormy elements. They were silent and sullen and brooding. The bridge over Waialua had been washed away, and we could not go to church. The oppressive day passed and was succeeded by a similar one. The older girls cast dark looks upon us as they reluctantly went through the round of school- and house-work. At night the explosion occurred. All the girls were at the usual study-hour in the basement dining-room. It was Miss G——'s turn to sit with them: I was in the sitting-room directly above. Suddenly I heard a loud yell, a sound as of scuffling and Miss G——'s quick tones of command. The next moment I was down stairs. There stood Miss G—— in the middle of the room holding Elizabeth Aukai, one of the largest and worst girls, by the wrist. The girl's head was bent and her teeth were buried in Miss G——'s hand. The heathen had burst forth, the volcanic eruption and earthquake had come. I tried to pull her off, but she was as strong as an ox. Loosening her hold directly and hurling us off, she poured forth a flood of abuse in Hawaiian. She reviled the teachers and all the cursed foreigners who were praying her people to death. The Hawaiian language has no "swear words," but it is particularly rich in abusive and reviling epithets, and these were freely heaped upon us. She ended her tirade by saying, "You shall not pray us to death, you wicked, black-hearted foreigners!" and her companions answered with a yell. Then, snatching up a lamp, they ran up stairs to their sleeping-rooms, screaming and laughing and singing native songs that had been forbidden in the school, and, taking their shawls and Sunday dresses from their trunks, they arrayed themselves in all their finery and began dancing an old heathen dance which is taboo among the better class of natives and only practised in secret by the more degraded class of natives and half-whites.
It sounded like Bedlam let loose. The little girls, frightened and crying, and a half-white girl of seventeen, Miss G——'s adopted daughter, remained with us. We put the younger children to bed in their sleeping-room, which was on the first floor, and held a council together. "One of us must cross the river and bring Pai-ku-li" (the native minister), said Miss G——. "He is Elizabeth Aukai's guardian—she is his wife's niece—and he can control her if anybody can, and break the hold of this superstition on the girls' minds. Nothing that we can say or do will do any good while they are in this frenzy. Which of us shall go?"
The bridge was washed away; there was no boat; Miss P—— had taken the only horse to go to Honolulu. Whoever went must ford the river. Like Lord Ullin's daughter, who would meet the raging of the skies, but not an angry father, I was less afraid to go than to stay, and volunteered to bring Pai-ku-li.
"Li-li-noe shall go with you," said Miss G——: "she is a good swimmer, and can find the best way through the river."
Just then the whole crowd of girls came screaming and laughing down the stairs, swept through the sitting-room, mocking and insulting Miss G——, then went back up the other flight of stairs, which led to the teachers' rooms and was taboo to the school-girls. They were anxious to break as many rules as possible.
With a lighted lantern hidden between us Li-li-noe and I stole down through the flower-garden and across the lawn. We were anxious to keep the girls in ignorance of our absence, lest they should attempt some violence to Miss G—— while we were gone. Stealing quietly past the grass huts of the natives, we approached the place where the bridge had been, and brought forth our lantern to shed light on the water-soaked path. Just ahead the surf showed through the darkness white and threatening, and beyond was the ocean, dim heaving in the dusk. The clash and roar of the meeting waters filled the air, and we were sprinkled by the flying spray as we stood debating on the river's edge. Li-li-noe stepped down into the water to find, if possible, a place shallow enough to ford, but at the first step she disappeared up to her shoulders. "That will never do," she said, clambering back: "you cannot cross there."
"Can we cross above the bridge?" I asked.
"No: the water is ten feet deep there; it is shallower toward the sea."
"Then let us try there;" and into the water we went, Li-li-noe first. It was not quite waist-deep, and in calm weather there would have been no danger, but now the current of the river and the tide of the inrushing sea swept back and forth with the force of a whirlpool. We had got to the middle when a great wave, white with foam, came roaring toward us from the ocean. Li-li-noe threw herself forward and began to swim. For a moment there were darkness and the roar of many waters around me, and my feet were almost swept from under me. Looking upward at the cloudy sky and the tall cocoanut trees on the bank, I thought of the home and friends I might never see again. The bitter salt water wet my face, quenched the light and carried away my shawl, but the wave returned without carrying me out to sea. Then above the noise of the waters I heard Li-li-noe's voice calling to me from the other shore, and just as another wave surged in I reached her side and sank down on the sand. After resting a few moments we rose and began picking our way toward the village, half a mile distant. Our route led along a narrow path between the muddy, watery road on one side and a still more muddy, watery taro-patch on the other. Without a light to guide our steps, we slipped, now with one foot into the road, now with the other into the taro-patch, and by the time we emerged into the level cactus-field around the church we were covered with mud to our knees.
Pai-ku-li lived nearly a mile beyond the village, but close by the church lived Mrs. W——, whose place I had taken as English teacher in the school. We knocked at her door to beg for a light, and when she found what the matter was she made us come in, muddy and dripping as we were, and put on some dry clothes, while her husband, pulling on his boots, went for Pai-ku-li. She begged me to stay all night, saying that she would not trust her life with the girls at such a time—they might attempt to poison us or to burn the house down—but I thanked her for her hospitality and lighted our lantern, and we started back as soon as Mr. W—— returned saying that Pai-ku-li would come. We listened for the sound of his horse's feet, for we had planned to ride across the river, one at a time, behind Pai-ku-li, but he did not overtake us, and we waited at the river nearly half an hour. One span of the bridge remained, and as we stood on it waiting, listening to the flapping of the cocoanut fronds in the night wind and the hoarse murmuring and occasional roar of the ocean, I thought of that line of Longfellow's—
I stood on the bridge at midnight—
and laughed to myself at the contrast between the poetical and the actual. Still, Pai-ku-li did not come, and, growing anxious on Miss G——'s account, we resolved to cross as we had before. Again we went down into the cold flood, again our light was quenched and our feet nearly swept from under us, but we reached the opposite side in safety. As we crossed the lawn we saw every window lighted, and knew by the sounds of yelling and singing and laughing that the girls were still raving. Miss G—— sat quietly in the parlor. She had been up stairs to try to reason with the girls, but they drowned her voice with hooting and reviling. Pai-ku-li came a little later, but he had no better success. He remained with us that night and all the next day. The screaming up stairs continued till two or three o'clock at night, and began again as soon as the first girl woke. Early next morning a fleet messenger started to Honolulu, and just at dusk two gentlemen, the sheriff and Mr. P——, who was Miss G——'s brother-in-law and president of the board of trustees of Waialua Seminary, rode up on foaming horses. A court was held in the school-room, many natives—a few of the better class who disapproved of the rebellion, and more of the lower class who upheld the rebels—being present as spectators, but no one interrupting the prompt and stern proceedings of Mr. P——. Elizabeth Aukai was whipped on her bare feet and legs below the knee until she burst out crying and begged for mercy and asked Miss G——'s forgiveness for biting her. Then she and the other rebels were expelled, and the sheriff took them away that night. Those who lived on other islands were sent home by the first schooner leaving Honolulu. Thus ended the rebellion at Waialua school.
The remaining month of my stay passed in peace and quietness. The need for my assistance was less after the expulsion of so many girls, but I remained in order that Miss G—— might take a short vacation and the rest she so much needed. During her absence Miss P—— and I carried on the school. A few days after the storm a little native boy brought to the seminary the shawl which had been washed from my shoulders the night I went through the river. He had found it lying on the beach half a mile below the ford. It had been washed out to sea and returned again by the waves. After that we called it "the travelled shawl." Every Monday morning the toot of the postman's horn was heard in the village, and one of us immediately went across to get the mail. The bridge being gone, we had to wade the river at the shallowest place, near the sea. When I waded across on such occasions I usually found on the opposite shore a group of half-naked little natives who drew near to watch with silent interest the process of buttoning my shoes with a button-hook. The whole school waded across to church on Sundays.
The population of the village, with the exception of two or three families, was composed of natives and half-whites of the lower class. Heathen superstition mingled with modern vice. In some instances men and women lived together without the ceremony of marriage. Beyond the village the cane-fields began, and beyond them, at the foot of the mountains, lived a better class of natives, moral and industrious. Here, too, were the cane-mills and the residences of the planters. I remember one pretty little cottage with walls of braided grass and wooden roof and floor, surrounded by cool, vine-shaded verandas. It stood in the middle of a cane-plantation, and was the home of an Englishman and his wife, both highly cultivated and genial, companionable people. He was a typical Englishman in appearance, stout and ruddy, and wore a blue flannel suit and the white head-covering worn by his countrymen in India. She was a graceful little creature with appealing dark eyes, and looked too frail to have ever borne hardship or cruelty, yet she had known little else all her early life. She had been left an orphan in England, and had been sent out to Australia to make her living as a governess. She was thrown among brutal, coarse-mannered people, and received harsh treatment and suffered many vicissitudes of fortune. Finally, her husband met and loved and married her, and lifted her out of that hard life into one which appeared by contrast a heaven of peace and kindness and affection. She often said frankly, "That was the happiest event of my life. I can never be thankful enough to him or love him enough. Sometimes I dream I am back again enduring that dreadful life in Australia, and when I wake and realize that I am here in our own little cottage, thousands of miles from Australia, I am freshly happy and grateful."
Near the foot of the mountains was a Catholic church and a school, round which a little village had grown up. The self-sacrificing efforts of the teachers have been productive of good among the natives, but there seems little hope of any co-operation between the Protestant missionaries and them.
When the time came for me to return to Honolulu, Miss P—— offered to accompany me, and suggested that instead of returning by the way I came we should take the longer way and complete the circuit of the island. As the road lay directly along the sea-coast the entire distance, there was no danger of our losing our way. Miss P—— rode Calico, the missionary steed, and I hired a white horse of Nakaniella (Nathaniel), one of the patrons of the school, choosing it in preference to a bay brought for my inspection the night before we started by a sullen-looking native from the village. When we had gone two or three miles on our way we heard the sound of furious galloping behind us, and looking back saw this native, with a face like a thunder-cloud, approaching us on his bay horse. Reaching us, he insisted on my dismounting and taking his horse, saying that I had promised to hire it the night before. Miss P——, being able to speak Hawaiian, answered for me without slackening our pace. She said, in reply to his demands, that the wahine haole had not promised to take his horse; that she would not pay him for his time and trouble in bringing over the horse that morning and riding after us; that he might ride all the way to Honolulu with us or go to law about the matter, both of which he threatened. Fuming with wrath, he rode along with us for a mile or two, breathing out threatenings and slaughter in vigorous Hawaiian: then, uttering the spiteful wish, "May your horses throw you and break your necks!" he turned and rode back toward Waialua.
We passed through the ruins of a once-populous village: stone walls bordered the road for a mile or more, and back of them were the stone foundations of native houses and heiaus (temples). Pandanus trees, with roots like stilts or props that lifted them two or three feet from the ground, grew inside the deserted enclosures: long grass waved from the chinks and crevices. It was a mournful reminder of the decay of the Hawaiian race. Just beyond the ruined village a sluggish creek flowed into the sea. At the mouth of the valley whence it issued stood two or three native huts. A man wearing a malo was up on the roof of one, thatching it with grass. Riding near, we hailed him and inquired about a quicksand which lay just ahead and which we must cross. He told us to avoid the makai side and keep to the mouka side. We followed his directions, and crossed in safety. For all practical purposes there are but two directions in the islands—mouka, meaning toward the mountains, and makai, toward the sea.
We rode all the forenoon over a level strip of grassy open country bordering the sea, with here and there a native hut near a clump of cocoanuts or a taro-patch. Toward noon we passed fenced pastures in which many horses were grazing, and came in sight of a picturesque cottage near the shore. Miss G—— had told us that on the lawn in front of this cottage were two curious old stone idols which had been discovered in a fish-pond, and we rode up to the gate intending to ask permission to enter and look at them. A Chinese servant let us in, and the owner, an Englishman who lived here during part of the year, came and showed us the idols, and then invited us inside his pretty cottage and gave us a lunch of bread and butter and guava jelly and oranges. The walls and ceilings were of native wood, of the kinds used in delicate cabinet-work and were polished until they shone. The floor was covered with fine straw matting, and around the room were ranged easy-chairs and sofas of willow and rattan. In one corner stood a piano in an ebony case, and on a koa-wood centre-table were a number of fine photographs and works of art. Hanging baskets filled with blooming plants hung in each window and in the veranda. Altogether, it was the prettiest hermitage imaginable.
Riding along that afternoon through a country much like that we had passed over in the morning, we heard from a native hut the sound of the mournful Hawaiian wail, "Auea! auea!" (pronounced like the word "away" long drawn out). To our inquiry if any one was dead within, a woman answered, "No, but that some friends had come from a distance on a visit." I have frequently seen two Hawaiian friends or relations who had not met for a long time express their emotions at seeing one another again, not by kissing and laughing and joyful exclamations, but by sitting down on the ground and wailing. Perhaps it was done in remembrance of their long separation and of the changes that had taken place during that time. The native mode of kissing consists in rubbing noses together.
Not far from this place we passed a Mormon settlement, a little colony sent out from Utah. The group of bare white buildings was some distance back from the road, and we did not stop to visit them. Near by was a hou-tree swamp, a spongy, marshy place where cattle were eating grass that grew under water. They would reach down until their ears were almost covered, take a mouthful and lift up their heads while they chewed it. Thus far on our journey there had been a level plain two or three miles wide between the sea and the mountains, but here the mountains came close down to the sea, leaving only a little strip of land along the beach. High, stern cliffs with strange profiles, such as a lion, a canoe and a gigantic hen on her nest, frowned upon us as we rode along their base. We passed a cold bubbling spring which had worn a large basin for itself in the rock. It had formerly been the bathing-place of a chief, and therefore taboo to the common people. In one of our gallops along the beach my stirrup-strap broke, and we stopped in front of a solitary hut to ask for a stout string. A squid was drying on a pole and scenting the air with its fishy odors. In answer to our call an old man in a calico shirt came out of the hut, and, taking some strips of hou-bark, twisted them into a strong string and fastened the stirrup. I gave him a real, and he exclaimed "Aloha!" with apparently as much surprise and delight as if we had enriched him for life.
We rode through a little village at the mouth of a beautiful green valley, forded a river that ran through it, and passing under more high cliffs came about four in the afternoon to Kahana, our stopping-place for the night. It was a little cluster of houses at the head of a bay or inlet of the sea, where the lovely transparent water was green as grass, and stood in the opening of a valley enclosed by high, steep mountain-walls, with sharp ridges down their sides clothed with rich forests. All around us grew delicate, luxuriant ferns, of which there are one hundred and fifty varieties in the islands. Along the shores of the bay some women were wading, their dresses held above their knees, picking shellfish and green sea-moss off the rocks for supper. We rode up to the cottage of Kekoa, a native minister who had studied under Miss P——'s father. His half-Chinese, half-native wife was in a grass hut at the back of the house, and she came immediately to take our horses, saying that her husband was at the church, but would be at home soon. Then opening the door, she told us to go inside and rest ourselves. It was a pretty cottage, with floors and walls of wood and a grass roof. Braided mats of palm and pandanus-leaves were on the floor, and on the walls hung portraits of the Hawaiian royal family and Generals Lee and Grant. It had two rooms—a sitting-room and a bedroom—the first furnished with a table and chairs, the latter with a huge high-posted bedstead with a canopy over it. Altogether, it was much above the common native houses, and was evidently not used every day, but kept for the reception of guests—travelling ministers and the like.
When Kekoa came he welcomed us warmly on account of the attachment he had for Miss P——'s father, and told us to consider the house ours as long as it pleased us to stay. He sent his wife to catch a chicken, and soon set before us on the table in the sitting-room a supper consisting of boiled chicken, rice, baked taro, coarse salt from the bay, and bananas. We overlooked the absence of bread, which the natives know not of, and shared the use of the one knife and fork between us. Our host waited on us, his wife bringing the food to the door and handing it to him. After supper other natives came in, and Miss P—— conversed with them in Hawaiian. Being tired and stiff from my long ride, I went into the next room and lay down on the bed. Mrs. Kekoa came in presently and began to lomi-lomi me. She kneaded me with her hands from head to foot, just as a cook kneads dough, continuing the process for nearly an hour, although I begged her several times to stop lest she should be tired. At the end of that time all sensation of fatigue and stiffness was gone and I felt fresh and well. Kekoa and his wife slept in a grass hut several rods farther up the valley, and Miss P—— and I had the house to ourselves. In the middle of the night we were awakened by the sound of a man talking in through the open window of our room. We both thought for a moment that it was our persecutor of the morning who had followed us as he had threatened, but it proved to be a native from the head of the valley who wanted to see Kekoa. Miss P—— directed him to the grass hut where our host slept, and he went away, and we were not disturbed again. Next morning we had breakfast like the supper, and asked for our horses. Kekoa and his wife begged us to stay longer, but we could not, and parted from them with much regret. We afterward sent them some large photographs of scenes in Honolulu, and received an affectionate message from them in return. I look back to Kahana as a sort of Happy Valley, and dream sometimes of going back and seeing again its beautiful pale-green bay, its glittering blue sea, its grand mountain-walls clothed in richest verdure, and renewing my acquaintance with its kind-hearted people. Several natives gathered to say good-bye, and two of them rode with us out of the valley and saw us fairly on our way.
We rode past cane-plantations fenced with palm-tree trunks or hedged with huge prickly pear; past thickets of wild indigo and castor bean; through guava-jungles, where we pulled and ate the ripe fruit, yellow outside and pink within; past large fish-ponds that had been constructed for the chiefs in former days; past rice-fields where Chinese were scaring away the birds; past threshing-floors where Chinese were threshing rice; past kamani trees (from Tahiti) that looked like umbrellas slanting upward; past a flock of mina-birds brought from Australia; past aloe-plants and vast thickets of red and yellow lantana in blossom, reaching as high as our horses' necks.
We dismounted in front of a little grass hut where we heard the sound of a tappa-pounder, and went to the door. An old native woman, with her arms tattooed with India-ink, was sitting on a mat spread on the ground, with a sheet of moist red tappa lying over a beam placed on the ground in front of her, and a four-sided mallet in her hand. Beside her sat a young half-white girl with a large tortoise-shell comb in her hair and a fat little dog in her arms. We asked if we could come in and see the tappa. The old woman said "Yes," and displayed it with some pride. She was making it to give to Queen Emma, hence the pains she was taking with the coloring and the pattern. The bark of a shrub resembling our pawpaw tree is steeped in water until it becomes a mass of pulp. Then it is laid on the heavy beam and beaten with the tappa-pounder, and pulled and stretched until it becomes a square sheet with firm edges, about as thick as calico and six or eight feet square. The juice of berries or dye from the bark of trees furnishes the coloring, and the pattern is determined by the figures cut in the tappa-pounder. Some fine mats rolled-up in one corner and some braided baskets on the wall were also the work of this tappa-maker.
We passed through several villages as we neared our journey's end, and the scenery grew more interesting. The palm trees on the beach framed views of little islands bathed in sea-mist which lay half a mile or more from the shore. Narrow green valleys with high steep walls, down whose sides flashed bright waterfalls, opened to view one after another on the mouka or inland side. At the mouth of one we saw a twig of ohia, or native apple tree, placed carefully between two stones. Some superstitious native had put it there as an offering, that the goddess of that valley might not roll down rocks on him and kill him. The Pali, a stupendous perpendicular cliff four thousand feet high, faces the sea a few miles from Honolulu. We came in sight of it early in the afternoon, and stopped on a grassy knoll near a clear stream to eat our lunch and allow our horses to graze. The hardest part of the whole journey lay immediately before us. A zigzag path has been cut up the face of the cliff, but it is so steep and narrow that carriages cannot pass over it, and it is with much exertion and heavy panting that it can be climbed by man or beast. The face of the cliff is hung with vines and ferns, and at its base grow palms and the rich vegetation of the tropics. It is the grandest bit of scenery on Oahu. We rode our horses to the foot of the Pali: then, out of compassion for them, dismounted and led them up the long steep path, stopping several times to rest. On the way some natives passed us on horseback, racing up the Pali! At the top we stood a while in silence, gazing at the magnificent prospect spread out below us. We could see miles of the road we had come—silvery-green cane-plantations, little villages with white church-spires, rich groves of palm, kukui and koa, and the sea rising like a dark blue wall all around the horizon. Then we mounted and turned our faces toward Honolulu. On either side were lofty mountain-walls, with perpendicular sides clothed with vivid green and hung with silvery waterfalls. We were entering the city by Nuannu ("Cold Spring") Valley, the most delightful and fashionable suburb. Here were Queen Emma's residence, set in the midst of extensive and beautiful grounds, the Botanical Gardens, the residence of the American minister, the royal mausoleum and the house and gardens once occupied by Kalumma, a former queen. Crowds of gayly-dressed natives galloped past us as we neared the city, wearing wreaths of fern and flowers. One man carried a half-grown pig in a rope net attached to his stirrup: it looked tired of life. So, under the arching algaroba and monkey-pod trees that shade Nuannu Avenue, and past the royal palms that grace the yards, we rode into beautiful Honolulu.
LOUISE COFFIN JONES.
FINDELKIND OF MARTINSWAND: A CHILD'S STORY.
There was a little boy a year or two since who lived under the shadow of Martinswand. Most people know, I should suppose, that the Martinswand is that mountain in the Oberinnthal where, several centuries ago, brave Kaiser Max lost his footing as he stalked the chamois and fell upon a ledge of rock, and stayed there, in mortal peril, for thirty hours, till he was rescued by the strength and agility of a Tyrol hunter—an angel in the guise of a hunter, as the chronicles of the time prefer to say. The Martinswand is a grand mountain, being one of the spurs of the greater Sonnstein, and rises precipitously, looming, massive and lofty, like a very fortress for giants, where it stands right across that road which, if you follow it long enough, takes you on through Zirl to Landeck—old, picturesque, poetic Landeck, where Frederic of the Empty Pockets rhymed his sorrows in ballads to his people—and so on, by Bludenz, into Switzerland itself, by as noble a highway as any traveller can ever desire to traverse on a summer's day. The Martinswand is within a mile of the little burg of Zirl, where the people, in the time of their kaiser's peril, came out with torches and bells, and the Host lifted up by their priest, and all prayed on their knees underneath the gaunt pile of limestone, which is the same to-day as it was then, whilst Kaiser Max is dust. The Martinswand soars up very steep and very majestic, bare stone at its base and all along its summit crowned with pine woods; and on the other side of the road that runs onward to Zirl are a little stone church, quaint and low, and gray with age, and a stone farm-house and cattle-sheds and timber-sheds of wood that is darkly brown from time; and beyond these are some of the most beautiful meadows in the world, full of tall grass and countless flowers, with pools and little estuaries made by the brimming Inn River that flows by them, and beyond the river the glaciers of the Sonnstein and the Selrain and the wild Arlberg region, and the golden glow of sunset in the west, most often seen from here through a veil of falling rain.
At this farm-house, with Martinswand towering above it and Zirl a mile beyond, there lived, and lives still, a little boy who bears the old historical name of Findelkind. His father, Otto Korner, was the last of a sturdy race of yeomen who had fought with Hofer and Haspinger, and had been free men always.
Findelkind came in the middle of seven other children, and was a pretty boy of nine years old, with slenderer limbs and paler cheeks than his rosy brethren, and tender, dreamy, dark-blue eyes that had the look, his mother told him, of seeking stars in midday—de chercher midi a quatorze heures, as the French have it. He was a good little lad, and seldom gave any trouble from disobedience, though he often gave it from forgetfulness. His father angrily complained that he was always in the clouds—that is, he was always dreaming—and so very often would spill the milk out of the pails, chop his own fingers instead of the wood, and stay watching the swallows when he was sent to draw water. His brothers and sisters were always making fun of him: they were sturdier, ruddier and merrier children than he was, loved romping and climbing and nutting, thrashing the walnut trees and sliding down snow-drifts, and got into mischief of a more common and childish sort than Findelkind's freaks of fancy. For indeed he was a very fanciful little boy: everything around had tongues for him, and he would sit for hours among the long rushes on the river's edge, trying to imagine what the wild green-gray water had found in its wanderings, and asking the water-rats and the ducks to tell him about it; but both rats and ducks were too busy to attend to an idle little boy, and never spoke, which vexed him.
Findelkind, however, was very fond of his books: he would study day and night in his little ignorant, primitive fashion. He loved his missal and his primer, and could spell them both out very fairly, and was learning to write of a good priest in Zirl, where he trotted three times a week with his two little brothers. When not at school he was chiefly set to guard the sheep and the cows, which occupation left him very much to himself, so that he had many hours in the summer-time to stare up to the skies and wonder, wonder, wonder about all sorts of things; while in the winter—the long, white, silent winter, when the post-wagons ceased to run, and the road into Switzerland was blocked, and the whole world seemed asleep except for the roaring of the winds—Findelkind, who still trotted over the snow to school in Zirl, would dream still, sitting on the wooden settle by the fire when he came home again under Martinswand. For the worst—or the best—of it all was that he was Findelkind also.
This was what was always haunting him. He was Findelkind, and to bear this name seemed to him to mark him out from all other children and dedicate him to Heaven. One day three years before, when he had been only six years old, the priest in Zirl, who was a very kindly and cheerful man, and amused the children as much as he taught them, had not allowed Findelkind to leave the school to go home because the storm of snow and wind was so violent, but had kept him until the worst should pass, with one or two other little lads who lived some way off, and had let the boys roast apples and chestnuts by the stove in his little room, and while the wind howled and the blinding snow fell without had told the children the story of another Findelkind, an earlier Findelkind, who had lived in the flesh as far back as 1381, and had been a little shepherd-lad—"just like you," said the good man, looking at the little boys munching their roast crabs—"over there, above Stuben, where Danube and Rhine meet and part." The pass of Arlberg is even still so bleak and bitter that few care to climb there: the mountains around are drear and barren, and snow lies till midsummer, and even longer sometimes. "But in the early ages," said the priest—and this is quite a true tale, which the children heard with open eyes, and mouths only not open because they were full of crabs and chestnuts,—"in the early ages," said the priest to them, "the Arlberg was far more dreary than it is now. There was only a mule-track over it, and no refuge for man or beast; so that wanderers and peddlers, and those whose need for work or desire for battle brought them over that frightful pass, perished in great numbers and were eaten by the bears and the wolves. The little shepherd-boy, Findelkind—who was a little boy five hundred years ago, remember," added the priest—"was sorely disturbed and distressed to see those poor dead souls in the snow winter after winter, and to see the blanched bones lie on the bare earth unburied when summer melted the snow. It made him unhappy, very unhappy; and what could he do, he a little boy keeping sheep? He had as his wage two florins a year—that was all—but his heart rose high and he had faith in God. Little as he was, he said to himself he would try and do something, so that year after year those poor lost travellers and beasts should not perish so. He said nothing to anybody, but he took the few florins he had saved up, bade his master farewell and went on his way begging—a little fourteenth-century boy, with long, straight hair and a girdled tunic, as you see them," continued the priest, "in the miniatures in the black-letter missal that lies upon my desk. No doubt Heaven favored him very strongly, and the saints watched over him; still, without the boldness of his own courage and the faith in his own heart they would not have done so. I suppose, too, that when knights in their armor and soldiers in their camps saw such a little fellow all alone they helped him, and perhaps struck some blows for him, and so sped him on his way and protected him from robbers and from wild beasts. Still, be sure that the real shield and the real reward that served Findelkind of Arlberg was the pure and noble purpose that armed him night and day. Now, history does not tell us where Findelkind went, nor how he fared, nor how long he was about it, but history does tell us that the little barefooted, long-haired boy, knocking so boldly at castle-gates and city-walls in the name of Christ and Christ's poor brethren, did so well succeed in his quest that before long he had returned to his mountain-home with means to have a church and a rude dwelling built, where he lived with six other brave and charitable souls, dedicating themselves to St. Christopher, and going out night and day, to the sound of the Angelus, seeking the lost and weary. This is really what Findelkind of Arlberg did five centuries ago, and did so well that his fraternity of St. Christopher twenty years after numbered amongst its members archdukes, prelates and knights without number, and lasted as a great order down to the days of Joseph II. This is what Findelkind in the fourteenth century did, I tell you. Bear like faith in your hearts, my children, and, though your generation is a harder one than his, because it is without faith, yet you shall move mountains, because Christ and St. Christopher will be with you."
Then the good man, having said that, blessed them and left them alone to their chestnuts and crabs and went into his own oratory to prayer. The other boys laughed and chattered, but Findelkind sat very quietly thinking of his namesake all the day after, and for many days and weeks and months this story haunted him. A little boy had done all that, and this little boy had been called Findelkind—Findelkind, just like himself.
It was a beautiful story, and yet it tortured him. If the good man had known how the history would root itself in the child's mind perhaps he would never have told it, for night and day it vexed Findelkind, and yet seemed beckoning to him and crying, "Go, thou, and do likewise!"
But what could he do?
There was the snow, indeed, and there were the mountains, as in the fourteenth century, but there were no travellers lost. The diligence did not go into Switzerland after autumn, and the country-people who went by on their mules and in their sledges to Innspruck knew their way very well, and were never likely to be adrift on a winter's night or eaten by a wolf or a bear.
When spring came Findelkind sat by the edge of the bright pure water amongst the flowering grasses and felt his head heavy. Findelkind of Arlberg, who was in heaven now, must look down, he fancied, and think him so stupid and so selfish sitting there. The first Findelkind a few centuries before had trotted down on his bare feet from his mountain-pass, and taken his little crook and gone out boldly over all the land on his pilgrimage, and knocked at castle-gates and city-walls in Christ's name and for love of the poor. That was to do something indeed!
This poor little living Findelkind would look at the miniatures in the priest's missal, in one of which there was the fourteenth-century boy with long hanging hair and a wallet and bare feet, and he never doubted that it was the portrait of the blessed Findelkind who was in heaven; and he wondered if he looked like a little boy there or if he were changed to the likeness of an angel.
"He was a boy just like me," thought the poor little fellow; and he felt so ashamed of himself, so much ashamed; and the priest had told him to try and do the same. He brooded over it so much, and it made him so anxious and so vexed, that his brothers ate his porridge and he did not notice it, his sisters pulled his curls and he did not feel it, his father brought a stick down on his back and he only started and stared, and his mother cried because he was losing his mind and would grow daft, and even his mother's tears he scarcely saw. He was always thinking of Findelkind in heaven.
When he went for water he spilt one half; when he did his lessons, he forgot the chief part; when he drove out the cow, he let her munch the cabbages; and when he was set to watch the oven, he let the loaves burn, like great Alfred. He was always busied thinking, "Little Findelkind that is in heaven did so great a thing: why may not I? I ought! I ought!" What was the use of being named after Findelkind that was in heaven unless one did something great too?
Next to the church there is a little stone sort of shed with two arched openings, and from it you look into the tiny church with its crucifixes and relics, or out to great, bold, sombre Martinswand, as you like best; and in this spot Findelkind would sit hour after hour while his brothers and sisters were playing, and look up at the mountains or on to the altar, and wish and pray and vex his little soul most woefully; and his ewes and his lambs would crop the grass about the entrance, and bleat to make him notice them and lead them farther afield, but all in vain. Even the dear sheep he hardly heeded, and his pet ewes Katte and Greta and the big ram Zips rubbed their soft noses in his hand unnoticed. So the summer passed away—the summer that is so short in the mountains, and yet so green and so radiant, with the torrents tumbling through the flowers, and the hay tossing in the meadows, and the lads and lasses climbing to cut the rich sweet grass of the alps. The short summer passed as fast as a dragon-fly flashes by, all green and gold, in the sun; and it was near autumn once more, and still Findelkind was always dreaming and wondering what he could do for the good of St. Christopher; and the longing to do it all came more and more into his little heart, and he puzzled his brain till his head ached.
One autumn morning, whilst yet it was dark, Findelkind made up his mind, and rose before his brothers and stole down stairs and out into the air, as it was easy to do, because the house-door never was bolted. He had nothing with him, he was barefooted, and his school-satchel was slung behind him, as Findelkind of Arlberg's wallet had been five centuries before. He took a little staff from the piles of wood lying about, and went out on to the highroad, on his way to do Heaven's will. He was not very sure—but that was because he was only nine years old and not very wise—but Findelkind that was in heaven had begged for the poor: so would he.
His parents were very poor, but he did not think of them as in want at any time, because he always had his bowlful of porridge and as much bread as he wanted to eat. This morning he had had nothing to eat: he wished to be away before any one could question him.
It was still dusk in the fresh autumn morning; the sun had not risen behind the glaciers of the Stubaythal, and the road was scarcely seen; but he knew it very well, and he set out bravely, saying his prayers to Christ and to St. Christopher and to Findelkind that was in heaven. He was not in any way clear as to what he would do, but he thought he would find some great thing to do somewhere lying like a jewel in the dust; and he went on his way in faith, as Findelkind of Arlberg had done. His heart beat high, and his head lost its aching pains, and his feet felt light—as light as if there were wings to his ankles. He would not go to Zirl, because Zirl he knew so well, and there could be nothing very wonderful waiting there; and he ran fast the other way. When he was fairly out from under the shadow of Martinswand he slackened his pace, and saw the sun come up on his path and begin to redden the gray-green water; and the early Eilwagen from Landeck, that had been lumbering along all the night, overtook him. He would have run after it and called out to the travellers for alms, but he felt ashamed: his father had never let him beg, and he did not know how to begin. The Eilwagen rolled on through the autumn mud, and that was one chance lost. He was sure that the first Findelkind had not felt ashamed when he had knocked at the first castle-gate.
By and by, when he could not see Martinswand by turning his head back ever so, he came to an inn that used to be a post-house in the old days when men travelled only by road. A woman was feeding chickens in the bright clear red of the cold daybreak. Findelkind timidly held out his hand. "For the poor," he murmured, and doffed his cap.
The old woman looked at him sharply: "Oh, is it you, little Findelkind? Have you run off from school? Be off with you home! I have mouths enough to feed here."
Findelkind went away, and began to learn that it is not easy to be a prophet or a hero in one's own country. He trotted a mile farther and met nothing. At last he came to some cows by the wayside, and a man tending them. "Would you give me something to help make a monastery?" he said timidly, and once more took off his cap.
The man gave a great laugh: "A fine monk you! And who wants more of those lazy drones? Not I."
Findelkind never answered: he remembered the priest had said that the years he lived in were very hard ones, and men in them had no faith. Ere long he came to a big walled house, with turrets and grated casements—very big it looked to him—like one of the first Findelkind's own castles. His heart beat loud against his side, but he plucked up his courage and knocked as loud as his heart was beating. He knocked and knocked, but no answer came. The house was empty. But he did not know that: he thought it was that the people within were cruel, and he went sadly onward with the road winding before him, and on his right the beautiful, impetuous gray river, and on his left the green Mittelgebirge and the mountains that rose behind it. By this time the sun was high: its rays were glowing on the red of the cranberry-shrubs and the blue of the bilberry-boughs; he was hungry and thirsty and tired. But he did not give in for that: he held on steadily. He knew that there was near, somewhere near, a great city that the people called Sprugg, and thither he had resolved to go. By noontide he had walked eight miles, and come to a green place where men were shooting at targets, the tall thick grass all around them; and a little way farther off was a train of people chanting and bearing crosses and dressed in long flowing robes.
The place was the Hoettinger Au, and the day was Saturday, and the village was making ready to perform a miracle-play on the morrow. Findelkind ran to the robed singing-folk, quite sure that he saw the people of God. "Oh, take me! take me!" he cried to them—"do take me with you to do Heaven's work!"
But they pushed him aside for a crazy little boy that spoilt their rehearsing.
"It was only for Hoetting-folk," said a lad older than himself. "Get out of the way with you, liebchen;" and the man who carried the cross knocked him with force on the head by mere accident, but Findelkind thought he had meant it.
Were people so much kinder five centuries before? he wondered, and felt sad as the many-colored robes swept on through the grass and the crack of the rifles sounded sharply through the music of the chanting voices. He went on footsore and sorrowful, thinking of the castle-doors that had opened and the city-gates that had unclosed at the summons of the little long-haired boy painted on the missal.
He had come now to where the houses were much more numerous, though under the shade of great trees—lovely old gray houses, some of wood, some of stone, some with frescoes on them and gold and color and mottoes, some with deep-barred casements and carved portals and sculptured figures—houses of the poorer people now, but still memorials of a grand and gracious time. For he had wandered into the quarter of St. Nicholas of this fair mountain-city, which he, like his country-folks, called Sprugg, though the government and the world called it Innspruck.
He got out upon a long gray wooden bridge, and looked up and down the reaches of the river, and thought to himself maybe this was not Sprugg but Jerusalem, so beautiful it looked with its domes shining golden in the sun, and the snow of the Patscher Kofl and the Brandjoch behind them. For little Findelkind had never come so far before.
As he stood on the bridge so dreaming a hand clutched him and a voice said, "A whole kreutzer, or you do not pass."
Findelkind started and trembled. A kreutzer? He had never owned such a treasure in all his life. "I have no money," he murmured timidly: "I came to see if I could get money for the poor."
The keeper of the bridge laughed: "You are a little beggar, you mean? Oh, very well: then over my bridge you do not go."
"But it is the city on the other side."
"To be sure it is the city, but over nobody goes without a kreutzer."
"I never have such a thing of my own—never, never," said Findelkind, ready to cry.
"Then you were a little fool to come away from your home, wherever that may be," said the man at the bridge-head. "Well, I will let you go, for you look a baby. But do not beg: that is bad."
"Findelkind did it."
"Then Findelkind was a rogue and a vagabond," said the taker of tolls.
"Oh, no, no, no!"
"Oh, yes, yes, yes, little saucebox! and take that," said the man, giving him a box on the ear, being angry at contradiction.
Findelkind's head drooped, and he went slowly over the bridge, forgetting that he ought to have thanked the toll-taker for a free passage. The world seemed to him very difficult. How had Findelkind done when he had come to bridges? and oh, how had Findelkind done when he had been hungry? For this poor little Findelkind was getting very hungry, and his stomach was as empty as was his wallet.
A few steps brought him to the Goldenes Dachl. He forgot his hunger and his pain, seeing the sun shine on all that gold and the curious painted galleries under it. He thought it was real, solid gold. Real gold laid out on a house-roof, and the people all so poor! Findelkind began to muse, and wonder why everybody did not climb up there and take a tile off and be rich. But perhaps it would be wicked. Perhaps God put the roof there with all that gold to prove people. Findelkind got bewildered. If God did such a thing, was it kind?
His head seemed to swim, and the sunshine went round and round with him. There went by him just then a very venerable-looking old man with silver hair: he was wrapped in a long cloak.
Findelkind pulled at the cloak gently, and the old man looked down. "What is it, my boy?" he asked.
Findelkind answered, "I came out to get gold: may I take it off that roof?"
"It is not gold, child: it is gilding."
"What is gilding?"
"It is a thing made to look like gold: that is all."
"It is a lie, then!"
The old man smiled: "Well, nobody thinks so. If you like to put it so, perhaps it is. What do you want gold for, you wee thing?"
"To build a monastery and house the poor."
The old man's face scowled and grew dark, for he was a Lutheran pastor from Bavaria. "Who taught you such trash?" he said crossly.
"It is not trash: it is faith."
And Findelkind's face began to burn and his blue eyes to darken and moisten. There was a little crowd beginning to gather, and the crowd was beginning to laugh. There were some soldiers and rifle-shooters in the throng, and they jeered and joked, and made fun of the old man in the long cloak, who grew angry then with the child. "You are a little idolater and a little impudent sinner," he said wrathfully, and shook the boy by the shoulder and went away; and the throng that had gathered round had only poor Findelkind left to tease.
He was a very poor little boy indeed to look at, with his sheepskin tunic and his bare feet and legs, and his wallet that never was to get filled.
"Where do you come from, and what do you want?" they asked.
And he answered with a sob in his voice, "I want to do like Findelkind of Arlberg."
And then the crowd laughed, not knowing at all what he meant, but laughing just because they did not know, as crowds always will do.
And only the big dogs, that are so very big in this country, and are all loose and free and good-natured citizens, came up to him kindly and rubbed against him and made friends; and at that tears came into his eyes and his courage rose, and he lifted his head.
"You are cruel people to laugh," he said indignantly: "the dogs are kinder. People did not laugh at Findelkind. He was a little boy just like me, no better and no bigger, and as poor, and yet he had so much faith, and the world then was so good, that he left his sheep and got money enough to build a church and a hospice to Christ and St. Christopher. And I want to do the same for the poor. Not for myself—no, for the poor. I am Findelkind too, and Findelkind that is in heaven speaks to me." Then he stopped, and a sob rose again in his throat.
"He is crazy," said the people, laughing, yet a little scared; for the priest at Zirl had said rightly, This is not an age of faith. At that moment there sounded, coming from the barracks, that used to be the Schloss in the old days of Kaiser Max and Mary of Burgundy, the sound of drums and trumpets and the tramp of marching feet. It was one of the corps of jaegers of Tyrol going down from the avenue to the Rudolf Platz, with their band before them and their pennons streaming. It was a familiar sight, but it drew the street-throngs to it like magic: the age is not fond of dreamers, but it is very fond of drums. In almost a moment the old dark arcades and the river-side and the passages near were all empty, except for the old women sitting at their stalls of fruit or cakes or toys. They are wonderful arched arcades, like the cloisters of a cathedral more than anything else, and the shops under them are all homely and simple—shops of leather, of furs, of clothes, of wooden playthings, of sweet, wholesome bread. They are very quaint, and kept by poor folks for poor folks, but to the dazed eyes of Findelkind they looked like a forbidden Paradise, for he was so hungry and so heartbroken, and he had never seen any bigger place than little Zirl.
He stood and looked wistfully, but no one offered him anything. Close by was a stall of splendid purple grapes, but the old woman that kept it was busy knitting. She only called to him to stand out of her light.
"You look a poor brat: have you a home?" said another woman, who sold bridles and whips and horses' bells and the like.
"Oh yes, I have a home—by Martinswand," said Findelkind with a sigh.
The woman looked at him sharply: "Your parents have sent you on an errand here?"
"No, I have run away."
"Run away? Oh, you bad boy! Unless, indeed—are they cruel to you?"
"Are you a little rogue then, or a thief?"