Before long it was rumored, likewise, that the grave of Guayos was haunted, or worse, for a black figure had been seen, on some of the darkest nights, squatted or kneeling before his tomb. It was remarkable that this revolutionist should have had a burial-place of his own, when all his relatives and a majority of the people in his station were interred in rented graves, and their bones thrown into the common ditch if the rent were not paid at the end of the second year. Certain old women affirmed that this watching, waiting figure in the dark had horns and green eyes, like a cat's, while other people said that it was merely the form of a man, taller, thinner, more bent than Guayos; therefore not his ghost. But what man?
The anniversary of the hanging had come. The small hours of the morning were tolling, heavily, slowly, over the roofs of the sleeping city. Sleeping? There was one who had no rest that night. An upper window of the house of Morelos looked out upon a court in which two palm trees grew. They had been tall and flourishing. One might see them from the court-room. But for a year they had been shedding their leaflets and turning sere. Tonight their yellow stems had clashed and whispered until the wind was down, leaving the night sullen, brooding, thick, starless, with dashes of rain and a raw chill on the ground that brought out all the malefic odors of the pavement. The window on the side toward the court was closed and curtained. The one overlooking the street was slightly open, and if the night-bird prowling toward the den he called his home had looked up, or had listened, he would have seen the glimmer of a candle and heard the eager scratching of a pen and rustling of papers. For an hour in the first half of the night Morelos had been walking about his chamber. At about three in the morning the housekeeper, whose room was at the opposite end of a corridor from her master's, found herself sitting upright in bed. She did not know why. Nobody had called to her. Listening intently, as if she knew that somebody was about to speak, she distinguished a faint sound of crumpling paper. A chair was moved hastily, and there was a cry in a strained voice, "No, no! My God!" Then the house shook. She bolted her door and prayed. In the morning twilight Don Alonzo Morelos lay very still on the floor of his chamber, with a mark on his throat like that made by the pressure of two crossed fingers.
The citation had been obeyed!
The Virgin's Diamond
Miguel Jose was a loving and dutiful son, but he could help the old folks only a little. He had a heartache every time a letter came from Leon, for he knew it held a request for money, and a private's pay, which at best is small, is frequently nothing in a Spanish regiment. Young Miguel had been on service in Havana for a couple of years, and his parents had been growing steadily poorer. He could hardly buy cigarettes. First it was a pig that was wanted at home; then a better roof on the cottage; then a contribution for a new altar in the village church; finally it was illness, and his mother needed medicines and delicacies. How could he get money? The paymaster had received none in months, he said, and even the officers were in debt. His fellow-soldiers? No; they were as poorly off as he,—so he could not borrow. He could not steal in the streets, for his uniform would betray him. He was not allowed to accept work from civilians, for that was against the army regulations. After dress-parade one evening he went to a lonely place behind the barracks and cried. Then, having leave of absence, he went to one of the churches and knelt for a long time before the Virgin's shrine, imploring her, with moans and tears, to give him some means of relieving his mother's distress. She was a mother. She would understand. She would pity the sufferings of others. There was no answer. He left the dark and empty building tired and disheartened.
Next evening he returned, and for an hour and more he begged the Virgin to bestow some material mercy on his mother. Looking up he was startled, though delighted, to see that the statue of Mary was rolling its glass eyes upon him, and tears stood in them. He bent to the floor, overcome by his emotions. Then a light step sounded over the stones, and, behold! the Virgin had left her pedestal and was regarding him with kindness and pity in her face. Slowly she extended her hand. He gazed with new astonishment, for this was the right hand, bearing the famous diamond which had been placed upon it some years before by a pious resident of Havana. It could not be that she intended this treasure for him! Yes, she smiled and nodded assuringly. With trembling fingers he withdrew the jewel, kissed the outreached hand, stammered his thanks, and, hardly waiting till she had remounted her pedestal, ran from the church.
There was in the city at that time one Senor Hyman Izaaks, whose business—which a cruel law required him to follow in secret—was the relief of pecuniary embarrassments, on security, and our soldier went straightway to the office of that philanthropist, arriving breathless but happy. Senor Izaaks advanced a larger sum on the diamond than Jose had dared to hope for. He wrote a hasty letter, enclosing the banknotes, and mailed it to his parents on that very night.
Next morning the sacristan of the church, who was making his rounds and placing fresh candles on the altar, received a shock. The Virgin's diamond was gone! The priests, the bishop, the governor, the general, the police were notified, and there was a mighty coil. What sacrilegious wretch had done this thing? Miguel had been seen to enter the church on the previous night; therefore suspicion attached to him. He was arrested and charged with the crime. To the astonishment of all, he made no secret of it, though he protested against the word "theft." He was proud to have been the recipient of kindness from heaven, and he related, frankly and circumstantially, how he had appealed to the Virgin, for what good purpose, how she had answered, how Senor Izaaks had taken the stone and given him money for it. A military court was ordered to try him, but it was puzzled to know what to do with him. If the fellow were a common thief he deserved more than prison: he merited the gallows and a quicklime burial, for he had added sacrilege to robbery. But if he were a thief, why did he confess so freely, and even glory in his sin? Then, too, if it were the wish of the Virgin that he should receive this gift, by what right did any civic or military body interfere, for would it not be blasphemy to doubt or deny the designs of Providence? Was not the accused soldier under the acknowledged protection of the Virgin? Would she not visit with indignation, if she did not vigorously punish, the attempt to set aside her benefits?
Truly, here was a pickle! The confession of the accused man had enabled the police to secure the diamond,—which they did without any formalities of payment to Senor Izaaks, to his unbounded grief,—and the ring being restored to the finger of the statue, and the money being on its way across the sea, and the soldier being entitled to some part of it as back-pay, the court-martial at length resolved to release Miguel Jose from arrest. It did so with the historic finding of "Not guilty, but don't do it again."
A Spanish Holofernes
While it has been the fate of women in the Spanish islands to suffer even more than their husbands and brothers from severity and injustice, instances are not lacking in which they have shown an equal spirit with the men. In the insurrections a few of them openly took the field, and the Maid of Las Tunas is remembered,—a Cuban Joan of Arc, who rode at the head of the rebel troops, battled as stoutly as the veterans, and was of special service as scout and spy. Three times she fell into the hands of the Spaniards. Twice she coaxed her way to freedom. The third time the governor gave her to a crowd of brutal soldiers, who afterward burned her alive.
Quite another sort of woman was Nina Diaz, whom Weyler intended to compliment when he said she was the only loyal Cuban, and who is hated by all other Cubans as a fiend. Her love for a Spanish captain was cleverly played upon by Weyler, who induced her to become his spy. She begged contributions for the insurgents. Of course, those who gave were in sympathy with the insurrection, so that all she had to do was to place her list of subscribers in the hands of Weyler, who promptly shot or imprisoned them, or herded them among the reconcentrados to die of starvation. When the Cubans caught her she said that she had a father and a brother in their ranks,—which was true,—and was on her way to them. Where could they be found? They told her and set her free, and in the morning the Spanish troops were on the march to their hiding-place.
It is pleasanter to read of Spanish women serving their own cause than of Cuban women who betrayed their country, and the Spanish dames have often shown as much grit and pride as the dons. Pauline Macias is alleged to have led the soldiers back to their guns in San Juan de Puerto Rico after they had run from Sampson's shells. She seized a sword from an officer, beat the runaways with it, roused them by pleas and commands, and kept them at their work until their pieces were disabled or the ammunition had given out.
In the tradition of an earlier and slighter war the heroine is a woman of still different type. Isabella, wife of the Doctor Diaz, was often called "the queen" in Bayamo, not merely because of her name, but because of her piety, her charities, her beauty, and her dignified bearing. She was young, well reared, distinguished, and her home was a centre for the best society of the town. Among those who felt free to call without invitation were several of the officers of the garrison, most of them models in deportment and dress, and of sufficient breeding to refrain from allusion to politics; for the Diazes, though Spanish by only one remove, were avowedly Cuban in their sympathies, and the revolution was fast coming to a focus. It was understood, however, that Doctor Diaz would remain a non-combatant, for the duty he owed to suffering humanity was higher than the duty his friends tried to persuade him he owed to his country. Hence, the physician and his wife would be under the white flag, it was supposed, and if remarks were made as to their share in the approaching hostilities, it was always with a frank and laughing admission on their part and a jest on that of the accusers.
Among all the men in the garrison but one was actually disliked by the young practitioner and his wife. Captain Ramon Gonzales had been quartered upon them once for a week in an emergency, and his removal to another household had been asked for. It was not that he lacked manners or was obviously disrespectful, but his compliments to the lady of the house were something too frequent, his regard of her too admiring, his air toward the doctor that of the soldier and superior, rather than the friend. Senora Diaz never saw him alone, never invited him to call. He disappeared one afternoon, and it was understood that he had received a summons to return to Havana.
The rising came at last. Fires glimmered on the hills, bodies of men assembled in the woods, the drumming and brawling of troops were heard in hitherto quiet villages, and prayers for the success of the Cuban arms were offered in a hundred churches. But not all the women were content to pray. They were helping to arm their husbands, brothers, sweethearts, sons; they worked together in assembling supplies, hospital stores, clothing, and even in casting bullets.
One or two nights after the first blow had been struck there came a loud summons at the door of Doctor Diaz. Thinking it a call for his services, he stepped into the dark street, when he was seized, handcuffed, placed between two lines of soldiers, and marched away to prison. The despairing cry of his wife, as she peered from the open door and saw this arrest, was the only farewell. He never heard her voice again. He was shot a few days later as an enemy to Spain, the specific charge against him being that of "aiding and sheltering" a rebel, the said rebel being a feeble-minded youth, a "moon-struck," to whom, as a matter of charity, he had given occasional work in weeding his garden. On the night after Doctor Diaz's arrest his wife was requested by a messenger to go quickly to a small house on the edge of the town to meet one who might secure his release, but wished to consult with her as to the means. Hastily wrapping a mantilla about her, she followed the messenger to the street; then, as acting under sudden impulse, left him waiting for a moment, while she returned to bolt a door. In that moment, unseen by the messenger, she slipped a sheathed stiletto into the bosom of her dress.
The house was a ramshackle cottage, with a damp and moldy air pervading it within and without. The negro messenger opened the door without knocking, held it open while she passed in, then abruptly closed it and turned a key on the outside. The woman was trapped. In a minute voices were heard in the street; that of the messenger, and one that she knew better,—and worse,—the voice of Captain Gonzales.
The situation flashed upon her. Her husband had been falsely charged. She had been lured to this place, and would leave it dead or dishonored. The walls of the cabin swam before her, and she had nearly fallen when the sound of the key in the lock aroused her. A fierce chill shook her frame. She held to a table for support. A tumult of thought possessed her, but as the door swung open it quieted to a single idea: hardly a thought: a purpose.
In the light of the single candle that stood on the table she saw Captain Gonzales enter. He had been at the wine. His eyes were heavy, his cheeks a dusky red, his mouth was more sensual, his jaw more cruel than ever. He stepped inside and locked the door. "Your pardon, senora, for these strong measures," he said, in a thick tone. "I am a victim of love and hate. Your hus—another—has hated me. Your husband is—is—likely to be absent for some time. You will require a protector. I have the honor to offer myself. I throw myself at the feet of the loveliest lady in Cuba. I tell her of the love that for the past year has turned my life to torture. I will be her companion, her adorer, only—ha! You smile! It is not possible you care for me? It is joy too great. Senora! Isabella! Can it be?"
"And you never suspected it before?"
The face was white, the lips twitched, but the smile remained. The woman cast down her eyes—what star-bright eyes they were!—then slowly opened her arms. With a roaring laugh Gonzales strode across the room. The laugh changed to a gurgling cry as he placed his hands upon her waist. His hand went to his sword, but fumbled; his knees shook; then he fell backward at full length, with his heart's blood pulsating from a dagger-wound. The wife of Doctor Diaz picked up the key that had fallen from his fingers, unlocked the door, and returned to her home alone.
The Courteous Battle
In the bay where more than three and a half centuries later the Spanish fleet was to be destroyed the don once fought the enemy with different result. It was in 1538, in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba, that the battle occurred,—Santiago of sad memory, with its shambles, where insurgents were shot by platoons; with its landings, where slaves were unloaded at night and marched thence to the plantations, like mules and cattle; with its Morro, connected by wells and traps with caves in the rock beneath, where bodies of men mysteriously done to death slipped away on the tide. A French privateer had appeared before the town, demanding ransom or surrender. Luckily for Santiago, a Spanish caravel had arrived a few days before, under command of Captain Diego Perez, and this gallant sailor offered to go out and defend the town. His ship was attacked as soon as it came within range of the enemy's guns, and, turning so as to deliver an effective fire, he gave as good as he got. All that day the people of the town heard the pounding of the brass pieces and saw the smudge of powder against the blue to the south, yet at the fall of evening little damage had been done: the ships lay too far apart, and the aim on both sides was ridiculous.
Each commander had seen enough of his adversary to respect him, however, and moved by a common impulse they raised white flags, declared for a cessation of hostilities through the night, and every night, so long as they should continue to oppose one another. Then followed an exchange of fruit and wine, of which both crews were in need, and, confident in the honor of their enemies, all hands slept as tired men usually sleep. Said the Spanish captain to the French commander in the morning, "Artillery is a cowardly and abominable invention. It is desired to hurt a foe while those who serve it run no risk. How say you if we put the tompions back into our cannon and fight, as chivalric men should ever fight, with sword and pike?"
To this the Frenchman gave willing consent, and, the ships ranging near, the battle reopened, after prayers and breakfast, to some purpose. With cries of "Santo Iago!" the Spanish tried to board the pirate ship, but could not secure a footing. Blows were exchanged throughout the day, save when one ship or the other drew off, that the wounded might have attention, and the dying prayers, for much blood was shed and several lost their lives. At the end of the day both commanders declared their admiration for the skill and courage of their opponents, and again gave presents of fruit and wine as they stopped work until the morrow. Perez sent ashore that night to tell the people of Santiago that fighting was an exhausting business, and to some extent a risky one, and would they kindly send a few able-bodied fellows to replace the dead and disabled on his ship?
The response to this call was so meagre that he began to mistrust his countrymen, and he asked if, in case he lost his ship, the town would reimburse him, considering that he was risking his all in their defence. After much debate the townsmen replied, through their officials, that they were not in a position to make good his loss, but they trusted that such a calamity would not be possible; that he would maintain a stout heart and fight on to prove the superiority of Spanish valor to French craft; that the blessed Santo Iago would watch over him and his gallant crew; that their best wishes were with him, and that his kindness would never, never be forgotten. A trifle disheartened, Captain Perez nevertheless resumed the fight on the next day, and again on the fourth day, and after the usual exchange of courtesies at evening, he told the privateer on the fifth day that he would encounter with him as usual. The persistence of the Spaniard in thus holding out against seeming odds—for the Frenchman had the larger crew—set the privateer to thinking, and a sudden fear arose within him that Spanish reinforcements were on their way, and that Perez was merely fighting for time until they should arrive. This fear grew until it became belief, though a baseless one, and, hoisting sail as quietly as possible, he stole out of Santiago Bay on the fourth night after hostilities had opened. As thanks are cheap, Perez received a good many of them.
Why King Congo was Late
As in all the Spanish Americas, there were churchly feasts and celebrations in Cuba whose origin has been forgot. Why did the slaves serenade their masters on New Year morning, jingling huge tambourines, and in the villages how came it to be thought that the cause of righteousness was advanced by parades and music on saints' days? Hatred of the Jews was an inheritance rather than an experience, and for lack of Jews to prove it upon there was an annual display of wrath at Judas, who was represented by a grotesque effigy made up of straw, old clothes, and a mask. In the cities this figure was merely called The Jew, and after being carried through the streets with revilings, on the day after Good Friday, it was hanged in some conspicuous place and there stoned and shot by the crowd.
In Santiago there used to be a queer celebration on the 6th of January, "the day of the kings," or "All Kings' day," meaning the kings who journeyed to Bethlehem to worship the new-born Christ. In time this function lost its dignity and became a sport, a gasconade, in which the slaves attired themselves extravagantly and paraded about, begging, blowing horns, beating drums, and bandying jokes with the spectators. In the days of King Congo the procession had some claim to show and importance, if only because he was at the head of it, for he had, in ways known only to himself, come into possession of the chapeau of a captain-general, a lieutenant's coat, one epaulette, a pair of blue breeches, and a belt; hence, attired in all these grandeurs at once, and mounted on a mule, he looked every inch the king he said he was. For, albeit, he had been a slave, he claimed an African king as his father, and as that parent was dead, for aught he could certify to the contrary, the title, if not the crown and emoluments, descended to him; leastwise, nobody on this side of the sea could dispute it; and he bore it with conscious dignity. His family name, if he had one, has been lost, and it is as King Congo that he was known. That his royalty was genuine the other negroes never doubted, and to parade on the day of the kings without a real king of their own color to marshal the procession was not to be thought of.
El Rey Congo was aware of his power and of the impression he made on the humbler residents of Santiago. Every now and then he heightened his superiority to common clay by appearing in public in a starched collar, looking over the top of it with an assumption of pride and ease, as of one born to such luxury, but in reality chafing his neck against its ragged edges and longing to be in the fields, where he would not need to be spectacular. One year the day of the kings dawned without a cloud, and Santiago was in a holiday humor. Everybody who had work to do postponed it till to-morrow, as if All Kings' Day were like every other day; for the procession that year was to be extra large and fine. King Congo was to ride with spurs, though barefooted, and was to have a military guard of four men. The band had been increased, especially in the drum department, and the ladies, who would have figured in the king's court if he had had a court, were turbaned in new bandanas of red and yellow. The clergy and officers of the garrison had promised to review the parade, and the cooper, down by the custom-house, suggested that he'd better put a few hoops around King Congo to keep his swelling heart from cracking his ribs.
A long trumpet-call from the square announced the hour for assembly, and all eyes turned toward the street through which the king had been used to make his entry. He did not come. Tardiness is a privilege of kings. It proves them superior to the obligations laid upon the vulgar herd. Beside, what is an hour in a manana country? But as the hour went by and the king kept refraining from his arrival, some presuming subjects went to look him up, and after much inquiry and pedestrian exercise they found the sovereign in jail. His Majesty explained that he had been arrested for debt a few days before, and that because of a shortage in the paltry coin of a white man's state—a wretched matter of $4.15—he was doomed to remain behind the bars, perhaps forever. The messengers ran back to the square, made an excited appeal to the populace, scratched the required sum together in penny subscriptions, paid the innkeeper every centavo that the king owed him, woke up the sheriff and the magistrate, and before noon King Congo was a free man, in the same old uniform, riding the same old mule, and stiffly bowing to the admiring populace as he passed. The parade was a great success. So was the scheme conceived that morning by el Rey Congo; for, every year thereafter, three or four days before the festival of the adoration, he laid in supplies of rum and cigars, with even a new hat or a second-hand medal, and after getting the goods safely bestowed in his cabin, defied his creditors to collect their pay. The shopkeepers winked at this device, and regularly sent him to jail, for they knew that on the 6th of January their royal customer would pay, though by proxy. And that is more than you can say of some kings. Isn't it?
The Chase of Taito Perico
In 1779 the Bishop of Havana took into his household as servants, and into the cathedral as altar-boys, three harum-scarum Indians, then said to have come from Florida, now believed to have been of Mexican origin, though there were not wanting citizens who solemnly declared that the trio had come from a warmer place than any on the surface of this planet. The object in the bishop's mind was to Christianize the scapegraces and turn them loose among their own people, that they, too, might be made to see the light. The poor old clergyman little knew with whom he had to deal. When the astonishment of the youngsters at the glories of Havana had subsided, and even a regiment with a band could parade without their company, the Indian in them asserted itself once more, and they grieved the bishop by playing hookey, shirking mass, running off to the mountains on hunting trips, and once, when he went out in his night-cap to inquire the cause of a rumpus in his yard, they tripped him up and circled around and around, whooping like demons while he was trying to regain his feet and apply his cane.
At last they upset, not the clergy but the laws. Their offence was not grave, being rather a result of high spirits than of malice, but it brought the constabulary upon them and they were carried to the arsenal to work out the term of their imprisonment at loading ships and other heavy, uncongenial labor. Not many days had passed here before a chance offered for their escape, and they seized upon it, vanishing under the noses of the guard—at least, that was the way the guard reported it—like shadows before the sun. In fact, from that hour they were looked upon as a bit uncanny. The three lads found a hiding-place in the Falaco vegas, among a vagrom populace of brigands, runaway slaves, and wreckers, and there for several weeks they supported themselves by hunting, fishing, gambling, even working a little when sore pressed. Better if they had been left alone to live out their lives there. If useless, they at least were harmless. But, no; the majesty of the law again asserted itself. They were caught by a company of soldiers and marched back to Havana. Their protector and friend, the bishop, was dead. Again they were laden with chains and returned to the arsenal to work out some months of penal servitude. Their natures seemed to change in a day. To them Spaniards and Cubans now stood for tyranny and injustice. They did not understand their imprisonment as a correction: it was an act of oppression, and how were they to know that it would not last for the remainder of their lives? Every waking moment from the time of their second arrest they gave to plots for liberty and vengeance. The escape came presently. It seemed as if walls and bars were not made that could restrain them.
Two days after this last escape the country-side was stirred with horror, for just before dawn a hamlet near Guanes was burned, and when the neighbors, attracted by the flame and smoke seen above the tree-tops, arrived on the ground they found the gashed bodies of the inhabitants lying about on the gore-sodden earth. The quickness, the secrecy of the act were terrifying. All sorts of fantastic reports were spread about the province, especially after the massacre and the burning had been repeated in a second village—and a third—and a fourth. The vega was in a panic. The people went from place to place only in armed bands. The Vuelta Abajo was completely cowed, and sentries patrolled every settlement. It was reported that the murders had been committed by three giants who cut down men, horses, and cattle as they stalked across the country, and whose weapons were charmed, so that they always struck a vital spot, no matter how carelessly they were aimed. The three monsters were of vast strength and horrible countenance; they climbed tall cliffs as cats climb fences, and leaped chasms fifty feet across as other men skip over gutters.
A cave near Cape San Antonio that the aborigines had chambered for tombs was their reputed hiding-place, where they also worshipped their master, Satan, with fantastic ceremonies, and sacrificed in his honor the best of the cattle, sheep, and horses they captured on their raids. And the utter helplessness of the Spanish authorities gave a certain color to these rumors, for the giants snapped their fingers at their pursuers and went on killing, looting, burning, running off stock, always appearing in unexpected places and disappearing like mists at sunrise. Thus, two and a half years went by, and the offer of five thousand dollars each for the heads of the devil-brigands had come to nothing. Finally the Havana authorities were prayed and pestered into a spell of activity. They organized a troop of one hundred and fifty men and sixty dogs, put twenty officers at the head, and sent along four chaplains to pray the evil charms away. The three savages were cornered on a mountain, where two of them were killed after they had inflicted many hurts on their pursuers. The heads of these two were lopped, forwarded to the capital, and every one supposed that the reign of terror was at an end.
But, as if the strength of the slain ones had passed into his arm, the third man, Taito Perico, who had escaped during the fight, became a greater scourge than ever. He was fury incarnate, and so sudden were his visitations, so quick and deadly his work, so complete his disappearances, that more than ever it was believed he was a fiend. He resumed the work of slaughter in the Vuelta Arriba. He had a horse now, carried a huge lance, and killed or wounded almost every one he met,—but not all. There was in this black heart a core of sympathy. Once he stole a little child and kept her with him for some time, lavishing on her the affection of a barbarian big brother, and so endearing him to her that when she was rescued from his jungle haunt, while he was absent hunting, she wept for the kind Taito Perico, even in her parents' arms. Then he stole a boy of eight years and kept him for some months, allowing him at the end of that time to return unharmed to his parents.
It was in one of these abductions that he worked his own undoing. Near St. John of the Remedies lived the pretty Anita de Pareira, daughter of a frugal and worthy couple and fiancee of a prosperous planter of the district. The time for the wedding having been set, the father and mother were in their little garden discussing ways and means, and Anita was indoors trimming the gown in which she was to walk to the altar. Her head was full of pretty fancies, and she hummed softly to herself as she plied her needle or gazed into the distance, smiling at the pictures created by her own fancy. She was rudely awakened from these pleasing reveries. The door was burst in by a tremendous blow with a fist and there stood glaring upon her a Caliban with mighty neck and shoulders, great goggling eyes, a hooked nose, a bush of coarse hair erect upon his head, and a stout lance in his hand. As this creature advanced into the room with extended arms she swooned and did not regain her senses until she had been carried for a mile or more from her home. She found herself lying across the back of a horse that was galloping furiously toward the hills with the savage in the saddle behind her.
The father and mother ran into the road tossing their hands in despair; a dozen belated rescuers hurried to them, each arrival adding his screams to the hubbub; then each advising the rest what should be done, and nobody doing anything. The young planter, Anita's betrothed, was quickly on the ground, and he alone was resolute and cool. He gathered the bolder men about him, saw that they were supplied with proper arms and mounts, and with encouraging words to those who were left behind, he rode away on the outlaw's trail. Over pastures, through ravines, across rivers, under forest arches dim as twilight, they hurried on, a pack of hounds yapping in advance, a broken branch, a trampled bush, a hoof-print in the margin of a stream also giving proof that they were on the right path; a herder, who had seen the ruffian pass, likewise testifying to the fact, and giving his service to the company; and so they came to a clearing, where they found the marauder's abandoned and exhausted horse.
Putting their own horses under guard of negroes, twenty of the men pressed on afoot through tangled vines and thorny bushes, still led by the dogs, until they brought up at the bottom of a tall cliff, and here the hounds seemed to be at fault, for they ran around and around a tree, looking up into it and whining. The herder swung himself into the branches and scrambled almost to the top. "Nobody here," he called. Then, when he had partly descended, they heard him utter an exclamation of surprise. He crept to the end of a long branch and swung lightly to a shelf on the face of the crag. "Footsteps!" he exclaimed, in a low, strained voice, and pointed to a thin turf that covered the jut of rock. The dogs were right. Taito Perico had climbed the tree and scaled the cliff. The dogs were hoisted by means of a lariat, the men gained the shelf, and clambering along in single file they presently reached the summit. A furious barking led them on; then those in the rear heard a shout. The savage was seen, half a mile away, crossing an opening at a run and striking at the dogs that leaped and yelped around him. Leaving his companions to follow the Indian, the lover devoted himself to the search for Anita, and presently found her at the foot of a tree, bound, gagged, but safe and thankful.
For several days and nights the chase went on and on with reinforcements, and the Indian was at last overtaken on the mountain that, in memory of the event, bears the name of Loma del Indio, where he was slain, to the great relief of the whole island. Even in death his aspect was so terrific that the people along the way were set a-shaking and a-praying as his body was carried on to Puerto Principe. Though he could do harm no longer, the post-mortem punishment inflicted on him gave general satisfaction; for the corpse was first hanged, then dragged at a horse's heels, then chopped apart and buried in several places, and the head, in a cage, was exposed on a pole in Tanima. And if three men like Taito Perico could terrorize all Cuba, a hundred of such would have freed it.
The Voice in the Inn
"No trifling, senor. Speak up plainly and say what you heard." The prosecuting attorney gave a nervous twitch at his pointed beard, a habit peculiar to him, and leaned a little toward the witness. The elder judge blinked drowsily, straightened in his chair, then turned and looked at the crucifix on the wall, for when the sun touched the bloody figure on the cross it was time for lunch. It was still in shadow. He sighed. His associates of the tribunal were duly attent.
"I'm afraid you will not believe me," objected the witness.
"Never mind your fears. Come, now: You were passing the deserted inn on the Minas road, you say, when you heard a voice. The voice of one of the brigands?"
"I hardly think so, senor."
"How? You charge this defendant here ——"
"With attempted robbery. Yes, senor attorney. But it was not his voice that spoke. I think worse mischief has been done near the inn."
"Truly. For when this thief heard the words he let his pistol fall and dropped the bridle of my mule. By the moon I could see his face glisten with sweat, and it looked white."
"He was afraid, eh? He was a coward? This poor cheat of a creature could not even be a brigand?"
"Afraid! Any one would be. As for myself, I gave my mule a cut and he was off at a lope, with this fellow coming after as fast as his legs could carry him, until he ran plump into the arms of the civil guard."
"Yes, yes. You have told all that. But this voice. You heard it plainly?"
"Why, yes, although it sounded as if it came from a distance, or from under a building, or—or—out of a tomb. I couldn't—I couldn't help thinking it sounded like a man beneath a floor."
The attorney twisted his beard again impatiently, coughed, then tightly folded his arms. He was silent for a little. Then, as if surprising himself out of a revery, he commanded, "Well, well. Go on."
"This voice, senor," resumed the witness, leaning forward and speaking mysteriously, "it was so hollow and low, and spoke the words so long, like a creature dying and in pain, and it gave me a chill."
"Are you never to tell us what it said?"
"It moaned, 'For the sake of the Virgin, of Her Blessed Son, of the Holy Saint Peter, of the Good God, pray for me. Pray for a sinner. Beg the good fathers at Nuevitas to say a mass for the soul of Enrique Carillo.' Then there was a sort of groan——"
"My God!" It was the prosecutor who had gasped the words.
"Yes, just like that. Ah! Pardon, senor. I did not see. You are ill."
For the lawyer's face had become of a deathly pallor, his head had sunk forward, his lips trembled, his hands shook as they clutched the edge of the table behind him. The idlers in the back of the room were awake in a moment. The sun touched the figure of Christ, splashed with blood in the fashion of the official crucifix, and it seemed to look down on the scene below as in torture. The prisoner's counsel sprang forward, placed a chair for his opponent and helped him to be seated. An officer brought a glass of water, which the lawyer drank eagerly, then sat as in a daze for an instant, shuddered, passed his hands over his face, and said, "I ask the indulgence of the court. I have lost my sleep for the last few nights. I—I——"
The senior judge had half-risen, his wig awry, his hands gripping the arms of the chair. "Clear the court! It is the fever!" he cried.
There was a stampede of the unoccupied in the back of the room. The others in the court reached for their hats and drew away, leaving the prosecutor alone. He smiled faintly. "No, your Honor," he said. "It is over now. It was a touch of faintness; nothing more."
"With the consent of counsel I will adjourn the case."
The face of the prosecutor hardened; he set his jaw doggedly, he regained his feet with a sort of spring. The judges slipped back deeper into their seats; the elder wiped his brow and puffed.
"We will go on," said the attorney, in a calmer voice. "The testimony is practically exhausted. I have to confess that I have been somewhat disappointed in the witnesses, but I submit the case on the evidence without argument."
It was plain that the people's representative was not at his best that morning. The trial was hurried on, the lawyer for the defence insisting principally that, as the complainant had fled from the scene of the attempted robbery without looking back, he could not possibly swear that the man in the prisoner's dock was the one who had held his bridle. Was it not at least probable that the accused had told the truth when he said he had been roused by the outcry of the man on mule-back and had run down the road to see what the matter was? Moreover, as no loss had been suffered, was it not a slender ground for prosecution? The old judge looked back at the crucifix. The illumination was passing. The knees were already in shadow. He was an hour late for his lunch. He whispered with the other judges for a moment, then smote the desk before him. "No evidence. The prisoner is discharged. Adjourn the court," he exclaimed. And for once in the history of Puerto Principe the law had been prompt. The accused, who had been stolid and dull throughout the trial, now smiled cunningly to himself, and saying no word to any one, but with a sidelong look at the lawyers, left the building without loss of time, and after investing a few coppers in bad brandy at the least inviting groggery in town, disappeared down the road leading toward Minas. There were several anxious inquiries at the house of Prosecutor Ramirez that evening, but he was in his usual health. There was no occasion for alarm as to the fever.
Two nights after this a couple of planters were stopped near the old inn by a man of rough appearance, whose face was masked, and were forced at the pistol's point to give up their watches and money. A few nights later a man left town with money to discharge a bill. He never reached his destination. In each case the criminals left no trace. The environs of Puerto Principe were growing in ill-repute.
The prosecutor was leaving home on an evening when rain seemed threatening. This was probably his reason for wearing a cloak,—a protection seldom needed, except at night and in bad weather. It was against his usual habit that he had drawn his cloak high about his shoulders, so that his face was half-concealed, and this made it the more difficult for one who was following to know if he were, or were not, the man he sought. Convinced, after a little, that he was, he hurried forward and placed his hand on his arm. The lawyer started and uttered an exclamation. "Are you not Don Pablo Ramirez?" asked the unknown.
The prosecutor looked long and searchingly at the frank-faced stranger, then answered, shortly, "I am he."
"I thought so. Allow me: I am Captain Alfonso Garcia Estufa, of the Engineer Corps. I come from Havana with authority from the governor-general to confer with you about the brigands in this province."
"Ah, indeed! You are welcome, senor captain. I was about to make a business call on a tenant in this street. May I ask if you will make my house your own till I return? I shall be absent but a few moments. I will go back with you and open the door. Enter, if you please. The sherry is on the sideboard. Cigars you will find on the table. Call my servant, if you require anything." Then, hurrying out once more, the lawyer almost ran upon his errand. In a quarter of an hour he returned and the two began their discussion over a decanter of choice Madeira.
"It still seems to me," said the young officer, after the talk had been going on for some minutes, "that the bold policy is the better, though we may need secrecy in certain cases, for these devils of brigands smell powder a mile away. On my life, they do. I've dealt with them in Pinar del Rio, and they tell me they are more slippery and far-seeing, or far-smelling, in this province. They must have confederates here in town."
"Confederates? Preposterous, senor! Why do you think that?"
"Oh, I've been investigating a little. Either the brigands here are clever, or some man who is more clever has them in hand, and knows enough not to mix with them,—some man who can persuade them, or terrorize them, or shield them. Have you no conceit as to who in this city is fitted for a chieftainship like that?"
"I had hoped you knew your fellow-citizens well enough to advise me whom to watch. No? Then, at least, tell me where it would be best to place my men."
"The trails toward Sibanicu."
"Trails? Sibanicu? Why, there's no travel in that quarter. The robberies have happened between here and Minas."
"Exactly. So many have happened that the brigands must abandon it henceforth. They know they are watched, and I'll warrant your coming here, and the object of it, are already common talk among them."
"People who are bound for the coast are beginning to go around already, so as to avoid the Minas road. If our scamps are as clever as you think, they will not be long in following."
"There is something in that, and I thank you for the hint. We will meet again shortly. Meanwhile, pray study the situation."
"You are not going?"
"I cannot stop with you, senor, greatly as I should be pleased to do so, for I have agreed to meet my lieutenants at the other end of the town. Good-night."
"Good-night, then, if you will not stay. Tell me early what success you have in the chase of our good citizens of Puerto Principe."
The captain left the house with a light and jaunty step, yet he looked about him thoughtfully. He had not gone far when the night stillness was broken by the crack of a fire-arm not ten paces away. A bullet cut his hat. He turned quickly. Nobody was in sight. The air was thick with mist, and nobody was stirring. "Scoundrel!" cried the officer, shaking his fist at the darkness. "You shall pay dear for that—you and your people. Do you hear?"
There was no answer. He walked on at a faster pace.
Before the sun was up next morning the captain and his men had withdrawn from Puerto Principe. Few in the town knew that he had been there. None knew whither he had gone.
It was nine o'clock on the night following the interview. A fitful wind stirred the trees that densely shadowed the Minas road. From a chink in the walls of a dilapidated house that stood back from the highway a light shone faintly, but except for the sough of the leaves and the whirring and lisping that betoken the wakefulness of insect life there was no sound. None? What was that? Down the road, from Nuevitas way, came a blowing and stamping of horses laboring through mud. The crack of light still shone, and nothing moved along the wayside. As the horses came nearer a lantern could be seen hanging from the sheep-neck of the older one, and two voices could be heard in talk,—such village gossip as farmers might exchange when the way was tiresome. The horses plodded on till they were abreast of the house, when there was a whistle; the crack of light widened, suddenly there was a rush of feet, a torch was brandished, and brown hands fell upon the bridles.
One of the riders cried out, flung up his arms, and begged for mercy. They might take his master's money, if they would, but for the sake of St. Isaac, St. Matthew, and St. John, let them spare his life. The other horseman, tall, spare, wrapped in a cloak, swung down from his saddle in a business-like way, addressed a remark in a low tone to the brigands, took the lantern from the neck of his neighbor's nag,—it was a fine, mettled black he rode himself,—turned up the flap of his hat a little, only a little, not enough to reveal his face, and proceeded to rifle the pockets and saddle-bags of his amazed companion. The lantern and the torch shone on six or eight as hang-dog faces as would be met in a day's journey, and among them was one closely resembling the prisoner who had been discharged on a trial two or three weeks before for lack of evidence. The victim of this robbery having given up all he seemed to possess was told to ride straight into town without word or halt, else he would be shot, and a fierce stroke being given with the whip, his horse was off at such a gallop that he had much ado to keep his seat. The thieves heaped the saddle-bags and parcels into the middle of the road and bent near, while the man in the cloak opened them and examined their contents in the flickering light. A gust of wind made the torch flare and put the lantern out. The cloaked man muttered an oath, and had partly risen to his feet, when there came a sound that caused him to stagger and hold his hands to his head as if in mortal terror. It was a wailing voice, and it pleaded, "For the sake of the Virgin, of Her Blessed Son, of the Holy Saint Peter, of the Good God, pray for me. Pray for a sinner. Beg the good fathers at Nuevitas to say a mass for the soul of Enrique Carillo."
The cloaked man groaned. The others crouched, shuddering, and their eyes in the red torch-flame were the eyes of goblins. In another moment a shock ran through the group, for another voice, clear and stern, commanded, "As you value your lives, don't stir. Men, do not fire unless I tell you."
A light flashed up, then another, and the bandits discovered themselves in the centre of a ring formed by twenty men, with the young captain in command. Resistance would have been foolish, flight impossible; yet, as the captain stepped toward the brigand leader, the man in the cloak attempted the foolish and impossible; he fired his pistol full at the captain's head, flung the weapon after the bullet, missing his aim each time, then started to run, upsetting one of the soldiers as he did so.
"Fire!" cried the captain.
Two musket-shots came upon the word. The tall man tumbled headlong. "It is one the less to hang," exclaimed the officer, as he snatched a torch from the hand of one of his men. He bent over the prostrate form: the robber had been killed instantly. He withdrew the cloak from the face and looked long without speaking. Finally he said, "I was a better ghost than I supposed. These brigands will have to elect a new leader, and Puerto Principe must have a new prosecuting attorney."
In the deserted inn, under the kitchen floor, were found the remains of Enrique Carillo and several other victims of the robbers. And it is said that on All Souls' eve their ghosts block the road and beg all who pass to pray for them and to pay for a few masses. Most importunate of all is the ghost of Pablo Ramirez.
IN THE PACIFIC
Finding of the Islands
One of the oldest legends of the Hawaiians relates to the finding of their islands by Hawaiiloa, a great chief and great-grandson of Kinilauamano, whose twelve sons became the founders of twelve tribes. Guided by the Pleiades he sailed westward from America, or northward from some other group,—doubtless the latter,—and so came to these pleasant lands, to the largest of which he gave his own name, while the lesser ones commemorate his children. In another tradition the islands of Oahu and Molokai were the illegitimate children of two of his descendants, who were wedded, but jealous of one another and faithless. Still another folk-tale runs to the effect that an enormous bird, at least as large as the American thunder-bird or the roc of Arabia, paused in its flight across the sea and laid an egg which floated on the water. The warmth of the ocean and the ardor of the sun hatched the egg, and from it came the islands, which grew, in time, to their present size, and ever increased in beauty. Some years after they were found by a man and a woman who had voyaged from Kahiki in a canoe, and liking the scenery and climate, they went ashore on the eastern side of Hawaii, and remained there to become the progenitors of the present race. It suggests the ark legend that this pair had in their canoe two dogs, two swine, and two fowls, from which animals had come all that were found running wild there a hundred years ago. The people can never be thankful enough that these visitors differed from Nuu in their lack of regard for the snakes, scorpions, centipedes, tarantulas, and mosquitoes that are so common to tropic lands, for, having neglected to import these afflictions, the islands got on without them until recently. Mosquitoes were taken to Hawaii on an American ship. The hogs and dogs are descendants of animals that escaped from the wreck of the Spanish galleon Santo Iago in 1527.
Ancient Faiths of Hawaii
Hawaiians claim descent from the Cushites of Arabia, and in their folk-lore they have the same agreement with the Jewish myths which we find so strangely in other tribes that seem to have no relation to one another. Like the Israelites, they believed in a first pair that forfeited paradise by sinning, and were put out of it. Like the Israelites, they built temples and places of worship. Like the Israelites, they practised circumcision. Their priests and chiefs were kin of the gods, and well may they have seemed so if it is true that the kings of the islands were men whose height was nine feet, and who flourished spears ten yards long. Even Kamehameha, who died in 1819, and who was politically the greatest of these rulers, as he established one government over all of the islands, is said to have been a giant in strength.
Without compasses, guided only by sun and stars, the people made long voyages in their canoes—vessels of a length of a hundred feet—and did battle with other races, fighting with spears, slings, clubs, axes, and knives, but not with bows or armor. Doubtless they exaggerate their numbers and their heroism, and in the last great battle, by which Kamehameha became ruler of the group, it may be that there were not quite the sixteen thousand men he claimed to have when he forced the troops of Oahu over the cliff of Nuuanu. The language of Hawaii resembles the tongues spoken in the southern archipelagoes, thereby bearing out the legend of early migrations. As, in the East, we hear tales that seem to hark back to the lost Atlantis, so among the Pacific tribes are faint beliefs in a continent in the greater ocean that sank thousands of years ago, and of coral islands built on its ruins that crumbled or were shaken down in their turn, albeit they served their purpose as stepping-stones between the surviving groups.
The Columbus of Hawaii was Nanaula, a Polynesian chief, who reached them in the sixth century, either blown upon them by gales or actuated in a long search by love of adventure. He carried dogs, swine, fowls, and seeds of food-plants, and for several centuries the people increased, lived in comfort, and enjoyed the blessings of peace. Four hundred years later a large emigration occurred from Samoa and the Society group to these islands, and the new-comers proved to be the stronger. Each island had its chief or chiefs until this century, but their families had intermarried until a veritable aristocracy had been set up, with a college of heraldry, if you please, that recorded the ancestry brags of the Four Hundred. Captain Cook chanced on evil days when his turn came to discover the islands again, for although the people at first thought him to be the god Lono, they were so busy hating each other that they had not time to extend as many courtesies to him as they might have granted at some other period. When they killed him he had incurred their wrath by his overbearing manner, his contempt for their customs, and by trying to make prisoner of a chief who was innocently pulling one of the ship's boats apart to get the nails out. Juan Gaetano, a Spanish captain, sailing from Mexico to the Spice Islands in 1555, is said to have discovered Hawaii, but he said little about it. There are traditions of other white visitors likewise.
While Christian missionaries claimed to have worked the moral regeneration of the islands, the Martin Luther of the group anticipated them by half a year. Liholiho—that was his name—publicly kicked the idols, burned the temples, ate from the dishes of women, and defied the taboo. So soon as the natives discovered that the sea did not rise nor the sky fall, they rejoiced exceeding, and when one of the priests gathered an army and mutinied against the new order, they vehemently suppressed him. Yet the gods whom this soldier-priest defended are said to lament his fall in battle, and the south wind, stirring the shrubbery about his grave, is often heard to sob. The first missionaries were Yankees. They made some converts, acquired real estate, their example and teaching in political and industrial matters were profitably heeded, and peace and prosperity returned to the islands. Catholic missionaries were forbidden by the government to land until 1839, when they were put ashore under the guns of a French man-of-war, and have remained in safety ever since.
The religious faith that white men drove from Hawaii, or think they did, is based on the customary moral precepts, while the theogeny comprehends a trinity, composed of Kane, who plans and who lives in the east; Ku, who builds, and Lono, who directs. These three gods in one, who had existed from the beginning, created light; next they built the three heavens; they then made the earth, sun, moon, and stars. The angels were spat from their mouths, and after the fruitless or experimental creation of Welahilana and Owe, the chief god, Kane, with his saliva, mixed with red earth, made the first man, Kumuhonua, and from his rib took the first woman, Keolakuhonua. These parents of the race were put into a beautiful garden, divided by three rivers that had their source in a lake of living water, which would bring the dead to life when sprinkled over them, and which was filled with fish that fire could not destroy. This living water was found again, ages after, by Kamapikai, who led some of the Hawaiians back to it that they might bathe, and they emerged young, strong, and handsome; but from their third voyage to the lake they never returned. In the garden stood a bread-fruit tree and an apple tree, both taboo. Whether Kanaloa, the rebellious angel, persuaded the first pair to pluck the forbidden fruit, or whether he wrought their downfall in some other fashion, we do not know; but he was angry because they refused to worship him, and because the man whom he had created could neither rise nor speak; so, in the form of a lizard, he went into the garden and beguiled the pair. Kane sent a large white bird and drove them out. Of the three sons of the parents of the race the elder slew the second, and in the thirteenth generation came the deluge, from which Nuu was saved, for at the command of Kane he built an ark, took refuge in it with his family, and, with pairs of every species of bird, beast, and reptile, was released by the gods after the water had gone down, and found that his ark was resting on the top of Mauna Loa. The rainbow was the stair by which Kane descended to him, and it was left in the sky as a token of forgiveness. As the history proceeds we recognize the story of Abraham, and of Joseph and his brethren, and the likeness to the Bible narrative ceases after an account of the long wanderings and troubles of the people in their search for the land set apart for them by Kane,—a search in which they were led by two brothers.
It was only in the eleventh century that the priesthood became a power, exalted itself above the kings, prescribed senseless ceremonials and forms of worship, invented so many gods that they often forgot the names of them, and devised the prohibition, or taboo, the meaning of that word being "Obey or die." Among these gods none are more curious than the stones of Kaloa beach, Ninole, Hawaii. The natives, who believed that they had sex, and propagated, chose male specimens for their household deities. In order to make sure whether or not they were really gods, the stones were blessed in a temple, wrapped in a dress, and taken to see a game of skill or strength. If the owner of the god won he gave to the piece of stone the credit for his victory and established it in his house; but if he lost, the stone was thrown aside. If the believer wanted to make sure of finding a god he would take a beach pebble of each sex, wrap the two in cloth, and put them away for a time. When they were brought back to the light a smaller pebble, the result of their union, was found with them. This grew, like an animal, until it was of a size to be blessed by the priests and formally declared to be a god. The original pebbles are of black trap, compact lava, and white coral. Beside the gods there were spirits that could be called from the grave by wizards, although this power rested only with the strongest and most righteous of the class. The soul of a living creature might also leave his body and exhibit itself to one at a distance, as Margrave projected his luminous apparition in Bulwer's "Strange Story."
It was the gods of the second rank, however, that seemed most busy for good or mischief in human affairs: such gods as Pele, the spirit of the volcanoes, with her five brothers and eight sisters who lived in the flaming caverns of Kilauea; or as Kalaipahoa, poison-goddess of Molokai, and her two sisters, who put a bane on the trees so deadly that they rivalled the fabled Upas of Java, and birds fell lifeless as they attempted to fly above them (a volcanic sulphur vent was probably the origin of this tale); or, as Kuahana, who slew men for sport; or, as Pohakaa, who rolled rocks down the mountains to scare and hurt travellers; or, as the shark and lizard gods that lashed the sea into storms and wrecked canoes. War gods of wood were carried in battle, among them the fierce-looking image of Kalaipahoa, born in the van of the army of Kamehameha, and made at a cost of many lives from one of the trees poisoned by that goddess. Its fragments were divided among his people after the king's death. Apropos of this figure, a gamester had lost everything except a pig, which he did not dare to stake, as it had been claimed for a sacrifice by a priest with a porkly appetite. At the command of a deity, however, who appeared in his dreams, he disregarded the taboo and wagered the pig next day. Being successful in his play, he in thankfulness offered half of his gains to the deity. This god appeared on a second night and told him that if the king would make an idol of a certain wood growing near she would breathe power into it, and would make the gambler her priest. So the king ordered a tree to be cut. As the chips flew into the faces of the choppers they fell dead. Others, covering their bodies with cloth and their faces with leaves, managed to hew off a piece as large as a child's body, and from this the statue was carved with daggers, held at arm's-length; and Kalaipahoa means Dagger-cut. Another god of the great king was Kaili, which was of wood with a head-dress of yellow feathers. This image uttered yells of encouragement that could be heard above the din of conflict.
Statues of the gods were kept in walled enclosures, sometimes four or five acres in extent, within which stood the temples and altars of sacrifice, and there the people read the fates, as did the Greek and Roman soothsayers, in the shapes of clouds and the forms and colors of entrails of birds or of pigs killed on the altars. Human sacrifices were offered on important occasions, but always of men,—never of women or children. If no criminals or prisoners were available, the first gardener or fisherman was captured, knocked on the head, and his body left to decay on the altar. Oil and holy water were used to anoint the altar and sacred objects, and when a temple was newly finished its altar was piled with the dead. There is a striking universality among people in the brutal stage of development in this practice of pacifying their deities by murder. When a king or high priest offered a sacrifice of a foeman the butcher gouged the left eye from the body and gave it to his superior, who pretended to eat it. If a victim succeeded in escaping to a temple of refuge he was safe, even though he had killed a king or slapped the chops of a wooden god.
All over the islands are natural monuments associated with instances that prove the faith of the people in gods, fiends, spirits, and heroes. At Mana Beach the "barking" or whistling of the sands under the tread is held to be the wailing of buried Hawaiians, complaining that they are disturbed. Here, too, dwells the ghost of the giant Kamalimaloa, rising through the earth with spear and helmet at certain seasons and seeking two beautiful girls who scorned him in life, and whom he is doomed never to meet in death. Holes and caves that abound in the lava—old craters, bubbles, and steam-vents—also have their stories. On Kauai they show a series called Pele's Jumps, because when the fire-goddess was driven from that island by the water-gods she made three long steps in the soft crust before undertaking the final leap that landed her on the slope of Kilauea. Each of these pits would hold a hotel. Another chasm was made by pulling a monster turtle out of his lair, while he slept, with the intent of eating him. This pit is thousands of cubic yards in extent, and the turtle may be seen on a neighboring mountain, turned to stone by the curses of the chief from whom he tried to sneak away when he noticed that preparations for cooking were forward. Near the famous Hanapepe Falls is the cave of Makaopihi, variously regarded as a chief, a devil, and a god, who took refuge here from his enemies, but every now and then showed his contempt for them by going down the long slope that is still called his slide,—a recreation that to an ordinary mortal would mean death.
It is curious, if not significant, that in the language of Tahiti, which is related to that of these islands, Maui appears, not as a place, but as a sun god who destroyed his enemies with a jaw-bone, while the word hawaii means hell. Strange, indeed, that one of the most heavenly corners of the earth should have taken on a name like that. The volcanoes may have terrified the early comers to such a degree that it seemed the only fitting one if they chanced to arrive in the time of an eruption.
The Giant Gods
Gods and demi-gods as vast as their mountains are celebrated in the traditionary chants of the Hawaiians. While the largest island in the group seems to have been their favorite residence, it was the easiest thing imaginable to move, since they had only to step on board of their enchanted canoes and make a wish and they were at once wafted to any port they desired. A few of them did not need any canoes: they were of such height they could step from island to island, and could wade through the deepest oceans without submerging their heads. Kana would often straddle from Kauai to Oahu, like a colossus of Rhodes, and when a king of Kahiki, who was keeper of the sun, undertook to deprive the people of it, because of some slight, Kana waded across the sea and forced that king to behave himself instanter; then, having seen the light properly placed in the sky, he spread his breech-clout over a few acres of volcano to dry, and took a nap on a mile or so of lava bed. This deity had the power of compressing himself into a small space, and likewise of pulling himself out to any desired length, like an accordion, so that there was not water in the eight seas deep enough to drown him.
And Maui, the demi-god, was even more tremendous in his bulk. Whales were his playthings, and sharks were minnows beside him. He had to swim in water that reached only to his waist, because there was no deeper, and even then his head was circled by clouds. He had a wife of an immensity comparable to his own. Once, while busily beating out a piece of bark-cloth, the sun sank low before she had finished her task. Like the excellent housewife that she was, she did not wish the day to end on work unfinished, so, at her request, Maui reached out into the west, seized the sun, without burning his fingers much, pulled it back to noon and held it there for two or three hours while the making of the cloth proceeded. Then it resumed its journey through the heavens, and has kept excellent time ever since.
The First Fire
The demi-god Maui lived near Mauna Kea, and in roaming over that mountain he often felt the chill that is in high places. It set him wondering why the volcano gods had never given to men the secret of fire, that so warmed and comforted one at night. To take it from the craters was dangerous. One was liable to be stifled by sulphur, blinded by dust, scalded by steam, and destroyed by lava, for the crust was continually breaking and falling. The mud-hens, or bald coots, had the secret, however, and when he came upon their little fires in the woods, Maui hid among the trees and watched. Despite his vast bulk, he was not observed, or was more probably mistaken for a hill, for presently the mud-hens assembled in a glade, before his eyes, and made a fire by rubbing dry sticks together. They cooked fish and roots over the fire, and the savor of the banquet was so appetizing that Maui could not resist the temptation: he reached out and confiscated the dinner, and the mud-hens flew off crying.
His attempt to catch the hens and learn from them how to make fire did not succeed until he had rolled himself in bark-cloth; for, so disguised, and after patient waiting, he captured the mother hen. She tried to deceive him, for she did not want the secret to leave her family. She told him to rub taro stalks on the line of their spirals, the twist being put there for that purpose. He tried it without effect, and gave the old hen's neck a twist to make her tell the truth. She finally showed him how to make sparks with old, dry chips, and he let her go, but not until he had rubbed her head until it was raw, to punish her delay and falsehoods. And to this day the head of this bird is bare of feathers.
The Little People
Hawaiians believe in "little people" that live in deep woods and peep and snicker at travellers who pass. This belief is thought to go back to the earliest times, and to hint at the smallness of the original Hawaiians, for one may take with a grain of salt these tales of the giant size of their kings and fighters. The first "little people" were grandchildren of Nuu, or Noah, and the big people who came after were Samoans. While anybody may hear these fairies running and laughing, only a native can see them. They are usually kind and helpful, and it is their law that any work they undertake must be finished before sunrise; for they dislike to be watched, and scuttle off to the woods at dawn.
Pi, a Kauai farmer, wanted a ditch to carry water from the Waimea River for the refreshment of his land near Kikiloa, and, having marked the route, he ordered the menehune, as they call the little people, to do the work. It would have been polite to ask rather than to command; still, they did what was required of them, each oaf lugging a stone to the river for the dam, which may be seen to this day. The hum and bustle of the work were heard all night, and so pleased was the farmer, when morning came and the ditch was built, that he set a feast for the menehune on the next night, and it was gone at daybreak. There were no tramps in Hawaii, so the menehune must have eaten it. Conceiving that he had acquired what our ward statesmen call a "pull" with these helpers, he planned an elaborate fish-pond and put them at work again. He had staked off such an immense area that the little people could not possibly finish it by morning. As light streaked the east and the cocks crew they scampered away to the mountains, dripping with sweat and angered at the man who had so abused their willingness. And they could never be induced to work for him again.
Although of supernatural power themselves, the little people are religious, and have built several houses to the gods. On the face of the mountain wall, two thousand feet high, back of the leper settlement at Molokai, is a ledge that can be reached neither from above nor below, and on it stands a temple of their construction. In Pepeeko, Hilo, the natives labored for a month in quarrying and dressing stone, but when it was ready the elves built their temple in a night. So at Kohala they formed a chain twelve miles long between the quarry and the site, and, passing the blocks from hand to hand, finished the great enclosure before sunrise.
Yet these fairies had a taste for mischief, and could be as active in it as so many boys. When a child on Maui, Laka was so loved by his father that he would travel many miles to buy a toy for him, and hearing of a strange new plaything in Hawaii, the father sailed to that island to get it. He never returned, for the natives killed him and hid his skeleton in a cave. When Laka had come to man's estate he began preparations for a voyage to that island, that he might either find his father or know his fate, for of his death he did not learn until long after. In these preparations he was oddly thwarted. Every time he hewed down a tree for a canoe it was gone in the morning. Out of patience, he resolved to catch the thieves. In order to make their task especially hard, he dug a hole into which the tree fell, when he had chopped it, so that his enemies would have to lift it out before they could carry it away. Then, in the shadow, he waited. At midnight a small humming and giggling were heard in the bushes and a company of menehune stole out into the shine of the moon. They began to tug at the fallen tree. Laka sprang upon them and captured two, the others running away with shrill screams. Laka threatened to kill his prisoners for the trouble they had made, but he did not really intend to hurt them. Their tears and cries and the rapid beating of their hearts, that he could feel as he held them under his arms, stirred his pity, and he agreed to let them go if they would promise to assemble their tribe, drag the tree to his canoe shed on the shore and fashion it into a boat. This they promised so eagerly that he put them back on the earth and laughed as they scampered into the thicket. True to their promise, they dragged the tree to the ocean that very night, and carved and hollowed it into the finest vessel to be seen on the island; so, friendly relations being thus established, Laka set a feast for them, which they ate in thankfulness and never troubled him more. Whether he succeeded in the search for the parental bones, or left his own to whiten on the same soil, is not recorded, but you can see for yourself the hollow he dug for the tree, and his canoe shed was standing after white men reached the group.
The Hawaiian Iliad
Kaupepee, who might have governed Molokai in the twelfth century, had he not chosen war as his vocation, was a believer in home rule. He did not like the immigrants who were swarming northward from Tahiti and Samoa. Though they resembled his own race, to be sure, and spoke a language he could understand, he regarded them as greedy and revolutionary, and they worshipped strange gods and sometimes misused the people among whom they had cast their fortunes. So Kaupepee resigned his kingship to his brother, and became a fighter, a devastator. With some hundreds of hardy men at arms and the finest ships of the time, hewn from Oregon pines and Canada spruces that had drifted to the islands, he bitterly harassed the other kingdoms, dashing ashore at the principal towns in buccaneer fashion, laying violent hands on their stores, capturing their handsomest women, breaking the taboo in their temples, killing a dozen of their men, then flying to his canoes again, hoisting his red sails, and putting off before the astonished people knew exactly what had happened.
This prince had fortified himself in quite a modern fashion at Haupu, in his native kingdom. From the land side the tract was reached only by a narrow dike which he had walled across with lava blocks, a tunnel beneath this obstruction affording the only exit toward the mountains. On the ocean front he had also built his forts of stone, although the sea boiled five hundred feet below and the plateau ended in an almost sheer precipice. Deep ravines on either side of the stronghold bent around it to the rocky neck, thus making the place almost an island. In these ravines were narrow paths by which his people descended to their boats, secreted on the dark and winding waters or hoisted on the rocks. This was the Troy of the Pacific; Kaupepee was the Paris, and here he brought his Helen, who was Hina, the most beautiful woman of her day, and the wife of a chief in Hawaii. Kaupepee, encouraged by his oracles, inflamed by reports of the woman's charm, had been lurking along the coast for some time, watching for his opportunity. It came when Hina ventured into the sea to bathe on a moonlight evening. Kaupepee, dashing from his concealment, intercepted her escape, shouted to his men who were in waiting behind a wooded point, and while the woman's friends and attendants fled shrieking to the shore, he lifted her into his canoe, paddled away to his double barge a half mile out, placed his lovely captive in a shelter on board, and began the return voyage. The drum could be heard in the village rousing the people, and lights twinkled among the trees, showing that a pursuit was intended. In vain. The dusky Menelaus may have put to sea, but he never appeared in view of the flying ships. During the two days occupied in the run to Molokai the prisoner refused food, and begged to be put to death. She was assured that no harm was intended to her. On arriving at the fort of her captor she was surprised by the appearance of women who had been stolen from her villages before, and who were now to be her maids; nor could she restrain an exclamation of pleasure when she was ushered into what for the next eighteen years was to be her home. It was hung and carpeted with decorated mats; its wooden frame was brightly painted, festooned with flowers, and friezed with shells; couches of sea-grass were overspread with cloth beaten from palm fibre; heavy curtains hung at the doors; ranged on shelves were ornaments and carved calabashes, while there was a profuse array of feathered cloaks and other modish millinery and raiment.
All, from Kaupepee to the humblest soldier, had paid the respect to her that was the due of a queen. She was told that she could enjoy a certain amount of liberty, and if she suffered from her slight captivity she was asked what might be thought of her new lord whose heart she had absolutely in her keeping, and who was therefore less free than she. This pretty speech and the really kind treatment she had received, together with a hearty and needed meal of fruit, fish, potatoes, and poi, caused her to look on her situation with less of despair. She belonged to a simple race, whose moral code was different from ours; she was more luxuriously surrounded than she had ever been before; Kaupepee was bold and handsome; he was, moreover, strangely gentle in her presence, thoughtful of her comfort, and—well, she fell out of love with her old husband and in love with the new.
Matters were not so very dull while the war lord was away on his forays. A considerable populace had been drawn to Haupu, and there were dances and feasts, games, excursions, trials at arms, races, and swimming matches, in which Hina shared when it pleased her. Reservoirs for water, storehouses for food, and parks of ammunition were also to be established, for none could tell when the fort might be attacked. A long time passed before it was besieged. That time might never have come had not Hina left at home two sons with long memories. For years, as they approached manhood, they devoted themselves to rousing the people of all the islands and preparing a navy that should be invincible. Kaupepee kept himself informed of these measures, and now and again discouraged them by swooping on their shipyards, destroying their craft, and running off with a priest or two for a sacrifice. This kind of thing merely hastened his punishment, and in time ten thousand soldiers in two thousand boats were sighted from the battlements of Haupu. A land force was sent to attack the stronghold from the hills. Kaupepee's brother could not prevent this. He was allowed to remain neutral. He foresaw the inevitable. When he implored the chief to give up Hina, save himself and his warriors, and agree to a future peace, Kaupepee would not listen. He had a thousand men, well armed, and his enemies had an almost life-long hate to gratify. "If my day has come," he said, "let it be as the gods will. When the battle is over, look for me on the walls. I shall be there among the dead." The king went away with bowed head, for he knew he should never see the defender of Molokai again.
Early in the morning the fleet put out from its harborage, where the gods had been invoked and the priests had declared the omens kindly. The mother of Hina stood in the prow of one of the first canoes, her white hair blowing about her head in snaky folds, her black eyes glittering. A fire burned before her on an altar of stone, and on this she threw oils and gums that yielded a fragrant smoke. As the walls of Haupu came in sight, bristling with spears, she began a battle-song, which her warriors took up, crew by crew, until the mighty chant echoed from the crags and every heart thrilled with the hope of conflict. As the boats advanced almost within reach of the slings from the citadel, the land army was seen advancing over the mountains far in the distance. Haupu would be beleaguered shortly. Kaupepee gathered his people around him, told of the odds against them, and confessed that the end might be defeat, adding that if there was one whose heart failed him the gates were open and he could leave, freely, with the good-will of all who stayed.
Not a man moved. With one cry of "Close the gates!" they declared for death, if so be that the gods were against them. The chief smiled and prepared for the defence. Some cried that the shore was crowded with enemies. Kaupepee replied, in Spartan phrase, "Our spears will be the less likely to miss." A messenger arrived offering terms if Hina were given up. The answer was, "She is here. Come and take her."
The land force had been making a demonstration against the narrow bridge of rock that led to the fortress, and had succeeded so well, according to a prearranged plan, that almost the entire garrison had crossed the plateau to that side, when shouts of triumph arose from the ravines. The enemy had entered them and was smashing the boats of Kaupepee to fragments. That cry of defiance was mis-timed. In a few moments a thunderous roar was heard that echoed through the abyss and paralyzed the hands of those who were attacking the gates. The men who had run to the walls, on hearing the shouts below, had let loose, into the depths, a deadly avalanche of earth, rocks, and timber. When the dust of it had drifted out, scores, hundreds, of dead and dying were seen half-buried in the fallen mass. Armed with spears, knives, and axes, a little company sprang over the parapet, and, running down the narrow trail to the bottom, despatched the survivors,—all save a few who swam to the reserve boats, and six who were carried up to the fort for sacrifice. One majestic chief, who had led this attack from the sea, avoided knives and missiles and drew away in safety with the other few who escaped. He was one of the sons of Hina. "He is brave; I am glad he remains unharmed," said Kaupepee.
For several days the siege went on, the men within the defences taking heart from this first success, that had cost the enemy two thousand men. The sea approach was abandoned, and now that Kaupepee's boats were destroyed or injured, so that he could not get away, the assailants concentrated their efforts on the landward side. They had devised a movable wall of wood, heavily braced, like that used by the Romans and Assyrians in their military operations. Foot by foot they gained the isthmus and slowly crossed it, those immediately behind this defence being protected from the slings and javelins of the garrison,—that reached those at a greater distance, however. On a rainy night they pushed this wall against the gates, found the entrance to the tunnel, and at dawn were ready for the final assault. It began with a downpour of spears and stones, before which it was impossible to stand. Then the heavy slab that masked the inner door to the tunnel was lifted, and in another minute five thousand men were pouring over the walls and through the passage. Not one man attempted flight. Contesting every inch of ground and fighting hand to hand, the men of Molokai retired before the invaders. There was an incessant din of weapons and voices. At last, the garrison—the fifty who were left of it—and their chief were crowded to the temple in the centre of the plain. One of the besieging party scrambled to the roof and set it afire with a torch. The fated fifty rushed forth only to hurl themselves against the hedge of weapons about them. Kaupepee was transfixed by a spear. With his last strength he aimed his javelin at the breast of a tall young chief who suddenly appeared before him,—aimed, but did not throw; for he recognized in the face of the man before him the features of the woman he loved,—Hina. The javelin fell at his side and he tumbled upon the earth, never to rise again. Every man in Haupu was killed, and its walls were levelled: Hina was found in her cottage, and although she bewailed the death of her lover, she rejoiced in her restoration to her mother and her sons.
The Hawaiian Orpheus and Eurydice
Upon the slopes of Hualalai, just under the clouds and among the fragrant sandal-woods, lived Hana and her son, Hiku. They made their living by beating bark into cloth, which the woman took to the coast to swap for implements, for sea food, for sharp shells for scraping the bark, and she always went alone, leaving Hiku on the mountain to talk to the animals, to paint pictures on the cloth, and to play on curious instruments he had made from gourds, reeds, and fibre, for he could play music that made the birds stop in their flight to listen. The mother loved the son so much that she wished to keep him by her so long as she lived, and that was why she never let him go with her to the shore. She believed that if he visited the towns and tasted the joys of surf-riding, shared in the games of the athletes, and drank the beer they brewed down there, and especially if he saw the pretty girls, he would never go back to his mountain home. And though Hiku wondered what life was among the people on the shore, he was obedient and not ill content until he had passed his eighteenth birthday.
As he sat one evening with eyes fixed on the far-off sea, sparkling under the moon, the wind brought the hoarse call of the surf and a faint sound of hula drums, and a sudden impulse came upon him to see the world for himself. He called to his mother that he was going down the mountain. She tried with tears and prayers and warnings to stay him, but his resolution was taken, and off he went, saying that he would be back again some day. Though he was as green as grass and untaught in the practices of the settlements, Hiku was a fellow of parts. He was not long in making a place for himself in society, and his first proceeding was to tumble head over heels in love. His flame was Kawelu. She received him graciously, flung wreaths of flower petals about his neck in the pretty fashion of her people when he called, as he did every day from sunrise until dark; and when he could row a canoe and had learned how to swim and to coast over the breakers in her company, he had gained paradise.
The day came, however, when these pleasures palled upon him, when he wondered if his mother had kept on sorrowing, when he had a longing to see his old home, to breathe the pure, cool air of the hills. He was an impulsive fellow, so he kissed Kawelu and told her that he must go away for a while; that she could not go with him, because his mother would probably dislike her. He had not walked a mile before he discovered that Kawelu was following secretly. He increased his speed, yet still she followed, and presently this persistence on her part began to anger him. The one thing he had taken from home was a magic staff that would speak when questions were put to it, and the youth now asked what could be done to turn the girl homeward. It told him to order vines to spring so thickly behind him that she could not break through, and they so sprang at his command. He could no longer see Kawelu when he looked back, though he heard her voice calling softly, reproachfully, and when he reached home, to the joy of his mother, he knew that the girl must have given up the pursuit, as she really had; for, discouraged by the steepness of the mountain and the ever-increasing tangle of vegetation, she returned to her village.
This seeming indifference on the part of the young mountaineer was more than she could bear. She lost interest in sports and work, fell into a lovesickness, and though her father, the chief, sacrificed many black pigs on her behalf, it was of no use,—she died of a broken heart. They wrapped her body in the finest cloth, beaten by the widow and her son, and placed it, with many lamentations, in a burial cave hard by. Such was the dismal news that Hana took to her son after she had been to the settlement to sell a batch of fabric, and it filled Hiku with consternation, for he had intended to go back for the girl as soon as he could reconcile his mother to the idea of a daughter-in-law. He realized what a fool and a brute he had been, and it was of little use for him to tear out his hair and roll upon the ground in the way he did. He left his work and wandered among the lava fields, muttering to himself, gesturing wildly, and beating his breast. Finally it occurred to him to ask his staff how he could amend for his wrong-doing, and was told there was but one way: to rescue the girl from the place of the dead, in the pit of Milu, on the other side of the island.
He lost no time in obeying this oracle, and on arriving at the wild and lonely spot he made a swing of morning-glory vine, which here grows very long, and let himself down, having first smeared himself with rancid grease to make the shades believe he was dead. Thousands of spirits were chasing butterflies and lizards in the twilight gloom of the place or lying under trees. He despaired of being able to discover the spirit of Kawelu. But she had seen him; she hurried to him; she clasped him in a fond embrace; for she had forgiven his wrong conduct, and now she was asking him, sympathetically, how he had died. He evaded an answer, but bestowed on her a thousand endearments, the while he was slowly working his way up the vine, in which he affected to be merely swinging; then, just as she began to show alarm at having been taken so far from her new home, he clapped a cocoanut shell over her head and had her safe, a prisoner.
With the soul enclosed in the shell, he tramped back to her home, living on wild fruits and yams on the way, and on poi that was offered to him by strangers whom he met. The chief received him and his news joyfully, but he did not know how to restore a soul to a body until his oldest priest took the case in hand. Kawelu's corpse was taken from the tomb, its shiny wrappings were removed and incantations were performed about it. Then the priest raised a toe-nail, took the soul from the shell and pressed it under the nail, working it upward with both hands. It passed the ankle and knee with difficulty, but was finally pushed into place in the heart. Kawelu gasped, opened her eyes, sat up, embraced Hiku, and the people cried that their princess was alive again. There was a great pounding of drums, much singing, dancing, and feasting; every one wore wreaths, and Hiku was praised without stint for his love and daring. The lovers were married, never to part again. Kawelu remembered nothing of what had happened to her after she was turned back by the vines on the mountain, and did not know that her soul had been among the dead. And though he might have taken a dozen wives when he succeeded his father-in-law as chief, Hiku loved Kawelu so well that he never thought of taking even a second helpmate. He brought his mother from her solitary hut on the mountain, and she and the bride became very fond of one another. So all the days of Hiku and Kawelu thereafter were days of happiness.
The Rebellion of Kamiole
In the year 1170, or thereabout, Kanipahu was king of Hawaii. He was of Samoan origin, grandson of the builder of that temple whose ruins are still to be seen at Puepa in walls over eight hundred feet around, twenty-six feet high, and eight feet thick at the top. It is recorded that the stone for this construction was passed from hand to hand by a line of men reaching all the way to Niuli, a matter of nine miles. Despite the improvements in building and other arts that had come in with the Samoans, the Normans of this Pacific Britain; despite the centralizing of power that enabled them to break down the oppressions of petty lords; despite the satisfaction of the common people, the aristocracy was restive, and sought constantly for excuses to rouse their subjects against the new domination. Wikookoo, head of King Kanipahu's army, having eloped with the sister of Kamiole, a disaffected chief, the latter burst in upon the king's privacy soon after with a demand for vengeance. He had met the woman near the king's house and had struck her dead, as he supposed, that she might not be "degraded" by bearing children to a plebeian immigrant.
The king was a just and patient man, and kept his temper, in spite of the visitor's harshness, not only to Wikookoo but to all his people. Though he could have ordered him to be slain, he yielded to his general's demand for permission to fight a duel. The pair faced each other at fifty feet, hurled two spears without effect, then closed with javelins. Wikookoo was hurt, and deeming that honor was satisfied the king ordered the fight to cease. Kamiole gave no heed to his words. He had a tiger's thirst for blood. Like a flash he leaped upon the fallen man and pounded the weapon into his heart. This rebellion against the king and the savagery of the killing caused an outcry of rage and horror. The murderer's chance was desperate. "Face down!" commanded the king. This was the command to put the offender to death. A dozen sprang to execute the order. Kamiole tugged the javelin out of his foeman's body and hurled it at the king. It wounded a young man, who had flung himself in front of his liege, and in the confusion of the moment Kamiole escaped, running like a deer through a shower of stones and darts, gaining his boat and sailing away for his native state of Kau.
Blown with pride in his exploit, the rebel set about the raising of an army to drive the new people from the island. It needed only a leader, like him, to urge disaffection into revolt, and not many weeks after nearly all Hawaii was on the march against the king. Deserted by thousands of his followers, and being a man of peace, albeit having no lack of courage, the king withdrew to the island of Molokai and became a simple farmer among a strange people. He was nearly seven feet in height,—a common stature among men of the first families in that day,—and the neighbors marked him; but he stooped his shoulders and worked hard; so, ere long, his appearance was not accounted strange. Kamiole was now the first man in Hawaii. He was not a reformer. Consumed with pride, arrogant, brutal, brooking no opposition, he made enemies day by day. Only because the people had had enough of war did they endure in silence, and hope for an illness or an accident to remove the now hateful tyrant.
Unknown to Kamiole, the sister he had struck down survived his assault, and bore a daughter to the late Wikookoo, a pretty maid, who, in good time, married the son of the exiled king, a quiet, dreamy youth, who lived apart from his fellows in the interior of Hawaii, finding his company and his employ in the woods and on the vast mountain slopes. Eighteen years had passed when this prince was rudely waked from his idyllic life. An old priest, who alone knew the hiding-places of the king and his son, had tried to rouse the former to reassert his rule. The king welcomed him and wished success to the movement for the overthrow of Kamiole, but he refused command of his old army,—refused to return to Hawaii. "I am old," said he, "and so bent that I can no longer look over the heads of my people, as becomes a king. I am no longer served with dainties; in the noon heat no servant fans me or brings water; I live in a hut and fare on coarse food; but, old friend, I eat with an appetite, I sleep like a tired and honest man; I have forgotten ceremony and care, and I am happy. Not to be king of all these islands, and the islands of our fathers likewise, would I return. See how blue the sky is, how fresh the trees and grass! What music in the roll of the ocean and in the birds' songs! What sweetness in the flowers!"
Wondering at this change in his former master, the priest dropped his hands in a gesture of despair. "Then our cause is lost," said he.
"Not so," answered the king. "Go to my son. Tell him his father wishes him to reign. Untried as he is, he has my strength; he is resolute, he is wise, he loves justice. He will head your men of war."
The prince was found to be a willing leader. The arrogance of Kamiole, the decreasing liberties of the people, the thought that the dictator had attempted the lives of his father and his wife's parents, stirred in him resolves of vengeance. The fickle masses that eighteen years before had overturned his dynasty now gathered under his standard, and battle was offered at Anehomaloo. Kamiole had the fewer men, but the better position, being defended in front by a stone wall five feet high that stretched across the plain, and at the back by a gorge too deep and steep, as he imagined, for an enemy to cross. The fight was fierce and long, and thousands fell on both sides. The prince was cautious, however, for he was waiting the result of a secret move: an assault on the rear of his foe by a large body of spearmen who were making a long detour to prevent detection of this manoeuvre. Presently he saw the stir and shimmer of arms on the hill beyond the chasm, and ordering a general charge on Kamiole, kept him so occupied for a quarter of an hour that the advance from the hill was not observed until the detachment had descended the ravine, clambered up again, and was now rushing upon the doomed army. Penned between two forces, Kamiole's men were beaten to the earth, and the battle ended in a massacre.