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The Hawaiian Archipelago
by Isabella L. Bird
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People will ask you, "What is the food?" We have everywhere bread and biscuit made of California flour, griddle cakes with molasses, and often cracked wheat, butter not very good, sweet potatoes, boiled kalo, Irish potatoes, and poi. I have not seen fish on any table except at the Honolulu Hotel, or any meat but beef, which is hard and dry as compared with ours. We have China or Japan tea, and island coffee. Honolulu is the only place in which intoxicants are allowed to be sold; and I have not seen beer, wine, or spirits in any house. Bananas are an important article of diet, and sliced guavas, eaten with milk and sugar, are very good. The cooking is always done in detached cook houses, in and on American cooking stoves.

As to clothing. I wear my flannel riding dress for both riding and walking, and a black silk at other times. The resident ladies wear prints and silks, and the gentlemen black cloth or dark tweed suits. Flannel is not required, neither are puggarees or white hats or sunshades at any season. The changes of temperature are very slight, and there is no chill when the sun goes down. The air is always like balm; the rain is tepid and does not give cold; in summer it may be three or four degrees warmer. Windows and doors stand open the whole year. A blanket is agreeable at night, but not absolutely necessary. It is a truly delightful climate and mode of living, with such an abundance of air and sunshine. My health improves daily, and I do not consider myself an invalid.

Between working, reading aloud, talking, riding, and "loafing," I have very little time for letter writing; but I must tell you of a delightful fern-hunting expedition on the margin of the forest that I took yesterday, accompanied by Mr. Thompson and the two elder boys. We rode in the mauka direction, outside cane ready for cutting, with silvery tassels gleaming in the sun, till we reached the verge of the forest, where an old trail was nearly obliterated by a trailing matted grass four feet high, and thousands of woody ferns, which conceal streams, holes, and pitfalls. When further riding was impossible, we tethered our horses and proceeded on foot. We were then 1,500 feet above the sea by the aneroid barometer, and the increased coolness was perceptible. The mercury is about four degrees lower for each 1,000 feet of ascent—rather more than this indeed on the windward side of the islands. The forest would be quite impenetrable were it not for the remains of wood-hauling trails, which, though grown up to the height of my shoulders, are still passable.

Underneath the green maze, invisible streams, deep down, made sweet music, sweeter even than the gentle murmur of the cool breeze among the trees. The forest on the volcano track, which I thought so tropical and wonderful a short time ago, is nothing for beauty to compare with this "garden of God." I wish I could describe it, but cannot; and as you know only our pale, small-leaved trees, with their uniform green, I cannot say that it is like this or that. The first line of a hymn, "Oh, Paradise! oh, Paradise!" rings in my brain, and the rustic exclamation we used to hear when we were children, "Well, I never!" followed by innumerable notes of admiration, seems to exhaust the whole vocabulary of wonderment. The former cutting of some trees gives atmosphere, and the tumbled nature of the ground shows everything to the best advantage. There were openings over which huge candle-nuts, with their pea-green and silver foliage, spread their giant arms, and the light played through their branches on an infinite variety of ferns. There were groves of bananas and plantains with shiny leaves 8 feet long, like enormous hart's-tongue, the bright-leaved noni, the dark-leaved koa, the mahogany of the Pacific; the great glossy-leaved Eugenia—a forest tree as large as our largest elms; the small-leaved ohia, its rose-crimson flowers making a glory in the forests, and its young shoots of carmine red vying with the colouring of the New England fall; and the strange lauhala hung its stiff drooping plumes, which creak in the faintest breeze; and the superb breadfruit hung its untempting fruit, and from spreading guavas we shook the ripe yellow treasures, scooping out the inside, all juicy and crimson, to make drinking cups of the rind; and there were trees that had surrendered their own lives to a conquering army of vigorous parasites which had clothed their skeletons with an unapproachable and indistinguishable beauty, and over trees and parasites the tender tendrils of great mauve morning glories trailed and wreathed themselves, and the strong, strangling stems of the ie wound themselves round the tall ohias, which supported their quaint yucca-like spikes of leaves fifty feet from the ground.

There were some superb plants of the glossy tropical-looking bird's- nest fern, or Asplenium Nidus, which makes its home on the stems and branches of trees, and brightens the forest with its great shining fronds. I got a specimen from a koa tree. The plant had nine fronds, each one measuring from 4 feet 1 inch to 4 feet 7 inches in length, and from 7 to 9 inches in breadth. There were some very fine tree-ferns (Cibotium Chamissoi?), two of which being accessible, we measured, and found them seventeen and twenty feet high, their fronds eight feet long, and their stems four feet ten inches in circumference three feet from the ground. They showed the most various shades of green, from the dark tint of the mature frond, to the pale pea green of those which were just uncurling themselves. I managed to get up into a tree for the first time in my life to secure specimens of two beautiful parasitic ferns (Polypodium tamariscinum and P. Hymenophylloides?). I saw for the first time, too, a lygodium and the large climbing potato-fern (Polypodium spectrum), very like a yam in the distance, and the Vittaria elongata, whose long grassy fronds adorn almost every tree. The beautiful Microlepia tenuifolia abounded, and there were a few plants of the loveliest fern I ever saw (Trichomanes meifolium), in specimens of which I indulged sparingly, and almost grudgingly, for it seemed unfitting that a form of such perfect beauty should be mummied in a herbarium. There was one fern in profusion, with from 90 to 130 pair of pinnae on each frond; and the fronds, though often exceeding five feet in length, were only two inches broad (Nephrolepis pectinata). There were many prostrate trees, which nature has entirely covered with choice ferns, specially the rough stem of the tree-fern. I counted seventeen varieties on one trunk, and on the whole obtained thirty-five specimens for my collection.

The forest soon became completely impenetrable, the beautiful Gleichenia Hawaiiensis forming an impassable network over all the undergrowth. And, indeed, without this it would have been risky to make further explorations, for often masses of wonderful matted vegetation sustained us temporarily over streams six or eight feet below, whose musical tinkle alone warned us of our peril. I shall never again see anything so beautiful as this fringe of the impassable timber belt. I enjoyed it more than anything I have yet seen; it was intoxicating, my eyes were "satisfied with seeing." It was a dream, a rapture, this maze of form and colour, this entangled luxuriance, this bewildering beauty, through which we caught bright glimpses of a heavenly sky above, while far away, below glade and lawn, shimmered in surpassing loveliness the cool blue of the Pacific. To me, with my hatred of reptiles and insects, it is not the least among the charms of Hawaii, that these glorious entanglements and cool damp depths of a redundant vegetation give shelter to nothing of unseemly shape and venomous proboscis or fang. Here, in cool, dreamy, sunny Onomea, there are no horrid, drumming, stabbing, mosquitoes as at Honolulu, to remind me of what I forget sometimes, that I am not in Eden. {128} I.L.B.



LETTER X.

WAIPIO VALLEY, HAWAII.

There is something fearful in the isolation of this valley, open at one end to the sea, and walled in on all others by palis or precipices, from 1,000 to 2,000 feet in height, over the easiest of which hangs the dizzy track, which after trailing over the country for sixty difficult miles, connects Waipio with the little world of Hilo. The evening is very sombre, and darkness comes on early between these high walls. I am in a native house in which not a word of English is spoken, and Deborah, among her own people, has returned with zest to the exclusive use of her own tongue. This is more solitary than solitude, and tired as I am with riding and roughing it, I must console myself with writing to you. The natives, after staring and giggling for some time, took this letter out of my hand, with many exclamations, which, Deborah tells me, are at the rapidity and minuteness of my writing. I told them the letter was to my sister, and they asked if I had your picture. They are delighted with it, and it is going round a large circle assembled without. They see very few foreign women here, and are surprised that I have not brought a foreign man with me.

There was quite a bustle of small preparations before we left Onomea. Deborah was much excited, and I was not less so, for it is such a complete novelty to take a five days' ride alone with natives. D. is a very nice native girl of seventeen, who speaks English tolerably, having been brought up by Mr. and Mrs. Austin. She was lately married to a white man employed on the plantation. Mr. A. most kindly lent me a favourite mule, but declined to state that she would not kick, or buck, or turn obstinate, or lie down in the water, all which performances are characteristic of mules. She has, however, as he expected, behaved as the most righteous of her species. Our equipment was a matter for some consideration, as I had no waterproof; but eventually I wore my flannel riding dress, and carried my plaid in front of the saddle. My saddle-bags, which were behind, contained besides our changes of clothes, a jar of Liebig's essence of beef, some potted beef, a tin of butter, a tin of biscuits, a tin of sardines, a small loaf, and some roast yams. Deborah looked very piquante in a bloomer dress of dark blue, with masses of shining hair in natural ringlets falling over the collar, mixing with her lei of red rose-buds. She rode a powerful horse, of which she has much need, as this is the most severe road on horses on Hawaii, and it takes a really good animal to come to Waipio and go back to Hilo.

We got away at seven in bright sunshine, and D.'s husband accompanied us the first mile to see that our girths and gear were all right. It was very slippery, but my mule deftly gathered her feet under her, and slid when she could not walk. From Onomea to the place where we expected to find the guide, we kept going up and down the steep sides of ravines, and scrambling through torrents till we reached a deep and most picturesque gulch, with a primitive school-house at the bottom, and some grass-houses clustering under palms and papayas, a valley scene of endless ease and perpetual afternoon. Here we found that D.'s uncle, who was to have been our guide, could not go, because his horse was not strong enough, but her cousin volunteered his escort, and went away to catch his horse, while we tethered ours and went into the school-house.

This reminded me somewhat of the very poorest schools connected with the Edinburgh Ladies' Highland School Association, but the teacher had a remarkable paucity of clothing, and he seemed to have the charge of his baby, which, much clothed, and indeed much muffled, lay on the bench beside him. For there were benches, and a desk, and even a blackboard and primers down in the deep wild gulch, where the music of living waters, and the thunderous roll of the Pacific, accompanied the children's tuneless voices as they sang an Hawaiian hymn. I shall remember nothing of the scholars but rows of gleaming white teeth, and splendid brown eyes. I thought both teacher and children very apathetic. There were lamentably few, though the pretty rigidly enforced law, which compels all children between the ages of six and fifteen to attend school for forty weeks of the year, had probably gathered together all the children of the district. They all wore coloured chemises and leis of flowers. Outside, some natives presented us with some ripe papayas.

Mounting again, we were joined by two native women, who were travelling the greater part of the way hither, and this made it more cheerful for D. The elder one had nothing on her head but her wild black hair, and she wore a black holuku, a lei of the orange seeds of the pandanus, orange trousers and big spurs strapped on her bare feet. A child of four, bundled up in a black poncho, rode on a blanket behind the saddle, and was tied to the woman's waist, by an orange shawl. The younger woman, who was very pretty, wore a sailor's hat, leis of crimson ohia blossoms round her hat and throat, a black holuku, a crimson poncho, and one spur, and held up a green umbrella whenever it rained.

We were shortly joined by Kaluna, the cousin, on an old, big, wall- eyed, bare-tailed, raw-boned horse, whose wall-eyes contrived to express mingled suspicion and fear, while a flabby, pendant, lower lip, conveyed the impression of complete abjectness. He looked like some human beings who would be vicious if they dared, but the vice had been beaten out of him long ago, and only the fear remained. He has a raw suppurating sore under the saddle, glueing the blanket to his lean back, and crouches when he is mounted. Both legs on one side look shorter than on the other, giving a crooked look to himself and his rider, and his bare feet are worn thin as if he had been on lava. I rode him for a mile yesterday, and when he attempted a convulsive canter, with three short steps and a stumble in it, his abbreviated off legs made me feel as if I were rolling over on one side. Kaluna beats him the whole time with a heavy stick; but except when he strikes him most barbarously about his eyes and nose he only cringes, without quickening his pace. When I rode him mercifully the true hound nature came out. The sufferings of this wretched animal have been the great drawback on this journey. I have now bribed Kaluna with as much as the horse is worth to give him a month's rest, and long before that time I hope the owl-hawks will be picking his bones.

The horse has come before the rider, but Kaluna is no nonentity. He is a very handsome youth of sixteen, with eyes which are remarkable, even in this land of splendid eyes, a straight nose, a very fine mouth, and beautiful teeth, a mass of wavy, almost curly hair, and a complexion not so brown as to conceal the mantling of the bright southern blood in his cheeks. His figure is lithe, athletic, and as pliable as if he were an invertebrate animal, capable of unlimited doublings up and contortions, to which his thin white shirt and blue cotton trousers are no impediment. He is almost a complete savage; his movements are impulsive and uncontrolled, and his handsome face looks as if it belonged to a half-tamed creature out of the woods. He talks loud, laughs incessantly, croons a monotonous chant, which sounds almost as heathenish as tom-toms, throws himself out of his saddle, hanging on by one foot, lingers behind to gather fruits, and then comes tearing up, beating his horse over the ears and nose, with a fearful yell and a prolonged sound like har-r-r-ouche, striking my mule and threatening to overturn me as he passes me on the narrow track. He is the most thoroughly careless and irresponsible being I ever saw, reckless about the horses, reckless about himself, without any manners or any obvious sense of right and propriety. In his mouth this musical tongue becomes as harsh as the speech of a cocatoo or parrot. His manner is familiar. He rides up to me, pokes his head under my hat, and says, interrogatively, "Cold!" by which I understand that the poor boy is shivering himself. In eating he plunges his hand into my bowl of fowl, or snatches half my biscuit. Yet I daresay he means well, and I am thoroughly amused with him, except when he maltreats his horse.

It is a very strange life going about with natives, whose ideas, as shown by their habits, are, to say the least of it, very peculiar. Deborah speaks English fairly, having been brought up by white people, and is a very nice girl. But were she one of our own race I should not suppose her to be more than eleven years old, and she does not seem able to understand my ideas on any subject, though I can be very much interested and amused with hearing hers.

We had a perfect day until the middle of the afternoon. The dimpling Pacific was never more than a mile from us as we kept the narrow track in the long green grass; and on our left the blunt snow-patched peaks of Mauna Kea rose from the girdle of forest, looking so delusively near that I fancied a two-hours' climb would take us to his lofty summit. The track for twenty-six miles is just in and out of gulches, from 100 to 800 feet in depth, all opening on the sea, which sweeps into them in three booming rollers. The candle-nut or kukui (aleurites triloba) tree, which on the whole predominates, has leaves of a rich deep green when mature, which contrast beautifully with the flaky silvery look of the younger foliage. Some of the shallower gulches are filled exclusively with this tree, which in growing up to the light to within 100 feet of the top, presents a mass and density of leafage quite unique, giving the gulch the appearance as if billows of green had rolled in and solidified there. Each gulch has some specialty of ferns and trees, and in such a distance as sixty miles they vary considerably with the variations of soil, climate, and temperature. But everywhere the rocks, trees, and soil are covered and crowded with the most exquisite ferns and mosses, from the great tree-fern, whose bright fronds light up the darker foliage, to the lovely maiden-hair and graceful selaginellas which are mirrored in pools of sparkling water. Everywhere, too, the great blue morning glory opened to a heaven not bluer than itself.

The descent into the gulches is always solemn. You canter along a bright breezy upland, and are suddenly arrested by a precipice, and from the depths of a forest abyss a low plash or murmur rises, or a deep bass sound, significant of water which must be crossed, and one reluctantly leaves the upper air to plunge into heavy shadow, and each experience increases one's apprehensions concerning the next. Though in some gulches the kukui preponderates, in others the lauhala whose aerial roots support it in otherwise impossible positions, and in others the sombre ohia, yet there were some grand clefts in which nature has mingled her treasures impartially, and out of cool depths of ferns rose the feathery coco-palm, the glorious breadfruit, with its green melon-like fruit, the large ohia, ideal in its beauty,—the most gorgeous flowering tree I have ever seen, with spikes of rose-crimson blossoms borne on the old wood, blazing among its shining many-tinted leafage,—the tall papaya with its fantastic crown, the profuse gigantic plantain, and innumerable other trees, shrubs, and lianas, in the beauty and bounteousness of an endless spring. Imagine my surprise on seeing at the bottom of one gulch, a grove of good-sized, dark-leaved, very handsome trees, with an abundance of smooth round green fruit upon them, and on reaching them finding that they were orange trees, their great size, far exceeding that of the largest at Valencia, having prevented me from recognizing them earlier! In another, some large shrubs with oval, shining, dark leaves, much crimped at the edges, bright green berries along the stalks, and masses of pure white flowers lying flat, like snow on evergreens, turned out to be coffee! The guava with its obtuse smooth leaves, sweet white blossoms on solitary axillary stalks, and yellow fruit was universal. The novelty of the fruit, foliage, and vegetation is an intense delight to me. I should like to see how the rigid aspect of a coniferous tree, of which there is not one indigenous to the islands, would look by contrast. We passed through a long thicket of sumach, an exotic from North America, which still retains its old habit of shedding its leaves, and its grey, wintry, desolate-looking branches reminded me that there are less-favoured parts of the world, and that you are among mist, cold, murk, slush, gales, leaflessness, and all the dismal concomitants of an English winter.

It is wonderful that people should have thought of crossing these gulches on anything with four legs. Formerly, that is, within the last thirty years, the precipices could only be ascended by climbing with the utmost care, and descended by being lowered with ropes from crag to crag, and from tree to tree, when hanging on by the hands became impracticable to even the most experienced mountaineer. In this last fashion Mr. Coan and Mr. Lyons were let down to preach the gospel to the people of the then populous valleys. But within recent years, narrow tracks, allowing one horse to pass another, have been cut along the sides of these precipices, without any windings to make them easier, and only deviating enough from the perpendicular to allow of their descent by the sure-footed native- born animals. Most of them are worn by water and animals' feet, broken, rugged, jagged, with steps of rock sometimes three feet high, produced by breakage here and there. Up and down these the animals slip, jump, and scramble, some of them standing still until severely spurred, or driven by some one from behind. Then there are softer descents, slippery with damp, and perilous in heavy rains, down which they slide dexterously, gathering all their legs under them. On a few of these tracks a false step means death, but the vegetation which clothes the pali below, blinds one to the risk. I don't think anything would induce me to go up a swinging zigzag—up a terrible pali opposite to me as I write, the sides of which are quite undraped.

All the gulches for the first twenty-four miles contain running water. The great Hakalau gulch we crossed early yesterday, has a river with a smooth bed as wide as the Thames at Eton. Some have only small quiet streams, which pass gently through ferny grottoes. Others have fierce strong torrents dashing between abrupt walls of rock, among immense boulders into deep abysses, and cast themselves over precipice after precipice into the ocean. Probably, many of these are the courses of fire torrents, whose jagged masses of a-a have since been worn smooth, and channelled into holes by the action of water. A few are crossed on narrow bridges, but the majority are forded, if that quiet conventional term can be applied to the violent flounderings by which the horses bring one through. The transparency deceives them, and however deep the water is, they always try to lift their fore feet out of it, which gives them a disagreeable rolling motion. (Mr. Brigham in his valuable monograph on the Hawaiian volcanoes quoted below, {138} appears as much impressed with these gulches as I am.)

We lunched in one glorious valley, and Kaluna made drinking cups which held fully a pint, out of the beautiful leaves of the Arum esculentum. Towards afternoon turbid-looking clouds lowered over the sea, and by the time we reached the worst pali of all, the south side of Laupahoehoe, they burst on us in torrents of rain accompanied by strong wind. This terrible precipice takes one entirely by surprise. Kaluna, who rode first, disappeared so suddenly that I thought he had gone over. It is merely a dangerous broken ledge, and besides that it looks as if there were only foothold for a goat, one is dizzied by the sight of the foaming ocean immediately below, and, when we actually reached the bottom, there was only a narrow strip of shingle between the stupendous cliff and the resounding surges, which came up as if bent on destruction. The path by which we descended looked a mere thread on the side of the precipice. I don't know what the word beetling means, but if it means anything bad, I will certainly apply it to that pali.

A number of disastrous-looking native houses are clustered under some very tall palms in the open part of the gulch, but it is a most wretched situation; the roar of the surf is deafening, the scanty supply of water is brackish, there are rumours that leprosy is rife, and the people are said to be the poorest on Hawaii. We were warned that we could not spend a night comfortably there, so wet, tired, and stiff, we rode on another six miles to the house of a native called Bola-Bola, where we had been instructed to remain. The rain was heavy and ceaseless, and the trail had become so slippery that our progress was much retarded. It was a most unpropitious-looking evening, and I began to feel the painful stiffness arising from prolonged fatigue in saturated clothes. I indulged in various imaginations as we rode up the long ascent leading to Bola-Bola's, but this time they certainly were not of sofas and tea, and I never aspired to anything beyond drying my clothes by a good fire, for at Hilo some people had shrugged their shoulders, and others had laughed mysteriously at the idea of our sleeping there, and some had said it was one of the worst of native houses.

A single glance was enough. It was a dilapidated frame-house, altogether forlorn, standing unsheltered on a slope of the mountain, with one or two yet more forlorn grass piggeries, which I supposed might be the cook house, and eating-house near it.

A prolonged har-r-r-rouche from Kaluna brought out a man with a female horde behind him, all shuffling into clothes as we approached, and we stiffly dismounted from the wet saddles in which we had sat for ten hours, and stiffly hobbled up into the littered verandah, the water dripping from our clothes, and squeezing out of our boots at every step. Inside there was one room about 18 x 14 feet, which looked as if the people had just arrived and had thrown down their goods promiscuously. There were mats on the floor not over clean, and half the room was littered and piled with mats rolled up, boxes, bamboos, saddles, blankets, lassos, cocoanuts, kalo roots, bananas, quilts, pans, calabashes, bundles of hard poi in ti leaves, bones, cats, fowls, clothes. A frightful old woman, looking like a relic of the old heathen days, with bristling grey hair cut short, her body tattooed all over, and no clothing but a ragged blanket huddled round her shoulders; a girl about twelve, with torrents of shining hair, and a piece of bright green calico thrown round her, and two very good-looking young women in rose- coloured chemises, one of them holding a baby, were squatting and lying on the mats, one over another, like a heap of savages.

When the man found that we were going to stay all night he bestirred himself, dragged some of the things to one side and put down a shake-down of pulu (the silky covering of the fronds of one species of tree-fern), with a sheet over it, and a gay quilt of orange and red cotton. There was a thin printed muslin curtain to divide off one half of the room, a usual arrangement in native houses. He then helped to unsaddle the horses, and the confusion of the room was increased by a heap of our wet saddles, blankets, and gear. All this time the women lay on the floor and stared at us.

Rheumatism seemed impending, for the air up there was chilly, and I said to Deborah that I must make some change in my dress, and she signed to Kaluna, who sprang at my soaked boots and pulled them off, and my stockings too, with a savage alacrity which left it doubtful for a moment whether he had not also pulled off my feet! I had no means of making any further change except putting on a wrapper over my wet clothes.

Meanwhile the man killed and boiled a fowl, and boiled some sweet potato, and when these untempting viands, and a calabash of poi were put before us, we sat round them and eat; I with my knife, the others with their fingers. There was some coffee in a dirty bowl. The females had arranged a row of pillows on their mat, and all lay face downwards, with their chins resting upon them, staring at us with their great brown eyes, and talking and laughing incessantly. They had low sensual faces, like some low order of animal. When our meal was over, the man threw them the relics, and they soon picked the bones clean. It surprised me that after such a badly served meal the man brought a bowl of water for our hands, and something intended for a towel.

By this time it was dark, and a stone, deeply hollowed at the top, was produced, containing beef fat and a piece of rag for a wick, which burned with a strong flaring light. The women gathered themselves up and sat round a large calabash of poi, conveying the sour paste to their mouths with an inimitable twist of the fingers, laying their heads back and closing their eyes with a look of animal satisfaction. When they had eaten they lay down as before, with their chins on their pillows, and again the row of great brown eyes confronted me. Deborah, Kaluna, and the women talked incessantly in loud shrill voices till Kaluna uttered the word auwe with a long groaning intonation, apparently signifying weariness, divested himself of his clothes and laid down on a mat alongside our shake- down, upon which we let down the dividing curtain and wrapped ourselves up as warmly as possible.

I was uneasy about Deborah who had had a cough for some time, and consequently took the outside place under the window which was broken, and presently a large cat jumped through the hole and down upon me, followed by another and another, till five wild cats had effected an entrance, making me a stepping-stone to ulterior proceedings. Had there been a sixth I think I could not have borne the infliction quietly. Strips of jerked beef were hanging from the rafters, and by the light which was still burning I watched the cats climb up stealthily, seize on some of these, descend, and disappear through the window, making me a stepping-stone as before, but with all their craft they let some of the strips fall, which awoke Deborah, and next I saw Kaluna's magnificent eyes peering at us under the curtain. Then the natives got up, and smoked and eat more poi at intervals, and talked, and Kaluna and Deborah quarrelled, jokingly, about the time of night she told me, and the moon through the rain-clouds occasionally gave us delusive hopes of dawn, and I kept moving my place to get out of the drip from the roof, and so the night passed. I was amused all the time, though I should have preferred sleep to such nocturnal diversions. It was so new, and so odd, to be the only white person among eleven natives in a lonely house, and yet to be as secure from danger and annoyance as in our own home.

At last a pale dawn did appear, but the rain was still coming down heavily, and our poor animals were standing dismally with their heads down and their tails turned towards the wind. Yesterday evening I took a change of clothes out of the damp saddle-bags, and put them into what I hoped was a dry place, but they were soaked, wetter even than those in which I had been sleeping, and my boots and Deborah's were so stiff, that we gladly availed ourselves of Kaluna's most willing services. The mode of washing was peculiar: he held a calabash with about half-a-pint of water in it, while we bathed our faces and hands, and all the natives looked on and tittered. This was apparently his idea of politeness, for no persuasion would induce him to put the bowl down on the mat, and Deborah evidently thought it was proper respect. We had a repetition of the same viands as the night before for breakfast, and, as before, the women lay with their chins on their pillows and stared at us.

The rain ceased almost as soon as we started, and though it has not been a bright day, it has been very pleasant. There are no large gulches on to-day's journey. The track is mostly through long grass, over undulating uplands, with park-like clumps of trees, and thickets of guava and the exotic sumach. Different ferns, flowers, and vegetation, with much less luxuriance and little water, denoted a drier climate and a different soil. There are native churches at distances of six or seven miles all the way from Hilo, but they seem too large and too many for the scanty population.

We moved on in single file at a jog-trot wherever the road admitted of it, meeting mounted natives now and then, which led to a delay for the exchange of nuhou; and twice we had to turn into the thicket to avoid what here seems to be considered a danger. There are many large herds of semi-wild bullocks on the mountains, branded cattle, as distinguished from the wild or unbranded, and when they are wanted for food, a number of experienced vaccheros on strong shod horses go up, and drive forty or fifty of them down. We met such a drove bound for Hilo, with one or two men in front and others at the sides and behind, uttering loud shouts. The bullocks are nearly mad with being hunted and driven, and at times rush like a living tornado, tearing up the earth with their horns. As soon as the galloping riders are seen and the crooked-horned beasts, you retire behind a screen. There must be some tradition of some one having been knocked down and hurt, for reckless as the natives are said to be, they are careful about this, and we were warned several times by travellers whom we met, that there were "bullocks ahead." The law provides that the vaccheros shall station one of their number at the head of a gulch to give notice when cattle are to pass through.

We jogged on again till we met a native who told us that we were quite close to our destination; but there were no signs of it, for we were still on the lofty uplands, and the only prominent objects were huge headlands confronting the sea. I got off to walk, as my mule seemed footsore, but had not gone many yards when we came suddenly to the verge of a pali, about 1,000 feet deep, with a narrow fertile valley below, with a yet higher pali on the other side, both abutting perpendicularly on the sea. I should think the valley is not more than three miles long, and it is walled in by high inaccessible mountains. It is in fact, a gulch on a vastly enlarged scale. The prospect below us was very charming, a fertile region perfectly level, protected from the sea by sandhills, watered by a winding stream, and bright with fishponds, meadow lands, kalo patches, orange and coffee groves, figs, breadfruit, and palms. There were a number of grass-houses, and a native church with a spire, and another up the valley testified to the energy and aggressiveness of Rome. We saw all this from the moment we reached the pali; and it enlarged, and the detail grew upon us with every yard of the laborious descent of broken craggy track, which is the only mode of access to the valley from the outer world. I got down on foot with difficulty; a difficulty much increased by the long rowels of my spurs, which caught on the rocks and entangled my dress, the simple expedient of taking them off not having occurred to me!

A neat frame-house, with large stones between it and the river, was our destination. It belongs to a native named Halemanu, a great man in the district, for, besides being a member of the legislature, he is deputy sheriff. He is a man of property, also; and though he cannot speak a word of English, he is well educated in Hawaiian, and writes an excellent hand. I brought a letter of introduction to him from Mr. Severance, and we were at once received with every hospitality, our horses cared for, and ourselves luxuriously lodged. We walked up the valley before dark to get a view of a cascade, and found supper ready on our return. This is such luxury after last night. There is a very light bright sitting-room, with papered walls, and manilla matting on the floor, a round centre table with books and a photographic album upon it, two rocking-chairs, an office-desk, another table and chairs, and a Canadian lounge. I can't imagine in what way this furniture was brought here. Our bedroom opens from this, and it actually has a four-post bedstead with mosquito bars, a lounge and two chairs, and the floor is covered with native matting. The washing apparatus is rather an anomaly, for it consists of a basin and crash towel placed in the verandah, in full view of fifteen people. The natives all bathe in the river.

Halemanu has a cook house and native cook, and an eating-room, where I was surprised to find everything in foreign style—chairs, a table with a snow white cover, and table napkins, knives, forks, and even salt-cellars. I asked him to eat with us, and he used a knife and fork quite correctly, never, for instance, putting the knife into his mouth. I was amused to see him afterwards, sitting on a mat among his family and dependants, helping himself to poi from a calabash with his fingers. He gave us for supper delicious river fish fried, boiled kalo, and Waipio coffee with boiled milk.

It is very annoying only to be able to converse with this man through an interpreter; and Deborah, as is natural, is rather unwilling to be troubled to speak English, now that she is among her own people. After supper we sat by candlelight in the parlour, and he showed me his photograph album. At eight he took a large Bible, put on glasses, and read a chapter in Hawaiian; after which he knelt and prayed with profound reverence of manner and tone. Towards the end I recognized the Hawaiian words for "Our Father." {148} Here in Waipio there is something pathetic in the idea of this Fatherhood, which is wider than the ties of kin and race. Even here not one is a stranger, an alien, a foreigner! And this man, so civilized and Christianized, only now in middle life, was, he said, "a big boy when the first teachers came," and may very likely have witnessed horrors in the heiau, or temple, close by, of which little is left now.

This bedroom is thoroughly comfortable. Kaluna wanted to sleep on the lounge here, probably because he is afraid of akuas, or spirits, but we have exiled him to a blanket on the parlour lounge. I.L.B.



LETTER X.—(continued.)

We were thoroughly rested this morning, and very glad of a fine day for a visit to the great cascade which is rarely seen by foreigners. My mule was slightly galled with the girth, and having a strong fellow feeling with Elisha's servant, "Alas, master, for it was borrowed!" I have bought for $20 a pretty, light, half-broken bay mare, which I rode to-day and liked much.

After breakfast, which was a repetition of last night's supper, we three, with Halemanu's daughter as guide, left on horseback for the waterfall, though the natives tried to dissuade us by saying that stones came down, and it was dangerous; also that people could not go in their clothes, there was so much wading. In deference to this last opinion, D. rode without boots, and I without stockings. We rode through the beautiful valley till we reached a deep gorge turning off from it, which opens out into a nearly circular chasm with walls 2,000 feet in height, where we tethered our horses. A short time after leaving them, D. said, "She says we can't go further in our clothes," but when the natives saw me plunge boldly into the river in my riding dress, which is really not unlike a fashionable Newport bathing suit, they thought better of it. It was a thoroughly rough tramp, wading ten times through the river, which was sometimes up to our knees, and sometimes to our waists, and besides the fighting among slippery rocks in rushing water, we had to crawl and slide up and down wet, mossy masses of dislodged rock, to push with eyes shut through wet jungles of Indian shot, guava, and a thorny vine, and sometimes to climb from tree to tree at a considerable height. When, after an hour's fighting we arrived in sight of the cascade, but not of the basin into which it falls, our pretty guide declined to go further, saying that the wind was rising, and that stones would fall and kill us, but being incredulous on this point, I left them, and with great difficulty and many bruises, got up the river to its exit from the basin, and there, being unable to climb the rocks on either side, stood up to my throat in the still tepid water till the scene became real to me.

I do not care for any waterfall but Niagara, nor do I care in itself for this one, for though its first leap is 200 feet and its second 1,600, it is so frittered away and dissipated in spray, owing to the very magnitude of its descent, that there is no volume of water within sight to create mass or sound. But no words can paint the majesty of the surroundings, the caverned, precipitous walls of rock coming down in one black plunge from the blue sky above to the dark abyss of water below, the sullen shuddering sound with which pieces of rock came hurtling down among the trees, the thin tinkle of the water as it falls, the full rush of the river, the feathery growth of ferns, gigantic below, but so diminished by the height above, as only to show their presence by the green tinge upon the rocks, while in addition to the gloom produced by the stupendous height of the cliffs, there is a cool, green darkness of dense forest, and mighty trees of strange tropical forms glass themselves in the black mirror of the basin. For one moment a ray of sunshine turned the upper part of the spray into a rainbow, and never to my eyes had the bow of promise looked so heavenly as when it spanned the black, solemn, tree-shadowed abyss, whose deep, still waters only catch a sunbeam on five days of the year.

I found the natives regaling themselves on papaya, and on live fresh-water shrimps, which they find in great numbers in the river. I remembered that white people at home calling themselves civilized, eat live, or at least raw, oysters, but the sight of these active, squirming shrimps struggling between the white teeth of my associates was yet more repulsive.

We finished our adventurous expedition with limbs much bruised, as well as torn and scratched, and before we emerged from the chasm saw a rock dislodged, which came crashing down not far from us, carrying away an ohia. It is a gruesome and dowie den, but well worth a visit.

We mounted again, and rode as far as we could up the valley, fording the river in deep water several times, and coming down the other side. The coffee trees in full blossom were very beautiful, and they, as well as the oranges, have escaped the blight which has fallen upon both in other parts of the island. In addition to the usual tropical productions, there were some very fine fig trees and thickets of the castor-oil plant, a very handsome shrub, when, as here, it grows to a height of from ten to twenty-two feet. The natives, having been joined by some Waipio women, rode at full gallop over all sorts of ground, and I enjoyed the speed of my mare without any apprehension of being thrown off. We rode among most extensive kalo plantations, and large artificial fish-ponds, in which hundreds of gold-fish were gleaming, and came back by the sea shore, green with the maritime convolvulus, and the smooth-bottomed river, which the Waipio folk use as a road. Canoes glide along it, brown-skinned men wade down it floating bundles of kalo after them, and strings of laden horses and mules follow each other along its still waters. I hear that in another and nearly unapproachable valley, a river serves the same purpose. While we were riding up it, a great gust lifted off its surface in fine spray, and almost blew us from our horses. Hawaii has no hurricanes, but at some hours of the day Waipio is subject to terrific gusts, which really justify the people in their objection to visiting the cascade. Some time ago, in one of these, this house was lifted up, carried twenty feet, and deposited in its present position.

Supper was ready for us—kalo, yams, spatchcock, poi, coffee, rolls, and Oregon kippered salmon; and when I told Halemanu that the spatchcock and salmon reminded me of home, he was quite pleased, and said he would provide the same for breakfast to-morrow.

The owner of the mare, which I have named "Bessie Twinker," had willingly sold her to me, though I told him I could not pay him for her until I reached Onomea. I do not know what had caused my credit to suffer during my absence, but D., after talking long with him this evening, said to me, "He says he can't let you have the horse, because when you've taken it away, he thinks you will never send him the money." I told her indignantly to tell him that English women never cheated people, a broad and totally unsustainable assertion, which had the effect of satisfying the poor fellow.

After Halemanu, Deborah, Kaluna, and a number of natives had eaten their poi, Halemanu brought in a very handsome silver candlestick, and expressed a wish that Deborah should interpret for us. He asked a great many sensible questions about England, specially about the state of the poor, the extent of the franchise, and the influence of religion. When he heard that I had spent some years in Scotland, he said, "Do you know Mr. Wallace?" I was quite puzzled, and tried to recall any man of that name who I had heard of as having visited Hawaii, when a happy flash of comprehension made me aware of his meaning, and I replied that I had seen his sword several times, but that he died long before I knew Scotland, and indeed before I was born; but that the Scotch held his memory in great veneration, and were putting up a monument to him. But for the mistake as to dates, he seemed to have the usual notions as to the exploits of Wallace. He deplores most deeply the dwindling of his people, and his manner became very sad about it. D. said, "He's very unhappy; he says, soon there will be no more Kanakas." He told me that this beautiful valley was once very populous, and even forty years ago, when Mr. Ellis visited it, there were 1,300 people here. Now probably there are not more than 200.

Here was the Puhonua, or place of refuge for all this part of the island. This, and the very complete one of Honaunau, on the other side of Hawaii, were the Hawaiian "Cities of Refuge." Could any tradition of the Mosaic ordinance on this subject have travelled hither? These two sanctuaries were absolutely inviolable. The gates stood perpetually open, and though the fugitive was liable to be pursued to their very threshold, he had no sooner crossed it than he was safe from king, chief, or avenger. These gates were wide, and some faced the sea, and others the mountains. Hither the murderer, the manslayer, the tabu-breaker fled, repaired to the presence of the idol, and thanked it for aiding him to reach the place of security. After a certain time the fugitives were allowed to return to their families, and none dared to injure those to whom the high gods had granted their protection.

In time of war, tall spears from which white flags were unfurled, were placed at each end of the enclosure, and until the proclamation of peace invited the vanquished to enter. These flags were fixed a short distance outside the walls, and no pursuing warrior, even in the hot flush of victory, could pursue his routed foe one foot beyond. Within was the sacred pale of pahu tabu, and anyone attempting to strike his victim there would have been put to death by the priests and their adherents. In war time the children, old people, and many of the women of the neighbouring districts, were received within the enclosure, where they awaited the issue of the conflict in security, and were safe from violence in the event of defeat. These puhonuas contain pieces of stone weighing from two to three tons, raised six feet from the ground, and the walls, narrowing gradually towards the top, are fifteen feet wide at the base and twelve feet high. They are truly grand monuments of humanity in the midst of the barbarous institutions of heathenism, and it shows a considerable degree of enlightenment that even rebels in arms and fugitives from invading armies were safe, if they reached the sacred refuge, for the priests of Keawe knew no distinctions of party.

In dreadful contrast to this place of mercy, there were some very large heiaus (or temples) here, on whose hideous altars eighty human sacrifices are said to have been offered at one time. One of the legends told me concerning this lovely valley is, that King Umi, having vanquished the kings of the six divisions of Hawaii, was sacrificing captives in one of these heiaus, when the voice of his god, Kuahilo, was heard from the clouds, demanding more slaughter. Fresh human blood streamed from the altars, but the insatiable demon continued to call for more, till Umi had sacrificed all the captives and all his own men but one, whom he at first refused to give up, as he was a great favourite, but Kuahilo thundered from heaven, till the favourite warrior was slain, and only the king and the sacrificing priest remained.

This valley of the "vanquished waters" abounds in legends. Some of these are about a cruel monster, King Hooku, who lived here, and whose memory, so far as he is remembered, is much execrated. It is told of him that if a man were said to have a handsome head he sent some of his warriors to behead him, and then hacked and otherwise disfigured the face for a diversion. On one occasion he ordered a man's arm to be cut off and brought to him, simply because it was said to be more beautifully tattooed than his own. It is fifty-four years since the last human sacrifice was exposed on the Waipio altars, but there are several old people here who must have been at least thirty when Hawaii threw off idolatry for ever. Halemanu has again closed the evening with the simple worship of the true God. I.L.B.



LETTER XI.

HILO, HAWAII.

There is a rumour that the king is coming as the guest of Admiral Pennock in the Benicia. If it turns out to be true, it will turn our quiet life upside down.

We met with fearful adventures in the swollen gulches between Laupahoehoe and Onomea. It is difficult to begin my letter with the plain prose of our departure from Waipio, which we accomplished on the morning after I last wrote. On rising after a sound sleep, I found that my potted beef, which I had carefully hung from a nail the night before, had been almost carried away by small ants. These ants swarm in every house on low altitudes. They assemble in legions as if by magic, and by their orderly activity carry away all that they do not devour, of all eatables which have not been placed on tables which have rags dipped in a solution of corrosive sublimate wound round their legs.

We breakfasted by lamplight, and because I had said that some of the viands reminded me of home, our kind host had provided them at that early hour. He absolutely refused to be paid anything for the accommodation of our party, and said he should be ashamed of himself if he took anything from a lady travelling without a husband.

It was such a perfect morning. The full moon hung over the enclosing palis, gleaming on coffee and breadfruit groves, and on the surface of the river, which was just quivering under a soft sea breeze. The dew was heavy, smoke curled idly from native houses, the east was flushing with the dawn, and the valley looked the picture of perfect peace. A number of natives assembled to see us start, and they all shook hands with us, exchanging alohas, and presenting us with leis of roses and ohias. D. looked very pretty with a red hibiscus blossom in her shining hair. You would have been amused to see me shaking hands with men dressed only in malos, or in the short blue shirt reaching to the waist, much worn by them when at work.

I rode my mare with some pride of proprietorship, and our baggage for a time was packed on the mule, and we started up the tremendous pali at the tail of a string of twenty mules and horses laden with kalo. This was in the form of paiai, or hard food, which is composed, as I think I mentioned before, of the root baked and pounded, but without water. It is put up in bundles wrapped in ti leaves, of from twenty to thirty pounds each, secured with cocoanut fibre, in which state it will keep for months, and much of the large quantity raised in Waipio is exported to the plantations, the Waimea ranches, and the neighbouring districts. A square mile of kalo, it is estimated, would feed 15,000 Hawaiians for a year.

It was a beautiful view from the top of the pali. The white moon was setting, the earliest sunlight was lighting up the dewy depths of the lonely valley, reddening with a rich rose red the huge headland which forms one of its sentinels; heavy snow had fallen during the night on Mauna Kea, and his great ragged dome, snow- covered down to the forests, was blushing like an Alpine peak at the touch of the early sun. It ripened into a splendid joyous day, which redeemed the sweeping uplands of Hamakua from the dreariness which I had thought belonged to them. There was a fresh sea-breeze, and the sun, though unclouded, was not too hot. We halted for an early lunch at the clean grass-house we had stopped at before, and later in the afternoon at that of the woman with whom we had ridden from Hakalau, who received us very cordially, and regaled us with poi and pork.

In order to avoid the amenities of Bola Bola's we rode thirty-four miles, and towards evening descended the tremendous steep, which leads to the surf-deafened village of Laupahoehoe. Halemanu had given me a note of introduction to a widow named Honolulu, which Deborah said began thus, "As I know that you have the only clean house in L," and on presenting it we were made very welcome. Besides the widow, a very redundant beauty, there were her two brothers and two male cousins, and all bestirred themselves in our service, the men in killing and cooking the supper, and the woman in preparing the beds. It was quite a large room, with doors at the end and side, and fully a third was curtained off by a calico curtain, with a gorgeous Cretonne pattern upon it. I was delighted to see a four-post bed, with mosquito bars, and a clean pulu mattrass, with a linen sheet over it, covered with a beautiful quilt with a quaint arabesque pattern on a white ground running round it, and a wreath of green leaves in the centre. The native women exercise the utmost ingenuity in the patterns and colours of these quilts. Some of them are quite works of art. The materials, which are plain and printed cottons, cost about $8, and a complete quilt is worth from $18 to $50. The widow took six small pillows, daintily covered with silk, out of a chest, the uses of which were not obvious, as two large pillows were already on the bed. It was astonishing to see a native house so handsomely furnished in so poor a place. The mats on the floor were numerous and very fine. There were two tables, several chairs, a bureau with a swinging mirror upon it, a basin, crash towels, a carafe and a kerosene lamp. It is all very well to be able to rough it, and yet better to enjoy doing so, but such luxuries add much to one's contentment after eleven hours in the saddle.

Honolulu wore a green chemise at first, but when supper was ready she put a Macgregor tartan holuku over it. The men were very active, and cooked the fowl in about the same time that it takes to pluck one at home. They spread the finest mat I have seen in the centre of the floor as a tablecloth, and put down on it bowls containing the fowl and sweet potatoes, and the unfailing calabash of poi. Tea, coffee and milk were not procurable, and as the water is slimy and brackish, I offered a boy a dime to get me a cocoanut, and presently eight great, misshapen things were rolled down at the door. The outside is a smooth buff rind, underneath which is a fibrous covering, enormously strong and about an inch thick, which when stripped off reveals the nut as we see it, but of a very pale colour. Those we opened were quite young, and each contained nearly three tumblers of almost effervescent, very sweet, slightly acidulated, perfectly limpid water, with a strong flavour of cocoanut. It is a delicious beverage. The meat was so thin and soft that it could have been spooned out like the white of an egg if we had had any spoons. We all sat cross-legged round our meal, and all Laupahoehoe crowded into the room and verandah with the most persistent, unwinking, gimleting stare I ever saw. It was really unpleasant, not only to hear a Babel of talking, of which, judging from the constant repetition of the words wahine haole, I was the subject, but to have to eat under the focussed stare of twenty pair of eyes. My folding camp-knife appears an object of great interest, and it was handed round, inside and outside the house. When I retired about seven, the assemblage was still in full session.

The stars were then bright, but when I woke the next morning a strong breeze was blowing, the surf was roaring so loud as almost to drown human voices, and rolling up in gigantic surges, and to judge from appearances, the rain which was falling in torrents had been falling for some hours. There was much buzzing among the natives regarding our prospects for the day. I shall always think from their tone and manner, and the frequent repetition of the names of the three worst gulches, that the older men tried to dissuade us from going; but Deborah, who was very anxious to be at home by Sunday, said that the verdict was that if we started at once for our ride of twenty-three miles we might reach Onomea before the freshet came on. This might have been the case had it not been for Kaluna. Not only was his horse worn out, but nothing would induce him to lead the mule, and she went off on foraging expeditions continually, which further detained us. Kaluna had grown quite polite in his savage way. He always insisted on putting on and taking off my boots, carried me once through the Waipio river, helped me to pack the saddle-bags, and even offered to brush my hair! He frequently brought me guavas on the road, saying, "eat," and often rode up, saying interrogatively, "tired?" "cold?" D. told me that he was very tired, and I was very sorry for him, for he was so thinly and poorly dressed, and the natives are not strong enough to bear exposure to cold as we can, and a temperature at 68 degrees is cold to them. But he was quite incorrigible, and thrashed his horse to the last.

We breakfasted on fowl, poi, and cocoanut milk, in presence of even a larger number of spectators than the night before, one of them a very old man looking savagely picturesque, with a red blanket tied round his waist, leaving his lean chest and arms, which were elaborately tattooed, completely exposed.

The mule had been slightly chafed by the gear, and in my anxiety about a borrowed animal, of which Mr. Austin makes a great joke, I put my saddle-bags on my own mare, in an evil hour, and not only these, but some fine cocoanuts, tied up in a waterproof which had long ago proved its worthlessness. It was a grotesquely miserable picture. The house is not far from the beach, and the surf, beyond which a heavy mist hung, was coming in with such a tremendous sound that we had to shout at the top of our voices in order to be heard. The sides of the great gulch rose like prison walls, cascades which had no existence the previous night hurled themselves from the summit of the cliffs directly into the sea, the rain, which fell in sheets, not drops, covered the ground to the depth of two or three inches, and dripped from the wretched, shivering horses, which stood huddled together with their tails between their legs. My thin flannel suit was wet through even before we mounted. I dispensed with stockings, as I was told that wearing them in rain chills and stiffens the limbs. D., about whom I was anxious, as well as about the mule, had a really waterproof cloak, and I am glad to say has quite lost the cough from which she suffered before our expedition. She does not care about rain any more than I do.

We soon reached the top of the worst and dizziest of all the palis, and then splashed on mile after mile, down sliding banks, and along rocky tracks, from which the soil had been completely carried, the rain falling all the time. In some places several feet of soil had been carried away, and we passed through water-rents, the sides of which were as high as our horses' heads, where the ground had been level a few days before. By noon the aspect of things became so bad that I wished we had a white man with us, as I was uneasy about some of the deepest gulches. When four hours' journey from Onomea, Kaluna's horse broke down, and he left us to get another, and we rode a mile out of our way to visit Deborah's grandparents.

Her uncle carried us across some water to their cook-house, where, happily, a kalo baking had just been accomplished, in a hole in the ground, lined with stones, among which the embers were still warm. In this very small hut, in which a man could hardly stand upright, there were five men only dressed in malos, four women, two of them very old, much tattooed, and huddled up in blankets, two children, five pertinaciously sociable dogs, two cats, and heaps of things of different kinds. They are a most gregarious people, always visiting each other, and living in each other's houses, and so hospitable that no Hawaiian, however poor, will refuse to share his last mouthful of poi with a stranger of his own race. These people looked very poor, but probably were not really so, as they had a nice grass-house, with very fine mats, within a few yards.

A man went out, cut off the head of a fowl, singed it in the flame, cut it into pieces, put it into a pot to boil, and before our feet were warm the bird was cooked, and we ate it out of the pot with some baked kalo. D. took me out to see some mango trees, and a pond filled with gold-fish, which she said had been hers when she was a child. She seemed very fond of her relatives, among whom she looked like a fairy princess; and I think they admired her very much, and treated her with some deference. The object of our visit was to procure a le of birds' feathers which they had been making for her, and for which I am sure 300 birds must have been sacrificed. It was a very beautiful as well as costly ornament, {165} and most ingeniously packed for travelling by being laid at full length within a slender cylinder of bamboo.

We rode on again, somewhat unwillingly on my part, for though I thought my apprehensions might be cowardly and ignorant, yet D. was but a child, and had the attractive wilfulness of childhood, and she was, I saw, determined to get back to her husband, and the devotion and affection of the young wife were so pleasant to see, that I had not the heart to offer serious opposition to her wishes, especially as I knew that I might be exaggerating the possible peril. I gathered, however, from what she said, that her people wanted us to remain until Monday, especially as none of them could go with us, their horses being at some distance. I thought it a sign of difficulties ahead, that on one of the most frequented tracks in Hawaii, we had not met a single traveller, though it was Saturday, a special travelling day.

We crossed one gulch in which the water was strong, and up to our horses' bodies, and came upon the incorrigible Kaluna, who, instead of catching his horse, was recounting his adventures to a circle of natives, but promised to follow us soon. D. then said that the next gulch was rather a bad one, and that we must not wait for Kaluna, but ride fast, and try to get through it. When we reached the pali above it, we heard the roaring of a torrent, and when we descended to its brink it looked truly bad, but D. rode in, and I waited on the margin. She got safely across, but when she was near the opposite side her large horse plunged, slipped, and scrambled in a most unpleasant way, and she screamed something to me which I could not hear. Then I went in, and

"At the first plunge the horse sank low, And the water broke o'er the saddle bow:"

but the brave animal struggled through, with the water up to the top of her back, till she reached the place where D.'s horse had looked so insecure. In another moment she and I rolled backwards into deep water, as if she had slipped from a submerged rock. I saw her fore feet pawing the air, and then only her head was above water. I struck her hard with my spurs, she snorted, clawed, made a desperate struggle, regained her footing, got into shallow water, and landed safely. It was a small but not an agreeable adventure.

We went on again, the track now really dangerous from denudation and slipperiness. The rain came down, if possible, yet more heavily, and coursed fiercely down each pali track. Hundreds of cascades leapt from the cliffs, bringing down stones with a sharp rattling sound. We crossed a bridge over one gulch, where the water was thundering down in such volume that it seemed as if it must rend the hard basalt of the palis. Then we reached the lofty top of the great Hakalau gulch, the largest of all, with the double river, and the ocean close to the ford. Mingling with the deep reverberations of the surf, I heard the sharp crisp rush of a river, and of "a river that has no bridge."

The dense foliage, and the exigencies of the steep track, which had become very difficult, owing to the washing away of the soil, prevented me from seeing anything till I got down. I found Deborah speaking to a native, who was gesticulating very emphatically, and pointing up the river. The roar was deafening, and the sight terrific. Where there were two shallow streams a week ago, with a house and good-sized piece of ground above their confluence, there was now one spinning, rushing, chafing, foaming river, twice as wide as the Clyde at Glasgow, the land was submerged, and, if I remember correctly, the house only stood above the flood. And, most fearful to look upon, the ocean, in three huge breakers, had come quite in, and its mountains of white surge looked fearfully near the only possible crossing. I entreated D. not to go on. She said we could not go back, that the last gulch was already impassable, that between the two there was no house in which we could sleep, that the river had a good bottom, that the man thought if our horses were strong we could cross now, but not later, etc. In short, she overbore all opposition, and plunged in, calling to me, "spur, spur, all the time."

Just as I went in, I took my knife and cut open the cloak which contained the cocoanuts, one only remaining. Deborah's horse I knew was strong, and shod, but my unshod and untried mare, what of her? My soul and senses literally reeled among the dizzy horrors of the wide, wild tide, but with an effort I regained sense and self- possession, for we were in, and there was no turning. D., ahead, screeched to me what I could not hear; she said afterwards it was "spur, spur, and keep up the river;" the native was shrieking in Hawaiian from the hinder shore, and waving to the right, but the torrents of rain, the crash of the breakers, and the rush and hurry of the river confused both sight and hearing. I saw D.'s great horse carried off his legs, my mare, too, was swimming, and shortly afterwards, between swimming, struggling, and floundering, we reached what had been the junction of the two rivers, where there was foothold, and the water was only up to the seat of the saddles.

Remember, we were both sitting nearly up to our waists in water, and it was only by screaming that our voices were heard above the din, and to return or go on seemed equally perilous. Under these critical circumstances the following colloquy took place, on my side, with teeth chattering, and on hers, with a sudden forgetfulness of English produced by her first sense of the imminent danger we were in.

Self.—"My mare is so tired, and so heavily weighted, we shall be drowned, or I shall."

Deborah (with more reason on her side).—"But can't go back, we no stay here, water higher all minutes, spur horse, think we come through."

Self.—"But if we go on there is broader, deeper water between us and the shore; your husband would not like you to run such a risk."

Deborah.—"Think we get through, if horses give out, we let go; I swim and save you."

Even under these circumstances a gleam of the ludicrous shot through me at the idea of this small fragile being bearing up my weight among the breakers. I attempted to shift my saddle-bags upon her powerful horse, but being full of water and under water, the attempt failed, and as we spoke both our horses were carried off their vantage ground into deep water.

With wilder fury the river rushed by, its waters whirled dizzily, and, in spite of spurring and lifting with the rein, the horses were swept seawards. It was a very fearful sight. I saw Deborah's horse spin round, and thought woefully of the possible fate of the bright young wife, almost a bride; only the horses' heads and our own heads and shoulders were above water; the surf was thundering on our left, and we were drifting towards it "broadside on." When I saw the young girl's face of horror I felt increased presence of mind, and raising my voice to a shriek, and telling her to do as I did, I lifted and turned my mare with the rein, so that her chest and not her side should receive the force of the river, and the brave animal, as if seeing what she should do, struck out desperately. It was a horrible suspense. Were we stemming the torrent, or was it sweeping us back that very short distance which lay between us and the mountainous breakers? I constantly spurred my mare, guiding her slightly to the left, the side grew nearer, and after exhausting struggles, Deborah's horse touched ground, and her voice came faintly towards me like a voice in a dream, still calling "Spur, spur." My mare touched ground twice, and was carried off again before she fairly got to land some yards nearer the sea than the bridle track.

When our tired horses were taking breath I felt as if my heart stopped, and I trembled all over, for we had narrowly escaped death. I then put our saddle-bags on Deborah's horse. It was one of the worst and steepest of the palis that we had to ascend; but I can't remember anything about the road except that we had to leap some place which we could not cross otherwise. Deborah, then thoroughly alive to a sense of risk, said that there was only one more bad gulch to cross before we reached Onomea, but it was the most dangerous of all, and we could not get across, she feared, but we might go and look at it. I only remember the extreme solitude of the region, and scrambling and sliding down a most precipitous pali, hearing a roar like cataract upon cataract, and coming suddenly down upon a sublime and picturesque scene, with only standing room, and that knee-deep in water, between a savage torrent and the cliff. This gulch, called the Scotchman's gulch, I am told, because a Scotchman was drowned there, must be at its crossing three-quarters of a mile inland, and three hundred feet above the sea. In going to Waipio, on noticing the deep holes and enormous boulders, some of them higher than a man on horseback, I had thought what a fearful place it would be if it were ever full; but my imagination had not reached the reality. One huge compressed impetuous torrent, leaping in creamy foam, boiling in creamy eddies, rioting in deep black chasms, roared and thundered over the whole in rapids of the most tempestuous kind, leaping down to the ocean in three grand broad cataracts, the nearest of them not more than forty feet from the crossing. Imagine the Moriston at the Falls, four times as wide and fifty times as furious, walled in by precipices, and with a miniature Niagara above and below, and you have a feeble illustration of it.

Portions of two or three rocks only could be seen, and on one of these, about twelve feet from the shore, a nude native, beautifully tattooed, with a lasso in his hands, was standing nearly up to his knees in foam; and about a third of the way from the other side, another native in deeper water, steadying himself by a pole. A young woman on horseback, whose near relative was dangerously ill at Hilo, was jammed under the cliff, and the men were going to get her across. Deborah, to my dismay, said that if she got safely over we would go too, as these natives were very skilful. I asked if she thought her husband would let her cross, and she said "No." I asked her if she were frightened, and she said "Yes;" but she wished so to get home, and her face was as pale as a brown face can be. I only hope the man will prove worthy of her affectionate devotion.

Here, though people say it is a most perilous gulch, I was not afraid for her life or mine, with the amphibious natives to help us; but I was sorely afraid of being bruised, and scarred, and of breaking the horses' legs, and I said I would not cross, but would sleep among the trees; but the tumult drowned our voices, though the Hawaiians by screeching could make themselves understood. The nearest man then approached the shore, put the lasso round the nose of the woman's horse, and dragged it into the torrent; and it was exciting to see a horse creeping from rock to rock in a cataract with alarming possibilities in every direction. But beasts may well be bold, as they have not "the foreknowledge of death." When the nearest native had got the horse as far as he could, he threw the lasso to the man who was steadying himself with the pole, and urged the horse on. There was a deep chasm between the two into which the animal fell, as he tried to leap from one rock to another. I saw for a moment only a woman's head and shoulders, a horse's head, a commotion of foam, a native tugging at the lasso, and then a violent scramble on to a rock, and a plunging and floundering through deep water to shore.

Then Deborah said she would go, that her horse was a better and stronger one; and the same process was repeated with the same slip into the chasm, only with the variation that for a second she went out of sight altogether. It was a terribly interesting and exciting spectacle with sublime accompaniments. Though I had no fear of absolute danger, yet my mare was tired, and I had made up my mind to remain on that side till the flood abated; but I could not make the natives understand that I wished to turn, and while I was screaming "No, no," and trying to withdraw my stiffened limbs from the stirrups, the noose was put round the mare's nose, and she went in. It was horrible to know that into the chasm as the others went I too must go, and in the mare went with a blind plunge. With violent plunging and struggling she got her fore feet on the rock, but just as she was jumping up to it altogether she slipped back snorting into the hole, and the water went over my eyes. I struck her with my spurs, the men screeched and shouted, the hinder man jumped in, they both tugged at the lasso, and slipping and struggling, the animal gained the rock, and plunged through deep water to shore, the water covering that rock with a rush of foam, being fully two feet deep.

Kaluna came up just after we had crossed, undressed, made his clothes into a bundle, and got over amphibiously, leaping, swimming, and diving, looking like a water-god, with the horse and mule after him. His dexterity was a beautiful sight; but on looking back I wondered how human beings ever devised to cross such a flood. We got over just in time. Some travellers who reached Laupahoehoe shortly after we left, more experienced than we were, suffered a two days' detention rather than incur a similar risk. Several mules and horses, they say, have had their legs broken in crossing this gulch by getting them fast between the rocks.

Shortly after this, Deborah uttered a delighted exclamation, and her pretty face lighted up, and I saw her husband spurring along the top of the next pali, and he presently joined us, and I exchanged my tired mare for his fresh, powerful horse. He knew that a freshet was imminent, and believing that we should never leave Laupahoehoe, he was setting off, provided with tackle for getting himself across, intending to join us, and remain with us till the rivers fell. The presence of a responsible white man seemed a rest at once. We had several more gulches to cross, but none of them were dangerous; and we rode the last seven miles at a great pace, though the mire and water were often up to the horses' knees, and came up to Onomea at full gallop, with spirit and strength enough for riding other twenty miles. Dry clothing, hot baths, and good tea followed delightfully upon our drowning ride. I remained over Sunday at Onomea, and yesterday rode here with a native in heavy rain, and received a warm welcome. Our adventures are a nine days' wonder, and every one says that if we had had a white man or an experienced native with us, we should never have been allowed to attempt the perilous ride. I feel very thankful that we are living to tell of it, and that Deborah is not only not worse but considerably better. E—- will expect some reflections; but none were suggested at the time, and I will not now invent what I ought to have thought and felt.

Due honour must be given to the Mexican saddle. Had I been on a side-saddle, and encumbered with a riding-habit, I should have been drowned. I feel able now to ride anywhere and any distance upon it, while Miss Karpe, who began by being much stronger than I was, has never recovered from the volcano ride, and seems quite ill.

Last night Kilauea must have been tremendously active. At ten P.M., from the upper verandah, we saw the whole western sky fitfully illuminated, and the glare reddened the snow which is lying on Mauna Loa, an effect of fire on ice which can rarely be seen. I.L.B.



LETTER XII.

HILO, February 22.

My sojourn here is very pleasant, owing to the kindness and sociability of the people. I think that so much culture and such a variety of refined tastes can seldom be found in so small a community. There have been pleasant little gatherings for sewing, while some gentlemen read aloud, fern-printing in the verandah, microscopic and musical evenings, little social luncheons, and on Sunday evenings what is colloquially termed, "a sing," at this most social house. One of the things I have specially enjoyed has been spending an afternoon at the Rev. Titus Coan's. He is not only one of the most venerable of the remaining missionaries, but such an authority on the Hawaiian volcanoes as to entitle him to be designated "the high-priest of Pele!" In his modest, quiet way he told thrilling stories of the old missionary days.

As you know, the islands cast off idolatry in 1819, but it was not till 1835 that Mr. and Mrs. Coan arrived in Hilo, where Mr. and Mrs. Lyman had been toiling for some time, and had produced a marked change on the social condition of the people. Mr. C. was a fervid speaker, and physically very robust, and when he had mastered the language, he undertook much of the travelling and touring, and Mr. Lyman took charge of the home mission station, and the boarding and industrial school which he still indefatigably superintends. There were 15,000 natives then in the district, and its extremes were 100 miles apart. Portions of it could only be reached with peril to limbs and even life. Horses were only regarded as wild animals in those days, and Mr. C. traversed on foot the district I have just returned from, not lazily riding down the gulch sides, but climbing, or being let down by ropes from tree to tree, and from crag to crag. In times of rain like last week, when it was impossible to ford the rivers, he sometimes swam across, with a rope to prevent him from being carried away, through others he rode on the broad shoulders of a willing native, while a company of strong men locked hands and stretched themselves across the torrent, between him and the cataract, to prevent him from being carried over in case his bearer should fall. This experience was often repeated three or four times a day. His smallest weekly number of sermons was six or seven, and the largest from twenty-five to thirty. He often travelled in drowning rain, crossed dangerous streams, climbed slippery precipices, and frequently preached in wind and rain with all his garments saturated. On every occasion he received aid from the natives, who were so kind and friendly, that when he used to sleep in the woods at night, he hung his watch on a tree, knowing that it was perfectly safe from pilfering or curious touch. Indeed the Christian teachers seem to have been regarded as tabu.

Before the end of that year, Mr. Coan had made the circuit of Hawaii, a foot and canoe trip of 300 miles, in which he nearly suffered canoe-wreck twice. In all, he has admitted into the Christian church by baptism, 12,000 persons, besides 4000 infants. He gave a most interesting account of one great baptism. The greatest care was previously taken in selecting, teaching, watching, and examining the candidates. Those from the distant villages came and spent several months here for preliminary instruction. Many of these were converts of two years' standing, a larger class had been on the list for more than a year, and a smaller one for a lesser period. The accepted candidates were announced by name several weeks previously, and friends and enemies everywhere were called upon to testify all that they knew about them. On the first Sunday in July, 1838, 1705 persons, formerly heathens, were baptised. They were seated close together on the earth-floor in rows, with just space between for one to walk, and Mr. Lyman and Mr. Coan passing through them, sprinkled every bowed head, after which Mr. C. admitted the weeping hundreds into the fellowship of the Universal Church by pronouncing the words, "I baptise you all in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." After this, 2400 converts received the Holy Communion. I give Mr. C.'s own words concerning those who partook of it, "who truly and earnestly repented of their sins, and steadfastly purposed to lead new lives." "The old and decrepit, the lame, the blind, the maimed, the withered, the paralytic, and those afflicted with divers diseases and torments; those with eyes, noses, lips, and limbs consumed; with features distorted, and figures depraved and loathsome: these came hobbling upon their staves, or led and borne by others to the table of the Lord. Among the throng you would have seen the hoary priest of idolatry, with hands but recently washed from the blood of human victims, together with thieves, adulterers, highway robbers, murderers, and mothers whose hands reeked with the blood of their own children. It seemed like one of the crowds the Saviour gathered, and over which He pronounced the words of healing."

Though the people cast off idolatry in 1819, before the arrival of the missionaries, they were very indifferent to Christian teaching until 1837, the year before the great baptism, when a great religious stir began, and for four years affected all the islands. I wish you could have heard Mr. C. and Mrs. Lyman tell of that stirring time, when nearly all the large population of the Hilo and Puna districts turned out to hear the Gospel, and how the young people went up into the mountains and carried the news of the love of God and the good life to come to the sick and old, who were afterwards baptized, when often the only water which could be obtained for the rite was that which dripped sparingly from the roofs of caves. The Hawaiian notions of a future state, where any existed, were peculiarly vague and dismal, and Mr. Ellis says that the greater part of the people seemed to regard the tidings of ora loa ia Jesu (endless life by Jesus) as the most joyful news they had ever heard, "breaking upon them," to use their own phrase, "like light in the morning." "Will my spirit never die, and can this poor weak body live again?" an old chiefess exclaimed, and this delighted surprise seemed the general feeling of the natives. From less difficult distances the sick and lame were brought on litters and on the backs of men, and the infirm often crawled to the trail by which the missionary was to pass, that they might hear of this good news which had come to Hawaii-nei.

There were but these two preachers for the 15,000 people scattered for 100 miles, who were all ravenous to hear, and could not wait for the tardy modes of evangelization. "If we die," said they, "let us die in the light." So this strange thing fell out, that whole villages from miles away gathered to the mission station. Two- thirds of the population of the district came in, and within the radius of a mile the grass and banana houses clustered as thick as they could stand. Beautiful Hilo in a short time swelled from a population of 1000 to 10,000; and at any hour of the day or night the sound of the conch shell brought together from 3000 to 6000 worshippers. It was a vast camp-meeting which continued for two years, but there was no disorder, and a decent quiet ruled throughout the strangely extemporized city. A new morality, a new social order, new notions on nearly all subjects, had to be inculcated as well as a new religion. Mrs. C. and Mrs. L. daily assembled the women and children, and taught them the habits and industries of civilization, to attend to their persons, to braid hats, and to wear and make clothes.

During this time, on November 7, 1837, one of the striking phenomena which make the islands remarkable occurred. The crescent sand- beach, said to be the most beautiful in the Pacific, the fringe of palms, the far-reaching groves behind, and the great ocean, slept in summer calm, as they sleep to-day. Four sermons, as usual, had been preached to audiences of 6000 people. There had been a funeral, the natives say, though Mr. C. does not remember it, and his text had been "Be ye also ready," and larger throngs than usual had followed the preachers to their homes. The fatiguing day was over, the natives were singing hymns in the still evening air, and Mr. C. "had gathered his family for prayers" in the very room in which he told me this story, when they were startled by "a sound as if a heavy mountain had fallen on the beach." There was at once a fearful cry, wailing, and indescribable confusion. The quiet ocean had risen in a moment in a gigantic wave, which, rushing in with the speed of a racehorse, and uplifting itself over the shore, swept everything into promiscuous ruin; men, women, children, dogs, houses, food, canoes, clothing, floated wildly on the flood, and hundreds of people were struggling among the billows in the midst of their earthly all. Some were dashed on the shore, some were saved by friends who hurried to their aid, some were carried out to sea by the retiring water, and some stout swimmers sank exhausted; yet the loss of life was not nearly so great as it would have been among a less amphibious people. Mr. C. described the roaring of the ocean, the cries of distress, the shrieks of the perishing, the frantic rush of hundreds to the shore, and the desolation of the whole neighbourhood of the beach, as forming a scene of the most thrilling and awful interest.

You will remember that I wrote from Kilauea regarding the terror which the Goddess of the Crater inspired, and her high-priest was necessarily a very awful personage. The particular high-priest of whom Mr. Coan told me was six feet five inches in height, and his sister, who was co-ordinate with him in authority, had a scarcely inferior altitude. His chief business was to keep Pele appeased. He lived on the shore, but often went up to Kilauea with sacrifices. If a human victim were needed, he had only to point to a native, and the unfortunate wretch was at once strangled. He was not only the embodiment of heathen piety, but of heathen crime. Robbery was his pastime. His temper was so fierce and so uncurbed that no native dared even to tread on his shadow. More than once he had killed a man for the sake of food and clothes not worth fifty cents. He was a thoroughly wicked savage. Curiosity attracted him into one of the Hilo meetings, and the bad giant fell under the resistless, mysterious influence which was metamorphosing thousands of Hawaiians. "I have been deceived," he said, "I have deceived others, I have lived in darkness, and did not know the true God. I worshipped what was no God. I renounce it all. The true God has come. He speaks. I bow down to Him. I wish to be His son." The priestess, his sister, came soon afterwards, and they remained here several months for instruction. They were then about seventy years old, but they imbibed the New Testament spirit so thoroughly that they became as gentle, loving, and quiet as little children. After a long probationary period they were baptized, and after several years of pious and lowly living, they passed gently and trustfully away.

The old church which was the scene of these earlier assemblages, came down with a crash after a night of heavy rain, the large timbers, which were planted in the moist earth after the fashion of the country to support the framework, having become too rotten to support the weight of the saturated thatch. Without a day's loss of time the people began a new church. All were volunteers, some to remove from the wreck of the old building such timbers as might still be of service; some to quarry stone for a foundation, an extravagance never before dreamed of by an islander; some to bring sand in gourd-shells upon their heads, or laboriously gathered in the folds of bark-cloth aprons; some to bring lime from the coral reefs twenty feet under water; whilst the majority hurried to the forest belt, miles away on the mountain side, to fell the straightest and tallest trees. Then 50 or 100 men, (for in that day horses and oxen were known only as wild beasts of the wilderness,) attached hawsers to the butt ends of logs, and dragged them away through bush and brake, through broken ground and river beds, till they deposited them on the site of the new church. The wild, monotonous chant, as the men hauled in the timber, lives in the memories of the missionaries' children, who say that it seemed to them as if the preparations for Solomon's temple could not have exceeded the accumulations of the islanders!

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