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The Hawaiian Archipelago
by Isabella L. Bird
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The solitude is perfect. Except the "quarters" at the back, I think there is not a house, native or foreign, within six miles, though there are several hundred natives on the property. Birds sing in the morning, and the trees rustle throughout the day; but in the cool evenings the air is perfectly still, and the trickle of a stream is the only sound.

The house has the striking novelty of a chimney, and there is a fire all day long in the dining-room.

I must now say a little about my hosts and try to give you some idea of them. I heard their history from Mr. Damon, and thought it too strange to be altogether true until it was confirmed by themselves. {303} The venerable lady at the head of the house emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand many years ago, where her husband was unfortunately drowned, and she being left to bring up a large family, and manage a large property, was equally successful with both. Her great ambition was to keep her family together, something on the old patriarchal system; and when her children grew up, and it seemed as if even their very extensive New Zealand property was not large enough for them, she sold it, and embarking her family and moveable possessions on board a clipper-ship, owned and commanded by one of her sons-in-law, they sailed through the Pacific in search of a home where they could remain together.

They were strongly tempted by Tahiti, but some reasons having decided them against it, they sailed northwards and put into Honolulu. Mr. Damon, who was seaman's chaplain, on going down to the wharf one day, was surprised to find their trim barque, with this immense family party on board, with a beautiful and brilliant old lady at its head, books, pictures, work, and all that could add refinement to a floating home, about them, and cattle and sheep of valuable breeds in pens on deck. They then sailed for British Columbia, but were much disappointed with it, and in three months they re-appeared at Honolulu, much at a loss regarding their future prospects.

The island of Niihau was then for sale, and in a very short time they purchased it of Kamehameha V. for a ridiculously low price, and taking their wooden houses with them, established themselves for seven years. It is truly isolated, both by a heavy surf and a disagreeable sea-passage, and they afterwards bought this beautiful and extensive property, made a road, and built the house. Only the second son and his wife live now on Niihau, where they are the only white residents among 350 natives. It has an area of 70,000 acres, and could sustain a far larger number of sheep than the 20,000 now upon it. It is said that the transfer of the island involved some hardships, owing to a number of the natives having neglected to legalise their claims to their kuleanas, but the present possessors have made themselves thoroughly acquainted with the language, and take the warmest interest in the island population. Niihau is famous for its very fine mats, and for necklaces of shells six yards long, as well as for the extreme beauty and variety of the shells which are found there.

The household here consists first and foremost of its head, Mrs. —- , a lady of the old Scotch type, very talented, bright, humorous, charming, with a definite character which impresses its force upon everybody; beautiful in her old age, disdaining that servile conformity to prevailing fashion which makes many old people at once ugly and contemptible: speaking English with a slight, old- fashioned, refined Scotch accent, which gives naivete to everything she says, up to the latest novelty in theology and politics: devoted to her children and grandchildren, the life of the family, and though upwards of seventy, the first to rise, and the last to retire in the house. She was away when I came, but some days afterwards rode up on horseback, in a large drawn silk bonnet, which she rarely lays aside, as light in her figure and step as a young girl, looking as if she had walked out of an old picture, or one of Dean Ramsay's books.

Then there are her eldest son, a bachelor, two widowed daughters with six children between them, three of whom are grown up young men, and a tutor, a young Prussian officer, who was on Maximilian's staff up to the time of the Queretaro disaster, and is still suffering from Mexican barbarities. The remaining daughter is married to a Norwegian gentleman, who owns and resides on the next property. So the family is together, and the property is large enough to give scope to the grandchildren as they require it.

They are thoroughly Hawaiianised. The young people all speak Hawaiian as easily as English, and the three young men, who are superb young fellows, about six feet high, not only emulate the natives in feats of horsemanship, such as throwing the lasso, and picking up a coin while going at full gallop, but are surf-board riders, an art which it has been said to be impossible for foreigners to acquire.

The natives on Niihau and in this part of Kauai, call Mrs. —- "Mama." Their rent seems to consist in giving one or more days' service in a month, so it is a revival of the old feudality. In order to patronise native labour, my hosts dispense with a Chinese, and employ a native cook, and native women come in and profess to do some of the housework, but it is a very troublesome arrangement, and ends in the ladies doing all the finer cooking, and superintending the coarser, setting the table, trimming the lamps, cutting out and "fixing" all the needlework, besides planning the indoor and outdoor work which the natives are supposed to do. Having related their proficiency in domestic duties, I must add that they are splendid horsewomen, one of them an excellent shot, and the other has enough practical knowledge of seamanship, as well as navigation, to enable her to take a ship round the world! It is a busy life, owing to the large number of natives daily employed, and the necessity of looking after the native lunas, or overseers. Dr. Smith at Koloa, twenty- two miles off, is the only doctor on the island, and the natives resort to this house in great numbers for advice and medicine in their many ailments. It is much such a life as people lead at Raasay, Applecross, or some other remote Highland place, only that people who come to visit here, unless they ride twenty-two miles, must come to the coast in the Jenny instead of being conveyed by one of David Hutcheson's luxurious steamers. If the Clansman were "put on," probably the great house would not contain the strangers who would arrive!

We were sitting in the library one morning when Mr. M., of Timaru, N.Z., rode up with an introduction, and was of course cordially welcomed. He goes on to England, where you will doubtless cross- question him concerning my statements. During his visit a large party of us made a delightful expedition to the Hanapepe Falls, one of the "lions" of Kauai. It is often considered too "rough" for ladies, and when Mrs. —- and I said we were going, I saw Mr. M. look as if he thought we should be a dependent nuisance; I was amused afterwards with his surprise at Mrs. —-'s courageous horsemanship, and at his obvious confusion as to whether he should help us, which question he wisely decided in the negative.

If "happiness is atmosphere," we were surely happy. The day was brilliant, and as cool as early June at home, but the sweet, joyous trade-wind could not be brewed elsewhere than on the Pacific. The scenery was glorious, and mountains, trees, frolicsome water, and scarlet birds, all rioted as if in conscious happiness. Existence was a luxury, and reckless riding a mere outcome of the animal spirits of horses and riders, and the thud of the shoeless feet as the horses galloped over the soft grass was sweeter than music. I could hardly hold my horse at all, and down hills as steep as the east side of Arthur's Seat, over knife-like ridges too narrow for two to ride abreast, and along side-tracks only a foot wide, we rode at full gallop, till we pulled up at the top of a descent of 2,000 feet with a broad, rapid river at its feet, emerging from between colossal walls of rock to girdle a natural lawn of the bright manienie grass. There had been a "drive" of horses, and numbers of these, with their picturesque saddles, were picketed there, while their yet more picturesque, scarlet-shirted riders lounged in the sun.

It was a difficult two hours' ride from thence to the Falls, worthy of Hawaii, and since my adventures in the Hilo gulches I cannot cross running water without feeling an amount of nervousness which I can conceal, but cannot reason myself out of. In going and returning, we forded the broad, rugged river twenty-six times, always in water up to my horse's girths, and the bottom was so rocky and full of holes, and the torrent so impetuous, that the animals floundered badly and evidently disliked the whole affair. Once it had been possible to ride along the edge, but the river had torn away what there was of margin in a freshet, so that we had to cross perpetually, to attain the rough, boulder-strewn strips which lay between the cliffs and itself. Sometimes we rode over roundish boulders like those on the top of Ben Cruachan, or like those of the landing at Iona, and most of those under the rush of the bright foaming water were covered with a silky green weed, on which the horses slipped alarmingly. My companions always took the lead, and by the time that each of their horses had struggled, slipped, and floundered in and out of holes, and breasted and leapt up steep banks, I was ready to echo Mr. M.'s exclamation regarding Mrs. —-, "I never saw such riding; I never saw ladies with such nerve." I certainly never saw people encounter such difficulties for the sake of scenery. Generally, a fall would be regarded as practically inaccessible which could only be approached in such a way.

I will not inflict another description of similar scenery upon you, but this, though perhaps exceeding all others in beauty, is not only a type, perhaps the finest type, of a species of canon very common on these islands, but is also so interesting geologically that you must tolerate a very few words upon it.

The valley for two or three miles from the sea is nearly level, very fertile, and walled in by palis 250 feet high, much grooved vertically, and presenting fine layers of conglomerate and grey basalt; and the Hanapepe winds quietly through the region which it fertilises, a stream several hundred feet wide, with a soft, smooth bottom. But four miles inland the bed becomes rugged and declivitous, and the mountain walls close in, forming a most magnificent canon from 1,000 to 2,500 feet deep. Other canons of nearly equal beauty descend to swell the Hanapepe with their clear, cool, tributaries, and there are "meetings of the waters" worthier of verse than those of Avoca. The walls are broken and highly fantastic, narrowing here, receding there, their strangely-arched recesses festooned with the feathery trichomanes, their clustering columns and broken buttresses suggesting some old-world minster, and their stately tiers of columnar basalt rising one above another in barren grey into the far-off blue sky. The river in carving out the gorge so grandly has most energetically removed all rubbish, and even the tributaries of the lateral canons do not accumulate any "wash" in the main bed. The walls as a rule rise clear from the stream, which, besides its lateral tributaries, receives other contributions in the form of waterfalls, which hurl themselves into it from the cliffs in one leap.

After ascending it for four miles all further progress was barred by a pali which curves round from the right, and closes the chasm with a perpendicular wall, over which the Hanapepe precipitates itself from a height of 326 feet, forming the Koula Falls. At the summit is a very fine entablature of curved columnar basalt, resembling the clam shell cave at Staffa, and two high, sharp, and impending peaks on the other side form a stately gateway for a stream which enters from another and broader valley; but it is but one among many small cascades, which round the arc of the falls flash out in foam among the dark foliage, and contribute their tiny warble to the diapason of the waterfall. It rewards one well for penetrating the deep gash which has been made into the earth. It seemed so very far away from all buzzing, frivolous, or vexing things, in the cool, dark abyss into which only the noon-day sun penetrates. All beautiful things which love damp; all exquisite, tender ferns and mosses; all shade- loving parasites flourish there in perennial beauty. And high above in the sunshine, the pea-green candle-nut struggles with the dark ohia for precarious roothold on rocky ledges, and dense masses of Eugenia, aflame with crimson flowers, and bananas, and all the leafy wealth born of heat and damp fill up the clefts which fissure the pali. Every now and then some scarlet tropic bird flashed across the shadow, but it was a very lifeless and a very silent scene. The arches, buttresses, and columns suggest a temple, and the deep tone of the fall is as organ music. It is all beauty, solemnity, and worship.

It was sad to leave it and to think how very few eyes can ever feast themselves on its beauty. We came back again into gladness and sunshine, and to the vulgar necessity of eating, which the natives ministered to by presenting us with a substantial meal of stewed fowls and sweet potatoes at the nearest shanty. There must have been something intoxicating in the air, for we rode wildly and recklessly, galloping down steep hills (which on principle I object to), and putting our horses to their utmost speed. Mine ran off with me several times, and once nearly upset Mr. M.'s horse, as he probably will tell you.

The natives annoy me everywhere by their inhumanity to their horses. To-day I became an object of derision to them for hunting for sow- thistles, and bringing back a large bundle of them to my excellent animal. They starve their horses from mere carelessness or laziness, spur them mercilessly, when the jaded, famished things almost drop from exhaustion, ride them with great sores under the saddles, and with their bodies deeply cut with the rough girths; and though horses are not regarded as more essential in any part of the world, they neglect and maltreat them in every way, and laugh scornfully if one shows any consideration for them. Except for short shopping distances in Honolulu, I have never seen a native man or woman walking. They think walking a degradation, and I have seen men take the trouble to mount horses to go 100 yards.

I have no time to tell you of a three days' expedition which five of us made into the heart of the nearer mountainous district, attended by some mounted natives. Mr. K., from whose house we started, has the finest mango grove on the islands. It is a fine foliaged tree, but is everywhere covered with a black blight, which gives the groves the appearance of being in mourning, as the tough, glutinous film covers all the older leaves. The mango is an exotic fruit, and people think a great deal of it, and send boxes of mangoes as presents to their friends. It is yellow, with a reddish bloom, something like a magnum bonum plum, three times magnified. The only way of eating it in comfort is to have a tub of water beside you. It should be eaten in private by any one who wants to retain the admiration of his friends. It has an immense stone, and a disproportionately small pulp. I think it tastes strongly of turpentine at first, but this is a heresy.

Beyond Waielva and its mango groves there is a very curious sand bank about 60 feet high, formed by wind and currents, and of a steep, uniform angle from top to bottom. It is very coarse sand, composed of shells, coral, and lava. When two handfuls are slapped together, a sound like the barking of a dog ensues, hence its name, the Barking Sands. It is a common amusement with strangers to slide their horses down the steep incline, which produces a sound like subterranean thunder, which terrifies unaccustomed animals. Besides this phenomenon, the mirage is often seen on the dry, hot soil, and so perfectly, too, that strangers have been known to attempt to ride round the large lake which they saw before them.

Pleasant as our mountain trip was, both in itself, and as a specimen of the way in which foreigners recreate themselves on the islands, I was glad to get back to the broad Waimea, on which long shadows of palms reposed themselves in the slant sunshine, and in the short red twilight to arrive at this breezy height, and be welcomed by a blazing fire.

Mrs. —-, in speaking of the mode of living here, was telling me that on a recent visit to England she felt depressed the whole time by what appeared to her "the scarcity" in the country. I never knew the meaning of the Old Testament blessing of "plenty" and "bread to the full" till I was in abundant Victoria, and it is much the same here. At home we know nothing of this, which was one of the chiefest of the blessings promised in the Old Testament. Its GENIALISING effect is very obvious. A man feels more practically independent, I think, when he can say to all his friends, "Drop in to dinner whenever you like," than if he possessed the franchise six times over; and people can indulge in hospitality and exercise the franchise, too, here, for meat is only twopence a pound, and bananas can be got for the gathering. The ever-increasing cost of food with us makes free-hearted hospitality an impossibility, and withers up all those kindly instincts which find expression in housing and feeding both friends and strangers. I.L.B.



LETTER XXII.

LIHUE. KAUAI.

I rode from Makaueli to Dr. Smith's, at Koloa, with two native attendants, a luna to sustain my dignity, and an inferior native to carry my carpet-bag. Horses are ridden with curb-bits here, and I had only brought a light snaffle, and my horse ran away with me again on the road, and when he stopped at last, these men rode alongside of me, mimicking me, throwing themselves back with their feet forwards, tugging at their bridles, and shrieking with laughter, exclaiming Maikai! Maikai! (good).

I remained several days at Koloa, and would gladly have accepted the hospitable invitation to stay as many weeks, but for a cowardly objection to "beating to windward" in the Jenny. The scenery in the Koloa woods is exquisitely beautiful. Such supreme beauty produces on me some of the effects which fine music has upon those who have an exquisite sense of it. It speaks in a language of its own, like music, and is equally untranslatable.

One day, the girls asked me to go with them to the forests and return by moonlight, but they only spoke of them as the haunts of ferns, because they supposed that I should think nothing of them after the forests of Australia and New Zealand! They were not like the tropical woods of Hawaii, and owe more to the exceeding picturesqueness of the natural scenery. Hawaii is all domes and humps, Kauai all peaks and sierras. There were deep ravines, along which bright fern-shrouded streams brawled among wild bananas, overarched by Eugenias, with their gory blossoms: walls of peaks, and broken precipices, grey ridges rising out of the blue forest gloom, high mountains with mists wreathing their spiky summits, for a background: gleams of a distant silver sea: and the nearer many- tinted woods were not matted together in jungle fashion, but festooned and adorned with numberless lianas, and even the prostrate trunks of fallen trees took on new beauty from the exquisite ferns which covered them. Long cathedral aisles stretched away in far-off vistas, and so perfect at times was the Gothic illusion, that I found myself listening for anthems and the roll of organs. So cool and moist it was, and triumphantly redundant in vagaries of form and greenery, it was a forest of forests, and it became a necessity to return the next day, and the next; and I think if I had remained at Koloa I should have been returning still.

This place is outside the beauty, among cane-fields, and is much swept by the trade winds. Mr. Rice, my host, is the son of an esteemed missionary, and he and his wife take a deep interest in the natives. When he brought her here as a bride a few months ago, the natives were so delighted that he had married an island lady who could speak Hawaiian, that they gave them an ahaaina, or native feast, on a grand scale. The food was cooked in Polynesian style, by being wrapped up in greens called luau, and baked underground. There were two bullocks, nineteen hogs, a hundred fowls, any quantity of poi and fruit, and innumerable native dishes. Five hundred natives, profusely decorated with leis of flowers and maile, were there, and each brought a gift for the bride. After the feast they chaunted meles in praise of Mr. Rice, and Mrs. Rice played to them on her piano, an instrument which they had not seen before, and sang songs to them in Hawaiian. Mr. and Mrs. R. teach in and superintend a native Sunday-school, and have enlisted twenty native teachers, and in order to keep up the interest and promote cordial feeling, they and the other teachers meet once a month for a regular teachers' meeting, taking the houses in rotation. Refreshments are served afterwards, and they say that nothing can be more agreeable than the good feeling at the meetings, and the tact and graceful hospitality which prevail at the subsequent entertainments.

The Hawaiians are a most pleasant people to foreigners, but many of their ways are altogether aggravating. Unlike the Chinamen, they seldom do a thing right twice. In my experience, they have almost never saddled and bridled my horse quite correctly. Either a strap has been left unbuckled, or the blanket has been wrinkled under the saddle. They are too easy to care much about anything. If any serious loss arises to themselves or others through their carelessness, they shrug their shoulders, and say, "What does it matter?" Any trouble is just a pilikia. They can't help it. If they lose your horse from neglecting to tether it, they only laugh when they find you are wanting to proceed on your journey. Time, they think, is nothing to any one. "What's the use of being in a hurry?" Their neglect of their children, a cause from which a large proportion of the few born perish, is a part of this universal carelessness. The crime of infanticide, which formerly prevailed to a horrible extent, has long been extinct; but the love of pleasure and the dislike of trouble which partially actuated it, are apparently still stronger among the women than the maternal instinct, and they do not take the trouble necessary to rear their infants. They give their children away, too, to a great extent, and I have heard of instances in which children have been so passed from hand to hand, that they are quite ignorant of their real parents. It is an odd caprice in some cases, that women who have given away their own children are passionately attached to those whom they have received as presents, but I have nowhere seen such tenderness lavished upon infants as upon the pet dogs that the women carry about with them. Though they are so deficient in adhesiveness to family ties, that wives seek other husbands, and even children desert their parents for adoptive homes, the tie of race is intensely strong, and they are remarkably affectionate to each other, sharing with each other food, clothing, and all that they possess. There are no paupers among them but the lunatics and the lepers, and vagrancy is unknown. Happily on these sunny shores no man or woman can be tempted into sin by want.

With all their faults, and their intolerable carelessness, all the foreigners like them, partly from the absolute security which they enjoy among them. They are so thoroughly good-natured, mirthful, and friendly, and so ready to enter heart and soul into all haole diversions, that the islands would be dreary indeed if the dwindling race became extinct.

Among the many misfortunes of the islands, it has been a fortunate thing that the missionaries' families have turned out so well, and that there is no ground for the common reproach that good men's sons turn out reprobates.

The Americans show their usual practical sagacity in missionary matters. In 1853, when these islands were nominally Christianised, and a native ministry consisting of fifty-six pastors had been established, the American Board of Missions, which had expended during thirty-five years nine hundred and three thousand dollars in Christianising the group, and had sent out 149 male and female missionaries, resolved that it should not receive any further aid either in men or money.

In the early days, the King and chiefs had bestowed lands upon the Mission, on which substantial mission premises had been erected, and on withdrawing from the islands, the Board wisely made over these lands to the Mission families as freehold property. The result has been that, instead of a universal migration of the young people to America, numbers of them have been attached to Hawaiian soil. The establishment at an early date of Punahou College, at which for a small sum both boys and girls receive a first-class English education, also contributed to retain them on the islands, and numbers of the young men entered into sugar-growing, cattle-raising, storekeeping, and other businesses here. At Honolulu and Hilo a large proportion of the residents of the upper class are missionaries' children; most of the respectable foreigners on Kauai are either belonging to, or intimately connected with, the Mission families; and they are profusely scattered through Maui and Hawaii in various capacities, and are bound to each other by ties of extreme intimacy and friendliness, as well as by marriage and affinity. This "clan" has given society what it much wants—a sound moral core, and in spite of all disadvantageous influences, has successfully upheld a public opinion in favour of religion and virtue. The members of it possess the moral backbone of New England, and its solid good qualities, a thorough knowledge of the language and habits of the natives, a hereditary interest in them, a solid education, and in many cases much general culture.

In former letters I have mentioned Mr. Coan and Mr. Lyons as missionaries. I must correct this, as there have been no actual missionaries on the islands for twenty years. When the Board withdrew its support, many of the missionaries returned to America; some, especially the secular members, went into other positions on the group, while the two first-mentioned and two or three besides, remained as pastors of native congregations.

I venture to think that the Board has been premature in transferring the islands to a native pastorate at such a very early stage of their Christianity. Such a pastorate must be too feeble to uphold a robust Christian standard. As an adjunct it would be essential to the stability of native Christianity, but it is not possible that it can be trusted as the sole depository of doctrine and discipline, and even were it all it ought to be, it would lack the power to repress the lax morality which is ruining the nation. Probably each year will render the overhaste of this course more apparent, and it is likely that some other mode of upholding pure Christianity will have to be adopted, when the venerable men who now sustain and guide the native pastors by their influence shall have been gathered to their rest. I.L.B.



LETTER XXIII.

LIHUE. KAUAI, April 17.

Before leaving Kauai I must tell you of a solitary expedition I have just made to the lovely valley of Hanalei. It was only a three days "frolic," but an essentially "good time." Mr. Rice provided me with a horse and a very pleasing native guide. I did not leave till two in the afternoon, as I only intended to ride fifteen miles, and, as the custom is, ask for a night's lodging at a settler's house. However, as I drew near Mr. B.'s ranch, I felt my false courage oozing out of the tips of my fingers, and as I rode up to the door, certain obnoxious colonial words, such as "sundowners," and "bummers," occurred to me, and I felt myself a "sundowner" when the host came out and asked me to dismount. He said he was sorry his wife was away, but he would do his best for me in her absence, and took me down to a room where a very rough-looking man was tenderly nursing a baby a year old, which was badly burned or scalded, and which began to cry violently at my entrance, and required the united efforts of the two bereaved men to pacify it. They had the charge of it between them. I took it while they went to make some tea, and it kicked, roared, and fought until they came back. By that time I had prepared a neat little speech, saying that I was not the least tired, and would only trouble them for a glass of water; and, having covered my cowardice successfully, I went on, having been urged by the hospitable ranchman to be sure to stay for the night at his father-in-law's house, a few miles further on. I saw that the wishes of the native went in the same direction, but after my one experience I assured myself that I had not the necessary nerve for this species of mendicancy, and went on as fast as the horse could gallop wherever the ground admitted of it, the scenery becoming more magnificent as the dark, frowning mountains of Hanalei loomed through the gathering twilight.

But they were fifteen miles off, and on the way we came to a broad, beautiful ravine, through which a broad, deep river glided into the breakers. I had received some warnings about this, but it was supposed that we could cross in a ferry scow, of which, however, I only found the bones. The guide and the people at the ferryman's house talked long without result, but eventually, by many signs, I contrived to get them to take me over in a crazy punt, half full of water, and the horses swam across. Before we reached the top of the ravine, the last redness of twilight had died from off the melancholy ocean, the black forms of mountains looked huge in the darkness, and the wind sighed so eerily through the creaking lauhalas, as to add much to the effect. It became so very dark that I could only just see my horse's ears, and we found ourselves occasionally in odd predicaments, such as getting into crevices, or dipping off from steep banks; and it was in dense darkness that we arrived above what appeared to be a valley with twinkling lights, lying at the foot of a precipice, and walled in on all sides but one by lofty mountains. It was rather queer, diving over the wooded pali on a narrow track, with nothing in sight but the white jacket of the native, who had already indicated that he was at the end of his resources regarding the way, but just as a river gleamed alarmingly through the gloom, a horseman on a powerful horse brushed through the wood, and on being challenged in Hawaiian replied in educated English, and very politely turned with me, and escorted me over a disagreeable ferry in a scow without rails, and to my destination, two miles beyond.

Yesterday, when I left, the morning was brilliant, and after ascending the pali, I stayed for some time on an eminence which commands the valley, presented by Mr. Wyllie to Lady Franklin, in compliment to her admiration of its loveliness. Hanalei has been likened by some to Paradise, and by others to the Vale of Caschmir. Everyone who sees it raves about it. "See Hanalei and die," is the feeling of the islanders, and certainly I was not disappointed, nor should I be with Paradise itself were it even a shade less fair! It has every element of beauty, and in the bright sunshine, with the dark shadows on the mountains, the waterfalls streaking their wooded sides, the river rushing under kukuis and ohias, and then lingering lovingly amidst living greenery, it looked as if the curse had never lighted there.

Its mouth, where it opens on the Pacific, is from two to three miles wide, but the boundary mountains gradually approach each other, so that five miles from the sea a narrow gorge of wonderful beauty alone remains. The crystal Hanalei flows placidly to the sea for the last three or four miles, tired by its impetuous rush from the mountains, and mirrors on its breast hundreds of acres of cane, growing on a plantation formerly belonging to Mr. Wyllie, an enterprising Ayrshire man, and one of the ablest and most disinterested foreigners who ever administered Hawaiian affairs. Westward of the valley there is a region of mountains, slashed by deep ravines. The upper ridges are densely timbered, and many of the ohias have a circumference of twenty-five feet, three feet from the ground. It was sad to turn away for ever from the loveliness of Hanalei, even though by taking another route, which involved a ride of forty miles, I passed through and in view of, most entrancing picturesqueness. Indeed, for mere loveliness, I think that part of Kauai exceeds anything that I have seen.

The atmosphere and scenery were so glorious that it was possible to think of nothing all day, but just allow oneself passively to drink in sensations of exquisite pleasure. I wish all the hard-worked people at home, who lead joyless lives in sunless alleys, could just have one such day, and enjoy it as I did, that they might know how fair God's earth is, and how far fairer His Paradise must be, if even from this we cannot conceive "of the things which He hath prepared for them that love Him." I never before felt so sad for those whose lives are passed amidst unpropitious surroundings, or so thankful for my own capacity of enjoying nature.

Just as we were coming up out of a deep river, a native riding about six feet from me was caught in a quicksand. He jumped off, but the horse sank half way up its body. I wanted to stay and see it extricated, for its struggles only sank it deeper, but the natives shrugged their shoulders, and said in Hawaiian, "only a horse," and something they always say when anything happens, equivalent to "What's the odds?" It was a joyously-exciting day, and I was galloping down a grass hill at a pace which I should not have assumed had white people been with me, when a native rode up to me and said twice over, "maikai! paniola," and laughed heartily. When my native came up, he pointed to me and again said "paniola;" and afterwards we were joined by two women, to whom my guide spoke of me as paniola; and on coming to the top of a hill they put their horses into a gallop, and we all rode down at a tremendous, and, as I should once have thought, a break-neck speed, when one of the women patted me on the shoulder, exclaiming, "maikai! maikai! paniola." I thought they said "spaniola," taking me for a Spaniard, but on reaching Lihue, and asking the meaning of the word, Mrs. Rice said, "Oh, lassoing cattle, and all that kind of thing." I was disposed to accept the inference as a compliment; but when I told Mrs. R. that the word had been applied to myself, she laughed very much, and said she would have toned down its meaning had she known that!

We rode through forests lighted up by crimson flowers, through mountain valleys greener than Alpine meadows, descended steep palis, and forded deep, strong rivers, pausing at the beautiful Wailua Falls, which leap in a broad sheet of foam and a heavy body of water into a dark basin, walled in by cliffs so hard that even the ferns and mosses which revel in damp, fail to find roothold in the naked rock. Both above and below, this river passes through a majestic canon, and its neighbourhood abounds in small cones, some with crateriform cavities at the top, some broken down, and others, apparently of great age, wooded to their summits. A singular ridge, called Mauna Kalalea, runs along this part of the island, picturesque beyond anything, and, from its abruptness and peculiar formation, it deceives the eye into judging it to be as high as the gigantic domes of Hawaii. Its peaks are needle-like, or else blunt projections of columnar basalt, rising ofttimes as terraces. At a beautiful village called Anahola the ridge terminates abruptly, and its highest portion is so thin that a large patch of sky can be seen through a hole which has been worn in it.

I reached Lihue by daylight, having established my reputation as a paniola by riding forty miles in 7.5 hours, "very good time" for the islands. I hope to return here in August, as my hospitable friends will not allow me to leave on any other condition. The kindness I have received on Kauai is quite overwhelming, and I shall remember its refined and virtuous homes as long as its loveliness and delicious climate.

HAWAIIAN HOTEL. HONOLULU. April 23rd.

I have nothing new to add. Mr. Dexter is so far recovered that I fear I shall not find my friends here on my return. People are in the usual fever about the mail, and I must close this. I.L.B.



LETTER XXIV.

ULUPALAKUA. MAUI. May 12th.

It is three weeks since I left the Hawaiian Hotel and its green mist of algarobas, but my pleasant visits in this island do not furnish much that will interest you. There was great excitement on the wharf at Honolulu the evening I left. It was crowded with natives, the king's band was playing, old hags were chanting meles, and several of the royal family, and of the "upper ten thousand" were there, taking leave of the Governess of Hawaii, the Princess Keelikolani, the late king's half-sister. The throng and excitement were so great, that we were outside the reef before I got a good view of this lady, the largest and the richest woman on the islands. Her size and appearance are most unfortunate, but she is said to be good and kind. She was dressed in a very common black holuku, with a red bandana round her throat, round which she wore a le of immense oleanders, as well as round her hair, which was cut short. She had a large retinue, and her female attendants all wore leis of oleander. They spread very fine mats on the deck, under pulu beds, covered with gorgeous quilts, on which the Princess and her suite slept, and in the morning the beds were removed, breakfast was spread on the mats, and she, some of her attendants, and two or three white men who received invitations, sat on the deck round it. It was a far less attractive meal than that which the serene steward served below. The calabashes, which contained the pale pink poi, were of highly polished kou wood, but there were no foreign refinements. The other dishes were several kinds of raw fish, dried devil-fish, boiled kalo, sweet potatoes, bananas, and cocoa-nut milk.

I had a very uncomfortable night on a mattress on the deck, which was overcrowded with natives, and some of the native women and two foreigners had got a whiskey bottle, and behaved disgracefully. We went round by the Leper Island.

I landed at Maaleia, on the leeward side of the sandy isthmus which unites East and West Maui, got a good horse, and, with Mr. G—-, rode across to the residence of "Father Alexander," at Wailuku, a flourishing district of sugar plantations. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander were among the early missionaries, and still live on the mission premises. Several of their sons are settled on the island in the sugar business, and it was to the Heiku plantation, fifteen miles off, of which Mr. S. Alexander is manager, that I went on the following day, still escorted by Mr. G—-. Here we heard that captains of schooners which had arrived from Hawaii, report that a light is visible on the terminal crater of Mauna Loa, 14,000 feet above the sea, that Kilauea, the flank crater, is unusually active, and that several severe shocks of earthquake have been felt. This is exciting news.

Behind Wailuku is the Iao valley, up which I rode with two island friends, and spent a day of supreme, satisfied admiration. At Iao people may throw away pen and pencil in equal despair. The trail leads down a gorge dark with forest trees, and then opens out into an amphitheatre, walled in by precipices, from three to six thousand feet high, misty with a thousand waterfalls, plumed with kukuis, and feathery with ferns. A green-clad needle of stone, one thousand feet in height, the last refuge of an army routed when the Wailuku (waters of destruction) ran red with blood, keeps guard over the valley. Other needles there are; and mimic ruins of bastions and ramparts and towers came and passed mysteriously: and the shining fronts of turrets gleamed through trailing mists, changing into drifting visions of things that came and went, in sunshine and shadow, mountains raising battered peaks into a cloudless sky, green crags moist with ferns, and mists of water that could not fall, but frittered themselves away on slopes of maiden-hair, and depths of forest and ferns through which bright streams warble through the summer years. Clouds boiling up from below drifted at times across the mountain fronts, or lay like snow masses in the unsunned chasms: and over the grey crags and piled up pinnacles, and glorified green of the marvellous vision, lay a veil of thin blue haze, steeping the whole in a serenity which seemed hardly to belong to earth.

The track from Wailuku to Heiku is over a Sahara in miniature, a dreary expanse of sand and shifting sandhills, with a dismal growth in some places of thornless thistles and indigo, and a tremendous surf thunders on the margin. Trackless, glaring, choking, a guide is absolutely necessary to a stranger, for the footprints or wheel- marks of one moment are obliterated the next. I crossed the isthmus three times, and the third time was quite as incapable of shaping my course across it as the first, and though I had recklessly declined a guide, was only too thankful for the one who was forced upon me. It is a hateful ride, yet anything so hideous and aggressively odious is a salutary experience in a land of so much beauty. Sand, sand, sand! Sand-hills, smooth and red; sand plains, rippled, whites and glaring; sand drifts shifting; sand clouds whirling; sand in your eyes, nose, and mouth; sand stinging your face like pin points; sand hiding even your horse's ears; sand rippling like waves, hissing like spin-drift, malignant, venomous! You can only open one eye at a time for a wink at where you are going. Looking down upon it from Heiku, you can see nothing all day but the dense brown clouds of a perpetual sand-storm.

My charming hostess and her husband made Heiku so fascinating, that I only quitted it hoping to return. The object which usually attracts strangers to Maui is the great dead volcano of Haleakala, "The house of the sun," and I was fortunate in all the circumstances of my ascent. My host at Heiku provided me with a horse and native attendant, and I rode over the evening before to the house of his brother, Mr. J. Alexander, who accompanied me, and his intelligent and cultured society was one of the pleasures of the day.

People usually go up in the afternoon, camp near the summit, light a fire, are devoured by fleas, roast and freeze alternately till morning, and get up to see the grand spectacle of the sunrise, but I think our plan preferable, of leaving at two in the morning. The moon had set. It was densely dark, and it was raining on one side of the road, though quite fine on the other. By the lamplight which streamed from our early breakfast table, I only saw wet mules and horses, laden with gear for a mountain ascent, a trim little Japanese, who darted about helping, my native, who was picturesquely dressed in a Mexican poncho, Mr. Alexander, who wore something which made him unrecognisable; and myself, a tatterdemalion figure, wearing a much-worn green topcoat of his over my riding suit, and a tartan shawl arranged so as to fall nearly to my feet. Then we went forth into the darkness. The road soon degenerated into a wood road, then into a bridle track, then into a mere trail ascending all the way; and at dawn, when the rain was over, we found ourselves more than half-way up the mountain, amidst rocks, scoriae, tussocks, ohelos, a few common compositae, and a few coarse ferns and woody plants, which became coarser and scantier the higher we went up, but never wholly ceased; for, at the very summit, 10,200 feet high, there are some tufts of grass, and stunted specimens of a common asplenium in clefts. Many people suffer from mountain sickness on this ascent, but I suffered from nothing but the excruciating cold, which benumbed my limbs and penetrated to my bones; and though I dismounted several times and tried to walk, uphill exercise was impossible in the rarefied air. The atmosphere was but one degree below the freezing-point, but at that height, a brisk breeze on soaked clothes was scarcely bearable.

The sunrise turned the densely packed clouds below into great rosy masses, which broke now and then, showing a vivid blue sea, and patches of velvety green. At seven, after toiling over a last steep bit, among scoriae, and some very scanty and unlovely vegetation, we reached what was said to be the summit, where a ragged wall of rock shut out the forward view. Dismounting on some cinders, we stepped into a gap, and from thence looked down into the most gigantic crater on the earth. I confess that with the living fires of Kilauea in my memory, I was at first disappointed with the deadness of a volcano of whose activity there are no traditions extant. Though during the hours which followed, its majesty and wonderment grew upon me, yet a careful study of the admirable map of the crater, a comparison of the heights of the very considerable cones which are buried within it, and the attempt to realize the figures which represent its circumference, area, and depth, not only give a far better idea of it than any verbal description, but impress its singular sublimity and magnitude upon one far more forcibly than a single visit to the actual crater.

I mentioned in one of my first letters that East Maui, that part of the island which lies east of the isthmus of perpetual dust-storms, consists of a mountain dome 10,000 feet in height, with a monstrous base. Its slopes are very regular, varying from eight to ten degrees. Its lava-beds differ from those of Kauai and Oahu in being lighter in colour, less cellular, and more impervious to water. The windward side of the mountain is gashed and slashed by streams, which in their violence have excavated large pot-holes, which serve as reservoirs, and it is covered to a height of over 2000 feet by a luxuriant growth of timber. On the leeward side, several black and very fresh-looking streams of lava run into the sea, and the whole coast for some height above the shore shows most vigorous volcanic action. Elsewhere the rock is red and broken, and lateral cones abound near the base.

The ascent from Makawao, though it is over rather a desolate tract of land, has in its lower stages such a dismal growth of pining koa and spurious sandal-wood, and in its upper ones so much ohelo scrub, with grass and common aspleniums quite up to the top, that as one sits lazily on one's sure-footed horse, the fact that one is ascending a huge volcano is not forced upon one by any overmastering sterility and nakedness. Somehow, one expects to pass through some ulterior stage of blackness up to the summit. It is no such thing; and the great surprise of Haleakala to me was, that when according to calculation there should have been a summit, an abyss of vast dimensions opened below. The mountain top has been in fact blown off, and one is totally powerless to imagine what the forces must have been which rent it asunder.

The crater was clear of fog and clouds, and lighted in every part by the risen sun. The whole, with its contents, can be seen at a single glance, though its girdling precipices are nineteen miles in extent. Its huge, irregular floor is 2000 feet below; New York might be hidden away within it, with abundant room to spare; and more than one of the numerous subsidiary cones which uplift themselves solitary or in clusters through the area, attain the height of Arthur's Seat at Edinburgh. On the north and east are the Koolau and Kaupo Gaps, as deep as the crater, through which oceans of lava found their way to the sea. It looks as if the volcanic forces, content with rending the mountain top in twain, had then passed into an endless repose.

The crater appears to be composed of a hard grey clinkstone, much fissured; but lower down the mountain, the rock is softer, and has a bluish tinge. The internal cones are of very regular shape, and most of them look as if their fires had only just gone out, with their sides fiercely red, and their central cavities lined with layers of black ash. They are all composed of cinders of light specific gravity, and much of the ash is tinged with the hydrated oxide of iron. Very few of the usual volcanic products are present. {335} Small quantities of sulphur, in a very impure form, exist here and there, but there are no sulphur or steam-cracks, or hot springs on any part of the mountain. With its cold ashes and dead force, it is a most tremendous spectacle of the power of fire.

Some previous travellers had generously left some faggots on the summit, and we made a large fire for warmth, and I rolled my blanket round me, and sat with my feet among the hot embers, but all to no purpose. The wind was strong and keen, and the fierce splendour of the tropic sun conveyed no heat. Mr. A. went away investigating, the native rolled himself in his poncho and fell asleep by the fire, and I divided the time between glimpses into the awful desolation of the crater, snatched between the icy gusts of wind, and the enjoyment of the wonderful cloud scenery which to everybody is a great charm of the view from Haleakala. The day was perfect; for first we had an inimitable view of the crater and all that could be seen from the mountain-top, and then an equally inimitable view of Cloudland. There was the gaunt, hideous, desolate abyss, with its fiery cones, its rivers and surges of black lava and grey ash, crossing and mingling all over the area, mixed with splotches of colour and coils of satin rock, its walls dark and frowning, everywhere riven and splintered, and clouds perpetually drifting in through the great gaps, and filling up the whole crater with white swirling masses, which in a few minutes melted away in the sunshine, leaving it all as sharply definite as before. Before noon clouds surrounded the whole mountain, not in the vague flocculent, meaningless masses one usually sees, but in Arctic oceans, where lofty icebergs, floes and pack, lay piled on each other, glistening with the frost of a Polar winter; then alps on alps, and peaks of well remembered ranges gleaming above glaciers, and the semblance of forests in deep ravines loaded with new fallen snow. Snow-drifts, avalanches, oceans held in bondage of eternal ice, and all this massed together, shifting, breaking, glistering, filling up the broad channel which divides Maui from Hawaii, and far away above the lonely masses, rose, in turquoise blue, like distant islands, the lofty Hawaiian domes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, with snow on Mauna Kea yet more dazzling than the clouds. There never was a stranger contrast than between the hideous desolation of the crater below, and those blue and jewelled summits rising above the shifting clouds.

After some time the scene shifted, and through glacial rifts appeared as in a dream the Eeka mountains which enfold the Iao valley, broad fields of cane 8000 feet below, the flushed palm- fringed coast, and the deep blue sea sleeping in perpetual calm. But according to the well-known fraud which isolated altitudes perpetrate upon the eye, it appeared as if we were looking up at our landscape, not down; and no effort of the eye or imagination would put things at their proper levels.

But gradually the clouds massed themselves, the familiar earth disappeared, and we were "pinnacled in mid-heaven" in unutterable isolation, blank forgotten units, in a white, wonderful, illuminated world, without permanence or solidity. Our voices sounded thin in the upper air. The keen, incisive wind that swept the summit, had no kinship with the soft breezes which were rustling the tasselled cane in the green fields of earth which had lately gleamed through the drift. It was a new world and without sympathy, a solitude which could be felt. Was it nearer God, I wonder, because so far from man and his little works and ways? At least they seemed little there, in presence of the tokens of a catastrophe which had not only blown off a mountain top, and scattered it over the island, but had disembowelled the mountain itself to a depth of 2000 feet.

Soon after noon we began to descend; and in a hollow of the mountain, not far from the ragged edge of the crater, then filled up with billows of cloud, we came upon what we were searching for; not, however, one or two, but thousands of silverswords, their cold, frosted silver gleam making the hill-side look like winter or moonlight. They can be preserved in their beauty by putting them under a glass shade, but it must be of monstrous dimensions, as the finer plants measure 2 ft. by 18 in. without the flower stalk. They exactly resemble the finest work in frosted silver, the curve of their globular mass of leaves is perfect; and one thinks of them rather as the base of an epergne for an imperial table, or as a prize at Ascot or Goodwood, than as anything organic. A particular altitude and temperature appear essential to them, and they are not found straggling above or below a given line.

We reached Makawao very tired, soon after dark, to be heartily congratulated on our successful ascent, and bearing no worse traces of it than lobster-coloured faces, badly blistered.

After accepting sundry hospitalities I rode over here, skirting the mountain at a height of 2000 feet, a most tedious ride, only enlivened by the blaze of nasturtiums in some of the shallow gulches. It is very pretty here, and I wish all invalids could revel in the sweet changeless air. The name signifies "ripe bread- fruit of the gods." The plantation is 2000 feet above the sea, and is one of the finest on the islands; and owing to the slow maturity of the cane at so great a height, the yield is from five to six tons an acre. Water is very scarce; all that is used in the boiling- house and elsewhere has been carefully led into concrete tanks for storage, and even the walks in the proprietor's beautiful garden are laid with cement for the same purpose. He has planted many thousand Australian eucalyptus trees on the hillside in the hope of procuring a larger rainfall, so that the neighbourhood has quite an exotic appearance.

The coast is black and volcanic-looking below, jutting into the sea in naked lava promontories, which nature has done nothing to drape. Concerning a river of specially black lava, which runs into the sea to the south of this house, the following legend is told:—

"A withered old woman stopped to ask food and hospitality at the house of a dweller on this promontory, noted for his penuriousness. His kalo patches flourished, cocoa-nuts and bananas shaded his hut, nature was lavish of her wealth all round him. But the withered hag was sent away unfed, and as she turned her back on the man she said, 'I will return to-morrow.'

"This was Pele, the goddess of the volcano, and she kept her word, and came back the next day in earthquakes and thunderings, rent the mountain, and blotted out every trace of the man and his dwelling with a flood of fire."

Maui is very "foreign" and civilised, and although it has a native population of over 12,000, the natives are much crowded on plantations, and one encounters little of native life. There is a large society composed of planters' and merchants' families, and the residents are profuse in their hospitality. It is not infrequently taken undue advantage of, and I have heard of planters compelled to feign excuses for leaving their houses, in order to get rid of unintroduced and obnoxious visitors, who have quartered themselves on them for weeks at a time. It is wonderful that their patient hospitality is not worn out, even though, as they say, they sometimes "entertain angels unawares." I.L.B.



LETTER XXV.

KALAIEHA. HAWAII.

My departure from Ulupalakua illustrates some of the uncertainties of island travelling. On Monday night my things were packed, and my trunk sent off to the landing; but at five on Tuesday, Mr. Whipple came to my door to say that the Kilauea was not in Lahaina roads, and was probably laid up for repairs. I was much disappointed, for the mild climate had disagreed with me, and I was longing for the roystering winds and unconventional life of windward Hawaii, and there was not another steamer for three weeks.

However, some time afterwards, I was unpacking, and in the midst of a floor littered with ferns, photographs, books, and clothes, when Mrs. W. rushed in to say that the steamer was just reaching the landing below, and that there was scarcely the barest hope of catching her. Hopeless as the case seemed, we crushed most of my things promiscuously into a carpet bag, Mr. W. rode off with it, a horse was imperfectly saddled for me, and I mounted him, with my bag, straps, spurs, and a package of ferns in one hand, and my plaid over the saddle, while Mrs. W. stuffed the rest of my possessions into a clothes bag, and the Chinaman ran away frantically to catch a horse on which to ride down with them.

I galloped off after Mr. W., though people called to me that I could not catch the boat, and that my horse would fall on the steep broken descent. My saddle slipped over his neck, but he still sped down the hill with the rapid "racking" movement of a Narraganset pacer. First a new veil blew away, next my plaid was missing, then I passed my trunk on the ox-cart which should have been at the landing; but still though the heat was fierce, and the glare from the black lava blinding, I dashed heedlessly down, and in twenty minutes had ridden three miles down a descent of 2,000 feet, to find the Kilauea puffing and smoking with her anchor up; but I was in time, for her friendly clerk, knowing that I was coming, detained the scow. You will not wonder at my desperation when I tell you that half-way down, a person called to me, "Mauna Loa is in action!"

While I was slipping off the saddle and bridle, Mr. W. arrived with the carpet-bag, yet more over-heated and shaking with exertion than I was, then the Chinaman with a bag of oddments, next a native who had picked up my plaid and ferns on the road, and another with my trunk, which he had rescued from the ox-cart; so I only lost my veil and two brushes, which are irreplaceable here.

The quiet of the nine hours' trip in the Kilauea restored my equanimity, and prepared me to enjoy the delicious evening which followed. The silver waters of Kawaihae Bay reflected the full moon, the three great mountains of Hawaii were cloudless as I had not before seen them, all the asperity of the leeward shore was softened into beauty, and the long shadows of bending palms were as still and perfect as the palms themselves. But there was a new sight above the silver water, for the huge dome of Mauna Loa, forty miles away, was burning red and fitfully. A horse and servant awaited me, and we were soon clattering over the hard sand by the shining sea, and up the ascent which leads to the windy table-lands of Waimea. The air was like new life. At a height of 500 feet we met the first whiff of the trades, the atmosphere grew cooler and cooler, the night-wind fresher, the moonlight whiter; wider the sweeping uplands, redder the light of the burning mountain, till I wrapped my plaid about me, but still was chilled to the bone, and when the four hours' ride was over, soon after midnight, my limbs were stiff with tropical cold. And this, within 20 degrees of the equator, and only 2,500 feet above the fiery sea-shore, with its temperature of 80 degrees, where Sydney Smith would certainly have desired to "take off his flesh, and sit in his bones!"

I delight in Hawaii more than ever, with its unconventional life, great upland sweeps, unexplored forests, riotous breezes, and general atmosphere of freedom, airiness, and expansion. As I find that a lady can travel alone with perfect safety, I have many projects in view, but whatever I do or plan to do, I find my eyes always turning to the light on the top of Mauna Loa. I know that the ascent is not feasible for me, and that so far as I am concerned the mystery must remain unsolved; but that glory, nearly 14,000 feet aloft, rising, falling, "a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night," uplifted in its awful loneliness above all human interests, has an intolerable fascination. As the twilight deepens, the light intensifies, and often as I watch it in the night, it seems to flare up and take the form of a fiery palm-tree. No one has ascended the mountain since the activity began a month ago; but the fire is believed to be in "the old traditional crater of Mokuaweoweo, in a region rarely visited by man."

A few days ago I was so fortunate as to make the acquaintance of Mr. W. L. Green (now Minister of The Interior), an English resident in Honolulu, a gentleman of wide scientific and literary culture, one of whose objects in visiting Hawaii is the investigation of certain volcanic phenomena. He asked me to make the ascent of Mauna Kea with him, and we have satisfactorily accomplished it to-day.

The interior of the island, in which we have spent the last two days, is totally different, not only from the luxuriant windward slopes, but from the fiery leeward margin. The altitude of the central plateau is from 5,000 to 6,000 feet, there is not a single native dwelling on it, or even a trail across it, it is totally destitute of water, and sustains only a miserable scrub of mamane, stunted ohias, pukeawe, ohelos, a few compositae, and some of the hardiest ferns. The transient residents of this sheep station, and those of another on Hualalai, thirty miles off, are the only human inhabitants of a region as large as Kent. Wild goats, wild geese (Bernicla sandvicensis), and the Melithreptes Pacifica, constitute its chief population. These geese are web-footed, though water does not exist. They build their nests in the grass, and lay two or three white eggs.

Our track from Waimea lay for the first few miles over light soil, destitute of any vegetation, across dry glaring rocky beds of streams, and round the bases of numerous tufa cones, from 200 to 1500 feet in height, with steep smooth sides, composed of a very red ash. We crossed a flank of Mauna Kea at a height of 6000 feet, and a short descent brought us out upon this vast tableland, which lies between the bulbous domes of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai, the loneliest, saddest, dreariest expanse I ever saw.

The air was clear and the sun bright, yet nothing softened into beauty this formless desert of volcanic sand, stones, and lava, on which tufts of grass and a harsh scrub war with wind and drought for a loveless existence. Yet, such is the effect of atmosphere, that Mauna Loa, utterly destitute of vegetation, and with his sides scored and stained by the black lava-flows of ages, looked like a sapphire streaked with lapis lazuli. Nearly blinded by scuds of sand, we rode for hours through the volcanic wilderness; always the same rigid mamane, (Sophora Chrysophylla?) the same withered grass, and the same thornless thistles, through which the strong wind swept with a desolate screech.

The trail, which dips 1000 feet, again ascends, the country becomes very wild, there are ancient craters of great height densely wooded, wooded ravines, the great bulk of Mauna Kea with his ragged crest towers above tumbled rocky regions, which look as if nature, disgusted with her work, had broken it to pieces in a passion; there are living and dead trees, a steep elevation, and below, a broad river of most jagged and uneven a-a. The afternoon fog, which serves instead of rain, rolled up in dense masses, through which we heard the plaintive bleating of sheep, and among blasted trees and distorted rocks we came upon Kalaieha.

I have described the "foreign residences" elsewhere. Here is one of another type, in which a wealthy sheep-owner's son, married to a very pretty native woman, leads for some months in the year from choice, a life so rough, that most people would think it a hardship to lead it from necessity. There are two apartments, a loft and a "lean-to." The hospitable owners gave me their sleeping-room, which was divided from the "living-room" by a canvass partition. This last has a rude stone chimney split by an earthquake, holding fire enough to roast an ox. Round it the floor is paved with great rough stones. A fire of logs, fully three feet high, was burning, but there was a faulty draught, and it emitted a stinging smoke. I looked for something to sit upon, but there was nothing but a high bench, or chopping-block, and a fixed seat in the corner of the wall. The rest of the furniture consisted of a small table, some pots, a frying-pan, a tin dish and plates, a dipper, and some tin pannikins. Four or five rifles and "shot-guns," and a piece of raw meat, were hanging against the wall. A tin bowl was brought to me for washing, which served the same purpose for every one. The oil was exhausted, so recourse was had to the native expedient of a jar of beef fat with a wick in it.

We were most hospitably received, but the native wife, as is usually the case, was too shy to eat with us or even to appear at all. Our host is a superb young man, very frank and prepossessing looking, a thorough mountaineer, most expert with the lasso and in hunting wild cattle. The "station" consists of a wool shed, a low grass hut, a hut with one side gone, a bell-tent, and the more substantial cabin in which we are lodged. Several saddled horses were tethered outside, and some natives were shearing sheep, but the fog shut out whatever else there might be of an outer world. Every now and then a native came in and sat on the floor to warm himself, but there were no mats as in native houses. It was intolerably cold. I singed my clothes by sitting in the chimney, but could not warm myself. A fowl was stewed native fashion, and some rice was boiled, and we had sheep's milk and some ice cold water, the drip, I think, from a neighbouring cave, as running and standing water are unknown.

There are 9000 sheep here, but they require hardly any attendance except at shearing time, and dogs are not used in herding them. Indeed, labour is much dispensed with, as the sheep are shorn unwashed, a great contrast to the elaborate washings of the flocks of the Australian Riverina. They come down at night of their own sagacity, in close converging columns, sleep on the gravel about the station, and in the early morning betake themselves to their feeding grounds on the mountain.

Mauna Kea, and the forests which skirt his base, are the resort of thousands of wild cattle, and there are many men nearly as wild, who live half savage lives in the woods, gaining their living by lassoing and shooting these animals for their skins. Wild black swine also abound.

The mist as usual disappeared at night, leaving a sky wonderful with stars, which burned blue and pale against the furnace glare on the top of Mauna Loa, to which we are comparatively near. I woke at three from the hopeless cold, and before five went out with Mr. Green to explore the adjacent lava. The atmosphere was perfectly pure, and suffused with rose-colour, not a cloud-fleece hung round the mountain tops, hoar-frost whitened the ground, the pure white smoke of the volcano rose into the reddening sky, and the air was elixir. It has been said and written that there are no steam-cracks or similar traces of volcanic action on Mauna Kea, but in several fissures I noticed ferns growing belonging to an altitude 4000 feet lower, and on putting my arm down, found a heat which compelled me to withdraw it, and as the sun rose these cracks steamed in all directions. There are caves full of ferns, lava bubbles in reality, crust over crust, each from twelve to eighteen inches thick, rolls of lava cooled in coils, and hideous a-a streams on which it is impossible to walk two yards without the risk of breaking one's limbs or cutting one's boots to pieces.

While we breakfasted a young man in rags, without shoes or stockings, but with the accent and address of a gentleman, came in, a man of good family and education in England, but who had "gone to the bad out here," and had joined a gang of bullock-catchers. Why do people persist in sending "ne'er-do-weels" to such regions without a definite occupation? It is certain ruin.

I will not weary you with the details of our mountain ascent. Our host provided ourselves and the native servant with three strong bullock-horses, and accompanied us himself. The first climb is through deep volcanic sand slashed by deep clefts, showing bands of red and black ash. We saw no birds, but twice started a rout of wild black hogs, and once came upon a wild bull of large size with some cows and a calf, all so tired with tramping over the lava that they only managed to keep just out of our way. They usually keep near the mountain top in the daytime for fear of the hunters, and come down at night to feed. About 11,000 were shot and lassoed last year. Mr. S—- says that they don't need any water but that of the dew-drenched grass, and that horses reared on the mountains refuse to drink, and are scared by the sight of pools or running streams. Unlike horses I saw at Waikiki, which shut their eyes and plunged their heads into water up to their ears, in search of a saltish weed which grows in the lagoons.

The actual forest, which is principally koa, ceases at a height of about 6000 feet, but a deplorable vegetation beginning with mamane scrub, and ending with withered wormwood and tufts of coarse grass, straggles up 3000 feet higher, and a scaly orange lichen is found in rare pitches at a height of 11,000 feet.

The side of Mauna Kea towards Waimea is precipitous and inaccessible, but to our powerful mountain horses the ascent from Kalaieha presented no difficulty.

We rode on hour after hour in intense cold, till we reached a height where the last stain of lichen disappeared, and the desolation was complete and oppressive. This area of tufa cones, dark and grey basalt, clinkers, scoriae, fine ash, and ferruginous basalt, is something gigantic. We were three hours in ascending through it, and the eye could at no time take in its limit, for the mountain which from any point of view below appears as a well defined dome with a ragged top, has at the summit the aspect of a ridge, or rather a number of ridges, with between 20 and 30 definite peaks, varying in height from 900 to 1400 feet. Among these cones are large plains of clinkers and fine gravel, but no lava-streams, and at a height of 12,000 feet the sides of some of the valleys are filled up with snow, of a purity so immaculate and a brilliancy so intense as the fierce light of the tropical sun beat upon it, that I feared snow-blindness. We ascended one of the smaller cones which was about 900 feet high, and found it contained a crater of nearly the same depth, with a very even slope, and lined entirely with red ash, which at the bottom became so bright and fiery-looking that it looked as if the fires, which have not burned for ages, had only died out that morning.

After riding steadily for six hours, our horses, snorting and panting, and plunging up to their knees in fine volcanic ash, and halting, trembling and exhausted, every few feet, carried us up the great tufa cone which crowns the summit of this vast fire-flushed, fire-created mountain, and we dismounted in deep snow on the crest of the highest peak in the Pacific, 13,953 feet above the sea. This summit is a group of six red tufa cones, with very little apparent difference in their altitude, and with deep valleys filled with red ash between them. The terminal cone on which we were has no cavity, but most of those forming the group, as well as the thirty which I counted around and below us, are truncated cones with craters within, and with outer slopes, whose estimated angle is about 30 degrees. On these slopes the snow lay heavily. In coming up we had had a superb view of Mauna Loa, but before we reached the top, the clouds had congregated, and lay in glistening masses all round the mountain about half-way up, shutting out the smiling earth, and leaving us alone with the view of the sublime desolation of the volcano.

We only remained an hour on the top, and came down by a very circuitous route, which took us round numerous cones, and over miles of clinkers varying in size from a ton to a few ounces, and past a lake the edges of which were frozen, and which in itself is a curiosity, as no other part of the mountain "holds water." Not far off is a cave, a lava-bubble, in which the natives used to live when they came up here to quarry a very hard adjacent phonolite for their axes and other tools. While the others poked about, I was glad to make it a refuge from the piercing wind. Hundreds of unfinished axes lie round the cave entrance, and there is quite a large mound of unfinished chips.

This is a very interesting spot to Hawaiian antiquaries. They argue, from the amount of the chippings, that this mass of phonolite was quarried for ages by countless generations of men, and that the mountain top must have been upheaved, and the island inhabited, in a very remote past. The stones have not been worked since Captain Cook's day; yet there is not a weather-stain upon them, and the air is so dry and rarified that meat will keep fresh for three months. I found a mass of crystals of the greenish volcanic glass, called olivine, imbedded in a piece of phonolite which looked as blue and fresh as if only quarried yesterday.

We travelled for miles through ashes and scoriae, and then descended into a dense afternoon fog; but Mr. S. is a practised mountaineer, and never faltered for a moment, and our horses made such good speed that late in the afternoon we were able to warm ourselves by a gallop, which brought us in here ravenous for supper before dark, having ridden for thirteen hours. I hope I have made it clear that the top of this dead volcano, whether cones or ravines, is deep soft ashes and sand.

To-morrow morning I intend to ride the thirty miles to Waimea with two native women, and the next day to go off on my adventurous expedition to Hilo, for which I have bought for $45 a big, strong, heavy horse, which I have named Kahele. He has the poking head and unmistakable gait of a bullock horse, but is said to be "a good traveller." I.L.B.



LETTER XXVI.

"MY CAMP," HAWAIIAN SLOPES. May 21.

This is the height of enjoyment in travelling. I have just encamped under a lauhala tree, with my saddle inverted for a pillow, my horse tied by a long lariat to a guava bush, my gear, saddle-bags, and rations for two days lying about, and my saddle blanket drying in the sun. Overhead the sun blazes, and casts no shadow; a few fleecy clouds hover near him, and far below, the great expanse of the Pacific gleams in a deeper blue than the sky. Far above, towers the rugged and snow-patched, but no longer mysterious dome of Mauna Loa; while everywhere, ravines, woods, waterfalls, and stretches of lawn- like grass delight the eye. All green that I have ever seen, of English lawns in June, or Alpine valleys, seems poor and colourless as compared with the dazzling green of this sixty-five miles. It is a joyous green, a glory. Whenever I look up from my writing, I ask, Was there ever such green? Was there ever such sunshine? Was there ever such an atmosphere? Was there ever such an adventure? And Nature—for I have no other companion, and wish for none—answers, "No." The novelty is that I am alone, my conveyance my own horse; no luggage to look after, for it is all in my saddle-bags; no guide to bother, hurry, or hinder me; and with knowledge enough of the country to stop when and where I please. A native guide, besides being a considerable expense, is a great nuisance; and as the trail is easy to find, and the rivers are low, I resolved for once to taste the delights of perfect independence! This is a blessed country, for a lady can travel everywhere in absolute security.

My goal is the volcano of Kilauea, with various diverging expeditions, involving a ride of about 350 miles; but my health has so wonderfully improved, that it is easier to me now to ride forty miles in a day than ten some months ago.

You have no idea of the preparations required for such a ride, and the importance which "littles" assume. Food for two days had to be taken, and all superfluous weight to be discarded, as every pound tells on a horse on a hard journey. My saddle-bags contain, besides "Sunday clothes," dress for any "gaieties" which Hilo may offer; but I circumscribed my stock of clothes as much as possible, having fallen into the rough-and-ready practice of washing them at night, and putting them on unironed in the morning. I carry besides, a canvas bag on the horn of my saddle, containing two days' provender, and a knife, horse-shoe nails, glycerine, thread, twine, leather thongs, with other little et ceteras, the lack of which might prove troublesome, a thermometer and aneroid in a leather case, and a plaid. I have discarded, owing to their weight, all the well-meant luxuries which were bestowed upon me, such as drinking cups, flasks, etnas, sandwich cases, knife cases, spoons, pocket mirrors, etc. The inside of a watchcase makes a sufficient mirror, and I make a cup from a kalo leaf. All cases are a mistake,—at least I think so, as I contemplate my light equipment with complacency.

Yesterday's dawn was the reddest I have seen on the mountains, and the day was all the dawn promised. A three-mile gallop down the dewy grass, and slackened speed through the bush, brought me once again to the breezy slopes of Hamakua, and the trail I travelled in February, with Deborah and Kaluna. Though as green then as now, it was the rainy season, a carnival of rain and mud. Somehow the summer does make a difference, even in a land without a winter. The temperature was perfect. It was dreamily lovely. No song of birds, or busy hum of insects, accompanied the rustle of the lauhala leaves and the low murmur of the surf. But there is no hot sleep of noon here—the delicious trades keep the air always wakeful.

When the gentleman who guided me through the bush left me on the side of a pali, I discovered that Kahele, though strong, gentle, and sure-footed, possesses the odious fault known as balking, and expressed his aversion to ascend the other side in a most unmistakable manner. He swung round, put his head down, and no amount of spurring could get him to do anything but turn round and round, till the gentleman, who had left me, returned, beat him with a stick, and threw stones at him, till he got him started again.

I have tried coaxing him, but without result, and have had prolonged fights with him in nearly every gulch, and on the worst pali of all he refused for some time to breast a step, scrambled round and round in a most dangerous place, and slipped his hind legs quite over the edge before I could get him on.

His sociability too is ridiculously annoying. Whenever he sees natives in the distance, he neighs, points his ears, holds up his heavy head, quickens his pace, and as soon as we meet them, swings round and joins them, and can only be extricated after a pitched battle. On a narrow bridge I met Kaluna on a good horse, improved in manners, appearance, and English, and at first he must have thought that I was singularly pleased to see him, by my turning round and joining him at once; but presently, seeing the true state of the case, he belaboured Kahele with a heavy stick. The animal is very gentle, and companionable, and I dislike to spur him; besides, he seems insensible to it; so the last time I tried Rarey's plan, and bringing his head quite round, twisted the bridle round the horn of the saddle, so that he had to turn round and round for my pleasure, rather than to indulge his own temper, a process which will, I hope, conquer him mercifully.

But in consequence of these battles, and a halt which I made, as now, for no other purpose than to enjoy my felicitous circumstances, the sun was sinking in a mist of gold behind Mauna Loa long before I reached the end of my day's journey. It was extremely lovely. A heavy dew was falling, odours of Eden rose from the earth, colours glowed in the sky, and the dewiest and richest green was all round. It was eerie, but delightful. There were several gulches to cross after the sun had set, and a silence, which was almost audible, reigned in their leafy solitudes. It was quite dark when I reached the trail which dips over the great pali of Laupahoehoe, 700 feet in height; but I found myself riding carelessly down what I hardly dared to go up, carefully and in company, four months before. But whatever improvement time has made in my health and nerves, it has made none in this wretched zoophyte village.

Leading Kahele, I groped about till I found the house of the widow Honolulu, with whom I had lodged before, and presently all the natives assembled to stare at me. After rubbing my horse and feeding him on a large bundle of ti leaves that I had secured on the road, I took my own meal as a spectacle. Two old crones seized on my ankles, murmuring lomi, lomi, and subjected them to the native process of shampooing. They had unrestrained curiosity as to the beginning and end of my journey. I said "Waimea, Hamakua," when they all chorused, "Maikai;" for a ride of forty miles was not bad for a wahine haole. I said, "Wai, lio," (water for the horse), when they signified that there was only some brackish stuff unfit for drinking.

In spite of the garrulous assemblage, I was asleep before eight, and never woke till I found myself in a blaze of sunshine this morning, and in perfect solitude. I got myself some breakfast, and then looked about the village for some inhabitants, but found none, except an unhappy Portuguese with one leg, and an old man who looked like a leper, to whom I said, "Ko" (cane) "lio" (horse), exhibiting a rial at the same time, on which he cut me a large bundle, and I sat on a stone and watched Kahele as he munched it for an hour and a half.

It was very hot and serene down there between those palis 700 and 800 feet high. The huts of the village were all shut, and not a creature stirred. The palms above my head looked is if they had always been old, and there was no movement among their golden plumes. The sea itself rolled shorewards more silently and lazily than usual. An old dog slept in the sunshine, and whenever I moved, by a great effort, opened one eye. The man who cut the cane fell asleep on the grass. Kahele ate as slowly as if he had resolved to try my patience, and be revenged on me for my conquest of him yesterday, and his heavy munching was the only vital sound. I got up and walked about to assure myself that I was awake, saddled and bridled the horse, and mounted the great southward pali, thankful to reach the breeze and the upper air in full possession of my faculties, after the torpor and paralysis of the valley below.

Never were waters so bright or stretches of upland lawns so joyous as to-day, or the forest entanglements so entrancing. The beautiful Eugenia malaccensis is now in full blossom, and its stems and branches are blazing in all the gulches, with bunches of rose- crimson stamens borne on short spikelets.

HILO. HAWAII, May 24th.

Once more I am in dear beautiful Hilo. Death entered my Hawaiian "home" lately, and took "Baby Bell" away, and I miss her sweet angel-presence at every turn; but otherwise there are no changes, and I am very happy to be under the roof of these dear friends again, and indeed each tree, flower, and fern in Hilo is a friend. I would not even wish the straggling Pride of India, and over- abundant lantana, away from this fairest of the island Edens. I wish I could transport you here this moment from our sour easterly skies to this endless summer and endless sunshine, and shimmer of a peaceful sea, and an atmosphere whose influences are all cheering. Though from 13 to 16 feet of rain fall here in the year the air is not damp. Wet clothes hung up in the verandah even during rain, dry rapidly, and a substance so sensitive to damp as botanical paper does not mildew.

I met Deborah on horseback near Onomea, and she told me that the Austins were expecting me, and so I spent three days very pleasantly with them on my way here. I.L.B.

That old Kilauea has just come in, and has brought the English mail, and a United States mail, an event which sets Hilo agog. Then for a few hours its still, drowsy life becomes galvanized, and people really persuade themselves that they have something to do, and all the foreigners write letters hastily, or add postscripts to those already written, and lose the mail, and rush down frantically to the beach to send their late letters by favour of the obliging purser. The mail to-day was an event to me, as it has brought your long- looked-for letters.



LETTER XXVII.

HILO. June 1.

Mr. and Mrs. Severance and I have just returned from a three-days' expedition to Puna in the south of Hawaii, and I preferred their agreeable company even to solitude! My sociable Kahele was also pleased, and consequently behaved very well. We were compelled to ride for twenty-three miles in single file, owing to the extreme narrowness of the lava track, which has been literally hammered down in some places to make it passable even for shod horses. We were a party of four, and a very fat policeman on a very fat horse brought up the rear.

At some distance from Hilo there is a glorious burst of tropical forest, and then the track passes into green grass dotted over with clumps of the pandanus and the beautiful eugenia. In that hot dry district the fruit was already ripe, and we quenched our thirst with it. The "native apple," as it is called, is of such a brilliant crimson colour as to be hardly less beautiful than the flowers. The rind is very thin, and the inside is white, juicy, and very slightly acidulated. We were always near the sea, and the surf kept bursting up behind the trees in great snowy drifts, and every opening gave us a glimpse of deep blue water. The coast the whole way is composed of great blocks of very hard black lava, more or less elevated, upon which the surges break in perpetual thunder.

Suddenly the verdure ceased, and we emerged upon a hideous scene, one of the many lava flows from Kilauea, an irregular branching stream, about a mile broad. It is suggestive of fearful work on the part of nature, for here the volcano has not created but destroyed. The black tumbled sea mocked the bright sunshine, all tossed, jagged, spiked, twirled, thrown heap on heap, broken, rifted, upheaved in great masses, burrowing in ravines of its own making, full of broken bubble caves, and torn by a-a streams. Close to the track crystals of olivine lie in great profusion, and in a few of the crevices there are young plants of a fern which everywhere has the audacity to act as the herald of vegetation.

Beyond this desert the country is different in its features from the rest of the island, a green smiling land of Beulah, varied by lines of craters covered within and without with vegetation. For thirty miles the track passes under the deep shade of coco palms, of which Puna is the true home; and from under their feathery shadow, and from amidst the dark leafage of the breadfruit, gleamed the rose- crimson apples of the eugenia, and the golden balls of the guava. I have not before seen this exquisite palm to advantage, for those which fringe the coast have, as compared with these, a look of tattered, sombre, harassed antiquity. Here they stood in thousands, young as well as old, their fronds gigantic, their stems curving every way, and the golden light, which is peculiar to them, toned into a golden green. They were loaded with fruit in all stages, indeed it is produced in such abundance that thousands of nuts lie unheeded on the ground. Animals, including dogs and cats, revel in the meat, and in the scarcity of good water the milk is a useful substitute.

Late in the afternoon we reached our destination, a comfortable frame house, on one of those fine natural lawns in which Hawaii abounds. A shower at seven each morning keeps Puna always green. Our kind host, a German, married to a native woman, served our meals in a house made of grass and bamboo; but the wife and children, as is usual in these cases, never appeared at table, and contented themselves with contemplating us at a great distance.

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