Bluejacket by Louis Becke
A Tale Of Easter Island
ALONE, in the most solitary part of the Eastern Pacific, midway between the
earthquake-shaken littoral of Chili and Peru, and the thousand palm-clad islets of
the Low Archipelago, lies an island of the days "when the world was young." By the
lithe-limbed, soft-eyed descendants of the forgotten and mysterious race that
once quickened the land, this lonely outlier of the isles of the Southern Seas is
called in their soft tongue Rapanui, or the Great Rapa.
A hundred and seventy years ago Roggewein, on the dawn of an Easter Sunday,
discerned through the misty, tropic haze the grey outlines of an island under his
lee beam, and sailed down upon it.
He landed, and even as the grim and hardy old navigator gazed upon and
wondered at the mysteries of the strange island, so this day do the cunning men
of science, who, perhaps once in thirty years, go thither in the vain effort to read
the secret of an all-but-perished race. And they can tell us but vaguely that the
stupendous existing evidences of past glories are of immense and untold age, and
show their designers to have been coeval with the builders of the buried cities of
Mexico and Peru; beyond that, they can tell us nothing.
Who can solve the problem? What manner of an island king was he who ruled the
builders of the great terraced platforms of stone, the carvers of the huge blocks
of lava, the hewers-out with rudest tools of the Sphinx-like images of trachyte,
whose square, massive, and disdainful faces have for unnumbered centuries gazed
upwards and outwards over the rolling, sailless swell of the mid-Pacific?
And the people of Rapa-nui of to-day? you may ask. Search the whole Pacific --
from Pylstaart, the southern sentinel of the Friendlies, to the one-time
buccaneer-haunted, far-away Pelews; thence eastward through the white-beached
coral atolls of the Carolines and Marshalls, and southwards to the cloud-capped
Marquesas and the sandy stretches of the Paumotu -- and you will find no
handsomer men or more graceful women than the light-skinned peqple of Rapa-nui.
Yet are they but the survivors of a race doomed -- doomed from the day that
Roggewein in his clumsy, high-pooped frigate first saw their land, and marvelled at
the imperishable relics of a dead greatness. With smiling faces they welcomed him
-- a stranger from an unknown, outside world, with cutlass at waist and pistol in
hand -- as a god; he left them a legacy of civilisation -- a hideous and cruel
disease that swept through the amiable and unsuspicious race as an epidemic, and
slew its thousands, and scaled with the hand of Death and Silence the eager life
that had then filled the square houses of lava in many a town from the
wave-beaten cliffs of Terano Kau to Ounipu in the west.
Ask of the people now, "Whence came ye? and whose were the hands that
fashioned these mighty images and carved upon these stones?" and in their simple
manner they will answer, "From Rapa, under the setting sun, came our fathers;
and we were then a great people, even as the oneone of the beach. . . . Our Great
King was it, he whose name is forgotten by us, that caused these temples and
cemeteries and terraces to be built; and it was in his time that the
forgotten fathers of our fathers carved from out of the stone of the quarries of
Terano Kau the great Silent Faces that gaze for ever upward to the sky. . . .
Ai-a-ah! . . . But it was long ago. . . . Ah! a great people were we then in those
days, and the wild people to the West called us Te tagata te pito henua (the
people who live at the end of the world) . . . . and we know no more."
And here the knowledge and traditions of a broken people begin and end.
A SOFT, cool morning in November, 187--. Between Ducie and Pitcairn Islands two
American whale-ships cruise lazily along to the gentle breath of the south-east
trades, when the look-out from both vessels see a third sail bearing down upon
them. In a few hours she is close enough to be recognised as one of the luckiest
sperm whalers of the fleet -- the brig Pocahontas, of Martha's Vineyard.
Within a quarter of mile of the two ships -- the Nassau and the Dagget -- the
newcomer backs her foreyard and hauls up her mainsail. A cheer rises from the
ships. She wants to "gam," i.e. to gossip. With eager hands four boats are
lowered from the two ships, and the captains and second mates of each
are soon racing for the Pocahontas.
The skipper of the brig, after shaking hands with his visitors and making the usual
inquiries as to their luck, number of days out from New Bedford, etc., led the way
to his cabin, and, calling his Portuguese steward, had liquor and a box of cigars
brought out. The captain of the Pocahontas was a little, withered-up old man with
sharp, deep-set eyes of brightest blue, and had the reputation of possessing the
most fiery and excitable temper of any of the captains of the sixty or seventy
American whale-ships that in those days cruised the Pacific from the West Coast
of South America to Gaum in the Ladrones.
After drinking some of his potent New England rum with his visitors, and having
answered all their queries, the master of the Pocahontas inquired if they had
seen anything of a Chilian man-of-war further to the eastward. No, they had not.
"Then just settle down, gentlemen, for awhile, and I'll tell you one of the
curiousest things that I ever saw or heard of. I've logged partiklars of the whole
business, and when I get to Oahu (Honolulu) I mean to nar-rate just all I do know to
Father Damon of the Honolulu Friend. Thar's nothing like a newspaper fur showin'
a man up when he's been up to any onnatural villainy, and thinks no one will
ever know anything about it. So just take hold and listen."
The two captains nodded, and he told them this.
Ten days previously, when close in to barren and isolated Sala-y-Gomez, the
Pocahontas had spoken the Chilian corvette O'Higgins, bound from Easter Island
to Valparaiso. The captain of the corvette entertained the American master
courteously, and explained his ship's presence so far to the eastward, by stating
that the Government had instructed him to call at Easter Island, and pick up an
Englishman in the Chilian service, who had been sent there to examine and report
on the colossal statues and mysterious terraces of that lonely island. The
Englishman, as Commander Gallegos said, was a valued servant of the Republic,
and had for some years served in its Navy as a surgeon on board El Almirante
Cochrane, the flag-ship. He had left Valparaiso in the whale-ship Comboy with the
intention of remaining three months on the island. At the end of that time a war
vessel was to call and convey him back to Chili. But in less than two months the
Republic was in the throes of a deadly struggle with Peru -- here the commander
of the O'Higgins bowed to the American captain, and, pointing to a huge scar that
traversed his bronzed face from temple to chin, said, "in which I had the honour to
receive this, and promotion" -- and nearly two years had elapsed ere the
Government had time to think again of the English scientist and his mission. Peace
restored, the O'Higgins was ordered to proceed to the island and bring him back;
and as the character of the natives was not well known, and it was feared he
might have been killed, Commander Gallegos was instructed to execute summary
justice upon the people of the island, if such was the case.
But, the Chilian officer said, on reaching the island he had found the natives to be
very peaceable and inoffensive, and, although much alarmed at the appearance of
his armed landing party from the corvette, they had given him a letter from the
Englishman, and had satisfied him that Dr Francis ---- had remained with them for
some twelve months only, and had then left the island in a passing whale-ship, and
Commander Gallegos, making them suitable presents, bade them good-bye, and
steamed away to Valparaiso.
This was all the polite little commander had to say, and, after a farewell glass of
wine, his visitor rose to go, when the captain of the corvette casually inquired if
the Pocahontas was likely to call at the island.
"I ask you," he said in his perfect English, "because one of my ship's company
deserted there. You, se-or, may possibly meet with him there. Yet he is of no
value, and he is no sailor, and but a lad. He was very ill most of the time,
and this was his first voyage. I took him ashore with me in my boat, as he
besought me eagerly to do so, and the little devil ran away and hid, or was hidden
by the natives."
"Why didn't you get him back?" asked the captain of the Pocahontas.
"That was easy enough, but" -- and the commander raised his eyebrows and
shrugged his shoulders -- "of what use? He was no use to the corvette. Better
for him to stay there, and perhaps recover, than to die on board the O'Higgins and
be thrown to the blue sharks. Possibly, se-or, you may find him well, and it may
suit you to take him to your good ship, and teach him the business of catching the
whale. My trade is to show my crew how to fight, and such as he are of no value
Then the two captains bade each other farewell, and in another hour the
redoubtable O'Higgins, with a black trail of smoke streaming astern, was ten miles
away on her course to Valparaiso.
A week after the Pocahontas lay becalmed close in to the lee side of Rapa-nui,
and within sight of the houses of the principal village. The captain, always ready to
get a "green" hand, was thinking of the chances of his securing the Chilian
deserter, and decided to lower a boat and try. Taking four men with him, he
pulled ashore, and landed at the village of Hagaroa.
Some sixty or seventy natives clustered round the boat as she touched the shore.
With smiling faces and outstretched hands they surrounded the captain, and
pressed upon him their simple gifts of ripe bananas and fish baked in leaves,
begging him to first eat a little and then walk with them to Mataveri, their largest
village, distant a mile, where preparations were being made to welcome him
formally. The skipper, nothing loth, bade his crew not to go too far away in their
rambles, and, accompanied by his boatsteerer, was about to set off with the
natives, when he remembered the object of his visit, and asked a big, well-made
woman, the only native present that could speak English, "Where is the man you
hid from the man-of-war?"
There was a dead silence, and for nearly half a minute no one spoke. The keen blue
eyes of the American looked from one face to another inquiringly, and then
settled on the fat, good-natured features of Varua, the big woman.
Holding her hands, palms upwards, to the captain, she endeavoured to
speak, and then, to his astonishment, he saw that her dark eyes were filled with
tears. And then, as if moved with some sudden and sorrowful emotion, a number
of other women and young girls, murmuring softly in pitying tones, "E mat! E
mat!" came to his side, and held their hands out to him with the same
The captain was puzzled. For all his island wanderings and cruises he had no
knowledge of any Polynesian dialect, and the tearful muteness of the fat Varua
was still unbroken. At last she placed one hand on his sleeve, and, pointing
land-ward with the other, said, in her gentle voice, "Come," and taking his hand in
hers, she led the way, the rest of the people following in silence.
For about half a mile they walked behind the captain and his boatsteerer and the
woman Varua without uttering a word. Presently Varua stopped, and called out the
name of "Taku" in a low voice.
A fine, handsome native, partly clothed in European sailor's dress, stepped apart
from the others and came to her.
Turning to the captain, she said, "This is Taku the Sailor. He can speak a little
English and much Spanish. I tell him now to come with us, for he has a paper."
Although not understanding the relevancy of her remark, the captain
nodded, and then with gentle insistence Varua and the other women urged him on,
and they again set out.
A few minutes more, and they were at the foot of one of the massive-stoned and
ancient papaku, or cemeteries, on the walls of which were a number of huge
images carved from trachyte, and representing the trunk of the human body.
Some of the figures bore on their heads crowns of red tufa, and the aspect of all
was towards the ocean. At the foot of the wall of the papaku were a number of
prone figures, with hands and arms sculptured in low relief, the outspread fingers
clasping the hips.
About a cable length from the wall stood two stone houses -- memorials of the
olden time -- and it was to these that Varua and the two white men, attended now
by women only, directed their steps.
The strange, unearthly stillness of the place, the low whispers of the women, the
array of colossal figures with sphinx-like faces set to the sea, and the unutterable
air of sadness that enwrapped the whole scene, overawed even the unimaginative
mind of the rough whaling captain, and he experienced a curious feeling of relief
when his gentle-voiced guide entered through the open doorway the largest
of the two houses, and, in a whisper, bade him follow.
A delightful sense of coolness was his first sensation on entering, and then with
noiseless step the other women followed and seated themselves on the ground.
Still clasping his hand, Varua led him to the farther end of the house, and pointed
to a motionless figure that lay on a couch of mats, covered with a large piece of
navy-blue calico. At each side of the couch sat a young native girl, and their dark,
luminous eyes, shining star-like from out the wealth of black, glossy hair that fell
upon their bronzed shoulders, turned wonderingly upon the stranger who had
broken in upon their watch.
Motioning the girls aside, Varua released her hold of the white man's hand and
drew the cloth from off the figure, and the seaman's pitying glance fell upon the
pale, sweet features of a young white girl.
But for the unmistakable pallid hue of death he thought at first that she slept. In
the thin, delicate hands, crossed upon her bosom, there was placed, after the
manner of those of her faith, a small metal crucifix. Her hair, silky and jet black,
was short like a man's, and the exquisitely-modelled features, which even the
coldness of death had not robbed of their beauty, showed the Spanish blood
that, but a few hours before, had coursed through her veins.
Slowly the old seaman drew the covering over the still features, and, with an
unusual emotion stirring his rude nature, he rose, and, followed by Varua, walked
outside and sat upon a broken pillar of lava that lay under the wall of the papaku.
Calling his boatsteerer, he ordered him to return to the beach and go off to the
ship with instructions to the mate to have a coffin made as quickly as possible and
send it ashore; and then, at a glance from Varua, who smiled a grave approval as
she listened to his orders, he followed her and the man she called Taku into the
smaller of the two houses.
Round about the inside walls of this ancient dwelling of a forgotten race were
placed a number of seamen's chests made of cedar and camphor wood -- the
lares and penates of most Polynesian houses. The gravelled floor was covered
with prettily-ornamented mats of fala (the screw-palm).
Seating herself, with Taku the Sailor, on the mats, Varua motioned the captain to
one of the boxes, and then told him a tale that moved him -- rough, fierce, and
tyrannical as was his nature -- to the deepest pity.
"It is not yet twenty days since the fighting pahi afi (steamer) came here, and
we of Mataveri saw the boat full of armed men land on the beach at Hagaroa. Filled
with fear were we; but yet as we had done no wrong we stood on the beach to
welcome. And, ere the armed men had left the boat, we knew them to be the
Sipaniola from Chili -- the same as those that came here ten years ago in three
ships, and seized and bound three hundred and six of our men, and carried them
away for slaves to the land of the Tae Manu, and of whom none but four ever
returned to Rapa-nui. And then we trembled again."
(She spoke of the cruel outrage of 1862, when three Peruvian slave-ships took
away over three hundred islanders to perish on the guano-fields of the Chincha
"The chief of the ship was a little man, and he called out to us in the tongue of
Chili, 'Have no fear,' and took a little gun from out its case of skin that hung by
his side, and giving it to a man in the boat, stepped over to us, and took our hands
"'Is there none among ye that speak my tongue?' he said quickly.
"Now, this man here, Taku the Sailor, speaketh the tongue of Chili, but he feared
to tell it, lest they might take him away for a sailor; so he held his lips
"Then I, who for six years dwelt with English people at Tahiti, was pushed forward
by those behind me and made to talk in English; and lo! the little man spoke in your
tongue even as quick as he did in that of Chili. And then he told us that he came
"Now this Farani was a young white man of Peretania (England), big and strong. He
came to us a year and a half ago. He was rich, and had with him chests filled with
presents for us of Rapa-nui; and he told us that he came to live a while among us,
and look upon the houses of stone and the Faces of the Silent that gaze out upon
the sea. For a year he dwelt with us and became as one of ourselves, and we loved
him; and then, because no ship came, he began to weary and be sad. At last a ship
-- like thine, one that hunts for the whale -- came, and Farani called us together,
and placed a letter in the hands of the chief at Mataveri, and said: 'If it so be that
a ship cometh from Chili, give these my words to the captain, and all will be well.'
Then he bade us farewell and was gone.
"All this I said in quick words, and then we gave to the little fighting chief
the letter Farani had written. When he had counted the words in the letter, he
said: 'Bueno, it is well,' and called to his men, and they brought out many gifts for
us from the boat -- cloth, and garments for men and women, and two great bags
of canvas filled with tobacco. Ai-a-ah! many presents he gave us -- this because
of the good words Farani had set down in the letter. Then the little chief said to
me, 'Let these my men walk where they list, and I will go with thee to Mataveri and
talk with the chief.'
"So the sailors came out of the boats carrying their guns and swords in their
hands, but the little chief, whose avagutu (moustache) stuck out on each side of
his face like the wings of a flying-fish when it leaps in terror from the mouth of
the hungry bonito, spoke angrily, and they laid their guns and swords back in the
"So the sailors went hither and thither with our young men and girls; and, although
at that time I knew it not, she, who now is not, was one of them, and walked alone.
"Then I, and Taku the Sailor, and the little sea-chief came to the houses of
Mataveri, and he stayed awhile and spoke good words to us. And we, although we
fear the men of Chili for the wrong they once did us, were yet glad to listen, for
we also are of their faith.
"As we talked, there came inside the house a young girl named Temeteri,
whom, when Farani had been with us for two months, he had taken for wife; and
she bore him a son. But from the day that he had sailed away she became sick
with grief; and when, after many months, she told me that Farani had said he
would return to her, my heart was heavy, for I know the ways of white men with
us women of brown skins. Yet I feared to tell her he lied and would return no more.
Now, this girl Temeteri was sought after by a man named Huarani, the son of
Heremai, who desired to marry her now that Farani had gone, and he urged her to
question the chief of the fighting ship, and ask him if Farani would return.
"So I spoke of Temeteri. He laughed and shook his head, and said: 'Nay, Farani the
Englishman will return no more; but yet one so beautiful as she,' and he pointed to
Temeteri, 'should have many lovers and know no grief. Let her marry again and
forget him, and this is my marriage gift to her,' and he threw a big golden coin
upon the mat on which the girl sat.
"She took it in her hand and threw it far out through the doorway with bitter
words, and rose and went away to her child.
"Then the little captain went back to the boat and called his men to him, and lo!
one was gone. Ah! he was angry, and a great scar that ran down one side of
his face grew red with rage. But soon he laughed, and said to us: 'See, there be
one of my people hidden away from me. Yet he is but a boy, and sick; and I care
not to stay and search for him. Let him be thy care so that he wanders not away
and perishes among the broken lava; he will be in good hands among the people of
Rapa-nui.' With that he bade us farewell, and in but a little time the great fighting
ship had gone away towards the rising sun.
"All that day and the next we searched, but found not him who had hidden away;
but in the night of the second day, when it rained heavily, and Taku (who is my
brother's son) and I and my two children worked at the making of a kupega (net),
he whom we had sought came to the door. And as we looked our hearts were filled
with pity, for, as he put out his hands to us, he staggered and fell to the ground.
"So Taku -- who is a man of a good heart -- and I lifted him up and carried him to
a bed of soft mats, and as I placed my hand on his bosom to see if he was dead, lo!
it was soft as a woman's, and I saw that the stranger was a young girl!
"I took from her the wet garments and brought warm clothes of mamoe
(blankets), and Taku made a great fire, and we rubbed her cold body and her hands
and feet till her life came back to her again, and she sat up and ate a little
beaten-up taro. When the night and the dawn touched she slept again.
"The sun was high when the white girl awoke, and fear leapt into her eyes when
she saw the house filled with people who came to question Taku and me about the
stranger. With them came the girl Temeteri, whose head was still filled with
foolish thoughts of Farani, her white lover.
"I went to the strange girl, put my arm around her, and spoke, but though she
smiled and answered in a little voice, I understood her not, for I know none of the
tongue of Chili. But yet she leaned her head against my bosom, and her eyes that
were as big and bright as Fetuaho, the star of the morning, looked up into mine
and smiled through their tears.
"There was a creat buzzing of talk among the women. Some came to her and
touched her hands and forehead, and said: 'Let thy trembling cease; we of
Rapa-nui will be kind to the white girl.'
"And as the people thronged about her and talked, she shook her head and her
eyes sought mine, and hot tears splashed upon my hand. Then the mother of
Temeteri raised her voice and called to Taku the Sailor, and said: 'O Taku, thou
who knowest her tongue, ask her of Farani, my white son, the husband of my
"The young girls in the house laughed scornfully at old Pohre, for some of
them had loved Farani, who yet had put them all aside for Temeteri, whose beauty
exceeded theirs; and so they hated her and laughed at her mother. Then Taku,
being pressed by old Pohre, spoke in the tongue of Chili, but not of Temeteri.
"Ah! She sprang to her feet and talked then! and the flying words chased one
another from her lips; and these things told she to Taku:-- She had hidden among
the broken lava and watched the little captain come back to the boat and bid us
farewell. Then when night came she had crept out and gone far over to the great
papaku, and lay down to hide again, for she feared the fighting ship might return
to seek her. And all that day she lay hidden in the lava till night fell upon her again,
and hunger drove her to seek the faces of men. In the rain she all but perished, till
God brought her feet to this, my house.
"Then said Taku the Sailor: 'Why didst thou flee from the ship?'
"The white girl put her hands to her face and wept, and said: 'Bring me my jacket.'
"I gave to her the blue sailor's jacket, and from inside of it she took a little flat
thing and placed it in her bosom.
"Again said old Pohre to Taku: 'O man of slow tongue, ask her of Farani.'
So he asked in this wise:
"'See, O White Girl, that is Pohre, the mother of Temeteri, who bore a son to the
white man that came here to look upon the Silent Faces; and because he came
from thy land, and because of the heart of Temeteri, which is dried up for love of
him, does this foolish old woman ask thee if thou hast seen him; for long months
ago he left Rapa-nui. In our tongue we call him Farani.'
"The girl looked at Taku the Sailor, and her lips moved, but no words came. Then
from her bosom she took the little flat thing and held it to him, but sickness was
in her hand so that it trembled, and that which she held fell to the ground. So Taku
stooped and picked it up from where it lay on the mat, and looked, and his eyes
blazed, and he shouted out 'Aue!' for it was the face of Farani that looked into
his! And as he held it up in his hand to the people, they, too, shouted in wonder;
and then the girl Temeteri cast aside those that stood about her, and tore it from
his hand and fled.
"'Who is she?' said the white girl, in a weak voice to Taku; 'and why hath she
robbed me of that which is dear to me?' and Taku was ashamed, and turned his
face away from her because of two things -- his heart was sore for Temeteri,
who is a blood relation, and was shamed because her white lover had
deserted her; and he was full of pity for the white girl's tears. So he said nought.
"The girl raised herself, and her hand caught Taku by the arm, and these were her
words: 'O man, for the love of Jesu Christ, tell me what was this woman Temeteri
to my husband?'
"Now Taku the Sailor was sore troubled, and felt it hard to hurt her heart, yet he
said: 'Was Farani, the Englishman, thy husband?'
"She wept again, 'He was my husband.'
"'Why left he one as fair as thee?' said Taku, in wonder.
"She shook her head. 'I know not, except he loved to look upon strange lands; yet
he loved me.'
"'He is a bad man,' said Taku. 'He loved others as well as thee. The girl that fled
but now with his picture was wife to him here. He loved her, and she bore him a
"The girl's head fell on my shoulder, and her eyes closed, and she became as dead;
and lo! in a little while, as she strove to speak, blood poured from her mouth and
ran down over her bosom.
"'It is the hand of Death,' said Taku the Sailor.
"Where she now lies, there died she, at about the hour when the people of Vaihou
saw the sails of thy ship.
"We have no priest here, for the good father that was here three years
ago is now silent; yet did Taku and I pray with her. And ere she died she said she
would set down some words on paper; so Alrema, my little daughter, hastened to
Mataveri, and the chief sent back some paper and vai tuhi (ink) that had belonged
to the good priest. So with weak hand she set down some words, but even as she
wrote she rose up and threw out her hands, and called out: 'Francisco! Francisco!'
and fell back, and was dead."
The captain of the Pocahontas dashed the now fast-falling tears from his eyes,
and with his rough old heart swelling with pity for the poor wanderer, took from
Taku the sheet of paper on which the heart-broken girl's last words were traced.
Ere he could read it a low murmur of voices outside told him his crew had
returned. They carried a rude wooden shell, and then with bared heads the captain
and boatsteerer entered the house where she lay.
Again the old man raised the piece of navy blue cloth from off the sweet, sad
face, and a heavy tear dropped down upon her forehead. Then, aided by the gentle,
sympathetic women, his task was soon finished, and two of his crew entered
and carried their burden to its grave. Service there was none -- only the prayers
and tears of the brown women of Rapa-nui.
Ere he said farewell the captain of the whale-ship placed money in the hands of
Varua and Taku. They drew back, hurt and mortified. Seeing his mistake, the
seaman desired Varua to give the money to the girl Temeteri.
"Nay, sir," said Varua, "she would but give me bitter words. Even when she who is
now silent was not yet cold, Temeteri came to the door of the house where she lay
and spat twice on the ground, and taking up gravel in her hand cast it at her, and
cursed her in the name of our old heathen gods. And as for money, we here in
Rapa-nui need it not. May Christ protect thee on the sea. Farewell!"
The captain of the Pocahontas rose and came to the cabin table, and motioning to
his guests to fill their glasses, said --
"'Tis a real sad story, gentlemen, and if I should ever run across Doctor Francis, I
should talk some to him. But see here. Here is my log; my mate, who is a fancy
writist, wrote it at my dictation. I can't show you the letter that the pore
creature herself wrote; that I ain't going to show to any one."
The two captains rose and stood beside him, and read the entry in the log
of the Pocahontas.
This day I landed at Easter Island, to try and obtain as a 'green' hand a young Chilian
seaman who, the captain of the Chilian corvette O'Higgins informed me, had run away
there. On landing I was shown the body of a young girl, whom the natives stated to be
the deserter. She had died that morning. Buried her as decently as circumstances
would permit. From a letter she wrote on the morning of her death I learned her name
to be Se-ora Teresa T----. Her husband, Dr Francis T----, was an Englishman in
the service of the Chilian Republic. He was sent out on a scientific mission to the
island, and his wife followed him in the O'Higgins disguised as a blue-jacket. I should
take her to have been about nineteen years of age.
"SPENCE ELDRIDGE, Master.
"MANUAL LEGASPE, 2nd Officer.
"Brig Pocahontas, of Martha's Vineyard, U.S.A."
"Well, that's curious now," said the skipper of the Nassau; "why, I knew that man.
He left the island in the King Darius, of New Bedford, and landed at Ponape in the
Caroline Group, whar those underground ruins are at Metalanien Harbour. Guess he
wanted to potter around there a bit. But he got inter some sorter trouble among
the natives there, an' he got shot."
"Aye," said the captain of the Dagget, "I remember the affair. I was mate of the
Josephine, and we were lying at Jakoits Harbour when he was killed, and
now I remember the name too. Waal, he wasn't much account, anyhow."
Ten years ago a wandering white man stood, with Taku the Sailor, at the base of
the wall of the great papaku, and the native pointed out the last resting-place of
the wanderer. There, under the shadow of the Silent Faces of Stone, the brave
and loving heart that dared so much is at peace for ever.