And, Finally, The Galley
Stove Was Without A Pipe - Said Pipe Having Been Part Of The Loot.
The Minota was a teak-built, Australian yacht, ketch-rigged, long
and lean, with a deep fin-keel, and designed for harbour racing
rather than for recruiting blacks.
When Charmian and I came on
board, we found her crowded. Her double boat's crew, including
substitutes, was fifteen, and she had a score and more of "return"
boys, whose time on the plantations was served and who were bound
back to their bush villages. To look at, they were certainly true
head-hunting cannibals. Their perforated nostrils were thrust
through with bone and wooden bodkins the size of lead-pencils.
Numbers of them had punctured the extreme meaty point of the nose,
from which protruded, straight out, spikes of turtle-shell or of
beads strung on stiff wire. A few had further punctured their noses
with rows of holes following the curves of the nostrils from lip to
point. Each ear of every man had from two to a dozen holes in it -
holes large enough to carry wooden plugs three inches in diameter
down to tiny holes in which were carried clay-pipes and similar
trifles. In fact, so many holes did they possess that they lacked
ornaments to fill them; and when, the following day, as we neared
Malaita, we tried out our rifles to see that they were in working
order, there was a general scramble for the empty cartridges, which
were thrust forthwith into the many aching voids in our passengers'
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