The Cruise Of The Snark, By Jack London

 -   A recruit, after having toiled three years on a
plantation, was returned to his own village on Malaita.  He was - Page 270
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A Recruit, After Having Toiled Three Years On A Plantation, Was Returned To His Own Village On Malaita.

He was clad in all kinds of gay and sportive garments.

On his head was a top- hat. He possessed a trade-box full of calico, beads, porpoise- teeth, and tobacco. Hardly was the anchor down, when the villagers were on board. The recruit looked anxiously for his own relatives, but none was to be seen. One of the natives took the pipe out of his mouth. Another confiscated the strings of beads from around his neck. A third relieved him of his gaudy loin-cloth, and a fourth tried on the top-hat and omitted to return it. Finally, one of them took his trade-box, which represented three years' toil, and dropped it into a canoe alongside. "That fella belong you?" the captain asked the recruit, referring to the thief. "No belong me," was the answer. "Then why in Jericho do you let him take the box?" the captain demanded indignantly. Quoth the recruit, "Me speak along him, say bokkis he stop, that fella he cross along me" - which was the recruit's way of saying that the other man would murder him. God's wrath, when He sent the Flood, was merely a case of being cross along mankind.

What name? is the great interrogation of beche de mer. It all depends on how it is uttered. It may mean: What is your business? What do you mean by this outrageous conduct?

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