Wanderings Among South Sea Savages And In Borneo And The Philippines By H. Wilfrid Walker

 -  I
expected we should be swamped every moment, and from the frightened
looks of our crew I knew they expected - Page 30
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I Expected We Should Be Swamped Every Moment, And From The Frightened Looks Of Our Crew I Knew They Expected The Same Thing.

Hence, I was not reassured when Ratu Lala remarked that it was in just such a sea, and in the same place, that he lost his schooner (which the government had given him) and that on that occasion he and all his crew remained in the water for five hours.

When I explained that I had no wish to be upset, he said, "I suppose you can swim?" I said "Yes! but I do not wish to lose my gun and other property," to which he replied, "Well, I lost more than that when my schooner went down." I was therefore not a little relieved when he had the sail lowered. He explained that he never liked being beaten, even if he drowned us all, and *all this was because I had bet him one shilling (by his own desire) that he would not get a fish. I mention this to show what foolhardy things he was capable of doing, never thinking of the consequences. I could mention many such cases. We at length came to some shallows between a lot of small and most picturesque islands, and as it was low tide, and we could not pass, we, viz., Ratu Lala, myself, and the other chiefs, got out to walk, leaving the boat and crew to come on when they could (they arrived at 4 a.m. the next morning). I was glad to get an opportunity to dry myself, and we started off at a good rate for our destination, but unfortunately we came to a spot where grew a small weed that the Fijians consider a great luxury when cooked, and Ratu Lala and his people stayed here fully two hours, till they had picked all the weed in sight, in spite of the heavy rain.

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