I Also Learnt That
A Few Days Previously There Had Been A Wholesale Marriage Ceremony,
When Nearly All The Young Men And Women Had Been Joined In Matrimony.
Taking a guide with me, I walked across the island till I came to
the village of Nabuna, on the other coast, the LURLINE meanwhile
sailing around the island.
It was a hard walk, up steep hills and down
narrow gorges, and then latterly along the coast beneath the shade
of the coconuts. Fijian bridges are bad things to cross, being long
trunks of trees smoothed off on the surface and sometimes very narrow,
and I generally had to negotiate them by sitting astride and working
myself along with my hands. In the village of Nabuna lived the wife
and four daughters of the Samoan captain. He told me he had had five
wives before, and when I asked if they were all dead, he replied that
they were still alive, but he had got rid of them as they were no good.
The daughters were all very pretty girls, especially the youngest,
a little girl. of nine years old. I always think that the little
Samoan girls, with their long wavy black hair, are among the prettiest
children in the world.
We had an excellent supper of native oysters, freshwater prawns and
eels, fish, chicken, and many other native dishes. That evening
a big Fijian dance ("meke-meke"), was given in my honour. Two of
the captain's daughters took part in it.
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