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CHAPTER FIFTEEN.
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Having ascertained the fact before alluded to, that the islanders,鈥攆rom motives of precaution, dwelt altogether in the depths of the valleys, and avoided wandering about the more elevated portions of the shore, unless bound on some expedition of war or plunder, I concluded that if I could effect unperceived a passage to the mountain, I might easily remain among them, supporting myself by such fruits as came in my way until the sailing of the ship, an event of which I could not fail to be immediately apprised, as from my lofty position I should command a view of the entire harbour.?
372
Short stories
It is a peculiarity among these people, that, when engaged in an employment, they always make a prodigious fuss about it. So seldom do they ever exert themselves, that when they do work they seem determined that so meritorious an action shall not escape the observation of those around if, for example, they have occasion to remove a stone to a little distance, which perhaps might be carried by two able-bodied men, a whole swarm gather about it, and, after a vast deal of palavering, lift it up among them, every one struggling to get hold of it, and bear it off yelling and panting as if accomplishing some mighty achievement. Seeing them on these occasions, one is reminded of an infinity of black ants clustering about and dragging away to some hole the leg of a deceased fly.!
11
Word games
During my stay in the valley, as none of its inmates were so accommodating as to die and be buried in order to gratify my curiosity with regard to their funeral rites, I was reluctantly obliged to remain in ignorance of them. As I have reason to believe, however, the observances of the Typees in these matters are the same with those of all the other tribes in the island, I will here relate a scene I chanced to witness at Nukuheva..
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Could it have been then, that when I asked him whether he desired to go to this heaven of bread-fruit, cocoanuts, and young ladies, which he had been describing, he answered by saying something equivalent to our old adage鈥斺楢 bird in the hand is worth two in the bush鈥?鈥攊f he did, Kory-Kory was a discreet and sensible fellow, and I cannot sufficiently admire his shrewdness.
Toby, who invariably acted as pioneer, now proceeded to reconnoitre. On his return, he reported that the shelves of rock on our right would enable us to gain with little risk the bottom of the cataract. Accordingly, leaving the bed of the stream at the very point where it thundered down, we began crawling along one of those sloping ledges until it carried us to within a few feet of another that inclined downwards at a still sharper angle, and upon which, by assisting each other we managed to alight in safety. We warily crept along this, steadying ourselves by the naked roots of the shrubs that clung to every fissure. As we proceeded, the narrow path became still more contracted, rendering it difficult for us to maintain our footing, until suddenly, as we reached an angle of the wall of rock where we had expected it to widen, we perceived to our consternation that a yard or two further on it abruptly terminated at a place we could not possibly hope to pass.
Toby鈥檚 animating 鈥榗ome on鈥 again sounded in my ears, and dreading to lose all confidence in myself if I remained meditating upon the step, I once more gazed down to assure myself of the relative bearing of the tree and my own position, and then closing my eyes and uttering one comprehensive ejaculation of prayer, I inclined myself over towards the abyss, and after one breathless instant fell with a crash into the tree, the branches snapping and cracking with my weight, as I sunk lower and lower among them, until I was stopped by coming in contact with a sturdy limb.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
Same ! Who ever likes comics give me a reply
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
The best!