Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/102

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latter would be certain; and that it is the only possible panacea for poor Samoa's wounds.

Within a stone's-throw of this house lie the grounds of the French convent, where four nice ladylike French Sisters, and two Samoan Sisters, devote themselves to the care of about sixty native girls—bright, pleasant-looking lassies. The native Sisters appear to be thoughtful and devout women. There is an atmosphere of peace and calm within the convent grounds strangely in contrast with all the disquiet which prevails outside. Life here is quite Dr Watts's ideal—

" In books, and work, and healthful play,
Let my first years be passed."

I can answer for the joyousness of the merry games that were played beneath the cool green shade of banana and bread-fruit trees, and also for the excellent work done in graver moments. Very pleasant, too, are the sweet young voices, trained in their singing by one of the Sisters, who is herself an admirable musician and a good vocalist. They were all greatly interested in hearing news of the Sisters at Tonga, which I was happily able to give them. Great is the delight of every one here at the return of the bishop, to whom all who desire peace seem to look with trust.

Do you remember my telling you, when the Samoan chiefs came to Fiji to consult Sir A. Gordon, that they brought with them two pretty, high-caste girls, Faioo and Umoo, with whom we made great friends? I found them both here, and they seemed overjoyed on recognising me. They are both girls of good (Samoan) character, and daughters of high chiefs. Their fathers, who are in the victorious government party, likewise recognised and cordially welcomed me. A considerable number of the bright merry girls at the good Sisters' school are half-castes—the children of Samoan mothers by French, English, or German fathers. Amongst these, two gentle, modest-looking lassies were pointed out to me as the daughters of the notorious "Bully" Hayes, of whose piratical exploits I have heard many a highly seasoned yarn from the older residents in