Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/118

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and relations of the Samoan girls had come out to meet us, carrying long torches of cocoa-palm leaves, which blazed with a clear bright light, throwing a ruddy glow on all around, on semi-nude dusky figures, glossy foliage, tall white palm-stems, and the great buttressed roots of the chestnuts, and on the brown-thatched cottages, whence groups of pleasant olive-coloured people looked out and cried Alofa! to which kind greeting we responded, Ola alofa![1]

And so the Fa-Samoa picnic has gone off very pleasantly, and we returned here to find all quiet, and to exchange the usual kindly courtesies with the refugees, who now have settled down for the night, as I must also do, that I may be ready to start at daybreak to get a sketch of the town and bay.

H.B.M. Consulate, Saturday Night.

We returned this morning from a most interesting expedition to Malua, the great college of the London Mission, of which Dr Turner, senior, is the head. It is about twelve miles from here, and Dr G. A. Turner, of the Medical Mission, most kindly volunteered to take M. Pinart and myself in his boat. So he called for us yesterday morning, after an early breakfast. We had a very beautiful row along the coast, and received the most cordial of welcomes from the Doctor, who is a fine old Scot, with a pretty, pleasant, Highland wife. You home people can perhaps scarcely realise what a very great pleasure it is, in a far land like this, to find one's self suddenly dropped into the very heart of a real Scotch nest of the best type, and at once to be treated like a friend. I have found such a welcome from many of my countrymen in many lands, but nowhere more pleasantly than in the peaceful home at Malua.

The present Mrs Turner was the widow of Mr M'Nair, one of the missionaries of Erromango, whose little daughter Ella, a pretty child eight years of age, is the pet of the family.

You must not infer from my speaking of a college, that Malua

  1. Great love to you.