drove along the shore to Tiarei, where a temporary avenue of faees, or wild banana, had been planted with infinite trouble and at a great sacrifice of fine fruit-bearing plants. The peculiarity of the faees is, that instead of carrying its huge cluster of fruit pendent, beneath its broad leaves, it carries it upright in the centre. The faees invariably grow in the most inaccessible ravines and crevices of the rock; so it must have been a troublesome task to carry these down, without injury to the large delicate leaves.
We were welcomed by a large family of chiefs, and specially by a kind old lady, who kissed us all on both cheeks, down to M. Hardouin, A.D.C., when Marau's untimely laughter stopped her proceeding to the remaining eighteen officers! Though the absence of the king must have made it rather flat for the chiefs, the official speeches were made to the admiral, and the himènes sung as usual.
Then followed a most lovely drive, the road cut along the face of basaltic cliffs, and here we are close to another very fine river, which of course implies pleasant bathing and sketching. This evening we had a delightful stroll along the shore, the wavelets breaking on a pebbly beach. At the last moment, the moon rose glorious from the sea—a vision of great beauty.
We are very comfortably housed to-night in the chief's own house. Marau and I occupy one end, and his family have the other.
Late last night we returned to headquarters, and I to this pleasant nest, very glad of the prospect of a few days' rest. Yesterday was a long day, for I was out sketching with the first ray of light, and worked till it was time to start for the Haapepe district, of which the king's brother, Terii Tapunui is chief. He is distressingly lame, but is a very good fellow, with a particularly nice wife, a cousin of the charming Moë. She is noted for her skill in making pretty hats. They received us at Point Venus, so called because Captain Cook thence observed the transit of Venus in 1769.
Pomare and Tamatoa rejoined the party after returning from
- Musa uranascopus.