Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/286

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visit the teachers already established, and to bring them fresh helpers. They landed on Uahuna, which, like the other isles, is high, broken, and precipitous. Their arrival was an unexpected joy to the good Laioha and his wife Ewa, who had been settled here about a year previously, and already had made a considerable impression on the people. Laioha blew a loud blast on a horn; and its echoes, reaching the villages nestled among precipices far up the valley, soon brought together about fifty wild men and women—some of whom had already made considerable progress in reading and writing.

At Paumau about a hundred people assembled under the trees, on the beautiful shore. Many carried spears and war-clubs, whaling-spades or shark-spears. Some had the head shaven all over; some in zones and belts, vertical or horizontal; some on one side, some on the other; some with a tuft of hair on the crown, some on the forehead, some on the occiput, and some hanging over the right or the left ear. And thus it was with the tattooing. The wildest taste and most fantastic and capricious figures were displayed upon the face, arms, legs, and over the whole body. Children are not tattooed; females but little, consequently they look like another and a milder race of beings.

To this strange crowd Mr Coan and his friends endeavoured to explain some of the simplest doctrines of Christianity. One old warrior, heavily tattooed, and with closely shaven head, who carried a large green leaf to shade his eyes, was witty and sceptical, and brought up many objections to the new creed. But presently he confessed that it was good, and bade Mr Coan speak also to his chief. The latter, on hearing of a heaven in which there was neither fighting nor hunger, remarked that "it would be a good place for cowards and lazy folk, who are afraid to fight, and too indolent to climb cocoa-palms or bread-fruit trees." His repartees excited laughter in the crowd; but after a while, he, like the old warrior, declared that it was good, and that he would forsake heathenism.

Pressing the hand of his new white friend, he said, "Kaoha oe"—"Love to thee." He became serious and earnest, and listened