Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/388

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354
A LADY'S CRUISE.

has occurred in these seas in the present century. The French Resident and Mr Boosey, one of Mrs Brander's agents, have just arrived in the Elgin to ask for assistance, as the whole settlement of Anaa is a heap of hopeless ruin. It was a flourishing little town, about half the size of Levuka; it had about 150 houses, good stores, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Mormon churches, Resident's house, &c. The Seignelay touched there on that memorable cruise to the Marquesas, so I missed the chance of doing a historical, antediluvian sketch.

Mrs Brander is most anxious about the fate of her other manager, Mr Macgee; indeed we all are so, for he is a very good fellow, and he has been staying with the family here for some time. He is supposed to have been out that night in a very small vessel, which is missing. The gale must have been appalling. It is calculated that on Anaa alone, 300,000 cocoa-palms must have fallen, and Mrs Brander's loss in produce, stores and buildings, boats, three small ships and their cargoes, is reckoned at 40,000 dollars, equal to about £10,000—a serious night's work.

The Ségond is to be despatched to-morrow morning, loaded with provisions, timber, and all things likely to prove useful in this emergency. She is to go the round of every large isle in the group, and do what she can to help the wretched inhabitants.

They say these tidal waves always accompany an eruption of some volcano. I hope I shall not find that I have just missed one at Hawaii!


Mahena Plantation, Point Venus,
Thursday, Feb. 14th.

This is another place belonging to Mrs Brander, who sent me here with her manager, Mr Lander, a German, that I might have a few quiet days for sketching in this neighbourhood. There is a large house here, close to the sea, where the family occasionally come for a change. I was received by Toetoe, a handsome, stalwart lass, daughter of a chief of Tupuai, the romantic isle of which Byron sings in "The Island." She introduced me to pets of all sorts—rabbits, cows, horses, cats and dogs, especially a wee brown dog