Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/389

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

"Moosie." She gave me milk without limit—always a luxury—and in the evening we wandered by grassy paths beneath the cocoa-palms; and then in the clear moonlight started for a walk along the shore, which here is of a firm black sand, on which large waves break in as full force as on our own north coast. This is due to the fact that there is a passage through the coral-reef, just opposite the house; so the sea rolls in unchecked.

Monday, 18th.

I have been rather worried for some days by prickly-heat, from which many persons suffer almost continually in all tropical countries. It is a general all-overish, tingling irritation of skin, very unpleasant to the sufferer, who, however, receives no compassion, as he is pleasantly informed that it is a symptom of excellent health, and a safeguard against possible fever! Sea-bathing is generally recommended as a cure, so that sunrise and moonlight alike find me in pickle in the briny waters, where, borrowing courage from Toetoe's presence and good example (she being, as a matter of course, a perfect swimmer), I venture on a dash through the breaking waves to the pleasant calm water beyond; where, however, our peaceful enjoyment is considerably marred by the dread of sharks, which here venture close to the shore.

We have made various expeditions, walking and driving, to picturesque points on land and shore; and a day at the lighthouse enabled me to complete my previous sketch of Orofena, the highest mountain of Tahiti.

Now we are just starting to drive back along the coast to Papeete—a lovely route, by which, as you may remember, I last travelled by torchlight, on our return from the grand circuit of the isle.

Papeete, February 19th.

We have for some time been anxiously watching for the return of the Maramma, Mrs Brander's fine large ship, which is bringing cattle from the Sandwich Isles, and which will, I hope, take me there on her next trip, supposing no mischance has befallen her.