Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/390

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A LADY'S CRUISE.

But she is now considerably overdue, and fears are expressed that she may have disobeyed orders, and gone to the dangerous coast of Kauai, thence to fetch cattle. Or she may have encountered the hurricane.


February 20th.

A vessel has just come into port from Honolulu, bringing cattle. She has been nineteen days on the voyage, and reports that the Maramma is following.

In the evening the lovely moonlight tempted us to visit our old haunts, the place where the admiral's band used to play every evening, but where, under the new régime, the hideous upa-upa is now nightly danced for the edification of the admiring crowd. There was the usual large picturesque assemblage, but their gaiety was of a more demonstrative type than heretofore. In short, the admiral's excellent restrictions, which were to inaugurate quite a new era in Tahiti, have already melted "like snowdrift in thaw" before the cheerful presence of the new ruler; who, on the very night of M. D'Oncieue's departure, summoned many damsels (friends of former days, and noted dancers of the obnoxious native wriggle) to Government House, where they were hospitably entertained. Of course news of this complete subversion of six months' compulsory reformation quickly spread to the remotest districts, and from all parts of the island all the dancers flocked to Papeete, where they now assemble every evening before Government House, and the crowd thus attracted is of a sort such as ladies would not care to mix in for long. To-night there was some rather pretty singing, but not to be compared with the true himènes—and from the laughter of the crowd it might be inferred that the words would not bear translation.


Friday, 22d.

The Ségond has returned from the Paumotus with a lamentable tale of disaster. We are all, however, much relieved at hearing that our friend Mr Macgee is safe; though he had a most narrow escape on the awful night of the hurricane, when he happened to