Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/50

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dispirited young wife; while a congenial talk with M. Pinart on the subject of Polynesian dialects and races, has helped to cheer the husband, who, later, took us to see his schools, pleasantly situated on a wooded hill, commanding a lovely view of the land-locked harbour. Then strolling back through the orange-groves, we returned on board, where I am now writing. The captain and several of the officers have gone off duck-shooting, and expect good sport.

Saturday Evening.

Yesterday morning, after a very early breakfast, I went ashore at 6.30 with M. Pinart and Dr Thoulon. Mr Fox was waiting at the pier, and returned with us to the mission-house, where we found the patient already on the mend. I acted the part of interpreter for the doctor, who was happily able to supply, as well as prescribe, all needful remedies and tonics. So when we returned this afternoon to say good-bye, the young mother looked like a different creature—so bright and happy. Truly a blessed skill is that of the kindly leech!

The previous evening Mr Fox had undertaken to borrow some horses, and escort us to the summit of "The Pudding," a wooded hill, commanding a splendid map-like view of the strangely intersected land and water on every side of us. The isles lie so close, one to the other, that we could scarcely believe we were looking on the ocean, and not rather on a network of clear calm lakes and rivers. All the isles appear to be densely wooded, but at intervals along the shore we could distinguish villages nestling among the trees. One small island has recently been ceded to the Germans as a coaling station, and there seems some reason for anxiety lest this small foothold should be taken further advantage of.

Our ride in the early morning was exceedingly pleasant. I had insured my own comfort by bringing my side-saddle ashore. By some mistake we found that the stirrup had been left in Fiji; but happily, on such a ship as this, to want a thing is to have it, and I hear that a new stirrup and strap are to be ready for me ere we reach Samoa. On the summit of the hill we found breakfast all