Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/72

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48
A LADY'S CRUISE.

Pango-Pango Harbour, Tuesday Night.

After all, we did come here, for the anchorage at Leone is simply an open roadstead, and is not safe in a strong southerly gale. Captain Aube feared the wind might shift, so the vessel merely lay to, to allow a young priest, Père Vidal, to leap on board from his canoe, and then we ran right to this lovely spot, where we anchored at sunset.

It is indeed a perfect harbour. We are lying close to the shore, in water twenty-one fathoms deep, clear as crystal, and calm as any inland lake. Steep, richly wooded hills rise round us on every side to a height of about 1000 feet, and you can discern no entrance from the sea. It seems like living in a vast cup. The hills all round are covered with bread-fruit trees, oranges, limes, pine-apples, bananas, and all the usual wealth of tropical greenery.

This has been a calm, peaceful evening of soft moonlight. We sat on the passerelle while one of the officers, who is an excellent violinist, played one lovely romance after another, sometimes soaring to classical music. The others lay round him listening in rapt delight.

The air is fragrant with the breath of many blossoms, and indeed all the afternoon we have had delicious whiffs of true "spicy breezes," such as I remember vividly off Cape Comorin, but which I have not very often experienced at any distance from the land.




CHAPTER V.

BOAT TRANSIT TO LEONE—SPOUTING CAVES—COUNCIL OF WAR—SKETCH OF SAMOAN HISTORY—NIGHT DANCES.
In the House of the Native Catechist,
Leone
, Wednesday, 19th.

We have had a long delightful day, and I am tolerably tired; but before taking to my mat, I must give you some notion of what we have seen. All the early morning the ship was surrounded by