Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/76

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they are sleeping peacefully in the outer room. Of course I brought my own net and pillow, being too old a traveller ever to risk a night without them; and my bed is a layer of fine mats, beautifully clean and temptingly cool. To these I must now betake me, so good-night.

In the Teacher's House, Thursday Night.

I started in the early morning for a long walk, taking as my guide a graceful half-caste girl with flowing black hair. She wore a fine mat round her waist, and a pretty patchwork pinafore, of the simple form generally adopted here—that is, a fathom of cloth, with a hole cut out of the centre to admit the head and neck. It is trimmed with some sort of fringe, either of fibre or grass. Occasionally two bright-coloured handkerchiefs, stitched together at the upper corners, supply the simple garment, which, however, is not an indigenous product of Samoa, but was the tiputa introduced by the early Tahitian teachers. It is practically the same as a Spanish poncho. All the shore here is edged with black volcanic rock; the lava seems to have formed huge bubbles as it cooled, and many of these have been water-worn till they are connected one with another by innumerable channels. So the waves rush tumultuously into these subterranean caves, and thence through hidden passages, till they reach openings like deep wells which lie at intervals along the shore, at some distance from the sea. Through these chimneys the rushing waters spout in great foam-fountains, and the effect produced is that of intermittent geysers, all along the coast. I think some of the jets must have been fully 100 feet high—and how the great breakers do surge and roar! No peaceful silent shore here!

We passed a very large deserted European house, built by Mr Scott of the Presbyterian Mission. How so large a house came to be required, or why it was abandoned, are mysteries of which I have heard no solution.

I returned to breakfast with the Fathers, to whose house I go for all meals. Happily the kind forethought of Captain Aube has