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Extracts from Noqu Talanoa: Stories from the South Seas by Herbert Tichborne

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Herbert Tichborne's love and affection for Polynesians is stamped on all his writing, as in his introduction to; Rambles in Polynesia; “ There they all are in their pristine simplicity, without vice, temper, or way-wardness. No women of any colour or kind are more beautiful or tender-hearted than theirs, no men on earth more modest or brave. “ Our first Tichborne stories deal with Fiji, and I should explain that although Fijians are not Polynesians but rather Melenesians, in general Fiji is included in most studies of Polynesia because Fiji, Tonga and Samoa are so bound up historically and artistically.

Tattoo and Motherhood

In Samoa when a woman is married several tattoo marks are inflicted upon her. And, both in Fiji and Samoa, the birth of each child is registered by a tattoo mark on the mother's hand. When you see a woman with her hand covered with these marks you may be sure she has contributed largely to the population of her country. It would have warmed the heart of Bonaparte to see a venerable old lady who lives on Vanua Levu. Her hand is as ' black as sin. ' I was bidding her ' Good-bye ' one day. ' ' veca f ' I asked as I held her hand. ' Rua-saga-vulu ka lima ' (twenty-five), she answered proudly.

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The Cannibal King, Cako-Bau, High Lord of Fiji

Cako-Bau, King of Fiji, Controller of the Sharks, and ' Boss of all the Islands in the World, ' was born about a hundred years ago. The exact date is not known, but the traditions are unanimous on the point that the heavens and earth were seriously disturbed and convulsed at the birth of the future prodigy. Gales blew and storms raged. Probably the people had enough to do to look after their houses and canoes, without going to the trouble of fixing a date for the birth of their new Prince.

Tanoa, the father of Cako-Bau, was rather a good King in his way. He was an active man, fond of the chase, of war, and such like manly occupations, while he was, at the same time, little given to gourmandising. Hence we find that Tanoa only ordered a man to be killed and cooked when he wanted a feed ; he didn't have beef lying about all over the place, going to waste, as did his predecessors and the son who succeeded him.

Tanoa is the name given to the large wooden bowl in which the yaqona, or native grog (kava), is prepared. The old King had such a happy way of absorbing yaqona that he was facetiously called a Tanoa. The name stuck to him, and he eventually ruled under it, and handed it down to posterity as the name of a king who was distinguished from the rest of his dynasty by the mercifulness of his character and the wisdom of his reign. His mercy and wisdom of course grew out of his economical habits, in that he never killed more men than he could use.

When Cako-Bau (evil to Bau) was five years of age he clubbed his first man ! The victim was tied up in the usual wretch to death, taking, however, about two hours to complete the task. It will be allowed that this was an early age at which to receive his baptism of massacre.

They had a rule or custom in Fiji that when a king or chief died, his wives (and sometimes he had many) were put to death and buried along with him. When Tanoa died he left five widows, Cako-Bau's mother being amongst them. The young King assumed the reins of power immediately upon the death of his father, and his first act was to carry out the usual festivities in connection with the funeral, and the massacre of the widows. Two white missionaries, with their wives and families, lived on Bau at this time, and they made every effort to induce Cako-Bau to spare the women's lives. They annoyed him very much over the matter. ' Why, ' he said, ' if I were to omit the observance of such an important custom the people would be justified in tell- ing me that I was unfit to rule over them. ' The ceremony was carried out accordingly, Cako-Bau leading off the massacre by strang- ling his own mother.

For many years after his accession to the throne of Bau the career of King Cako-Bau was one long array of cowardly massacre and unjust wars. The whole of the Fijian Archipelago, which consists of about two hundred islands, became subject to him, and he ruled them with a hand of iron. But white people began to gather round him, and the King at last commenced to find that it was necessary for him to exercise more care in the discharge of his royal functions. Many of the leading nations had consuls at Levuka. The American Consul always had the ' stars and stripes ' flying over his official residence. A Fijian from the Livoni Valley was in the Levuka one night, and an idea occurred to him that the Yankee colours would make a picturesque and comfortable sulu (a waist- cloth the one article of a Fijian's wearing apparel). Accordingly, in the morning the Consul was surprised to find the old flag gone. He went down to Cako-Bau and lodged a formal complaint. The King only laughed at him. The Consul used consider- able language of a parliamentary character, and let the matter lie over for a while. Some time afterwards, an American man-of- war entered the port. The Consul made a due representation of matters, with the result that Cako-Bau was carried aboard, and informed that he would not be allowed to return to shore till the flag stealer was pro- duced. Of course the King immediately sent emissaries into the Livoni, and they returned in a few days with the culprit. He was flogged, and he and Cako-Bau were then allowed to depart. The Americans were satisfied, but the King had a bone to pick with the man whose offence had caused His Majesty to be subjected to indignity.

The man was slowly tortured to death in the public square at Totoga in Levuka. His arm was first cut off at the elbow, and thrown into the oven ; in fact, he was dis- membered by slow degrees, and the King feasted upon him.

The first thing which began to show some likelihood of interfering seriously with the rule of Cako-Bau in Fiji was the rising power of Maafu, in the Lau, or eastern group. Maafu has been called the ' Lord Byron of Tonga, ' which country he had been com- pelled to leave some years before. He was one of the cleverest native chiefs who ever came to the surface in the Pacific, and his untimely death at Lakeba a few years ago was universally deplored. Maafu was an extensive trader, had amassed a large sum of money, and possessed many ships. Finding from the disturbed state of the country that it was necessary for the proper protection of his business and his property that he should keep a small army, he equipped one, which grew in time to formidable dimensions.

Cako-Bau quarrelled with Maafu at last, and the latter would probably have smashed the Bau ruler were it not for British inter- vention and the subsequent annexation of Fiji to this country. If Maafu had lived, he would have succeeded, upon the death of his uncle, the late King George of Tonga, to the throne of that country.

During the latter portion of Cako-Bau's reign he had the assistance of a white Minis- try in his councils. Like administrations in England, the King's Ministers went in and out, but their removal from office was gene- rally the effect of a cause different to that which removes an English Government. One Ministry, I remember, in which a friend of mine held the portfolio of Chancellor of the Exchequer, lost office through having purchased ten cases of gin of inferior quality for His Majesty's use. The old man was not to be humbugged with cheap gin, so he sent for the Leader of the Opposition and charged him with the commission of forming a new Government.

The Administration resolved upon a great coronation ceremony. All the leading chiefs of the group were called together at Levuka to witness the ceremony. A dais was erected, and the crown manufactured. The man who made the crown still lives in Fiji, and he always complains that he was never paid the half-sovereign which he was promised for making the article. On the other hand, it appears that Cako-Bau was not satisfied with the workmanship. The coronation ceremony took place, and late in the day Cako-Bau stuck his penknife into the velvet covering by which the hard material of the crown was concealed. This material he found to consist of part of a kerosene tin, and his disgust was great. The old man flung the crown from him with some very strong and unregal expressions indeed. The Administration which con- ceived the coronation idea was ignomini ously dismissed from office.

When I remember that popular term in use amongst us, De mortuis nil nisi bonum, I begin to fear that, in speaking roughly of Cako-Bau, I may be making a breach in what has come to be a generally recognised law. But there is some excuse for me in the recollection that the old King himself spoke at times very depreciatingly of the dead. We learn that he constantly inter- rupted the decorum of a banquet by fling- ing a piece of bokola (dead man) from him, with an oath about the ' toughness ' or the ' saltiness ' of the deceased. What a victory the good Christian missionaries scored when they succeeded in changing this human fiend into the fine character which he exhibited during the latter portion of his life !

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Cako-Bau resisted Christianity for many years. He, however, was good enough to allow the missionaries a footing in the country, but no particular respect was paid to them. On Bau, the Fijian capital, white missionaries had been allowed a residence from the time of Tanoa, the predecessor of Cako-Bau. But the only spot upon which they were allowed to erect a residence was upon the rubbish heap in the centre of the town. Here two of them lived for many years, with their wives and families, witnesses very often of the cannibal feasts for which Bau was notorious.

The good King George of Tonga was the man who eventually succeeded in prevailing upon Cako-Bau to embrace Christianity. The old man certainly could never be blamed for doing things by halves. From a cut-throat and cannibal of advanced ideas, he turned right round to a God-fearing, humane Christian. He abandoned polygamy, as well as the ' bokola ' trade, and put forth his influence amongst the different tribes in the group in the assistance of the missionaries.

Sundry Tales of Cannilbalism;

Landing once upon the coast of Malay ta, one of the Solomon Islands, the first sight which riveted my attention was the body of a little girl lying under a cocoa-nut tree, with a spear stuck partly through its head. A crowd of natives stood near, engaged apparently in some festal business, but no- body appeared to heed the child. It was yet alive, and its cries for 'mother' and for a 1 drink of water ' made an impression upon me which is with me yet. I instinctively drew my revolver. A man is sometimes prompted to attempt foolish things in emergencies of such a nature as this.

I happened to be known to some of the people present. A young Christoval chief approached me and told me in a friendly way to put the ' shooter ' away. I managed afterwards, however, with his assistance, to save the poor child from the oven, for a time, at least.

Any inclination I had for saving victims was useless in the next case which came before me, further up the village. The candidate for piece de resistance honours here was a full-grown warrior, who had, I learnt upon inquiry, been trying the 'John Hampden' business, ( John Hampden, central figure on the English Revolution ) and had encountered some bad luck in the venture. He was as dead as the proverbial door nail, and was tied up and properly hamstrung, awaiting the preparation of the lovo, or oven, which was to receive him. I hope the English reader will not be too much horrified when I mention that I was subsequently invited to partake of the re- freshments at the banquet which followed. I hope it will also be needless to mention that the offer was refused. But for the offence of saying these horrible things, I may be allowed to congratulate English people upon the fact that such scenes may now be reckoned amongst the things that were, and to go a little further in stating the universally acknowledged fact that the English people are solely responsible for their discontinuance.

It is but a few years, comparatively speaking, since the English missionary hoisted his glorious flag in the Pacific, but to say that the traveller to the Islands to-day is astonished when he views and realises the work which has been accomplished, is not saying enough he is amazed. The American Consul at Levuka, a few years ago (he has since been compelled to make way for the prottgt of a friend of President Cleveland's) had a curious relic in his office with which to edify his visitors. This consisted of the fork of a vesi tree, in which were embedded about a hundred shin-bones, arm-bones, jaw-bones, and other fragments of the human frame. The tree from which the fork had been taken stood underneath a rock-ledge or precipice in the Livoni Mountains, on top of which was situated a favourite feasting ground. These bones were merely a few of those which had been thrown over from time to time, and had happened to catch in the fork of the tree. I remember saying to the Consul once : 'There must have been a considerable pile of bones around the foot of the tree where this came from ? ' ' Aye, ' said the Consul, ' you kin bet there just was ow-siderable ! '

The Maoris of New Zealand were at one time cannibals of no mean order. The hot springs and lakes in different parts of the North Island were, from an early date, much valued by the Maoris for their curative pro- perties. They were the subject of many a dispute and many a war between the different tribes. On the conclusion of a battle in the neighbourhood of one of these boiling springs the prisoners of war were thrown by the victors into the natural boiling cauldrons, and subsequently eaten. A rule existed amongst some of the tribes which allowed every warrior to use his own victims himself. His wife and children, even his mother-in-law, were not allowed to partake of the repast.

There is one chief of the Arawa tribe the Arawas dwelt in the Hot Lake district, the scene of the recent volcanic disturbances who is mentioned a good deal in Maori history. Space will not allow me to give his name. But the meaning of one of his titles was ' Eater of his own relations ! ' He appears to have been a kind of Home Ruler, and made a considerable mark in the history of his time. In curious contrast to this chief, however, was a warrior of the same tribe, a contemporary of his, who, though a valiant fighter and a slayer of many scores of people, possessed a strange disinclination for ' tangata, ' or man, when dished up. This eccentricity on his part lost him prestige, and he failed to advance himself much politically ; the only circumstance which warrants the retention of his name in history being his unaccountable aversion to the favourite national meat of his country.

' Tangata ' is the Maori pronunciation of the Fijian word ' tamata, ' which is the synonym for our word ' man. ' A dead man, how- ever, is called by the Fijians a ' bokola, ' but this did not prevent a wag in Suva from passing the remark once that the Fijians were very fond of tamatas. Through the prevalence of cannibalism in New Zealand in the old days, and the custom of preserving the heads of the victims, a great trade in skulls arose with the advent of the first white settlers. The trade remained brisk for some years, but the custom of cannibalising died out, and heads eventually became scarce. We learn in one of the published histories of New Zealand of a trader who had been applied to for some skulls replying, ''Eds is 'eds now, sir ; 'eds is wery scarce, sir, I can assure you. '
The decadence of the custom did not, however, prevent the Australian colonies from being inundated with Maori skulls. When I was a young fellow I remember taking part in an amateur representation of Hamlet. We purchased a Maori skull from an old store- keeper in the town for a shilling to represent poor Yorick's. It tickled us a good deal at the time to see the skull of a wild Maori doing duty for the jester's, but we have lived and learned since. Not so very long ago I saw the head of a notorious murdering bush- ranger apostrophised by the Prince of Den- mark, ' Alas, poor Yorick ! I knew him once. ' One of the most notorious cases of the con- sumption of a white man by cannibals was that of the Rev. Mr. Baker, a missionary in Fiji. Mr. Baker performed some noble pioneering work in that country, and in 1868 he started upon an expedition, in company with some native Christians, into the moun- tains of Viti Levu. Taking a kind of pass- port from the ruling chief in the Rewa River district, Mr. Baker travelled a considerable distance up the Rewa, and struck into the Namosi Valley. He entered a village at last, outside the borders of the Christian district at the time. He was, with his companions, most hospitably entertained by the villagers during the night, and on the following morn- ing he took his departure, little dreaming of any treachery. As a matter of fact, however, the chief, who had arranged for his protection along the road, had turned traitor, and sent word along after him to the Namosi people not to let him proceed. They construed the message into a mandate for the ' removal ' of the missionary in the orthodox way, with the club.

Mr. Baker and his people were proceeding along a track or ' wakolo, ' accompanied by some of the villagers, one of whom walked immediately in front of him. This man suddenly stepped aside from the path, allowing Baker to pass him. As the missionary passed the native struck him on the head with his club, and that part of the ceremony was coneluded. Another ceremony followed, when the body was cooked and eaten.

Many of the people who had a hand in this affair are alive yet, and, of course, well known. They invariably, however, deny having partaken of the 'bokola-na-papalagi. ' On the top waters of the Rewa I once encountered an old scoundrel who took a leading part in the affair. I was in the company of a gentleman who has lived for many years in the group, and who has had a large
experience amongst the natives. We questioned the old fellow about his connection with Baker's affair. He denied any complicity in it. Later on, over a tanoa of yaqona, my friend said to him, ' I have heard that the bokola ko Misi Peka (Mr. Baker's body) was very salt to the taste ; not like a bokola na Vaka Viti (Fijian body) ? ' ' Don't you be- lieve it, ' said the old man unguardedly ; ' there wasn't a bit of difference. '

Did the reader ever hear the story of ' Cook's club ' ? A visitor once went to Barnum's celebrated show in New York. He was looking about a good deal, evidently in search of some relic. An attendant asked him at last if there was anything which he was anxious to find. Yes, there was, he said. He wanted to gaze upon the club that killed Captain Cook ! The attendant had never heard of it himself, but he sought the ' boss, ' the great showman himself, and mentioned the matter to him. Barnum also, strangely enough, h^d never heard of it, but he was not going to allow anyone to leave Barnum's show without being able to see any relic that could be mentioned. A club was taken privily from a case, and a ticket, ' Cook's club, ' hastily pasted upon it. The visitor was then invited to come and see it. ' Ah, ' he said, when he looked upon it, ' I 'thought you would be sure to have it here. I have been in all the other small shows in town, and they have got it, so I sorter reckoned that Barnum's would not be without it. '

It is necessary to have heard about Cook's club to understand the phenomenal relic which is popularly treasured in Fiji. ' Baker's fork' they call it. This is the fork with which the body of poor Mr. Baker was eaten. I have myself seen about two hundred and fifty, and of course there are many hundreds which I have not seen. Everybody has it. The traveller to Fiji is invariably sold the real ' Baker's fork. ' I bought one myself once for half a dollar, but the burst of laughter which greeted me when I produced it at my hotel in Levuka made me ponder, and I was glad soon to abandon the treasure. I had, however, a consoling friend in the hotel- keeper, who observed that it ' was two bob clean throw'd away ! '

Talonoa Na Yaqona;

There is one thing which forcibly strikes the traveller among the different peoples who inhabit the earth, and that is the undeniable propensity of the human race generally for indulgence in some kind of intoxicating liquor. The national beverage in this part of the world appears to be beer, or ' Ye fine olde nutt browne ale whilst the Continental peoples have of late years to a great extent dropped the ' bier ' for the less harmful vino of Southern Europe. In different parts of Asia arak and samsku hold first place in the hearts of the drinking people ; whilst in Africa many decoctions from the popular coco-nut and from mealie grain are used for ' stealing away the brains ' of the people.

In the South Sea Islands the most generally approved drink is the yaqona, or kava. In some groups, however, the Macro- piper methysticum, or yaqona root, is not indigenous, and a toddy is made from the coco-nut. This toddy, or tekereri, as it is called by the Line islanders the people who enjoy a monopoly of its use is much used by European residents in the Islands, who call it South Sea champagne. The method of procuring it from the coco-nut tree is simple. The native climbs a tree upon which the young nuts are beginning to make their appearance. The nuts are scraped off, and the young branch which held them is ' docked ' with a knife and inserted in a bottle. The bottle is tied on and left to hang. In about twelve hours it is full of the future tekereri, when it is removed and another put in its place. The toddy is then allowed to stand for another twelve hours or so, by which time it is fermented, and is fit for use. When allowed to stand for two or three days tekereri is a violent intoxicant, but when taken in the ordinary way, about twelve hours after abstraction from the tree, its exhilarating qualities are about on a par with ordinary Australian or European wine.

The Line islander, of whom there are a large number on the plantations in Fiji, is a firm believer in his tekereri. Every man on a plantation has to be allowed his own tree. The unrestricted use of the toddy very often, of course, leads to serious trouble, as these people are naturally very ferocious in their habits. Many horrible murders which have occurred in Fiji during late years are directly attributable to the tekereri sprees.

The drink for the gods, however, in the Pacific Islands, is yaqona. What the good Rhine wine is to the German baron, so is the flowing bowl of yaqona to the South Sea chief. The effect of a few bowls of yaqona is very soothing. It produces a feeling somewhat akin to that pictured by the Arizona cow-boy who was once treated to a blow-out of Mononghela whisky. ' Arter the w'-ands wur got through, ' he said, 'the liquors wur brought in. An' wot liquors they wuz, too ! They warn't none o' thet kind ez made yer feel like hittin' yer mother, an' flyin' round an' smashin' things ginirally ; they wuz just thet kind as made yer feel like histin' up yer glars sorter genteel-like, an' sayin', "Joe, ole pard, I'm lookin' at yer. "

I shall never forget that feeling of happy contentment which pervades the senses when we have thrown ourselves upon the mats round the tanoa, or grog-bowl, after partaking of the solid portion of a chief's hospitality.

The matter of form command of a chief is invariably given out after dinner, when all hands are expected to come round the tanoa and join in the talanoa na yaqona. The con- versational powers of the average Fijian are of no mean order. And what is generally said of the Maori may often with equal truth be said of the Fijian he is a born orator. The reader can imagine the keenness of the interest felt by the average new chum as he listens to the graphic description of a can- nibalistic orgie, in which, perchance, the narrator has taken a leading and important part. When I was on Vanua Levu I was one evening the guest of old Tui Kama (King Kama), the ruler of the Buca district. The Tui was telling us of a war in which he had taken part in Buca some years previously. ' Those ovens near my door were full of men for several days, ' said the old chief, 'and that grey-headed old fellow over there ' pointing to a benevolent-looking individual who was just in the act of drinking a bowl of yaqona ' that old fellow partook of portions of nine different men during the solevu (feast) which followed the war. ' The old fellow alluded to hastily stopped in the middle of his drink (it may be mentioned that in a general way the Fijian only stops between the start and finish of a bowl of grog when he is interrupted by an earthquake) to correct his chief. ' Segai, ' he said, ' Koi au sa mamau tinie-ka-dua na bokola. ' (' Nay, I ate of eleven bodies on that occasion ! ') The Tui promptly apolo- gised. There is a good deal of the courtier about a Fijian chieftain.

In Fiji the yaqona is prepared by the chewing process. Some white people, how- ever, who are unable to use the chewed article, have it grated, but the devotee will as soon drink water as the grated grog. Grat- ing does not bring the flavour or the essence out properly. But the white drinking popu- lation of Fiji were much troubled recently by some inquiries made by Sir William Mac- Gregor, when he was Chief Medical Officer of the group, into the grog-chewing business. The doctor took three ounces of the ordinary yaqona root. This was given to a young woman, who chewed it in the usual way. After the chewing process was completed the result was weighed. The three ounces had developed into eight a palpable gain of five ounces. The question of the composition of this surplus five ounces of ' grog ' was invariably allowed to stand over till next sitting.

A Fijian is properly equipped for the road when he has a few leaves of tobacco stuck behind his ear as a store clerk carries his pen and a root of grog in his hand. If he meets an acquaintance, or a stranger for that matter, a leaf of the fragrant weed is ex- changed, and an adjournment made for liquid refreshment. He will scarcely ever, or, in fact, never, meet a countryman who is not prepared to join him in a drink.

Dakuwaqa, the Fijian Shark God;

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In the Straits of Somo Somo, between Vanua Levu and Taviuni, dwells the great water god of northern Fiji, Daka-waqa (keel of a canoe). Daka-waqa is a shark of tremendous size, who is thus called because when seen in the water his appearance resembled that of an overturned canoe. He has one residence underneath the island of Benau, opposite Vuna Point, and another in a cave up the Buca River, about twenty miles further up the coast of Vanua Levu, a sort of Windsor and Balmoral, as it were. There is a large native graveyard on Benau, where many thousands of people have been buried at different times. The old custom was to drive a great stake into the grave a few days after a burial. This -gave the devil a chance to depart from the body, and so leave it clear and in a fit state to be adopted by Daka-waqa. Sometimes an old sinner died, and it was a difficult task for the medicine man to get the devil out of him. In a tough case of this kind, when the devil happened to prove obdurate, the matter was generally referred to Daka-waqa himself, who, upon the receipt of a small fee, in the shape of a baby, thrown into the sea where he could get it, promptly settled the business by driving that particular devil away to the farthest ends of the earth. Benau was tabu against him for ever. His body-snatching games in that district were at an end.

I once had a long talk with an old believer in Daka-waqa. The god's superiority to the Christian God commended itself to the old man from the circumstance that he did not allow any devil to get the better of him. The Christian God was altogether too mild a character. The old fellow couldn't realise how a God of His reputed power could allow a devil to set up a business in opposition to Him, and do more work in one year in the collection of souls than God Himself appeared to do in a thousand !

Some years ago, when I lived in the Straits of Somo Somo, the appearance of Daka-waqa in the Buca River one day caused great consternation amongst the people. I, in my ordinary heathenish way, determined to force an interview with him if possible. I had some Solomon Islanders with me who were as much heathen as myself as far as Daka-waqa was concerned. We blocked the bar on the mouth of the river with bamboos, and gave chase up the river in a takia, or small canoe. We were not long in finding him, but the Solomons were afraid to take to the water after him. He was far and away the biggest gio (shark) they had ever encountered. Accordingly I had to satisfy myself with sending an occasional bullet after him when we managed to cross him. I must have hit him hard at last, for he made down stream at a terrific rate, and managed to break away through our bamboo fence before we could reach him. That was the last occasion in recent years in which the Daka-waqa has been seen. After my sacrilegious treatment of him he will probably be as anxious to rid the country of white men as his godly brother the underground divinity.

Charlie Savage;
One of the most interesting characters in the latter-day history of the Pacific was Charlie Savage, a resourceful Cockney, who found his way into the Fiji group as cabin-boy on board a trading ship which sailed from the Thames in the early days of the present century. The vessel in question, having got in among the Fiji Islands, was cast away on the coral reef at Nairai, a little island lying to the eastward of Ovalau. The natives of Nairai pounced upon the prize with avidity, and all hands on board the vessel, with the exception of Charlie Savage, were in due course got ready for the oven and eaten by the Nairaians. Charlie Savage, owing doubt- less to the fact that he was cabin-boy and had a good run of the commissariat department, was in the pink of condition at the time, and as the Nairai people were bound to carry some part of their fortunate find to the ruling authorities at Bau by way of tribute, Charlie was kept for this purpose, and so escaped the general massacre. The bad weather which brought about the wreck of the vessel prevented the Nairai people from running their canoes down to Bau for a little time, and by degrees Charlie got to be on some- thing like friendly terms with his captors. They had looted the vessel and carried off such things as they understood the use of, but among the neglected cargo was a quantity of gunpowder and some fire-arms. Securing these, the stranded Cockney amused himself, and greatly interested and excited the natives, by shooting birds and other things, and when, eventually, they took him on to Bau and made an offering of him to King Tanoa, the chief ruler of the Fiji archipelago, they had some wonderful tales to tell of Charlie's prowess with the dakai (fire-stick). So it came about that King Tanoa, having plenty of fresh meat when he wanted it, decided not to eat Charlie Savage, but to keep him and learn something of the wonderful ' fire-stick ' which he had brought into the country. It was soon conveyed to Charlie that the King would like an exhibition of the use of the dakai, and the royal wish was promptly gratified. Birds, pigs, and even men were placed hors de combat under the royal wish, and it was not long before the King himself picked up the use of a gun. Tanoa was a crafty monarch, and quick to act when a new stroke of policy occurred to him, and as soon as he had mastered the use of the dakai, and grasped the effect of it, he sent a couple of messengers off at full speed across country to Na Droga to apprise the King of that place (who had, by the way, given Tanoa's land forces a severe drubbing a little while before) ' that he did not care a coco-nut for him, and that he was only a poor nigger after all. '

This insult stirred the King of Na Droga to a high pitch of wrath, and, without wasting any more time than it took to cook and eat the two messengers from Bau, the Na Droga fighting contingent was on the march to King Tanoa's country. Expecting them, Tanoa, with the help of Charlie Savage, had rigged up something in the shape of a rough fort at Bau, facing the coast of Viti-Levu, and when the Na Droga warriors appeared on the scene and came prancing across the shallow reef between the mainland and Bau they received a peppering from the little fort which surprised them not a little.

The Bau forces were completely victorious, and the news of the wonderful new weapon and its marvellous and destructive effects for fighting purposes soon spread from one end of the Fijian archipelago to the other. The King, accompanied by Charlie Savage, now made trips to various parts of the group, and in a short time the whole of the islanders, from Rambi to Kandavu, from the Yasawas to Loma Loma, rendered sub- mission to the King of Bau. Old Tanoa; in a proper spirit of gratitude, heaped honours and rewards on Charlie Savage, who became the owner of large plantation properties and of a fine selection of beautiful wives as well. This elevation from the poor condition of a cook-boy on a trading vessel to that of a large land-owner and sort of Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief in an important kingdom tended somewhat to turn Charlie's head, and some of the veracious chronicles of the period point to him as having developed into a very high-handed and overbearing personage. From hammering his wives when they disagreed with him up to shooting Fijians who came inconveniently in his way, Charlie Savage committed all sorts of crimi- nal acts, and there was some relief felt gene- rally when, in leading an expedition up the Macuata coast on one occasion, he was driven into a corner, his forces routed, and he himself mbutirak'd to death.

If Charlie did but little good for himself in the end, he certainly did good things for Fiji, and particularly for King Tanoa, who was enabled by his help to confederate the various groups forming the Fijian archipelago into one united kingdom, so that when Cako- Bau succeeded his father on the throne at Bau he found himself at the head of one of the strongest powers in the South Pacific in those days. In the first years of his rule Cako-Bau exceeded his father, and, indeed, exceeded his royal predecessors for many generations, in the brutality of his behaviour and the open encouragement he gave to cannibalism and other horrible vices of the period. It is related of Cako-Bau that he killed his first man when only six years of age. In one of the gruesome functions held in the royal compound on the island of Bau in those times a captured chief from the Raki Raki country was bound hand and foot, and the young prince, who was just able to lift a club, was put forward to kill the unfortunate turaga. It took him some time, accord ing to all accounts, but he finished the task himself ; so when hardly out of his infancy he was guilty of his first criminal act as a homi- cide. It is satisfactory to learn, however, that later on, mainly through the influence of his loyal friend the late King George of Tonga, KingCako-Bau received the papalagi missionaries at Bau, and eventually himself became a professing and very sincere Christian. In the latter years of his life he endeavoured in every possible way to atone for the ruffianism of his early days, and much sympathy was felt for him both among his own people and by the European residents of the group, who now began to increase largely in numbers. When the old King died a few years after he ceded the islands to Great Britain, in 1874 there was general sorrow in the group, and the scene at his funeral on Bau was a most impressive one. A British man-of-war was sent to Bau for the occasion, and the then Governor of Fiji, Sir William des Vceux, officially attended on behalf of the Queen.

I remember once meeting on the Rewa River a granddaughter of Charlie Savage, a rather pretty octoroon girl, who showed considerable pride in the memory of her buccaneering progenitor. There are, I be lieve, many descendants of Savage's knock- ing about the Fijis. Some years ago there were found in the house of a chief in the Namosi Valley several articles of silver-ware that had evidently come from some of the Catholic churches on the Pacific slope of South America. They were known to have been in Savage's possession, and the con- jecture was that the ship to which he belonged had been carrying off some loot in one of the war times from the South American coast when she foundered at Nairai.

A Strange Tale of Cannibalism
The Tokalau, or Line Islands, as they are more popularly known to travellers in the Pacific Ocean, from the circumstance that they lie directly under the Equator, consist of a numerous archipelago of small islets, or atolls, the largest of which is not more than thirty-five miles in length. Longitudinally these islands are situated to the northward of the Fiji group, between 174 degrees and 180 degrees east. They are inhabited by a curious race of people, called, from the islands on which they live, the Kai Tokalaus. ' Kai ' is the generic Pacific term for man. A French- man is known to the natives as a Kai Oui Oui, an Englishman a Kai Piritania, a Jew a Kai Tierusalemi, and so on.

From their general physical character istics one would incline to the conclusion that the Kai Tokalaus are of Mongolian extraction ; they have no sentiment or poetry in their composition, and it may be safely said that they are the most debased set of aborigi- nals existing in that part of the world. Of a naturally savage and bloodthirsty nature, they have made the Tokalau archipelago the greatest martyr field for missionaries in the South Seas. Cooked missionary often figured upon the unwritten menu of the festivals prepared for the island chieftains. And how any of these devoted men have managed to survive the risks and horrors of the Line Islands, and accomplish the noble results which have been attained amongst the people, is a wonder to travellers.

Apart from their ferocious instincts, the Tokalaus possess many curious personal characteristics which are not to be generally found in the other denizens of the Pacific Islands. Not the least remarkable of these is the uncontrollable desire to travel. Family ties and bonds of affection have alike no hold upon the Tokalau if an opportunity presents itself by which he may travel abroad he does not care where ; if it be to the farthest ends of the world it is all the same to him. Without a word of adieu to his wife, his children, or his parents, the Tokalau will jump aboard a whaler for a three or four years' voyage, and leave his home without the faintest notion of ever returning to it again. If chance brings him back after the whaling voyage is over, well and good ; if chance brings him instead to some remote corner of the world, thousands of miles away from the Tokalaus, it is all the same to him.

When the writer was reluctantly compelled, through shipwreck, to spend fourteen weeks upon one of the Tokalau islands, a few years back, a strange incident occurred. A party of eight of the islanders returned home from a neighbouring archipelago, where they had been dropped by a trading schooner, in which they had recently come from San Francisco. They had been away from home for a period of nearly three years, during the greater part of which they had been travel- ling. Their story was a strange account of suffering and adventure.

The Tokalaus are low islands, having been formed by degrees on the crests of a series of coral reefs a common physical occurrence in the Pacific Ocean. None of the islands are more than six feet above sea level, and the coco-nut trees, with which the islands abound, although most prolific in the matter of fruit-bearing, are stunted in growth when compared with the general height of such trees.

The sea currents are also very rapid and treacherous in these regions. Hence, in passing from one island to another in small boats or native canoes, the voyageur often loses sight of land, and when particular attention is not paid to the tide rip, or the current, there is a considerable risk of being carried away to sea.

Nearly three years before the return of these eight survivors a mixed party of twenty-two Tokalaus men, women, and children started one afternoon from a mission station on one of the islands to visit the missionary on a neighbouring atoll. They sailed away before a very mild breeze in the whaleboat belonging to the mission. When they got well away from the land out of sight of it, in fact the breeze had almost died away. The sail was kept up, however a thing which the Tokalau will always do while there is an ounce of wind to blow him along. He does not believe in doing with the oar, in a hot climate, what a thoughtful Providence will do for him with a few puffs of wind. And the matter of time is no object to the Tokalau.

The consequence was that night came upon the party while they were yet tossing gently about on the glassy water, many miles from home and from their point of destination. The treacherous current had also been doing its work, and when, after a weary night had been passed, day again dawned upon them, they were far away from any chance of reaching land for some time at all events. Unacquainted, of course, in the absence of landmarks, with their position upon the ocean, and confused as to the course which they ought to steer, the wildest disorder began to reign amongst them.

One steered in the direction which he thought the right one for a few hours, when, no land appearing ahead, he was violently ejected from his place at the tiller and re- placed by one who thought he knew better. The boat was steered to all points of the compass, till at last the most sensible plan under the circumstances was resorted to that of sailing away before the wind going, in fact, wherever the wind had a mind to take them. The new course was no sooner proposed than it was unanimously adopted, holding out, as it did, the prospect of an adventure in some foreign country a prospect dear to the Tokalau's heart. The pre- vailing breeze in the Pacific during the greater portion of the year is from the south- east, and this breeze happened to be blowing at the period of the adventurers' resolve to sail before the wind. Days and weeks passed, and still they flew away before it, without, however, meeting with the slightest sight of land. The small amount of pro- visions which they had originally carried aboard had been long since exhausted, and the greatest trouble now in the immediate front of them was hunger. But to a set of cannibals a way out of such a difficulty was not long in suggesting itself. It was merely a case of the survival of the fittest. The weakest of the party went first. The young people were sacrificed, one by one, to satisfy the hungry cravings of the older and stronger ones. After the young and tender ones had been used up, the turn of the unfortunate women came. The greatest economy in the use of the food was exercised, probably in recognition of the well-known human instinct that self-preservation is the first law of nature. And when at last the number of the whaleboat's occupants had dwindled down from twenty-two to eight, land was sighted ahead one morning. No accurate account had been kept of the time the adventurers had been at sea, but the period occupied must have been at least seven or eight weeks, for when they landed they found themselves upon the coast of Japan, some thousands of miles away from the Tokalau group. It may be imagined that the travellers created no small amount of astonishment and interest amongst the Japanese whom they first encountered. Taking note of the somewhat Mongolian features of the Kai Tokalaus, it is only natural that they were mistaken for some outlandish Chinese natives who had wandered across, or been reluctantly driven across, the Chinese Sea. It was, of course, impossible for them to make themselves understood, except by gestures, and, after much parleying by that primitive method, they were eventually conveyed to one of the mission stations along the coast, where the good and patient missionaries, full of infor- mation regarding the mission work and the inhabitants of the Pacific, were able at last to discover that their unfortunate guests came from the Tokalau archipelago. They were retained at the station for some time, till an opportunity at last presented itself, when passages were secured for them upon a sailing vessel bound from Yokohama to San Francisco. The latter port, though far from being in the direction of home, would offer them many chances of reshipping in the direction of their own country, as a large number of trading vessels ply between 'Frisco and the Pacific Islands.

In due time the adventurers passed through the celebrated Golden Gate, and were landed in San Francisco. Here their first care was, of course, to endeavour to secure passages in the direction of their home under the Equator. They were for- tunate enough at last to get over one stage of the journey through getting berths on a vessel bound to Honolulu, the capital of the Sandwich Islands.

At Honolulu they fell into the hands of an enterprising American showman, who promptly opened negotiations with them to show for a brief season in San Francisco. The affair seemed genuine, as money was forthcoming, and back they went to the Californian capital in charge of the show- man, who exhibited them there for a con- siderable time, and with the greatest success, as ' wild men from the interior of Thibet. ' They brought back with them many of the bills and posters through which they had been advertised to the American public, and probably retain them yet as mementoes of their curious adventure. The showman appears to have behaved very handsomely towards them, and when the engagement came to a conclusion they were well supplied with funds and other necessaries, and a passage secured for them upon the trading schooner which eventually landed them in the neighbourhood of the Tokalaus.

The islanders had, of course, long since given them up as dead, and a few of the survivors who had left wives behind returned to find the good ladies in possession of other husbands. This naturally caused some irritation, and the King of the island was called upon to King-Solomonise and other- wise adjudicate upon the matter.

Peace was restored when the writer left the place, but the Tokalaus had made up their minds that when they ventured upon the water again and the wind fell the order was to be ' Man the oars ! '

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