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Wanderings Among South Sea Savages And in Borneo and the Philippines by H. Wilfrid Walker

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Wanderings Among

South Sea Savages

And in Borneo and the Philippines

by H. Wilfrid Walker

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society


My brother Charles
This record of my wanderings
in which he took so deep an interest,
is affectionately dedicated.


In a book of this kind it is often the custom to begin by making
apologies. In my case I feel it to be a sheer necessity. In the first
place what is here printed is for the greater part copied word for
word from private letters that I wrote in very simple language in
Dayak or Negrito huts, or in the lonely depths of tropical forests, in
the far-off islands of the Southern Seas. I purposely made my letters
home as concise as possible, so that they could be easily read, and in
consequence have left out much that might have been interesting. It is
almost unnecessary to mention that when I wrote these letters I had
no thought whatever of writing a book. If I had thought of doing so,
I might have mentioned more about the customs, ornaments and weapons of
the natives and have written about several other subjects in greater
detail. As it is, a cursory glance will show that this book has not
the slightest pretence of being "scientific." Far from its being
so, I have simply related a few of the more interesting incidents,
such as would give a GENERAL IMPRESSION of my life among savages,
during my wanderings in many parts of the world, extending over
nearly a score of years. I should like to have written more about
my wanderings in North Borneo, as well as in Samoa and Celebes and
various other countries, but the size of the book precludes this. My
excuse for publishing this book is that certain of my relatives
have begged me to do so. Though I was for the greater part of the
time adding to my own collections of birds and butterflies, I have
refrained as much as possible from writing on these subjects for
fear that they might prove tedious to the general reader. I have
also touched but lightly on the general customs of the people, as
this book is not for the naturalist or ethnologist, nor have I made
any special study of the languages concerned, but have simply jotted
down the native words here used exactly as I heard them. As regards
the photographs, some of them were taken by myself while others were
given me by friends whom I cannot now trace. In a few cases I have
no note from whom they were got, though I feel sure they were not
from anyone who would object to their publication. In particular,
I may mention Messrs. G. R. Lambert, Singapore; John Waters, Suva,
Fiji; Kerry & Co., Sydney; and G. O. Manning, New Guinea. To these
and all others who have helped me I now tender my heartiest thanks. I
have met with so much help and kindness during my wanderings from
Government officials and others that if I were here to mention all,
the list would be a large one. I shall therefore have to be content
with only mentioning the principal names of those in the countries
I have here written about.

In Fiji: -- Messrs. Sutherland, John Waters, and McOwan.

In New Guinea: -- Sir Francis Winter, Mr. C. A. W. Monckton, R.M., The
Hon. A. Musgrave, Capt. Barton, Mr. Guy O. Manning, and Dr. Vaughan.

In the Philippines: -- Governor Taft, afterwards President of the
United States, and Mr. G. d'E. Browne.

In British North Borneo: -- Messrs. H. Walker, Richardson, Paul
Brietag, F. Durege, J. H. Molyneux, and Dr. Davies.

In Sarawak: -- H.H. The Rajah, Sir Charles Brooke, Sir Percy
Cunninghame, Dr. Hose, Archdeacon Sharpe, Mr. R. Shelford, and the
officials of The Borneo Company, Ltd.

To all of these and many others in other countries I take this
opportunity of publicly tendering my cordial thanks for their unfailing
kindness and hospitality to a wanderer in strange lands.

H. Wilfrid Walker.

List of Illustrations

FRONTISPIECE -- Belles of Papua.
A Chief's Daughter and a Daughter of the People
A "Meke-Meke," or Fijian Girls' Dance
Interior of a large Fijian Hut
A Fijian Mountaineer's House
At the Door of a Fijian House
A Fijian Girl
Spearing Fish in Fiji
A Fijian Fisher Girl
A Posed Picture of an old-time Cannibal Feast in Fiji
Making Fire by Wood Friction
An Old ex-Cannibal
A Fijian War-Dance
Adi Cakobau (pronounced "Andi Thakombau"), the highest Princess in
Fiji, at her house at Navuso
A Filipino Dwelling
A Village Street in the Philippines
A River Scene in the Philippines
A Negrito Family
Negrito Girls (showing Shaved Head at back)
A Negrito Shooting
Tree Climbing by Negritos
A Negrito Dance
Arigita and his Wife
Three Cape Nelson Kaili-Kailis in War Attire
Kaili-Kaili House on the edge of a Precipice
"A Great Joke"
A Ghastly Relic
Cannibal Trophies
A Woman and her Baby
A Papuan Girl
The Author with Kaili-Kaili Followers
Wives of Native Armed Police
A Papuan Damsel
Busimaiwa, the great Mambare Chief, with his Wife and Son (in the
A Haunt of the Bird of Paradise
The Author starting on an Expedition
A New Guinea River Scene
Papuan Tree-Houses
A Village of the Agai Ambu
H. W. Walker, L. Dyke-Acland, and C. A. W. Monckton
View of Kuching from the Rajah's Garden
Dayaks and Canoes
Dayak in War-Coat
Dayak Women and Children on the Platform outside a long House
Dayaks Catching Fish
A Dayak Woman with Mourning Ornaments round waist
On a Tobacco Estate
On a Bornean River

Life in the Home of a Fijian Prince.


Life in the Home of a Fijian Prince.

Journey to Taviuni -- Samoan Songs -- Whistling for the Wind --
Landing on Koro -- Nabuna -- Samoans and Fijians Compared -- Fijian
Dances and Angona Drinking -- A Hurricane in the Southern Seas --
Arrival at Taviuni -- First Impressions of Ratu Lala's Establishment --
Character of Ratu Lala -- Prohibition of Cricket -- Ratu Lala Offended
-- The Prince's Musical Box.

Among all my wanderings in Fiji I think I may safely say that my
two months' stay with Ratu (Prince) Lala, on the island of Taviuni,
ranks highest both for interest and enjoyment. As I look back on my
life with this great Fijian prince and his people, it all somehow
seems unreal and an existence far apart from the commonplace life of
civilization. When I was in Suva (the capital) the colonial secretary
gave me a letter of introduction to Ratu Lala, and so one morning I
sailed from Suva on an Australian steamer, taking with me my jungle
outfit and a case of whisky, the latter a present for the Prince, --
and a more acceptable present one could not have given him.

After a smooth passage we arrived the same evening at Levuka, on the
island of Ovalau. After a stay of a day here, I sailed in a small
schooner which carried copra from several of the Outlying islands
to Levuka. Her name was the LURLINE, and her captain was a Samoan,
whilst his crew was made up of two Samoans and four Fijians. The
captain seemed to enjoy yelling at his men in the Fijian language,
with a strong flavouring of English "swear words," and spoke about
the Fijians in terms of utter contempt, calling them "d -- --
d cannibals." The cabin wag a small one with only two bunks, and
swarmed with green beetles and cockroaches. Our meals were all taken
together on deck, and consisted of yams, ship's biscuit and salt junk.

We had a grand breeze to start with, but toward evening it died down
and we lay becalmed. All hands being idle, the Samoans spent the time
in singing the catchy songs of Samoa, most of which I was familiar with
from my long stay in those islands, and their delight was great when
I joined in. About midnight a large whale floated calmly alongside,
not forty yards from our little schooner, and we trembled to think what
would happen if it was at all inclined to be playful. We whistled all
the next day for a breeze, but our efforts were not a success until
toward evening, when we were rewarded in a very liberal manner, and
arrived after dark at the village of Cawa Lailai,[1] on the island of
Koro. On our landing quite a crowd of wild-looking men and women, all
clad only in sulus, met us on the beach. Although it is a large island,
there is only one white man on it, and he far away from here, so no
doubt I was an interesting object. I put up at the hut of the "Buli"
or village chief, and after eating a dish of smoking yams, I was soon
asleep, in spite of the mosquitoes. It dawned a lovely morning and I
was soon afoot to view my surroundings. It was a beautiful village,
surrounded by pretty woods on all sides, and I saw and heard plenty
of noisy crimson and green parrots everywhere. I also learnt that
a few days previously there had been a wholesale marriage ceremony,
when nearly all the young men and women had been joined in matrimony.

Taking a guide with me, I walked across the island till I came to
the village of Nabuna,[2] on the other coast, the LURLINE meanwhile
sailing around the island. It was a hard walk, up steep hills and down
narrow gorges, and then latterly along the coast beneath the shade
of the coconuts. Fijian bridges are bad things to cross, being long
trunks of trees smoothed off on the surface and sometimes very narrow,
and I generally had to negotiate them by sitting astride and working
myself along with my hands. In the village of Nabuna lived the wife
and four daughters of the Samoan captain. He told me he had had five
wives before, and when I asked if they were all dead, he replied that
they were still alive, but he had got rid of them as they were no good.

The daughters were all very pretty girls, especially the youngest,
a little girl. of nine years old. I always think that the little
Samoan girls, with their long wavy black hair, are among the prettiest
children in the world.

We had an excellent supper of native oysters, freshwater prawns and
eels, fish, chicken, and many other native dishes. That evening
a big Fijian dance ("meke-meke"), was given in my honour. Two of
the captain's daughters took part in it. The girls sit down all the
time in a row, and wave their hands and arms about and sing in a low
key and in frightful discord. It does not in any way come up to the
very pretty "siva-siva" dancing of the Samoans, and the Fiji dance
lacks variety. There is a continual accompaniment of beating with
sticks on a piece of wood. All the girls decorate themselves with
coloured leaves, and their bodies, arms and legs glisten as in Samoa
with coconut-oil, really a very clean custom in these hot countries,
though it does not look prepossessing. Our two Samoans in the crew were
most amusing; they came in dressed up only in leaves, and took off
the Fijians to perfection with the addition of numerous extravagant
gestures. I laughed till my sides ached, but the Fijians never even
smiled. However, our Samoans gave them a bit of Samoan "siva-siva"
and plenty of Samoan songs, and it was amusing to see the interest
the Fijians took in them. It was, of course, all new to them. I drank
plenty of "angona," that evening. It is offered you in a different way
in Samoa. In Fiji, the man or girl, who hands you the coconut-shell
cup on bended knee, crouches at your feet till you have finished. In
Fijian villages a sort of crier or herald goes round the houses every
night crying the orders for the next day in a loud resonant voice, and
at once all talking ceases in the hut outside which he happens to be.

The next two days it blew a regular hurricane, and the captain dared
not venture out to sea, our schooner lying safely at anchor inside the
coral reef. I have not space to describe my stay here, but it proved
most enjoyable, and the captain's pretty Samoan daughters gave several
"meke-mekes" (Fijian dances) in my honour, and plenty of "angona"
was indulged in, and what with feasts, native games and first-class
fishing inside the coral reef, the time passed all too quickly. I
called on the "Buli" or village chief, with the captain. He was a
boy of fifteen, and seemed a very bashful youth.

We sailed again about five a.m. on the third morning, as the storm
seemed to be dying down and the captain was anxious to get on. We
had not gone far, however, before the gale increased in fury until it
turned into a regular hurricane. First our foresheet was carried away;
this was followed by our staysail, and things began to look serious,
in fact, most unpleasantly so. The captain almost seemed to lose his
head, and cursed loud and long. He declared that he had been a fool
to put out to sea before the storm had gone down, and the LURLINE,
being an old boat, could not possibly last in such a storm, and
added that we should all be drowned. This was not pleasant news,
and as the cabin was already half-full of water, and we expected
each moment to be our last, I remained on deck for ten weary hours,
clinging like grim death to the ropes, while heavy seas dashed over
me, raking the little schooner fore and aft.

Toward evening, however, the wind subsided considerably, which enabled
us to get into the calm waters of the Somo-somo Channel between the
islands of Vanua Levu and Taviuni.

The wreckage was put to rights temporarily, the Samoans, who had
previously made up their minds that they were going to be drowned,
burst forth into their native songs, and we broke our long fast
of twenty-four hours, as we had eaten nothing since the previous
evening. It was an experience I am not likely to forget, as it was the
worst storm I have ever been in, if I except the terrible typhoon of
October, 1903, off Japan, when I was wrecked and treated as a Russian
spy. On this occasion a large Japanese fishing fleet was entirely
destroyed. I was, of course, soaked to the skin and got badly bruised,
and was once all but washed overboard, one of the Fijians catching
hold of me in the nick of time. We cast anchor for the night, though
we had only a few miles yet to go, but this short distance took us
eight or nine hours next day, as this channel is nearly always calm. We
had light variable breezes, and tacked repeatedly, but gained ground
slowly. These waters seemed full of large turtles, and we passed them
in great numbers. We overhauled a large schooner, and on hailing them,
the captain, a white man, came on deck. He would hardly believe that
we had been all through the storm. He said that he had escaped most of
it by getting inside the coral reef round Vanua Levu, but even during
the short time he had been out in the storm, he had had to throw the
greater part of his cargo overboard. From the way he spoke, he had
evidently been drinking, possibly trying to forget his lost cargo.

Before I left Fiji I heard that the LURLINE had gone to her last
berth. She was driven on to a coral reef in a bad storm off the coast
of Taviuni. The captain seemed to stand in much fear of Ratu Lala. He
told me many thrilling yarns about him; said he robbed his people
badly, and added that he did not think that I would get on well with
him, and would soon be anxious to leave.

I landed at the large village of Somo-somo, glad to be safely on
TERRA FIRMA once more. It was a pretty village, with a large mountain
torrent dashing over the rocks in the middle of it. The huts were
dotted about irregularly on a natural grass lawn, and large trees,
clumps of bamboo, coconuts, bread-fruit trees, and bright-coloured
"crotons" added a great deal to the picturesqueness of the village. At
the back the wooded hills towered up to a height of nearly 4,000 feet,
and white streaks amid the mountain woods showed where many a fine
waterfall tumbled over rocky precipices.

Ratu Lala lived in a wooden house, built for him (as "Roko" for
Taviuni), by the government, on the top of a hill overlooking the
village, and. thither on landing I at once made my way. I found the
Prince slowly recovering from an attack of fever, and lying on a heap
of mats (which. formed his bed) on the floor of his own private room,
which, however, greatly resembled an old curiosity shop. Everything
was in great disorder, and piles of London Graphics and other papers
littered the ground, and on the tables were piled indiscriminately
clocks, flasks, silver cups, fishing rods, guns, musical boxes, and
numerous other articles which I discovered later on were presents from
high officials and other Europeans, and which he did not know what
to do with. Nearly every window in the house had a pane of glass[3]
broken, the floors were devoid of mats or carpets, and in places were
rotten and full of holes. This will give some idea of the state of
chaos that reigned in the Prince's "palace."

Ratu Lala himself was a tall, broad-shouldered man of about forty, his
hair slightly grey, with a bristly moustache and a very long sloping
forehead. Though dignified, he wore an extremely fierce expression,
so much so that I instinctively felt his subjects had good cause to
treat him with the respect and fear that I had heard they gave him. He
belongs to the Fijian royal family, and though he does not rank as
high as his cousin, Ratu Kandavu Levu, whom I also visited at Bau,
he is infinitely more powerful, and owns more territory. His father
was evidently a "much married man" since Ratu Lala himself told me
that he had had "exactly three hundred wives." But in spite of this
he had been a man of prowess, as the Fijians count it, and I received
as a present from Ratu Lala a very heavy hardwood war-club that had
once belonged to his father, and which, he assured me, had killed a
great many people. Ratu Lala also told me that he himself had offered
to furnish one hundred warriors to help the British during the last
Egyptian war, but that the government had declined his offer. One of
the late Governors of Fiji, Sir John Thurston, was once his guardian
and, godfather. He was educated for two years in Sydney, Australia,
and spoke English well, though in a very thick voice. Not only does
he hold sway over the island of Taviuni, but also over some smaller
islands and part of the large island of Vanua Levu. He also holds
the rank of "Roko" from the government, for which he is well paid.

After reading my letter of introduction he asked me to stay as long
as I liked, and he called his head servant and told him to find me
a room. This servant's name was Tolu, and as he spoke English fairly
well, I soon learned a great deal about Ratu Lala and his people.

Ratu Lala was married to a very high-caste lady who was closely related
to the King of Tonga, and several of whose relatives accompanied us
on our expeditions. By her he had two small children named Tersi (boy)
and Moe (girl), both of whom, during my stay (as will hereafter appear)
were sent to school at Suva, amid great lamentations on the part of
the women of Ratu Lala's household. Two months before my visit Ratu
Lala had lost his eldest daughter (by his Tongan wife). She was twelve
years old, and a favourite of his, and her grave was on a bluff below
the house, under a kind of tent, hung round with fluttering pieces
of "tapa" cloth. Spread over it was a kind of gravel of bright green
Stones which he had had brought from a long distance. Little Moe and
Tersi were always very interested in watching me skin my birds, and
their exclamation of what sounded like "Esa!" ("Oh look!") showed their
enjoyment. They were two of the prettiest little children I think I
have ever seen, but they did not know a word of English, and called me
"Misi Walk." They and their mother always took their meals sitting on
mats in the verandah. Ratu Lala had two grown-up daughters by other
wives, but they never came to the house, living in an adjoining hut
where I often joined them at a game of cards. They were both very
stately and beautiful young women, with a haughty bearing which made
me imagine that they were filled with a sense of their own importance.

As is well known all over Fiji, Ratu Lala, a few years before my stay
with him, had been deported in disgrace for a term of several months,
to the island of Viti Levu, where he would be under the paternal eye
of the government. This was because he had punished a woman, who had
offended him, by pegging her down on an ants' nest, first smearing
her all over with honey, so that the ants would the more readily eat
her.[4] She recovered afterwards, but was badly eaten. As regards
his punishment, he told me that he greatly enjoyed his exile, as he
had splendid fishing, and some of the white people sent him champagne.

His people were terribly afraid of him, and whenever they passed him
as he sat on his verandah, they would almost go down on all fours. He
told me how on one occasion when he was sitting on the upper verandah
of the Club Hotel in Suva with two of his servants squatting near by,
the whisky he had drunk had made him feel so sleepy, that he nearly
fell into the street below, but his servants dared not lay hands on him
to pull him back into safety, as his body was considered sacred by his
people, and they dared not touch him. He declared to me that he would
have been killed if a white man had not arrived just in time. He was
very fond of telling me this story, and always laughed heartily over
it. I noticed that Ratu Lala's servants treated me with a great deal
of respect, and whenever they passed me in the house they would walk
in a crouching attitude, with their heads almost touching the ground.

Ratu Lala's cousin, Ratu Kandavu Levu, is a very enthusiastic
cricketer, and has a very good cricket club with a pavilion at his
island of Bau. He plays many matches against the white club in Suva,
and only last year he took an eleven over to Australia to tour that
country. I learned that previous to my visit he had paid a visit
to Ratu Lala, and while there had got up a match at Somo-somo in
which he induced Ratu Lala to play, but on Ratu Lala being given
out first ball for nought, he (Ratu Lala) pulled up the stumps and
carried them off the ground, and henceforth forbade any of his people
to play the game on the island of Taviuni. I was not aware of this,
and as I had brought a bat and ball with me, I got up several games
shortly after my arrival. However, one evening all refused to play,
but gave no reasons for their refusal, but Tolu told me that his
master did not like to have them play. Then I learned the reason, and
from that time I noticed a decided coolness on the part of Ratu Lala
toward me. The fact, no doubt, is that Ratu Lala being exceptionally
keen on sport, this very keenness made him impatient of defeat, or
even of any question as to a possible want of success on his part,
as I afterwards learnt on our expedition to Ngamia.

I intended upon leaving Taviuni to return to Levuka, and from thence
go by cutter to the island of Vanua Levu, and journey up the Wainunu
River, plans which I ultimately carried out. Ratu Lala, however,
wished me to proceed in his boat straight across to the island of
Vanua Levu, and walk across a long stretch of very rough country to
the Wainunu River. My only objection was that I had a large and heavy
box, which I told Ratu Lala I thought was too large to be carried
across country. He at once flew into a violent passion and declared
that I spoke as if I considered he was no prince. "For," said he,
"if ten of my subjects cannot carry your box I command one hundred
to do so, and if one hundred of my subjects cannot carry your box
I tell fifteen thousand of my subjects to do so." When I tried to
picture fifteen thousand Fijians carrying my wretched box, it was
altogether too much for my sense of humour, and I burst forth into
a hearty roar of laughter, which so incensed the Prince that he shut
himself up in his own room during the few remaining days of my stay.

He had a musical box, which he was very fond of, and he had a man to
keep it going at all hours of the day and night. It played four tunes,
among them "The Village Blacksmith," "Strolling 'Round the Town," and
"Who'll Buy my Herrings" till at times they nearly drove me frantic,
especially when I wanted to write or sleep. Night after night the
tunes followed each other in regular routine till I thought I should
get them on the brain. How he could stand it was a puzzle to me,
especially as he had possessed it for many years. I often blessed
the European who gave it him, and wished he could take my place.

Whenever a man wished to speak to Ratu Lala he would crouch at his
feet and softly clap his hands, and sometimes Ratu Lala would wait
several minutes before he deigned to notice him.


My Further Adventures with Ratu Lala.

Fijian Huts -- Abundance of Game and Fish -- Methods of Capture --
A Fijian Practical Joke -- Fijian Feasts -- Fun after Dinner -- A
Court Jester in Fiji -- Drinking, Dress, and Methods of Mourning --
A Bride's Ringlets -- Expedition to Vuna -- Tersi and Moe Journey
to School -- Their Love of Sweets -- Rough Reception of Visitors to
Vuna -- Wonderful Fish Caught -- Exhibition of Surf-board Swimming by
Women -- Impressive Midnight Row back to Taviuni -- A Fijian Farewell.

In comparison with Samoan huts, the Fijian huts were very comfortable,
though they are not half as airy, Samoan huts being very open; but in
most of the Fijian huts I visited the only openings were the doors,
and, as can be imagined, the interior was rather dark and gloomy. In
shape they greatly resembled a haystack, the sides being composed of
grass or bunches of leaves, more often the latter. They are generally
built on a platform of rocks, with doors upon two or more sides,
according to the size of the hut; and a sloping sort of rough plank
with notches on it leads from the ground to each door. In the interior,
the sides of the walls are often beautifully lined with the stems of
reeds, fashioned very neatly, and in some cases in really artistic
patterns, and tied together with thin ropes of coconut fibre, dyed
various colours, and often ornamented with rows of large white cowry
shells. The floor of these huts is much like a springy mattress,
being packed to a depth of several feet with palm and other leaves,
and on the top are strips of native mats permanently fastened, whereas
in Samoa the floor is made up of small pieces of brittle white coral,
over which are loose mats, which can be moved at will. In Fijian
huts there is always a sort of raised platform at one end of the hut,
on which are piles of the best native mats, and, being the guest, I
generally got this to myself. The roof inside is very finely thatched,
the beams being of "Niu sau," a native palm,[5] the cross-pieces and
main supports being enormous bits of hard wood. The smaller supports of
the sides are generally the trunks of tree-ferns. The doors in most of
the huts are a strip of native matting or fantastically-painted "tapa"
cloth, fastened to two posts a few feet inside the hut. In some huts
there are small openings in the walls which answer for windows. The
hearth was generally near one of the doors in the centre of the hut,
and fire was produced by rubbing a piece of hard wood on a larger
piece of soft wood, and working it up and down in a groove till a
spark was produced. I have myself successfully employed this method
when out shooting green pigeon ("rupe") in the mountains.

With regard to food, I at first fared very well, although we had our
meals at all hours, as Ratu Lala was very irregular in his habits. Our
chief food was turtle. We had it so often that I soon loathed the
taste of it. The turtles, when brought up from the sea were laid
on their backs under a tree close by the house, and there the poor
brutes were left for days together. Ratu Lala's men often brought in
a live wild pig, which they captured with the aid of their dogs. At
other times they would run them down and spear them; this was hard
and exciting work, as I myself found on several occasions that I went
pig hunting. One of the most remarkable things that I saw in Taviuni,
from a sporting point of view, was the heart of a wild pig, which,
when killed, was found to have lived with the broken point of a
wooden spear fully four inches in length buried in the very centre
of its heart. It had evidently lived for many years afterwards,
and a curious kind of growth had formed round the point.

As for other game, every time I went out in the mountain woods I had
splendid sport with the wild chickens or jungle fowl and pigeons,
and I would often return with my guide bearing a long pole loaded
at both ends with the birds I had shot. The pigeons, which were
large birds, settled on the tops of the tallest trees and made a
very peculiar kind of growling noise. Many years ago (as Ratu Lala
told me) the natives of Taviuni had been in the habit of catching
great quantities of pigeons by means of large nets suspended from the
trees. The chickens would generally get up like a pheasant, and it
was good sport taking a snap shot at an old cock bird on the wing. It
was curious to hear them crowing away in the depths of the forest,
and at first I kept imagining that I was close to some village. I also
obtained some good duck shooting on a lake high up in the mountains,
and Ratu Lala described to me what must. be a species of apteryx,
or wingless bird (like the Kiwi of New Zealand), which he said
was found in the mountains and lived in holes in the ground, but I
never came across it, though I had many a weary search. Ratu Lala
also assured me that the wild chickens were indigenous in Fiji, and
were not descended. from the domestic fowl. We had plenty of fish,
both salt and fresh water, and the mountain streams were full of
large fish, which Ratu Lala, who is a keen fisherman, caught with
the fly or grasshoppers. He sometimes caught over one hundred in
a day, some of them over three pounds in weight. The streams were
also full of huge eels and large prawns, and a kind of oyster was
abundant in the sea, so what with wild pig, wild chickens, pigeons,
turtles, oysters, prawns, crabs, eels, and fish of infinite variety,
we fared exceedingly well. Oranges, lemons, limes, large shaddocks,
"kavika," and other wild fruits were plentiful everywhere.

During my stay here in August and September the climate was delightful,
and it was remarkably cool for the tropics. I often accompanied Ratu
Lala on his fishing excursions, and he would often recount to me
many of his escapades. On one occasion he told me that he had put
a fish-hook through the lip of his jester, a little old man of the
name of Stivani, and played him about with rod and reel like a fish,
and had made him swim about in the water until he had tired him out,
and then he added, "I landed the finest fish I ever got."

I added a good many interesting birds to my collection during my
stay here, among them a dove of intense orange colour, one of the
most striking birds I have ever seen. Plant life here was exceedingly
beautiful and interesting, especially high up in the mountains, palms,
ferns and orchids being strongly represented, and among the latter
may be mentioned a fine orange DENDROBIUM and a pink CALANTHE. I
found in flower a celebrated creeper, which Ratu Lala had told me
to look out for. It had very showy red, white and blue flowers,
and in the old days Ratu Lala told me that the Tongan people would
come over in their canoes all the way from the Tonga Islands, nearly
four hundred miles away, simply to get this flower for their dances,
and when gathered, it would last a very long time without fading. I
tried to learn the traditions about this flower, but Ratu Lala either
did not know of any or else he was not anxious to tell me about them.

The coastal natives, like most South Sea Islanders, were splendid
swimmers, but, so far as I was concerned, it was dangerous work bathing
in the sea here, as man-eating sharks were very numerous, and during my
stay I saw a Fijian carried ashore with both his legs bitten clean off.

Usually, when out on expeditions, we occupied the "Buli's" hut and
lived on the fat of the land. At meal times quite a procession of men
and women, glistening all over with coconut oil, would enter our hut
bearing all sorts of native food, including fish in great variety,
yams, octopus, turtle, sucking-pig, chicken, prawns, etc. They were
brought in on banana and other large leaves, and we, of course, ate
them with our fingers. Good as the food undoubtedly was, I was always
glad when the meal was over, as it is very far from comfortable to
sit with your legs doubled up under you. Afterwards I could hardly
stand up straight, owing to cramp. I found it especially trying in
Samoa, where one had to sit in this manner for hours during feasts,
"kava"-drinking and "siva-sivas" (dances). Sometimes a glistening
damsel would fan us with a large fan made out of the leaf of a fan
palm,[6] which at times got rather in the way. I never got waited on
better in my life. Directly I had finished one course a dozen girls
were ready to hand me other dishes, and when I wanted a drink a girl
immediately handed me a cup made out of the half-shell of a coconut
filled with a kind of soup. We generally had an audience of fully
fifty people, and when we had finished eating, a wooden bowl of water
was handed to us in which to wash our hands. Ratu Lala would generally
hand the bowl to me first, and I would wash my hands in silence, but
directly he started to wash his hands, everyone present, including
chiefs and attendants, would start clapping their hands in even time,
then one man would utter a deep and prolonged "Ah-h," when the crowd
would all shout together what sounded like "Ai on dwah," followed by
more even clapping. I never learned what the words meant. In this
respect Ratu Lala was most curiously secretive, and always evaded
questions. Whenever he took a drink, a clapping of hands made me
aware of the fact.

One day, when they had chanted after a meal as usual, Ratu Lala turned
around to me and mimicked the way his jester or clown repeated it,
and there was a general laugh. This jester, whose name was Stivani,
was a little old man who was also jester to Ratu Lala's father. Ratu
Lala had given him the nickname of "Punch," and made him do all
sorts of ridiculous things -- sing and dance and go through various
contortions dressed up in bunches of "croton" leaves. He kept us all
much amused, and was the life and soul of our party, but at times I
caught the old fellow looking very weary and sad, as if he was tired
of his office as jester.

The "angona" root (PIPER METHYSTICUM) is first generally pounded,
but is sometimes grated, and more rarely chewed by young maidens. It
is then mixed with water in a large wooden bowl, and the remains of
the root drawn out with a bunch of fibrous material. It is then ready
for drinking.

On gala and festal occasions the Fijians were wonderfully and
fantastically dressed up, their huge heads of hair thickly covered
with a red or yellow powder, and they themselves wearing large skirts
or "sulus" of coloured "tapa" and PANDANUS ribbons and necklaces of
coloured seeds, shells, and pigs'-tusks. In out-of-the-way parts the
"sulus" are still made of "tapa" cloth, and the women sometimes wear
small fibrous aprons. They also often wear wild pigs'-tusks round
their necks.

I noticed that many Fijian women were tattooed on the hands and arms,
and at each corner of the mouth (a deep blue colour). Both men and
women gave themselves severe wounds about the body, generally as a sign
of grief on the death of some near relative. I once noticed a young
girl of sixteen or seventeen with a very bad unhealed wound below
one of her breasts, which was self-inflicted. Her father, a chief,
had died only a short time previously. They often also cut off the
little finger for similar reasons. Like the Samoans, the Fijians often
cover their hair with white lime, and the effect of the sun bleaches
the hair and changes it from black to a light gold or brown colour.

A marriageable young lady in Fiji would generally have a great
quantity of long braided ringlets hanging down on ONE side of her
head. This looked odd, considering that the rest of her hair was
erect or frizzly. It was a great insult to have these ringlets cut. I
heard of it once being done by a white planter, and great trouble
and fighting were the result.

I accompanied Ratu Lala on several expeditions to various parts
of the island, and we also visited several smaller islands within
his dominions. On these occasions we always took possession of the
"Buli's," or village chief's, hut, turning him out, and feeding on
all the delicacies the village could produce. After we had practically
eaten them out of house and home we would move on and take possession
of another village. The inhabitants did not seem to mind this; in fact,
they seemed to enjoy our visit, as it was an excuse for big feasts,
"meke-mekes" (dances) and "angona" drinking.

One of the most enjoyable expeditions that I made with Ratu Lala
was to Vuna, about twenty miles away to the south. A small steamer,
the KIA ORA, which made periodical visits to the island to collect
the government taxes in copra, arrived one day in the bay. Ratu Lala
thought this would be a good opportunity for us to make a fishing
expedition to Vuna. We went on board the steamer while our large boat
was towed behind.

At the same time Ratu Lala's two little children, Moe and Tersi,
started off, in charge of Ratu Lala's Tongan wife and other women,
to be educated in Suva. It was the first time they had ever left home,
but I agreed with Ratu Lala, that it was time they went, as they did
not know a word of English, and, for the matter of that, neither did
his Tongan wife. When we all arrived at the beach to get into the
boat, we found a large crowd, chiefly women, sitting on the ground,
and as Ratu Lala walked past them, they greeted him with a kind of
salutation which they chanted as with one voice. I several times
asked him what it meant, but he always evaded the question somehow,
and seemed too modest to tell me. I came to the conclusion that it
ran something like "Hail, most noble prince, live for ever." The
next minute all the women started to howl as if at a given signal,
and they looked pictures of misery. Several of them waded out into
the sea and embraced little Tersi and Moe. This soon set the children
crying as well, so that I almost began to fear that the combined tears
would sink our boat. Their old grandmother waded out into the sea
up to her neck and stayed there, and we could hear her howling long
after we had got on board the steamer. When we got into Ratu Lala's
boat at Vuna there was another very affecting farewell. Some months
later when I returned to Suva, I asked a young chief, Ratu Pope,
to show me where they were at school, and I found them at a small
kindergarten for the children of the Europeans in Suva.

They seemed quite glad to see their old friend again, and still more
so when I promised to bring them some lollies (the term used for
sweets in Australasia) that afternoon.

When I returned I witnessed a pretty and interesting sight The two
little children were standing out in the school yard while several
Fijian men and women of noble families who had been paying the little
prince and princess a visit, were just taking their leave. It was a
curious sight to see these old people go in turn up to these two little
mites and go down on their knees and kiss their little hands reverently
in silence. All this homage seemed to bore the small high-born ones,
and hardly was the ceremony over when they caught sight of me, and,
rushing toward me with cries of "Misi Walk siandra, lollies," they
nearly knocked over some of their visitors, who no doubt were greatly
scandalized at such undignified behaviour.

To return to our visit to Vuna. Sometime previously, Ratu Lala had
warned me that whenever he landed at this place with a visitor it
was an old custom for the women to catch the visitor and throw him
into the sea from the top of a small rocky cliff. To this I raised
serious objections, but arrayed myself in very old thin clothes
ready for the fray. However, upon landing, very much on the alert,
I was agreeably surprised to find that the women left me alone. Yet in
part Ratu Lala's story was true, as he assured me that quite recently
he had been forced to put a stop to the custom, as one of his last
visitors was a European of much importance who was greatly incensed
at such treatment, and complained to the government, who told Ratu
Lala that the custom must end.

We came to fish, and fish we did, just off the coral reef, but
it would take space to describe even one-half of the curious and
beautiful fish we caught. When I took the lead in the number of
fish caught, Ratu Lala seemed greatly annoyed, and I was not sorry
to let him get ahead, when he was soon in a good temper again. The
Fijians generally fished with nets and a many-pronged fish-spear,
with which they are very expert, and I saw them do wonderful work
with them. They also used long wicker-work traps. Ratu Lala, on the
contrary, being half-civilized, used an English rod and reel or line
like a white man. Ratu Lala told the women here to give an exhibition
of surf-board swimming for my benefit. As they rode into shore on the
crest of a wave I many times expected to see them dashed against the
rocks which fringed the coast. I had seen the natives in Hawaii perform
seventeen years before, but it was tame in comparison to the wonderful
performances of these Fijian women on this dangerous rock-girt coast.

A great many "meke-mekes" or dances were got up in our honour, but Ratu
Lala detested them, and rarely attended, but preferred staying in the
"Buli's" hut, lying on the floor smoking or sleeping. He, however,
always begged me to attend them in his place. After a time I found the
performances rather wearisome, and not nearly so varied and interesting
as the "siva-sivas" in Samoa. There the girls sang in soft, pleasing
voices, the words being full of liquid vowels. Here in Fiji the singing
was harsh and discordant, as k's and r's abound in the language.

When it came to the ceremony of drinking "angona" I worthily did
my part of the performance. Drinking "angona" is a taste not easily
acquired, but when one has once got used to it, there is not a more
refreshing drink, and I speak from long experience. In Fiji I was
often presented with a large "angona" root, but it would be considered
exceedingly bad form did you not return it to the giver and tell him
to have it at once prepared for himself and his people, you yourself,
of course, taking part in the drinking ceremony.

After a stay of several days at Vuna we rowed back by night. It was
a perfect, calm night, and with the full moon, was almost as bright
as day. We rowed all the way close to shore, passing under the gloomy
shade of dense forests or by countless coconuts, the only sound besides
the plash of our oars being the cry of water fowl or some night bird,
while the light beetles[7] flashed their green lights against the dark
background of the forest, looking much like falling stars. There are
certain moments in life that have made a lasting impression on me,
and that moonlight row was one of them.

We made several expeditions together that were every bit as interesting
and enjoyable as the one to Vuna. On one occasion we visited the north
part of the island, as well as Ngamia and other islands. We rowed
nearly all the way close into shore and saw plenty of turtles. Ratu
Lala started to troll with live bait, as we had come across several
women fishing with nets, and on our approach they chanted out a
greeting to Ratu Lala, and in return he helped himself to a lot of
their fish. Ratu Lala had fully a dozen large fish after his bait,
and some he hooked for a few seconds. This only made him the keener,
and after leaving the calm Somo-somo Channel, although we encountered
a very rough sea, he had the sail hoisted and we travelled at a great
rate in and out amongst a lot of rocky islets, shipping any amount of
water which soaked us and our baggage, and half-filled the boat. I
expected we should be swamped every moment, and from the frightened
looks of our crew I knew they expected the same thing. Hence, I was
not reassured when Ratu Lala remarked that it was in just such a sea,
and in the same place, that he lost his schooner (which the government
had given him) and that on that occasion he and all his crew remained
in the water for five hours. When I explained that I had no wish to be
upset, he said, "I suppose you can swim?" I said "Yes! but I do not
wish to lose my gun and other property," to which he replied, "Well,
I lost more than that when my schooner went down." I was therefore not
a little relieved when he had the sail lowered. He explained that he
never liked being beaten, even if he drowned us all, and *all this
was because I had bet him one shilling (by his own desire) that he
would not get a fish. I mention this to show what foolhardy things
he was capable of doing, never thinking of the consequences. I could
mention many such cases. We at length came to some shallows between
a lot of small and most picturesque islands, and as it was low tide,
and we could not pass, we, viz., Ratu Lala, myself, and the other
chiefs, got out to walk, leaving the boat and crew to come on when
they could (they arrived at 4 a.m. the next morning). I was glad to
get an opportunity to dry myself, and we started off at a good rate
for our destination, but unfortunately we came to a spot where grew
a small weed that the Fijians consider a great luxury when cooked,
and Ratu Lala and his people stayed here fully two hours, till they
had picked all the weed in sight, in spite of the heavy rain. It
was amusing to see all these high-caste Fijians and old Stivani, the
jester, running to and fro with yells of delight like so many children,
all on account of a weed which I myself afterwards failed to enjoy.

On the way I shot three duck, and later, when it was too dark to shoot,
we could see the beach between the mangroves and the sea was almost
black with them. On the other side of us there was a regular chorus of
wild chickens crowing and pigeons "howling" in the woods. After four
hours' hard walking we arrived at our destination, Qelani, long after
dark, dead tired, and soaked to the skin. We put up at the "Buli's"
hut; he was a cousin of Ratu Lala, and was a hideous and sulky-looking
fellow, but his hut was one of the finest and neatest I had seen in
Fiji. As I literally had not had a mouthful of food since the previous
evening, I was glad when about a dozen women entered bearing banana
leaves covered with yams, fish, octopus, chickens, etc. We stayed here
some days, but we had miserable, wet weather. There was excellent
fishing in the stream here, and Ratu Lala especially had very good
sport. Many of the fish averaged one-and-a-half pounds and more, but
he told me that they often run to five pounds. There were three kinds,
and all excellent eating. The commonest was a beautiful silvery fish,
and another was of a golden colour with bright red stripes. During the
latter part of my stay in Qelani I suffered from a slight attack of
dysentery, and it was dull lying ill on the floor of a native hut with
no one to talk to, as Ratu Lala always tried to avoid speaking English
whenever possible, and would often only reply in monosyllables. It
would often seem as if he were annoyed at something, but I found that
he did this to all white men, and meant nothing by it. I soon cured
myself by eating a lot of raw leaves of some bush plant, also a great
quantity of native arrow-root.

In spite of my sickness I managed to shoot a fair number of duck,
wild chickens and pigeon, and also a few birds for my collection. One
day, in spite of the rain, I was rowed over to Ngamia, which is
a wonderfully beautiful island, about three hours from Qelani. It
was thickly covered with a fine cycad which grows amongst the rocks
overhanging the sea. The natives call it "loga-loga,"[8] and eat the
fruit. I landed and botanized a bit, finding some new and interesting
plants, and then rowed on a few miles to call on the only white man
on the island, an Australian named Mitchell, who has a large coconut
property. He was astonished and pleased to see me, and introduced
me to his Fijian wife, and his two pretty half-caste daughters soon
got together a good breakfast for me. He seemed glad to see a white
man again, and nearly talked my head off , and was full of anecdotes
about the fighting they had with the Fijian cannibals in 1876. He
told me that in the last great hurricane his house was blown over on
to a small island which he owned nearly half-a-mile away.

To describe all the incidents of my long visit would fill a book,
but I think I have written enough to show what a very interesting
time I spent with this Fijian Prince. It was without doubt one of
the most curious experiences of all my travels in different parts
of the globe. With all his faults, Ratu Lala was a good fellow, and
he certainly was a sportsman. All Fiji knows his failings, otherwise
I should not have alluded to them. The old blood of the Fijians ran
in his veins, his ancestors were kings who had been used to command
and to tyrannise; therefore he could never see any harm in the many
stories of his escapades that he told me, and he seemed much offended
and surprised when I advised him not to talk about them to other
Europeans. When I started off to Levuka I was greatly surprised to
see all the women of Somo-somo sitting on the beach waiting to see me
depart, and as I walked down alone they greeted me in much the same
way as they often greeted Ratu Lala, in a kind of chanting shout that
sounded most effective. It was a Fijian farewell!

Among Ex-Cannibals in Fiji.


Among Ex-Cannibals in Fiji.

Journey into the Interior of Great Fiji -- A Guide Secured -- The Start
-- Arrival at Navua -- Extraction of Sago -- Grandeur of Scenery --
A Man covered with Monkey-like Hair -- A Strangely Coloured Parrot
-- Wild Lemon and Shaddock Trees -- A Tropical "Yosemite Valley" --
Handclapping as a Native Form of Salute -- Beauty of Namosi -- The
Visitor inspected by ex-Cannibals -- Reversion to Cannibalism only
prevented by fear of the Government -- A Man who would like to Eat my
Parrot "and the White Man too" -- The Scene of Former Cannibal Feasts
-- Revolting Accounts of Cannibalism as Formerly Practised -- Sporadic
Cases in Recent Years -- An Instance of Unconscious Cannibalism by a
White -- Reception at Villages EN ROUTE -- Masirewa Upset -- Descent
of Rapids -- Dramatic Arrival at Natondre ("Fallen from the Skies").

Toward the end of my stay in the Fijian Islands I determined to make
a journey far into the interior of Viti Levu (Great Fiji), the largest
island of the great Fijian archipelago. Suva, the chief town in Fiji,
and the headquarters of the government, is on this island, but very few
Europeans travel far beyond the coast, and my friends in Suva declared
that I would have a fit of repentance before I had travelled very far,
as the interior of the island is extremely mountainous and rough. After
a great deal of trouble I managed to get an interpreter named Masirewa,
who came from the small island of Bau. He was a fine-looking fellow,
and, like most Fijians, possessed a tremendous mop of hair. His stock
of English was limited, and we often misunderstood each other, but he
proved a most amusing companion, if only on account of his unlimited

I ought here to mention that Fijians vary a great deal, both in colour
and language. Fiji is the part of the Pacific where various types meet,
viz., Papuan, Malayan, and Polynesian. The mountaineers around Namosi,
which I visited, who were all cannibals twenty-five years ago, are
much darker in colour than the coast natives, and they are undoubtedly
of Papuan origin.

I left Suva with Masirewa on the morning of October 12th, and after
a short sea voyage of three or four hours on a small steam launch,
we arrived at the village of Navua. I had a letter to Mr. McOwan,
the government commissioner for that district. He put me up for the
night, and we played several games of tennis, and my stay, though
short, was an exceedingly pleasant one. The whites in Fiji are the
most hospitable people in the world. They are of the old REGIME that
is dying out fast everywhere.

The next day I set out on my journey into the interior, Masirewa
and another Fijian carrying my baggage (which was wrapped up in
waterproof cloth) on a long bamboo pole. We followed the course of
the Navua River for some distance. In the swamps bordering the river
grew quantities of a variety of sago palm (SAGUS VITIENSIS) called by
the natives Songo. They extract the sago from the trunk, and the palm
always dies after flowering. After passing through about four miles
of sugar cane, with small villages of the Indian coolies who work in
the cane fields, we left behind us the last traces of civilization. We
next came to a very beautiful bit of hilly country, densely wooded on
the hills, though bordering the broad gravelly beaches of the river
were long stretches of beautiful grassy pastures. Darkness set in
as we ascended some thickly wooded hills. The atmosphere was damp
and close, and mosquitoes plentiful, and small phosphorescent lumps
seemed to wink at us out of the darkness on every side. I had to strike
plenty of matches to discover the track, and continually bumped myself
against boulders and the trunks of tree-ferns. It was late when we
arrived at the village of Nakavu, on the banks of the Navua River,
where I was soon asleep on a pile of mats in the hut of the "Buli,"
or village chief.

The next morning I resumed my journey with Masirewa and two canoe-men
in a canoe, and we were punted and hauled over numerous dangerous
rapids, at some of which I had to get out. We passed between two
steep, rocky cliffs the whole way, and they were densely clothed
with tree-ferns and other rank tropical vegetation, the large white
sweet-scented DATURA being very plentiful. The scenery was very
beautiful, and numerous waterfalls dashed over the rocky walls with
a sullen roar. Ducks were plentiful, but my ammunition being limited,
I shot only enough to supply us with food. I felt cramped sitting in
a canoe all day, but I enjoyed myself in spite of the continuous and
heavy rain.

Late in the afternoon we arrived at the small village of Namuamua,
on the right bank of the river, with the village of Beka on the
other side. We were given a small hut all to ourselves, and we fared
sumptuously on duck and boiled yams. The next morning I was shown
a curious but ghastly object, viz., a man covered with hair like a
monkey, and I was told that he had never been able to walk. He dragged
himself about on his hands and feet, uttering groans and grunts like
an animal.

I hired two fresh bearers to carry my baggage, and after we had
crossed the river three or four times we passed over some steep and
slippery hills for some distance. I managed to shoot a parrot that I
had not seen on any of the other islands. It was green, with a black
head and yellow breast. The rain came down in torrents, and I got
well soaked. We went for miles through woods with small timber, but
full of bright crotons, DRACAENAS, bamboos, and a very sweetscented
plant somewhat resembling the frangipani, the flower of which covered
the ground. We passed under the shade of sweet-scented wild lemon
and shaddock trees, but we got the bad with the good, as a horrible
stench came from a small green flowering bush. A beautiful pink and
white ground orchid (CALANTHE) was plentiful.

We travelled along a steep, narrow strip of land with a river on
each side in the valleys below. We met no one until we arrived at
the village of Koro Wai-Wai, which is situated on the banks of a
good-sized river at the entrance to a magnificent gorge of rocky peaks
and precipices. Here we found the "Buli" of Namosi squatting down
in a miserable, smoky hut where we rested for a few minutes, and the
hut was soon filled with a crowd of natives, all anxious to view the
"papalangi" (foreigner). The "Buli" agreed to accompany me to Namosi,
although his home was in another village. Continuing our journey,
we had hard work climbing over boulders, and along slippery ledges
overhanging the foaming river many feet below. Steep precipices rose on
each side of us, and the gorge grew more narrow as we proceeded. The
scenery was grand, and rather resembled the Yosemite Valley, but had
the additional attraction of a wealth of tropical foliage. Steep rocky
spires topped by misty clouds towered above us and little openings
between rocky walls revealed dark green lanes or vistas of tangled
tropical growth which the sun never reached. We met many natives,
who sat on their haunches when the "Buli" talked to them, and clapped
their hands as we passed. This was out of respect for the "Buli,"
who was an insignificant looking little bearded man and quite naked
except for a small "Sulu."

We soon arrived at Namosi. It is a large town situated between
two steep walls of rock, and was by far the prettiest place I had
seen in Fiji, and that is saying a good deal. The town is on both
banks of the Waiandina River, with large "ivi" and other beautiful
trees overhanging the water; brilliant coloured crotons, DRACAENAS,
and other fine plants imparted a wealth of colour to the scene,
and many of the grand old trees were heavily laden with ferns and
orchids. During many years' wanderings all the world over, I do not
think I have ever come across a more beautiful and ideal spot.

The "Buli" was greeted with cries of "m-m-ka-a" in shrill voices by the
women, for all the world like the caw of an old crow. I learned that
the "Buli" had not been here for some time, but I seemed to be the
chief object of interest, and was followed everywhere by an admiring
and curious crowd of dark brown, shiny boys and girls, the former just
as they were born and the latter wearing a strip of "Sulu." We put up
in a chief's house, and after getting through the usual boiled yams,
I went on a tour of inspection around the town, but I soon found that I
was the one to be inspected. There was a hum of voices in every hut,
and doorways were darkened with many heads. Groups of young men,
women and children assembled to see the sight, but scampered away
if I approached too near. No white man but the government agent had
been here for several years, I was told. Thirty-odd years ago they
would not have been satisfied to "look only," but would have wished
to taste, and many of the present inhabitants would have made chops
of me, and were no doubt peering out of their huts to see if I was
fat or lean, and wishing for days gone by but not forgotten. Isolated
cases of cannibalism still occur in out-of-the-way parts of Fiji, and
it is only fear of the government that stops them, otherwise these
mountaineers would at once return to cannibalism. Masirewa came out
and stood with folded arms among a large crowd talking about me, and no
doubt taking all the credit for my appearance, and staring at me as if
he had never seen me before, so that I felt much inclined to kick him.

In the evening, as I skinned the parrot I had shot, Masirewa told
me how one man had said that he would like to eat the parrot, and
that he had replied: "And the white man too." There was a large and
very interested crowd around me as I worked, and they were very much
astonished when told that the birds in England were different from
those in Fiji, and I was inundated with childish questions about
England. Masirewa seemed to be trying to pass himself off on these
simple mountaineers as a chief, and was clearly beginning to give
himself airs, so that when he started to eat with the "Buli" and
myself, I had to snub him, and told him sharply to clean my gun and
eat afterwards.

I slept the next morning till seven o'clock, and Masirewa told me that
the natives could not understand my sleeping so late, and that they
thought I was drunk on "angona," of which I had partaken the night
before. "Angona" is the same as "kava" in Samoa, and is the national
beverage in Fiji. Masirewa now only wore a "sulu" and discarded his
singlet. I suppose it was a case of "In Rome do as Rome does," but
he certainly looked better in the dark skin he wore at his birth. I
was shown the large rock by the river where more than a thousand
people had been killed for their cannibal feasts. They were usually
prisoners captured in the Rewa district, also a few white men. They
were cut open alive and their hearts torn out, and their bodies were
then cut up for cooking on the rock, which I noticed was worn quite
smooth. Sometimes they would boil a man alive in a huge cauldron.

While staying at Namosi the "Buli" gave me some lessons in throwing
native spears, and in using the bow. Whilst practising the latter I
narrowly missed, by a few inches, shooting a woman who stepped out
suddenly from behind a hut.

I was out most of the day shooting pigeons in the woods close by,
accompanied by the "Buli," Masirewa, and several boys. The woods were
full of a wonderfully beautiful creeper, a delicate pink and white
CLERODENDRON which grew in large bunches; there was also a very pretty
HOYA (wax flower) scrambling up the trees. We filled ourselves with
the juicy pink fruit of the "kavika," or what is generally known as
the Malacca or rose-apple. The trees were plentiful in the woods,
grew to a large size, and were literally loaded with fruit, the
fallen fruit resembling a pink carpet. Another very good fruit was
the "wi," a golden fruit about the size of a large mango. I have seen
both cultivated in the West Indies.

On my return to the village I had a most interesting interview
with these ex-cannibals, one old and two middle-aged men, thanks
to Masirewa, my interpreter. He first asked them how they liked
human flesh, and they all shouted "Venaka, venaka!" (good). Like the
natives of New Guinea, they said it was far better than pig; they also
declared that the legs, arms and palms of the hands were the greatest
delicacies, and that women and children tasted best. The brains and
eyes were especially good. They would never eat a man who had died
a natural death. They had eaten white man; he was salty and fat, but
he was good, though not so good as "Fiji man." One of them had tasted
a certain Mr. -- -- , and the meat on his legs was very fat. They
chopped his feet off above the boots, which they thought were part
of him, and they boiled his feet and boots for days, but they did not
like the taste of the boots. They often kept some of their prisoners
and fattened them up, and when the day came for killing one, it was
the women of Namosi's duty to take him down to the large stone by the
river, where they cut him open alive and tore his heart out. Lastly,
I asked if they would still like to eat man if they got the chance,
and they were not afraid of being punished, and there was no hesitation
in their reply of "Io" (yes), uttered with one voice like the yelp
of a hungry wolf, and it seemed to me that their eyes sparkled. They
were certainly a very obliging lot of cannibals.

Cannibalism is, of course, practically extinct now in Fiji, but in
recent years I am told that there, have been a few odd cases far back
in the mountains. On one occasion a man told his wife to build an oven
and that he was going to cook her. This she did, and he then killed,
cooked, and ate her. Whilst in Fiji I met an Englishman who in the
seventies had tasted human meat at a native feast, he believing it
was pig, and at the time he thought it was very good. I was told
that in the old days when they wanted to know whether a body was
cooked enough they looked to see if the head was loose. If the head
fell off it was thought to be "cooked to perfection," but I will not
vouch for this story being correct.

I gave the "Buli" a box of matches, and he seemed as pleased as if it
was a purse of gold; they light all their fires here by wood friction,
Some of the pet pigs around here were very oddly marked with stripes
and spots of brown, black and white. Whilst in Fiji I often came
across natives far from any village who were being followed by pet
pigs, as we in England might be followed by dogs. Masirewa amused
me more each day by his cheek and self-assurance. Once I asked him
what he said to the chief of the hut we were in, and he replied:
"Oh! I tell him Get out, you black fellow.' "

We left Namosi early the next morning, a large crowd seeing us off, and
I was sorry to bid farewell to one of the most beautiful spots in this
wide world. We passed through the villages of Nailili and Waivaka,
where I called at the chiefs' huts and held a kind of "at home"
for a few minutes, the people simply swarming in to look at me. The
"Buli" of Namosi had sent messengers on in front to give notice of my
approach, and at each village they had the inevitable hot yams ready
to eat, which Masirewa made the most of. At the entrance to each
village there was usually a palisade of bamboo or tree-fern trunks,
and here a crowd of girls and children would often be waiting, and on
my approach they would set up loud yells and scamper off, till I began
to think that I must look a very ferocious kind of "papalangai." At
Dellaisakau the natives looked a very wild lot. Some of the men had
black patches all over their faces, and some had great masses of hair
shaped like a parasol. One or two of the women wore only the old-time
small aprons of coconut fibre.

We followed the Waiandina River amid very fine scenery. The sloping
hills were covered with woods, and we passed under a canopy of bamboo,
the large trumpet flowers of the white DATURA, tree-ferns, large "ivi,"
"dakua" and "kavika" trees loaded with ferns and fine orchids in
flower. We crossed the river several times, and I was carried across
by a huge Fijian whose head and neck were covered with lime. Rain
soon set in again, and we literally wallowed in mud and water. I
got drenched by the soaking vegetation, so I afterwards waded boldly
through rivers and streams, as it was impossible to get any wetter.

At Nasiuvou the whole village turned out to greet me, and I held my
usual reception in the chief's hut. The chief seemed very annoyed that
I would not stay the night. No doubt he thought that I would prove
a great attraction for his people. The banks of the Waiandina River
were crowded as I got into a canoe, and Masirewa, in trying to show
off with a large paddle, lost his balance and fell into the water, the
yells of laughter from the crowd showing that they were not lacking
in humour. Masirewa did not like it at all, but I was very glad, as
he had been giving himself too many airs. I dismissed my two bearers
and took only one canoe man and made Masirewa help him. We went down
several rapids at a great pace. It was dangerous but exhilarating, and
we had several narrow escapes of being swamped, as the canoe, being a
small one, was often half-filled with water. We also had several close
shaves from striking rocks and tree trunks. Ducks were plentiful, and I
shot one on the wing as we were tearing down a rapid. The scenery was
very fine; steep wooded mountains, rocky peaks with odd shapes, steep
precipices, fine waterfalls, grand forests, and picturesque villages,
and the scenery as we wound among the mountains was most romantic.

Toward evening we arrived at the large town of Nambukaluku,
where we disembarked. Except for a few old men and children we
found it deserted, and we learned that the "Buli," who is a very
important chief, had gone to stay at the village of Natondre for
some important ceremonies for a few days, and most of the inhabitants
had gone with him. Thither I determined to go, and we set off along
a mountain path. The rain was all gone, and it was a lovely, still
evening. Suddenly I heard distant yells and shouts and the beating
of the "lalis" (hollow wooden drums), and I set off running, leaving
Masirewa and my canoe man carrying my baggage far behind, and on
turning a sharp corner I came full upon the village of Natondre
and a most interesting sight. Hundreds of natives were squatting
on the ground of the village square, and about one hundred men with
faces black and in full war paint, swinging war clubs, were rushing
backward and forward yelling and singing while large wooden drums
were beaten. They were dressed in most fantastic style, some only
with fibrous strings round their loins, and others with yards of
"tapa" cloth wound around them. Several women were jumping about with
fibre aprons on, and all had their hair done up in many curious ways
and sprinkled with red and yellow powders. Huge piles of mats were
heaped in the open square, speeches were made, and the people all
responded with a deep "Ah-h" which sounded most effective from the
huge multitude. I came up in the growing dusk and stood behind a lot
of people squatting down. Suddenly some one looked round and saw me
-- sensation -- whispers of "papalangai" were heard on all sides,
and looks of astonishment were cast in my direction. Certainly my
entrance to Natondre could not have been more dramatic, and I believe
that they almost thought that I had FALLEN FROM THE SKIES, which is
the literal meaning of the word "papalangai."


Mock War-Scene at the Chief's House.

War Ceremonies and Dances at Natondre Described -- The Great Chief of
Nambukaluku -- The Dances continued -- A Fijian Feast -- A Native
Orator -- The Ceremonies concluded -- The Journey continued --
A Wonderful Fungus -- The bark of the rare Golden Dove leads to its
CaptureReturn to more Civilised Parts -- The Author as Guest of a high
Fijian Prince and Princess -- A SOUVENIR of Seddon -- Arrival at Suva.

Masirewa soon arrived and I learned that there were some very important
ceremonies in which one tribe was giving presents to another tribe,
in settlement of some disputes that had been carried on since
the old cannibal fighting days, and as I passed into the "Buli's"
hut I noticed that the dancers were unwinding all the "tapa" cloth
from around their bodies and throwing it on the piles of mats. I
immediately went behind a "tapa" screen where the "Buli" slept, and
began to get into dry clothes. This evidently made some of the crowd
in the hut angry, as they thought I was lacking in respect to the
"Buli" by changing in his private quarters, as in Fiji the very high
chiefs. are looked upon as sacred. One fellow kept shouting at me in
a very impudent way, so when Masirewa came in, I told him about it,
and he lectured the crowd and told them that I was a very big chief;
this seemed to frighten them. Later on, I found that Masirewa had
complained, and the impudent man was brought up before one of the
chiefs, who gave him a lecture before myself and a large crowd in
the hut I put up in. Masirewa translated for me, how the chief said:
"The white man, who is a big chief, has done us honour in visiting
our town," and to the man: "You will give us a bad name in all Fiji
for our rudeness to the stranger that comes to us." I learned that
the man was going to be punished, but as he looked very repentant I
said that I did not wish him punished, so he was allowed to sneak out
of the hut, the people kicking him and saying angry words as he passed.

I supped with the great "Buli" that evening, and we fared sumptuously
on my duck, river oysters and all sorts of native dishes. We were
waited upon by two warriors in full war paint, and the "Buli's" young
and pretty wife, shining with coconut oil all over her body, sat by me
and fanned me. The "Buli" was an aristocratic-looking old fellow with
a large nose and a very haughty look. He is a very important chief,
but knew no English, and we carried on our conversation through the
medium of Masirewa. He spoke in a kind of mumble, with a very thick
voice. Once when he had been mumbling worse than usual there was a
kind of restrained titter from someone in the crowd at the back. The
"Buli" heard it, and slowly turning his head he transfixed the crowd
with his piercing gaze for many seconds amid a dead silence. I wondered
afterwards if anything ever happened to the unfortunate one who was
so easily amused. I learned that besides having an impediment in
his speech, the "Buli" was also paralyzed in one leg. I Put up in a
different hut, the "Buli" apologizing for his hut being crowded with
the influx of visitors.

I watched a "meke-meke" or native dance that evening in which about a
dozen girls covered with oil took part. There was a sound of revelry
the rest of the night, for there was feasting and dancing in several
huts, and discordant chanting and the hum of many voices followed
me into my dreams. The next morning I went out shooting pigeons in
some thick pathless woods about two miles away, and I also shot some
flying foxes which I gave to my companions, as the Fijians consider
them a great delicacy, as do many Europeans. These woods were full of
pineapples, which in places barred our way. Many of them were ripe,
and I found they possessed a fine flavour.

In the afternoon the ceremonies were continued, the "Buli" sending
for me to sit by him in the doorway of his hut to watch them. First
about forty women with "tapa" cloth wound around their bodies went
through various evolutions, swaying their arms about and chanting in
their usual discordant manner. They then unwound the "tapa" from their
bodies and threw it in a heap on the ground, following this by more
manoeuvres. About twenty men came into the square, some with their
faces blacked and their bodies stained red with some pigment, and
wearing only aprons of coconut strings, with bracelets of leaves on
their arms and carved pigs' tusks hanging from their necks. They went
through some splendid dancing, falling down on the ground and bouncing
up again like india-rubber balls. They sang, or rather chanted, all the
time, and so did a kind of chorus of men who beat on wood and bamboo,
while the dancers danced round them in circles, and squares, and then
bent backward, nearly touching the ground with their heads. As they
danced they kept splendid time, with their arms, legs and heads.

Then amid shrill yells and cries from the crowd, another procession
approached from the far end of the village in single file. First came
several men with spears, which they shook on the ground every now and
then, shaking their bodies at the same time in a fierce manner. Behind
them in single file came a lot of women, each bearing a. rolled-up
mat, which they threw down in a heap. These mats are made from the
dried "pandanus" leaf. Then several men appeared bearing enormous Fiji
baskets full of large rolls of food wrapped up in leaves, also smaller
baskets made of the fresh leaves of the crimson DRACAENA, also full of
food. From the enormous number of baskets, the food supply was enough
to feed a large multitude. They were all put down together by the mats.

Then there was dead silence, in which you could almost have heard
the proverbial pin drop, and an oldish man stepped forward and stood
by the mats and baskets, his body wound round with "tapa" till it
stuck out many feet from his body. The crowd broke silence with an
ear-piercing yell. He then spoke, and was interrupted from time to time
with cries of approval or the reverse, and sometimes loud laughter,
while the "Buli," sitting by me, every now and then shouted out,
or broke into a childish giggle. Then the speaker uttered a lot
of short sentences very fast, and every one present said "Venaka"
(good) at the end of each sentence. Then the old man unwound the
"tapa" around him and threw it on the mats, as did others.

Silence again, and I began to think all was over, but suddenly there
was another shrill sort of yell from the crowd, and from the back of
our hut, amid a tremendous uproar from all present and the beating of
"lalis" (drums), appeared a procession of about fifty warriors in their
usual picturesque get-up, all brandishing large war-clubs. They paraded
into the square in very stately fashion, singing in their curious and
savage discords, and then went through some grand dances, keeping
wonderful time with their clubs and bodies, and from time to time
giving forth a loud yell which was really thrilling. They next rushed
backward and forward brandishing their clubs and killing an imaginary
foe, and then clapped their hands together in even time. Then off
came the "tapa" from around them, and the heap was made still larger.

Another yell from the crowd. Then silence, followed by more speaking,
and every now and then a deep "Ah-h" from all present, which sounded
like distant thunder and was most impressive. Then all the people
clapped their hands and chanted a few words in low suppressed voices,
and the ceremony, lasting between four or five hours, was over. From
time to time a man would approach the "Buli" and fall down on all
fours and clap his hands before he could speak. I felt at times as
if I was watching a comic opera or a ballet, and there were many
amusing incidents. I think honours were fairly easy between the big
show and myself, as the people kept whispering and looking around at
me the whole time. I never passed a hut without causing excitement,
and there would be cries of "papalangai" and a mass of faces would
appear at the doors. Wherever I went I was followed at a respectful
distance by a crowd of girls and children, but if I turned to retrace
my steps there was a panic-stricken rush to get out of my way. On
one occasion a little child of about two years old yelled with
fright when I passed near it. I was much astonished that a white
man should make such a stir in any part of Fiji, but it is only so
in very out-of-the-way villages such as these. I was exceedingly
lucky to witness these ceremonies, as they were the most important
ones that had taken place in Fiji for many years, and few of the
old white residents had seen their equal. I was all the more lucky,
as I never expected to see them when I started from Suva.

The next morning I said "Samoce"[9] (good-bye) to the great "Buli,"
who, though he was a big chief, was not above accepting with evident
glee the few shillings I pressed into his hand, and with Masirewa and
two fresh bearers continued my journey in the pouring rain. Once we
had to swim across a swift and swollen river, then we went over steep
hills, down deep gullies, wading through streams and passing all the
time through thick forests. We stopped once to feed on wild pineapples,
the pink "kavika." and the golden "wi," but Masirewa was a bad bushman
and slipped, and stumbled, swore and grumbled, and many times I had
to wait till he came up with me. We followed a deep and beautiful
gulch for some distance, wading all the way through a shallow stream
which flowed over a natural slanting pavement with a smooth surface,
and I found it hard to keep my footing. We got a magnificent view
from the top of a high hill of the country to the eastward, with
large rivers winding among beautiful undulating wooded country as
far as the eye could reach. We passed through but one village, named
Naqeldreteki, and from here I saw two very fine waterfalls falling
side by side over a steep cliff several hundred feet straight drop
into the forest below. It was about here that I came across a most
beautiful sort of fungus of a bright scarlet and orange, and in the
shape of a perfect star.

I heard what I took to be the gruff bark of a dog, when it suddenly
dawned upon me that there could not be any dogs here, as we were
far from any village. Upon investigation I discovered that it was a
bird that was the author of the noise, and I soon brought it down
with a load of dust-shot, and to my great delight it proved to be
the golden dove, a bird which I had hunted for in vain in the other
islands. It was of a very fine metallic golden-yellow colour, and
the feathers being long and narrow, gave it a very odd appearance. 1
could only mutter "venaka, venaka" (good), and in spite of the heavy
rain reverently and slowly rolled it up in cotton wool and paper, to
the great amusement of my three Fijians. Among the most interesting
features of bird life in the Samoan and Fijian Islands were the various
members of the dove family, which looked wonderfully brilliant with
their metallic greens, and their orange, crimson, purple, yellow,
pink, cream and olive green. The latter part of the journey was through
bushy country dotted about with many large orchid and fern-laden trees.

We arrived toward dusk at the large village of Serea, on the Wainimala
River, which is a branch of the Rewa River, and I put up in the large
hut of the "Buli." I began to feel like an ordinary mortal again,
as the people here did not exhibit any great surprise on seeing me,
no doubt because, being in the Rewa district, they see a few Europeans
from time to time. After a change into dry clothes and a supper off one
of the large pigeons I had shot EN ROUTE, I had a large and interested
crowd to watch me skin my dove, and there were roars of laughter
during the process, especially when Masirewa told them it would be
made to look like a real bird with glass eyes. Masirewa at one time
spoke sharply to the "Buli" who, I thought, looked a bit annoyed,
so I asked Masirewa what he said. "Oh," he said airily, "I told him
to keep his pig of a child away from the white chief." Masirewa, was
a character, and evidently had no respect for chiefs and princes,
etc., as he treated all the "Bulis" as his equals, which was very
different from the generally cringing attitude of the Fijians to their
chiefs. Even the high and mighty "Buli" of Nabukaluku[10] seemed to
like his cheek. Masirewa liked to show off his English, though no
one understood a word, and his favourite way of addressing them when
he was annoyed was "You all black devil pigs." Whilst I was skinning
my dove, the people brought in a horrible-looking carved figure with
staring eyes. It was about five feet high, and they waxed very merry,
whenever I looked up at it from my skinning.

I left early next morning in the pouring rain, and found as I passed
through Serea that it was quite a town. Quite a large crowd escorted
me down the steep banks of the river (Wainimala), and we were soon
spinning down stream in a large canoe. We soon joined another river
which, together with the Wainimala, formed the Rewa, the largest
river in Fiji. The scenery was both varied and picturesque, and once
I got the canoe paddled up a little shady creek where there was a very
beautiful waterfall, and where I was glad to stretch my legs for a few
minutes after being cramped up in the canoe. There were many pretty
and quaint villages on the banks, and the people often rushed out of
their huts to see us pass. Ducks were plentiful, and I got a fair bag
and used up my remaining cartridges, and the rest of the way 1 had to
be content with pointing my gun at them, which was very tantalizing. We
arrived about three p.m. at the village of Viria, and I stayed with the
"Buli" in his hut almost overhanging the river. In the evening I took a
stroll with the "Buli" round the village, and then we sat on a log by
the river chatting, with Masirewa acting as interpreter. We continued
our journey the next morning, and late in the day we passed large
fields of sugarcane. We had returned to civilization once more, and
I could not help feeling a pang of regret. We arrived at the village
of Navuso about four p.m., and I was the guest of Andi (princess)
Cakobau (pronounced Thakombau) and her husband, Ratu (prince)
Beni Tanoa. Princess Cakobau is the highest lady of rank in Fiji,
and belongs to the royal family. She is very stately and ladylike,
and in her younger days was very beautiful. She does not know any
English, but she wrote her autograph for me in my note-book to paste
on her photograph, as she writes a very good hand. Her husband is
also one of the highest chiefs in Fiji, and speaks good English. They
proved most hospitable, and presented me with some Fijian fans when
I left the next morning, and the Princess gave me a buttonhole of
flowers out of her garden. Dick Seddon, the Premier of New Zealand,
had once visited them, and I noticed his portrait that he had given
them fastened to a post in their hut. I left Navuso by steam launch
which called at the large sugar-mills a little lower down, and reached
Suva that afternoon, feeling very fit after one of the most enjoyable
and interesting expeditions that I ever made.

My Life Among Filipinos and Negritos and a Journey in Search of
Bearded Women.


At Home Among Filipinos and Negritos.

Arrival at Florida Blanca -- The Schoolmaster's House Kept by Pupils
in their Master's Absence -- Everyday Scenes at Florida Blanca --
A Filipino Sunday -- A Visit to the Cock-fighting Ring -- A Strange
Church Clock and Chimes -- Pugnacious Scene at a Funeral -- Strained
Relations between Filipinos and Americans -- My New Servant --
Victoriano, an Ex-officer of Aguinaldo's Army, and his Six Wives
-- I Start for the Mountains -- "Free and easy" Progress of my
Buffalo-cart -- Ascent into the Mountains -- Arrival at my Future
Abode -- Description of my Hut and Food -- Our Botanical Surroundings
-- Meetings with the Negritos -- Friendliness and Mirth of the Little
People -- Negritos may properly be called Pigmies -- Their Appearance,
Dress, Ornaments and Weapons -- An Ingenious Pig-arrow -- Extraordinary
Fish-traps -- Their Rude Barbaric Chanting -- Their Chief and His
House -- Cure of a Malarial Fever and its Embarrassing Results --
"Agriculture in the Tropics" -- A Hairbreadth Escape -- Filipino
Blowpipes -- A Pigmy Hawk in Pigmyland -- The Elusive PITTA -- Names of
the Birds -- A Moth as Scent Producer -- Flying Lizards and other kinds
-- A "Tigre" Scare by Night -- Enforced Seclusion of Female Hornbill.

When collecting in the Philippines, I put in most of my time in
the Florida Blanca Mountains, in the province of Pampanga, Northern
Luzon. I arrived one evening after dark at the good-sized village of
Florida Blanca, which is situated a few miles from the foot of the
mountain, whose name it shares. I carried a letter to the American
schoolmaster, who was the only white man in the district, and had been
a soldier in the late war. It seemed to me a curious policy on the part
of the American government to turn their soldiers into schoolmasters,
especially as in most cases they are very ignorant themselves. I
believe, however, the chief object is to teach the young Filipinos
English, and so turn them into live American citizens. The Americans
are far from popular in the Philippines, and when in Manila I was
strongly advised not to wear KHAKI in the jungle for fear of being
taken for an American soldier.

The American's house was dark and still when I arrived at Florida
Blanca, but whilst I was wondering what to do, I was surprised to
hear a small voice, coming out of a small adjoining house, say in
good English (though slowly and with a strong accent), "Thee --
master -- has -- gone -- into -- thee -- mountains -- to -- kill --
deer -- and -- pigs." This was from one of the American's own pupils,
an intelligent little fellow named Camilo. As I learnt that he was not
expected back for two or three days, there was nothing left but to make
myself as comfortable as possible in his house until his return. Camilo
was soon boiling me some water, and I opened some of my provisions,
as I had eaten nothing for eight hours. The house was an ordinary
Filipino one, raised fully ten feet from the ground and built of
native timber, the peaked roof, which had a frame-work of bamboo,
being thatched with palm-leaves. The divisions between the rooms were
of plaited bamboo work, and the sliding windows were latticed, each
division being fitted with pieces of pearl shell. The next morning
I was invaded by quite an army of small boys, who, to my surprise,
all spoke English very prettily in their slow way and with a quaint
accent. I have never come across a more bright and intelligent set
of little fellows, all very friendly and not a bit shy, yet most
polite and well-mannered. They were manly little fellows, with the
faces of cherubs, and they were always smiling. Though the ages of my
five little favourites, Camilo, Nicolas, Fernando, Dranquilino and
Victorio, ranged only from eleven down to seven (the latter being
little smiling-faced Victorio), they did all my errands for me,
bought me little rolls of sweetish bread, eggs and fruit, and were
most honest. They talked to me as if they had known me all their
lives, acted as my guides and showed me all there was to see. They
generally followed me in a row, with their arms round each other's
neck in a most affectionate way, and I never heard any of them use
one angry word amongst themselves. The few days that I spent here,
I wandered through the narrow lanes and collected a few birds and
butterflies. These lanes were very dusty at the time, and were hemmed
in with an uninteresting shrubby growth on each side. The country round
Florida Blanca was for the most part covered with rice-fields, which,
at the time of my visit, were parched and covered with short stubble,
this being the dry season. I was not very successful in my collecting,
and looked forward to my visit to the mountains, which I could see
in the distance, and which appeared well covered with damp-looking
forests. I noticed quantities of white egrets, which settled on the
backs of the water buffaloes. I would often pass these water buffaloes
with their heads sticking out of a way-side pond of mud and water. They
were generally used for drawing the curious wagons of the country,
which were rather like those one sees in Mexico, with solid wooden
wheels. Generally when I met these water buffaloes out of harness,
they were horribly afraid of me and stampeded, at the same time making
the most extraordinary noises, something between a squeak and a short
blast on a penny trumpet. They are usually stupid-looking brutes,
but this showed that they were intelligent enough to distinguish
between me and a Filipino. The pigs here had three pieces of wood
round their necks fastened together to form a triangle, an excellent
idea, as it prevented them from breaking through the fences. The day
following my arrival was a Sunday, and the church, a large building
of stone and galvanized iron, was almost opposite the American's
house. I watched the people going to early mass (the Filipinos are
devout Roman Catholics). All the women wore gauzy veils thrown over
their heads, white or black were the prevailing colours and sometimes
red. I thought they looked very nice in them. I had asked Camilo to
boil me some water, but he begged off very politely, as he had to
go and put on his cassock and surplice to attend the service in the
church, where he sang all alone. When he returned, I asked him to
sing to me what he had sung in the church, and he at once complied,
singing the "Gloria Patri" in a very clear and sweet voice. After mass
was over, the church bell began to toll and an empty lighted bier
came out of the church. It was preceded by three acolytes bearing
a long cross and two large lighted candlesticks, and followed by a
crowd of people. They were no doubt going to call at a house for the
corpse. Shortly afterwards an old Filipino priest came out and got
into one of the quaint covered buffalo wagons with solid wooden wheels
(already mentioned), and drove slowly round by the road. It was hot
and sultry, and thunder was pealing far away in the mountains. Under
a clump of trees (of a kind of yellow flowering acacia), which grew
just outside the large old wooden doors of the church, there was
a group of village youths and loafers, and two or three men went
past with their fighting cocks under their arms, Sunday afternoon
out here being the great day for cock-fighting. There seemed to be
a sleepiness in the air quite in keeping with the day of the week,
and I was nearly dozing off when little Nicolas came in. I asked him
if he knew where the cook-fighting took place, and added, "you savez"
(slang for understand"). His eyes flashed, and he said, Me no savage,"
but when I explained that I did not call him a "savage," his eyes,
smiled an apology, and he willingly offered to show me the place
where the cock-fighting was to be.

On entering the large bamboo shed or theatre where the cock-fighting
took place, I was met by the old Presidente of the village, to
whom I had brought a letter from Governor Joven (the Governor of
the province), whom I had visited at Bacolor on my way hither. He
conducted me to a seat on a raised clay platform, and sat next to me
most of the time, but as the fighting progressed he got very excited,
and had to go down into the ring. I had often witnessed it before
in tropical America, but here the left feet of the cocks were armed
with large steel spurs shaped like miniature cutlasses, which before
the fight began were encased in small leather sheaths. The onlookers
worked themselves up into a state of great excitement, and there was
a great deal of chaff, mixed with angry words, and plenty of silver
"pesos" were exchanged over the results. But it was cruel work,
and the crouching spectators were often scattered right and left by
the furious birds, whilst on one occasion a too venturesome onlooker
received a rather severe gash on his arm.

The church clock here was a thing to wonder at. It had no dial, and
struck only about five times a day. When it struck ten there was an
interval of over twenty seconds between each stroke until the last
two strokes, these coming quickly together, as if it was tired of
such slow work! As there was no face to the clock, I was puzzled to
know whether to set my watch at the first or last stroke, or to split
the difference.

There were a great many funerals during my stay here in December,
there being a regular epidemic of cholera and malaria. This was the
unhealthy season, and I was told that there were as many deaths in
Florida Blanca during the months of December and January as during
all the rest of the year put together.

One day I watched from my window a funeral procession on its way
from the church to the cemetery. The Padre was not there, and this
no doubt accounted for the acrobatic display given by the three men
in cassocks and surplices, who led the way, bearing a cross and two
candles. They started by playfully kicking each other, and this soon
developed into angry words, so that I expected a free fight. One
of them tucked his unbuttoned cassock round his neck, and egged the
other two on. The coffin followed on a lighted bier, and the string
of mourners followed meekly behind, no doubt looking upon this display
as nothing out of the common.

The interior of the church was very cold and bare, and there were no
seats. I learnt that the American and the Filipino Padre did not hit it
off together. There were one or two opposition schools in the village,
run by Filipinos, who did their utmost to prevent the children from
learning the language of the hated Americanos. The American did
not make himself any more popular by pulling down the old street
sign-boards bearing Spanish names, and substituting ugly card-board
placards marked in ink with fresh names, such as America Street,
McKinley Street, and Roosevelt Street; he had also named a street
after himself! Later on I learnt that this American schoolmaster
was a kind of spy in the American secret police, and that he had to
listen outside Filipino houses at night to overhear the conversation
of suspected insurgents. I was told this by Victoriano, my Filipino
servant in the mountains, who often accompanied the American in his
nightly rounds, and was the only man in the secret. This Victoriano,
whom I always called Vic for short, was the best servant that I
have had during my wanderings in any part of the world. He spoke
Spanish and knew a little English, as he had once been a servant
to an Englishman near Manila. With my small knowledge of Spanish,
and his smattering of English, we hit it off very well together. He
acted as gun-bearer, cook, laundry maid, housemaid, interpreter and
guide. Later on he told me that he had been an officer in the insurgent
Aguinaldo's army, and that he had been imprisoned by the Spaniards for
four years on the island of Mindanao for belonging to a revolutionary
society. He was a tall, thin fellow of only thirty-two years of age,
and yet his present wife in Florida Blanca was his sixth, all the
others being dead. I used to chaff him about having poisoned them,
which much amused him. After some days the American returned, and he
told me of a very good spot in which to collect up in the mountains,
so one morning I started off with Vic for a long stay in these mountain
forests. We left Florida Blanca before the sun had risen, my luggage
being carried in one of the curious buffalo wagons. We soon left
the dry rice-fields behind, and for some distance passed over a wide
uninteresting plain of tall grass, dotted about with a few trees. After
going some distance our two buffaloes were unyoked and allowed to soak
in a small pond. This process was repeated every time we came to any
water, and this, together with the slow progress of the buffaloes,
made the journey longer than I had anticipated. After crossing a
fair-sized river, we began a gradual ascent into the mountains. My
luggage was then carried for a short distance, and after travelling
through some bamboo thickets and crossing a rocky stream, I beheld my
future abode. It was a small grass-thatched hut, with a flooring of
split bamboo, raised four feet from the ground; up to this we had to
climb by means of a single bamboo step. About two-thirds of the hut
consisted of a flooring of bamboo, fairly open on all sides but one;
this part did as my bedroom, and to get to it I had to crawl through
a hole -- one could hardly call it a door! It was quite dark inside,
but there was just room enough to lie down on the split bamboo
floor. All round the hut was a large clearing, planted with maize,
belonging to a Filipino, who from time to time lived in another small
hut about one hundred yards away. He also owned the one I was living
in, and for this I paid him the not very exorbitant sum of one peso
(two shillings) a month. Tall gaunt trees rose out of the corn on all
sides, and in the early morning they were full of bird-life -- parrots,
parakeets, cockatoos, pigeons, woodpeckers, gapers and hornbills,
etc. A clear rocky stream flowed by the side of the hut, the sound of
whose rushing waters by night and day was like music to the ear in this
hot and thirsty land, whilst shaded as it was by bamboos and trees,
it was a delightful spot to bathe in every morning and evening. I was
well pleased with my surroundings, and looked forward to a successful
and interesting stay. I fared well though the food was rough, and I
subsisted chiefly on rice and papayas, together with pigeons, doves,
parrots, and the smaller hornbill, called here "talactic," all of which
fell to my gun. The surrounding country in these lower mountains was
a mixture of forest and open grass-country, the grass often growing
far over my head. The forest, which abounded in clear, rocky streams
of cold water, was very luxuriant and beautiful, especially in many
of the cool, damp ravines further back in the mountains. But near my
camping ground a great deal of the forest seemed to be half smothered
with large thickets of bamboo, and consequently the larger trees
were rather far apart. There was also a climbing variety of bamboo,
which scrambled up to the tops of the largest trees. The undergrowth
in places was most luxuriant and consisted of different species of
palms, rattans, tree-ferns, PANDANUS, giant ginger, PIPERS, POTHOS,
BEGONIAS, bananas, CALADIUMS, ferns, SELAGINELLAS and lycopodiums,
and many variegated plants. Growing on many of the trees were some
fine orchids. Chief amongst them may be mentioned a very beautiful
"vanda," which grew mostly on trees in the open grass country, and
which I witnessed in full bloom during my stay here. They presented
a wonderful sight. Out of the large sheaths of fan-like leaves grew
two grand flower-spikes, bearing from thirty to forty large white,
chocolate and crimson flowers. Of these there were two varieties,
and on one large plant I saw fully a dozen flower-spikes. Further
back in the mountains I came across some fine species of PHALAENOPSIS.

I early made the acquaintance of the little Negritos, the aborigines of
these mountains, and during my wanderings I would often stumble across
their huts in small clearings in the forest. They never seemed to have
any villages, and I hardly ever saw more than one hut in one place,
and they were nearly always miserable bamboo hovels. As for the little
people themselves, they seemed perfectly harmless, and from the first
treated me with the greatest friendliness, and would often pay me a
visit at my hut, sometimes bringing me rice and "papayas" or a large
hornbill, which had been shot with their steel-pointed arrows. They
were quite naked except for a very small strip of cloth. Their skin
was of a very dark brown colour, their hair frizzly, and the nose
flat. They were by far the smallest race of people I had ever seen,
and they might quite properly be termed pigmies. I certainly never
came across a Negrito man over four feet six inches, if as tall,
and the women were a great deal smaller, coming as a rule only up to
the men's shoulders; the elderly women looked like small children
with old faces. Both sexes generally had their bodies covered with
various patterns cut in their skins, a kind of tattooing it might
be called, but the skin was very much raised. Many of them had
the backs of their heads in the centre shaved in a curious manner,
like a very broad parting. I did not see them wearing many ornaments,
but the men had tight-fitting fibre bracelets on their arms and legs,
and the women sometimes wore necklaces of seeds, berries and beads;
they would also sometimes wear curiously carved bamboo combs in their
hair. The men used spears and bows and arrows; these latter they were
rarely without. Their arrows were often works of art, very fine and
neat patterns being burnt on the bamboo shafts. The feathers on the
heads were large, and the steel points were very neatly bound on with
rattan. These steel points were often cruel-looking things, having
many fishhook-like barbs set at different angles, so that if they once
entered a man's body it would be impossible to extract them again. A
very clever invention was an arrow made for shooting deer and pig. The
steel point was comparatively small, and it was fitted very lightly
to a small piece of wood, which was also lightly placed in the end
of the arrow. Attached at one end to the arrow-head was a long piece
of stout native cord, which was wound round the shaft, the other end
being fastened to the main shaft. When the arrow was shot into a pig,
for instance, the steel head soon fell apart from the small bit of
wood, which in its turn would also drop off from the main shaft. The
thick cord would then gradually become unwound, and together with
the shaft would trail on the ground till at length it would be caught
fast in the bamboos or other thick growth, and the pig would then be
at the mercy of its pursuers. The steel head, being barbed, could
not be pulled out in the pig's struggles to break loose. I had one
of these arrows presented to me by the chief of these Negritos, but,
as a rule, they are very hard to get as the Negritos value them very
highly. An American officer I met in Manila told me that he had been
quartered for some time in a district where there were many Negritos,
and though he had offered large rewards for one of these arrows he was
not successful in getting one. The women manufacture enormous baskets,
which I often saw them carrying on their backs when I met them in
the forest. I was much struck with the cleverness of some of their
fish-traps; these were long cone-like objects tapering to a point,
the insides being lined with the extraordinary barb-covered stems of
a rattan or climbing palm, and the thorns or barbs placed (pointing
inwards) in such a way that the fish could get in easily but not out.

These Negritos were splendid marksmen with their bows and arrows, and
during my stay amongst them I became quite an adept in that art; their
old chief used to take a great delight in teaching me, and my first
efforts were met with hearty roars of laughter. They were certainly
the merriest and yet the dirtiest people I have ever met. Whenever
I met them they were always smiling. When, as happened on more than
one occasion, I lost my way in the forest and had at length stumbled
upon one of their dwellings, I made signs to let them understand
that I wanted them to show me the way back. This they cheerfully did,
and led the way singing in their peculiar manner; it was a most wild
and abandoned and barbaric kind of music, if it could really be called
music at all. It consisted chiefly of shouting and yelling in different
scales, as if the singers were overflowing with joy at the mere idea
of being alive. I would often hear them singing, or yelling like
children, in the deep recesses of the forest. In fact the contentment
and happiness of these little people was quite extraordinary, and I
had a great affection for them. They would do almost anything for me,
and their chief and I soon became great friends. He was a most amusing
old fellow, and nearly always seemed to be laughing. Yet they were
also the dirtiest people I had ever seen, and never washed themselves:
consequently they were thick with dirt, which even their dark skins
could not hide. They grew a little rice and tobacco, and the old chief
always kept me well supplied with rice, which seemed of very fair
quality. He also kept a few chickens and would often send me a present
of some eggs, which were very acceptable. In return I would give him
an old shirt or two, which he was very proud of. By the time I left,
these shirts were almost the colour of his skin, and he evidently did
not wish to follow my advice as to washing them. His house was a very
large one for a Negrito's, and far better built than any others that
I saw. When the maize which grew round my hut was ripe, the Filipino
owner got several men and women up from Florida Blanca to help him
to harvest it, and many of them slept underneath my hut. At nights I
would generally have quite a crowd round me watching me skin my birds,
and although I did not understand a word of their Pampanga dialect,
their exclamations of surprise and delight when a bird was finished
were quite complimentary. Poor Vic had to endure a running fire of
questions as to what I was going to do with my birds and butterflies,
but to judge by the way he lectured on me, he no doubt enjoyed it,
and possibly told them some wonderful yarns about "My English," as
he called me. One day a man at work in the maize had a bad attack of
"calenturas" (malarial fever). I gave him some quinine and Epsom salts
and this treatment evidently had a good effect, as the next day I was,
besieged by a regular crowd of Filipinos of both sexes, who wished to
consult me as to their various ills, and Vic was called in to act as
interpreter. A good many of them, both men and women, took off nearly
all their clothes to show me bruises and sores that they had, and I
was in despair as to what treatment to recommend. At last when one
old woman had parted with most of her little clothing to show me some
sores, I told Vic to tell her that she had better get a good wash in
the river (as she was the reverse of clean). This prescription raised
a laugh, but the old lady was furious, and my medical advice was not
again asked for. After the maize was cut, the owner started to sow
a fresh crop without even taking out the old stalks, which had been
cut off a few inches from the ground. This was the way he did it. He
made holes in the ground with a hoe in one hand, and in the other
hand he held a roasted cob of corn, which he kept chewing from time
to time. His wife followed him, dropping a grain into each hole and
filling in the soil with her feet. It would have made a good picture
under the heading of "Agriculture in the Tropics"! Vic told me that
they got four crops a year, so one can hardly wonder at their taking
things easily. A rough bamboo fence separated the maize from a copse
of bamboo jungle and forest, in which I was one day collecting with
Vic, when I attempted to jump over a very low part of the fence. Vic,
however, called out to me to stop, and it was lucky he did so, as
otherwise the consequences would have been terrible for me. Just
hidden by a few thin creepers, there had been arranged there a very
neat little pig-trap, consisting of a dozen or more sharp bamboo
spears firmly planted in the ground, and leaning at a slight angle
towards the fence. Except for Vic's timely warning I should have been
stuck through and through, as the bamboo points would stand a heavy
weight without breaking, and if I had escaped being killed, I should
certainly have been crippled for life. I naturally felt very angry
with my neighbour for not having asked Vic to tell me about this,
as the previous day when out alone I had climbed to the top of this
fence and then jumped down into the creepers below; luckily I had
not then noticed this low part further down.

Many of the Filipinos are very good shots with their blowpipes, and
Vic possessed one. It was about nine feet in length, and possessed a
sight made of a lump of wax at one end. Like the bows of the Negritos,
it was made out of the trunk of a very beautiful fan-palm (LIVISTONA
sp.). Two pieces of the palm-wood are hollowed out and then stuck
together in a wonderfully clever fashion, so that the joins barely
show. Vic was fairly good with it when shooting at birds a short
distance away. His ammunition consisted of round clay pellets, which
he fashioned to the right size by help of a hole in a small tin plate,
which he always carried with him.

Birds were fairly plentiful in these mountain forests, and I was glad
to get one of the interesting racquet-tailed parrots of the genus
PRIONITURUS, that are only found in the Philippines and Celebes. It was
curious that up here amongst the pigmy Negritos I should get a pigmy
hawk. It was by far the smallest hawk I had ever seen, being not much
larger than a sparrow. Several species of very beautiful honey-suckers,
full of metallic colours, used to frequent the bright red flowers
of a creeper that generally clambered up the trees overhanging the
streams, and these flowers proved very popular with many butterflies,
especially the giant gold and black ORNITHOPTERAS and various rare
PAPILIOS of great beauty. There was one bird I was most anxious to
get, and though I saw it once I had to leave Luzon without it. It was
a PITTA, a kind of ground thrush. Thrushes of this genus are amongst
the most brilliant of all birds, and in my own collections I possess
a great number of different species that I have collected in other
countries. This one that I was so anxious to get was locally called
"Tinkalu." Amongst both Filipinos and Negritos it has the reputation
of being the cleverest of all birds, and, as Vic expressed it,
"like a man." It hops away into the thickest undergrowth and hides
at the least sound. Certainly no bird has ever given me such a lot of
worry and trouble. Many a weary hour did I spend going through swamps
and rivers, bamboo and thorny palms, dripping with perspiration and
tormented by swarms of mosquitos and sand-flies, and all to no purpose!

Thanks to Vic, I soon picked up most of the local names of the various
birds, which were often given on account of the sounds they made. The
large hornbill was named "Gasalo," the smaller kind "Talactic," the
large pigeon "Buabu," a bee-eater Patirictiric," and other names were
"Pipit," "Culiaun," "Alibasbas," "Quilaquilbunduc," "Papalacul,"
"Batala," "Batubatu," "Culasisi." Some of the spiders here were of
great size, and in these mountain forests their webs were a great
nuisance. These webs were often of a yellow glutinous substance,
which stained my clothes, and when they caught me in the face, as
they often did, it was the reverse of pleasant.

Mosquitos and sandflies were very numerous and ants were in great
force, so that one evening when I discovered that they were hard at
work amongst all my bird skins, it took me up to 5 a.m. to separate
them before I could get to bed.

I discovered a diurnal moth that possessed a most powerful and
delicious scent. Vic, who had never noticed it before, was delighted,
and proposed my catching them in quantities and turning them into
scent. Whilst on the subject of scent, I might mention that in
these forests I would often come across a good-sized tree which was
called Ilang-ilang. It was covered with plain-looking green flowers,
which possessed a wonderful fragrance. I learnt that the Filipinos
collected the flowers, which were sent to Manila and made into scent,
but that they generally cut down the tree in order to get the flowers.

I saw here for the first time the curious flying lizards. Their
partly transparent wings were generally of very bright colours; they
fly fully twenty yards from one tree to another, and quickly run up
the trees out of reach. Another quaint lizard, was what is generally
known as the gecko. It is said to be poisonous in the Philippines,
and is generally found on trees or bamboos and often in houses. In
comparison to the size of this lizard the volume of its voice was
enormous. I generally heard it at night. First would come a preliminary
gurgling chuckle; then a pause (between the chuckle and what follows
it). Then comes loud and clear, "Tuck-oo-o," then a slight pause, then
"Tuck-oo-o" again repeated six or seven times at regular intervals;
at other times it sounds like "Chuck it." When it was calling inside
a hollow bamboo, the noise made was extraordinary. There were a
great number of bamboos in the surrounding country, and they were
continually snapping with loud reports, which I would often imagine
to be the reports of a rifle until I got used to them. Wild pig were
very plentiful, and at night they would often grub up the ground a few
yards from my hut. One night I was skinning a bird, with Vic looking
on, when we heard some animal growling close by, and Vic without any
warning seized my gun (which I always kept loaded with buckshot) and
fired into the darkness. He said that it was a "tigre," and called
out excitedly that he had killed it, but although we hunted about
with a light for some time, we saw no signs of it. No doubt it was
some animal of the cat family. Vic, as in fact all Filipinos, had
a mortal dread of snakes, and he would never venture out at night
without a torch made of lighted bamboo, as he said they were very
plentiful at night. The large hornbills ("Gasalo") were very hard
to stalk, and as they generally frequented the tallest trees they
were out of shot. They usually flew about in flocks, and made a most
extraordinary noise, rather like a whole farmyard full of turkeys,
guinea fowls and dogs. The whirring noise they made with their wings
was not unlike the shunting of a locomotive. I had often before heard
of the curious habit of the male in plastering up the female with mud
in the hollow of a tree, leaving only a small hole through which he
fed her until the single egg was hatched and the young one was ready to
fly. Vic knew this, and further informed me that the smaller species,
named here "Talactic," had the same custom of plastering up the female.

Many evenings, when I had finished my work, I would get Vic to teach
me the Pampanga, dialect, and wrote down a large vocabulary of words,
and when some years afterwards I compared them word for word with
other dialects and languages throughout the Malay Archipelago,
I found that, with a few exceptions, there was not the slightest
affinity between them.


A Chapter of Accidents.

A Severe Bout of Malaria in the Wilds -- The "Seamy Side" of
Exploration -- Unfortunate Shooting of the Chief's Dog -- Filipino
Credulity -- Stories of the Buquils and their Bearded Women --
Expedition Planned -- Succession of CONTRETEMPS -- Start for the Buquil
Country -- Scenes on the Way -- A Negrito Mother's Method of Giving
Drink to Her Baby -- Exhausting Marches Amid Striking Scenery -- The
Worst Over -- A Bolt from the Blue -- Negritos in a Fury -- Violent
Scenes at a Negrito Council of War -- They Decide on Reprisals --
Further Progress Barred in Consequence -- Return to Florida Blanca.

As I mentioned before, this was the unhealthy season in the
Philippines, and Vic assured me that these lower mountains were even
more unhealthy than the flat country. I myself soon arrived at a
similar conclusion, as a regular epidemic of malaria now set in among
my pigmy friends, the Negritos, and the old chief told us that his
favourite son was dying with it; next my neighbour and his wife were
prostrated with it, and when they had slightly recovered, they left
their hut and returned to Florida Blanca. Vic himself was next laid up
with it, and seemed to think he was going to die. When I was at work
in the evening he would shiver and groan under a blanket by my side;
this, coming night after night, was rather depressing for me, all
alone as I was. At other times he would imagine we were hunting the
wary and elusive PITTA, and would start up crying, "AH! EL TINKALU,
it is there! POR DEOS, shoot, my English, shoot!" or he would imagine
we were after butterflies, and would cry out, "CARAMBA, MARIPOSA AZUL
MUY GRANDE, MUY BUENO, BUENO!" I was forced to do all the cooking for
both of us, though it was quite pathetic to see poor Vic's efforts to
come to my assistance, and his indignation that his "English" should
do such work for him. At one time I half expected that he would die,
but with careful nursing and doctoring I gradually brought him round.

During all the time that he was ill. I did but little collecting,
and no sooner was Vic on the road to recovery than I myself was seized
with it, and Vic repaid the compliment by nursing me in turn. It was
a most depressing illness, especially as I was living on the poorest
fare in a close and dirty hut. When you are ill in civilization, with
nurses and doctors and a good bed, you feel that you are in good hands,
and confidence does much to help recovery. But it is a different matter
being sick in the wilds, without any of these luxuries, and you wonder
what will happen if it gets serious. Then you long for home and its
luxuries, with a very great longing, and cordially detest the spot
you are in, with all those wretched birds and butterflies! It is Eke
a long nightmare, but as you get better you forget all this, and the

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