“I’m thinking we have a task before us to train him in to the house-boys,” she called back.
“And to your Tahitians, too. Look out, Noah! Run for it!”
Satan, having satisfied himself that the tree-perches were unassailable, was charging straight for the big Tahitian.
But Noah stood his ground, though somewhat irresolutely, and Satan, to every one’s surprise, danced and frisked about him with laughing eyes and wagging tail.
“Now, that is what I might call a proper dog,” was Joan’s comment. “He is at least wiser than you, Mr. Sheldon. He didn’t require any teaching to recognize the difference between a Tahitian and a black boy. What do you think, Noah? Why don’t he bite you? He savvee you Tahitian eh?”
Noa Noah shook his head and grinned.
“He no savvee me Tahitian,” he explained. “He savvee me wear pants all the same white man.”
“You’ll have to give him a course in ‘Sartor Resartus,’” Sheldon laughed, as he came down and began to make friends with Satan.
It chanced just then that Adamu Adam and Matauare, two of Joan’s sailors, entered the compound from the far side-gate. They had been down to the Balesuna making an alligator trap, and, instead of trousers, were clad in lava-lavas that flapped gracefully about their stalwart limbs. Satan saw them, and advertised his find by breaking away from Sheldon’s hands and charging.
“No got pants,” Noah announced with a grin that broadened as Adamu Adam took to flight.
He climbed up the platform that supported the galvanized iron tanks which held the water collected from the roof. Foiled here, Satan turned and charged back on Matauare.
“Run, Matauare! Run!” Joan called.
But he held his ground and waited the dog.
“He is the Fearless One—that is what his name means,” Joan explained to Sheldon.
The Tahitian watched Satan coolly, and when that sanguine-mouthed creature lifted into the air in the final leap, the man’s hand shot out. It was a fair grip on the lower jaw, and Satan described a half circle and was flung to the rear, turning over in the air and falling heavily on his back. Three times he leaped, and three times that grip on his jaw flung him to defeat. Then he contented himself with trotting at Matauare’s heels, eyeing him and sniffing him suspiciously.
“It’s all right, Satan; it’s all right,” Sheldon assured him. “That good fella belong along me.”
But Satan dogged the Tahitian’s movements for a full hour before he made up his mind that the man was an appurtenance of the place. Then he turned his attention to the three house-boys, cornering Ornfiri in the kitchen and rushing him against the hot stove, stripping the lava-lava from Lalaperu when that excited youth climbed a veranda-post, and following Viaburi on top the billiard-table, where the battle raged until Joan managed a rescue.