It is an important undertaking for anyone to provide us with entertaining reading matter for our moments of leisure; therefore, when the editor of this book prepared it for publication he depended upon the support of all the friends of learning in these islands; and this thought alone has encouraged him to persevere in his work throughout all the difficulties that blocked his way. Now, for the first time is given to the people of Hawaii a book of entertainment for leisure moments like those of the foreigners, a book to feed our minds with wisdom and insight. Let us all join in forwarding this little book as a means of securing to the people more books of the same nature written in their own tongue—the Hawaiian tongue.
And, therefore, to all friends of learning and to all native-born Hawaiians, from the rising to the setting sun, behold the Woman-of-the-Twilight! She comes to you with greetings of love and it is fitting to receive her with the warmest love from the heart of Hawaii. Aloha no!
[Footnote 1: For the translation of Haleole’s foreword, which is in a much more ornate and involved style than the narrative itself, I am indebted to Miss Laura Green, of Honolulu.]
This tale was told at Laie, Koolau; here they were born, and they were twins; Kahauokapaka was the father, Malaekahana the mother. Now Kahauokapaka was chief over two districts, Koolauloa and Koolaupoko, and he had great authority over these districts.
At the time when Kahauokapaka took Malaekahana to wife, after their union, during those moments of bliss when they had just parted from the first embrace, Kahauokapaka declared his vow to his wife, and this was the vow:
“My wife, since we are married, therefore I will tell you my vow: If we two live hereafter and bear a child and it is a son, then it shall be well with us. Our children shall live in the days of our old age, and when we die they will cover our nakedness. This child shall be the one to portion out the land, if fortune is ours in our first born and it is a boy; but if the first born is a daughter, then let her die; however many daughters are born to us, let them die; only one thing shall save them, the birth of a son shall save those daughters who come after.”
About the eighth year of their living as man and wife, Malaekahana conceived and bore a daughter, who was so beautiful to look upon, the mother thought that Kahauokapaka would disregard his vow; this child he would save. Not so! At the time when she was born, Kahauokapaka was away at the fishing with the men.
When Kahauokapaka returned from the fishing he was told that Malaekahana had born a daughter. The chief went to the house; the baby girl had been wrapped in swaddling clothes; Kahauokapaka at once ordered the executioner to kill it.
After a time Malaekahana conceived again and bore a second daughter, more beautiful than the first; she thought to save it. Not so! Kahauokapaka saw the baby girl in its mother’s arms wrapped in swaddling clothes; then the chief at once ordered the executioner to kill it.