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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 322 pages of information about Willis the Pilot.

“No; I shall follow you wherever you go, Willis, even into the soup-kettles of the wretches.”

“In that case,” said Willis, “the wine is poured out, and, such as it is, we must drink it.”

CHAPTER XX.

JUPITER TONANS—­THE THUNDERS OF THE PILOT—­WORSHIPPERS OF THE FAR WEST—­A LATE BREAKFAST—­RONO THE GREAT—­A POLYNESIAN LEGEND—­MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF OCEANIA—­MR. AND MRS. TAMAIDI—­REGAL POMP—­ELBOW ROOM—­KATZENMUSIK—­QUEEN TONICO AND THE SHAVING GLASS—­CONSEQUENCES OF A PINCH OF SNUFF—­DISGRACE OF THE GREAT RONO—­MARIUS—­CORIOLANUS—­HANN
IBAL—­ALCIBIADES—­CIMON—­ARISTIDES—­A SOP FOR THE THIRSTY—­AIR SOMETHING ELSE BESIDES OXYGEN AND HYDROGEN—­MARYLAND AND WHITECHAPEL—­HALF-WAY UP THE CORDILLERAS—­HUMAN MACHINES—­STAR OF THE SEA, PRAY FOR US!

Was he on his way to the Capitol or to the Gemoniae?  The solution of this question became, for the moment, of greater importance to Willis than the “to be or not to be” of Hamlet to the State of Denmark.  This incertitude was all the more painful, that it was accompanied by myriads of insects, created by the recent rains; these swarmed in the air to such an extent, that it was utterly impossible to inhale the one without swallowing the other.  The sailor, notwithstanding his elevated and somewhat perilous position, true to his instincts and tormented by the flies, took out his pipe, filled it, and struck a light.  As soon as the first column of smoke issued from his mouth, the cavalcade halted spontaneously, the natives fell on their faces, their noses touching the ground, and in an attitude of the profoundest fear and apprehension.  Jupiter thundering never created such a sensation as Willis smoking.  The savages seemed glued to the earth with terror.  If the Pilot had thought it advisable to escape, he might have walked over the prostrate bodies of his captors, not one of whom would have been bold enough to follow what appeared to be a human volcano, vomiting fire and smoke,—­the fire of course being understood.

Willis, however, now saw that he possessed in his pipe a ready means of awing them.  Besides, it was clear that, through some fortunate coincidence, the natives had mistaken him for a divinity.  There was, consequently, no immediate danger to be apprehended; he therefore became himself again, and began to enjoy the novelty of his new dignity.

It was certainly a curious contrast.  Willis, seated on a sort of throne, crowned with a waving plume of feathers, shrouded in a fiery mantle, and surrounded by a crowd of prostrate figures, was quietly puffing ribbons of smoke from the tips of his lips.  There he sat, for all the world like a crane in a duck-pond.  From time to time the more daring of the worshippers slightly raised their heads to see whether Jupiter was still thundering; but when their eye caught a whiff of smoke, they speedily resumed their former posture.  Some of them even thrust

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