White Shadows in the South Seas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 365 pages of information about White Shadows in the South Seas.

“Then the people of Fiti-nui wept again, but they said that the gods had ordered them to sail away, and they must go.

“‘But,’ said the chief of the Fiti-nui, ’you will know that we have reached a new land safely when the Meae-Topaiho falls, when the great spear is broken by the gods, you will know that your brothers are in a new home.’

“Then they departed, the four canoes, but the daughter of the chief did not go, for her child was long in being born.  She lived with the people of Hana-uaua in peace and comfort.  And when the season of the breadfruit had come and gone, one night when the rain and the wind made the earth tremble and slip, the people of Hana-uaua heard a roaring and a crashing.

“‘The gods are angry,’ they said.  But the daughter of the chief said, ‘My people have found their home.’  And in the morning they found that the Meae-Topaiho had fallen, the blade of the spear was broken, and the prophecy fulfilled.

“That was four generations ago, and ever since that time the people of Hana-uaua have looked for some sign from their brothers who went away.  Their names were kept in the memories of the tribe.  Ten years ago many men were brought here to work on the plantations, from Puka-Puka and Na-Puka in the Paumotas, and they talked with the people.

Aue! They were the children’s children of the Piina of Fiti-nui.  In those low islands to which their fathers and mothers went, they kept the words and the names of old.  They had kept the memory of the journey.  And one old man was brought by his son, and he remembered all that his father had told him, and his father was the son of the chief, Atituahuei.

“These people did not look like our men.  The many years had made them different.  But they knew of the spear rock, and of the prophecy, and they were in truth the lost brothers of the Hana-uaua people.

“But the Hana-uaua people, too, were dying now.  None was left of the blood of the chief’s daughter.  No man was left alive on the plateau of Ahao.

“Their popoi pits are the wallows of the wild boar; on their paepaes sit the wild white dogs.  The horned cattle wander where they walked. Hee i te fenua ke! They are gone, and the stranger shall have their graves.”

CHAPTER XIX

A feast to the men of Motopu; the making of kava, and its drinking; the story of the Girl Who Lost Her Strength.

The Vagabond, Kivi, who lived near the High Place, came down to my paepae one evening to bid me come to a feast given in Atuona Valley to the men of Motopu, who had been marvelously favored by the god of the sea.

Months of storms, said Kivi, had felled many a stately palm of Taka-Uka and washed thousands of ripe cocoanuts into the bay, whence the current that runs swift across the channel had swept the fruitage of the winds straight to the inlet of Motopu, on the island of Tahuata.  The men of that village, with little effort to themselves, had reaped richly.

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White Shadows in the South Seas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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