Two Years Before the Mast eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 591 pages of information about Two Years Before the Mast.
once a week, which kept them in meat, and one of them went up to the town every day to get fruit, liquor, and provisions.  Besides this, they had bought a cask of ship-bread, and a barrel of flour from the Lagoda, before she sailed.  There they lived, having a grand time, and caring for nobody.  Captain Thompson wished to get three or four of them to come on board the Pilgrim, as we were so much diminished in numbers, and went up to the oven, and spent an hour or two trying to negotiate with them.  One of them,—­ a finely built, active, strong, and intelligent fellow,—­ who was a sort of king among them, acted as spokesman.  He was called Mannini,—­ or rather, out of compliment to his known importance and influence, Mr. Mannini,—­ and was known all over California.  Through him, the captain offered them fifteen dollars a month, and one month’s pay in advance; but it was like throwing pearls before swine, or, rather, carrying coals to Newcastle.  So long as they had money, they would not work for fifty dollars a month, and when their money was gone, they would work for ten.

``What do you do here, Mr. Mannini?’’[1] said the captain.

``Oh! we play cards, get drunk, smoke,—­ do anything we’re a mind to.’’

``Don’t you want to come aboard and work?’’

``Aole! aole make make makou i ka hana.  Now, got plenty money; no good, work.  Mamule, money pau—­ all gone.  Ah! very good, work!—­ maikai, hana hana nui!’’

``But you’ll spend all your money in this way,’’ said the captain.

``Aye! me know that.  By-’em-by money pau—­ all gone; then Kanaka work plenty.’’

This was a hopeless case, and the captain left them, to wait patiently until their money was gone.

We discharged our hides and tallow, and in about a week were ready to set sail again for the windward.  We unmoored, and got everything ready, when the captain made another attempt upon the oven.  This time he had more regard to the ``mollia tempora fandi,’’ and succeeded very well.  He won over Mr. Mannini to his interest, and as the shot was getting low in the locker at the oven, prevailed upon him and three others to come on board with their chests and baggage, and sent a hasty summons to me and the boy to come ashore with our things, and join the gang at the hide-house.  This was unexpected to me; but anything in the way of variety I liked; so we made ready, and were pulled ashore.  I stood on the beach while the brig got under way, and watched her until she rounded the point, and then went to the hide-house to take up my quarters for a few months.

[1] The vowels in the Sandwich Island language have the sound of those in the languages of Continental Europe.


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Two Years Before the Mast from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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