“Why Jule was at Hello Island is too long a yarn. Biled down it amounts to a voyage on a bark out of Seattle, and a first mate like yours, Eri, who was a kind of Christian Science chap and cured sick sailors by the laying on of hands—likewise feet and belaying pins and ax handles and such. And, according to Jule’s tell, he did cure ’em, too. After he’d jumped up and down on your digestion a few times you forgot all about the disease you started in with and only remembered the complications. Him and Julius had their final argument one night when the bark was passing abreast one of the Navigator Islands, close in. Jule hove a marlinespike at the mate’s head and jumped overboard. He swum ashore to the beach and, inside of a week, he’d shipped aboard the Emily. And ’twas aboard the Emily, and at Hello Island, as I said afore, that he met Rosy.
“George Simmons—a cockney Britisher he was, and skipper—was standing at the schooner’s wheel, swearing at the two Kanaka sailors who were histing the jib. Julius, who was mate, was roosting on the lee rail amid-ships, helping him swear. And old Teunis Van Doozen, a Dutchman from Java or thereabouts, who was cook, was setting on a stool by the galley door ready to heave in a word whenever ’twas necessary. The Kanakas was doing the work. That was the usual division of labor aboard the Emily.
“Well, just then there comes a yell from the bushes along the shore. Then another yell and a most tremendous cracking and smashing. Then out of them bushes comes tearing a little man with spectacles and a black enamel-cloth carpetbag, heaving sand like a steam-shovel and seemingly trying his best to fly. And astern of him comes more yells and a big, husky Kanaka woman, about eight foot high and three foot in the beam, with her hands stretched out and her fingers crooked.
“Julius used to swear that that beach was all of twenty yards wide and that the little man only lit three times from bush to wharf. And he didn’t stop there. He fired the carpetbag at the schooner’s stern and then spread out his wings and flew after it. His fingers just hooked over the rail and he managed to haul himself aboard. Then he curled up on the deck and breathed short but spirited. The Kanaka woman danced to the stringpiece and whistled distress signals.
“Cap’n George Simmons looked down at the wrecked flying machine and grunted.
“‘Umph!’ says he. ’You don’t look like a man the girls would run after. Lady your wife?’
“The little feller bobbed his specs up and down.
“‘So?’ says George. ’’Ow can I bear to leave thee, ’ey? Well, ain’t you ashamed of yourself to be running off and leaving a nice, ’andsome, able-bodied wife that like? Look at ’er now, over there on ‘er knees a praying for you to come back.’
“There was a little p’int making out from the beach close by the edge of the channel and the woman was out on the end of it, down on all fours. Her husband raised up and looked over the rail.