Chapter 33

The Stranger again arrives in the Valley—Singular Interview with him—Attempt to Escape—Failure—Melancholy Situation—Sympathy of Marheyo

‘Marnoo, Marnoo pemi!’ Such were the welcome sounds which fell upon my ear some ten days after the events related in the preceding chapter. Once more the approach of the stranger was heralded, and the intelligence operated upon me like magic. Again I should be able to converse with him in my own language; and I resolve at all hazards to concert with him some scheme, however desperate, to rescue me from a condition that had now become insupportable.

As he drew near, I remembered with many misgivings the inauspicious termination of our former interview, and when he entered the house, I watched with intense anxiety the reception he met with from its inmates. To my joy, his appearance was hailed with the liveliest pleasure; and accosting me kindly, he seated himself by my, side, and entered into conversation with the natives around him. It soon appeared however, that on this occasion he had not any intelligence of importance to communicate. I inquired of him from whence he had just come? He replied from Pueearka, his native valley, and that he intended to return to it the same day.

At once it struck me that, could I but reach that valley under his protection, I might easily from thence reach Nukuheva by water; and animated by the prospect which this plan held, out I disclosed it in a few brief words to the stranger, and asked him how it could be best accomplished. My heart sunk within me, when in his broken English he answered me that it could never be effected. ‘Kanaka no let you go nowhere,’ he said; ‘you taboo. Why you no like to stay? Plenty moee-moee (sleep)—plenty ki-ki (eat)—plenty wahenee (young girls)—Oh, very good place Typee! Suppose you no like this bay, why you come? You no hear about Typee? All white men afraid Typee, so no white men come.’

These words distressed me beyond belief; and when I had again related to him the circumstances under which I had descended into the valley, and sought to enlist his sympathies in my behalf by appealing to the bodily misery I had endure, he listened with impatience, and cut me short by exclaiming passionately, ‘Me no hear you talk any more; by by Kanaka get mad, kill you and me too. No you see he no want you to speak at all?—you see—ah! by by you no mind—you get well, he kill you, eat you, hang you head up there, like Happar Kanaka.—Now you listen—but no talk any more. By by I go;—you see way I go—Ah! then some night Kanaka all moee-moee (sleep)—you run away, you come Pueearka. I speak Pueearka Kanaka—he no harm you—ah! then I take you my canoe Nukuheva—and you run away ship no more.’ With these words, enforced by a vehemence of gesture I cannot describe, Marnoo started from my side, and immediately engaged in conversation with some of the chiefs who had entered the house.

It would have been idle for me to have attempted resuming the interview so peremptorily terminated by Marnoo, who was evidently little disposed to compromise his own safety by any rash endeavour to ensure mine. But the plan he had suggested struck me as one which might possibly be accomplished, and I resolved to act upon it as speedily as possible.

Accordingly, when he arose to depart, I accompanied him with the natives outside of the house, with a view of carefully noting the path he would take in leaving the valley. Just before leaping from the pi-pi he clasped my hand, and looking significantly at me, exclaimed, ‘Now you see—you do what I tell you—ah! then you do good;—you no do so—ah! then you die.’ The next moment he waved his spear to the islanders, and following the route that conducted to a defile in the mountains lying opposite the Happar side, was soon out of sight.

A mode of escape was now presented to me, but how was I to avail myself of it? I was continually surrounded by the savages; I could not stir from one house to another without being attended by some of them; and even during the hours devoted to slumber, the slightest movement which I made seemed to attract the notice of those who shared the mats with me. In spite of these obstacles, however, I determined forthwith to make the attempt. To do so with any prospect of success, it was necessary that I should have at least two hours start before the islanders should discover my absence; for with such facility was any

  By PanEris using Melati.

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