The Alfred Restieaux Manuscript Part II details Alfred Restieaux's life as a trader in the South Sea Islands. This is the first transcript of his writings and as such is an invaluable record of this period of history in these islands of Oceania. Alfred Restieaux's perceptive recollections of the people he met including the notorious Captain "Bully" Hayes and the places to which he travelled have been referenced widely by researchers and writers over the years. These records are held on microfilm at the National New Zealand (Alexander Turnbull) Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
It gives me great pleasure to be able to present the writings (as it is) of my great grandfather Alfred Restieaux ... Jane Resture (Restieaux)
He said, Of course I am landing trade everywhere. I have put a man at Nanumaga, a Mr. Mackenzie from Tahiti. I said, There are four here now so another would make no difference. Harry said, Have you any butter for sale please Mr. Curtis? The mate will show you everything. So Harry said, Let us go. We can take my rig canoe so we went. Before I left, I said, If you want a drink before I come back, ask my woman. She has full charge when I am away.
We went on board, saw Mr. Curtis's mate, he was very civil but said he knew nothing about the trade. As for Harry, he got his butter. There is nobody at Nanumea so the vessel has to be off and on about two o'clock. We went ashore. Harry said, I am hungry, I shall go and have a cup of tea and tried my butter. We went to the house. Scott was lying outside under a tree dead drunk. He started as soon as I was gone. He said, Where is the gin? When the bottle was empty, he ordered another. I said, Why did you give it to him? I said, Never mind, he will not go away again.
It came on to rain. I said, Let's go to bed, let the drunken pig stop outside. She said, Oh! no, we cannot do that. So I tried to rouse him but all I could get out of him was, Oh! get me a lassie, I must have a lassie. You will get no lassie here so come in and go to sleep, that will do you most good. So I called somebody to carry him in. Litia made him up with some clean mats. They were not clean in the morning by a long way.
About 7 a.m. next morning I called him. Oh, I am nearly dead, that damn gin. I said, The gin is all right, take it in moderation. For God's sake, Give me a drink. I said, There is a drink in the bottle. The woman hid it, is there no more in the house? Then, I got a bucket of water and made him have a wash. He had the last of the bottle and then a cup of tea. Then he was able to do business.
I went to see Harry Johnston. Did you get the butter? Yes! How much is it? Three shillings! Harry jumped, What! Three shilling for l lb. of butter? Why? Alfred gave it to me for two. Yes, but not good Danish butter. Quite as good, said Harry, but he had hidden part of it and had to pay for it. He thought to get it cheaper than mine. He got square afterwards. Scott went on board but could not afford to buy. He landed one of his sailors to trade. Larry Sutherland, a very decent sort of chap, he knew nothing about trading. Of course, then he lost what trade and provisions he had. He had no invoice or trade list. A man on board who had been trading, said Scott, knew nothing at all.
The King of Abemama had a schooner, the 'Coronet'. Harry Smith (flash Harry) was supercargo* and started trade with two natives and now Larry Sutherland for Scott on an Island that would not support one. Henderson's vessel came soon and Harry got some rum, Real Jamaica made in Queensland but it would make you drunk as soon as the best. In about two months the 'Venus' came back. Scott said, She was full. Larry told him, There was no chance at Nanumea so he broke up the station.
*supercargo - an officer of a merchant ship who supervises commercial matters and is in charge of the cargo.
Harry said, It was enough to please all he had. I told you that Larry had no invoice. Scott took what little copra and trade there was. He did not weigh the copra or look at trade, but just took it on board. He appeared to be very careless. Larry said, That was his way that when he was in Samoa, he was generally drunk and that the sailors were on shore. If they met him in company with anyone, they would go and take off their hats and say, Beg pardon Captain Scott, but will you let me have a little money? All right my lad, How much do you want? and give them a handful of dollars without counting and say, Remind me to book this in the morning if I forget. He generally did forget and so did they. Pleasant for the sailors but not for the owners. He told me, there was a lot of gold, watches and jewellery on board.
I believe him, he appeared to be a very honest, decent sort of fellow. Although Scott took no account of what he brought on shore he was just as careful with it as well. Scott dreaded to break up the station. Larry, like the rest of us had given credit, the people had no copra. So Scott asked me if I would buy the debts. I said, No. The people would not pay me. He asked Harry, he had no money so he came to me again. I said, I will not buy the debts but I will advance money to the people so that they can pay you if they like. Of course they must pay, he said. So they had a meeting. Some of them about half drew cash from me and paid up. That suited us both. I got the copra, Larry went away and that was the last I saw of Scott. But I heard that they met De Wolfe in Sydney.
About four months later, 'Venus' came again, Scott was now Captain and A. Mackenzie was supercargo. Not the McKenzie you knew, another man. He had been a clerk in De Wolfe's office and like most young fellows, he was going to do great things. The mate had landed Louis Beck on Nanumaga but where is your namesake that Captain Scott landed there? Oh, he had left. I should like to meet him, but I will write to his relatives in England. I have a Nukufetau native to land here. I said, Captain Scott left the white man here but he took him away as he could do nothing. Oh! Captain Scott lost thousands of pounds for the owners but I mean to recoup every penny of it with interest. I said, Do you think it wise to trust natives? Said he, I would rather trust natives than white men. Besides, I hold his Island responsible.
So he landed Billy and gave a list of trade much bigger than ours. Of course, he got no copra, none of us got much. In about five months, he came again. This time he had another three-mastered schooner the 'Redcoach', Captain Forbes. She was about the same size as the 'Venus' who had been cruising about the Gilbert Group looking for a rich guano Island, De Wolfe had heard of it in Samoa. They had a Frenchman on board who knew all about it and was going to show them where it was. Captain Forbes said, They had sailed backwards and forwards right over where he said, it was situated. At last they had given it up. Gabriel De Seigorioe, the Frenchman knew no more about it than I did, perhaps not so much.
Somebody was a clever mechanic who had built a windmill which worked the pumps and kept her clear of water. The supercargo went on shore and saw Billy. How much copra have you got? No got copra. Well, where is the trade? All gone! Gone where? To buy grub, I must eat. Do your friends not feed you? I have no friends here, this is not my Island. I have to pay for all I get. Billy said nothing. He wanted a passage, so they took him away. That was the last I saw of De Wolfe's vessel but I hear of them. They landed the Frenchman on Nui. He, afterwards traded for Henderson and Macfarlane.
Pages 10 - 15 (half pages - to be inserted soon)
But they must have lost a lot of money on Samoa and the Ellice Group. Most of the smart people who came out to show old traders how to do business do so. So not only English but clever Germans also. As they did not come again, Louis Beck at Nanumaga sold out to Henderson and Macfarlane. As I told you before, McKenzie the supercargo did not go home but stayed in the Islands. Ben Hird told me, he saw him somewhere to the eastward. That is all that I know of Tom De Wolfe.
(about the Guano Island).
Started then for Pacific Guano. The business was of a standard? The Captain was, I believe lost at sea. When the war was over, Mr. Williams who was then agent for the American and Phoenix Guano Company was very anxious to find out about the island. Captain Stone, the Master of the brig 'Kamehameha', the tender for the islands had orders to find out if possible the whereabouts of Captain Bridges of the schooner 'Malolo'. The vessel went to ..
Had he same instructions and I myself was told if I could get any information about it, it would be made worth my while. I thought no more about it, but I knew that many skippers both American and Colonial have been trying to find it. Pease had heard of it. He said he knew where it was and intended to work it bye and bye. When he had tried, Hayes wanted to find out about it. I think now it must have been Ocean Island that is now being worked by the Island Company. I heard today that there is a yarn about a valuable rich island.
That he turned up in Fiji and fell in with two old acquaintances, a shipwright named Robinson and a Casper, I forget his name. They had started building a schooner, Hennings letting them have supplies while she was building. When she was ready for sea, they owed rather more than she was worth. Hearing this, Hennings was going to take her back for debt. They determined to clear out with her so they told Pease and offered if he would supply trade and navigate her to the Carolines. Each would get a third share from the ship. Pease told me this himself and Pease agreed. So one fine Sunday morning, they left. Pease Captain, Robinson and the Cospers, his wife, a big Fiji woman and I think some children.
When I saw them in l870, they had five boys. There were also a few kanakas on board. That was the last Hennings ever saw of the schooner. They got to Ponape all right. After making a few necessary alterations in her, Pease and the Cospers sold their shares to a couple of Ebon. Robinson kept his share and went Master. Antoine, a Portuguese captain partner was mate and a native crew. But Robinson could not get along with Antoine and the natives. They said, He was always abusing and kicking them about.
In the Gilbert Group, a big kanaka brother-in-law knocked poor Robinson overboard. He swam towards the boat which was towing a stern. But Antoine pulled it away and left him. When I was there, he stayed until it blew over and then went home. Antoine was no navigator so he went to an island close to and engaged Captain Milne. So much for the schooner. The Cosper settlement on Strongs Island where he lived with his share took passage in a German schooner, named the 'Pfail' or something like that.
He got an introduction to Mr. C. A. Williams of New London and a ship owner, and as he could talk, persuaded him to fit him out to trade in Micronesia and the Milli Groups. So Williams bought an old schooner that had been the Kings yacht, repaired her and changed her name to the 'Blossom' and so he got started. This was late in 1866 or early in 1867. Pease was Captain, of course, I think Hazard was mate, Frank Copper and Cooper Phillip Southwick was before the mast. So was an Italian who called himself George Brown. Afterwards, a young man named Crowell a trader who died at Ponape.
As I said before, Pease was not an honest man, but I think he meant to do the right thing now but he never had a chance. The old traders Eury and Dailey done all they could to annoy him, took his oil, break up his station and Captain Randolph who had a trading barque said, Let this man alone, there is room for all of us. He did not interfere with Pease nor Pease with him. But in spite of all he made a very first voyage. The oil he took did not belong to him. Frank Benson who was trading on Mariki for Eury was out of trade and provisions, so he offered to sell out to Pease who was rather afraid to buy. So he said, He would take it on freight. So he made the freight insurance and Frank's passage amount to as much at the profit would have been on the oil arrived at Honolulu.
Pease went to the American Consul and laid the case before him. He said, Captain Pease, I do not tell what to do. However, if I was in your place, I should certainly do so. If there is law to punish you, it will punish them also. Pease said, That is good enough for me. So when he returned, the old traders found, they had worked up the wrong passenger. For every barrel of his oil they took, he got ten of theirs. When I saw Eury at Milli in 1868, he was then mate on the old brig 'Spec'. He said, I was to pay Pease for every barrel of oil of his I have taken. He had got a ton of mine. I said, When you see Pease, you will find him a reasonable man to deal with I think. They met a few days after and made what Eury called a child's bargain. You leave me alone and I will leave you alone and I believe both kept it. He and Dailey never met and it was war to the last.
I will now tell the trouble with Pease and Capelle. When I took charge of Milli Station on March 1st 1868, there were three men there besides Briggs who I relieved. A trader, Phillip Southwick who called himself a Casper, but was only a handy man and Jeremy, the Frenchman who was really a Greek. When Captain Bridges came back in the 'Blossom', as there was nothing for them to do, he discharged them. Crowell went to Honolulu on the schooner. Southwick took his pay in trade and stayed with the King and Jeremy went to Ponape in the 'Malolo'. When Pease returned from Shanghai, Jeremy asked for a job. All right, said Pease, I will put you to trade on a new Island in the Marshalls. So he landed Jeremy on the Island I forget the name. He hired a house, gave him some trade, provisions, tanks, etc. and left. He'd done very well and got a lot of oil. The natives said, The tanks were full when Dailey came along in his brig 'Lady Alicia'. Capelle was then doing business with Townes.
The vessel used to go and collected the oil with Capelle, his agent as supercargo. So Dailey came to the Island with Milne, a supercargo, he went and saw Jeremy and asked him if he wanted to sell. Jeremy did not want to be asked a second time. He sold everything and went to Sydney with Dailey. When Pease came, he asked, Where is Jeremy? Gone! Gone where? In Mr. Capelle's ship, he had plenty of oil. Pease went straight to Ebon where Capelle then had his Head Station, sent his mate Mr. Pitman on shore with a letter telling what he had heard and threatened if Capelle did not make compensations at once he would retaliate. Capelle did nothing but Milne who was half drunk said, Tell Pease to go ahead and do his damnest. Pitman told me all this. Pease then went to Namoru, Capelle's best station. It was in charge of a Portuguese negro and took everything he had.
The negro said, Pease took it by force, but Pease and Pitman both said, He sold out willingly and Pease paid him in gold for all. Be that as it may. He worked for Pease afterwards. He had charge of a big station at Pingalap until Pease broke it up in 1870. When the negro went with us to Ponape, when next Capelle saw Pease, he said, Oh! Captain Pease, do you mean to ruin me? No, said Pease, I would rather help you, but what message did you send me? That was not me, it was Milne. You know, said Pease, A man is responsible for the acts of his agents but I will make the same bargain with you as I did with Eury. If you will leave me alone, I will leave you alone. Capelle was only too glad to do so. That was the end of it. Pease told me, he rather liked Capelle but not Milne and as to Antoine, he held him responsible for the death of Robinson.
I will now tell you of the murder of Pease and a Trader on Jaluit. There was a Master casper in Honolulu named Lewers. His brother was a Whaler but as he was getting too old to go to sea, Pease gave him a chance to trade at the Islands. So Pease put him on Jaluit. There was a German on the Island doing nothing. He came and asked Pease for a job. I cannot employ you now but when I return, I will see what I can do for you. The German said, He was hard up. Well, said Pease, If you like, you can stay with Mr. Lewers and assist him. You will have your keep at any rate and when I come back, I will put you to trade somewhere. The man appeared to be very thankful.
Before Lewers came to the Island, the King had given the German a young girl but she did not like him and ran away to her friends. Lewers asked the King to give him a wife and he gave him this same girl. This made the German angry. He told Lewers that she belonged to him and if she would not live with him, he would not allow her to stay with any other man. Said Lewers, I did not take her from you. I got her from the King but if she likes to go to you, let her say so. But if she likes to stay with me, I will protect her, Lewers said. She did not like the German and so she stayed with Lewers. Then that settled the matter, said Lewers.
They had several disputes and one night a great row. Next morning when the old man went to feed his pig, the German took a musket and shot him in the back. Lewers lived two or three days. Before he died he wrote something on a paper. The German took the paper, read it and tore it up and would not allow him to write any more. This was the story told to Captain Bridges by the natives when he called on his way from Ponape and Milli. There could be no mistake because Bridges spoke the language well having lived a long time with Mr. Snow at Ebon.
They arrested the German and took him to Honolulu. As there was no evidence, only what the natives had told Bridges and he himself swore that he only acted in self-defense. He was discharged but ordered to leave the country. So he went to San Francisco. Bridges said, Mr. Parker, the Marshal asked him, Why did you not try him and hanged him yourself at the Island. It would have been an act of justice and have saved us all this trouble. Justice perhaps was the worse for that.
I will now tell you a couple of little stories about Pease. When Pease gave Frank Coffin trade on Milli, he landed a negro who made away with a lot of it. Pease made Coffin pay for his. As I told you, I took the negro on board. He was a big strong fellow but he refused to work. When the second mate spoke sharply to him, he struck him and said he would fight any son-of-a-bitch on board the ship. Pease was not the man to stand that. So the darkie was soon made fast in the gangway. Pease then handed a stout rope end to the second mate and said, Lag on these until I tell you to stop. No Captain Pease, I do not like to do that. Are you afraid of that negro, said Pease. Well, yes sir, Iam. The negro laughed. Pease then said, Mr. Briggs to the mate, Well, you lick that nigger or must I do it myself.
No need for that Captain, the job is right into my hand and he lashed on with a will. The nigger did not laugh then. When Pease thought he had enough, he said, There, that is the way we fight niggers on board the ship. He then landed him on shore at Butaritari stark naked. He was soon surrounded by a lot of laughing and jeering natives. At last, an old woman took pity on him and gave him an old map to cover himself. Eury came along in a few days and gave him a passage to Sydney. They could not see him go naked so they gave him clothes. They arrived in Sydney on a Saturday evening. All hands went on shore.
A Jew Clothier asked the darkie, Do you want anything in my way? Yes, he said, I shall want a lot of things. When the brig 'Spec' is ready for seagoing, I am a trader from the Island and have several tons of oil on board, but the office is closed. I should like some clothes for Sunday, but I suppose I must wait. The poor Jew thought he had got hold of a good customer and said, I can supply you as cheap as anyone. You can have what you want and pay me on Monday. So he got a good suit of clothes, hat, boots and shirt, all he wanted and a few pounds in cash. Just enough to see him over Sunday as he said. As he did not show up on Monday, the Jew checked the oil and found not a drop. I picked him up naked and gave him a passage for charity, that was the last they saw of the rich negro trader.
Another story was that Pease had a man a month in a hen coup. Pease said, That was a damn lie. It was a turkey cook and he was only ten days in it, it happened this way. Pease, like other traders used to often be rather short handed and got a crew at the first Island and left them on his way back. He was trying to land the natives on his first voyage. He could not make the Island, the wind was light and the current against him so he decided to go to Pingalap, do his business there and landed the people on his way back.
If he could not make the Island, take them on to Oahu and landed them next trip. When the natives saw the vessel was going from the Island, they asked, Is he not going to land us? Oh, no, he is going to take you to Oahu, said a young man on board. What for? To sell you for the kanakas to eat. So they jumped over board and tried to swim on shore. Pease lowered his boat and with great difficulty picked them up. Pease asked them, Why they jumped over board? They said, they did not want to be eaten. Eaten, what do you mean? They said, You are going to sell us to the kanakas for food. Did you tell them that? Yes, said the fellow laughing. Why did you do that? Ah, just for a joke. Then there was a row, he defied Pease.
Then Pease made him fast as there was no room below. He put him in a large coup that had had turkeys in it. He fed him on bread and water, only letting him out one hour every day for exercise. He kept him there until they got to Pingalap where he left him. He had to stay there until next whaling season when he got away. He made great threats but nothing ever came of it. He certainly deserved some punishment but I think Pease was rather too hard on him.
In 1867 about Christmas, he sent George Bridges, his mate to Honolulu asking Mr. Williams to supply another schooner as the 'Blossom' could not do all the work. He also wrote for a trustworthy man to take charge of the station at Ponape. So Williams sent the schooner 'Malolo', about thirty tons and engaged me to go to Ponape. We left the 'Malolo' February lst, 1868 and arrived at Milli on March, lst.1868. George Bridges, Captain, Alfred Wright mate, myself passenger and a kanaka crew. At Milli, we found Pease had landed four hundred barrels of oil and as he had no on else he could trust, he had left his mate, Mr. Briggs in charge. Bridges asked me to take charge of the station.
As Pease had now no mate, I landed and Briggs went on board. When they got to Ponape, they found Pease had chartered the brig 'Annie Porter' and loaded her and gone to Shanghai, leaving instructions for Bridges to give the schooner to Briggs and take the 'Blossom', load her and go to Honolulu with letters to Mr. Williams. As the 'Blossom' and cargo were worth much more than the 'Malolo', Mr. Williams was not satisfied, so he sent Bridges back in the 'Morning Star' with power of attorney to act for him.
He met Pease at Ponape. Pease explained that by chartering the 'Annie Porter', he had taken his trade to a good market but said he, If Williams is not satisfied, Glover Dow & Co. of Shanghai are willing to pay so much for his interest in the business. This appeared to Bridges to be all right so he went back to Williams who was satisfied with the sum offered, but he wanted the affair settled at once. He was very religious and believed all the Missionary's lies about Pease. So he asked Bridges to go again and settled the affair, but Bridges did not like to leave his family so long.
So Williams sent Briggs who had been mate with Pease. Instead, Briggs met Pease and told him what he had come for. All right, said Pease, Come on board. I am going to Shanghai and we can settle this right away. When he arrived at Shanghai, Briggs found all as Pease has said. So the affair was soon arranged. But when Briggs wanted the money, Ah, No, said Pease. I do not choose to trust you with so much. But I have the power of attorney. I don't care a damn what you have, that money will be paid to the American consul, then I know Mr. Williams will get it. What, Pease told the consul, I do not know, but that is the way it was settled.
The Consul only gave Briggs enough to take him back to Honolulu. Mr. Williams was satisfied as he got his money. He wrote to me telling me he had sold out to Glover Dow & Co. and that I was to look to them for my pay. I did not like it but I had to put up with it. I never got a cent.
I will now tell you about the fight Pease had with the natives at Mia, Pingalap. I think that was the name but am not quite sure. The last voyage Pease made in the 'Blossom', the natives asked him to leave a trader, saying they had plenty of nuts to make oil. So he landed Dick Hamilton, a native of Victoria, Australia so he took a good stock of trade provisions and carted them on shore. I suppose the site of so much trade tempted them so they determined to have it without the trouble of making oil. But Dick Hamilton was a big stout young fellow and they did not like to tackle him. So they cooked a nice fish for his supper, he ate it and was soon helpless, poisoned. Then they took all he had, even smashed the casts and made knives off the hoops. When he recovered, he had nothing, only the clothes he wore.
He was a sensible man and he made the best of it. He made friend with the people. He told me they did not treat him badly. He got his share of what there was to eat, they gave him a woman, they even let him smoke some of his own tobacco. But when Pease came back, they ran him into the bush and kept him there. Where is Dick? Said Pease. He had gone to the other end of the Island to make oil with the King, his casks are nearly all full. We want you to land some more here, we had plenty of nuts.
Now Pease done wrong, he ought to have seen Dick before landing any more, but as he said he was in a hurry, so he landed another man with more trade and casks. They did not trouble to poison him, he was old and weak so they just took his stuff and laughed at his threats. When he and Dick met, Dick said, We are in a fix but do as I have done, make friends with them until we can get away. If no ship come soon, we will steal a canoe and get away that way. But the old man would not make friends. When they offered him a woman, he would not take her. Then he could not live on native food and was almost starved. Then the young fellows jeered at him and pushed him about. When he had occasion to go to the beach, the boys came behind and poked him with sticks and threatened him with their toy spears and altogether they nearly worried him to death.
Capelle's schooner came along at last and Captain Milne took them on board and gave them a passage to Maderu where they began trading for Pease. The schooner 'Spec' came to Milli to land Hazard who had been to Ebon on business. I was on board and they told me all about it. When Pease returned from China shortly afterwards of course. I told him what I had heard. I do not believe it, said Pease. It is one of Milne's damned lies. They would not dare to play such a trick on me. Well, said I, You can soon find out. You have a cargo to run over to Maderu.
That is what I mean to do, said he. The brig, she was the 'Water Lily' of London but he called her the 'Pioneer', when Hayes got her, he called her the 'Leonora'. She was well armed, having four guns, I think six pounders on each side, two guns swivel on each quarter and had a big gun on the station, he mounted that on the forecast - eleven guns in all. Then he had lots of small arms and cavalry sabres on board for trade. He went to Maderu and found what I had told him was true and more as the old man had died from the effect of the ill treatment he had received. Pease was furious, he took Dick Hamilton and Frank Coffin on board. He had already several white men there. Pease had a large crew, Malays or Manila men, he said, They were better and cheaper than kanakas and a lot of Gilbertese men. All ready for a fight, it was fun for them.
Dick had told Pease that the natives had told him they meant to take the next ship that came to the Island so he kept a long way off. A whole fleet of canoes came off. Pease said, He thought they meant mischief. Of course, they did not know it was him as he had a new ship. When he thought they were near enough, he turned on them and ran down as many canoes as he could shooting the natives in the water. They took about half a dozen prisoners. Pease then landed with a strong party. The natives stood firm but could not stand against fire arms so they soon ran. Then he burned the village, smashed the canoes, cut and hacked the trees, done all the harm he could until night, then they left. As Pease said, Giving them a lesson, they would not forget in a hurry. The prisoners, he treated well and told them, why he had punished the Islanders.
He landed them with traders at different Islands to learn white men's ways. He intended to take them back after a bit, but I do not know if he did so or not. I asked him if he would not get into trouble about it, he said, I must risk that. Our country will not protect traders so we must protect ourselves. He landed Frank Coffin with me, he and Dick Hamilton told me all about it. Pease then went to the Gilberts, arriving at Abaiang, he fell in with the 'Morning Star'. This was just after the row Mrs. Bingham had with the people there.
A native who spoke English, Holy Joe, I think it was, told Pease that the people meant to attack the 'Morning Star'. Pease went and told the Captain and asked when he would be ready for sea. Not before tomorrow afternoon as we are breaking up the Mission here for the present. Well, said Pease, I will stay until you leave and if the niggers want a fight, they can have it. He done so, then the 'Morning Star' went to Honolulu and said, Pease was cruising about the Islands with an armed brig, killing and robbing inoffensive natives. Another sample of Missionary gratitude, he said to me.
When he came first to the Islands where he told me his instructions from Mr. Williams were, Do not go against the Missionaries but help them all you can. He tried to do so. On his first voyage, he went to Maui and found them short of trade and provisions. You know they are traders as well as Missionaries. As he was going to Honolulu, he let them have all the trade he had and what provision he could spare all at cost price. As soon as he was gone, they started underselling him with his own goods.
This is what Pease told me, speaking of it in company with Capelle, Milne, Antoine and others. He said, To think of his playing me such a trick as that after I cured the son-of-a-bitch of the pox. Mr. Snow had a native sore that would not heal and Pease gave him some salve that did cure it. Milne trying to do all the harm he could, told Mr. Snow what Pease had said but gave the disease its scientific name. Antoine who was present blurted out, No, he said, You got the pox, by God. All right, said Snow, I quite understand, but it was not that. How could I possibly get that? Antoine said, I ketched it by Gaud. I suppose he thought, if Snow went where he was, he ketched it too, by Gaud.
Dan Hall who was trading for Pease wanted to get married so he went to the Missionary and said, Mr. Snow, I want you to marry me. Yes, Dan and who is the lucky lady? So and so, naming one of his pet pupils. Well, you can't get her! Why not? Do you want to know, well I will tell you. I do not think you are good enough to marry a good Christian girl. Don't you? Well, I shall go on fu----- her as usual. It was only in compliment to you, I offered to marry her. We were a rough lot then but if Missionaries insult people, they must expect to get nasty answers some time.
Pease might now have done very well. He had a good ship well found and capital behind him. Instead of attending to his trading business, he started a timber trade. He bought and leased all the timber land he could get at Ponape. He tried to do the same thing at Strongs Island (Kasai), but the natives would not sell for lease of land. He took samples of the wood to Shanghai and made a contract with the Chinese government for timber. The firm sent a Captain Coe to Ponape as manager. Coe brought a gang of Chinese woodcutters and a shipwright to cut timber and direct operations. But Coe and the shipwright done nothing but drinking. The Chinaman left to themselves done as they like which was very little.
When a big ship came, instead of having a cargo ready, there was not a stick cut. As the ship was on demmurage, they cut anything they came to and sent her back. The Chinese government rejected the timber as not according to contract and it had to be sold for firewood. It did not fetch what the freight came to so he went on. Coe at last drank himself and the foreman got very sick and went back to Shanghai. Pease trying to put things right at Ponape neglected his trading station. We were left without supplies. Other people got trade and other stuff.
Pease also picked up some drunken useless fellows in Shanghai. They robbed right and left too. This could not go on. The firm was ruined in 1869. The German trading brig 'Stella' Captain Hansen. Liveson who was afterwards killed in New Britain was mate, came into Milli leaking badly. They did not come to the station but as Hazard was away, they went to Ebon where Capelle then was. As they could do nothing to stop the leaking, the Captain decided to leave the ship in charge of the mate and return to Samoa for men and materials to repair her. Pease came in to Ebon and decided that he would go to Samoa too, so he offered Captain Hansen a passage which he accepted.
When they arrived at Samoa, Pease went and saw Mr. Weber, the Manager of Goddefrays' firm and propose that he and they should join and worked the Carolines, the Marshalls and the Gilbert Groups between them. Weber heard all he had to and said, Get all the information he could and then told them Goddefrays did not need partners, they had plenty of capital and had already made arrangements with Mr. Capelle to work the groups themselves. So Pease had his trip to Samoa for nothing, then worse still he fell in with Hayes.
After Hayes lost his vessel the 'Rona', he commanded his vessel for Macfarlane of Samoa, getting into some trouble with the natives, kidnapping I believe. The seized the vessel, made Hayes prisoner and handed him over to John Williams, the British Consul in Samoa. He put men in charge of the vessel and as there was no jail in Samoa, then Hayes was a sort of prisoner at large awaiting the arrival of a British Man-of-War to try the case. Meeting Pease, Hayes told him the fix he was in and asked him to give him a passage to Shanghai. Being a countryman, Pease agreed. So when the brig was ready for sea Hayes went on board with some friends to see Pease off.
When the boat was going on shore his friends said, Come Hayes, are you ready to go ashore? Not quite! Then to the pilot Hamilton, Can I go ashore in your boat? Certainly, said Hamilton. Then to his friends, Do not wait for me, I will come with Hamilton. When the pilot was leaving, He said, Come Hayes, let us go. Oh, no said Hayes, I am going to Shanghai. Give my love to all on shore, and tell him I will come back some day if ever I do. So the pilot had to go without him.
Then Hayes made a proposal to Pease. As he had been Master of Macfarlane vessel, of course he knew all their stations and traders, so he said, Let us go and get all the stuff and divide the blunder. Pease agreed. They stripped all the stations and got a lot of cotton fungus, beche-de-mer and left.
They then went to Wallis Island and Pease played the little game on Dorran I told you off. I asked Pease if he would not get into trouble for taking Hayes away. Oh, no said he, Williams the Consul knew all about it. Mrs. Macfarlane is his daughter and some say partner as well. If Hayes was convicted, the vessel would be condemned as well. So it is better for them all that Hayes should get away.
At Strong's Island, Hayes and Pease had a great row about the plunder of Macfarlane's stations. Pease claimed half of it was the agreement, he said. Hayes said, No, it was all his, he had shifted it as freight. Pease called him a liar and said he was a trader, not a common carrier. Hayes called him a bloody pirate. He said, Pirate or not, he was not a damned mean kidnapper. So it went on. At last Hayes said, You do not appear to know who I am. I know more about you than perhaps you are aware of, but I am Ben Pease and am not to be scared by Bully Hayes or any other Bully. Now Hayes was a much bigger and stronger man than Pease, but Pease always went around and was the best and quickest shot and Hayes knew it as they had been practising a few days before.
Hayes valued his carcass too much to run anywhere so he left the matter dropped. They did not speak for a few days, then they made it up and appeared to be better friends than before. A great many years ago, a Captain Cheyne or Shane was trading to the Caroline and Marshall Islands. It must have been eighty years ago at least as there was a man on Ponape when I was there in 1870 who had been there over forty years and was landed by Captain Cheyne or Shane on his last voyage.
Now, the Captain had bought a good lot of land at Ponape. Pease had got his firm to buy from his representative in China for a trifle all Captain Shane's rights at the Islands and had all the papers. Among the lands owned by the Captain was a fine piece of land at Port Modoc, Ponape.
The Missionaries wanted this land to build a station on. So they went to the chief and asked him to give it to them. No, he said, I cannot give it to you as it is not mine, it belonged to Captain Shane. Oh! but he is dead long ago, said they. Never mind, said the chief, Someone may come and claim it. So I am afraid to give it to you.
As the chief would not give it, they took it and built their station. When Pease heard of it, he went to the chief and asked him what he meant by giving his land to the missionaries. I did not give it, they took it. Pease went to the Missionary and told him if he did not remove the station at once, he would burn it. So they removed it and he built a trading station there and gave charge of it to John Silva a Portuguese negro.
In 1869, the United States Man-of-War 'Jamestown' visited the Islands. When she went to Ponape, the Missionaries complained to the Captain that Pease had taken their land by force and built a trading station on it. Without making any enquires, he went to John Silva and told him, unless he removed it within two hours, he would set fire to the station. John Silva left and the Missionaries took the land again - a piece of injustice. He ought to have heard both sides of the question before deciding. The Captain then wrote a letter to Pease threatening all sorts of things. I heard the letter read, I forget the exact words but it was very strong. Hayes worked on this and made Pease afraid to go to Shanghai. So he decided to send the brig to Shanghai in charge of Pitman the mate and stay at the Islands until he saw how things went.
When the brig got to Shanghai, Hayes claimed all Macfarlane's stuff and got it and sold it well. So you see Pease got all the blame and Hayes the profit of that little transaction. Hayes also got the vessel and ran away with her to the Islands. But that is another story I think I told you something about it before. I have heard two stories about Pease's death. One was that he jumped overboard from a Spanish Man-of-War, the other, that he was killed in a fight with a negro at Bonin Islands. I do not know which is true, perhaps neither, but there is no doubt he is dead.
I will now tell you about the trouble Mr. Bingham had at Abaiang. Mr. Bingham or as he was called when he was in Honolulu, the Reverend Captain Bingham was the son of the Reverend Doctor Bingham, one of the earliest missionaries in Ohau. He brought the new 'Morning Star' in 1866 or about that time. But although a good missionary, he was not fitted to be a Master of a ship. I have been told he was a first class navigator but no seaman and then there was no discipline on board. The men done as they liked, so after a couple of trips, he gave it up and took charge of the mission at Abaiang. The mission made nothing by that as they gave the vessel to a smart Swede who lost her at Strong's Island on his first trip.
Mr. and Mrs. Bingham done very well at first. They had a Girls' School and all was going well when a young chief got fond of one of the girls and was found out. Bingham was of course very angry. A few days after, as the young fellow was passing the mission, one of the Ohau assistants said, There is the fellow that seduced so and so. Catch him, said Bingham. So they caught and he gave him a sound flogging, tied up to a tree.
Perhaps he deserved it, that is a matter of opinion, but it was bad policy. If he had only been a commoner, but a chief, the island was up in arms. Directly, there was a fight, one of the Ohau assistants was shot in the shoulder. He recovered but lost the use of his arm. They burned the church and I think the school. Some of them said, You want to stop our f---ing do you? If you do not leave, we will serve your wife the same way. As I told you, the mission was broken up.
Then a complaint was made to the American Government that the natives had, without propagation, destroyed mission property to the value of so much. Now the mission was built by the native's own labour and money. No matter for that, the mission claimed it all. A Man-of-War was sent to investigate. The Captain heard one side of the question and a Yankee man decided for the missionaries and ordered the natives to pay the sum claimed. The natives protested. No use, might was right in those days. If the money was not paid by a certain date, the Captain would do all sorts of things.
Well, the poor devils raised the money. Hayes came along and heard of it and claimed the money for a debt they owed Pease. They said, it belonged to the Missionaries and told him what the Captain had threatened. No matter, the Man-of-War was not there and Hayes was and if they did not give up the money, he would do, I don't know what. Hayes got the money.
When the Yankee came, Where is the money? Captain Hayes came and took it away by force. Back to Honolulu then after Hayes. They caught Hayes in Samoa but Frank Benson and the mate both perjured themselves and got him off. Whether the Missionaries ever got their money or not, I do not know but they certainly had no right to it. This is the story as it was told me by several different white men and was confirmed by Holy Joe, a native of the Island. I will tell you about him, bye and bye.
Now, about the fellow, they called Holy Joe. He was a native of the Gilbert Group, I think of Abaiang. It was there, I saw him. He was a great pet of the American Missionaries. He read and wrote and spoke English. Possibly, he helped to translate the Bible so he told me. Then, they took him to Honolulu to help to write and get it ready for the press. He said, They fed and clothed him well but gave him no money. As they would not let him run round in the evening as he wanted to, but they kept him busy. They brought him forward all they could and showed him off as they sampled of what they could do with the natives of the Islands. It appeared to me, they made too much of him and spoiled him. They got up a great Missionary meeting at the biggest church in Honolulu and sent him up to preach. After the sermon and collection was made, of course, they got lots of money.
Next morning, a white man for fun or mischief said, Well Joe, you have plenty of money now. No, said Joe, I have none at all. Where is all the money you got last night for preaching? Was all that mine? Of course it was and do not let the missionaries cheat you out of it. Joe went to the Missionary and asked him for his money. What money? Said the Missionary. The money the people gave me last night for preaching. Oh, no! That is not yours, it belongs to the Society. Am I to get none of it? Certainly not, it all belongs to the Society. Joe said, If they did not give him his money, he would have no more to do with them. Joe got no money and left them. When he got back to the Islands, he was one of the most bitter enemies they had.
When I saw him on board of Hayes's brig, he said, the American missionaries were a set of damned rogues who only came to the Islands to rob kanakas. I do not know if that is true, but I fancy I have heard some white men say something very like the same about them.
In 1873, Joe went trading for Hayes and got into debt of course, so did everyone else who had dealings with him. Finding he could do no good trading, when Captain Peters came to the Island in the brig 'Swannie' in 1874, he engaged with him to go and worked on the plantations in Samoa for a term. When Hayes fell in with the 'Swannie' and hearing Joe was there, he went on board. He stormed and said, Joe was in his debt and that if he did not sign an agreement for Hayes to draw his wages until the debt was paid, he would take him out of the ship. Captain Peters said, Captain Hayes I will not allow Joe to sign any such agreement and you cannot take him, he is under contract with the factory for a term and I will keep him.
Hayes went on, at last Peters said, What is the use of talking like that, Come and have a glass of grog and say no more about it. When Joe told me about it at Nukufetau, he seemed astonished that anyone should dare to speak to the Great Bully Hayes like that. But that was the only way to deal with him. Appear to be afraid and it was all up with you. Joe went to Samoa and that was the last I ever saw or heard of Holy Joe. He was a rascal, no doubt but a smart intelligent fellow for all that. There are plenty worse than he was.
I will now tell you how Hayes got and lost he schooner 'Nova'. When I was in Ponape in 1870, the latter end of the year, the natives told me there was a schooner from China in middle harbour. I knew it was not for me or she would have come into our own harbour, Port Laud so I did not go on board. In the evening, two white men came to see me from her, one of the owners and the mate. They told me she was the schooner 'Theresa'?? from Japan on a trading and beche-de-mer adventure. She was owned by two Frenchman and an Englishman.
The eldest and principal partner was an engraver by profession. The other Frenchman had been in Shanghai and was Captain. The Englishman was or had been a merchant clerk. They said, She had been a fine schooner, but was now getting old. The partners could not agree. The old man wanted to boss everything. Whatever one proposed, the others were against. Of course, things could not go on like that, so they went to Fiji and dissolve the partnership and the Englishman had her all to himself. I heard he was a great rogue and swindled both his partners. Now, he started on his own account.
All went well until he got to Milli where he fell in with Hayes. Hayes went on board, had a talk and invited him on board the brig. He told the Frenchman, he was quite independent of trading as he had enough to tie him on without it but said he, I was always led an active life and have better health on sea than on shore. So, if I can cover my expenses I am satisfied. This was about the time of the French and German War. Like most of his countryman, the Frenchman was very patriotic, especially at a distance and as Hayes quite agreed with him in cursing those damned Germans, they got to be great friends.
Hayes told him some of his adventures about the Islands. He could be very entertaining when he liked. In course of conversation, Hayes said, He knew of a place where beche-de-mer was very plentiful in places almost knee deep. It had never been worked but I intend to work it when I get time but I am too busy. But someone else might find it, said the Frenchman. That is true, he said, but not likely, I must risk that.
What can I do, said Hayes. It is so hard to find a trustworthy man and although I do not need money, I do not like to be re-robbed. The Frenchman agreed and tried to find out where it was. Hayes laughed but would not tell him so the matter dropped. It was quite true, I believe about the beche-de-mer but Hayes had never said it. I heard Pease tell him about it.
A few days after, the Frenchman made a proposal to Hayes that they should work the beche-de-mer together and share the profits. Hayes hung back but at last they made an agreement. The Frenchman should make over the schooner to Hayes as a tender. She was to go to an Island, Hayes's own, near Pingalap for labour in charge of Captain Pitman. The Frenchman was to go in the brig to the borderland reef to manage the station. I can get all the labour we want at our own price, said Hayes. The Frenchman thinking he had struck a good thing, agreed to all and went on board the brig,
Pitman, taking the schooner. Hayes treated him splendidly, shared his house with him, gave him one of his women and anything else he wanted and told him he was his partner until the Frenchman gave up the ship's papers. That was all that Hayes wanted. Now, to get rid of him. This is how he managed that little job. Getting into a political argument one day, he called him a damned son-of-a-bitch. What, said the Frenchman. You dare to call me a French gentleman that. By God sir, If I had my revolver here, I will shoot you like the dog you are. My revolver is always ready, said Hayes and knocked him down with his fist. He then beat him and kicked him most unmercifully and almost killed the poor fellow and then put him on shore.
Billy the steward who was trading there took him in and done what he could for him and got him passage to Sydney with Eury. So much for the Frenchman! It was Billy who told me about it all.
Afterwards next morning, Hayes in the brig and Pitman in the schooner went for a cruise among the Islands. They met again at Milli. Then Hayes took Billy the steward and his family on board, gave instructions to Pitman and left provision to be back to Milli by a certain time instead of going to the Gilbert Group. He said, He came to Pingalap, took me away to Providence Island and robbed the trade there but I told you about that before and then went to Milli at the appointed time. So Hayes waited as long as his provisions lasted.
Hayes, he said, came like a wise man. He determined to look out for himself. He thought Hayes had come to grief as he knew a British Man-of-War was after him. So he consulted with his crew, raised all their wages so that they all had a good payday, then he went to all the stations, got what he could, which what he already had filled the schooner up. He then went to Henry Gustang and got what he said he could spare.
Then back to Milli, took pigs and fowls and all the native food he could get and off to Honolulu. Hayes was like a madman. If ever I get hold of that son-of-a-bitch Pitman, I will not quite kill him but I will leave him so that he wished he was dead. Perhaps he could, but Pitman was almost as bit a man as himself and at least ten years younger. However, they never met again. Then we went to Milli, found the station stripped, only a few pigs left. These, we took on board and went through the Gilberts to Samoa. We had been there only a few days when a ketch owned by Sam Dowsett of Honolulu came in. This was Christmas 1872. Captain English came and told Hayes and myself all about the schooner. Mr. Eldridge the mate and Hayes were not on very good terms. So he very seldom came in to the cabin.
He said, The schooner 'Nova' got to Honolulu all right, then Pitman went to the American consul and said, The schooner belonged to Captain Hayes but the cargo was his own. He had hired the schooner and that Hayes was to meet him at Milli at a certain time. That Hayes did not come and he was quite out of provisions and then the crew wanted their wages and refused to stay any longer and that he thought something must have happened to Hayes. He told a very plausible story which was confirmed by the men. So the consul took charge of the vessel. Pitman sold his cargo and went home to his own place near Cape Cod. The vessel was sold by auction and fetched just about enough to pay the men and other expenses. Hayes said she was rather old, but in good serviceable condition and would last for years.
The way he spoke about Pitman was something awful. He said, After all I have done for him to serve me like that. Pitman always said that Hayes was in his debt and that he only stayed with him to try to get some of it at least. I do not know which was right, but between the two men, I would rather believe Pitman. So you see rogues do not always prosper. Hayes robbed and beat the Frenchman to get the schooner and then, not only as he lost her but a full cargo as well. Pitman was the only one to make anything out of that transaction.
I will tell you next what I know about Henry Burlinghame. It is not very good that the first active missionary landed at Maiana? was a damned rascal and he used to amuse himself by breaking young girls. If he had been satisfied with commoners, there were not have been so much fuss made about it. But he interfered with the Chief girls who were tabu.
Henry Burlinghame was an American by birth, I believe a native of Rhode Island. He had been whaling then he was trading about Tahiti and had a pig station there. When I first saw him in Honolulu in 1866, he was working for an old fellow they called Captain Copper, a retiring whaling skipper who had the name of being the meanest Yankee in Honolulu and that is saying a great deal. But Henry was hard up and engaged with him for a year to work about the stable and make himself generally useful.
This old fellow let lodgings, kept a few boarders and had an old rattletrap of a carriage which he drove for hire. Altogether, he was doing very well, I believe. But Henry soon got tired of it and wanted to get back to the Islands, but he had engaged for a year and knew very well that if the old fellow let him go at all, he would not pay him his wages. So he played him a little trick. He was sent out somewhere with the carriage and was to meet Copper at a certain place. When he got near the appropriate spot, he put the old horse along at a pace which just about shook the old rattle trap to pieces.
Copper saw him coming and tried to stop him. Stop! Stop! Damn you, Stop! After giving the old fellow a bit of a run, Henry pulled up. What is the matter? said he. Matter? Here, give me the lines. What do you mean by driving at that pace? Ah, is that all? It will do the old pony good to wake them up a bit. Copper drove home very carefully to examine the carriage and horses, then had them put away. Then he said to Henry, Come in to the office and I will settle with you. What for? You carry too much sail for me. But I am engaged for twelve months, said Henry. Twelve months, be damned! In one mounting, I should have no carriage or horses left. So Henry got his discharge and wages too which was more than he expected. Then he got a passage to the Islands and stayed on Pingalap not trading but just staying until something better turned up.
In 1867, Pease opened several new stations in the Marshall Group and put Frank Benson and Harry Gardener and their wives on Maderu. But Harry was quarrelling and the women were jealous, so they could not get on at all with the people. So Pease engaged Henry Burlinghame and took them away. Frank, he kept as an interpreter and a very good one he was. Burlinghame was a good trader and got on well with the people. Frank Copper who was with him sometime setting up and returning casks always spoke very well of him. When Milne landed Dick at Hamilton and the other man, Henry done the best he could for them. Hamilton was all right, but the other poor fellow died. They buried him American fashion fully dressed.
A few days after, Henry saw natives wearing clothes very like what the man was buried in. He asked where they got them. Not being satisfied with their answer, he dug up the remains and found they had cut him up and taken his leg bone to make needles. They said human bones make the best needles. Burlinghame went to the chief who made them and told him to bring the bone back. They had tied them and sunk them in the seawater to clean. He then took the remains, bone, clothes and all and bury them in his yard.
When Coffen told me about it, all of us, that is myself, Coffen and growling Jack agreed that it either of us died, the survivors should take his body outside the harbour and sink it in deep water. Of course, it does not matter what becomes of a man's body when he is dead, but it is not a pleasant idea for a white man to bring his bones to the Islands for niggers to make needles of. At least, that is how I feel about the matter.
The first Ohau Missionary who was landed at Maderu was a damned rogue who amused himself by breaking in young girls. If he had been satisfied with commoners, there would not have been such a fuss made about it. But he interfered with some chief girls who were tabu. Then there was a row. They were going to kill him. He said, he came to teach them good customs, but they did not want a missionary to teach them to break in young girls. They knew that before.
When Henry found out they were going to kill him, he went and had a talk to the chiefs. He said, No doubt the fellow deserved death. But, if you kill him, the Missionaries will complain and a Man-of-War will be sent. They said they were not afraid of a Man-of-War. True, said Henry.
But a lot of you will be killed and he is not worth that. So let him live and send him away in the first ship that comes. After a long talk and a present of tobacco, they agreed, but if not Burlinghame, he certainly would have been killed. I say, Serve him right. The 'Morning Star' being the first vessel that came, he left on it. That is the sample of how traders worked against Missionaries. The American people would have only heard the Missionary's side of the question and if no one had been able to support the natives they would have been heavily fined. When Burlinghame left Pingalap, his wife had a young child. As it was too young to take on board, he left it with his mother.
Thinking about Pingalap, one day on board of Hayes's boat, he happened to say, I would give a portion if I had him here. He had no child living there. Hayes said nothing, but when he reached Pingalap, he asked, Has Henry Burlinghame a child here? Yes, I believe so, there is a little fellow they say is his. Can you get him, Henry wants him and as he is a first rate fellow, I would like to oblige him. I said, the only difficulty will be with the mother, but I think a present will make it all right. Well, get him if you can. I will give what they want. So I spoke to the people and made it all right.
Hayes gave them a little present according to Pingalap custom. It might have been worth five dollars. The child was taken on board. Riley the steward and the other woman put charge of him. He was naked of course so she made him some clothes and took good care of him. Hayes never took any notice of him except to keep him out of the way.
When we got to Maderu, Henry came on board. Hayes called the child and of course he ran away, he was afraid of Hayes so I brought him. Do you know this fellow, said Hayes? Henry shook his head. This is your boy, is he not? I said, Yes, so his mother said. Then Hayes told him, what trouble he had had in getting the presence. He had to make and so on all his clothes. Speaking at last, Henry said, And what am I in your debt for all that? You said, You would give me a ton of oil if I got him for you. Ton of oil, did I say that? Of course, you did, said Hayes. But come, I will not be hard on you. Give me fifty dollars and we will call it square. Henry hesitated a bit, then he gave Hayes ten sovereigns. Hayes took it and the child was sent on shore. A very mean trick of Hayes.
Frank Benson and Eldridge both told me Burlinghame had obliged Hayes on several occasions. Henry Burlinghame knew Frank Benson, myself and some others on board and hearing there was no trade or anything else on the Island, he gave us not Hayes a large square tin of copra. Frank said, It was ten pounds and some sugar and some other things. When it came on board, Hayes grabbed it and gave it to the steward for ship use. We did not object, Billy said he should have asked us for it.
I will now tell you how to make coffee for a ship's company. The steward used to take the coffee for all hands. Put water on it and draw off some good coffee for Hayes and Alvard and if he was not a damned fool, for himself also. Then he filled the kettle again and he gave it a boil for us white men, the mate and passengers.
Then threw it up again and served it for the men's breakfast. I asked the steward if that was Chinese fashion. No sir, said he laughing, I think it is American fashion. Hayes told me to do it that way, otherwise, it did not last long.
I never saw Henry Burlinghame again, but I heard he had a schooner of his own. I think it is he Louis Beck means by Bob Packenham. I do not know if he was a navigator or not, but I have always heard him spoken of as a very good fellow.
I do not know if you asked about Harry Johnston. He told me he was born in Cumberland but brought up in Scotland where his father, a customs house officer was stationed. When Harry left, he was at a place called Alled, his brother was a Church of England Missionary in Africa. He himself was an apprentice to an engineer but I think he dispensed his time getting into trouble.
He said, It was about a woman. His father packed him off to Hamburg, from there he came out to Samoa on one of Godefray's ships where he had two uncles living, Johnston the blacksmith and the other was a carpenter. Harry had no written agreement but he said the people in Hamburg promised him good employment at Apia. But the Manager there knew nothing about it. But they offered him some work to do. But it was not so good as he expected so he refused it and went to live on a piece of land near Apia. But seeing no chance of making anything, he soon left.
About that time, Willie Williams was starting business in the Ellice Group, so they asked him for a job. He said, He was an engineer by trade but also a good carpenter and handyman. Williams thought he would be a useful man and asked him what wages he wanted. Harry named a sum. Williams said, He would have been ashamed to offer a white man, so he engaged him and brought him to Funafuti. Williams ad a very poor opinion of Harry Johnston as a worker and he told me he was a batch lifter working some time at Funafuti. He came in the 'Matautis' on her first trip to trade at Nanumea. This was in June 1874 when he told me he was going to Nanumea. I said, Well, I started here at Nanumaga and Williams put a kanaka to oppose me then. I asked to be removed to Nanumea but it appears that I am going to be opposed there also. Williams laughed and said, Well, I will tell them you are coming. Of course, they did not. So shortly after the schooner 'Vavau' Captain Wolf came and I went to Nanumea.
When I asked Harry how he was getting on, he said I have bought all the copra there was and have advanced a lot of trade for the next boat. I said, Then I shall have to wait some time before I get trade. He told me he had lost his previous trade on shore, the boat swamped and he lost all. I said, I have plenty of provisions but I will not sell you any but I will lend you what you want and you can pay me back when your trade come.
He told me, I don't want any. Someone told me, if I want to get on at the Islands, I must conform to native custom. Besides, I am very anxious to make some money for a certain reason. He told me after that, when he got into trouble, his father advanced money to take him away and he wanted to repay him. That was only right of course. So Harry ate raw skipjack and other fish, nuts, in fact he lived just like a kanaka. Very soon, he got sick, broke out in absolutely nasty black boils. He must have suffered very much.
One day he asked what I thought was the cause of it. I said, I think it is living on native food. If you wanted to do that, you should have come down to it by degrees. He agreed with me and asked me if I would let him have some provisions. I said, Certainly, have what you want. I offered it before, but you refused. He took a tin of biscuit and a bag of rice but would not have anything else. He got a little better, but never got rid of the boils.
While I knew he would leave when the ship came in, he had had enough of the island. When the boat came, he told Williams he wanted to leave. Williams said, I cannot take you now, I have no one to put in your place. But I shall be here again in about two months, if you still wish to leave, I will take you away. So Harry had to stay.
When the ship came, he took his wife and child and went away. At Funafuti Captain Hassentine?? returned to take the woman to Samoa. Without payment, Harry went to Williams who said, I promised to give you a passage back to Samoa but I did not promise to take a woman to Samoa. Also,if the ship was mine, there would be no trouble, but you cannot expect me to pay her passage. As Harry would not pay, he had to stay also or leave her which he would not do. So he made a verbal agreement for another year. After some days, a schooner 'Coronet' came in to carry trade, so Harry went to him and asked for a job.
He said, he had been at Nanumea and thought he could do well there. Henderson engaged him, then he went to Williams and said he was going away. But you agreed with me for a year. Harry said, No, I have signed no agreement and I will not stay. William said, it was no use to keep a man against his will so he let him go. So Harry came back to Nanumea. I said, what? Back again? Yes. Williams asked like a damned rogue and I mean to oppose and do him all the harm I can. He reduced the price of everything. When I asked him why, he said, It was Henderson's order. I have a list of prices. My present price, if you come down to that, I am becoming lower. I am to get the trade at any price. I said, You are foolish, whatever price you sell at I must do the same, so you will get no more copra so he came no lower.
When the vessel came, Flower the supercargo came and asked me, Why I have reduced prices. I told him, it was Harry. Flower said, How am I to get the truth. Harry says, It was you, You say, it was him. I said, Why should I lie about it? Can I not sell at what price I liked? You have nothing to do with me, but if you want the truth ask Tupau Williams. Harry was a very unfair trader. He would make an agreement today and break it tomorrow. He was now living on ship's provision. When he had beef he would cut off two pieces, one for himself and one for Pepa. Her mother who lived with them never got any but sometime Pepa would give her a bit of hers unknown to Harry.
One day, I had been baking and as Litia and I were having tea, the old woman passed with the child. Litia called her and said, Come and have some tea. She said, she was not hungry. I said, Come in. Then she came in and had some tea and had some cakes and gave the child some. There was no harm in that surely, but a native went to Harry's house for something and he told Harry the old woman was in my house having tea. When she went home, Harry called her bad names and asked her if she was not ashamed to beg from me. She said, she did not beg, Litia called her. No matter, Harry went on abusing her.
At last she began and she did not whisper. She shrieked and danced and soon had a crowd of natives there. She let out what had been bottled up for months. She said, I am working all the time for you and you never gave me anything. The clothes I wear to go to church are Pepa's old clothes. You never give me any food and when Litia gave me a cup of tea, you are jealous. At last, Harry begged her to stop. After that, the old woman had a tongue and could use it. He treated her a little better. We got on fairly well together, the most serious quarell we had was about the spring balance.
One of the Faipule came with a bag of copra. After I had waited, he said, "Your scales and those of Abemama's are alike." I waited there before I came here. I said, Of course, they are. If they are true, they must be alike. Then, how is it that Harry are not the same? I do not know what else could I say. Then Harry came and said, I had told the people these scales were wrong and that he was cheating them. They were, but I did not know it until he told me himself.
Afterwards, someone in Samoa had told him how to fix them with a strict of Index rubber and he had done so. His shrinkage was very heavy, he said thirty per cent. Now, said he: "That is too much." I agreed, so then we both said we would buy no copra that had not had three days sun, that was fair.
Sometime after, a neighbour had a lot of copra drying. The second day, Harry looked at it. Whose is this? Mine, said the man. What are you going to do with it? Take it to Alfred to pay my debts. Will you weigh it tonight? No, Alfred will not take it until tomorrow. Oh, this is dry enough. If he will not take it, bring it to me. The man came. Shall I bring the copra now? Not, until tomorrow, said I. He said, No more but went and gave it to Harry. Of course, I was angry and went and spoke about it to Harry. He laughed at me, then I said, After this I will buy any copra they bring green.
One day, a few days after a Faipule asked me if I wanted the Missionary's copra. Of course, I do. Bring it along. So that afternoon, it came about 150 lbs. It had only had two day's sun. Harry came, Have you bought the Missionary's copra? Yes, said I. All of it? Oh, yes, I think so. He went and looked at it. Well, if you buy such copra as that you are welcome to it. Welcome or not, I have it. I told you, I would buy any that came and I always tried to keep my word. I lost nothing by it, my vessel came two days after and I shipped it.
I told the supercargo how it was and he said, I have done right. As I saw no chance of doing any more there, I asked to be removed next trip. De Wolfe had taken their trade away, the King of Abemama had lost his schooner, the 'Coronet' and Williams was neglecting his station. So it looked as if Harry would have the Island to himself. That was what he had been working for. So when the schooner 'Upolu' came, I left. Tupau Williams, trader, told me that a big malago wished to go to Funafuti and asked me if they could go in the schooner. I spoke to the supercargo, he said, Yes, but they must pay in advance.
L. Dollanger's head, Harry advanced the money, but was very particular. They must get the first copra. They came back with dry copra and he also gave them a letter to give to the supercargo of Henderson's vessel telling him to bring them back and he would be responsible for their passage. There was over one hundred adults, I know because I collected the money. Children did not come. So this with some cargo made over five hundred dollars. We got to Funafuti after a long passage of fourteen days. In about ten days, the Samoan Orwell arrived. Flower was supercargo and they took the Malay. That was all right, but Flower told Harry the price of copra was reduced to one and a half cts. Said Harry, I have over five hundred dollars debts owing and can't help that. I would take no less, so poor Harry got no profit and lost shrinkage as well which was very heavy. Harry said, It was a damn mean trick of Hendersons but they done the same thing with me at Funafuti.
After I lost by it, as Kaas came and got my copra. Harry did not stay long at Nanumea. After that, Clark took his place and he went to Nui. Harry made up his mind to get square with Henderson, so having a good bit of copra he sold out to Sullivan and would take his pay in Samoa. But here luck was against him. Henderson's vessel came along and she claimed the copra as Harry was in debt. So they had to pay them instead of Harry. So after 4 or 5 years, he returned to Samoa quite as poor as he left it.
After you left Funafuti the old German Company chartered the 'Malawa' for a trip and Harry came to trade for them at Nui but did not stay long. There he went back to Samoa where he worked a while for the missionaries. Then he was in the Customs but you know more about that I do. Take Harry Johnstons, altogether I do not think he was a bad fellow but he was too keen to make money and not very particular how he made it, that is my opinion
Dear old Alvord, I forgot his first name, was an American by birth. His father was a judge in New York, his brother-in-law was Governor of the state of Massachusetts. He himself was educated at Harvard. What little I know of him was told me by Hayes. He was staying with his cousin in California who was the mayor of the city of Sacramento. He got into some trouble about money matters and had to leave rather in a hurry.
He went to Samoa. He had quite a good stock of jewellery and clothes but it did not last long. He was too generous and too fond of women and the bottle. When Doctor - the American Consul left Samoa he appointed Alvord to act. The United States Government would have appointed him Consul but he would not accept the position, so Mr. Coe got it. But Alvord acted as his Secretary and done most of the work.
For some time, he was almost everything, storekeeper, trader, bar keeper, auctioneer and at times made a lot of money. But he nor anyone else knows what he did with it, but he never paid his debts with it. When I went on board the brig at Pingalap, Hayes introduced me to Mr.Varick Alvord, United States Consul at Samoa, then on a mission to collect information about the Islands for the United States Government. Alvord laughed and told me the first chance he got that it was all humbug about he being consul. He was only a private citizen travelling for his health. He and I were very friendly on board. Where I slept was close to his room, so by opening the door, we could talk. He told me a good many stories but was shy about talking about himself.
Hayes told me that Alvord, going home one night, crossing the foot bridge by the Roman Catholic Church. The night was dark, a plank was gone and Alvord fell through and fell astride one of the stringers hurting himself badly. He recovered but he was impotent afterwards. So women did not trouble him after that. But the bottle remained and at times he made the most of it. I had been told when drunk, he was a great black guard, but while we were on board the brig, he did not drink and I always found him a civil spoken well formed American gentleman.
When I left Samoa, he was staying with Mr. Coe, the United States Consul and teaching school. I heard he was dead a long time ago. That is all I can think of at present.
I will now tell you about one of the meanest men I ever met, that was Mackenzie who relieved me at Funafuti. I do not know where he was born but he told me his father was a Scotsman and his mother was English. He said his father was a man of good family, in some way connected with the Duchess of Sutherland. He was a very handsome man but poor. A lieutenant in the army and had served with distinction in India. I think there was some truth in that as Mac showed me some medals. He was educated in Normandy where his mother lived for economy. His father died when Mac was young. His mother married again. Her second husband was an Irishman, a Colonel in a West India regiment and had been governor of one of the small India islands. Mackenzie could not get on at all with his stepfather and left home.
He was in California where he worked in a laundry, then he worked in a tinned can factory, then he was dishwasher in a restaurant kept by a namesake of his. Then he went to Tahiti where he had to work for his keep for a Frenchman who had a chicken ranch. He told me he could speak and read and write French as good as English, that is very likely if he was educated at Normandy. He says the Frenchmen were very stingy and he had to work all kinds of dodgers to save a few shillings to get a nip with. They, after quarelled, at last he had to leave.
He met Captain Scott of the 'Venus' who gave him passage and put him to trade at 'Nanumaga'. But he could not get on with the people, so he left with a trader from Fiji named Beavor who put him on 'Harrari'. Beavor was coming again, he and Captain Trustel of the schooner 'America' took him back to San Francisco. His mother was a widow then so he wanted to go home again.
I was trading for the German Company. One day a vessel arrived. The Faipule had met her at Nukufetau. They came on shore with Sapolu and a big malago man from Nukufetau on board. I met the Captain who said, She was a schooner 'Venus' of Liverpool. Captain Scott said, I have plenty of stock of trade and provisions if you need anything. I have about everything except labour, I am sorry to say. I am well supplied at present, my vessel only left a few days ago. I have a little grog in the house, Come and join me.
He said, No. I never drink gin, Have you got anything else? But he came anyway, so we had our talk. He said, He represented a very wealthy family and that they wanted to drive those damned Germans out of the South Seas. I laughed and said, I am working for those damned Germans. But he said, No matter, you will soon be working for me. Plenty of time to talk about that, said I, The Germans are not gone yet. He said, But I will give you better than they do. Just then Harry Johnston came in and we had another drink. Then he said, you had better go and have a look at the ship. I cannot go myself, I must see the King about landing trade. Some traders are going to land.
The King wants a white man there and all my relations will feed us (the King was not her father, she was his adopted daughter). So next time Hayes spoke, I said, Well Captain Hayes, if it will be any help to you, I will stay there until you come back from Samoa. You will oblige me very much by doing so and I will not forget it and that was settled. So when we got to Pingalap, it is not far from Ponape. The King and I let the kanaka come on board. When they saw the girl, they ran to her and asked her the news. She must have given me a good character for the King and rest of them came and shook hands with me. Some wanted to kiss me.
Then Hayes came back. The King asked him if he would land a white man here. Will this fellow do, pointing to me. That is the man I want, said he. I thought it was now time for me to talk, so I said, But what am I to eat? Plenty! Breadfruit, bananas, taro, boroki (it has another name there) ducks, fowls, fish, oh! plenty. How about turtle? If we eat turtle, we shall die, but all white men eat turtle and you sell them to ships. If you let me eat turtle, I will come on shore. So they had a talk, at last they said, Well, I and my family might eat it, but I must not give it to the people. Then said Hayes, I had not got much trade. I only want to keep the damn Germans and Missionaries away. All right, I will do my best, said I. All he could give me was one box of tobacco, twenty pounds, six pieces cloth, rubbish and six little boxes made by the Chinese carpenter.
I and Maria had about twenty pounds tobacco and a good stock of clothes for her. Then there was a box of beads and a lot of paint and there were other things not in the inventory at Ponape. So I had annexed them, the tobacco and cloth I had bought from ships. I asked Hayes, what about provisions? I have none for myself you know that, said he. You had plenty of rice, said I. Oh! I will give you some rice, so he did about twenty pounds. He had several tons of it.
So about five o'clock, we went onshore in the boat, I and Hayes. The King and people went before. When we got to the shallow water, they rushed into the shallow sea up to their necks. Got hold of the boat, shouting, yelling and laughing, dragged her onshore. I said to the girl quietly, what do they mean? Do not be afraid, it is only their play. Hayes said, what the hell is up? I said, Maria says it is all right. I am not too sure of that, he said. As soon as we touched bottom, they made a rush, one picked up a box, another a bundle, the boat was empty in no time.
Hayes said, Damn it! Do they mean murder? I said, the woman says, it is all right. Hayes said, To hell with your woman. How about me then? Oh! your woman says it is all right, so you must chance it. I am off. I laughed and said, Well goodbye then. That was the last I saw of Hayes until he came back ten months later. When I got on shore, Maria and her mother led me to a nice clean house. All the stuff was there. Is this my house? No. Our house is broken, but they will mend it tomorrow. This is my mother's house. We stay here until ours is ready. Well, I said, where is the bathing place? There is none. There is no fresh water here. But I want a wash.
She spoke to her mother who showed us an old canoe. There had been plenty of rain the day before and was half full of water. So we had a bath and then she washed my clothes and hang them on the canoe to dry. Are you going to leave them there? Won't the kanaka steal them? Oh! no, there are no Missionaries here. At Ponape the Missionaries had the name of being the biggest thieves on the Island.
When we got to the house, I said, You had better see about getting something for supper, I am hungry. That is all right. The meal is made long ago. Soon, they brought him a roasted duck, two fowls, some fish, breadfruit and taro. I said, what are we to pay for this? She said, Leave it to me, this from the King. I will give him some tobacco. So she did. Is that all, said I. Yes, I know what I am doing. This is not Ponape. The King took the tobacco and divided it with his people and went away. Then we got supper. When we have done, Maria put some away for breakfast, her mother and the girls finished the rest. After they had smoked and talked for a while, I said, Come I want to go to bed. So after a joke or two, they left. That finished my first day at Pingalap.
In two or three days, my house was ready. The King and chiefs came to see me. Maria filled the pipes and spread some mats under a big tree close to the house. After smoking a while, the King said, We want to ask you about the Missionaries. What will they do if they come here. Well, said I, they will take away all your women but one. I will not give up my women. Then, they will not allow you to smoke or dance. But I will smoke and I will dance, said they all. But I am King. Yes, you are King now, but when they come, they will be King not you. We shall have to make oil for them too. Then, said the King, We shall have trade here. Oh! no, said the kanakas. They will not pay for it at all. If we give one cask, they will want two. And when they get two they will want four, you cannot satisfy missionaries. So after talking a bit, the King said, While I live, no Missionary shall come to Pingalap. The other chiefs said the same.
Two or three days after that, they saw a schooner. A man ran up a tree and looked, then said, It is the 'Morning Star'. As there was a good breeze, she soon came up and lowered a boat. In the boat came the Reverend Sturgis and the Captain and several Ponape men and one woman. I went to meet them but they did not wait for me, but walked on. I went back to my house feeling rather small. After a bit, a lad came and said, the King wanted me. He told me when Sturgis went to see the King, he was sitting on a mat under a tree outside his house. Mr. Sturgis said, I tell the King I have brought you a Missionary. Can't talk until my white man come, said the King. I do not want the white man, said Sturgis. Can't talk, until he comes.
When I came, the King made room for me next to him and said, Now we can talk. Well, here is your Missionary. Don't want him, said the King. But last time I was here, you said, Bring him. Now, he is here, he must stay. If he stays here, he will die. What, said Sturgis. Will you kill him? Oh! no, but he will be hungry and die. This is a small Island and we cannot feed strangers. What does this man eat? said Sturgis. Rice, said the King. So I did, but very little of it. They talked a long time, they did not want him and cannot feed him. All this time, the Ponape men had been talking to the Captain. At last, they said to Mr. Sturgis, If they will not feed the man, he cannot stay. So Mr. Sturgis said to the Captain, We must take them on board again. We cannot leave them here to starve. Certainly not, said the Captain. Then, said Sturgis, there has been an evil influence at work here. But do not despair. We will have this Island yet. So they did, but not until the 'evil influence' myself had left. So the meeting broke up.
As we walked to the landing place, the Captain said, I am very thirsty. Can you get me a glass of water? No, said I. I have no glass and the water is very bad but there are plenty of young nuts. So I called Maria. Bring some young nuts here. So she came with a small hammer and two other girls brought a basket of nuts. She opened one and said, Here Captain, drink your nut. Then, she offered one to Sturgis. But he shook his head. Then, she offered it to the Captain, but Sturgis said, Do not drink any more. It may make you ill, as you are not used to them. So she gave it to the Ponape men. They were not long emptying the basket.
Then the Captain said to Maria, So you talk English, I hear? Oh, yes! Who taught you? This fellow! laughing and putting her hand on my shoulder. Is this your wife? One of them, said I. Dear me, she is very young. She is the eldest of the three, said I pointing to the other two who laughed. Dear me, said he. Let us go on board, said Sturgis. Will that boat never come. It is coming now. So they got in the boat, I shook hands with the Captain. I do not know his name, but he was a nice civilized man. I was sorry for his sake. They were treated so badly by the people. Never offered a nut or given a mat to sit on. That was the last I saw of the 'Morning Star'.
A few days after this, the King's younger son came and asked me if I was not going to pay him. Pay you, what for? You have got my wife. Which is your wife, said I? Maria. I asked her, Did you belong to this fellow? Yes, I was given to him as soon as I was born. Do you want to go to him? No fear. Do you think I am a fool, said she. I do not like him, but you had better pay him. But I did not take you from him. Never mind, give him something. What shall I give him? Oh! anything, a string of beads or some tobacco. So I gave him a string of big glass beads to put round his waist and a few heads of tobacco and he was quite satisfied.
About the other girls. One day, a young girl was brought to the house by her father. She was oiled and had a wreath of flowers round her head. Who is this? I asked Maria. She is my sister (she was her cousin). But what does she want. She is for you. But you will not like that. Never mind, I do not care. She is a good little girl and my sister. But what am I to do with her. The same as you do with me. All right, if you do not mind, let her stay.
A little while after, another girl was brought. I said, I do not want any more. But her father was angry and said, he was a bigger chief than the other girl's father and asked me if I did not like him. I said, I like him and I like the girl, but it was not white men's custom to have more than one wife at a time. Maria said in English, Take her do not offend him, he is a big chief here. So he had a good smoke. He did not want any pay for her. That was vey lucky, for you know I was very poor. I did not keep them long. The girls were all right, but their mothers were always quarrelling. So I sent the two away and stuck to Maria alone.
Some time after this, some men came and said, Come, there are two white men at the King's house. Where did they come from? A ship, the other side of the Island. Where is the ship? Gone, said they, but the King says you must come and see them. So I went. There was a tall fair man on a log making a speech in a sort of pidgin English to the people. I don't think they understood a word of it, but they laughed and said, Oh, yes to everything. At the back of the crowd, a dark man stood smoking. I think he had revolvers under his coat, but I am not sure. I went and spoke to him. He seemed to be rather astonished to see a white man there. He said, why? What are you doing here? I laughed and said, Well, I am supposed to be trading for Hayes. Are you a trader too? No, said he. We are recruiting labour for Fiji. I do not think you will get any here. Why not? Because the Missionaries had warned them not to go in labour ships and Hayes told them if they want to go, he will take them to Samoa, a much better place. What, Samoa better than Fiji, said he. So Hayes said I know nothing about either of them.
When the speech was finished, the man came to me and said, he was Doctor Murray, owner of the brig 'Carl'? trying to get labour. I said, I thought he had come to a bad place. Oh, no, said he. The King said, I can have all I want. Knowing the King understood no English, I thought there must be some mistake, but said nothing. Doctor Murray then told me, the other man was Harry Mount, his friend, a Canadian, but a very good fellow. I said to Mount, Where will you stay tonight? I do not know, he said. Then, you had better come with me, said I. Will you come too Doctor? Oh, no. I always put myself under the protection of the King. All right, said I. So Mount and myself went to my house. We had fish, breadfruit and taro for supper. After talking a while, Cabban, a man who had been a sailor with Pease and spoke English came. He said, I am going to stay with this fellow. He says, He has something for me. Well, goodnight and pleasant dreams to you.
Sometime in the night, I woke up. There was a great row outside. I went to see what was up. There was Doctor Murray and at least one hundred natives. He said, Will you let me stay here until morning? I don't know what these fellows mean. Of course, I invited you before. These people mean no harm but they are not used to white men. So my girls spread some clean mats for them and we went to bed again. The natives went away and I slept until daylight.
When I got up there was Doctor Murray fast asleep and a young woman with him. When he woke I said, So you have company I see. He said, Yes, I spoke to her at the King's house and she followed me here. Yes, said he. The old story, the woman tempted me and I did eat. Then we killed the duck and I stewed it with some rice, this with taro and breadfruit, we had for breakfast. After breakfast, the Doctor said, I will go and see if my property is all right.
When he was gone, I said to Mount, The Doctor seems rather timid. Oh! No, said Mount. He is all there in a fight, he has proved that. Presently, he came back and said, More than half my stuff is gone. What, Did they break the lock,said I. Well, it was not locked but tied up with spun yarn. I said, Do you not think it was very foolish to leave a box of valuable stuff with natives, only tied up with the rope yarn. Well, I thought it was safe in the King's house. I said, the King has little authority here. I found afterwards, it was the King's son who had stolen it. Tobacco, fish hooks and beads. He told me afterwards, he did not mean to steal. He only meant to see what was there. But when he saw the stuff he could not help himself.
Towards noon, Doctor Murray said, What can be keeping that vessel. I ordered the Captain to be here at daylight. I said joking, Perhaps, they have cleared out and left you. He was offended and said, They dare not. I then told him, there was a strong current running and they may be a week away. But what shall we do for food? I said, did you bring nothing with you. No, I expected to get away for breakfast. I said, Well, you must put up with native food. You will not starve for a few days. So they stayed with me and caught ducks and fowls and Mr. Mount cooked them.
The third afternoon, the brig came up. Dr. Murray got a book and pencil. He said to me, Call the people and I will take the names of those who are going. I said, Here is Cobban, let him talk for you. Well, tell him to be quick, I can't lose any time now. The King and people came. Well, said Murray, Give me the names. No one spoke. At last, Cobban said, The people say they will not go. Murray now turned on the King and said, He had lied to him. The King said, No, he had not lied but he could not make the people go against their will. When the boat came, Murray gave his box, now almost empty, to one of his men. And without a word to me jumped in.
Mr. Mount shook hands with me and said Goodbye. So they left. Then the people got sick, influenza, I think. But the people said, The ship had landed a devil and they must drive him away or they all would die. So in the morning, after some ceremonies, the King, chiefs and all the men got some old tins, conches, anything that they can make a noise with and they all had sticks. They formed a line across the Island and made all the noise they could. They started at one end and went right along to the other. The noise was enough to frighten any devil.
That night the King told me, It was all right, the devil was driven into the sea. Perhaps he was, anyhow there were no more sickness. Imagination, I suppose. Now, I will tell you, how I saw the ghost. There was a point of the Island they said was haunted by a ghost who threw stones at anyone who went there at night. I laughed at them and said, There was no ghost. We had no fish a few days, so one night I said to Maria, Come, let us go and look for a turtle. She said, No, She had a headache. I then asked the other girls but they said they were afraid. I then said, Well, I will go alone. I did not mean it but they laughed at me and said, I was afraid. Of course, then I had to go or all the Island would laugh at me.
So I took my stick, a good stout one, and went. When I got to the haunted point, a shower of stones came at me. I thought that someone was having a bit of fun with me. So I laughed and said, Stop that. I waited a bit, all was quiet. Then I went on, then another shower of stones. I was angry and sang out, Stop that you damn son of a bitch. All was quiet again, then I started again. Then came more stones, I then went to see what it was and if it was one of the boys, to give him a taste of my stick. So I went towards where the stones came from. All was quiet again. I stopped to listen, presently, more stones close to. I went forward a few steps and there was a turtle climbing over a bank of gravel. Hello, I said. You are what I am looking for. I tried to turn it over, but it was too heavy. So I rake away some gravel on one side of it and then turned it over into the hole. Then I went home.
Maria said, You are back soon. I said, Yes, I have caught the ghost, then I told them all about it. They said, I was lying. I said, Come and see. Oh, no, you cannot make fools of us like that. So I went to bed. At daylight, I said to Maria, Come, let us go and get my turtle. She said, Have you really got one. Of course I have. So I got a rope and we all went. I tied the rope round one flipper and we turned it over and went down to the sea and I towed it round to the house. It was a fine fat one. When the kanakas heard the story, they all said, they would have run away at the first shower of stones.
About one month later, what we thought was another brig came. Some natives called me and said, They wanted me to go and speak to the white men in the boat. Why does he not go himself, I asked. He is afraid, the white men have all got guns, they told me, so I went. The boat was on the beach. A man who I was afterwards told was the mate ran on the beach with the rifle in two hands, and another white man in the boat in the stern also with rifles. What brig is that, I asked. The 'Swallow' of Sydney.
Are you a trader, I asked. No, recruiting labour for Fiji. I am afraid you have come to the wrong place. Why so, he said. Well, Doctor Murray was here three days and got none. Who is Doctor Murray? said he. The owner of the brig 'Carl', I said. The other men laughed. Can we buy any food here? Oh, yes, plenty. Then why do they not come? Because they are afraid of your guns. Put them away, and they will come fast enough.
You do not need them here, I am here alone. They would not put away the guns, so the people kept at a distance. At last, I persuaded Cobban to come with me and sell a few fowls. Tataiti Bob who was afterwards at Nukufetau told me he was one of the boat's crew, that it was the 'Carl' and that they were all armed and their orders were, If there were no white men ashore to take some on board willing or not. I do not know if this was true but if they had tried, there would have been a fight. However, they bought the fowls and went away peaceably. That was the last I saw of the 'Carl' or Doctor Murray.
I was now getting anxious about Hayes. We were out of tobacco. The girl had a little hidden for herself and her mother. Very soon after the 'Carl' left, a small schooner came. I got two boys to take me off to try to buy some tobacco and see if I could get news of Hayes. When I got on board, I asked what schooner is this. The 'Daphne', said a man. Shut, you bloody fool, said a tall man who afterwards I heard called Mr. Sinclair. Are you a trader, I asked him. No. Trying to get labour. I said, there has been two brigs here, but could not get any. What, two brigs. The 'Carl' and the 'Swallow'.
There is no such brig as the 'Swallow' in the labour trade. It was the 'Carl' here twice. Well, said he. Can we get any supplies here. Oh, said I. Is it safe to go ashore? I am living here alone and had no trouble. Then we will go after dinner and see what we can do. My boys were afraid and wanted to go ashore. So I asked, if I could get some tobacco. They said, oh yes bye and bye. I said, my boys want to go ashore. Well, let them go, you stay and get some dinner and we will go in the boat together afterwards. So I told the boys to go and added quietly, Tell the king, it is a labour ship but they want ducks and fowls.
So after dinner, the boat is lowered and Mr. Sinclair and another man who spoke very broad Scotch and myself went ashore. I asked again about tobacco, They said bye and bye. There were no names mentioned while I was on board, but the one, the Captain was a tall young man who appeared to be sick.
When we got on shore, the King came up and asked what they wanted. Anything you had to sell. Where is the trade. Ah, take the things on board and the Captain will pay you. No, said the King, That is tabu. Bring the pay on shore and we will sell as much as you like. So the white men came up to my house. The King had given strict orders that no one was to go to the ship, but his son, the same one who stole Doctor Murray's goods and about half a dozen other young men launched two canoes some distance away and took fowls, ducks and other things to sell.
I knew nothing of this. I and the two men were talking all at once. There was a good shouting and splashing. Come on, Be quick for your lives. Sinclair and the other man jumped up, drew their revolvers, ran down to the boat, fired a few shots in the air and went off. I, not knowing what is the matter went down to the beach also. But the King and his brother took me by the arms and led me back to my house saying, No go, No good ship.
When we got inside, I sat down on my big chest, the King on one side of me, his brother on the other and a big fat woman, their sister sat on top of me almost smothering me. Soon, the house was surrounded by all the men on the Island shouting and yelling, Kill him, burn the house. I tried to get lose, but the King held me fast. At the first alarm, Maria and her mother and the other girls picked up their boxes and things and ran away.
The crowd soon tore away the sides of the house and took away all they could lay hands on. Luckily, we were sitting on the big chest so they did not get that. Kill him, shouted someone. The King, No, you must kill us first. After about an hour, it seems much longer to me, they quietened down and then they told what was the matter. When they got on board, the Captain bought what they had to sell and paid liberally. He then invited them below but some natives in the hold warned them and they would not go. Then the white men tried to force. They fought for their liberty and iron bolts and belaying irons were freely used.
The Captain had a small gun (pistol, I suppose), and a young man named Amerioa caught hold of it. As he and the Captain were struggling, the cash ran out of the gallow and struck the man in the back with an axe nearly cutting him in two. Of course, he fell dead on the deck. Then the others got away or more or less hurt. I told some old woman to bathe the wounds with warm water then I dressed them with painkiller and they were soon all right again.
When the row was over, Maria and the others came back. I was very angry and they looked very ashamed. I said, What kind of a girl are you? You pretend to care for me and as soon as I get into trouble, you run away. Hell, if they killed you, they would have killed us too, and we do not want to die, besides it would do you no good if we did. That was true, but all the same I did not like it. We soon made it up again. That was the nearest to a quarrel we ever had.
Next day, the people came and repaired the house and we were better friends than ever. The King made a speech saying, It was not Alfred's fault. He told us, it was a labour ship and I told you not to go to her but you young fellows always think you are wiser than the old men. Now you see what comes of it. Altogether, I did not have bad times at Pingalap. Plenty to eat.
Of an afternoon, Maria would spread mats under a big tree and we would lie on it. Then a lot of native girls would come and lied down with us and laughed and talked and smoked cigarettes until night. In those days, the men and big boys wore a small maro, the married women, a narrow strip of native cloth round their thighs and the girls, quite big ones, went quite naked.
At first, I pretended to be awfully shocked and asked if they were not ashamed. No, said they. We are as nature made us. Why should we be ashamed? Of course, it is right that men and big boys should cover themselves. But girls! Why? There is nothing to cover. Of course, it seems strange to us to see big girls naked, but I did not dislike it at all. With their clear brown skins nicely oiled, and a wreath of flowers round their heads, and one round their necks, I think they look much better than the converted ones with a bit of rag round their waist. But that is I suppose all a matter of taste.
The Pingalap people were very excitable and when their blood was up capable of almost anything. But it was soon over and they bore no malice. Altogether, they treated me well. They were kind and generous to me and I have always been sorry I was not able to make them some return better than I did. Maria was a good wife to me and I was sorry to leave her but I had promised not to take her away against her will. She said, she would go in any other ship with me, but not with Hayes who was a bad man and she was afraid of him.
At last, when I had been there ten months, Hayes came. He said, How much oil have you? Half a tank (200) gallons, said I. Is that all? Yes. How much did you expect? I think you are lucky to get any after all this time and all you landed me was twenty pounds tobacco. Here is your rubbish and cloth back. No one here wants it. He laughed and said, Are you ready to go? Yes, long ago! Are we going to Shanghai now? No, he said. We are not going there at all. I have letters. All is settled so it is no use going. But come on board. There is a line of steamers running between Sydney and San Francisco calling at Apia and Honolulu. Come to Samoa with me and I will pay your passage to Honolulu and you shall not go without a few dollars in your pocket.
So I went, and he landed Charlie Roberts, one of his sailors. I said, Are we going straight to Samoa? No, I have to go through the group and get a cargo. We are going first to Providence then back here then to Samoa. So bring Maria on board. She is not going, said I. Why not? Well, look at her. Is she fit to go? He laughed. That is nothing. There are plenty of women on board to attend her. Never mind, I have promised and intend to keep my word. You are damn too soft with women and they fooled you, said he.
When we got in the boat, a woman ran down to her and tried to get in. They tried to stop her. She screamed and said, I will go with Alfred. It was Maria's aunt. Hayes said, Let her go. So she got in. I did not want her, but as she was there, I kept her until we came back. Then she was landed with the other women. When we came back some men came on board. I did not go on shore and asked them how Charlie was getting on. They said, The people did not like him at all. I know nothing of him except that he came from China with Hayes. I think he was a Devonshire man. I never saw him after we left Pingalap.
I hope you will be able to make this out. Next, I will tell you what little I know of Jim Garstang and Harry Mulholland. James Garstang was born in a small village near Liverpool. His father who was a seaman was lost when the London went down. Jim who went to sea very young sailed a few years between Liverpool and New York. Then he shipped on board the 'Minehaka', one of the biggest sailing ships afloat at that time on a voyage to China, Japan and other places. When at Japan, the agents offered a charter to take a cargo of guano from Bakers Island to Hampton Roads.
At this time, l867, I was foreman at McKeans Island and was passenger in the brig 'Kamehameka' going to Honolulu for a vacation. We had on board the crew of the ship 'Washington' lost at McKeans. The 'Minehaka' arrived at Bakers Island all right and made fast to the moorings when it began to blow so we had to stand off until the blow was over. But as the ship was on demurrage, Captain Bursled declined to do so.
So when it blew heavy, the ship dragged the moorings. All hands were saved with their effects. As for the ship, many people said, You were sent there for that purpose. So when we arrived, there was another lot of shipwrecked sailors to take to Honolulu. Jim Garstang was third mate when the ship was lost. And as we were both Englishmen, we got very friendly on the passage up.
When we got to Honolulu early in January l868, Jim and the others got to drinking. As I did not go in for that kind of thing, we lost sight of each other. The lst February l868, I left Honolulu for the Islands. After sometime at Milli, Ponape, Pingalap, I went on board the brig 'Leonora'. Captain Hayes told me there was an old friend of mine on board - Jim Garstang. I had not heard the name before.
When we got on board, a tall man came and shook hands, saying how the devil came you here. I looked at him, Have you forgotten me already? I recognized him then, on the 'Minehaka', he was Mr. Cody, but he told me his proper name was Garstan. We were good friends again. He told me how he came to be with Hayes. He was trading on Mariki for J.C. Godefray and Son. Last time the schooner came, she was quite full and could not take his copra but landed a fresh stock of trade and provisions not forgetting gin. Hayes came along soon after and persuaded Jim who was quite muddled with gin to sell out to him. He said, He would put Jim on a good Island in the Marshalls or Carolines where he could make a fortune in a few years. Hayes was one of the most promising men I have ever met. Jim like a fool believed him and there was Hayes had got all his copra, trade and provision.
I will give you all the fighting you want. But you will not put me in irons and then, lick me. He then ran forward and jumped over board. I thought he swam on shore but he only went to the other side. When Hayes was gone, he came on board again. All right, said he to me. The old man seems to stand on his dignity. To me it appears to be a clear case of back down. About four o'clock, Hayes and the woman came off to dinner. What sort of a game do you think you are playing, said Hayes. Not I, Captain Hayes. You would not like any man to take away your woman. Damn the woman. I do not want her, take her back. If she will come, he said. She was in danger of her life and I, as a magistrate on board of my own ship, I was bound to protect her. He then went below.
In about half an hour, he came on deck again. Jim said, It is all right Captain. She has gone back home. Back! Roared Hayes. Then take the damn whore and go on shore. I will not carry you another yard. All right then, said Jim. Pay me what you owe me and I will be glad to go. Pay you? You know damn well I have no money. Then said Jim, Do you propose to put me on shore on a strange Island without money or provision? Then you should behave yourself.
After talking a bit, Hayes agreed to take them back to Mariki. When we got there, they landed and that was the last I saw of Jim Garstang. But I heard of him, all he ever got from Hayes was an I.O.U., not worth a paper it was written on. Soon after, he was landed at Mariki, Captain Peters in the brig 'Susanna' came along and persuaded Jim to go to Samoa and explained things to the Manager and said, if he had done so it would be all right.
Jim went and the Manager said, You have done very wrong but we are willing to give you another chance. We need a quarter in the wholesale store. You can take that situation. We will pay you half wages. The other half will go to the payment of your debt. Then we give you a chance trading again. Jim was hard up so he accepted the offer.
When Hayes came back, he told Jim he was a damned fool to work a dead horse like that. So when Hayes was ready to sea, Jim swam off at night, and they sailed next morning. Hayes landed him at Nukulaelae with no provisions and very little trade and never came back. That was the trip he lost the brig.
After some time, Jim got back to the Gilberts and was on Nonouti or Tabiteuea. When Kaad called there in the 'Midge', Jim and his chum went on board. After settling their business, they began drinking. When Kaad thought they had had enough, he refused to let them drink any more. But they had a case to take on shore. It was night when they left the ship and were not heard again. It was supposed they went to sleep and got into the current and were carried out of sight of land.That was the last of James Garstang.
About Harry Mulholland. He was a Canadian by birth and he had been trading but was staying with Garstang when he sold out to Hayes. As Harry had nothing to sell, and Hayes was short handed, he shipped before the mast, but was allowed to bring his woman. He was a very fair person, but too fond of Gin. He was to be picked off at Mariki when the ship returned from the Marshalls. With gin at a dollar a bottle, he and his wife could not live on his wages. So of course, he got into debt. When we left Milli, we were getting short of gin, so Hayes raised the price to two dollars a bottle. Harry got his gin as usual. I said to him, Do you know that the old man has raised the price of gin to two dollars? He laughed. I don't care if he raises it to ten. I shall take all I can get.
So when he got to Mariki, Hayes called him and said, Do you know how much you owe me? No, said Harry. Well, it is so much. All right, said Harry. How are you going to pay me, said Hayes. Don't know. Well, you will have to go to Samoa and when we come back, if you are out of debt you can leave. All right, said Harry cheerfully, I am as well here as anywhere else and I want to see Samoa.
So when Garstang and his woman went on shore, he sent his woman too. When Hayes went on shore, he told the mate to send two men with the boat at four o'clock. Harry made a great show of kissing his woman and bidding her goodbye. At four o'clock, Mr. Eldridge sang out, Two men in the boat. Harry and a kanaka jumped in. Where are you going, said Eldridge? To fetch the old man, said Harry. I don't want you to go. Oh, Mr. Eldridge let me go and give the old woman another kiss. It will be eight months before I see her again. Eldridge who was not hard hearted let him go. As soon as they got on shore, Mr. Harry walked off. When Hayes came to the boat, Where is the other man. Gone over there, said the kanaka. Who is it? Harry. Oh! said Hayes. That son of a bitch is off. So he had to take an oar himself.
When he got on board, the language he used to the mate was not at all complimentary. He asked me, Did Harry take his things on shore? His chest is below, I said. He called Bill Hicks and said, Go below and hand up Harry's chest. The chest was there but empty. I thought so, said Hayes. When Dutch Jack, a Hollander came off to dinner, Hayes said, Tell those fellows on shore if they do not bring Harry off before noon tomorrow, I will come on shore and will do all sorts of things.
It is no use, said Jack in his slow way. They won't do it. Why not? He has got jibboons here (a jibboon is an adopted child). I don't care a damn. If he has got he main and foremasts as well. If he is not here, I will come. No use, said Jack again. Perhaps they don't know who I am, said Hayes. They don't care. They never give up anybody. Hayes spoke to the other white men. They all told the same old story. Mariki never gave up deserters, so we had to go without him. Hayes threatened what he would do when he caught him, but he never saw him again. Poor Harry and his woman went to New Guinea or the Solomons and were killed and eaten by the natives.
About Captain Eldridge. He was an American and at the time of the war was Master of the whaler harvest owned by Dowsett Brothers of Honolulu. Going to Ponape, he saw several vessels flying the American flag. He, instead of hoisting his own flag 'Hawaiian', he showed the stars and stripes. As soon as he let go of the anchor he was boarded by a boat belonging to the Shenadoah Confederate Cruiser. He protested, said he was not an American vessel but under the Hawaiian flag. No use, said the Captain (Waddel). You came in flying the stars and stripes. You and most of your officers are Americans. So he burned the harvest with the others. After losing his ship so foolishly, he did not go back to Ohau but stayed at Ponape. He married a daughter of the King who gave him a good Island so that with Pilotage and trading, he might have done very well. But he was too fond of the bottle and so he was always hard up.
I do not mean hungry of course. No one was hungry at Ponape but short of other things. When Hayes came back from China in l871, he had no mate. Pitman navigated the ship so he tried to get Rod. Oh, no said Rod. Old standing rigging makes bad running gear. Try to get Eldridge. Now Eldridge had a row with his wife and father-in-law and had said he would go in the first ship that came. So when Hayes spoke to him, he agreed to go for one trip, not more than six months and to be paid off in Ponape. So we left Ponape and went on shore at Pingalap. When Hayes came back ten months after, I asked him, How was Eldridge getting on? Oh, he is all right now, but I have to give him a thrashing at Strongs Island to teach him his place.
Harry Gardiner who was on board at the time, told me all about it. After it was a damn cowardly piece of work. As I said before, Eldridge was too fond of the bottle, but if a captain sells his men gin, I do not think he has a right to lick them for getting drunk. At any rate, in Harbour one night in Strongs Island, Eldridge got drunk and of course was not very bright. Next morning, he went to the galley to light his pipe. When the carpenter, a damned cheeky Chinaman pushed him, he called him a son of a bitch and told him to get out of the way. Eldridge very naturally, I think knocked him down.
When Hayes came on deck he complained to him. Hayes, instead of speaking quietly began to storm and told Eldridge that he allowed no-one strike his Chinaman but himself and threatened what he would do if ever Eldridge dared to do so again. Eldridge went and sat down on the main hatch under the bows of the long boat. Presently, Hayes said, Are you not going to turn the men today? I don't know if I will after the way you have spoken to me. Without another word, Hayes went below, put on his boots and
You right to know more about him than I do. The little I know was told me by Hayes and Black. Tom was born in one of the Southern States and have as his Master a Mr. Sieden who Tom took his name from who was rather a very rich man in those parts. He was very good to Tom and put him to learn a good trade. But Tom was a bad boy and ran away and went to sea. After a few years, he got to Samoa where he stayed. I was told he had much unpleasantness with the natives.
When I went to Samoa in December l872, Tom came on board the brig and was introduced to me by Hayes as Mr. Thomas. Tom was then in business with a boarding house, a small bar and a baker shop. He might have done well, but having no education, no doubt he was cheated. He had then three children, his eldest daughter, I think her name was Annie was married to a Frenchman named Bearjeneau better known as the Pope of Rome. They had one child born Christmas Eve called Marie. Tom professed to be a Roman Catholic and had his children brought up in that faith. His son John was staying at home helping him in his business.
His youngest daughter, I forget her name, but she was then called Topsey was unmarried. But about the time or a little before I went to Samoa, an old fellow came from Fiji looking for land to start a sugar plantation. He had the reputation of having plenty of money. He was staying with Tom and got stuck with Topsey. Tom persuaded, some say forced her to marry the old fellow. This was in January or February, l883. They had a good feast at the old man's expense of course.
All the natives on the beach and some of the white men were there. I was invited but declined with thanks. They did not get along very well at first. She said, She did not like him and would not sleep with him. I was staying with Bearjeneau. He had a small plantation at Vailile. His wife was very well there. The child was very young and she got more to eat with the father. We lived, rather starved entirely on what the land produced. Bearjeneau was very poor and she did not believe in being so poor. When I left Samoa in l873, Topsey and her husband were living together at Tom's house. Bearjeneau told me they had made it up and were now very happy. He was certainly very good to her and ended up with a great deal according to what her sister told me.
The first time I saw Hayes at Nukufetau, he told me that Topsey and her husband were murdered and that Tom was suspected to be the murderer. This was the story as Hayes told to me. He said, The old man, although straight forward to his wife took care that Tom did not handle any of his money. So one night, Tom determined to help himself so he broke into the room where his daughter and her husband were sleeping. The old man heard him and jumped up and caught him. In the struggle, Tom killed him. The girl woke up and cried out, Oh! Father what have you done? Tom then killed her to save himself.
There was an inquiry by the consuls but as there was no evidence against Tom, he was acquitted. Hayes said, There was little doubt about his guilt. Some time after that, Mr.Kuge, a German merchant had his store broken into and most of the stolen goods were found in Tom's possession. He was hauled up before the consuls. He said, They had nothing to do with him and said he was a Samoan chief and demanded to be tried by his peers.
They let him had his trials and Tom was banished. He was given a very short time to go and was never to return. So he shipped on "Macfarket" and went to the Marshall Group. He went back to Samoa but was not allowed to land. He then returned to the Marshalls where I hear he'd done very well in business. But he got so bad at last, that the Germans had to banish him. He then went to the Gilbert Islands where I believed he died. I heard that Bearjeneau's wife left him and took the child Marie and went and stayed with her father. John, I heard went to sea as a cook and was killed somewhere about the islands. No doubt, Tom was a great rascal, but even he had good points. I have been told, he filled many a hungry man's belly.
I will tell you a few little stories Alvard told me about black Tom. Hayes was a near neighbour of Tom. He himself was generally away but his wife was there. She was a little woman but she had a long tongue and she could use it. One morning she missed some fowls and suspected Tom of having stolen them. So she went and began on Tom. She called him everything she could think of. Tom took it all very quietly until she called him a filthy nigger. That was too much for Tom. Now Mrs. Hayes, said he. Don't you say another word about niggers for you have taken many a bigger and blacker p---- than I can produce.
This shut her up, but when Hayes came back, she told him all about it. Hayes was jumping mad you may be sure. So he took a big stick and went to interview Tom. Hayes began and called Tom everything. Tom stared, smiling but said nothing. This made Hayes madder, You cannot quarrel with the man who does not answer you. Tom had a good show in his bar. Rows of bottle labelled rum, brandy whisky, gin, wine, everything, mostly dummies but they looked well.
At last Hayes could stand it no longer. Up went the stick, crash went a row of bottles. Smash went another, smash another lot and so on, at last when the bottles were finished, bang went the clock then he decanters and glasses, then the lamps. When everything was smashed Bully Hayes felt much better and went home.
But next day, he got a nice little bill from the Consul office. All the items were there, so much for stock, so much for clock, glasses, lamps, loss of business, oh! it was all there. What! Do you think I am going to pay that bill? Not a cent does that damned nigger get out of me. But said the consul, You admit destroying the property. Oh, yes, but pleaded provocation. No matter you must pay and the sooner you pay the less it will be. Tom's business is at a stand still. Hayes went to the lawyers. There were two or three on the boat, they all said the same thing. You must pay and we advise you to do so at once. So with a very bad grace, Hayes forked out the dollars and Tom started with a better show than before and not dummies this time.
Tom was watching him. At the same time, it began to rain so Mr. Grate went into the house, had a nip and lit his pipe and sat down to wait for the rain to stop. But he fell asleep, when he woke the rain was over so he went out. All was quiet. After a bit, he thought it was too quiet. So he went to the pigs' pen, it was there all right but no pig. Away, he went to Tom's house. Now Tom, where is that pig? Pig! Mr. Grate, what pig is that? Oh, it is no use for you to look so innocent, my pig is gone and there is no one else to take it but you so give it up to me. Well, said Tom, this beats all. If anything is lost on this beach, pigs, fowls, or anything it is black Tom who is going to steal things. Oh, it won't do, said Mr. Grate, You have stolen my pig and I mean to have it. Well, Mr. Grate, search the place and if you find it here I will eat it. No, it would be damaged if you do said Grate.
He searches the house! No use no sign of a pig. In the sitting room was a long table and Tom's boarders were sitting around it playing cards. There were bottles and glasses on the table. As usual, it was late but they were very merry over their game. At last Mr. Grate gave it up and went away. He was watched clear away. Then the boarders got up. The table was turned over and there was the pig slung underneath. It was soon disposed off and Tom's boarders had fresh pork for breakfast the next morning. It was too good a story to keep and it leaked out.
Mr. Parker was another storekeeper and had the name of being very close. Black Tom who was in business was always behind and no one will trust him with a cent. Tom lived at one end of the town and Parker at the other. It was a long way around, but to go across the harbour in a boat, it was much shorter. Tom went to Parker who was sometimes called the American Jew to buy some goods. He had as usual a lot of natives with him. Good morning, Mr. Parker. I have come to buy some goods. All right Tom, What do you want? Oh, a lot of things.
When Parker's attention was away, Tom sent a large case of tobacco down to the boat. It was taken across the harbour to Tom's son who knocked off the case which he put in the store. Tom kept Parker busy as long as he could. He bought his goods, a lot of goods and tobacco. At last he said, Well, I think that is all for this time. How much is it? Parker made out the bill. So much is that? I am afraid I have not got quite enough money with me. But never mind I will pay for the other things but you must trust me for the tobacco. No, no Tom, you get no credit from me. Pay as you go. What, Mr. Parker?
After knowing me all this time, you won't trust me with the case of tobacco? That is the reason I know you too well to trust you. Oh, well then I must leave it I suppose a few days until I get the money. So he rolled it on one side, paid for the other goods, sent them down to the boat which had now returned.
He kept Parker talking as long as he could, then he started to walk home. As soon as he was gone, Parker started to clean up the store. There was a case of tobacco gone. After Tom he went. Tom had not hurried and Parker was at Tom's place as soon as himself. Now, Tom, Where is that case of tobacco? Case of tobacco, Mr. Parker, said Tom. In your store I suppose. You will not let me have it you know. Oh, but there is a case gone. Parker searched, of course he found nothing to identify the tobacco. So he left. When the story came out, everyone laughed, it was a good joke, but no one felt very sorry for Mr. Parker, the American Jew.
One other little story was told to me by Tom's daughter, the Frenchman's wife. The Roman Catholic Bishop or rather the Church owned a lot of cattle. Tom who was short of meat killed the cow and got found out. The Bishop complained to the Captain of the first French Man-of-War that came. Tom was arrested and taken on board and put in irons and was to be taken to Tahiti to be tried.
Just before the vessel sailed, the Bishop went on board. Tom, who was in irons crept to him, kissed his feet and begged in the name of all the saints for mercy. He said the devil must have tempted him and promised never to do such a thing again. He would be a good man for the future. The Bishop who was a very kind hearted man intercepted with the Captain who was very reluctant to let Tom go but at last he did so and Tom was free again. But as his daughter said, That was a narrow squeak for the old man.
Now, about Jack O'Brien or as he preferred to be called John Brine. He was a native of New South Wales. His father was sent out for the good of his country. Jack went to sea in a whaler and when quite a young man left on one of the Islands. He settled at Funafuti where he married the King's daughter. She had, I believe a good background.
There was a story about him that when the Peruvian slavers went to Funafuti, Jack and another man went on board. The Captain treated them very well, told them his business and asked their advice as to the best way of getting hold of some of the people. Said Jack, They want missionaries here, tell them this is the Missionaries' ship and invite them on board for a religious service. Then you can secure them. The Captain did so and made a pretty good haul. Jack went on shore with a good lot of trade and provisions and some say (to be inserted)......
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and Bristol, England. His father was a chief collector of customs for that port. So he told me his eldest brother was a shipbroker, another brother was in Fiji, rather well known there I believe. He himself, he said was a lawyer by profession and was managing clerk for a solicitor named Bear. He was married to a young woman who had an income of sixty pounds a year but she was so extravagant and bad tempered that he had to leave her. ..
He says, he was relieving officer for the parish of Edmonton near London. Perhaps he was, I don't know. After that, he found himself in Gibraltar hard up. A steamer came with orders to the shipping Master for a full crew for a vessel lying in lading and bound for Shanghai. George shipped as a steward, they all get one month's allowance, then are not allowed to go on shore, but we transferred from the steamer to the ship which sailed at once.
George had rather a bad time on board. He says, Do what he would, he could not please the Captain. I suppose he could not do his work properly. When they got to Shanghai, he was discharged. He had a bad time when he tried to get employment at every merchant's office in Shanghai. So he had to try for a situation as accountant, bookkeeper or clerk. No use, they all told him the same. No chance for a stranger without recommendations in Shanghai and advised him to leave. He told them he could not leave as he had no money.
They, everyone gave him an order to go to the consul for a few dollars, some more some less. Some also gave him clothes, so when he had finished the round, he had a good stock of clothes and a good few dollars. But instead of leaving, he got drunk and was hauled up before the consul drunk and incapable. The consul heard his story and dismissed him with a caution. In a few days, he was there again. What charge? Drunk and disorderly.
The consul asked for no defense but said forty days. I beg pardon, sir but I had money. I would rather pay a fine. Forty days, sir, repeated the consul. So poor George was lugged off to Chokee. He told me he never had better time in his life than in Shanghai jail. Nothing to do but smoke and read the papers and to use his own words, they lived like fighting cocks. When his time was done, instead of having another run around as he expected, he was taken by the police and shipped for Hong Kong.
They did not say, Will you or won't you but packed him off. It did not take him long to spend his money in Hong Kong. Then he tried the same dodge as in Shanghai. No use, the Hong Kong merchants were not so generous. He did not get a cent. Hearing there were vacancies in the police, he applied for a billet. He was examined by the doctor who said, You are rather small but appear to be strong and healthy, I will pass you.
George was now a Hong Kong policeman. But in about a month, he got discharged for getting drunk. After a bit, he got a chance to work his passage home in a mail steamer. He said he had forgotten the name of the ship but there was a great man on board, a general who had been a Governor in one of the Provinces in India.
Doing no good in London, he then went to Australia. Not being able to get work to suit him in Sydney, he went to a storekeeper named Dean who had a schooner trading to the New Hebrides. Mr. Dean listened very kindly to his story and then introduced him to the Captain of the schooner, a half-caste who brought him to the island and put him to trade. At Tanna, he could not get along with the people there and at last they finished him off.
After knocking about New Caledonia and other places for some time, he got back to Sydney where he went to see Captain Dailey who was then trading to the Gilbert and Marshall Groups. Dailey said, Well, you can come on board and make yourself useful and I will find you something to do at the Islands. He was nearly four months on board, then Dailey put him on shore at Abaiang to trade. He was there when I was there with Hayes, the latter part of l872. I did not see him but Hayes did. He got along no better here than he did at Tanna. One fellow, George said he was the same. That afterwards he killed Mr. Keys, threatened his life several times.
When Hayes went to see him next voyage, he asked, Have you seen anything of Dailey? He is much behind this time. Said Hayes, You are not likely to see Dailey again, he went to jail for killing his cook. If he does not get hung, he is sure of a long term of imprisonment. George knew that Dailey did ill-use the cook so he believed Hayes. But what am I to do? Well, the best thing you can do is to sell out to me, I believe. But would that be right? said George. Yes, your life is in danger here. Come with me, I will put you on a good Missionary Island, Nui in the Ellice Group.
You will be as safe there as in your mother's arms and if you are careful, in a few years you can make a fortune. So he left Hayes have everything except his provisions, he kept that to take on shore at Nui, so he thought. He was nearly three months with Hayes when they got to Nui. It was too rough to land so he came on to Nukufetau. Hayes said, it is no use you going to Samoa, I will land you here and if you do not like the place, I will take you to Nui when I return. I have not much trade to give you but I shall be back in two months with plenty.
So he gave him a few pieces of cloth, a few shirts, no hardware, no tobacco, not a smoke for himself. How about provisions? Said George. I have none for myself, said Hayes. Well, I must get along with what I have. Hayes said nothing but the mate laughed. George hunted around and made inquiries. No one knew anything about them. Hayes said, I suppose that a damned Chinaman had used them, just like him but no matter.
I will make it good when I come back. Yes! But what am I to eat in the meantime? Eat, said Hayes? Nukufetau is the garden of the Pacific. Plenty of breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas, in fact everything a man needs. Besides, there is a friend of mine on shore trading for the Germans. Give an order from me and he will let you have anything you want.
Hayes came and saw me and told me if I let his man have a little tobacco, he would pay me when he came back. He is a good bit in my debt but I cannot let him be without a smoke. I will let you have a little for your own use. Then he said, You have a wife. But did you bring her here. No, she is Nukufetau woman. Did you have much trouble in getting her? Oh, no. I asked her to be my wife. She said, Yes. But if you take my advice you will not be in a hurry. Why not? Because if you are in a hurry, they may hang back. But he did not take my advice. He never did.
The people told me, they used to put on clean clothes and parade before the school every morning whistling and singing to draw attention to himself. If they came out, he would shake hands, touch them on the head, then touch himself and signify he wanted a wife. Then they would all laugh. However, at last old Jemima, she was a young girl then accepted him. I believe if she had been properly treated, she would have turned out all right. But he told her, Never have a child. She was very scaly and he thought scrubbing would take it off.
So every day, he got a large tub full of water and soap and insisted on scrubbing her himself. She did not like it and the other girls all laughed at her. I do not suppose the scrubbing done her any harm, quite the reverse. But he did not cure the scales. Then, he was so jealous he would not allow her out of his sight. He almost quarrelled with me for giving my wife so much liberty, I told him to mind his own business. He said, I was setting a bad example and spoil any woman.
When Hayes came back, in about four months, he said to George, How much copra have you got? Three bags, said George. No more, how is that? I had no suitable trade. Well, where is my trade? Most of it is gone. Gone where? Well you gave me no provisions and I had to live. Oh! well you had better pack up and come on board. I have brought back Tahiti Bob, his wife belongs here. Perhaps, he will do better. How about my wife? Oh! Bring her on board. Of course, I will take you to Nui as we agreed. Next morning, Tahiti Bob came ashore and George and Jemima went on board.
Hayes was very kind and invited him into the cabin and brought out a bottle of gin and said, You know I do not drink gin myself but that is no reason you should not help yourself. Then he poured out a liberal nip which George disposed off. Presently Hayes pretended to hear himself called. Hello, I am coming, he said. Excuse me George, I must go on deck. But do not spare the bottle. There is plenty more where that came from. Then he went on deck, instead of going forward, he touched Bill Hicks, the Fiji half-caste who was second mate on the shoulder and they went and peeped down the skylight.
George got up and looked around, then he filled the tumbler with gin, drank it off, filled another good nip and sat down. Hayes laughed and went forward. In about half-an-hour he went below. There was George under the table, the bottle almost empty. He called a couple of men who carried George up and laid him down on he main hatch. Hayes hen took Jemima by the hand and led her below.
She said afterwards, as soon as they got in the cabin, Hayes shut the door, downed her on the sofa and so forth. George who wore no trousers had kicked his sulu, it was exposed to public view. The mate, a German named Hansen (or Nansen) had been doing something with a pot of cold tar and brush came along and playfully put a little dab of tar on George's person. Hayes who had finished amusing himself with Jemima said, Damn it all, do it properly. So he took the brush and painted poor George, his belly, thighs, backside and all, rubbing it well in.
He then called Bill Hicks and said, Take two men in the boat and put that fellow on shore. Chuck him on the beach anywhere. He is a disgrace to the ship. Jemima picked up her little box, George's stuff Hayes detained. About four o'clock, a boy came and told me George was lying on the beach dead, Hayes had killed him. I went and looked but he was only dead drunk and in a nice mess. I told the natives to carry him to his house. Tahiti Bob said, He does not come to my house, that house is mine now. But if you leave him in the hot sun, he will die. I don't care a damn if he dies. Hayes told me not to let him come there.
After a bit, I persuaded Jemima's father to take him to his house and went home. Bill Hicks was there waiting to tell all about it. He seemed to think it a good joke. As soon as the boat got back, the brig got under way and that was the last I saw of her. Hayes lost that trip at Strongs Island.
Next afternoon, George came to me. He was in a pitiable state. He had cleaned himself as well as he could with oil but the tar had taken the skin off in several places. He begged me for God's sake to give a glass of grog. I said, You know I have no grog. He said, He thought I got some from Hayes. I got nothing from Hayes, I told him. I gave him a few doses of painkiller which put him right in a few days. He said, Hayes drugged him. I know Hayes was quite capable of doing so or worse if necessary, but in George's case there was no need for drugs.
I forgot to tell you that Hayes paid me for the tobacco I let George have. It was only nine shillings but I did not expect to get it. George soon quarrelled with his father-in-law. He had tried to boss the whole family and the old man had told him to leave. So they got a place of their own.
There was a man staying on the Island who said his name was Diamond. Captain Fairy? landed him from the schooner "Ida". He and George could not agree at all. This Dick was very fond of fishing, he and a lad named Timotheo were out almost every day and sometimes done very well. When they did, Dick always divided his fish with me, George and himself. One day, Timotheo could not go so Dick went to George and said, Let us go fishing. George said, Not I, I do not care about going out in the hot sun. It is no hotter for you than me. You like to eat fish don't you. Yes, but I do like them brought to me. Do you, said Dick. Then I will be damned before any more of mine are brought to you.
The latter end of 1874 or early in 1875 H.M.S. "Posario" came to Nukufetau, I forget the Captain's name, they were looking for Hayes. Dick went on board. She did not come into the harbour, he knew nothing of Hayes, but told the Captain there was a man on shore who had been with him. So the Captain came on his boat to see me.
I told him what I knew of Hayes. He asked, Where I thought he would find him. I said, if you do not find him in the Marshall Group, you will mostly likely do so at Strongs Island or Providence Island. We were there when the Man-of-War from China was looking for him a short time ago. Then George came in, he told a long story about the time he was taken on board Dailey's vessel without pay.
Then he was left at Abaiang in danger of his life. How he had sold out to Hayes and how Hayes had treated him. The Captain listened very patiently taking notes. When George had finished, he said, Well from your own story, it appears that you were hard up in Sydney and Mr. Dailey very kindly took you on board and found you a place to trade and that you took the first chance you got to rob him and leave.
Perhaps, if I heard Mr. Dailey's story, it would look worse, I do not see that I can do anything for you and so dismissed him. The Captain then asked me how I was getting on here, I told him I was short of everything but that I expected a vessel every day then I would get fresh supplies. How are you off for tobacco? Quite out, I said. There is not a smoke on the Island. He then asked Dick, Are you going on board again? Yes, said Dick. Then said the Captain, I will send you a little tobacco to go on with. I thanked him and said 'Goodbye".
When Dick came back, he brought two or three lbs. Tobacco which he divided between George and himself. I said, Where is mine? Oh, said he, You don't smoke. No matter, the tobacco was sent for me. You might at least have offered to me my share. Dick who was very generous when he had anything was soon out again.
He was in my house one morning having a cup of tea when he said, What do you do with your tealeaves? Throw them away, of course. Don't throw any more away, Give them to me to smoke. A few days after, George came in. What smoking? Said he. I thought you had no tobacco? Well, I have not. I am smoking tealeaves. Are they any good? Well, they are better than nothing. Let me try it. So he had a smoke. Then to me, Don't give all the leaves to Dick, give me some. I said, I am almost out of tea, but as long as it last, you shall have them one day and dig the other. A few days after this, Dick went to George's house.
George was smoking tobacco. Dick smelled it. What? Smoking tobacco, where did you get it? Oh, I have tobacco, I take care of mine. Well, said Dick, you must be a mean son-of-bitch, I shared with you and you even begrudged me the tealeaves. Well, you should take care of your tobacco as I do. Everyone for himself these times.
This was too much for Dick. He pitched into George and they had a rough and tumble on the floor. As Dick got the best of it, George complained to the Faipule. At night, they sent for me. I said, Why did you send for me? I know nothing about the row, I was not there. Yes, we know that, but we want you to see what we do. So I sat down. George told his story at great length. When he was done, they said, Now Dick, you talk. Dick began, but George contradicted him, he would allow no one to talk but himself.
The Faipule said, Stop talking, we heard you now let us hear Dick. No use, he said he was a lawyer, gave his version of the English law. They said, We don't want to hear that, this is Nukufetau, we have our own laws and if you do not stop, we will make you fast. No use, he would talk, so at last they dismissed the case and bundled George out. Then they told Dick quietly that fighting was tabu and if he'd done it again they must punish him so they let him go home.
Then George was always quarrelling with his father-in-law about food. No doubt he was often hungry and so were all the rest of the family. The old man and Jemima used to work the land together. When they brought home the food, the old man would give Jemima what he thought a fair share and keep the rest for the family.
There was a boy and three girls all too small to do much work. George told me about it and asked what to do. You expect the old man to be bound to feed you. He said, Jemima does most of the work. I want him to bring all the food to my house and let me take what I want and the young ones to take what is left. I said, You cannot expect him to do that. He said, Why not. Jemima does most of the work and she is the eldest and I am a white man so we ought to have the best of it.
One day the food came as usual. He thought it was not a fair share so he threw the basket at the old man. Then the old man said, He would give him no more. George said, then he would go and help himself. So when he got hungry, he told Jemima to tell the old man to fetch some grub. He refused. Then George went to get some himself but he made a mistake. Instead of going to Jemima's land, he went to a neighbour's.
Then there was a row, then he wanted some nuts. So he ordered some boys to climb, they refused. They were afraid so he said, Well I will climb myself. I want nuts and I will have some. There was a low tree that leaned so George managed to scramble up but then he tried to pull the nuts down. He came down and broke the small bone of his arm.
He went to Sapolu the Samoan Missionary who told him he was not a doctor. Go to Lasalo, he understands that business so George went to the native doctor who tried to set the bone. No doubt he was a rough surgeon. George could not stand it. He said, Leave me alone you hurt me too much. I will do for it myself. So he came to me and got some painkiller, bathed his arm and got Jemima to bind it up. It got well but the bone, not being set, his arm was not straight and always stiff.
One day Jemima was away too long so he made a sort of whip. It was a stick with 4 or 5 shingle of stout fishing line with knots. He came to my house, I said, What have you got there? He said, Jemima will soon find out what it is. You should get one for your woman. I said, I think we can get along without that. Can't we Litia, she laughed. But where is Jemima? he said. She is not here, I said.
He pushed past me, went in the bedroom. I said, Can't you believe me. She is not here. Then where is she? Go to the devil and look for her, I said now very angry. He went away and found her in her Father's house talking and laughing with her sisters and some women. He began to use his whip on her. Her cousin named Samasoni said, Stop flogging that woman. George said, I will flog her as much as I like and if you interfere, I will flog you too.
George was rather a small man, Samasoni one of the biggest men on the Island. He laid one hand on George's shoulder, gave him a shake, laughed and let him go. George made his complaint to the Faipule. Some of them had seen, so they said, Go away, do not trouble us about such nonsense. George had always threatened that if Jemima ever went astray, he would kill both her and the man.
One night he had been beating her for something and she was lying alongside of a canoe crying when Timotheo who was also her cousin came and laid down beside her and comforted her in his own way. George did not catch them but came in time to see him going away. He took her in the house and threatened her. It was no use then, he changed his plan. He spoke kindly to her, I know you have done wrong but if you confess I will forgive you and say no more about it. Then she told him.
He came to me, told what had happened and asked my advice. I said, You say you promised. Oh, that is nothing. I only wanted to find out. Well, you can divorce her if you like, but think do you want to put her away altogether. If not, keep your word and say no more. But she must be punished, said George. But George never took advice. He went to the Faipule, made his complaint and got his dowry and insisted that they must be fined heavily. The Faipule said we fine the same as any one else, 5 dollars each, but George found out he had made a mistake when she left. Of course, her family would not feed him and had quarrelled with most of the people, so he soon got hungry. Then he went and begged her to come back to him.
At last, she went back very much against the wishes of all her family. Timetheo's family paid his fine at once after watching what they thought a reasonable fine. The Faipule told Jemima that unless she paid her fine at once it would be doubled, that was the Custom. They took nuts, food, cloth, anything they get.
So Jemima brought all her old nuts. Not half enough, she brought all her young nuts. Not enough, then she brought all her taro. More wanted, yet then she brought breadfruit. The fine was paid but George was hungry. He came to me. What do you think of the damn Faipule now? They have taken all our nuts and taro. Now they have taken most of the nokoako. This is rough on you, but you cannot blame them.
You insisted on her being fined. Then why do they forgive her? For Timetheo's fine is paid and if they let her off they would be angry. But what do they think I am going to eat. I don't suppose they care if you eat or not. It is all your own fault. Ah, you always stick up to niggers against the white man.
I thought George altogether wrong. If a man is to do it for his own profit, I think she has a right to do it for her own pleasure. I will tell you one case out of several that I have known of. When the schooner "Fogatapu" Captain Gunther came to Nukufetau, George went on board. He said to the mate, Shall you be on shore this evening? That depends. Can I get anything if I do come? Oh, yes. I can get you what you want. So he came on shore.
He was in my house when George came and said, Are you coming to my place? Oh, bye and bye. Come now, she is all ready. The mate laughed and said, So am I. He bid me goodnight and the next day after shipping my copra, I went on board to settle. At dinner, I said to the mate, Did you get what you wanted? He said, Yes. George gave me his own wife, he said.
When he got to the house, George said, Wait a bit, she is washing herself. Presently, he said, Go in now. I went in, when I came out I said, What is to pay? George said, Oh, give me half a dollar, that is the usual thing. So I gave it and he put it in his pocket. Well, said the Captain, that man is a disgrace to his colours. I do not want to see him on board my ship again.
There were other cases of the same kind, but I think one is enough to show the kind of man he was. A few days later, I got the half dollar for a sulu, it was enough to pay for it but he said it was all he had. Soon after, the "Rosario" left, my vessel came in and I got a fresh supply of goods.
George came and said, You have plenty of stuff now. Oh, just a little to go on with. Well, you let me have what I want on account and I will pay it when I get work. I laughed at him. Why do you not say you will at the day of judgement, I asked. Do you think I shall not get work? You may get work, but I do not think you are likely to get much advance. Well, will you see a white man die for want of a smoke? It's not quite so bad as that, said I.
The tobacco I had then was plugs, ten to the lb. so I said, Come or send every Saturday and I will give you two plugs. Two! That is short allowance. Then, if that is not enough, let Jemima make buckaws, I will buy all she makes. Haw! Do you think it is right for my wife to sit on her arse making mats to dry your copra? How would you like to see Litia do it? If we were hard up, I would rather see her do that than beg. Well, I will not allow my wife to do it. But he came for the two plugs until I left the islands.
He came to my house one day, picked up Litia's pipe and began to smoke. I was opening a nut for the child and a little of the water squirted on him. Mind what you are doing. That damn water went all over me. He I said, a little water would not hurt that shirt. But it stains. I laughed. Well, was wearing a shirt that had once been red but now with dirt and stains. It was hard to say what colour it was. It would be a shame to spoil that shirt. You may laugh but it is the only one I have.
I was sorry so I said, Well, in that case I will give you a new one. I had some very good Scotch so I offered him one of them. They were the best I had. Oh, said he, not that thing, that is like what they wear in work houses at home. Give me one of those regatta shirts. Why, this will outlast three of them. Never mind that I don't like it.
So the first that came to hand, I offered to him. Not that one. I will take this, picking out one of a gayer pattern. I let him have it. Litia said I was a fool. People who were poor should take what was given and be thankful. After that, my trousers were very old and I had none in stock. But I had some very stout unbleached sheeting so I cut out two pairs and made them up myself. Perhaps they were not very well made, but they were better than none at all.
George came in when I was at work on them. Ah, tailoring. Yes, I am. Try one to my size, he picked up a pair of trousers, the pair that was done. Ah, they will do very well. I wish I had a pair to wear when I go on board a ship. Well, I will give you enough cloth to make a pair, I said. Haw! But I do not like sewing, won't you make them for me? I will see you damned first, I offer you the cloth then you want me to make them. You have the cheek of the devil.
After a bit, he said, Well, I will take the cloth for a sulu. I hesitated a bit then I laughed and gave him a fathom. Litia was very angry with me for being such a fool. I do not think she was far wrong. He was one of the most ungrateful men I ever saw. He was running me down to Sapolu the Missionary one day. You should not say that, Alfred has been good to you. How has he been good to me? Well, he has given you a great many things. Jemima told me he has been very kind to you. I told Sapolu that everything I get from the ship I am charged for. Said he, I know that! Captain Blanch told me so.
In 1876, the Man-of-War schooner "Renard" Captain Pugh came to Nukufetau. I and George were on board. George told the Captain how poor he was and that he was often hungry. The Captain said, Fortunately I have a little spare. There are some split peas and oatmeal. Will they be any use to you? George thanked him. Next morning, the boat came on shore and the Coxswain came to my house with two men carrying a large case. It had a partition, one side was full of split peas and the other full of oatmeal. There was also a roll of tobacco. I said, That is for the other man, not me, I will send for him. Never mind, we will take it to his house, so I send a boy to show them the way.
A few days after, George was at my house. I said, You are all right now for a while? What do you mean by all right? Well, you won't be hungry. Oh, Well, it was damn mean not to send some beef. How would he like to eat peas or oatmeal alone. I said, it was very nice to send what he did and then there was a tobacco. Damned Fiji stuff. I suppose what he sent me altogether is worth here about two dollars. I said, I have not much money but I will give you five dollars for the lot and glad to get it. Haw! It would not be right to sell what is given to me.
In January 1876, the schooner "Welcome Home" Captain Evers owned by a Chinese firm came to Nukufetau and landed a Chinaman named Hi How to trade and make Beche-de-mer. George tried to make friends with him but he was rather distant to him. When he had been here a short time Hi How bought a large pig to salt. George who lived close to him said, Ah, You have got a fine pig. Are you going to kill it? I kill tomorrow, said Hi How. Do you know the law here about pigs? No, what law?
Well, you see I am very poor, not able to buy pigs. So the law is everyone that kills a pig must give me a leg. Hi How came to me. Mr. Alfred, I want to ask you something. All right, come in and sit down. What is the law about pigs here? I said, The big ones must be shut up. No, I mean when you kill one. I said, When a native kills a pig, he must send the Missionary a joint but this has nothing to do with you or I. We buy our own to do as we like with.
Then Hi How said, George says everyone must give him a leg. Nonsense, you can do as you like. Well, I don't mind giving him a piece but do not like to be compelled to do so. You can please yourself, I generally give him a piece. Well, I will do the same, I will send you some too. Thank you but I do not want any. I had plenty. Hi How killed his pig and send George not a leg but a piece of pork. Blood or guts I do not know what when he took it into his house, George came in and for shame sake, the Chinaman had to offer him some. Hi How did not tell me but the kanakas had plenty to say about it..
George had three chances to get away while I was on the Island. The first one was on the "Susanne". George was telling Captain Peters how Hayes had treated him and how anxious he was to get employment. The Captain said, I can not give you anything to do but if you like you can come on board and help to ship the copra on Nukufetau.
Then I will take you on to Samoa and introduce you to the Manager who will most likely find you something to do. If not in Samoa, perhaps trading somewhere else. Eh, but I cannot work, I have heart disease and the doctor said, I must not exert myself. Oh, said Peters, If you are sick you had better stay here until you are well. We do not want sick men on board.
The next was this. The brig E.R."Bateson" Captain Lessing on her way to the Marshall Group called at Nukufetau. As I and the Captain were acquainted, he came to see me. He said that Mr. Capelle wanted traders. Can you recommend this man George? I know nothing of him but what he told me.
George then came in, after talking a bit, Captain Lessing said, You had better come on board this evening. I sail early. Have you much to take with you? Only a small box and a bundle of mats, myself and Jemima. Jemima,said Lessing. Yes, my wife. You surely do not wish to part man and wife. Not at all, but I will not carry the woman. Captain Lessing had a wife and grown up daughters, he never would let a native woman on board if he could help it. So George lost that chance.
The last was this. A Mr. Moores of Fiji came here in a small labour vessel. George told him his troubles. He invited George on board. I will give you a passage to Fiji. No man who is willing to work hard is hungry there. How about my wife? Is she really your wife? I asked, because there are my full number of labour on board - but your wife would be counted as labour. Ah, yes we are legally married. Then bring her along. But am I to do when I get there? You will soon get something to do. But how am I to live until I do get work. I do not know, you must shift for yourself. I will give you a passage and then you must look out for yourself. Then I think I had better stay where I am. Mr.
Moores said to me, That man does not want work. I thought the same myself.
Jemima and George were always quarrelling. At last the Faipule said, Do not trouble us any more, if you fall out you must make up again. We will have no more to do with your quarrels. One evening Jemima was in my house talking and laughing. George had turned her out but I knew nothing of it. It was late and I said, Won't George be angry at your going back so late. I don't care if he is or not, said Jemima. Well, if you don't care it is all right.
After a while, I said if you won't come to George I am going to bed. So come and give me a turn. The house was full of women and they all had a laugh. Sapolu used to encourage the young people to tell him everything that was said and done on the Island. So he heard of this before they had done laughing.
A few days after this, they made up their quarrels. Jemima could keep nothing to herself, told him about it. He got up and went to Sapolu and said, I had been trying to corrupt Jemima I must be punished. Sapolu said, Why do you come to me? I am not a magistrate. If you have any complaints go to the Faipule. He went and told them. They also knew all about it, when he had done ha! ha! ha!
They laughed. But you must not laugh. It is a very bad thing. He then as usual told them about English law. One old man said, We do not want to hear about English law.
You know the Captain of the Man-of-War said, We must not interfere with white men. Another said, George you are a lawyer. Write to the consul at Samoa, perhaps he will send a Man-of-War to hang Alfred. Then he came to me and made a great fuss. He said, Do you think because I am under some slight obligation to you I will allow you to do as you like. I told him, everyone knew it was a joke. While I will not stand such jokes from you. I got angry and said, Go to the devil, don't make such a fool of yourself. You know very well if I wanted her I could get her at any time. Then he went away.
He would do anything for drink. When he schooner "Vavao" came, Captain Schluter brought a bottle of Coniac on shore. We had a drink then George came in. The Captain gave him a drink, he sat down. We waited some time but he showed no sign of moving. So the Captain who did not want to talk business before George asked me to take a walk. I did not think of putting away the bottle. When we came back, George was still there. But when we came in, he went out. I said, What the devil is this? Litia was outside. I said, Who has been at this bottle? I don't know I have been outside. Then she said, George drank it and filled the bottle with tea. Why did you let him do so? I did not set him. This boy has just told me.
I was going to see George and have it out with him but Captain Schluter said it is not worth talking about. It was a dear drink to George. The Captain was going to give him some provisions but now he got nothing. That was the time Sapolu complained and wanted me removed. So I wrote and asked to be taken away.
Then George got religion. He was at Sapolu's house and said, I am tired of living this wicked life, I want to come to church and be good. Sapolu said, Well Come, I shall be glad to see you there. Yes, said George. But I am ashamed, all the people put on clean clothes and I have none. If I had a white shirt, I would come. This was the time of the Alopa. That morning I had given Sapolu a white shirt out of the store. So he said, Do not let that hinder you, I will give you a shirt. So he handed him, the one I had given him.
George went to church several times. Then he told Sapolu, he wanted to be ekalesia. You must wait a little longer, said Sapolu. He had doubts about George's sincerity. A few weeks later, he admitted him. Then George went to the deacons and said, I am a full church member now. It is the custom amongst white men that if a church member is poor all the others help him, so you must not let me be hungry any more. They said, Go away now, we will talk it over.
So they had a talk and agreed not to let him be hungry. Sapolu said his religion was all togafiti. When George told what he had done, I laughed and said, I hoped it will last. Of course, it will last, do you think I am a damned hypocrite, he said.
About three months after, the "Vavao" left the "Welcome Home" came to take away Hi How. The little copra he got was not worth coming for. Captain Evers told me the "Vavao" was in Funafuti and was going to take me away. Faipule came and asked me to stay. I said, I feel they want me to go and I cannot make fools of the owners. I must go. Then they went to Sapolu. He said, Do not be afraid, I will tell the Captain, he must land another man. I will take care, there is plenty of trade here.
When the ship came, he sent for the Captain who said, If he wants me let him come to me. When he came, he said I hope you would land a good man this time. I will land no man at all, you had a good man and you have sent him away. We will never land another. Then George came, Are you going? Yes, you will have the Island to yourself now. But what am I to do for tobacco. The best you can, it is no business of mine. But you will surely not leave me without a smoke.
Before I go, I will give you a little, I said. After that I got no peace. He kept coming, Where is that tobacco? I told him I had a few little accounts to settle. Whatever is left, I will divide between you and Litia's father. Give it to me now. Perhaps, there will be none left. So I gave him two pounds and said if you had waited you would have got more. Well, you can give me some more. Bye and bye. So the old man got about three times as much as he would have got if George had been patient.
So I went to Nanumaga and left George here. I had been there when Williams came in the "Hagoloa'' Tarpaulin Captain, I asked him about how George was getting along. Said Tarpaulin, Mr. Williams gave him a chance and he had thrown it away. Then they told me about it. Williams had brought him to Niutao intending to give him trade there. When he arrived, Williams went on shore to get a house and arrange about trading, told the kanaka mate to keep the vessel of and on and told George to look out for things.
In the afternoon, Tarpaulin said, Come Williams something is wrong. Let us get on board. The ship was drifting away and they had a hard pull to catch her. When they got on board, there was George marching about drunk. He had taken a sheet from William's bed and was wearing it for a sulu. He was not only drunk himself but had made the kanakas drunk also. Tarpaulin was very angry and they went below there were several things missing from the cabin. They found them in George's chest and an old gin case.
After that, of course, said Williams, I will not trust him with trade. But as he has no other place to go to, I let him stay in the house I had hired. Next voyage, however let him have trade. Jack O'Brien and the Chinaman were in opposition to one another. They had got the price of copra up to two and a quarter cts.
George was only getting one and a half cts. Instead of letting them fight it out, the damned fool went in too and paid the same and of course got heavily in debt. Not doing any good in Nanumaga, I shifted to Nanumea, from there to Funafuti. Williams stood George as long as he could but seeing of doing better, it took George back to Nukufetau but gave him no trades. He had a Vaitupu native here, so George was as hard up as before.
I went to Funafuti July 1881. Williams and I were on very friendly terms. We were talking one evening about George. Williams said, The poor devil is awfully hard up, he offered to work for me for his grub. I think I will bring him here and put him in the store. I said, Do you need him? Well, you see, I have to be away sometimes and I do not like to leave Mrs. Williams alone. George owes me a lot of money. I will put him in the store, give him half wages and the other half will go to the reduction of his debt.
Williams brought him, but instead of reducing his debt, he increased it. Williams gave him and Jemima a house to live in close to the store. Anything George wanted, he took and charged himself. Looking over the books one day, Williams said, How is this George, your debt is getting bigger instead of smaller. Well, we must live and cannot go naked. Williams who was easy going said, No more. Soon after this he went away in the schooner, leaving Mrs. Williams in charge, but George was to look after the store.
One day, she went to the store for something. Here, what are doing in my store? If you want anything, ask me for it. I allow no one in there but myself. Do you know, who you are talking to, said she. Yes, I know very well, but I have got charge here and you more than any other woman shall interfere with me. She went out and George locked the door. George was partly right but he should have spoken civilly.
When Williams got back, George got the sack of course. But Williams sent him back to Nukufetau not quite so hard up as before. He and Jemima had some clothes, he had looked out for that. When Williams gave up business in the Gilbert Group, Sellisen took charge and gave George another chance. He would have given him trade on Nukufetau but the people did not like him. So he took him to Nanumaga and from there he went to Nanumea. As there was no other trader there, he'd done fairly well.
The last voyage Sellisen made, he did not take the copra on his way to the Gilbert Group but was to call on his way back. Before he came back, Henderson and Macfarlane's schooner came, so George sold out to them. They landed him at Nukufetau. When they returned from Auckland, they took him to Nanumaga where he failed.
He went on board one day and as usual drank too much. When they landed him that evening, the boat got capsized on the beach. They found George with the gunwale of the boat on his chest. He never recovered. Before he died, he made a verbal will in the presence of the Missionary giving everything to his wife, Jemima.
There was copra, trade and cash. I do not know how much, I have been told many different stories. Jemima herself does not know and an order on Henderson and Macfarlane for forty pounds. I did doubt the order myself but two white men, a German and a Dane both said it was all right for value received.
Jemima took passage to Nukufetau with Captain Koad, sold him the copra. It did not take long to get rid of what she had among her own people and others who loafed on her. When she presented the order Ben Hird who was supercargo of the "Archers" read it and said, Ah, that is no good and tore it up and threw it overboard. Perhaps he was right, but he it certainly looks bad. If it was worthless, why destroy it.
Most of the labouring men in the Colony were old hands, that is men who had been prisoners so that the men had hard orders not to go to the men's hut. This made them want to go all the more. They were a rough lot from what Louis told me. One old fellow, the cook, must have been a terrible old rascal. He used to amuse himself and the boys by telling them very naughty stories. Louis told me some of them, they are not fit to write. When quite young, he and one of his brothers went to California to try their luck there. They were not successful but saw a good bit of the country. From there they got to Honolulu, from there to Samoa.
When I was there Christmas of 1872, Louis was clerk in Mrs. Macfarlane's store. His brother held the same position in Captain Turnbull's store. I do not know how long how long they had been there then but Louis spoke the language frequently, that is as frequently as he did English. Anyone who knows Louis will know what I mean by that. Mrs. Macfarlane had a ketch that she was trying to sell.
Not being able to sell her to advantage in Samoa, Hayes tried to persuade her to let him have her. He said, He could sell her for a good price to some of the native Kings in the Marshall Group. Although Mrs. Macfarlane was on very good terms with Hayes, she was not fool enough to trust him with the vessel. But she sent her to the Islands.
A German, I forget his right name, but he was generally known as Old Tarpaulin was Captain. Black Tom was cook and Louis Beck was a sort of supercargo with power of attorney to sell the ketch. But he had strict orders not to part with her until he got the money. On the way down, Black Tom said Mr. Beck, is you a navigator? Not exactly, but I suppose I could find my way about the Island. That will do, now look here Mr. Beck, let us put tarpaulin on shore somewhere and clear off with the ketch to Guam or somewhere.
You damned black scoundrel, what do you take me for, said Louis. If you ever dare mention such a thing to me again, I will put you on shore on the worst Island we can find. Oh, Mr. Beck, that was only my silly joke. Nobody takes notice of Old Black Tom's jokes. Then let us have no more of that kind of joke, said Louis. They got to the rendezvous all right but Hayes was not there. They waited for him until their provisions were nearly gone. Then Louis sent the vessel back to Samoa, but stayed there himself.
When at last Hayes came, Louis went on board and stayed with Hayes until the brig was lost on Strongs Island. It was only a short time when the Captain arrived at Strong Island looking for Hayes. He made his escape, but the Captain arrested Louis Beck who had foolishly said he was supercargo. Hayes no doubt made use of Louis as he did of everyone else.
He was too great a rogue to trust anyone, however. The Captain took him to Sydney where he was examined like Commodore Goodenough. He told the truth, he was only a passenger and had nothing to do with the old man's eccentricities as Alward called them. As to going on shore armed, Louis explained that it was not safe to go without armed in some places. Nonsense! said the Commodore. I will go on shore unarmed on the worst Island in the Pacific. Excuse me sir, said Louis but you may do that once too often. He did, for he was killed on Santa Cruz.
As there was no evidence against Louis, he was discharged. He went on to North Queensland and joined the native police. From what he told me, they were rough on the blacks, by all accounts they deserved all they got. They were a rough lot. Leaving that, he got back to Sydney where he fell in with Tom De Wolfe who had two schooners trading for the Islands. He agreed with him to come to the Ellice Group to trade.
He came down in the same vessel with De Wolfe. Louis did not speak very well of De Wolfe. At Funafuti, De Wolfe stayed a while, Louis came on and was landed at Nanumaga by McKenzie the supercargo. I was then trading at Nanumaga. One day, the natives said a ship was in sight. After a while, they said it was not a ship but two canoes from Nanumea.
When they arrived, in the first was Sapola, the Samoan Missionary from Nukufetau, his wife and Louis Beck. They said, they were on a visit. Louis said to me, he was looking for a wife. Are there not plenty of women at Nanumaga? I asked him. Plenty. But as they would not let me have the girl I wanted, I will have none of them. He proposed to two or three but the people said they were quite willing to give their daughters to white men on the Island, they would not allow strangers they knew nothing about to take them away.
After a few days, they wanted to go, but the people would not allow them to leave until they got a steady fair wind. They said, We are afraid you will be lost. Louis was in my house most of the time. He was first rate company, a good storyteller or as poor Jack Buckland put it, Louis Beck was a first class liar. After about two weeks they started with a fair wind and got home all right. That was the last I saw of Louis Beck. But I heard of him in 1881.
I went to Funafuti to trade. George Henderson was there. He told me that De Wolfe had given up the Ellice Group and that Louis Beck had sold it to Henderson and Macfarlane. I was then at Nukufetau awaiting the return of the schooner from Auckland. He was at Nukufetau about nine months and got married to a young girl or more properly speaking a child named Meria. She is what they called a middle aged woman now with a large family.
When the "Orwell" schooner, Captain Robinson came from Auckland, he left Nukufetau with the intention, I believe of going to the Marshall Group. But the schooner was lost on one of the Gilbert Islands. The next I heard of him was that he was trading at New Guinea for a man named Farrell who being a good bit over his time and Louis being out of trade and provisions, he sold out and returned to Sydney.
Then he traded for Henderson and Macfarlane, I believe on Savage Island. Then, being hard up in Sydney, he went to work on the Government relief works, clearing land on contract at the very liberal wages the Government was paying. A strong man used to that kind of work, might perhaps have earned his tucker but Louis could not earn his. Being on good terms with the proprietor of the bulletin and telling some of his stories, the newspaper man said, You write some of these stories and you tell them, perhaps I could make use of them. Louis did so and they caught on.
Since then, I hear he had become a regular author and made lots of money. I hope it is true. He was a first rate fellow but no good as a trader. He was too generous, he would give away a fortune if he had it, especially to the girls. I believe most of his stories are founded on facts. Some of them however have a very small foundation, but he writes his stories to sell and the public does not care for the bare facts, they want to be amused.
End of Part Two
to Part One of the Alfred Restieaux Manuscripts
For further information about my dear great grandfather Alfred Restieaux, please check out the following by Wikipedia:
Once in a while one wonders
What your life was all about
From a land so far you started to roam
And never once did you ever go home.
You were but a lad when you went to sea
To Australia, America and the Pacific Isles
In search of excitement and adventure
Across those vast and distant miles.
Why you started to wander we will never know
Did the lure of the Pacific Islands not let you go?
Perhaps your home was somehow amiss?
These are the things that we can only guess.
The places you saw on your worldwide jaunt
Perhaps your memory would always haunt
So you died away on a distant shore
Among the family that you did adore.
The sweet memory of you will always remain
Where the sea breezes blow with gentle refrain
And gentle waves lap on sandy shores
You will be remembered forever more.
Yet we still wonder about your life
The things you did and what you were like
Perhaps one day our souls will meet
And all will be told at the end of the street.
to Part One of the Alfred Restieaux Manuscripts