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One day we went to Ferrel's Landing, just below St. Marie's, and near the headwaters of the St. Joe river, and found there a Swiss colony, and we were surprised when they told us in broken French that the Swiss were the first white people to settle permanently on the St. Joe.

"Henri Rochet came to America twentysix years ago," they said, "and after searching everywhere for a suitable spot for us to locate, selected this because it looked more like Switzerland than any place he had found in America."

With our skookum tilicum tilicum (good friend) Indian Pete as guide, we mounted our ponies, which he had secured for us, and early one morning went for a trip. through the Indian Reservation. We passed through the great white pine belt where the trees are so high that in trying to see to the tops of them, we almost fell off our horses. Many of these trees, we were told, are over three hundred feet high, and we could easily believe it.

We visited an old Indian called Nees, who displayed with grim pride fourteen. scalps of white men, one, of which he is specially proud, is a red-haired scalp. We

shuddered, and mounting our horses, rode a bit faster, scarcely speaking a word on the way home. That night as we sat on our little veranda in the shimmering moonlight, we were apprehensive of every skulking shadow as we watched the moonbeams break into a thousand facets resembling a mint of new-made gold. The forest fires, ever present in this region, added to the weirdness of the scene, giving the impression of writhing dragons rising from the inky depths of the forest. Only the friendly lights along the river banks peeping forth from some neighboring camp, gave one reassurance in such a mood.

One of the things which we enjoyed most was climbing the mountain peaks and watching the glorious sunsets. If one has not seen a sunset in the Selkirks (for so the Government has named these mountains) he has been deprived of one of Nature's richest offerings.

Even in our brief sojourn here we felt that we had thoroughly rested our mental machines, and that we had gotten very close to the great heart of Nature and felt her throbbing pulse.



O Dear Fair Golden Sun, Sole Light of Day, Sink not away; sink not away!

O Pale Immaculate Moon. Rare Soul of Night, Hide not thy light; hide not thy light!

One Star of my life, O Radiant Love of mine, For me still shine, for me still shine!




AST JULY it was my fortune to visit Tahiti, an island in the South Pacific belonging to France, the largest of the Society Islands and adjoining groups. After a twelve days' voyage from San Francisco we reached twenty degrees south latitude, where lies Tahiti, in the heart of the tropics.

An Englishman, Captain Wallis, was the first white man to make Tahiti known to the world. He reached this island in 1767. Two years later that intrepid sailor, Captain Cook, made his first visit, and thereafter until his death frequently visited the island. From that time on, British influence was paramount in Tahiti until 1842. Then while the British Government was temporarily in the hands of an anti-expansion party, France took occasion to avenge ill-treatment accorded two French priests and sent a man-o'-war to Tahiti. The French captain established a protectorate over this and other islands. In the natural course of events the protectorate ripened into annexation to France.

Tahiti is only thirty miles long and yet is so mountainous that its highest peak reaches nearly eight thousand feet above sea-level. Many ages ago a great continent existed in the South Seas. To-day the ancient mountain peaks, aided by the formation of coral, barely raise their heads above water. But Tahiti is a product of a recent geologic age. Its rugged character and deep ravines. mark the youthful isle, not yet worn down by the erosion of old age. As if to testify to its As if to testify to its youth, it is covered even on the perpendicular ravines with a rich green tropical foliage. The very atmosphere seems to breathe the love of the tropics, which Kipling's poetry has interpreted to us. Off to the right lies another large island, Moorea, smaller than Tahiti, but even more

impressive in jagged outline. If a giant could fall from the skies upon Moorea he would be impaled in a dozen places upon its saw-like mountain peaks.

Only a few hundred feet from the shore at Papeete, Tahiti, we passed tiny little Motu-Uta, half a stone's throw long. Here a French gentleman made his home, until swept to eternity a few years ago by a tidal wave.

The great event of every month in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, is the arrival of the Mariposa from San Francisco. Not only does she bring new faces and freight, but also the news of the outside world. No cable comes to Tahiti. What the Mariposa fails to tell, the two New Zealand boats, arriving about the same time, supply.

The most celebrated hostelry in the South Seas is that of Madame Lovina in Papeete. To partake of her hospitality is as much a privilege as a convenience. Comfortably located at Madame Lovina's, one may make several interesting one-day excursions in and about Papeete. Once a number of us chartered a boat for a twenty-five mile voyage to Opunohu Bay on the opposite side of the island of Moorea. We had been enamored of the beauty of Tahiti, but we voted Moorea even more beautiful. Another day with two others I went to Loti's Pool, made famous by Pierre Loti in his "Rarahu." Pressing on up the narrow, steep-sided but ever canyon, we climbed to the top of Fautaua Falls, a column of water three feet wide, falling seven hundred feet amidst chantingly beautiful surroundings. I also saw much of Papeete itself at a time when it was at its best, for this was the season of the native fiesta and the celebration of the French national holiday, the Fourteenth of July.


The most interesting experience in Papeete came or the night of the 13th of July, the night that may be likened to

our "night before the Fourth." People were out to enjoy themselves, but there was none of the fireworks that form so inseparable a part of our national holiday and its night before. The feature of the occasion was the "himeme" contest and the "hula-hula" dancing held in the public square.

The word "himeme" comes from the English word "hymn," but the natives had "himenes," under a different name, long before the arrival of the white man. They are not hymns in our sense of the word, but have come to include any kind of song. The usual type is the song in chorus telling of the deeds of ancient heroes. Different villages in fiesta time send choruses to Papeete to compete. The music is beautifully harmonious and melodious, although altogether different from ours. It is in a minor key, and has one accordion-like note running through it all, along with the variations of the leaders. The chorus seems to be highly trained, but we found out later that it was due more to their genius for music than to any particular training, that this effect is produced. One person, sometimes a man, quite as often a woman, leads for each song. This person may sing anything that comes into his head, and the rest fall in as the harmony may require. The whole chorus except the leaders remain seated. The base singers are very interesting. They give two grunts (Ugh! Ugh!) swaying their bodies to one side and then the other; then they bow to the ground and make the accordion-like sound. This they repeat throughout the


The "hula-hula" had for its feature the highly suggestive dancing of some women. But there was more to it than that. Tahitian dancing differs from ours in that there is no sliding or scuffing of feet, but great agility of body, and clever movements performed in unison. These dances. look as if they were gotten up for each particular occasion, but really have a set form, which has existed for years. except as modified by Governmental mandate.

Another feature of the evening was the crowd itself. There is a difference of opinion as to whether native Tahitian girls may be called beautiful, but when native blood mingles with French, all agree that

the product is often a wondrously beautiful girl.

Papeete is altogether unlike any city or town in America or Europe. In many respects. it is nothing but a village. It has a population of five thousand, of whom less than one in ten is white. The rest are of the dark-skinned Malay or Maori


The majority of the houses are unpainted, or poorly painted one or twostory shacks. Retail business is largely in the hands of Chinese, with their general merchandise stores, while there is a small sprinkling of European or American wholesale interests. The streets are narrow, rather ill-kept, and wander at will. about the town. But for all this, there is that air of the metropolis about Papeete. It has all the importance of being the administrative capital of the French Pacific. It is the social center of the islands, the connecting link between them and the world.

When I decided to visit Tahiti, I had planned on a trip around the island by the "ninety-mile road." The Oceanic Steamship Company pamphlets had spoken of such a trip as being a four-day carriage. drive. Men on board who knew Tahiti laughed at that: it would be possible to get around in four days if the rivers were not full of water, but if they were, I would be lucky to do it in a week. Being unable to hire a bicycle, I determined to walk. I found my companion in Roy Parkes, of Pasadena, a young fellow in the twenties, and an ideal fellow-traveler.


It was not without some that we set out on our walk around the island. In the first place, we were missing something worth seeing. In order to ensure our return in time to sail on the Mariposa on the 19th, we had to leave on the 14th of July. Also, the native fiesta had three days yet to run. A German cruiser had just come in to lend its officers to the general gaiety that held Papeete enthralled. Moreover, we were in a foreign land, and could speak neither Tahitian nor French. We were told that there were no hotels; a slender population, almost wholly Maori; and well-nigh impassable rivers. But people were unanimous in speaking of the honesty, good-nature and generosity of the natives. Alto


gether, we did not know what we might be "up against."

Fearing the heat, we reduced our equipment to the minimum. Shoes, socks, khaki trousers, an outing shirt and hat, completed our wearing apparel. A tiny valise sufficed for our cameras and a few small articles.

As English is not understood by the natives, I added a limited vocabulary of native words. By "ma-a" we hoped to get "food" by "hotera," a hotel, a word we did not use after the first day. "To-oto" meant "sleep" and to complete our necessary vacabulary we had a "ehia muni," "how much money." To this list may be added "Iaorana" (yo-rah-nah.) This convenient word stands for any and all the forms or greeting and parting in the English language. It has more frequent use than salutations in our language, for it is the custom of the road to speak in passing. Parkes and I must have used that word "Iaorana" a thousand times apiece in our walk. Our slight vocal effort was more than repaid by a thousand golden smiles with accompanying "Iaoranas."

Tahiti is in the shape of a figure eight, with Papeete at the head of the larger loop. The Isthmus of Taravao, only a mile wide at its narrowest, is the connecting link between the two loops. All the way around the island, except for a few miles on the lower loop between Taiarapu and Pari, there is a road built by the French Government. This is popularly called ninety miles long, but as a matter of fact it is over a hundred. The road is a good rock-bedded one, about carriage width. The precipitous character of the island restricts the course of the road to the ocean side. Nor is there any climbing by this road. In some places cliff walls at the water's edge have been cut to make way for it. There are mountains and cliffs on the one side, the ocean, the distant coral-reefs and the beating surf or the quiet lagoon on the other. Fully half the time our road was a shaded avenue, and never were we without a view of luxuriant tropical foliage. Parasitic vines grow in such profusion that portions of the forest are sometimes impenetrable. Yet so rich is the soil and so bountiful the water supply that the fruit trees grow

ing wild yield several crops a year despite entwining vines. Many are the unfamiliar plants and trees along the road, but there is one that stands pre-eminent in beauty, number and utility, not only in Tahiti, but throughout the South Sea Islandsthe fronded cocoanut palm.

The cocoanut palm grows best along sandy beaches, often taking root from a single cocoanut which has been washed hundreds of miles perhaps across the sea. As a result, the whole coastline, wherever there is a foothold, and the outlying islands, are lined with cocoanut trees, some leaning this way, others that, lifting their leafy fronds a hundred feet or more in air. Through these trees, one peeps at the incomparable coloring of the ocean, at the reefs and little islands: and above them one sees the great white clouds with their occasional deep blue openings. If this island is not Paradise, it certainly looks as if heaven were not far away.

To the practical mind the beauty of the cocoanut palm is in nowise lessened by contemplation of its utility. The cocoanut furnishes food and drink to the natives, not the kind of cocoanut that we in America are used to, for the milk of the cocoanut that we buy is only sugar and water put in to preserve the pulp, and the pulp is hard. The real cocoanut milk is delicious, and the pulp is soft and dainty, a food to allure an epicurean. Of course, numbers of cocoanuts are shipped away, but this use of the cocoanut is insignificant compared to its use in making copra. The cocoanuts are halved and strung on a sheet of wire netting about six feet high by a hundred feet long, perpendicular to the ground. Here they are left until the cocoanut pulp dries. We saw many of these cocoanut covered wires, looking from a distance as if some savage chief had conquered a hostile tribe, and had hung up the skulls as trophies. The copra is sent to America, where it is made over into valuable oils and soap.

Parkes and I started from Lovina's at ten. Our first objective was Point Venus, six miles to the eastward. It was at this point in Matavai Bay that Captain Cook first landed in Tahiti. Here also he made his famous observation of the transit of Venus. A monument now commemorates this fact. An even more practical monu

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