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By the time we had reached the headland, the savages were spread right across our course. Our rowers got out their knives and held them ready between their teeth, and I seized the boat-hook. We were all aware that if they succeeded in intercepting us they would practise upon us the manoeuvre which has proved so fatal to many a boat鈥檚 crew in these seas. They would grapple the oars, and seizing hold of the gunwhale, capsize the boat, and then we should be entirely at their mercy..
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Songs
But perhaps there was nothing about the scenery I beheld more impressive than those silent cascades, whose slender threads of water, after leaping down the steep cliffs, were lost amidst the rich herbage of the valley..
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CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX?
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Short stories
Of this interesting group, but little account has ever been given, if we except the slight mention made of them in the sketches of South-Sea voyages. Cook, in his repeated circumnavigations of the globe, barely touched at their shores; and all that we know about them is from a few general narratives.!
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Word games
This old rover having retired from active life, had resided in Nukuheva some time鈥攃ould speak the language, and for that reason was frequently employed by the French as an interpreter. He was an arrant old gossip too; for ever coming off in his canoe to the ships in the bay, and regaling their crews with choice little morsels of court scandal鈥攕uch, for instance, as a shameful intrigue of his majesty with a Happar damsel, a public dancer at the feasts鈥攁nd otherwise relating some incredible tales about the Marquesas generally. I remember in particular his telling the Dolly鈥檚 crew what proved to be literally a cock-and-bull story, about two natural prodigies which he said were then on the island. One was an old monster of a hermit, having a marvellous reputation for sanctity, and reputed a famous sorcerer, who lived away off in a den among the mountains, where he hid from the world a great pair of horns that grew out of his temples. Notwithstanding his reputation for piety, this horrid old fellow was the terror of all the island round, being reported to come out from his retreat, and go a man-hunting every dark night. Some anonymous Paul Pry, too, coming down the mountain, once got a peep at his den, and found it full of bones. In short, he was a most unheard-of monster..
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Video zone
From the spot where I lay transfixed with surprise and delight, I looked straight down into the bosom of a valley, which swept away in long wavy undulations to the blue waters in the distance. Midway towards the sea, and peering here and there amidst the foliage, might be seen the palmetto-thatched houses of its inhabitants glistening in the sun that had bleached them to a dazzling whiteness. The vale was more than three leagues in length, and about a mile across at its greatest width..
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鈥楾ypee or Happar, Toby?鈥 asked I as we walked after them.
Thirsting with his exertions, the skipper directed his steps to a stream; but the savages, who had followed at a little distance, perceiving his object, rushed towards him and forced him away from its bank鈥攈is lips would have polluted it. Wearied at last, he sought to enter a house that he might rest for a while on the mats; its inmates gathered tumultuously about the door and denied him admittance. He coaxed and blustered by turns, but in vain; the natives were neither to be intimidated nor appeased, and as a final resort he was obliged to call together his boat鈥檚 crew, and pull away from what he termed the most infernal place he ever stepped upon.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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