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The native, first placing a calabash beneath the nose, as it were, of his curious-looking log-steed, for the purpose of receiving the grated fragments as they fall, mounts astride of it as if it were a hobby-horse, and twirling the inside of his hemispheres of cocoanut around the sharp teeth of the mother-of-pearl shell, the pure white meat falls in snowy showers into the receptacle provided. Having obtained a quantity sufficient for his purpose, he places it in a bag made of the net-like fibrous substance attached to all cocoanut trees, and compressing it over the bread-fruit, which being now sufficiently pounded, is put into a wooden bowl鈥攅xtracts a thick creamy milk. The delicious liquid soon bubbles round the fruit, and leaves it at last just peeping above its surface.

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During all this time he had never, for one moment, deigned to regard me. He appeared, indeed, to be altogether unconscious of my presence. I was utterly at a loss how to account for this extraordinary conduct. I easily perceived that he was a man of no little consequence among the islanders; that he possessed uncommon talents; and was gifted with a higher degree of knowledge than the inmates of the valley. For these reasons, I therefore greatly feared lest having, from some cause or other, unfriendly feelings towards me, he might exert his powerful influence to do me mischief..
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The part of the valley in which we found ourselves appeared to be altogether uninhabited. An almost impenetrable thicket extended from side to side, without presenting a single plant affording the nourishment we had confidently calculated upon; and with this object, we followed the course of the stream, casting quick glances as we proceeded into the thick jungles on each hand. My companion鈥攖o whose solicitations I had yielded in descending into the valley鈥攏ow that the step was taken, began to manifest a degree of caution I had little expected from him. He proposed that in the event of our finding an adequate supply of fruit, we should remain in this unfrequented portion of the country鈥攚here we should run little chance of being surprised by its occupants, whoever they might be鈥攗ntil sufficiently recruited to resume our journey; when laying a store of food equal to our wants, we might easily regain the bay of Nukuheva, after the lapse of a sufficient interval to ensure the departure of our vessel.?
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Once I remember the party arrived at midnight; but the unseasonableness of the tour did not repress the impatience of the islanders. The carriers dispatched from the Ti were to be seen hurrying in all directions through the deep groves; each individual preceded by a boy bearing a flaming torch of dried cocoanut boughs, which from time to time was replenished from the materials scattered along the path. The wild glare of these enormous flambeaux, lighting up with a startling brilliancy the innermost recesses of the vale, and seen moving rapidly along beneath the canopy of leaves, the savage shout of the excited messengers sounding the news of their approach, which was answered on all sides, and the strange appearance of their naked bodies, seen against the gloomy background, produced altogether an effect upon my mind that I shall long remember.
Little as I understood of the language, yet from his animated gestures and the varying expression of his features鈥攔eflected as from so many mirrors in the countenances around him, I could easily discover the nature of those passions which he sought to arouse. From the frequent recurrence of the words 鈥楴ukuheva鈥 and 鈥楩rannee鈥 (French), and some others with the meaning of which I was acquainted, he appeared to be rehearsing to his auditors events which had recently occurred in the neighbouring bays. But how he had gained the knowledge of these matters I could not understand, unless it were that he had just come from Nukuheva鈥攁 supposition which his travel-stained appearance not a little supported. But, if a native of that region, I could not account for his friendly reception at the hands of the Typees.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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