In the Strange South Seas

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Hutchinson & Company, 1907 - Islands of the Pacific - 381 pages
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Page 8 - The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out: At one stride comes the dark; With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea, Off shot the spectre-bark.
Page 9 - Smells are surer than sounds or sights To make your heart-strings crack — They start those awful voices o' nights That whisper, "Old man, come back!" That must be why the big things pass And the little things remain, Like the smell of the wattle by Lichtenberg, Riding in, in the rain.
Page 254 - ... eyeballs, while the threatening bulk of his terrible enemy looms dark and steady, full in the road to life and air. A minute or more has been spent in the downward journey; another minute has passed in the agonized wait under the rock. . . . Has he been seen? . . . Will the creature move away now, while there is still time to return? The diver knows to a second how much time has passed : the third minute is on its way ; but one goes up quicker than one comes down, and there is still hope. . ....
Page 254 - Poe ever conjure up a picture more ghastly than that of a Penrhyn diver, caught like a rat in a trap by some huge, man-eating shark, or fierce kara mauaa — crouching in a cleft of the overhanging coral, under the dark green gloom of a hundred feet of water, with bursting lungs and cracking eyeballs, while the threatening bulk of his terrible enemy looms dark and steady, full in the road to life and air? A minute or more has been spent in the downward journey ; another minute has passed in the agonised...
Page 48 - The Protestant missionaries, with the best intentions in the world, carried things decidedly too far in the way of grandmotherly laws. Even white men were forbidden to be out of doors after eight o'clock at night, on pain of a heavy fine; and the offences for which the natives were flntu would be incredible, were they not recorded in official reports.
Page 17 - One exceedingly pretty girl, with a perfect cataract of black hair overflowing her pale green gown, and a pair of sparkling dark eyes that could never be matched outside the magic lines of Cancer and Capricorn, is making and frying pancakes with something fruity, nature unknown, inside them.
Page 255 - Two minutes and a half; it is barely possible now, but — the sentinel of death moves forward; his cruel eyes, phosphorescent in the gloom, look right into the cleft where the wretched creature is crouching, with almost twenty seconds of life still left, but now not a shred of hope. A few more beats of the labouring pulse, a gasp from the tortured lungs, a sudden rush of silvery air bubbles, and the brown limbs collapse down out of the cleft like wreaths of seaweed. The shark has his own.
Page 49 - ... would be incredible, were they not recorded in official reports. In Rarotonga of those days (not yet ten years past) a native who walked at dusk along the road with his sweetheart . . . was obliged to carry a burning torch in his hand, and he was fined if he let it go out. If he was found weeping over the grave of a woman to whom he was not related, he was again brought up and fined.
Page 53 - The result is that at the present date young Englishmen by the hundred are losing their small capital as " pupils " on Canadian farms, or are starving on the roads in South Africa, while all the time the South Sea Islands hold out hands of peace and plenty, begging humbly for a respectable white population. The brown races are dying out with fearful rapidity ; at their best they never touched the limitless capacities of the golden Pacific soil.
Page 368 - August 1 904, and threw a quantity of hot mud and stones out over the top. Waimangu Geyser itself, which is really more a volcano than a geyser, is supposed to have been formed at the time of the eruption. It did not, however, commence its present activity until 1900, when an enormously high " shot " was seen by one or two explorers camping in the neighbourhood, and the source at once investigated.

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