South-sea Idyls

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1892 - Hawaii - 339 pages
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Seventeen tales of various islands in the Pacific Ocean.
 

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Page 5 - I shall be soon; Beyond the ebbing and the flowing, Beyond the coming and the going, I shall be soon. Beyond the parting and the meeting I shall be soon; Beyond the farewell and the greeting, Beyond this pulse's fever beating, I shall be soon.
Page 26 - ... I wondered what more I could ask for to delight the eye. Kana-ana was still asleep, but he never let loose his hold on me, as though he feared his pale-faced friend would fade away from him. He lay close by me. His sleek figure, supple and graceful in repose, was the embodiment of free, untrammeled youth. You who are brought up under cover know nothing of its luxuriousness. How I longed to take him over the sea with me, and 'show him something of life as we find it. Thinking upon it, I dropped...
Page 326 - I foreswore all blood relations and blushed for there presentatives of my own color as I footed it right royally. Therefore, I was enabled to scorn the fellow who scorned me while he flashed the steel hoofs of his charger in my face and dashed on to the village we were both approaching with the dusk. What a spot it was ! A long lane as green as a spring meadow, lying between wall-like masses of foliage whose deep arcades were frescoed with blossoms and festooned with vines. It seemed a pathway leading...
Page 329 - ... to be wrought to madness; and the dancers thereat went mad, dancing with infinite gesticulation, dancing to whirlwinds of applause till the undulation of their bodies was serpentine, and at last in frenzy they shrieked with joy, threw off their garments, and were naked as the moon. So much for a vision that kept me awake till morning; when I plodded on in the damp grass and tried to forget it, but couldn't exactly, and never have to this hour. Went on and on over more bridges spanning still-flowing...
Page 313 - ... returned to the store in an indifferent frame of mind, and upon entering the presence of my employer, who had arrived a moment before me, I was immediately covered with the deep humiliation of servitude and withdrew to an obscure corner, while Monsieur and some naval guests took absinthe unblushingly, which was, of course, proper enough in them. Call it by what name you will, you cannot sweeten servility to my taste. Then why was I there and in bondage ? The spirit of adventure that keeps life...
Page 334 - Papeete where, under one broad roof, threescore hucksters of both sexes congregate long before daylight, and, while a few candles illumine their wares, patiently await custom. A half-dozen coolies with an eye to business serve hot coffee and chocolate at a dime per cup to any who choose to ask for it.
Page 243 - ... his fragile raft, using his arms as a bird its pinions — in fact, soaring for a moment with the wave under him. As it rose, he climbed to the top of it, and there, in the midst of foam seething like champagne, on the crest of a rushing sea-avalanche about to crumble and dissolve beneath him, his surf-board hidden in spume, on the very top bubble of all, Kahele danced like a shadow. He leaped to his feet and swam in the air, another Mercury, tiptoeing a heaven-kissing hill, buoyant as vapor,...
Page 325 - Night after night I found my bed in the corner of some dwelling whither I had been led by the master of it, with unaffected grace. It wasn't simply showing me to a spare room, but rather unrolling the best mat and turning everything to my account so long as it pleased me to tarry. Sometimes the sea talked in its sleep not a rod from the house; frequently the mosquitoes accepted me as a delicacy and did their best to dispose of me. Once I awoke with a headache, the air was so dense with the odor of...
Page 25 - I thought how strangely I was situated: alone in a wilderness, among barbarians; my bosom friend, who was hugging me like a young bear, not able to speak one syllable of English, and I very shaky on a few bad phrases in his tongue. We two lay upon an enormous old-fashioned bed with high posts — very high they seemed to me in the dim rushlight. The natives always burn a small light after dark; some superstition or other prompts it. The bed, well stocked with pillows, or cushions, of various sizes,...

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