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- The Hawaiian Archipelago - 55/63 -

trackless, waterless, silent, as if it had passed into the passionless calm of lunar solitudes. It is composed of rough hummocks of pahoehoe, rising out of a sandy desert. Only stunted ohias, loaded with crimson tufts, raise themselves out of cracks: twisted, tortured growths, bearing their bright blossoms under protest, driven unwillingly to be gay by a fiery soil and a fiery sun. To the left, there was the high, dark wall of an a-a stream; further yet, a tremendous volcanic fissure, at times the bed of a fiery river, and above this the towering dome of Mauna Loa, a brilliant cobalt blue, lined and shaded with indigo where innumerable lava streams had seamed his portentous sides: his whole beauty the effect of atmosphere, on an object in itself hideous. Ahead and to the right were rolling miles of a pahoehoe sea, bounded by the unseen Pacific 3,000 feet below, with countless craters, fissures emitting vapour, and all other concomitants of volcanic action; bounded to the north by the vast crater of Kilauea. On all this deadly region the sun poured his tropic light and heat from one of the bluest skies I ever saw.

The direction given me on leaving Kapapala was, that after the natives left me I was to keep a certain crater on the south-east till I saw the smoke of Kilauea; but there were many craters. Horses cross the sand and hummocks as nearly as possible on a bee line; but the lava rarely indicates that anything has passed over it, and this morning a strong breeze had rippled the sand, completely obliterating the hoof-marks of the last traveller, and at times I feared that losing myself, as many others have done, I should go mad with thirst. I examined the sand narrowly for hoof- marks, and every now and then found one, but always had the disappointment of finding that it was made by an unshod horse, therefore not a ridden one. Finding eyesight useless, I dismounted often, and felt with my finger along the rolling lava for the slightest marks of abrasion, which might show that shod animals had passed that way, got up into an ohia to look out for the smoke of Kilauea, and after three hours came out upon what I here learn is the old track, disused because of the insecurity of the ground.

It runs quite close to the edge of the crater, there 1,000 feet in depth, and gives a magnificent view of the whole area, with the pit and the blowing cones. But the region through which the trail led was rather an alarming one, being hollow and porous, all cracks and fissures, nefariously concealed by scrub and ferns. I found a place, as I thought, free from risk, and gave Kahele a feed of oats on my plaid, but before he had finished them there was a rumbling and vibration, and he went into the ground above his knees, so snatching up the plaid and jumping on him I galloped away, convinced that that crack was following me! However, either the crack thought better of it, or Kahele travelled faster, for in another half-hour I arrived where the whole region steams, smokes, and fumes with sulphur, and was kindly welcomed here by Mr. Gilman, where he and the old Chinaman appear to be alone.

After a seven hours' ride the quiet and the log fire are very pleasant, and the host is a most intelligent and sympathising listener. It is a solemn night, for the earth quakes, and the sound of Halemaumau is like the surging of the sea.

HILO. June 11th.

Once more I am among palm and mango grove, and friendly faces, and sounds of softer surges than those of Kilauea. I had a dreary ride yesterday, as the rain was incessant, and I saw neither man, bird, or beast the whole way. Kahele was so heavily loaded that I rode the thirty miles at a foot's pace, and he became so tired that I had to walk.

It has been a splendid week, with every circumstance favourable, nothing sordid or worrying to disturb the impressions received, kindness and goodwill everywhere, a travelling companion whose consideration, endurance, and calmness were beyond all praise, and at the end the cordial welcomes of my Hawaiian "home." I.L.B.



I landed in Kealakakua Bay on a black lava block, on which tradition says that Captain Cook fell, struck with his death-wound, a century ago. The morning sun was flaming above the walls of lava 1,000 feet in height which curve round the dark bay, the green deep water rolled shorewards in lazy undulations, canoes piled full of pineapples poised themselves on the swell, ancient cocopalms glassed themselves in still waters--it was hot, silent, tropical.

The disturbance which made the bay famous is known to every schoolboy; how the great explorer, long supposed by the natives to be their vanished god Lono, betrayed his earthly lineage by groaning when he was wounded, and was then dispatched outright. A cocoanut stump, faced by a sheet of copper recording the circumstance, is the great circumnavigator's monument. A few miles beyond, is the enclosure of Haunaunau, the City of Refuge for western Hawaii. In this district there is a lava road ascribed to Umi, a legendary king, who is said to have lived 500 years ago. It is very perfect, well defined on both sides with kerb-stones, and greatly resembles the chariot ways in Pompeii. Near it are several structures formed of four stones, three being set upright, and the fourth forming the roof. In a northerly direction is the place where Liholiho, the king who died in England, excited by drink and the persuasions of Kaahumanu, broke tabu, and made an end of the superstitions of heathenism. Not far off is the battle field on which the adherents of the idols rallied their forces against the iconoclasts, and were miserably and finally defeated. Recent lava streams have descended on each side of the bay, and from the bare black rock of the landing a flow may be traced up the steep ascent as far as a precipice, over which it falls in waves and twists, a cataract of stone. A late lava river passed through the magnificent forest on the southerly slope, and the impressions of the stems of coco and fan palms are stamped clearly on the smooth rock. The rainfall in Kona is heavy, but there is no standing water, and only one stream in a distance of 100 miles.

This district is famous for oranges, coffee, pineapples, and silence. A flaming palm-fringed shore with a prolific strip of table land 1,500 feet above it, a dense timber belt eight miles in breadth, and a volcano smoking somewhere between that and the heavens, and glaring through the trees at night, are the salient points of Kona if anything about it be salient. It is a region where falls not

". . . Hail or any snow, Or ever wind blows loudly."

Wind indeed, is a thing unknown. The scarcely audible whisper of soft airs through the trees morning and evening, rain drops falling gently, and the murmur of drowsy surges far below, alone break the stillness. No ripple ever disturbs the great expanse of ocean which gleams through the still, thick trees. Rose in the sweet cool morning, gold in the sweet cool evening, but always dreaming; and white sails come and go, no larger than a butterfly's wing on the horizon, of ships drifting on ocean currents, dreaming too! Nothing surely can ever happen here: it is so dumb and quiet, and people speak in hushed thin voices, and move as in a lethargy, dreaming too! No heat, cold, or wind, nothing emphasised or italicised, it is truly a region of endless afternoons, "a land where all things always seem the same." Life is dead, and existence is a languid swoon.

This is the only regular boarding house on Hawaii. The company is accidental and promiscuous. The conversation consists of speculations, varied and repeated with the hours, as to the arrivals and departures of the Honolulu schooners Uilama and Prince, who they will bring, who they will take, and how long their respective passages will be. A certain amount of local gossip is also hashed up at each meal, and every stranger who has travelled through Hawaii for the last ten years is picked to pieces and worn threadbare, and his purse, weight, entertainers, and habits are thoroughly canvassed. On whatever subject the conversation begins it always ends in dollars; but even that most stimulating of all topics only arouses a languid interest among my fellow dreamers. I spend most of my time in riding in the forests, or along the bridle path which trails along the height, among grass and frame-houses, almost smothered by trees and trailers.

Many of these are inhabited by white men, who, having drifted to these shores, have married native women, and are rearing a dusky race, of children who speak the maternal tongue only, and grow up with native habits. Some of these men came for health, others landed from whalers, but of all it is true that infatuated by the ease and lusciousness of this languid region,

"They sat them down upon the yellow sand, Between the sun and moon upon the shore; And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland, . . . . ; but evermore Most weary seem'd the sea, weary the oar, Weary the wandering fields of barren foam. Then some one said, "We will return no more."

They have enough and more, and a life free from toil, but the obvious tendency of these marriages is to sink the white man to the level of native feelings and habits.

There are two or three educated residents, and there is a small English church with daily service, conducted by a resident clergyman.

The beauty of this part of Kona is wonderful. The interminable forest is richer and greener than anything I have yet seen, but penetrable only by narrow tracks which have been made for hauling timber. The trees are so dense, and so matted together with trailers, that no ray of noon-day sun brightens the moist tangle of exquisite mosses and ferns which covers the ground. Yams with their burnished leaves, and the Polypodium spectrum, wind round every tree stem, and the heavy ie, which here attains gigantic proportions, links the tops of the tallest trees together by its stout knotted coils. Hothouse flowers grow in rank profusion round every house, and tea-roses, fuchsias, geraniums fifteen feet high, Nile lilies, Chinese lantern plants, begonias, lantanas, hibiscus, passion- flowers, Cape jasmine, the hoya, the tuberose, the beautiful but overpoweringly sweet ginger plant, and a hundred others: while the whole district is overrun with the Datura brugmansia (?) here an arborescent shrub fourteen feet high, bearing seventy great trumpet- shaped white blossoms at a time, which at night vie with those of the night-blowing Cereus in filling the air with odours.

Pineapples and melons grow like weeds among the grass, and

The Hawaiian Archipelago - 55/63

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