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- The Cruise of the Kawa - 1/16 -


[Illustration: The Author and His Island Bride]

THE CRUISE OF THE KAWA

WANDERINGS IN THE SOUTH SEAS

BY

WALTER E. TRAPROCK, F.R.S.S.E.U.

WITH SEVENTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS AND A MAP

1921

DEDICATION

TO THE GIRLS WE LEFT BEHIND--

KIPPIPUTUONA (DAUGHTER OF PEARL AND CORAL)

LUPOBA-TILAANA (MIST ON THE MOUNTAIN)

BABAI-ALOVA-BABAI (ESSENCE OF ALOVA)

THIS VOLUME IS LOVINGLY DEDICATED

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

Of late the lure of the South Seas has laid its gentle spell rather overwhelmingly upon American readers. To be unread in Polynesiana is to be intellectually _declasse_.... In the face of this avid appetite for tropic-scented literature, one may well imagine the satisfaction of a publisher when offered opportunity of association with such an expedition as that of the Kawa, an association involving the exclusive privilege of publishing the manuscript of Walter E. Traprock himself.

The public, we feel, is entitled to a frank word regarding the inception of this volume. Now at last it is possible to withdraw the veil of secrecy which has shrouded the undertaking almost until the date of publication. _Almost_, we say, because some inklings of information found their way into the newspapers early this summer. The leak, we have reason to be believe, is traceable to a Marquesan valet who was shipped at Papeete to fill the place left vacant by William Henry Thomas, the strange facts surrounding whose desertion are recorded in the pages which follow.

"Filbert Islands" Found by South Seas Explorers

_Special to The Evening Telegram._

SAN FRANCISCO. Friday.--Returning from an extensive exploring trip in the South Seas, the auxiliary yacht Kawa, which reached this port today, reports the discovery of a new group of Polynesian Islands. The new archipelago has been named the Filbert Islands, because of the extraordinary quantity of nuts of that name found there, according to the ship's company.

The Kawa is owned by Walter E. Traprock. of Derby, Conn., head of the expedition. Traprock leaves for Washington today, where he will lay before the National Geographic Society data concerning his explorations.

The telltale newspaper item, reproduced above, outlines the story behind this volume. What is not made clear is the fact that the entire expedition was painstakingly planned many months ago, the publishers themselves making it financially possible by contracting with Dr. Traprock for his literary output. Provision was also made for recording every phase of experience and discovery. With this in view, Dr. Traprock's literary attainments were complemented by securing as his companions the distinguished American artist, Herman Swank, and Reginald K. Whinney, the scientist. By this characteristic bit of foresight was the inclusive and authoritative character of the expedition's findings assured.

How well we recall our parting with Traprock.

"Any further instructions?" queried the intrepid explorer from the shadow of that ingenious yardarm.

"None," I replied. "You understand perfectly. Get the goods. See South Sea life as it actually is. Write of it without restraint. Paint it. Photograph it. Spare nothing. Record your scientific discoveries faithfully. Be frank, be full...."

"Trust us!" came back Traprock's cheery cry, as the sturdy little Kawa bore them toward their great adventures.

Herein are recorded many of their experiences and discoveries, contributions of far-reaching significance and appeal.

Uninfluenced by professional self-interest, unshaken by our genuine admiration for its predecessors, and despite our inherent inclination toward modest conservatism, we unhesitatingly record the conviction that "The Cruise of the Kawa" stands preeminent in the literature of modern exploration--a supreme, superlative epic of the South Seas.

G.P.P.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

We get under way. Polynesia's busiest corner. Our ship's company. A patriotic celebration rudely interrupted. In the grip of the elements. Necessary repairs. A night vigil. Land ho!

CHAPTER II

A real discovery. Polynesia analyzed. The astounding nature of the Filberts. Their curious sound, and its reason. We make a landing. Our first glimpse of the natives. The value of vaudeville.

CHAPTER III

Our handsome hosts. En route to the interior. Native flora and fauna. We arrive at the capital. A lecture on Filbertine architecture. A strange taboo. The serenade.

CHAPTER IV

A few of our native companions. Filbertine diet. Physiological observations. We make a tour of the island. A call on the ladies. Baahaabaa gives a feast. The embarrassments of hospitality. An alcoholic escape.

CHAPTER V

A frank statement. We vote on the question of matrimony. A triple wedding. An epithalmic verse. We remember the Kawa. An interview with William Henry Thomas. Triplett's strategy. Safe within the atoll.

CHAPTER VI

Marital memories. A pillow-fight on the beach. A deep-sea devil. The opening in the atoll. Swank paints a portrait. The _fatu-liva_ bird and its curious gift. My adventure with the _wak-wak_. Saved!

CHAPTER VII

Excursions beyond the outer reef. Our aquatic wives. Premonitions. A picnic on the mountain. Hearts and flowers. Whinney delivers a geological dissertation. Babai finds a _fatu-liva_ nest. The strange flower in my wife's hair.

CHAPTER VIII

Swank's popularity on the Island. Whinney's jealousy. An artistic duel. Whinney's deplorable condition. An assembly of the Archipelago. Water-sports on the reef. The Judgment.

CHAPTER IX

More premonitions. Triplett's curious behavior. A call from Baahaabaa. We visit William Henry Thomas. His bride. The christening. A hideous discovery. Pros and Cons. Out heart-breaking decision. A stirrup-cup of lava-lava.

CHAPTER X

Once more the Kawa foots the sea. Triplett's observations and our assistance. The death of the compass-plant. Lost! An orgy of desperation. Oblivion and excess. The Kawa brings us home. Our reception in Papeete. A celebration at the Tiare.

ILLUSTRATIONS

THE AUTHOR AND HIS ISLAND BRIDE

CAPTAIN EZRA TRIPLETT

A BEWILDERED BOTANIST


The Cruise of the Kawa - 1/16

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