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own possession, soon settled the matter by leaving them both far behind him.
The headless bodies of the slain, scattered about in the bush after a battle, if known, were buried, if unknown, left to the dogs. In some cases the whole body was pulled along in savage triumph and laid before the chiefs. One day, when some of us were in a war-fort endeavouring to mediate for peace, a dead body of one of the enemy was dragged in, preceded by a fellow making all sorts of fiendish gestures, with one of the legs in his teeth cut off by the knee.
Connected with Samoan warfare several other things may be noted, such as consulting the gods, taking a priest to battle to pray for his people and curse the enemy, filling up wells, destroying fruittrees, going to battle decked off in their most valuable clothing and trinkets, haranguing each other previous to a fight, the very counterpart of Abijah the king of Judah, and even word for word, with the filthy-tongued Rabshakeh.
If the war became general, and involving several districts, they formed themselves into a threefold division of highway, bush, and sea-fighters. The fleet might consist of three hundred men, in thirty or forty canoes. The bushrangers and the fleet were principally dreaded, as there was no calculating where they were, or when they might pounce unawares upon some unguarded settlement. The fleet met apart from the land forces, and concocted their
own schemes. They would have it all arranged, for instance, and a dead secret, to be off after dark to attack a particular village belonging to the enemy. At midnight they would land at an uninhabited. place some miles from the settlement they intended to attack. They took a circuitous course in the bush, surrounded the village from behind, having previously arranged to let the canoes slip on quietly, and take up their position in the water in front of the village. By break of day they rushed into the houses of the unsuspecting people before they had well woke up, chopped off as many heads as they could, rushed with them to their canoes, and decamped before the young men of the place had time to muster or arm. Often they were scared by the people, who, during war, kept a watch, night and day, at all the principal openings in the reef; but now and then the plot succeeded and there was fearful slaughter. It was in one of these early morning attacks from the fleet that the young man to whom I have referred had such a narrow escape. That morning many were wounded, and the heads of thirteen carried off. One of them was that of a poor old man, who was on his knees at his morning devotions, when off went his head at a blow. In another house that same morning there was a noble instance of maternal heroism, in a woman who allowed herself to be hacked from head to foot, bending over her son to save his life. It is considered cowardly to
kill a woman, or they would have despatched her at once. It was the head of her little boy they wanted, but they did not get it. The poor woman was in a dreadful state, but, to the surprise of all, recovered.
It is now close upon a hundred years since the Samoans had their first serious quarrel with Europeans, and which ended in a fight. I refer to the massacre at Tutuila of M. de Langle and others belonging to the expedition under the unfortunate La Perouse in 1787, and which branded the people for well-nigh fifty years as a race of treacherous savages whose shores ought not to be approached. Had the native version of the tale been known, it would have considerably modified the accounts which were published in the voyages of La Perouse. The origin of the quarrel was not with the party who went on shore in the boats. A native who was out at the ship was roughly dealt with, for some real or supposed case of pilfering. He was fired at and mortally wounded, and when taken on shore bleeding and dying, his enraged friends roused all on the spot to seek instant revenge. Hence the deadly attack on the party in the boats at the beach, in which the stones flew like bullets and ended in the death of M. de Langle, his brother officer, and ten of the crew. The natives wound up the bodies of the Frenchmen in native cloth and decently buried them, as they were in the habit of burying their own dead. The only inference which ought to have been drawn from this tragic
Occurrence was that heathen natives have a keen sense of justice, and that if men will go on the disproportionate principle of a life for a tooth, and shoot a man for a perfect trifle, they must abide by the consequences. It is almost certain to be avenged, and, alas! it is often the case that vengeance falls not on the guilty, but on some unsuspecting visitor who may subsequently follow.
THE HEAVENS, AND THE HEAVENLY BODIES.
I. THE Samoans say that of old the heavens fell down, and that people had to crawl about like the lower animals. After a time the arrow-root and another similar plant pushed up the heavens, and the place where these plants grew is still pointed out and called the Teengalangi, or heaven-pushing place; but the heads of the people continued to knock on the skies, and the place was excessively hot. One day a woman was passing along who had been drawing water. A man came up to her and said he would push up the heavens if she would give him some water to drink. "Push them up first," she replied. He pushed them up, and said, "Will that do ?" "No," said she, "a little farther." He sent them up higher still, and then she handed him her cocoa-nut shell water-bottle. Another account says that the giant god Ti'iti'i pushed up the heavens, and that at the place where he stood there are hollow places in a rock nearly six feet long which are pointed out as his footprints.