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gray beard and a harsh voice like that of Baufré. He had a note to
me from Le Brunnec, introducing M. Lemoal, born in Brest, a
naturalized American. The note was sealed, and I put it carefully
away before turning to my visitor. It read:


"I send you a specimen of the Marquesan beaches, so that you can
have a little fun. This fellow have a very tremendous life. He is an
old sailor, pirate, gold-miner, Chinese-hanger, thief, robber,
honest-man, baker, trader; in a word, an interesting type. With the
aid of several glasses of wine I have put him in the mood to talk

A low-browed man was Lemoal, sapped and ruthless, but certainly he
had adventured.

Was the Bella Union Theater still there in Frisco? Did they still
fight in Bottle Meyers, and was his friend Tasset on the police
force yet? His memories of San Francisco ante-dated mine. He had
been a hoodlum there, and had helped to hang Chinese. He had gone to
Tahiti in 1870 and made a hundred thousand francs keeping a bakery.
That fortune had lasted him during two years' tour of the world.

"Now I'm bust," he said bitterly. "Now I got no woman, no children,
no friends, and I don't want none. I am by myself and damn everybody!"

I soothed his misanthropy with two fingers of rum, and he mellowed
into advice.

"I saw you with that daughter of Liha-Liha," he said, using the
native name of the dead millionaire. "You be careful. One time I
baked bread in Taaoa. My oven was near his plantation. I saw that
girl come into the woods and take off her dress. She had a mirror to
see her back, and I looked, and the sun shone bright. What she saw,
I saw - a patch of white. She is a leper, that rich girl."

His eyes were full of hate.

"You don't like her," I said. "Why?"

"Why? Why?" he screamed. "Because her father was an accursed villian.
He was always kissing the dirty hands of the priests. He used to
give his workmen opium to make them work faster, and then he would
go to church. He made his money, yes. He was damn hypocrite. And now
his daughter, with all that rotten money, is a leper. I tell
everybody what I saw. Everybody here knows it but you. Everybody
will know it in Tahiti if she goes there."

The man was like a snake to me. I threw away the glass he had drunk
from. And yet - was it idle curiosity, or was it fear of being shut
away in the valley outside Papeite by the quarantine officers, that
made her ask me that question about the segregation of lepers?

Liha-Liha had spent thirty years making money. He had coined the
sweat and blood and lives of a thousand Marquesans into a golden
fortune, and he had left behind him that fortune, a marble tomb, and
Mlle. N - - .


A journey to Nuka-hiva; story of the celebration of the fête of Joan
of Arc, and the miracles of the white horse and the girl.

Père Victorien said that I must not leave the Marquesas before I
visited the island of Nuka-hiva seventy miles to the northward and
saw there in Tai-o-hae, the capital of the northern group of islands,
a real saint.

"A wonderful servant of Christ," he said, "Père Simeon Delmas. He is
very old, and has been there since the days of strife. He has not
been away from the islands for fifty years, but God preserves him for
His honor and service. Père Simeon would be one of the first in our
order were he in Europe, but he is a martyr and wishes to earn his
crown in these islands and die among his charges. He is a saint, as
truly as the blessed ones of old.

"It was he who planned the magnificent celebration of the feast of
Joan of Arc some years ago, and as to miracles, I truly believe that
the keeping safe of the white horse during the terrible storm and
perhaps even the preservation of a maiden worthy to appear in the
armor of the Maid, are miracles as veritable as the apparition at
Lourdes. _Pour moi_, I am convinced that Joan is one of the most
glorious saints in heaven, and that Père Simeon himself is of the
band of blessed martyrs."

"Ah, Père Victorien, I would like nothing better than to meet that
good man," I said, "but I am at a loss to get to Tai-o-hae. The
_Roberta_, Capriata's steamer, will not be here for many weeks,
and there is no other in the archipelago just now."

"You shall return with me in the _Jeanne d'Arc_," he replied quickly.
"It may be an arduous voyage for you, but you will be well repaid."

A fortnight later his steersman came running to my cabin to tell me
to be ready at one o'clock in the morning.

The night was a myriad of stars on a vast ebon canopy. One could see
only shadows in denser shadows, and the serene sure movements of the
men as they lifted the whale-boat from Bauda's shed and carried it
lightly to the water were mysterious to me. Their eyes saw where
mine were blind. Père Victorien and I were seated in the boat, and
they shoved off, breast-deep in the turmoil of the breakers, running
alongside the bobbing craft until it was in the welter of foam and,
then with a chorus, in unison, lifting themselves over the sides and
seizing the oars before the boat could turn broadside to the shore.

"He-ee Nuka-hiva!" they sang in a soft monotone, while they pulled
hard for the mouth of the bay. The priest and I were fairly
comfortable in the stern, the steersman perched behind us on the
very edge of the combing, balancing himself to the rise and fall of
the boat as an acrobat on a rope. I laid my head on my bag and fell
asleep before the sea had been reached. The last sound in my ears
was the voice of Père Victorien reciting his rosary.

I awoke to find a breeze careening our sail and the _Jeanne d'Arc_
rushing through a pale blue world - pale blue water, pale blue sky,
and, it seemed, pale blue air. No single solid thing but the boat
was to be seen in the indefinite immensity. Sprawling on its bottom
in every attitude of limp relaxation, the oarsmen lay asleep; only Père
Victorien was awake, his hands on the tiller and his eyes gazing
toward the east.

"_Bonjour!_" said he. "You have slept well. Your angel guardian
thinks well of you. The dawn comes."

I asked him if I might relieve him of tiller and sheet, and he, with
an injunction to keep the sail full and far, unpocketed his breviary,
and was instantly absorbed in its contents.

Our tack was toward the eastern distance, and no glimpse of land or
cloud made us aught but solitary travelers in illimitable space. The
sun was beneath the deep, but in the hush of the pale light one felt
the awe of its coming. Slowly a faint glow began to gild a line that
circled the farthest east. Gold it was at first, like a segment of a
marriage ring, then a bolt of copper shot from the level waters to
the zenith and a thousand vivid colors were emptied upon the sky and
the sea. Roses were strewn on the glowing waste, rose and gold and
purple curtained the horizon, and suddenly, without warning, abrupt
as lightning, the sun beamed hot above the edge of the world.

The Marquesans stirred, their bodies stretched and their lungs
expanded in the throes of returning consciousness. Then one sat up
and called loudly, "_A titahi a atu!_ Another day!" The others rose,
and immediately began to uncover the _popoi_ bowl. They had canned
fish and bread, too, and ate steadily, without a word, for ten
minutes. The steersman, who had joined them, returned to the helm,
and the priest and I enjoyed the bananas and canned beef with water
from the jug, and cigarettes.

All day the _Jeanne d'Arc_ held steadily on the several tacks we
steered, and all day no living thing but bird or fish disturbed the
loneliness of the great empty sea. Père Victorien read his breviary
or told his beads in abstracted contemplation, and I, lying on the
bottom of the boat with my hat shielding my eyes from the beating
rays of the sun, pondered on what I knew of Tai-o-hae, the port on
the island of Nuka-hiva, to which we were bound.

For two hundred years after the discovery of the southern group - the
islands we had left behind us - the northern group was still unknown
to the world. Captain Ingraham, of Boston, found Nuka-hiva in 1791,
and called the seven small islets the Washington Islands. Twenty
years later, during the war of 1812, Porter refitted his ships there
to prey upon the British, and but for the perfidy, - or, from another
view, the patriotism, - of an Englishman in his command, Porter might
have succeeded in making the Marquesas American possessions.

Tai-o-hae became the seat of power of the whites in the islands; it
waxed in importance, saw admirals, governors, and bishops sitting in
state on the broad verandas of government buildings, witnessed that
new thing, the making of a king and queen, knew the stolid march of
convicts, white and brown, images of saints carried in processions,
and schools opened to regenerate the race of idol-worshippers.

Tai-o-hae saw all the plans of grandeur wane, saw saloons and opium,
vice and disease, fastened upon the natives, and saw the converted,
the old gods overthrown, the new God reigning, cut down like trees
when the fire runs wild in the forest.

The dream of minting the strength and happiness of the giant men of
the islands into gold for the white labor-kings dissolved into a
nightmare as the giants perished. It was hard to make the free
peoples toil as slaves for foreign masters, so the foreign masters
brought opium. To get this "Cause of Wonder Sleep," of more delight
than _kava_, the Marquesan was taught to hoe and garner cotton, to
gather copra and even to become the servant of the white man. The
hopes of the invaders were rosy. They faded quickly. The Marquesans
faded faster. The saloons of Tai-o-hae were gutters of drunkenness.
The _paepaes_ were wailing-places for the dead. No government
arrested vice or stopped the traffic in death-dealing drugs until too
late. Then, with no people left to exploit, the colonial ministers
in Paris forgot the Marquesas.

In the lifetime of a man, Tai-o-hae swelled from a simple native
village with thousands of healthy, happy people, to the capital of
an archipelago, with warships, troops, prisons, churches, schools,
and plantations, and reverted to a deserted, melancholy beach, with
decaying, uninhabited buildings testifying to catastrophe. Since
Kahuiti, my man-eating friend of Taaoa, was born, the cycle had been

I was on my way now to see, in Tai-o-hae, a man who was giving his
life to bring the white man's religion to the few dying natives who

At dusk the wind died, and we put out the oars. Hour after hour the
rowers pulled, chanting at times ancient lays of the war-canoes, of
the fierce fights of their fathers when hundreds fed the sharks
after the destruction of their vessels by the conquerors, and of the
old gods who had reigned before the white men came. Père Victorien
listened musingly.

"They should be singing of the Blessed Mother or of Joan," he said
with sorrow. "But when they pull so well I cannot deny them a thread
of that old pagan warp. Those devils whom they once worshipped wait
about incessantly for a word of praise. They hate the idea that we
are hurrying to the mission, and they would like well to delay us."

Whatever the desires of those devils, they were balked, for the wind
came fair during the second night, and when the second dawning came
we were in the bay of Tai-o-hae.

It was a basin of motionless green water, held in the curve of a
shore shaped like a horseshoe, with two huge headlands of rock for
the calks. The beach was a rim of white between the azure of the
water and the dark green of the hills that rose steeply from it.
Above them the clouds hung in varying shapes, here lit by the sun to
snowy fleece, there black and lowering. On the lower slopes a few
houses peeped from the embowering _parau_ trees, and on a small hill,
near the dismantled fort, the flag of France drooped above the
gendarme's cabin.

By eight o'clock in the morning, when we reached the shore, the
beach was shimmering in the sunlight, the sand gleaming under the
intense rays as if reflecting the beams of gigantic mirrors.
Heat-waves quivered in the moist air.

This was the beach that had witnessed the strange career of John
Howard, a Yankee sailor who had fled a Yankee ship fifty years
before and made his bed for good and all in the Marquesas. Lying
Bill Pincher had told me the story. Howard, known to the natives as
T'yonny, had been welcomed by them in their generous way, and the
_tahuna_ had decorated him from head to foot in the very highest
style of the period. In a few years, what with this tattooing and
with sunburn, one would have sworn him to be a Polynesian. He was
ambitious, and by alliances acquired an entire valley, which he left
to his son, T'yonny Junior. Mr. Howard, senior, garbed himself like
the natives and was like them in many ways, but he retained a deep
love for his country and its flag, and when he saw an American
man-of-war entering the harbor, he went aboard with his many tawny

The captain was amazed to hear him talking with the sailors.

"'E was blooming well knocked off 'is pins," said Lying Bill.
"'Blow me!' 'e sez, 'if that blooming cannibal don't talk the King's
English as if 'e was born in New York!' 'E 'ad 'im down in the cabin
to 'ave a drink, thinking 'e was a big chief. 'Oward took a cigar and
smoked it and drank 'is whiskey with a gulp and a wry face like all

"'I must say,' sez the captain, 'you're the most intelligent 'eathen
I've seen in the 'ole blooming run.'

"'Eathen?' sez 'Oward. 'Me a 'eathen! I was born in Iowa, and I'm a
blooming good American.'"

"'What, you an American citizen?' sez the captain. 'Born in my own
state, and painted up like Sitting Bull on the warpath? Get off this
ship,' sez 'e, wild, 'get off this ship, or I'll put you in irons
and take you back to the blooming jail you escaped from!'

"'Oward leaped over the side and swum ashore."

An avenue ran the length of the beach, shaded by trees, and crossing
a gentle stream. Along this avenue was all the life and commerce of
Tai-o-hae. Two traders' shops, empty offices, a gendarme, a handful
of motley half-castes lounging under the trees - this was all that
was left of former greatness. Only nature had not changed. It flung
over the broken remnants of the glory and the dream its lovely cloak
of verdure and of flower. Man had almost ceased to be a figure in the
scene he had dominated for untold centuries.

Crossing the stepping-stones of the brook we met a darkish, stout
man in overalls.

"Good morn'," he said pleasantly. I looked at him and guessed his
name at once.

"Good-morning," I answered. "You are the son of T'yonny."

"My father, Mist' Howard, dead," he said. "You _Menike_ like him?"

Before I could answer something entered my ear and something my nose.
These somethings buzzed and bit fearsomely. I coughed and sputtered.
An old woman on the bank was sitting in the smudge of a fire of
cocoanut husks. She was scratching her arms and legs, covered with
angry red blotches.

"The _nonos_ never stop biting," she said in French. These _nonos_
are the dread sand-flies that Père Victorien had run from to get
some sleep in Atuona. They are a kind of gadfly, red-hot needles on

We sauntered along the road, tormented by the buzzing pests at which
we constantly slapped and, crossing a tiny bridge over the brook,
approached the Mission of Tai-o-hae, that once pompous and powerful
center of the diffusion of the faith throughout the Marquesas. The
road was lined with guavas, mangos, cocoanuts, and tamarinds, all
planted with precision and care. The ambitious fathers who had begun
these plantings scores of years before had provided the choicest
fruits for their table. All over the world the members of the great
religious orders of Europe have carried the seeds of the best
varieties of fruits and flowers, of trees and shrubs and vegetables;
more than organized science they deserve the credit for introducing
non-native species into all climes.

About the mission grounds was a stone wall, stout and fairly high,
which had assured protection when orgies of indulgence in rum had
made the natives brutal. The clergy must survive if souls are to be
saved. Within the wall stood the church, the school, and a rambling
rectory, all made beautiful by age and the artistry of tropical
nature. Mosses and lichens, mosaics of many shades of green, faint
touches of red and yellow mould, covered the old walls which were
fast decaying and falling to pieces.

By the half-unhinged door stood an old man of venerable figure, his
long beard still dark, though his hair was quite white. He wore a
soiled soutane down to the ankles of his rusty shoes, a sweaty,
stained, smothering gown of black broadcloth, which rose and
fell with his hurried respiration. His eyes of deepest brown,
large and lustrous, were the eyes of an old child, shining with
simple enthusiasms and lit with a hundred memories of worthy
accomplishments or efforts.

[Illustration: Père Simeon Delmas' church at Tai-o-hae]

[Illustration: Gathering the _feis_ in the mountains]

Père Victorien presented me, saying that I was a lover of the
Marquesas, and specially interested in Joan of Arc. Père Simeon
seized me by the hand and, drawing me toward him, gave me the
accolade as if I were a reunited brother. Then he presented me to a
Marquesan man at his side, "_Le chef de l'isle de Huapu_," who was
waiting to escort him to that island that he might say mass and hear
confession. The chief was for leaving at once, and Père Simeon
lamented that he had no time in which to talk to me.

I said I had heard it bruited in my island of Hiva-oa that the
celebration of the fete of Joan of Arc had been marked by
extraordinary events indicating a special appreciation by the
heavenly hosts.

Tears came into the eyes of the old priest. He dismissed the chief
at once, and after saying farewell to Père Victorien, who was
embarking immediately for his own island of Haitheu, Père Simeon and
I entered his study, a pitifully shabby room where rickety furniture,
quaking floor, tattered wall-coverings, and cracked plates and
goblets spelled the story of the passing of an institution once
possessing grandeur and force. Seated in the only two sound chairs,
with wine and cigarettes before us, we took up the subject so dear
to Père Simeon's heart.

"I am glad if you cannot be a Frenchman that at least you are not an
Englishman," he said fervently. "God has punished England for the
murder of Jeanne d'Arc. That day at Rouen when they burned my beloved
patroness ended England. Now the English are but merchants, and they
have a heretical church.

"You should have seen the honors we paid the Maid here. _Mais,
Monsieur_, she has done much for these islands. The natives love her.
She is a saint. She should be canonized. But the opposition will not
down. There is reason to believe that the devil, Satan himself, or
at least important aides of his, are laboring against the doing of
justice to the Maid. She is powerful now, and doubtless has great
influence with the Holy Virgin in Heaven, but as a true saint she
would be invincible." The old priest's eyes shone with his faith.

"You do not doubt her miraculous intercession?" I asked.

Père Simeon lit another cigarette, watered his wine, and lifted from
a shelf a sheaf of pamphlets. They were hectographed, not printed
from type, for he is the human printing-press of all this region,
and all were in his clear and exquisite writing. He held them and
referred to them as he went on.

"She was born five hundred years ago on the day of the procession in
Tai-o-hae. That itself is a marvel. Such an anniversary occurs but
twice in a millennium. After all my humble services in these islands
that I should be permitted to be here on such a wonderful day proves
to me the everlasting mercy of God. Here is the account I have
written in Marquesan of her life, and here the record of the fête
upon the anniversary."

As he showed me the brochures written beautifully in purple and red
inks, recording the history of the Maid of Orleans, with many
canticles in her praise, learned dissertations upon her career and
holiness, maps showing her march and starred at Oleane, Kopiegne,
and Rua to indicate that great things had occurred at Orleans, Compiègne,
and Rouen, Père Simeon pointed out to me that it was of supreme
importance that the Marquesan people should be given a proper
understanding of the historical and geographical conditions of
England and France in Joan's time.

He had spent months, even years, in preparing for the celebration of
her fête-day.

"And _Monsieur_, by the blessed grace of Joan, only the whites got
drunk. Not a Marquesan was far gone in liquor throughout the three
days of the feast. There was temptation in plenty, for though I gave
only the chiefs and a few intimates any wine, several of the
Europeans in their enthusiasm for our dear patroness distributed
absinthe and rum to those who had the price. There was a moment when
it seemed touch and go between the devil and Joan. But, oh, how she
came to our rescue! I reproached the whites, locked up the rum, and
Joan did the rest. It was a three-days' feast of innocence."

"But there are not many whites here?" I asked.

"No," he replied. "There are one hundred and twenty people in
Tai-o-hae now, and but a few are whites. Alas, _mon ami_, they do
not set a good example. They mean well; they are brave men, but they
do not keep the commandments. Here is a chart I drew showing the
rise of the church since Peter. It is divided into twenty periods,
and I have allotted the fifteenth to Joan. She well merits a period."

My mind continually harked back to the prompting of Père Victorien
concerning the horse and the girl of the jubilee.

"There were signs at the commemoration?" I interposed.

Père Simeon glanced at me eagerly. His naivete was not of ignorance
of men and their motives. He had confessed royalty, cannibals,
pirates, and nuns. The souls of men were naked under his scrutiny.
But his faith burned like a lambent flame, and to win to the
standard of the Maid of Orleans one who would listen was a duty owed
her, and a rare chance to aid a fellow mortal.

He rose and brushed the cigarette ashes down the front of his frayed
cassock as an old native woman responded to his call and brought
another bottle of Bordeaux. The _nonos_ were incessantly active. I
slapped at them constantly and sucked at the wounds they made. But
he paid no attention to them at all except when they attacked him
under his soutane; then he struck convulsively at the spot.

"God sends us such trials to brighten our crown," he said
comfortingly. "I have seen white men dead from the _nonos_. They
were not here in the old days, but since the jungle has overrun us
because of depopulation, they are frightful. During the mass, when
the priest cannot defend himself, they are worst, as if sent by the
devil who hates the holy sacrifice. But, _mon vieux_, you were
asking about those signs. _Alors_, I will give the facts to you, and
you can judge."

He poured me a goblet of the wine; I removed my cotton coat, covered
my hands with it, against the gadflies, and prepared to listen.

"Seven years before the great anniversary," said Père Simeon,
sipping his wine, "I thought out my plan. There would be masses,
vespers, benedictions, litanies, and choirs. But my mind was set
upon a representation of the Maid as she rode into Rheims to crown
the king after her victories. She was, you will remember, clothed
all in white armor and rode a white horse, both the emblems of purity.
That was the note I would sound, for I believe too much had been
made of Joan the warrior, Joan the heroine, and not enough of Joan
the saint. Oh, _Monsieur_, there have been evil forces at work there!"

He clasped his thigh with both hands and groaned, and I knew that
though a _nono_ had bitten him there, his anguish was more of soul
than body. I lighted his cigarette, as he proceeded:

"Two things were needful above all; a handsome white horse and a
Marquesan girl of virtue. Three years before the jubilee I was
enabled, through a gift inspired by Joan, to buy a horse of that
kind in Hiva-oa. I had this mare pastured on that island until the
time came for bringing her here.

"Now as to the girl, I found in the nun's school a child who was
beautiful, strong, and good. Her father was the captain of a foreign
vessel and had dwelt here for a time; he was of your country. Of the

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