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HOME > Inspiring Novel > The Cruise of the Snark17 > CHAPTER X TYPEE
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 To the Ua-huka was being out by an evening rain-squall that was fast overtaking the Snark.  But that little craft, her big spinnaker filled by the southeast trade, was making a good race of it.  Martin, the southeasternmost point of Nuku-hiva, was , and Comptroller Bay was opening up as we fled past its wide entrance, where Sail Rock, for all the world like the spritsail of a Columbia River salmon-boat, was making brave weather of it in the smashing southeast .  
“What do you make that out to be?” I asked Hermann, at the wheel.
“A fishing-boat, sir,” he answered after careful .
Yet on the chart it was plainly marked, “Sail Rock.”
But we were more interested in the of Comptroller Bay, where our eyes eagerly sought out the three bights of land and centred on the midmost one, where the showed the dim walls of a valley extending inland.  How often we had pored over the chart and centred always on that midmost bight and on the valley it opened—the Valley of Typee.  “Taipi” the chart spelled it, and spelled it correctly, but I prefer “Typee,” and I shall always spell it “Typee.”  When I was a little boy, I read a book spelled in that manner—Herman Melville’s “Typee”; and many long hours I dreamed over its pages.  Nor was it all dreaming.  I resolved there and then, , come what would, that when I had gained strength and years, I, too, would voyage to Typee.  For the wonder of the world was to my tiny consciousness—the wonder that was to lead me to many lands, and that leads and never pails.  The years passed, but Typee was not forgotten.  Returned to San Francisco from a seven months’ cruise in the North Pacific, I the time had come.  The brig Galilee was sailing for the Marquesas, but her crew was complete and I, who was an able-seaman before the mast and young enough to be overweeningly proud of it, was willing to to ship as cabin-boy in order to make the pilgrimage to Typee.  Of course, the Galilee would have sailed from the Marquesas without me, for I was on finding another Fayaway and another Kory-Kory.  I doubt that the captain read desertion in my eye.  Perhaps even the of cabin-boy was already filled.  At any rate, I did not get it.
Then came the rush of years, filled brimming with projects, achievements, and failures; but Typee was not forgotten, and here I was now, gazing at its outlines till the squall down and the Snark dashed on into the driving .  Ahead, we caught a glimpse and took the compass bearing of Sentinel Rock, wreathed with pounding surf.  Then it, too, was by the rain and darkness.  We straight for it, trusting to hear the sound of breakers in time to sheer clear.  We had to for it.  We had but a compass bearing with which to ourselves, and if we missed Sentinel Rock, we missed Taiohae Bay, and we would have to throw the Snark up to the wind and lie off and on the whole night—no pleasant for voyagers weary from a sixty days’ traverse of the vast Pacific , and land-hungry, and fruit-hungry, and hungry with an appetite of years for the sweet vale of Typee.
, with a roar of sound, Sentinel Rock through the rain dead ahead.  We altered our course, and, with mainsail and spinnaker to the squall, drove past.  Under the lea of the rock the wind dropped us, and we rolled in an absolute calm.  Then a of air struck us, right in our teeth, out of Taiohae Bay.  It was in spinnaker, up mizzen, all sheets by the wind, and we were moving slowly ahead, heaving the lead and straining our eyes for the red light on the ruined fort that would give us our bearings to anchorage.  The air was light and baffling, now east, now west, now north, now south; while from either hand came the roar of unseen breakers.  From the cliffs arose the blatting of wild goats, and overhead the first stars were peeping through the train of the passing squall.  At the end of two hours, having come a mile into the bay, we dropped anchor in eleven .  And so we came to Taiohae.
In the morning we awoke in fairyland.  The Snark rested in a harbour that nestled in a vast amphitheatre, the towering, vine-clad walls of which seemed to rise directly from the water.  Far up, to the east, we glimpsed the thin line of a trail, visible in one place, where it across the face of the wall.
“The path by which Toby escaped from Typee!” we cried.
We were not long in getting and astride horses, though the consummation of our pilgrimage had to be for a day.  Two months at sea, bare-footed all the time, without space in which to exercise one’s limbs, is not the best preliminary to leather shoes and walking.  Besides, the land had to cease its nauseous rolling before we could feel fit for riding goat-like horses over giddy trails.  So we took a short ride to break in, and crawled through thick jungle to make the acquaintance of a venerable moss-grown , where had foregathered a German trader and a Norwegian captain to estimate the weight of said idol, and to speculate upon in value caused by sawing him in half.  They treated the old fellow sacrilegiously, digging their knives into him to see how hard he was and how deep his mossy , and commanding him to rise up and save them trouble by walking down to the ship himself.  In lieu of which, nineteen Kanakas him on a frame of timbers and toted him to the ship, where, battened down under hatches, even now he is the South Pacific Hornward and toward Europe—the ultimate abiding-place for all good heathen , save for the few in America and one in particular who grins beside me as I write, and who, barring , will grin somewhere in my neighbourhood until I die.  And he will win out.  He will be grinning when I am dust.
Also, as a preliminary, we attended a feast, where one Taiara Tamarii, the son of an Hawaiian sailor who from a whaleship, the death of his Marquesan mother by roasting fourteen whole and in the village.  So we came along, welcomed by a native , a young girl, who stood on a great rock and chanted the information that the banquet was made perfect by our presence—which information she extended to every arrival.  Scarcely were we seated, however, when she changed her , while the company manifested intense excitement.  Her cries became eager and piercing.  From a distance came answering cries, in men’s voices, which blended into a wild, barbaric chant that sounded incredibly , of blood and war.  Then, through of tropical appeared a procession of , naked save for loin-cloths.  They advanced slowly, uttering deep guttural cries of triumph and exaltation.  Slung from young saplings carried on their shoulders were mysterious objects of considerable weight, hidden from view by wrappings of green leaves.
Nothing but pigs, innocently fat and roasted to a turn, were inside those wrappings, but the men were carrying them into camp in imitation of old times when they carried in “long-pig.”  Now long-pig is not pig.  Long-pig is the Polynesian for human flesh; and these descendants of man-eaters, a king’s son at their head, brought in the pigs to table as of old their grandfathers had brought in their enemies.  Every now and then the procession halted in order that the bearers should have every advantage in uttering particularly shouts of victory, of contempt for their enemies, and of gustatory desire.  So Melville, two generations ago, witnessed the bodies of slain Happar , wrapped in palm-leaves, carried to banquet at the Ti.  At another time, at the Ti, he “observed a carved of wood,” and on looking into it his eyes “fell upon the disordered members of a human skeleton, the bones still fresh with moisture, and with particles of flesh clinging to them here and there.”
has often been regarded as a fairy story by ultracivilized men who dislike, perhaps, the notion that their own savage forebears have somewhere in the past been to similar practices.  Captain Cook was rather sceptical upon the subject, until, one day, in a harbour of New Zealand, he tested the matter.  A native happened to have brought on board, for sale, a nice, sun-dried head.  At Cook’s orders strips of the flesh were cut away and handed to the native, who greedily them.  To say the least, Captain Cook was a rather thorough-going empiricist.  At any rate, by that act he supplied one fact of which science had been badly in need.  Little did he dream of the existence of a certain group of islands, thousands of miles away, where in subsequent days there would arise a curious suit at law, when an old chief of Maui would be charged with of character because he persisted in asserting that his body was the living repository of Captain Cook’s great toe.  It is said that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the old chief was not the tomb of the navigator’s great toe, and that the suit was dismissed.
I suppose I shall not have the chance in these days to see any long-pig eaten, but at least I am already the possessor of a duly Marquesan calabash, oblong in shape, curiously carved, over a century old, from which has been drunk the blood of two shipmasters.  One of those captains was a mean man.  He sold a whale-boat, as good as new what of the fresh white paint, to a Marquesan chief.  But no sooner had the captain sailed away than the whale-boat dropped to pieces.  It was his fortune, some time afterwards, to be , of all places, on that particular island.  The Marquesan chief was ignorant of and discounts; but he had a sense of and an equally primitive conception of the economy of nature, and he balanced the account by eating the man who had cheated him.
We started in the cool dawn for Typee, astride ferocious little stallions that pawed and screamed and bit and fought one another quite of the fragile humans on their backs and of the slippery , loose rocks, and yawning .  The way led up an ancient road through a jungle of hau trees.  On every side were the of a one-time population.  Wherever the eye could the thick growth, glimpses were caught of stone walls and of stone foundations, six to eight feet in height, built solidly throughout, and many yards in width and depth.  They formed great stone platforms, upon which, at one time, there had been houses.  But the houses and the people were gone, and huge trees sank their roots through the platforms and towered over the under-running jungle.  These foundations are called pae-paes—the pi-pis of Melville, who spelled .
The Marquesans of the present generation lack the energy to and place such huge stones.  Also, they lack .  There are plenty of pae-paes to go around, with a few thousand unoccupied ones left over.  Once or twice, as we the valley, we saw magnificent pae-paes bearing on their general surface pitiful little straw huts, the proportions being similar to a voting booth perched on the broad foundation of the Pyramid of Cheops.  For the Marquesans are perishing, and, to judge from conditions at Taiohae, the one thing that their destruction is the of fresh blood.  A pure Marquesan is a rarity.  They seem to be all half-breeds and strange conglomerations of dozens of different races.  Nineteen able labourers are all the trader at Taiohae can for the loading of copra on shipboard, and in their runs the blood of English, American, Dane, German, French, Corsican, Spanish, , Chinese, Hawaiian, Paumotan, Tahitian, and Easter Islander.  There are more races than there are persons, but it is a of races at best.  Life faints and stumbles and itself away.  In this warm, equable clime—a truly terrestrial paradise—where are never extremes of temperature and where the air is like balm, kept ever pure by the ozone-laden southeast trade, , phthisis, and flourish as luxuriantly as the vegetation.  Everywhere, from the few grass huts, arises the racking cough or of wasted lungs.  Other horrible diseases as well, but the most deadly of all are those that attack the lungs.  There is a form of consumption called “,” which is especially .  In two months’ time it reduces the strongest man to a skeleton under a grave-cloth.  In valley after valley the last inhabitant has passed and the fertile soil has relapsed to jungle.  In Melville’s day the valley of Hapaa (spelled by him “Happar”) was peopled by a strong and warlike tribe.  A generation later, it contained but two hundred persons.  To-day it is an untenanted, howling, tropical .
We climbed higher and higher in the valley, our unshod stallions picking their steps on the trail, which led in and out through the abandoned pae-paes and insatiable jungle.  The sight of red mountain apples, the ohias, familiar to us from Hawaii, caused a native to be sent climbing after them.  And again he climbed for cocoa-nuts.  I have drunk the cocoanuts of Jamaica and of Hawaii, but I never knew how delicious such could be till I drank it here in the Marquesas.  Occasionally we rode under wild limes and oranges—great trees which had survived the wilderness longer than the of humans who had cultivated them.
We rode through endless of yellow-pollened cassi—if riding it could be called; for those thickets were inhabited by .  And such wasps!  Great yellow fellows the size of small canary birds, through the air with behind them drifting a bunch of legs a couple of inches long.  A stallion abruptly stands on his forelegs and thrusts his legs skyward.  He withdraws them from the sky long enough to make one wild jump ahead, and then returns them to their index position.  It is nothing.  His thick hide has merely been by a flaming lance of .  Then a second and a third stallion, and all the stallions, begin to on their foreleg............
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