Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

viour for the future. From one cause or another, there is usually a fono, either general or partial, every fourteen or twenty days. It will be easily understood that addresses of this kind are absolutely and frequently necessary, for the preservation of tolerable decency and good order, among a people who have no knowledge of any means of graphic communication. The speech is generally made by some old and principal mataboole*, as it was on this occasion, when the ceremony was held at Macave, about two miles and a half from Felletoa ; after which, as usual, a large bowl of cava was provided. The chiefs and warriors of Vavaoo took a very active part in the preparation of the cava, to demonstrate to Finow their attention and loyalty. After the first bowl was drunk, while all were in expectation that Finow would give out some more cava root to be prepared, -on a sudden he pronounced aloud the word boogi (hold or arrest). Instantly all the chiefs and warriors that had been particularly active against him in the late war were seized

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

* The reader will recollect that the matabooles hold a rank in society next below chiefs; they are the ministers, as it were, and counsellors of chiefs: it is their duty also to attend to public ceremonies, and to keep an eye upon the morals and general conduct of the people.

by 'men previously appointed: their hands were tied fast behind them; and they were taken down to the beach, where, with the club, several were immediately dispatched; and the remainder were reserved till the afternoon, for what is considered a more signal punishment, viz. to be taken out to sea, and sunk in old leaky canoes.

This transaction seemed to show how little was to be trusted to the honour of Finow, and how well founded were the suspicions of those Vavaoo chiefs, who had said that no reliance was to be placed in him; and that there was little doubt but that he would take an early opportunity of exercising his revenge: they therefore acted a wise part, who, as soon as the peace was concluded, fled at the earliest opportunity, some to the island of Tonga, others to the Fiji islands. It must, however, be acknowledged that Finow had received information of a conspiracy which these chiefs were designing against him ; and if this be true, his conduct was certainly less reproachable. Finow being apprehensive that this attempt might fail, or that the Vavaoo people, in consequence, might again rise up against him, had previously sent a canoe to the Hapai islands, with orders to Toobo Toa that he and his chiefs should hold

VOL. I.

U

themselves in readiness to repair to his assistance at a moment's notice. There proved, however, to be no necessity for their intervention, the conspiracy succeeding in a degree equal to his expectation. Some difficulty, however, was found in securing Cacahoo, a very great and brave warrior and mataboole, amazingly courageous and strong, although he was highly diseased with scrofula ; and, like most great warriors, was always (according to the Fiji practice) upon his guard against treachery. They had therefore recourse to stratagem on this occasion : Mr. Mariner's services were required as the means, for he was present at the consultation of Finow and his chiefs upon the subject, and he consented, being informed that the king's intentions were merely to confine him as a prisoner till some parts of his conduct were examined into ; and had it not been for the part which this gentleman was appointed to act in the business, two or three no doubt would have been killed, and several wounded, in the attempt. It must be mentioned that Cacahoo, owing to his diseased appearance, was not present at the cava party after the fono (indeed, he was seldom present on any public occasion, except to fight :) it was resolved, therefore, that a young warrior,

in company with Mr. Mariner and others, should go and present him with cava at his residence, as soon as the above chiefs were seized. Mr. Mariner was to sit next to him, and was to ask him for his spear, as if to look at it from curiosity ; for this spear was a remarkably good one, headed with the bones of the tail of the sy, (sting-ray,) and which he always carried about with him : Mr. Mariner could take this liberty better than any one else, as he was more or less acquainted with him; and being a foreigner, his curiosity would appear more plausible, and less subject to suspicion: having got it into his hands, he was to throw it away, and this was to be the signal for the seizure. Before Cacahoo had time to hear of what was going forward at Macave, the appointed party arrived at his house, and presented him cava. * Mr. Ma.

* Mr. Mariner was not, in many instancen, a voluntary supporter of Finow's conduct : but as necessity has no law, in some cases he was obliged to conform, where he would willingly have been excused, upon the principle, that of two evils the least is to be chosen. To an honest mind it is always an ungrateful task to use any species of deception, Mr. Mariner was in the service of the king: the latter thought proper to secure certain persons, among whom was one who could not easily have been taken without Mr. Mariner's assistance; that is to say, without bloodshed and a loss

riner took his seat next to him: and, after a while, asked him for his spear, that he might examine the head of it; which having got into his possession, he watched an opportunity, and threw it suddenly away: in a moment his enemies were upon him; but he sprang from the ground like an enraged lion, and burst away from them repeatedly, with such prodigious strength, that it was with the greatest difficulty they could bind and secure him. They then took their prisoner down to the sea-coast, and put him on board a canoe, to be drowned with the rest in the afternoon.

These transactions happened between (about) eight and ten in the morning; after which all the Hapai chiefs and warriors, that were with the king, appeared under arms, as also a certain Vavaoo chief, named Paoónga, a relation and confidant of Finow; all the rest of the Vavaoo chiefs and matabooles remaining un

of lives. The king was on all occasions his friend and protector; he felt it therefore his duty to conform to his views, where there appeared nothing intrinsically bad. Had he known what would have been the fate of Cacahoo, viz. to be condemned without trial,- let the consequences be what they might, he would not have submitted; and, in that case, by losing Finow's friendship, and incurring his displeasure, he would not, in all probability, have lived for us to have heard of him.

« ForrigeFortsæt »