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SOON after the burial of the late king, Finow Fiji proposed to his nephew to rebuild the large garrison at Felletoa, which might serve as a strong and impenetrable fortification, in case of attack from a foreign enemy; besides which, he justly observed, being rebuilt, it would serve as a place of residence for all the chiefs and great warriors. This measure was in itself highly political, as it would prevent the seditious from forming cabals and parties, which they could more easily do whilst living at a distance up the country, than under the eyes of the king. It was not proposed, however, that they should reside constantly at the garrison, and, by that means, neglect their plantations, but that each should have a house with the usual conveniences for his wife and family, built within the fencing, to reside in at night,
or to retire to wholly, in case of invasion, civil commotion, or whenever the king should order him to do so. This proposal of Finow Fiji being assented to by the king, the former requested permission to have the sole management of laying out the plan, and to see it carried into effect, which the latter readily agreed to.
During the time the garrison was rebuilding, a circumstance happened which seemed to indicate that a conspiracy was on the eve of being formed, if not actually begun; and, as the circumstance alluded to is connected with a certain superstitious ceremony worthy of detail, we shall be particular in giving the account of it exactly as it happened.
Foonagi, the wife of Finow Fiji, and formerly the wife of Tymomangnoongoo (a great warrior, who was a party concerned in taking the Port au Prince), was a woman of uncommon penetration and discernment, and, on that account, as well as from the circumstance of her being the daughter of a chief who was a friend of his father, she was highly regarded by the late king; who indeed had attached himself to her so much, it is supposed she lived with him as his mistress during the time she was actually the wife of her first husband. She was extremely religious, and universally respected, on account of her accurate knowledge of religious ceremonies, on which subject she was frequently consulted by the chiefs; and, upon political matters, Finow himself often applied to her; for in this also she stood eminent in the esteem of every one. To Finow she seemed as much attached as he to her; and, after his death, she mourned his loss with a sorrow beyond the reach of comfort. She, above all others, was most attentive in decorating with