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CHAP. VII.

Desertion of one of Finow's wives, and the wife of the

prince—Rencontre between one of the fugitives and Mr. Mariner—Attempt to take the enemy's women while gathering shell-fish—Dispute about the female prisoners Return of the Hapai canoes with provi. sions—Palavalé's attack upon a party of the enemy, and killing a man within a sacred fencing—Strangling a child as an atonement for this sacrilege—Death of Palavalé—Finow, growing tired of the war, in an artful man. ner negotiates a peace—Finow's apology for the conduct of the Vavaoo people at an entertainment given them—Entertainment given by the Vavaoo chiefs to Finow and his chiefs--Sentiments respecting praise, bravery, &c.--New regulations of Finow--Toobo Toa deputed tributary governor of the Hapai islands—His arrival at the Hapai islands, accompanied by the prince and Mr. Mariner.

A few days after Havili's unsuccessful attempt to secure the enemy's hogs, one of Finow's wives ran away from Neafoo; being shortly missed by the rest of the women, in searching for her, it was found that one of his son's wives had taken the same step, and it was supposed they had gone together. When this was made known to the king, he left the fortress instantly, accompanied by five or six

cess.

men, and directed his course along the main. road leading to Felletoa, but without any suc

He returned very much dejected, and sent to his aunt, Toe Oomoo (the chief of the enemy), requesting to have his wife returned, stating, that it was a war between men, and not women ; but his remonstrances had no effect. These women both laboured under the jealousy and tyrannic influence of Moönga Toobo, Finow's favourite wife: partly to rid themselves of this, and partly to visit and live with relations they had in the opposite garrison, they made their escape, and took a by road near the sea-shore. On the morning of their departure, Mr. Mariner was at some distance from Neafoo, gathering shaddocks in a thicket: for, although his wound did not allow him to use any active exertions, yet he now and then went abroad by the help of a stick, which, no doubt, was one cause that rendered the cure very tedious. Being up in a tree, he heard a rustling noise in the bushes below, and, directing his attention to the spot, was surprised to see one of Finow's wives. Prompted by curiosity, he came quickly down, and, seizing her by the arm, enquired what caused her to stray so far from the fortress, and to expose her person and her life to the

insults and cruelty of the enemy: she replied, that she had only come out for a walk, and was going shortly to return. To this account he objected, that it was too far, and too dangerous a walk for her to take alone, with the risk of meeting Moteita' and his followers, who often concealed themselves in those woods, and declared his suspicion that she intended to run away. She immediately fell on, her knees, clasped her hands, and begged and intreated most earnestly, that he would not prevent her flight from the dominion of tyranny to the bosom of her relations, and appealed most pathetically to his own feelings and affections towards his mother, or whatever relatives he might have in his own country, and represented how hard and cruelly severe it would be for any one to prevent him flying to them, if it were otherwise in his power. Being moved by the earnestness of her manner, and the unfortunate circumstances of her situation, he raised her up, and promised not to interfere in her escape, nor to divulge the matter to any one, and gave her full liberty to proceed whichever way she thought proper.

Finow had, for a long time past, entertained the idea of seizing upon several of the enemy's women, who were in the habit of assembling at a certain part of the inlet, to gather shellfish, and now, that his wife had run away, he was more than ever encouraged to do this, by way of retaliation

Toe Oomoo, for the detention of her. The place where they procured this sort of fish, was upon a shelf of rocks (about a foot and a half deep at low water), that ran across the inlet at no great distance from Felletoa. Upon this shelf they were accustomed to fish every day, wading through the water. On these occasions, several men of their own party had frequently alarmed them by rushing out upon them, pretending to be the enemy, and had repeated this so often, that, at length, they only laughed at the joke, and ridiculed the idea of running away. One evening a party of Finow's men, who had formed themselves for the express purpose of making an attack upon these women, set out in a canoe, and sailed to a part of the island where they could land unobserved, and proceed to the spot where they were fishing, without any danger of discovery, on account of the high bushes that were there in abundance. Being arrived on the spot, at an appointed signal they rushed out upon the women, who immediately set up a hearty laugh, taking them for their old friends, so fond of a joke; but, when they saw two or three knocked down with clubs, they ran away as fast as their strength and the resistance of the water would let them, and the men after them in full pursuit. There were thirty of them, of which number five were killed, and thirteen taken prisoners, the other twelve escaping safe to the opposite shore. In this affair the wife of Finow's son was very nearly retaken ; she ran so exceedingly swift through the water, knee-deep, and the young chief in pursuit of her exerted himself so much to overtake her, although he was near enough to knock her down with his club, that he actually fell through fatigue. It must, however, be said in favour of the chief, that the weight of his club was a great disadvantage, whereas his lovely fugitive ran without any incumbrance, for, in her endeavour to quicken her pace, her gnatoo (dress), became loose, and fell from her waist; this was the only time that she looked back, from a sense of modesty, to see if it was recoverable, but she was under the necessity of pursuing her flight without it.

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The thirteen prisoners were conducted to Neafoo*, though Finow had given orders that

* They were obliged, however, by the way, to submit to the will of their captors, for this is always considered a thing

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VOL. I.

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