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most of the male dogs are operated upon, and afterwards fattened for the express purpose : and Mr. Mariner thinks their flesh is as good and tender as that of a sucking pig.
Finow having ordered all things to be got ready, went out early in the morning after his arrival, to try the excellence of his bird; and had very great sport. The day following he went out again ; but the bird, from some cause or another, would not make any noise ; and this put Finow into such a passion that he knocked it on the ground, and beat it with an arrow, and, after having almost killed it, gave it away to one of his chiefs, declaring how vexatious it was to have a bird that would not speak after having had so much trouble with it. He afterwards used the two birds that were first sent to him, and was tolerably well satisfied with them.
Island of Hoonga—Curious cavern there, and how first dis
covered--Anecdote of the person who first discovered the cavern—Description of the sport of shooting ratsPopular tale of the origin of the Tonga islands Finow's return to Vavaoo—General fono, and seizure of several chiefs—Stratagem used to secure Cacahoo—Several of the prisoners taken out to sea to be sunk; their conversation on the way—Conduct of Cacahoo whilst sinking
- Conduct of the widows of the deceased, particularly of the widow of Now Fahoo—Description of the plantation of Mahe Boogoo—Popular tale of what happened at this plantation in former times—Tonga song—Abundance of a peculiar fish found here- This plantation given up by Mahe Boogoo, and conferred on Mr. Mariner by Finow—A dead spermaceti whale found off one of the islands--Their method of making ornaments with its teeth—Anecdote exemplifying the high estimation in which whale's teeth are held—Still greater value of them at the Fiji islands - Arrival of Cow Mooala from the Fiji islands.
Finow, having at this time no business of importance on which to employ his attention, resolved to go to the island of Hoonga, lying at a small distance to the southward of Vavaoo, in order to inspect the plantations there, and to recreate himself a little with the sport of shooting birds and rats. Mr. Mariner, as usual, formed one of the party. On this island there is a peculiar cavern, situated on the western coast, the entrance to which is at least a fathom beneath the surface of the sea at low water ; and was first discovered by a young chief, whilst diving after a turtle. The nature of this cavern will be better understood if we imagine a hollow rock rising sixty feet or more above the surface of the water; into the cavity of which there is no known entrance but one, and that is on the side of the rock, as low down as six feet under the water, into which it flows; and consequently the base of the cavern may be said to be the sea itself. Finow and his friends, being on this part of the island, proposed one afternoon on a sudden thought, to go
into thiscavern, and drink cava. Mr. Mariner was not with them at the time this proposal was made ; but happening to come down a little while after to the shore, and seeing some of the young
chiefs diving into the water, one after another, and not rise again, he was a little surprised, and enquired of the last, who was just preparing to take the same step, what they were about? “ Follow me," said he, “ and I will take you “ where you have never been before ; and o where Finow, and his chiefs and matabooles,
are now assembled.”. Mr. Mariner, supposing it to be the famous cavern of which he had heard some account, without any further hesitation, prepared * himself to follow his companion, who dived into the water, and he after him, and, guided by the light reflected from his heels, entered the opening in the rock, and rose into the cavern. He was no sooner above the surface of the water than, sure enough, he heard the voices of the king and his friends : being directed by his guide, he climbed upon a jutting portion of rock, and sat down. All the light that came into this place was reflected from the bottom, and was sufficient, after remaining about five minutes, to show objects with some little distinctness ; at least he could discover, being directed by the voice, Finow and the rest of the company, seated like himself, round the cavern. Nevertheless, as it was desirable to have a stronger iHumination, Mr. Mariner dived out again, and procuring his pistol, primed it well, tied plenty of gnatoo tight round it, and wrapped the whole up in a plantain leaf: he directed an attendant to bring a torch in the same way. Thus prepared, he re-entered the cavern as speedily as possible, unwrapped the gnatoo, a great portion of which was perfectly dry, fired it by the flash of the powder, and lighted the torch. The place was now illuminated tolerably well, for the first time, perhaps, since its existence. It appeared (by guess) to be about 40 feet wide in the main part, but which branched off, on one side, in two narrower portions. The medium height seemed also about 40 feet. The roof was hung with stalactites in a very curious way, resembling, upon a cursory view, the gothic arches and ornaments of an old church. After having examined the place, they drank cava, and passed away the time in conversation upon different subjects. Among other things, an old mataboole, after having mentioned how the cavern was discovered, viz. by a young chief in the act of diving after a turtle, related an interesting account of the use which this chief made of his accidental discovery. The circumstances are as follow.
* It is proper to mention that in presence of a superior chief, it is considered very disrespectful to be undrest: under such circumstances as the present, therefore, every one retires a little, and as soon as he has divested himself of his usual dress, slips on an apron made of the leaves of the chi tree, or of matting called gië: the same respect is shewn if it is necessary to undress near a chief's grave; because some Hotooa or god may be present.