We were never weary with caressing our dear Francis. We were very anxious t_earn from him all the particulars of the arrival of the savages in ou_sland, the seizure of his mother and himself, their voyage, and thei_esidence here, and who were the friends they had met with: but it wa_mpossible, his tawny majesty never left us for a moment, and played with th_oy as if he had been a child himself. Francis showed him all the toys fro_ur chest; he was extremely amused with the small mirrors, and the dolls. _ainted carriage, driven by a coachman who raised his whip when the wheel_urned, appeared miraculous to him. He uttered screams of delight as h_ointed it out to his followers. The ticking of my watch also charmed him; an_s I had several more, I gave him it, showing him how to wind it up. But th_irst time he tried to do it, he broke the spring, and when it was silent h_ared no longer for it, but threw it on one side. However, as the gold wa_ery glittering, he took it up again, and suspending it from the handkerchie_hat was wound round his head, it hung over his nose, and formed a strikin_rnament. Francis showed him his face in a mirror, which royal amusement mad_im laugh heartily. He asked the missionary if it was the invisible an_lmighty God who had made all these wonderful things. Mr. Willis replied, tha_t was he who gave men the power to make them. I do not know whether Bara-
ourou comprehended this, but he remained for some time in deep thought. _rofited by this to ask the missionary what were the words which had terrifie_hem so when they wished to keep my son from me, and which had compelled the_o surrender him?
"I told them," answered he, "that the Almighty and unseen God, of whom I spok_o them daily, ordered them, by my voice, to restore a son to his father; _hreatened them with his anger if they refused, and promised them his mercy i_hey obeyed; and they did obey. The first step is gained, they know the dut_f adoring and obeying God; every other truth proceeds from this, and I hav_o doubt that my savages will one day become good Christians. My method o_nstruction is suited to their limited capacity. I prove to them that thei_ooden idols, made by their own hands, could neither create, hear them, no_rotect them. I have shown them God in his works, have declared him to be a_ood as he is powerful, hating evil, cruelty, murder, and cannibalism, an_hey have renounced all these. In their late wars they have either released o_dopted their prisoners. If they carried off your wife and son, they intende_t for a good action, as you will soon understand."
I could not ask Francis any questions, as Bara-ourou continued playing wit_im, so turning to Ernest, I asked him what passed when the savages joine_im?
"When you left me," said he, "I amused myself by searching for shells, plants,
and zoophytes, with which the rocks abound, and I have added a good deal to m_ollection. I was at some distance from the pinnace, when I heard a confuse_ound of voices, and concluded that the savages were coming; in fact, ten or _ozen issued from the road you had entered, and I cannot comprehend how yo_issed meeting them. Fearing they would attempt to take possession of m_innace, I returned speedily, and seized a loaded musket, though I determine_o use it only to defend my own life, or the pinnace. I stood on the deck i_n attitude as bold and imposing as I could command; but I did not succeed i_ntimidating them. They leaped, one after the other, on deck, and surrounde_e, uttering loud cries. I could not discover whether they were cries of jo_r of fury; but I showed no fear, and addressed them in a friendly tone, i_ome words from Capt. Cook's vocabulary; but they did not seem to comprehen_e, neither could I understand any of theirs except _écroué_ (father), whic_hey frequently repeated, and _tara-tauo_ (woman). One of them had Fritz'_un, from which I concluded they were of the party that had carried off Jack.
I took it, and showing him mine, endeavoured to make him understand that i_lso belonged to me. He thought I wished to exchange, and readily offered t_eturn it, and take mine. This would not have suited me; Fritz's gun wa_ischarged, and I could not let them have mine loaded. To prevent accident,
surrounded as I was, I decided to give them a fright, and seeing a bird flyin_bove us, I took aim so correctly, that my shot brought down the bird, a blu_igeon. They were for a moment stupified with terror; then immediately al_eft the pinnace, except Parabéry; he seemed to be pleased with me, ofte_ointing to the sky, saying _mété_ , which means _good_ , I believe. Hi_omrades were examining the dead bird. Some touched their own shoulders, t_ry if they were wounded as well as the bird and Jack had been, whic_onvinced me they had carried him off. I tried to make Parabéry understand m_uspicion, and I think I succeeded, for he made me an affirmative sign,
pointing to the interior of the island, and touching his shoulder with an ai_f pity. I took several things from the chest, and gave them to him, makin_igns that he should show them to the others, and induce them to return to me.
He comprehended me very well, and complied with my wishes. I was soo_urrounded by the whole party, begging of me. I was busy distributing beads,
mirrors, and small knives when you came, and we are now excellent friends. Tw_r three of them returned to the wood, and brought me cocoa-nuts and bananas.
But we must be careful to hide our guns, of which they have a holy horror. An_ow, dear father, I think we ought not to call these people _savages_. The_ave the simplicity of childhood; a trifle irritates them, a trifle appease_hem; they are grateful and affectionate. I find them neither cruel no_arbarous. They have done me no harm, when they might easily have killed me,
thrown me into the sea, or carried me away."
"We must not," said I, "judge of all savage people by these, who have had th_enefit of a virtuous teacher. Mr. Willis has already cast into their heart_he seeds of that divine religion, which commands us to do unto others as w_ould they should do unto us, and to pardon and love our enemies."
While we were discoursing, we arrived at a spot where the canoes had alread_anded; we were about to do the same, but the king did not seem inclined t_uit the pinnace, but continued speaking to the missionary. I was stil_earful that he wished to keep Francis, to whom he seemed to be more and mor_ttached, holding him constantly on his knee; but at last, to my great joy, h_laced him in my arms.
"He keeps his word with you," said Mr. Willis. "You may carry him to hi_other; but, in return, he wishes you to permit him to go in your pinnace t_is abode on the other side of the strait, that he may show it to the women,
and he promises to bring it back; perhaps there would be danger in refusin_im."
I agreed with him; but still there was a difficulty in granting this request.
If he chose to keep it, how should we return? Besides, it contained our onl_arrel of powder, and all our articles of traffic, and how could we expect i_ould escape pillage?
Mr. Willis confessed he had not yet been able to cure their fondness fo_heft, and suggested, as the only means of security, that I should accompan_he king, and bring the pinnace back, which was then to be committed to th_harge of Parabéry, for whose honesty he would be responsible.
Here was another delay; the day was so far advanced, that I might not,
perhaps, be able to return before night. Besides, though my wife did not kno_e were so near her, she knew they had carried away Francis, and she woul_ertainly be very uneasy about him. Bara-ourou looked very impatient, and a_t was necessary to answer him, I decided at once; I resigned Francis to th_issionary, entreating him to take him to his mother, to prepare her for ou_pproach, and to relate the cause of our delay. I told my sons, it was m_esire they should accompany me. Fritz agreed rather indignantly, and Ernes_ith calmness. Mr. Willis told the king, that in gratitude to him, and to d_im honour, I and my sons wished to accompany him. He appeared much flattere_t this, made my sons seat themselves on each side of him, endeavoured t_ronounce their names, and finished by exchanging names as a token o_riendship, calling Fritz, _Bara_ ; Ernest, _Ourou_ ; and himself, Fritz-
Ernest. Mr. Willis and Francis left us; our hearts were sad to see them g_here all our wishes centred; but the die was cast. The king gave the signa_o depart; the canoes took the lead, and we followed. In an hour we saw th_oyal palace. It was a tolerably large hut, constructed of bamboos and palm-
leaves, very neatly. Several women were seated before it, busily employed i_aking the short petticoats of reeds which they all wore. Their hair was ver_arefully braided in tufts on the crown of the head; none were good-looking,
except two daughters of the king, about ten and twelve years old, who, thoug_ery dark, were graceful: these, no doubt, he intended for wives for m_rancis. We disembarked about a hundred yards from the hut. The women came t_eet us, carrying a branch of the mimosa in each hand; they then performed _ingular kind of dance, entwining their arms and shaking their feet, but neve_oving from the spot; this they accompanied with a wild chant, which wa_nything but musical. The king seemed pleased with it; and, calling his wive_nd daughters, he showed them his _tayo, Bara_ and _Ourou_ , callin_imself Fritz-Ernest; he then joined in the dance, dragging my sons with him,
who managed it pretty well. As for me, he treated me with great respect,
always calling me _écroué_ —father, and made me sit down on a large trunk o_ tree before his house; which was, doubtless, his throne, for he placed m_here with great ceremony, rubbing his royal nose against mine. After th_ance was concluded, the women retired to the hut, and returned to offer us _ollation, served up in the shells of cocoa-nuts. It was a sort of paste,
composed, I believe, of different sorts of fruit, mixed up with a kind o_lour and the milk of the cocoa-nut. This mixture was detestable to me; but _ade up for it with some kernel of cocoa-nuts and the bread-fruit. Perceivin_hat I liked these, Bara-ourou ordered some of them to be gathered, an_arried to the pinnace.
The hut was backed by a wood of palms and other trees, so that our provisio_as readily made. Still there was time for my sons to run to the pinnace,
attended by Parabéry, and bring from the chest some beads, mirrors, scissors,
needles and pins, to distribute to the ladies. When they brought the frui_hey had gathered, I made a sign to Bara-ourou to take them to see th_innace; he called them, and they followed him timidly, and submitting to hi_ishes in everything, They carried the fruit two and two, in a sort o_askets, very skilfully woven in rushes, which appeared to have a Europea_orm. They had no furniture in their dwelling but mats, which were doubtles_heir beds, and some trunks of trees, serving for seats and tables. Severa_askets were suspended to the bamboo which formed the walls, and also lances,
slings, clubs, and other similar weapons; from which I concluded they were _ation of warriors. I did not observe much, however, for my thoughts were i_he future, and I was very impatient for our departure. I hastened to th_innace, and my sons distributed their gifts to the females, who did not dar_o express their delight; but it was evident in their countenances. The_mmediately began to adorn themselves with their presents, and appeared t_alue the mirrors much more than their husbands had done. They soon understoo_heir use, and employed them to arrange with taste the strings of beads roun_heir necks, heads, and arms.
At last the signal was given for our departure; I rubbed my nose against tha_f the king. I added to my presents a packet of nails, and one of gil_uttons, which he seemed to covet. I went on board my pinnace, and, conducte_y the good Parabéry, we took our way to that part of the coast where the dea_nes resided whom I so anxiously desired to see. Some of the savage_ccompanied us in their own canoe; we should have preferred having only ou_riend Parabéry, but we were not the masters.
Favoured by the wind, we soon reached the shore we had formerly quitted, an_ound our excellent missionary waiting for us.
"Come," said he, "you are now going to receive your reward. Your wife an_hildren impatiently expect you; they would have come to meet you, but you_ife is still weak, and Jack suffering—your presence will soon cure them."
I was too much affected to answer. Fritz gave me his arm, as much to suppor_e as to restrain himself from rushing on before. Ernest did the same with Mr.
Willis; his mildness pleased the good man, who also saw his taste for study,
and tried to encourage it. After half an hour's walk, the missionary told u_e were now near our good friends. I saw no sign of a habitation, nothing bu_rees and rocks; at last I saw a light smoke among the trees, and at tha_oment Francis, who had been watching, ran to meet us.
"Mamma is expecting you," said he, showing us the way through a grove o_hrubs, thick enough to hide entirely the entrance into a kind of grotto; w_ad to stoop to pass into it. It resembled much the entrance of the bear'_en, which we found in the remote part of our island. A mat of rushes covere_he opening, yet permitted the light to penetrate it. Francis removed th_atting, calling—
"Mamma, here we are!"
A lady, apparently about twenty-even years of age, of mild and pleasin_ppearance, came forward to meet me. She a clothed in a rob mad of palm-leave_ied together, which reached from her throat to her feet, leaving he_eautiful arms uncovered. Her light hair was braided and fastened up round he_ead.
"You are welcome," said she, taking my hand; "you will be my poor friend'_est physician."
We entered, and saw my dear wife seated on a bed of moss and leaves; she wep_bundantly, pointing out to me our dear boy by her side. A little nymph o_leven or twelve years old was endeavouring to raise him.
"Here are your papa and brothers, Jack," said she; "you are very happy i_aving what I have not: but your papa will be mine, and you shall be m_rother."
Jack thanked her affectionately. Fritz and Ernest, kneeling beside the couch,
embraced their mother. Fritz begged her to forgive him for hurting hi_rother; and then tenderly inquired of Jack after his wound. For me, I canno_escribe my gratitude and agitation; I could scarce utter a word to my dea_ife, who, on her part, sunk down quite overcome on her bed. The lady, wh_as, I understood, named Madame Hirtel, approached to assist her. When sh_ecovered, she presented to me Madame Hirtel and her two daughters. Th_ldest, Sophia, was attending on Jack; Matilda, who was about ten or eleve_ears of age, was playing with Francis; while the good missionary, on hi_nees, thanked God for having re-united us.
"And for life," cried my dear wife. "My dear husband, I well knew you woul_et out to seek me; but how could I anticipate that you would ever succeed i_inding me? We will now separate no more; this beloved friend has agreed t_ccompany us to the Happy Island, as I intend to call it, if I ever have th_appiness to reach it again with all I love in the world. How graciously Go_ermits us to derive blessings from our sorrows. See what my trial ha_roduced me: a friend and two dear daughters, for henceforward we are only on_amily,"
We were mutually delighted with this arrangement, and entreated Mr. Willis t_isit us often, and to come and live in the Happy Island when his mission wa_ompleted.
"I will consent," said he, "if you will come and assist me in my duties; fo_hich purpose you and your sons must acquire the language of these islanders.
We are much nearer your island than you think, for you took a very circuitou_ourse, and Parabéry, who knows it, declares it is only a day's voyage with _air wind. And, moreover, he tells me, that he is so much delighted with yo_nd your sons, that he cannot part with you, and wishes me to obtain you_ermission to accompany you, and remain with you. He will be exceedingl_seful to you: will teach the language to you all, and will be a ready mean_f communication between us."
I gladly agreed to take Parabéry with us as a friend; but it was no time ye_o think of departing, as Mr. Willis wished to have Jack some days longe_nder his care; we therefore arranged that I and my two sons should become hi_uests, as his hut was but a short distance off. We had many things to hear;
but, as my wife was yet too weak to relate her adventures, we resolved firs_o have the history of Madame Hirtel. Night coming on, the missionary lighte_ gourd lamp, and, after a light collation of bread-fruit, Madame Hirtel bega_er story.