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鈥楴ow, men, as we are just off a six months鈥 cruise, and have got through most all our work in port here, I suppose you want to go ashore. Well, I mean to give your watch liberty today, so you may get ready as soon all you please, and go; but understand this, I am going to give you liberty because I suppose you would growl like so many old quarter gunners if I didn鈥檛; at the same time, if you鈥檒l take my advice, every mother鈥檚 son of you will stay aboard and keep out of the way of the bloody cannibals altogether. Ten to one, men, if you go ashore, you will get into some infernal row, and that will be the end of you; for if those tattooed scoundrels get you a little ways back into their valleys, they鈥檒l nab you鈥攖hat you may be certain of. Plenty of white men have gone ashore here and never been seen any more. There was the old Dido, she put in here about two years ago, and sent one watch off on liberty; they never were heard of again for a week鈥攖he natives swore they didn鈥檛 know where they were鈥攁nd only three of them ever got back to the ship again, and one with his face damaged for life, for the cursed heathens tattooed a broad patch clean across his figure-head. But it will be no use talking to you, for go you will, that I see plainly; so all I have to say is, that you need not blame me if the islanders make a meal of you. You may stand some chance of escaping them though, if you keep close about the French encampment,鈥攁nd are back to the ship again before sunset. Keep that much in your mind, if you forget all the rest I鈥檝e been saying to you. There, go forward: bear a hand and rig yourselves, and stand by for a call. At two bells the boat will be manned to take you off, and the Lord have mercy on you!鈥

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I never used my razor during my stay in the island, but although a very subordinate affair, it had been vastly admired by the Typees; and Narmonee, a great hero among them, who was exceedingly precise in the arrangements of his toilet and the general adjustment of is person, being the most accurately tattooed and laboriously horrified individual in all the valley, thought it would be a great advantage to have it applied to the already shaven crown of his head.?
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鈥楾here! I told you so! they are coming for us!鈥 exclaimed my companion the next moment, as the forms of four of the islanders were seen in bold relief against the illuminated back-ground mounting the pi-pi and approaching towards us.!
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Such was the issue of the battle, as far as its results came under my observation: and as it appeared to be considered an event of prodigious importance, I reasonably concluded that the wars of the natives were marked by no very sanguinary traits. I afterwards learned how the skirmish had originated. A number of the Happars had been discovered prowling for no good purpose on the Typee side of the mountain; the alarm sounded, and the invaders, after a protracted resistance, had been chased over the frontier. But why had not the intrepid Mehevi carried the war into Happar? Why had he not made a descent into the hostile vale, and brought away some trophy of his victory鈥攕ome materials for the cannibal entertainment which I had heard usually terminated every engagement? After all, I was much inclined to believe that these shocking festivals must occur very rarely among the islanders, if, indeed, they ever take place..

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Within the last few, years American and English vessels engaged in the extensive whale fisheries of the Pacific have occasionally, when short of provisions, put into the commodious harbour which there is in one of the islands; but a fear of the natives, founded on the recollection of the dreadful fate which many white men have received at their hands, has deterred their crews from intermixing with the population sufficiently to gain any insight into their peculiar customs and manners.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
The best!