There was once a South Sea Island supercargo named Denison who had a Kanaka father and mother. This was when Denison was a young man. His father's name was Kusis; his mother's Tulpé. Also, he had several brown-skinned, lithe-limbed, and ...
There was once a South Sea Island supercargo named Denison who had
a Kanaka father and mother. This was when Denison was a young man.
His father's name was Kusis; his mother's Tulpé. Also, he had
several brown-skinned, lithe-limbed, and big-eyed brothers and
sisters, who made much of their new white brother, and petted and
caressed and wept over him as if he were an ailing child of six
instead of a tough young fellow of two-and-twenty who had nothing
wrong with him but a stove-in rib and a heart that ached for home,
which made him cross and fretful.
But Denison hasn't got much to do with this story, so all I need
say of him is that he had been the supercargo of a brig called the
Leonora; and the Leonora had been wrecked on Strong's Island in the
North Pacific; and Denison had quarrelled with the captain, whose
name was "Bully" Hayes; and so one day he said goodbye to the
roystering Bully and the rest of his shipmates, and travelled
across the lagoon till he came to a sweet little village named
Leassé, and asked for Kusis, who was the head man thereof.
"Give me, O Kusis, to eat and drink, and a mat whereon to sleep;
for I have broken apart from the rest of the white men who were
cast away with me in the ship, and there is no more friendship
between us. And I desire to live here in peace."
Then Kusis, who was but a stalwart savage, nude to his loins, and
tattooed from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, lifted
Denison up in his brawny arms, and carried him into his house, and
set him down on a fine mat; and Tulpé, his wife, and Kinia, his
daughter, put food before him on platters of twisted cane, and bade
Then, when the white man slept, Kusis called around him the people
of Leassé and told them that that very day a messenger had come to
him from the King and said that the white man who was coming to
Leassé was to be as a son to him, "for," said the King, "my stomach
is filled with friendship for this man, because when he was rich
and a supercargo he had a generous hand to us of Strong's Island.
But now he is poor, and hath been sick for many months, so thou,
Kusis, must be father to him and give him all that he may want."