An' then the cocoa-nut fairly put the lid on. I tell ye, a chap has to dae something when a girl treats him like that. 'Has he? He winced. 'But I forgive ye 'Thanks! because I'm gaun to tell ye a' aboot it, Christina, an' ask ye kindly to forgive me. Ay, I'm gaun to tell ye everything everything!
The cocoa-nut trees generally grow separate, but here the young ones flourished beneath their tall parents, and formed with their long and curved fronds the most shady arbours. Those alone who have tried it know how delicious it is to be seated in such shade, and drink the cool pleasant fluid of the cocoa-nut.
There are, however, houses of another kind, belonging to the chiefs, in which there is some degree of privacy. These are much smaller, and so constructed as to be carried about in their canoes from place to place, and set up occasionally, like a tent; they are enclosed on the sides with cocoa-nut leaves, but not so close as to exclude the air, and the chief and his wife sleep in them alone.
The plains, or flat part of the country, abounded in bread-fruit, and cocoa-nut trees; in some places, however, there were salt swamps and lagoons, which would produce neither. We went again a-shore on the 18th, and would have taken the advantage of Tupia's company, in our perambulation; but he was too much engaged with his friends.
"No," replied Mr Seagrave; "he has not been near us all day; he went with us after breakfast, but did not remain a quarter of an hour." "No, Missy; I tell Massa Tommy to help carry cocoa-nut leaves, and then he go away directly." "Goodness! where can he be?" exclaimed Mrs Seagrave, alarmed. "I dare say he is picking up shells on the beach, ma'am," replied Ready, "or perhaps he is in the garden.
Ready and William continued their way through the cocoa-nut grove for more than an hour longer, marking the trees as they went along; they then sat down to take their breakfast. "Don't give the dogs any water, William, nor any of the salt meat; give them biscuit only." "But they are very thirsty; may not I give them a little?"
Its general appearance is not unlike the cocoa-nut palm. Our conductor called the sago tree sibla, but the Malays give it the name of rumbiga. They say that each tree, if kept properly pruned down, will produce at least five hundred pounds of pith per annum; but it soon degenerates if suffered to grow to any considerable height.
These crabs also make their homes in deep burrows, which they line with the husks and fibres from the cocoanuts. Though a land crab the Cocoa-Nut cousin is fond of the sea, and takes a bath in it every night. These crabs grow to a very large size.
The side walls of these houses are not more than two feet high, made only of bamboos lashed by cocoa-nut fibre, or wattled together, and the long sloping roofs nearly touch ground but within they are tolerably clean and quite dry.
We walked with him to a grove of cocoa-nut trees, passing a number of the people as we passed through, but no one attempted to follow us; and after about a quarter of an hour's walk he led us to a roughly-built palm-thatched shed, where we could hear the sounds of chopping and hammering, and on entering we found, to our surprise, that the shed was far larger than we had expected, and that in it were four men busy at work making a boat similar to one that lay there evidently but lately built.