After a flood, when the water is running out of the tributaries of the creek, the blacks make a bough break beginning on each bank and almost meeting in the middle; across the gap they place a fishing-net which folds in like a bag, thus forming a fish-trap in which are caught any number of fish. Crayfish and mussels they caught by digging down their holes in the mud for them.
The mother remains at home kneading a nice cake to gratify the appetite of the little marauders. "Mother, Mother!" cried John, who returned the first; "see what a superb lobster the rising sea has brought up and left in the crevice of a rock, which I call my fish-trap. Might not one say that the sea knew that it was Grace's feast day?"
"Oh! that will be capital," said Harry; who then had to enter into a long dissertation, explaining to Fred what a fish-trap was; and how watermills went round; and which was the dam, and the tail, and the waste-water, and all the rest of it.
If he hadn't got snared in his trailing coat he would have won that race. When the two hunters had captured Kaviak, and shut him indoors, they acted on his implied suggestion that the fish-trap ought to be examined. They chopped away the fresh-formed ice. Empty, as usual.
Ulung Ela made a fish-trap and when he returned next morning he found it full of fish. He put them in his rattan bag, which he slung on his back and started for home. As he walked, he heard an antoh, Aaton Kohang, singing, and he saw many men and women, to whom he called out: "It is much better you come to my place and sing there." Aaton Kohang said: "Very well, we will go there."
From such a tree he cuts a stout branch and makes of it the principal post in his fish-trap; for he believes that, just as the tree lured many birds to its fruit, so the branch cut from that tree will lure many fish to the trap. The western tribes of British New Guinea employ a charm to aid the hunter in spearing dugong or turtle.
They were shown the different methods of catching fish, and learnt to make the different kinds of fish-trap used by Dyaks of the present day, and they remained in Singalang Burong's house that whole year for the purpose of acquiring a complete and practical knowledge of the different stages of paddy growing. When the year was ended, Seragunting's mother took him and Siu to see her father.
As for your fish-trap, you are privileged to build another, or a dozen more, wherever you please. Willis has already told me everything that you have said, and it strikes me that you have simply been outgeneraled. Your complaints do not appeal to me. Even granting your absurd assumption that Marsh tried to put you out of the way, it seems to me that you have more than evened the score." "How?"
"We are ordered to take you and submerge you in the sea." "But," objected Tabloc-laui, "I am ready now to marry the chief's daughter." He was carried to the sea and plunged into the water, in spite of his crying, "I am not Pusong! I am Tabloc-laui!" The next week the chief was in his boat, going from one fish-trap to another, to inspect them. Pusong swam out to the boat.
It was a fish-trap just a ring of reeds set up in the water with only one little opening in it, and in this opening, just below the water, were stuck reeds slanting the way of the river's flow, so that the fish, when they had swum sillily in, sillily couldn't get out again.