Hannah for that was his name had then returned to the Carolines for his family, and brought them to Samoa, from whence he thought he could get a passage down to the New Hebrides in one of the two German brigs then engaged in the Kanaka labour trade 'black-birding, as it was called. But one, the Iserbrook had been burnt in Sydney Harbour, and the other was away at Valparaiso.
Packenham thought a good deal of this flag it bore the letters R. P. in red in a yellow square on a blue ground until one day Hammerfeld, the German supercargo of the Iserbrook, said it stood for Remorseless Plunderer. Some one told this to Packenham, and although he gave the big Dutchman a bad beating for it, the thing travelled all over the South Seas and made him very wroth.
Where the canoe had sailed from, and whither bound, no one on board the Iserbrook could learn, for the stranger spoke a language utterly unknown to anyone of even the Iserbrook's polyglot ship's company men who came from all parts of Polynesia and Micronesia.
So early next morning Rfdan was put in a boat with many other new 'boys, and he smiled with joy, thinking he was going back to the ship and Onêata. But when the boat sailed round Mulinu's Point, and the spars of the Iserbrook were suddenly hidden by the intervening line of palm trees, a cry of terror burst from him, and he sprang overboard.
From the back of his neck two broad stripes of bright blue tattooing ran down the whole length of his muscular back, and thence curved outwards and downwards along the back of his thighs and terminated at each heel. No one on the Iserbrook had ever seen similar tattooing, and many were the conjectures as to Rídan's native place.