Chalmers asked by the natives to go to Elema Native fears Difficulties at the start Namoa Delena A Motumotu trading canoe Interview with Semese, chief of Lese Christian natives Friendly meeting with a war canoe Arrival at Motumotu Friendly reception Viewing Mr. Chalmers's feet Natives in full dress Sunday open-air service Sago as an article of commerce Peace agreed upon Return to Boera.
A fine pig was speared, brought and laid at my feet. Semese and the people were in the very best humour. Eeka was delighted with Piri, and the latter had a pig presented to him. We gave our presents, and, feeling tired, I suggested to our friends that we had better take the pigs to the other side of the entrance, to Macey Lagoon.
Semese is quite agreeable, now the peace is made, and it was arranged that he and his party should visit me with sago at Port Moresby. Both pigs, ready for cooking, were carried into the boat, and the excited crowd, this time all unarmed, were on the shore to see us off. They promised not to molest Kabadi again, and that they considered our visit as peace with all the coast villages.
A chief rushed into the water, and called on us to come. "Come, with peace from afar; come, friends, and you will meet us as friends." We went round and entered the river in deep water, close to eastern bank near to the village. Until we had a talk, I would allow none but Piri's friend and my friends, Semese and Rahe, near the boats.
Bob's calabash has brought him a host of friends. Piri is with his friends at one end of the village, and in the opposite I am to reside in my friend Rahe's dubu. Semese is his father, and a very old man. The number of old men and old women and children is astonishing. No enemy dare come near their villages, and their houses have never been burnt down.
As he moves along he shouts out his loss, and challenges the thief. We had a gathering of old men until late into the night, and they closed with a wail, chanted, with drums keeping time. Hours before daylight Semese was up, waiting for me to turn out. We had a fine run back to Yule, where, at sunset, we were met by a terrific gale of wind and a thunderstorm.
"Oh, that's for the sizars," tittered the feeble-minded Boodle, who tittered at everything. "S-s-sizars!" stammered Lord Fitzurse. "What's that mean? Are they v-v-very big f-f-fellows?" "Ha! ha! ha!" said Bruce. "No; they're sons of gyps and that kind of thing, who feed on the semese fragments of the high table." "They must be g-g-ghouls!" said his lordship, shudderingly.
On coming out I was seized by the hand by an elderly man, who, in a towering passion, drew me on. All I could make out was that somebody was a thief and a liar. The Boera chief ran up, and I asked him what was wrong. "Oh, this is your friend, Semese, the chief you gave the present to when you were last here, and he is angry with Eeka for taking you away." "Tell Piri to come up quickly."
Semese spoke nearly all the night through, exhorting all to peace, and that now we had visited them they ought no more to go about exalting themselves, fighting with their neighbours, and speaking evil of their friends, the Motuans. Rahe has brought his son, whom he has named Tamate. I have no doubt he will be an expensive honour. We went up the William River to-day.
"Piri, go with Eeka as your friend; give him a present as such; it is all right. I go with Semese." Soon squatting on the platform, wrath fled, and I had to wait to be fed. "But, Semese, I want to press on to Motumotu and see them. I am afraid of the weather coming on bad." "Motumotu to-morrow, Lese to-day; you must have a pig." "Leave the pig for another visit." All was of no avail.