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The sharks of Tokelau have no teeth, like the people there, for they too are eaters of fala." This evoked a sally of laughter, in which of course I joined. However, I was to have my own little joke at Viliamu's expense later on.

A similar disregard of the dangerous attributes awarded by popular consent to the shark may be witnessed everywhere among the people who know him best. The cruelties perpetrated upon sharks by seamen generally are the result of ignorance and superstition combined, the most infernal forces known to humanity.

"You are right, sir; I would rather have a stand up fight with the Malays than trust myself for two minutes in this muddy water. Why, they are worse than sharks, sir; a shark does hoist his fin as a signal that he is cruising about, but these chaps come sneaking along underneath the water, and the first you know about them is that they have got you by the leg."

The next day Pauline and her brothers visited the wreck, and here new difficulties met them, for although the vessel lay hard and fast on the rocks, there was a belt of water between it and the main shore, which was not only broad, but deep. "I can easily swim it," said Dominick, beginning to pull off his coat. "Dom," said Otto, solemnly, "sharks!" "That's true, my boy, I won't risk it."

As was generally the case, the light attracted hundreds of fish of various shapes, sizes, and, since the waters were tropical, beautiful colors. They swarmed in front of the glass windows, and Ned was glad to note that there were no large sea creatures, like horse mackerel or big sharks. Somehow or other, Ned had a horror of big fish.

"Come and see," he roared, dragging me by the collar to the gallery; "come and see. They sink, the lubbers! They go to blazes every one of them. Look at their faces, the crawling scum. Ha! ha! Die, you vermin! as you meant me to die; fill your skins with water, you sharks! I spit on you! Boys, do you hear them crying to you? Music, fine music! Who'll dance when the devil plays?

Perhaps you remember that, three or four years ago, he fell into the hands of a couple of sharks who pretended to be mediums. "He had always believed in spiritualism, and those crooks caught him just right. They called up the spooks of all the dead people he could think of. They got messages from the spirit land seven nights in the week and two matinees. My uncle simply went wild about it.

Bending the end of one of the lines to the centre of a spear, Mr Shobbrok let it drop into the water, where it floated; while he stood by to haul up Nub as soon as he caught hold of it. Walter continued in the meantime cutting off pieces of blubber and throwing them towards the head of the whale, and as long as he did so the sharks remained on the watch for the delicious morsels.

To be sure, the sharks and other monsters were down there, but then they must have been awfully frightened, and perhaps they might not remember that man was their nat'ral enemy. Anyway, I thought it would be better to try the smooth water passage down there than stay and be swallowed up by the ragin' waves on top.

Then they came up all together near to the sea, of awful roar, dancing, as it were, with its billows, bounding with the breeze, and laughing with masses of froth, and stumbling at the caves, and thronged with diverse kinds of sharks, and frequented by flocks of various birds.