Such incidents as the sack of Jerusalem, the Crusades, or Cassar's assassination, are recent events compared to the beginnings of some of these families, whose last descendants have died or are dying to-day. I took Titihuti's words with me as I went down the trail from my little blue cabin at the foot of Temetiu for the last time: "We come, we do not know whence, and we go, we do not know where.
It was a far flight for fancy to take, from my paepae in the jungle at the foot of Temetiu, but looking at the beauty and grace of Malicious Gossip as she sat on my mats in her crimson pareu, I liked to think that it was so. "We are cousins," I said to her, handing her a freshly-opened cocoanut which Exploding Eggs brought.
Above the small blue-walled house the rocky peak of Temetiu rose steeply, four thousand feet into the air, its lower reaches clothed in jungle-vines, and trees, its summit dark green under a clear sky, but black when the sun was hidden.
There was no need to disturb them, for it is the good and honored custom of these hospitable islands to sleep wherever slumber overtakes one. The night was fine, the stars looked down through the breadfruit-trees, and Temetiu, the giant mountain, was dark and handsome in the blue and gold sky.
Anchorage of Taha-Uka; Exploding Eggs, and his engagement as valet; inauguration of the new governor; dance on the palace lawn. As we approached Hiva-oa the giant height of Temetiu slowly lifted four thousand feet above the sea, swathed in blackest clouds. Below, purple-black valleys came one by one into view, murky caverns of dank vegetation.
We were directly above the Bay of Traitors, that arm of the sea which curved into the little bays of Taka-Uka and Atuona. At one side, a mere pinnacle through the vapor about his throat, rose the rugged head of Temetiu, and ranged below him the black fastnesses of the valleys he commands.
"He had seen from the corner of his eye a sight of some one fleeing from the cave. He was curious, and swam to it. It was late in the day, for the priestess had come for the evening bath. The sun had hidden himself behind Temetiu and the cave was dark. The man came, then, stepping with care, and his feet found in the darkness a living body, warm and soft and perfumed with flowers.