The rest of the evening, on to Vaekehu's and back as far as to the pier, Stanislao walked with my arm and sheltered me with his umbrella; and after the boat had put off, we could still distinguish, in the murky darkness, his gestures of farewell. His words, if there were any, were drowned by the rain and the loud surf.
Only Vaekehu's mittens were of dye, not of silk; and they had been paid for, not in money, but the cooked flesh of men. It came in my mind with a clap, what she could think of it herself, and whether at heart, perhaps, she might not regret and aspire after the barbarous and stirring past.
I had known a man or two who had seen the queen at home, and who testified warmly to the harmonious blending of flesh color with the candle-nut soot. Among my effects in the House of the Golden Bed I had a photograph showing the multiplicity and fine execution of the designs upon Vaekehu's leg, yet comparing it with the two realities of Titihuti I could not yield the palm to the queen.