Read CHAPTER XVII of Scenes in the Hawaiian Islands and California , free online book, by Mary Evarts Anderson, on

Kauai and Oahu.

“Come aunty, come!” said Alice; “Willie and Carrie sent me to call you.” So I went with my little messenger.

We left Mr. Krull’s on the morning of May 15, and had a sandy and uninteresting ride until noon. The only pleasant thing about it, beside good company, was an exquisite bouquet of beautiful tea-rosebuds, from our kind entertainer’s garden. At noon a carriage met us, kindly sent by a foreign resident at Lihue, and the older members of the party got into it. It was a heavily-built English barouche drawn by two horses. Two native outriders, when a steep hill was to be ascended, attached lassos to the carriage, which were fastened to their saddles, so that, with the aid of their horses, the carriage went steadily and quickly over the ground, and the occupants had the satisfaction of riding in a coach and four.

“What are lassos?” asked Alice.

A lasso is a long rope, sometimes made of leather. It is generally used to catch wild horses or cattle with; but it did excellent service in the way in which it was used that day.

We arrived at Mrs. Rice’s, Lihue, in good season, and stayed there overnight. We visited another sugar-mill there, and found it like the others, a sweet place.

Early on Saturday morning, I started on an excursion to Wailua Falls, about six miles distant. We rode over field and meadow, when suddenly my companion reined in his horse, and came for me to dismount. “But where are the falls?” said I. “You will see soon.” A few steps brought me to the brink of an abyss. What a beautiful scene burst upon my astonished eye! Right before me was this huge sheet of water, pouring into a dark circular pool beneath. One side of the fall was heavy, the other so thin that it seemed as if every drop fell by itself; while covering the black rocks beneath, as if with emerald velvet, were delicate ferns and mosses. How pure and fleecy it looked! while far, far below us the river gleamed like silver through the leaves. The hight of this fall is one hundred and eighty-six feet, and it is fifty feet broad. Two miles farther up the river is another fall nearly as high, but divided into two cascades, one about one hundred feet, the other perhaps seventy.

There is a fine estate not far from the falls that seemed more like an American country-seat than any I saw on the islands. A large square house is built upon the edge of what was once an old crater, but which is now transformed into a fine garden, abounding in flowers. This is a dairy-farm, and is well kept. Our sixteen miles’ ride was performed in less than three hours, which we thought fast riding, there being no road most of the way.

We left Lihue at ten o’clock, and rode over to Koloa, ten miles, in the barouche, arriving there in time for dinner.

After tea the young people of the mission went down upon the beach to see the “Spouting Horn.” Through an underground channel, the waves are driven in with so much force as to make, through a small hole in the rock, a fountain forty or fifty feet high, with a sound that is heard for some distance. There is also a blow-hole, reminding one of the volcano, and a “boiler,” a round cavity where the waves sink, and then suddenly boil over.

On the Sabbath, grandpa addressed the natives in the morning. The governor of the island of Kauai was present. In the afternoon he preached to the foreigners. Quite a party came over from Lihue, making a goodly number in all. Almost all the native churches on the Sandwich Islands are pretty and neat. The people seem to take a great deal of pride in them, and keep them in good repair. All are furnished with bells, so that the sound of the “church-going bell” is heard in every village.

Monday morning we started for Waimea with a large cavalcade, our friends wishing to see us safely over the first half of our way. Mr. Rowell, of Waimea, met us. The country as we neared Waimea grew desolate. They had had no rain there for a year, and nearly all vegetation had dried up. Not a blade of grass was seen, and only a few green trees relieved the eye in that arid region. The reason of the drought is that Waimea is on the leeward side of the mountains, which are a barrier to the clouds and rain.

“What is leeward?” asked Harry.

On the opposite side from that upon which the wind blows. We were met with great cordiality by the entire family. “Old Jona” came to see us, an aged Hawaiian of Kamehameha I.’s time. A very interesting old man he was too.

The next morning there was a meeting at the church, and grandpa addressed the natives. “Old Jona” sat in front of the pulpit, and when anything grandpa said pleased him particularly, he would turn round to him, smile, and nod his head. It was amusing to observe his evident enjoyment.

Some of us went down to the beach. The tide was coming in, and the boys made what they called sandboats. They built a bank in the shape of a boat, and watched to see the waves wash it away. At length they made a heavy sand fort, which they called Sumter, that seemed strong enough to defy the assaults of the water. Wave after wave dashed against and over it, and finally it, too, disappeared like the others.

In the afternoon we rode up into the valley, where Mr. Rowell’s garden is. There everything was green, in striking contrast with the scene near his house. We found some nice peaches, and brought home a pretty bouquet of white roses and nasturtions. The next day, Wednesday, we started for Koloa. Dr. Smith and party met us at Wahiawa. We stopped to dine at Mr. Duncan McBride’s, a Scotchman’s, where we were sumptuously entertained. After tea at Dr. Smith’s, we embarked on the steam-schooner Annie Laurie, and soon after seven, took our farewell look at the island of Kauai.

Two nights and a day were spent on the deck of that schooner, with a chopped sea, a head-wind, and sea-sickness, a weary, dreary time. We were somewhat comforted about three o’clock on Friday morning by hailing the bark Young Hector, just outside of Honolulu harbor; for we knew that before long home letters would be in our hands, and we had received none for a month. About five o’clock, our steamer reached the wharf, and we were soon in our comfortable quarters at Mr. Clark’s. About eight o’clock our letters came.

We had little time for rest; for the next day, Saturday, May 23, we started on our tour around Oahu.

We saw among the Moanalua hills a curious little salt lake, as salt as the sea. Here a slight shower dampened our clothes, but not our spirits. About fifteen miles from Honolulu we stopped at Ewa, where grandpa was to hold a meeting in the church. Quite a number of natives came, and we had a pleasant greeting. The lunch was served for us at Mr. Bishop’s house, and we then resumed our journey over a good road, and finished our ride of thirty-five miles about five o’clock. We stayed at Mr. Emerson’s, Waialua, and had two services in the native language on the Sabbath. We really enjoyed these meetings with the natives, and constantly exclaimed, “What hath God wrought!” Only a few years ago, these islands were in the depths of barbarism and idolatry; now, what a change! The people are well dressed; in the house of God they are respectful and attentive, have their own deacons, their own choir, are intelligent. Most of them can read, and when the text was given out, or a chapter read, often the Bible would be opened to the place, and they would follow the reading with great apparent interest.

On Monday the younger members of the party rode to a grove about eight miles distant to get tree-shells, and brought home quite a number.

Tuesday morning we started for Kualoa. Grandpa and grandma rode in Mr. Emerson’s wagon drawn by two horses; the rest of us were on horseback. The roads were good, our spirits excellent, and the weather fine; so, of course, all was well. Mr. Charles H. Judd met us with his double team about five miles out, and we lunched at Mr. Moffatt’s. Mr. Moffatt is an Englishman, who has here a fine place, and large herds of cattle. He has a pretty bathing-place near the house, perhaps twenty feet in diameter, half in sunlight, half in a grotto, with delicate ferns almost hiding the rock.

There were several peacocks sunning themselves on a wall near the house; but none of them condescended to spread their beautiful feathers for us to admire. Before the house are two large stone idols, the only ones we saw on the islands.

“Are they worshiped, aunty?” asked Alice.

No, they are placed there as curiosities.

Grandpa and Mr. Judd had an engagement, and started before us. Grandma rode in Mr. Judd’s wagon, and we left Mr. Moffatt’s about two.