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

Honolulu again.

Wee little Alice came for me, with her bright face, at four o’clock next day, to lead me to my accustomed seat in the sitting-room, where my happy little group were always awaiting me.

The general meeting occupied most of the days until three o’clock, and we ladies took our sewing and listened to the grave debates. It was an interesting season to all present.

Half a dozen of us started on horseback one afternoon, to visit Kalihe valley, one of the beautiful gulches near Honolulu; but when we reached the entrance of the valley, it rained so that we could not explore its charms. But we turned off to the residence of an aged blind man, and rambled in his garden among peach, orange, and mango-trees, and then sat on the piazza eating mangoes and chatting for an hour. One of the most valued trees in this whole garden was a little dwarf apple-tree, with two good-sized apples on it. Those were some of the first ever grown on the islands, I believe. After our mango feast, we had a brisk gallop back to the town.

One day we occupied in making wreaths and mottoes to decorate the schoolhouse, where the annual meeting of the Cousins’ Society was to be held in the evening. Over the middle window, opposite the door, were the letters “X L C R” [Excelsior], and below were a wreath and festoon, with pendants intermixed with beautiful flowers. On either side, was “UNITY, 1852” [when the society was formed], and “HARMONY, 1863.” In the arch of each window hung a wreath of maile, a pretty green vine. Between each window was a tin candle-stand, trimmed with the vine and flowers. Over the door were four small American flags intertwined with one Hawaiian flag. The reports of the officers were read, and various addresses made, and “Unity” and “Harmony” were the watch-words of the meeting. We had one more meeting at the schoolhouse, when grandpa addressed the Cousins, reminding them of the responsibility resting on them; that as their fathers laid the burden down, they must take it up, and be to the Hawaiian people a help and support. They answered that they were ready and willing, and, God helping them, they would try and be faithful to the people committed to their care.

The last part of our stay in Honolulu we spent at the hospitable house of Mrs. Chamberlain, one of the oldest buildings in Honolulu. The house was in a very sunny spot, and was of stone. Pretty little lizards used to come out of their hiding-places and sun themselves, and I often watched them as they played about.

“Wouldn’t they hurt you?” asked timid little Alice.

Oh, no, indeed! they are perfectly harmless. They are very small and delicate; I seldom saw one more than three or four inches long.

“Do they have snakes on the islands?” asked Harry.

No, not one; the only poisonous reptiles are scorpions and centipedes. I saw only one scorpion. That was at Punahou. I was sitting in the parlor one day, and saw a small peculiar-looking creature creeping towards me on the floor. Some movement of mine, made it throw its tail up over its back; then I knew it was a scorpion; for I had read that the sting was in the tail, and when frightened, it would throw its tail over its back ready to strike. One of the gentlemen killed it.

I saw only two live centipedes. They are ugly-looking creatures. One dreads a close contact with them. They run and twist about as if they felt they were unwelcome guests.

We had a very pleasant farewell party at Dr. Judd’s, where we met missionary friends and some of the foreign consuls and their wives. Once more I explored the extinct crater of Punchbowl, this time on horseback, and admired the beautiful landscape before me when tinged with the setting sun.

On the afternoon of June 26th, the native women brought us gifts of tapa, necklaces, corals, etc. It was a suggestion of their own. They wished us to take home mementoes of them, and had been planning it for some time among themselves. Some of the necklaces were made of beautiful yellow feathers. Only two of that color grow on the bird, one under each wing; so the necklaces are very valuable. Others were made of hundreds of small braids of human hair, from which is suspended a hook made of whale’s tooth. Those were worn in former times only by chiefs.

My last excursion was a ride round the old crater of Diamond Head. We rode through the fine, cocoa-nut grove of Waikiki, drinking from its refreshing fruit, and then cantered along the sea-beach, nearing the desolate mountain at every bound. Just before we reached its base, a narrow belt of sand only separating it from the sea, a party of gayly-dressed natives came one by one round a projecting point on the full gallop. All wore their red and yellow kehaes, or riding-suits. There were twenty or more of them, and it seemed like a streak from a rainbow as they flitted by.

The nearer we came to Diamond Head, the more forbidding it looked. Nothing green is seen upon it; old decaying, crumbling lava extends from its summit to its base. Beyond the volcano is a very ancient burying-ground on the sea-shore, and as we rode over it, bones were often seen. We completed the circuit of Diamond Head, riding a distance of twelve miles in two hours, and returned quite refreshed by the excursion.

I then bade adieu to my little horse, who had served me so faithfully and well. He bore the name of “Shakspeare,” though usually called by the undignified title of Rat. Never did a little horse more deserve a better name. But then, “What’s in a name?”

On Sabbath afternoon, June 28th, Mr. Henry H. Parker, the son of a missionary, was ordained pastor of the congregation worshiping in the stone church. The services were very interesting to witness, but were all in Hawaiian. We had become quite familiar with the native sentence, “E pule kakou” “Let us pray.” The right hand of fellowship was given by Rev. Mr. Kuaea, a native minister, and it was an affecting sight to see those two young men, one white the other dark-skinned, clasp hands in Christian fellowship.

The 30th of June I attended my last “candy-pull.” This is a fashionable amusement there. The candy is made from sugar, and is whiter and less sticky than molasses.

Saturday, July 4th, opened in quite a patriotic manner with the firing of thirteen cannon. At ten, we went to Fort Street church, and heard a fine oration from the pastor, Rev. Mr. Corwin. The church was decorated with flags. Over the pulpit was laid a very large and elegant American flag, a silken banner. It seemed like an American assembly on our nation’s birthday. Early in the afternoon we attended a picnic on the grounds of Oahu College, Punahou. Those assembled sat in groups on the grass, while our Declaration of Independence was read. Then they adjourned to a long tent, under which were two tiers of tables, abundantly laid with a tempting array of good things, while “the feast of reason and flow of soul” were supplied by several patriotic speeches and songs. Thirteen cannon were fired at noon and night, and fireworks closed the evening. So you see how patriotic Americans are abroad.

July 5th was our last Sabbath in the islands. Grandpa had a farewell meeting at the stone church in the morning, at which about twenty-five hundred natives were present. Grandpa bade them good-by, and Judge Ii [Ee], one of themselves, expressed their farewell. Many crowded round to say their last “aloha.” It really made us feel sad to part from this interesting people. We longed to labor among them, and continue the good work so favorably begun.

Monday morning, July 6th, we went on board the bark Comet. Farewells were said; our visit at these islands was ended; and we were homeward bound.

What happy memories cluster around that little group of islands in the Pacific! We received only good deeds and kind words while there. The houses of missionaries and foreigners were ever opened to us in hospitality, and the natives were ready with a hand-grasp and a hearty “aloha.”

It is only about forty-three years since the missionaries first went there, and nobody could read or write, nobody had ever written in their language, and now thanks to our heavenly Father and the missionaries almost all the natives can do both.

What should we be, if only a little over forty years ago, our parents had been degraded heathen, knowing nothing of God, wandering about as naked and as wicked as those poor Hawaiians were? We ought to thank God, both for them and for ourselves, for ourselves, because we were not born thus, and for them, because the light of the gospel and of civilization has dawned upon them.