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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/502

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

viously mentioned. The trough was about thirty feet long, and carved to represent a crocodile. Twenty-two men were seated on each side of the trough, and an old man at either end. They had all their ornaments on and wore their shields over their shoulders, while their spears and tomahawks were close behind them. The food, consisting of taro, yams, and nuts, was placed in the trough, and the men sat ready. An old man in full fighting rig was then seen advancing toward the house. Walking up to the entrance, he suddenly started back and raised his spear, exclaiming, "Basioto!" ("A crocodile!") and standing on the defensive. Ingova then advanced from the interior of the house, and, placing one hand on the crocodile's head, began a speech which lasted about ten minutes. At a given signal the men began pounding the food, all of them keeping excellent time. When they got tired or hot they were relieved by others, and the pounding was continued for over half an hour. I was then asked to go, and, not wishing to offend them, I did so.

[On another occasion the author had walked with some natives from Aola, on the coast of Guadalcanar, to a town called Kobua, situated on the river of that name, and about four miles inland.] While walking along the river-bank with my men we heard a number of natives approaching, shouting and making a great noise. I was told they were coast natives returning from a raid upon a mountain town. My men all stood on the defensive with their spears ready poised, and I got my revolver ready, but they proved to be friends. They were very proud of their victory, and told me that they had killed one man and got one alive. I saw the dead man's hand and a piece of flesh carried in triumph by one of them on his spear. I did not see the prisoner, and I was glad to hear afterward that he had escaped. It is these constant raids of the coast natives upon the bushmen, and retaliatory ones on the part of the bushmen upon the coast natives, that render it difficult and dangerous to penetrate any distance into the interior. I had been over three months at Aola before I could induce the natives to accompany me into the interior, during which time I had surveyed all the lower coast of the rivers in the neighborhood.

[A typical illustration of the vegetation of the islands is furnished in the picture of the sago palms (Fig. 3) on the Bokokimbo River, a stream which runs down from the mountains of the interior.] The vegetation [the author says] is here most luxuriant, and composed of large ficus and other large forest trees, with occasional clumps of sago and areca palms, but few cocoanuts. The river was ascended and surveyed for about ten miles, for the whole of which it runs through a rich alluvial flat, densely wooded.

[Valemanga, where the author stopped in an attempt to make