Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/503

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LIFE IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS.

the ascent of Mount Vatupusau (4,360 feet high), was situated at the height of 800 feet on the top of a narrow ridge, sloping abruptly down on the eastern and western sides], and was surrounded with a stockade about seven feet high, with a narrow opening, closed at night, through which we squeezed one by one. In

PSM V35 D503 Sago palms and nuts on the bokorimbo river guadalcanar.jpg
Fig. 3.—Sago Palms and Nuts—View on the Bokokimbo River, Guadalcanar.

weak places, sharpened bamboos were stuck in the ground on the inside of the fence to transfix any one breaking through. Walking into the center of the town, I inquired for the head man, and when he appeared I held out my hand to him, which he took, and then he put his arms round me and embraced me. The settlement consisted of ten or a dozen houses and thirty inhabitants. . . . At dusk we were conducted to a perfectly clean new house, with, as usual, the bare ground for floor, and were supplied with cooked yams. After we had finished our meal, the whole town crowded into the house, and my men sang a song, and when they had finished the women of the town sang one of their dismal chants. In the midst of the performance, Sosoni, one of my men, suddenly sprang to his feet, and, after a short speech, presented the chief