Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/186

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bidding them crawl out at once, lest they should be seen leaving the rafter by daylight. So they came out; and when it was clear day Qasavara and his men running to the gamal found Qat and his brothers chatting together. 'Where did you sleep?' asked they. All of them answered that they had slept in the place appointed for them; but Tangaro the Fool cried out, 'We slept in this rafter here,’ to the great indignation of his brothers. Qasavara's party again as the night drew on took counsel how they might kill them in the rafter; but that night Qat rapped a side post with his knuckles, it opened and they slept within it. Qasavara's party came in the night and smashed the rafter, found no one there, and again retired. Next morning again they came into the gamal and found Qat and his brothers sitting unconcerned; and again Tangaro the Fool confessed they had been sleeping in the side post. Next night again Qat opened the great main post and they slept in it, and again Qasavara came and smashed the side post, and found no one there. Tangaro the Fool again made known their retreat, though he had been warned and scolded by his brothers. Qasavara now determined to try another course, and to kill them as they were sitting at a feast; that night Qat opened the ridge pole with a rap and they all slept in it. Knowing what was intended, Qat made his preparations to save his brothers by planting a casuarina-tree; and he gave them his instructions what they were to do. 'When they are getting the food ready,’ he said, ’wash your hands with the salt-water in the bamboo water-vessels till they are empty; and then when they are looking for salt-water, and wanting some one to go and fill the vessels, two of you are to offer to go; and two are to go at once; and when you get some way off smash the bamboo vessels on the ground, and climb up into the casuarina-tree. All of you are to do this.' They all agreed, and did as they were bid. Then, when the oven was all covered in, Qasavara's men cried out 'Hallo! there is no salt-water! who will fetch some?' 'We two,’ said two of Qat's brothers; and they went, and smashed the water-vessels and