Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/424

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Stories.

gaku i tuara. Taso! (Taso! look out for your dead man to eat, one for you, one for me. Taso!) Taso was sitting on the beach, and heard his mother crying to him, and he got up and came back along the path; and as he came he turned his head from side to side and struck the trees, and they came down with a crash. But the twins had made ready for their attack on Taso, red-hot stones and cooked yams, and they stood with their feet firmly planted and waited for him inside the gamal, one at the one end of it, and the other at the other. Then they heard Taso come up and ask his mother, What is it, mother? And she said, What is it but dead men for us to eat, sitting there in the gamal? So Taso went on and up to the gamal, and as he got in over the rail at the door, one of the twins took up a red-hot stone and threw it at him and hit him, and when he ran down to the other end of the gamal, the other twin threw at him and hit him Taso cried out, It is in vain that you throw at me, I will eat you both to-day. As he runs to one end of the gamal one of the twins throws at him, as he runs to the other the other throws; so they go on at him till his bones shake within him, and he lies down and only groans. Then the twins leap upon him and beat him to death with their clubs. Then they go down to the house and drag out the old woman, Taso's mother, and club her; they clubbed them both to death. Then they set fire to the houses over them, and went back homewards. But Qatu and Motari were standing in the garden listening to the popping of the bamboo rafters as they burnt, and wondering what was going on over there: 'Those two probably have come across Taso and he is killing them.' Qatu starts and goes off, and as he goes he meets them, and they tell him that they have killed Taso. And he said to them, I forbade you to go there, you have disobeyed me and gone, and very nearly he has eaten you. So it was finished; they killed Taso and revenged their mother whom Taso had murdered.