Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/427

This page has been validated.
xix.]
405
Basi.

we always like to dress our hair to make it white, and that the hair too may be curly, in ringlets, such as you always see with the Opa people. So these two girls stand looking over to the other part of the beach, and see the fellow bathing, and washing his hair till it was exceedingly white, and they say, Let us two go and see who that is bathing. And they went and saw that it was Dovaowari; and he asked them what they were looking for, and they said that they had been standing far off and had seen him, and were come to look at him. And Basi said to the other girl, You go home to our mother, and tell her that I am going after Dovaowari. But Dovaowari forbade her in vain to follow him, saying that he was poor, and not one that had money, that he had no property and no garden; and she disputed with him, saying that she would certainly go with him. So he said, Well, we will go together; then that other girl went back to the mother of them both, the Snake, and Basi followed Dovaowari to be his wife, and so they married. But Basi kept going to her mother at Dama a long way off, and Dovao was vexed at it, and he told Basi to go and say to her mother that she was to move to that place so that all might live together. But Basi said, Mother cannot come here to this place; yet she went and entreated her, and she agreed that it would be possible to make the move. But the chief thing she thought of was how she should manage, because she was a snake very long and large, and if a small house were built for her it would not be enough. She considered, therefore, and said to Basi, Go and tell my son-in-law to build me a house, and let there be ten chambers in it. But Dovao did not yet know the truth, and when he heard about the house with ten chambers he was astonished at it, and thought to himself, What is this? When the house was finished, Basi earned the news saying, Your house is finished; but she had said beforehand, I shall go in the night, and if my son-in-law should hear anything don't let him take notice of it. So in the middle of the night they heard an earthquake, and thunder, and a very great rumbling as if all the world would come to an end;