Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/432

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of a number of people coming along underneath the gaviga-tree. And he woke up thinking that it was probably his brothers looking for him; but it was not so, these were different persons; these were Mera-mbuto and his brothers coming along, and they climbed up the gaviga-tree themselves. And Tagaro-mbiti sits perfectly still lest they should see him, and he hears one of them say ’lneu ranganggu ngaha' This is my branch, and another cries 'Ineu ranganggu ngaka,’ and so say all of them. Then says Mera-mbuto 'Ineu ranganggu ngalia lo vukungegi! This is my branch at the top; and this he said with a loud voice. And Mera-mbuto climbed straight up to the top of that gaviga-tree, and there he found Tagaro-mbiti. Then says Mera-mbuto, Who are you? And says he, I am Tagaro-mbiti. Now they say that this Mera-mbuto and his brothers had a cave for their dwelling. And he asked Tagaro again, What is that in your hand? And he says, The voice of you and me to be sure. And he begged of him to speak in that conch that he might hear it; but he said also, Wait a bit till I go back to my dwelling-place, and when I get there you will hear me whistle; then you shall speak with the voice of us two that I may hear it for myself. And he made haste down from the tree, and his brothers said, Are we to come too? No, says he, I am only going to get rid of a mess and then I shall come back. Thus he deceived them; and when he reached his dwelling, the cave, he whistled for Tagaro to hear, that he might blow the conch. And Tagaro heard Mera-mbuto whistle, and he put forth all his strength to blow the conch hard, and he blew, and Mera-mbuto's brothers fell every one of them from the tree; and he himself was delighted and jumped high again and again in his cave, and his head struck against the rock, and the rock stuck fast into his head, and there he died. And his brothers who had fallen down died every one; and on that account they say that bushes grew up in that place where Mera-mbuto's brothers fell. And when it was light Tagaro-mbiti returned to his home.