I sailed in the teak-built ketch, the Minota, on a blackbirding cruise to Malaita
, and I took my wife along.
Remember when we came back from Malaita
, where we picked Jerry up, to Tulagi, that he had a brother there, a nigger-chaser on a schooner.
Port Adams is a salt-water village on Malaita, and Malaita is the most savage island in the Solomons--so savage that no traders or planters have yet gained a foothold on it; while, from the time of the earliest bˆche-de-mer fishers and sandalwood traders down to the latest labor recruiters equipped with automatic rifles and gasolene engines, scores of white adventurers have been passed out by tomahawks and soft-nosed Snider bullets.
They had to be, or else they would not make a practice of venturing along the Malaita coast and into all harbors, two on a schooner, when each schooner carried from fifteen to twenty blacks as boat's crew, and often as high as sixty or seventy black recruits.
A second time he ran away, in the company of two Malaita boys.
He planned to escape, and one night ten Malaita boys and one boy from San Cristoval sneaked from the barracks and dragged one of the whale boats down to the beach.
The Malaita coast was only twenty miles away, but the last night a strong current and baffling winds prevented them from gaining across.
Malaita was now to the north, fifty or sixty miles away.
Bunster knew that he had more to fear from the good-natured, even sweet-faced, Malaita boy than from the entire population of Lord Howe; and it gave added zest to the programme of torment he was carrying out.
Nor was the cutter ever sighted on that long tack to the shores of Ysabel, and during the tedious head-beat from there to Malaita.
I ran in cargoes of kinky-heads from Malaita
, which is in the Solomons, till I had twelve hundred of the blackbirds putting in cane.