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He's got to keep the balance. They'll bid as much and more for it to-morrow, if they aren't blown away. Well, that pearl, it was found by my cousin, my cousin by marriage. He was a native, you see. Also, he was a thief. He hid it. It was mine. His cousin, who was also my cousin--we're all related here--killed him for it and fled away in a cutter to Noo-Nau. I pursued, but the chief of Noo-Nau had killed him for it before I got there.
Oh, yes, there are many dead men represented on the table there. Have a drink, Captain. Your face is not familiar. You are new in the islands? In Paris" He shrugged his shoulders and lifted his eyebrows at the incommunicableness of the sum.
Mulhall wiped the sweat from his eyes. All were sweating profusely and breathing hard. There was no ice in the drink that was maigrir seulement du ventre, and whiskey and absinthe went down lukewarm. I know those pearls, all of them.
You see those three! Perfectly matched, aren't they? A diver from Easter Island got them for me inside a week. Next week a shark got him; took his arm off and blood poison did the business.
And that big baroque there--nothing much--if I'm offered twenty francs for it to-morrow I'll be in luck; it came out of twenty-two fathoms of water. The man was from Raratonga. He broke all diving records. He got it out of twenty-two fathoms. I saw him. And he burst his lungs at the same time, or got the 'bends,' for he died in two hours. He died screaming. They could hear him for miles. He was the most powerful native I ever saw. Half a dozen of my divers have died of the bends.
And more men will die, more men will die. But not you. You'll all stay, I wouldn't advise you if I thought you'd go, You can't drive buzzards away from the carrion. Have another drink, my brave sailor-men. Well, well, what men will dare for a few little oyster drops!
There they are, the beauties! Auction to-morrow, at ten sharp. Old Parlay's selling out, and the buzzards are gathering--old Parlay who was a stronger man in his day than any of them and who will see most of them dead yet. In the silence the outer surf seemed to have become unusually loud. There was a great rumbling roar. Through the sparse cocoanuts they gazed seaward.
An orderly succession of huge smooth seas was rolling down upon the coral shore. For some minutes they gazed on the strange sight and talked in low voices, and in those few minutes it was manifest to all that the waves were increasing in size. It was uncanny, this rising sea in a dead calm, and their voices unconsciously sank lower.
Old Parlay shocked them with his abrupt cackle. You can tow across the lagoon with your whaleboats. We'll not get a whiff of it.
An air of relief went through the room. Conversations were started, and the voices became louder. Several of the buyers even went back to the table to continue the examination of the pearls.
And who is the man who has plotted the hurricane-courses of the Paumotus?
What books will you find it in? I sailed the Paumotus before the oldest of you drew breath.
Number 12 rue Sainte-Catherine
I know. To the eastward the paths of the hurricanes are on so wide a circle they make a straight line. To the westward here they make a sharp curve. Remember your chart. How did it happen the hurricane of '91 swept Auri and Hiolau? The curve, my brave boy, the curve! In an hour, or two or three at most, will come the wind. Listen to that! A vast rumbling crash shook the coral foundations of the atoll. The house quivered to it. The native servants, with bottles of whiskey and absinthe in their hands, shrank together as if for protection and stared with fear through the windows at the mighty wash of the wave lapping far up the beach to the corner of a copra-shed.
Parlay looked at the barometer, giggled, and leered around at his guests. Captain War-field strode across to see. By God! She's a-coming, and it's me, for one, for aboard. Down go the lights for the tragedy. Where's the slow music!
In answer, another rumbling crash shook the atoll and the house. Almost in a panic the company started for the door. In the dim light their sweaty faces appeared ghastly. Isaacs panted asthmatically in the suffocating heat. As they took the shell-bordered path to the beach he stuck his head out the door and called, "Don't forget, gentlemen, at ten to-morrow old Parlay sells his pearls. On the beach a curious scene took place. Whaleboat after whaleboat was being hurriedly manned and shoved off.
It had grown still darker. The stagnant calm continued, and the sand shook under their feet with each buffet of the sea on the outer shore. Narii Herring walked leisurely along the sand.
He grinned at the very evident haste of the captains and buyers.
With him were three of his Kanakas, and also Tai-Hotauri. Tai-Hotauri came over jauntily, while Narii Herring and his three Kanakas paused and looked on from forty feet away. But his face belied his words, for he was guilty of a prodigious wink. Captain Warfield took the cue and proceeded to do some acting himself. He raised his fist and his voice. Captain Warfield gave in, but as the boat shoved off he stood up in the sternsheets and shook his fist ashore.
He's on to something, but what is it? As the boat came alongside the MalahiniHermann's anxious face greeted them over the rail. I got starboard anchor overhaul. Lower her down to the deck and lash her bottom up.
Men were busy at work on the decks of all the schooners. There was a great clanking of chains being overhauled, and now one craft, and now another, hove in, veered, and dropped a second anchor. Like the Malahinithose that had third anchors were preparing to drop them when the wind showed what quarter it was to blow from. There was no sign of life where Parlay's big house perched on the sand. Boat and copra-sheds and the sheds where the shell was stored were deserted.
But those chains of atolls to the north and east have us pocketed. We've a better chance right here. What do you think, Captain Warfield? I wonder where she's going to start from?
There goes one of Parlay's copra-sheds. They could see the grass-thatched shed lift and collapse, while a froth of foam cleared the crest of the sand and ran down to the lagoon. The wreck of the shed was now flung up and left on the sand-crest, A third wave buffeted it into fragments which washed down the slope toward the lagoon. It is damn hot. I am dry like a stove. He chopped open a drinking cocoanut with his heavy sheath-knife and drained the contents. The rest of them followed his example, pausing once to watch one of Parlay's shell sheds go down in ruin.
The barometer now registered It will be an experience for you, too, Mulhall. From the speed the barometer's dropped, it's going to be a big one. Captain Warfield groaned, and all eyes drew to him. He was looking through the glasses down the length of the lagoon to the southeast. They did not need glasses to see. A flying film, strangely marked, seemed drawing over the surface of the lagoon.
Abreast of it, along the atoll, travelling with equal speed, was a stiff bending of the cocoanut palms and a blur of flying leaves. The front of the wind on the water was a solid, sharply defined strip of dark-coloured, wind-vexed water.
In advance of this strip, like skirmishers, were flashes of windflaws. Behind this strip, a quarter of a mile in width, was a strip of what seemed glassy calm. Next came another dark strip of wind, and behind that the lagoon was all crisping, boiling whiteness. It's a double-header, I saw a big squall like that off Savaii once. A regular double-header. Stand by and hold on! Here she is on top of us. Look at the Roberta! The Roberta, lying nearest to the wind at slack chains, was swept off broadside like a straw.
Then her chains brought her up, bow on to the wind, with an astonishing jerk. Schooner after schooner, the Malahini with them, was now sweeping away with the first gust and fetching up on taut chains. Mulhall and several of the Kanakas were taken off their feet when the Malahini jerked to her anchors. And then there was no wind. The flying calm streak had reached them. Grief lighted a match, and the unshielded flame burned without flickering in the still air.
A cellulite bras infection nosocomiale dim twilight prevailed.
The cloud-sky, lowering as it had been for hours, seemed now to have descended quite down upon the sea. The Roberta tightened to her chains when the second head of the hurricane hit, as did schooner after schooner in swift succession. The sea, white with fury, boiled in tiny, spitting wavelets. The deck of the Malahini vibrated under the men's feet. The taut-stretched halyards beat a tattoo against the masts, and all the rigging, as if smote by some mighty hand, set up a wild thrumming.
It was impossible to face the wind and breathe. Mulhall, crouching with the others behind the shelter of the cabin, discovered this, and his lungs were filled in an instant with so great a volume of driven air which he could not expel that he nearly strangled ere he could turn his head away. Hermann and several Kanakas were crawling for'ard on hands and knees to let go the third anchor.
Grief touched Captain Warfield and pointed to the Roberta. She was dragging down upon them. Warfield put his mouth to Grief's ear and shouted:. Grief sprang to the wheel and put it hard over, veering the Mahhini to port. The third anchor took hold, and the Roberta went by, stern-first, a dozen yards away.
They waved their hands to Peter Gee and Captain Robinson, who, with a number of sailors, were at work on the bow.
Got to! Anchors skating! That settles them! The Misi had been holding, but the added windage of the Cactus was too much, and the entangled schooners slid away across the boiling white. Their men could be seen chopping and fighting to get them apart. The Robertacleared of her anchors, with a patch of tarpaulin set for'ard, was heading for the passage at the northwestern end of the lagoon. They saw her make it and drive out to sea. But the Misi and Cactusunable to get clear of each other, went ashore on the atoll half a mile from the passage.
The wind merely increased on itself and continued to increase. To face the full blast of it required all one's strength, and several minutes of crawling on deck against it tired a man to exhaustion. Hermann, with his Kanakas, plodded steadily, lashing and making secure, putting ever more gaskets on the sails. The wind ripped and tore their thin undershirts from their backs. They moved slowly, as if their bodies weighed tons, never releasing a hand-hold until another had been secured.
Loose ends of rope stood out stiffly horizontal, and, when a whipping gave, the loose end frazzled and blew away. Mulhall touched one and then another and pointed to the shore. The grass-sheds had disappeared, and Parlay's house rocked drunkenly, Because the wind blew lengthwise along the atoll, the house had been sheltered by the miles of cocoanut trees. But the big seas, breaking across from outside, were undermining it and hammering it to pieces. Already tilted down the slope of sand, its end was imminent.
Here and there in the cocoanut trees people had lashed themselves. The trees did not sway or thresh about. Bent over rigidly from the wind, they remained in that position and vibrated monstrously. Underneath, across the sand, surged the white spume of the breakers.
A big sea was likewise making down the length of the lagoon. It had plenty of room to kick up in the ten-mile stretch from the windward rim of the atoll, and all the schooners were bucking and plunging into it.
The Malahini had begun shoving her bow and fo'c'sle head under the bigger ones, and at times her waist was filled rail-high with water. Under the engine, going full speed ahead, the Malahini behaved better. While she continued to ship seas over her bow, she was not jerked down so fiercely by her anchors.
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On the other hand, she was unable to get any slack in the chains. The best her forty horsepower could do was to ease the strain. Still the wind increased. The little Nuhivalying abreast of the Malahini and closer in to the beach, her engine still unrepaired and her captain ashore, was having a bad time of it. She buried herself so frequently and so deeply that they wondered each time if she could clear herself of the water. At three in the afternoon buried by a second sea before she could free herself of the preceding one, she did not come up.
Captain Warfield pointed to the Winifreda little schooner plunging and burying outside of them, and shouted in Grief's ear. His voice came in patches of dim words, with intervals of silence when whisked away by the roaring wind. An hour later Hermann pointed to her.
Her for'ard bitts, foremast, and most of her bow were gone, having been jerked out of her by her anchors. She swung broadside, rolling in the trough and settling by the head, and in this plight was swept away to leeward. Five vessels now remained, and of them the Malahini was the only one with an engine. Fearing either the Nuhiva's or the Winifdred's fate, two of them followed the Roberta's example, knocking out the chain-shackles and running for the passage.
The Dolly was the first, but her tarpaulin was carried away, and she went to destruction on the lee-rim of the atoll near the Misi and the Cactus.
Undeterred by this, the Moana let go and followed with the same result. Grief put out his hand and shook. Slowly and steadily, but with ever-increasing velocity, the wind veered around to the south and the southwest, till the three schooners that were left pointed directly in toward the beach.
The wreck of Parlay's house was picked up, hurled into the lagoon, and blown out upon them. Passing the Malahiniit crashed into the Paparalying a quarter of a mile astern. There was wild work for'ard on her, and in a quarter of an hour the house went clear, but it had taken the Papara's foremast and bowsprit with it. Inshore, on their port bow, lay the Tahaaslim and yacht-like, but excessively oversparred. Her anchors still held, but her captain, finding no abatement in the wind, proceeded to reduce windage by chopping down his masts.
The sea on the lagoon went swiftly down with the change of wind, but they were beginning to feel the heave and lift of the outer sea breaking across the atoll. There were not so many trees remaining. Some had been broken short off, others uprooted. One tree they saw snap off halfway up, three persons clinging to it, and whirl away by the wind into the lagoon.
Two detached themselves from it and swam to the Tahaa. Not long after, just before darkness, they saw one jump overboard from that schooner's stern and strike out strongly for the Malahini through the white, spitting wavelets. The Kanaka caught the perdre du ventre sans sport, climbed over the bow, and crawled aft.
Time was given him to breathe, and then, behind the part shelter of the cabin, in broken snatches and largely by signs, he told his story. He want steal Kill Parlay One man kill Parlay No man know what man Three Kanakas, Narii, me Five beans Narii say one bean black Nobody know Narii damn liar All beans black Five black Copra-shed dark Every man get black bean Big wind come No chance Everybody get up tree No good luck them pearls I tell you before No good luck. Three of his Kanakas same tree.
Narii and one Kanaka'nother tree My tree blow to hell, then I come on board. In the ear of one after another Grief passed on Tai-Hotauri's story. Captain Warfield was particularly incensed, and they could see him grinding his teeth. Hermann went below and returned with a riding light, but the moment it was lifted above the level of the cabin wall the wind blew it out. He had better success with the binnacle lamp, which was lighted only after many collective attempts.
The lagoon grew more and more troubled by the sea that swept across the atoll. Hundreds of leagues of ocean was being backed up by the hurricane, which more than overcame the lowering effect of the ebb tide. Immediately the tide began to rise the increase in the size of the seas was noticeable. Moon and wind were heaping the South Pacific on Hikihoho atoll.
Captain Warfield returned from one of his periodical trips to the engine room with the word that the engineer lay in a faint. The hatch to the engine room was battened down, access being gained through a narrow passage from the cabin.
The heat and gas fumes were stifling. Grief took one hasty, comprehensive examination of the engine and the fittings of the tiny room, then blew out the oil-lamp. After that he worked in darkness, save for the glow from endless cigars which he went into the cabin to light. Even-tempered as he was, he soon began to give evidences of the strain of being pent in with a mechanical monster that toiled, and sobbed, and slubbered in the shouting dark.
Naked to the waist, covered with grease and oil, bruised and skinned from being knocked about by the plunging, jumping vessel, his head swimming from the mixture of gas and air he was compelled to breathe, he laboured on hour after hour, in turns petting, blessing, nursing, and cursing the engine and all rides du front acide hyaluronique ou botox wiki parts.
The ignition began to go bad. The feed grew worse. And worst of all, the cylinders began to heat. In a consultation held in the cabin the half-caste engineer begged and pleaded to stop the engine for half an hour in order to cool it and to attend to the water circulation.
Captain Warfield was against any stopping.