Puslapio vaizdai

and the taro. And clothes! The fools was yet too limited to permit me to taught us that the pareu, which left tutoyer her. She was an islander, but the body exposed to the air, clean she had seen the Midnight Follies and and refreshed by the sun and the the Bal Bullier, the carnival in Nice, winds, was immodest. We exchanged and once, New Year's eve in San it for undershirts and trousers and Francisco, an Italian and a Scandresses and shoes and stockings and dinavian prince had wooed her. coats, and got disease and death and I spoke of Loti again, and of other degeneration.

writers' comments upon the attitude "You are late, my friend,” the prin- of women in Tahiti toward man. cess went on, with a note of pity in The princess sat up and adjusted her soft voice. “My mother remem- her hei of ferns. She studied a minbered the days Loti depicted in ute, and then she said: 'Rarahu. My grandmother knew The Tahitian woman makes the little Rarahu of Bora-Bora of whom first advances in friendship openly, he wrote. Viaud was then a midship- if she chooses. She arranges time man. We did not call him Loti, but and place for amours as your women Roti, our coined word for a rose, do. She does not take from the because he had rosy cheeks. But he Tahitian man or from the foreigner could not call himself Roti in his his right to choose, but she chooses novel, for in French, his language, herself, too. I feel sure that often that meant roasted, and one might an American woman would give hours think of boeuf à la rôti. We have no of pain to know well a certain man, 'l' in Tahitian."

but makes no honest effort to draw She lay at full length, her uptilted him toward her. They have told face in her hands, and her perfect me so.” feet raised now and then in unaware I got up, and standing beside her, accentuation of her words.

I quoted: “What Tahitian women there were

"Ships that pass in the night and speak then! Read the old French writers!

each other in passing; None was a pigmy. When they stood Only a signal shown and a distant voice under the waterfall the water ran off

in the darkness; their skins as off a marble table. Not So on the ocean of life we pass and a drop stayed on. They were as

speak one another, smooth as glass.”

Only a look and a voice; then darkness Fragrance of the Jasmine sighed.

again and a silence.” Aue! Hélas!

"Mais, c'est vrai," she said musI had it in my mouth to say that ingly. “The Tahitian woman will she was as beautiful and as smooth- not endure that." skinned as any of her forebears. She Her long, black lashes touched her was as enticing as imaginable, her cheeks. languorous eyes alight as she spoke, “We are a little sleepy, n'est-ce pas?and her bare limbs moving in the she asked. “B'en, we will have a vigor of her thoughts. But I could taoto.not think of anything in French or She made herself a pillow of leaves English not banal, and my Tahitian with her pareu, and arranging her


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hair in two braids, she stretched her- anced on a pole over his shoulder, and self out, with her face toward the sky, with this he was to go seven or eight and a cool banana-leaf laid over it. miles from their place of growth. He I copied her action, and lulled by the was a pillar of strength, handsome, falling water, the rippling of the pool, glowing with effort, clad in a gorgeous and the drowsy rustling of the trees, pareu of red, and as we went by him, I fell fast asleep, and dreamed of he smiled and said, “Ia ora na. I Eve and the lotus-eaters.

hea? Vaimato?" When I awoke, the princess was “Greeting! Where have you been? refreshing her face and hands in the The waterfall?” water.

"E, hitahita. Yes, we are hurrying “A hio! Look!” she said eagerly. back," the princess called vivaciously. "O tane and O vahine!"

“Those are our real men, not the In the mist above the pool at the Papeete dolts," she said. "If we had foot of the cascade a double rainbow time, we would catch shrimp in the gleamed brilliantly. Otane is the river. I love to do that.” man, which the Tahitians call the real When we came to where the habitaarch, and 0 vahine, the woman, the tions began and the road became passreflected bow. They appeared and

They appeared and able for vehicles, Noanoa Tiare sat disappeared with the movement of down on a stone. She put on her the tiny, fleecy clouds about the sun. pale-blue silk stockings and her shoes, The air, as dewy as early morn in the and asked me for the package she had braes o' Maxwelton, was deliciously given me at starting. She unfolded cool.

it, and it was an aahu, a gown, for But Fragrance of the Jasmine ended which she exchanged, behind a bananamy reverie. She slapped her thigh. plant, her soiled and drenched tunic.

“I dine and dance to-night at eight The new one was of the finest silk, o'clock," she said. “A rohi! We diaphanous, and thus to be worn only must go! Besides, Maru, it grows at night. The sun was down, and the cool here at night. The mercury lagoon a purple lake when we were goes to sixty of your thermometer.” again at the bust of Bougainville.

We descended by the route we had I thanked her at parting. come, picking up her shoes and stock- “Noanoa Tiare,” I said, “this day ings and our hats by our couch, and, has a heavenly blue page in my record. with the princess leading, hurried It has made Tahiti a different island along the obscuring trail. We passed for me.” a Tahitian youth who had been gather- "Maru, mon ami, you are sympaing feis, probably near the tarn, and thetic to my race. We shall be dear who was bringing them to the market friends. I will send you the note to of the next morning. He was bur- Tetuanui, the chief of Mataiea, todened with more than a hundred morrow. Au revoir

and happy pounds of fruit, which he carried bal- dreams."

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P on the thirty-first parallel of horns, testify to a change from Spanish

south latitude, three hundred to Portuguese custom; instead of the and sixty miles north of Mon- pretty little plaza, with its well-kept tevideo, there is a town of promenades, its comfortable benches,

divided allegiance, which is and its well-tended flower plots that situated in both the smallest and the forms the center of Rivera or any largest country of South America. other Spanish-American town that has When the traveler disembarks in it the slightest personal pride, there is a from the "Uruguay Central," he finds praça, muddy, untended, seatless, and it is named for Colonel Rivera, the unadorned. The sun, too, has begun Custer of Uruguay, who made the last to bite again in a way unfamiliar in the stand against the Charrúa Indians and countries of southern and temperate was killed by them in 1832. But as he South America. goes strolling along the main street, There is no definite line of demarcagazing idly into the shop-windows, he tion between Rivera and Santa Anna notes all at once that the signs in them do Livramento. The international have changed both in words and prices, boundary runs through the center of that even the street has an entirely a foot-ball-field, and climbs up over a different name; for instead of being knoll on the top of which sits a stone the “Calle Principal” it has become boundary-post, the two countries rollthe “Rua Sete de Septembro," and ing away together over plump hills suddenly he awakens to the fact that densely green in color except where instead of taking a stroll in the town of the enamel of nature has been chipped Rivera, in the República Oriental del off to disclose a reddish, sandy soil Uruguay, as he fancied, he has wan- similar to that in Asunción, Paraguay. dered into Santa Anna do Livramento, Surely, Brazil, stretching for thirtyin the State of Rio Grande do Sul, in seven degrees of latitude from Uruthe United States of Brazil.

guay to the Guianas, a distance as He is aware, too, that another at great as from Key West to the north of mosphere has suddenly grown up Labrador, with five thousand miles of about him. Negroes and piccaninnies, Atlantic coast, and with a width of and the unpainted makeshift shacks nearly as many degrees of longitude that commonly go with them, are from Pernambuco to the Andes, covscattered all over the landscape; oxen ering considerably more space than the with the yokes on their necks rather continental United States, is large than in front of their horns, each pair enough so that its inhabitants need of animals tied together with leather not have crowded their huts to the thongs through holes in the ends of the very edge of the boundary-line in this fashion, as if they were fleeing from way through the gray mass that hung their oppressive rulers, or were deter- over and crept into everything, and mined that little Uruguay should not our narrow-gage half-freight took to thrust her authority an inch farther bumping uncertainly northward. What north.

a change from the clean, comfortable,

equal-to-anywhere trains of Uruguay! § 2

Even our primeiro, with its two seats The daily train northward leaves on one side of the aisle and one on the Santa Anna at seven-thirty-five, which other, was as untidy, unmended, and is seven by Uruguayan time, and I was slovenly as the government railways of dragged out of bed at an unearthly Chile, and every mile forward seemed to hour, in the midwinter days of June, bring one that much nearer the heart to find the world weighed down under of happy-go-lucky Latin America. a dense, bone-soaking blanket of fog. I wrapped myself in all the garments The street lamps of both countries, I possessed, regretting that I owned no judging daylight by the calendar overcoat, as we shivered jerkily onrather than by the facts, kept going ward across a wild, shaggy, mist-heavy out just half a block ahead of me as I country inhabited only by cattle and stumbled on through the impenetrable water, with all the morning no stopgloom, the streets by no means improv- ping-place except Rosario entitled to ing at the frontier. I might have consider itself a town. I fell to readcrossed this without formality had I ing the newspaper of a day or two benot chosen to wake the negro guard fore from Porto Alegre, the capital of from a sound sleep in his kiosk and this estado gaucho, or “cow-boy state,” insist upon his doing his duty. One the southernmost of Brazil and conwould fancy that an official stationed siderably larger than the entire repubfive feet from a Spanish-speaking coun- lic of Uruguay. As I could usually try would pick up a few words of that guess the meaning of the language language, yet these custom-house ne spoken about me, so I read Portuguese groes professed not to understand a as a man skates over thin ice: as long word of Spanish, no matter how much as I kept swiftly going, all was well; it sounded like their native Portuguese. but if I stopped to examine a word At length, with a growl for having been closely, I was lost. The instant one disturbed, the swarthy guardian waved steps over the line into Brazil he is sura hand at me in a bored, tropical way, rounded by the Portuguese tongue, so drew his resplendent cloak about him like, yet so different from, the Spanish again, and stretched out once more on of the rest of South America. It is an his wooden bench.

unpleasant language to listen to, at It was a long mile of slippery mud least for the man long accustomed to and warm humidity to the station, Spanish, compared with which it is where black night still reigned and turgid, muddy, indistinct of sound, where yet another African official came quite unlike the incisive, clear-cut to revisar my baggage, for much con- Spanish. Yet the Brazilians are inortraband passes this frontier in both dinately proud of it; so proud that directions. Finally, something resem- although any Brazilian of human inbling daybreak forced its reluctant telligence can understand Spanish if he wishes to, he frequently refuses to do walls announced the rate as seven so, as firms who have sent Spanish- milreis a day, and I was there only speaking salesmen or catalogues in from sunset until a little after sunrise,

a that tongue to Brazil have learned to she handed me a bill for 13,500 reis! their cost.

Luckily, I had already weathered the

first shock of the traveler who comes § 3

rudely into contact with the BrazilAbout noon we tumbled out of our ian money system. But as I paid rattling conveyance at Cacequy, and the miser-faced old French proprietook another train, on the line to Porto tress in a daze, I went away to a quiet Alegre. It rambled in and about some corner to figure up the exact extent very low hills, with an excellent graz- of the disaster that had befallen me. ing country spread out to the horizon On due reflection, however, it proved on every hand, and at four, or, rather, to be not quite so overwhelming as sixteen o'clock, set us down at the con- it had sounded. The monetary unit is siderable town of Santa Maria. I was the Portuguese real, though in theory privileged to occupy Room No. 1 in only, for no such coin exists; hence in the chief hotel of the town, which was practice only the plural reis is used, no doubt a high honor; but as it and the unit is really the milreis, or chanced to be situated between the one thousand reis. For some years the front door of the building and the milreis had remained at the fixed value cobbled entrance corridor, with either of fifteen to the English pound, or window or door opening directly on about 3250 reis to the American dollar. crowds of impudent newsboys, lottery. In larger transactions the unit is the venders, and servants, it was not un- conto, one million reis. Gold is never like being between the devil-or at seen in circulation in Brazil. From the least a swarm of his progeny—and the milreis to the conto there are paper deep sea. Indeed, it rapidly became notes, usually printed in New York, evident that Brazilian hotels of the silver coins from five hundred to two interior would prove no better than thousand reis, and nickel pieces of four, those in the three southern countries two, and one hundred, the last the of South America. The meals never tostão of popular parlance. The Brazilvary an iota, whether in the smallest ian places his dollar-sign after the backwoods town, the largest city out- milreis and before the reis, so that side the capital, or the dining-cars or 3$250 means the equivalent of a whole

$ station restaurants, beginning unfail- dollar, and the man who pays $500 for ingly with fiambre, or thin slices of cold

a newspaper or a small glass of iced meat, through several dishes of hot cane-juice does not feel that he has meat, down to the inevitable dulce de been unusually extravagant, at least if membrillo, or hard quince jelly, which he has lived long enough in Brazil to is the sad ending of all meals. To in- get the local point of view. crease my gloom, the thieving French madame, every glance from whom

§ 4 caused my thin pocket-book to writhe The three southern states of Brazil in agony, manipulated the items so are on an elevated plateau that makes cleverly that, though placards on the them excellent cereal and fruit regions

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