Infomotions, Inc.A Footnote To History / Stevenson, Robert Louis

Author: Stevenson, Robert Louis
Title: A Footnote To History
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): tamasese; mataafa; brandeis; apia; mulinuu; samoa; laupepa; samoan; knappe; becker; samoans; english literature
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
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Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 63,407 words (short) Grade range: 12-15 (college) Readability score: 51 (average)
Identifier: stevenson-footnote-646
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A Footnote to History

by Robert Louis Stevenson

May, 1996  [Etext #536]

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A Footnote to History by Robert Louis Stevenson
Scanned and proofed by David Price, email

A Footnote to History


AN affair which might be deemed worthy of a note of a few lines in 
any general history has been here expanded to the size of a volume 
or large pamphlet.  The smallness of the scale, and the singularity 
of the manners and events and many of the characters, considered, 
it is hoped that, in spite of its outlandish subject, the sketch 
may find readers.  It has been a task of difficulty.  Speed was 
essential, or it might come too late to be of any service to a 
distracted country.  Truth, in the midst of conflicting rumours and 
in the dearth of printed material, was often hard to ascertain, and 
since most of those engaged were of my personal acquaintance, it 
was often more than delicate to express.  I must certainly have 
erred often and much; it is not for want of trouble taken nor of an 
impartial temper.  And if my plain speaking shall cost me any of 
the friends that I still count, I shall be sorry, but I need not be 

In one particular the spelling of Samoan words has been altered; 
and the characteristic nasal N of the language written throughout 
NG instead of G.  Thus I put Pango-Pango, instead of Pago-Pago; the 
sound being that of soft NG in English, as in SINGER, not as in 

R. L. S.



THE story I have to tell is still going on as I write; the 
characters are alive and active; it is a piece of contemporary 
history in the most exact sense.  And yet, for all its actuality 
and the part played in it by mails and telegraphs and iron 
warships, the ideas and the manners of the native actors date back 
before the Roman Empire.  They are Christians, church-goers, 
singers of hymns at family worship, hardy cricketers; their books 
are printed in London by Spottiswoode, Trubner, or the Tract 
Society; but in most other points they are the contemporaries of 
our tattooed ancestors who drove their chariots on the wrong side 
of the Roman wall.  We have passed the feudal system; they are not 
yet clear of the patriarchal.  We are in the thick of the age of 
finance; they are in a period of communism.  And this makes them 
hard to understand.

To us, with our feudal ideas, Samoa has the first appearance of a 
land of despotism.  An elaborate courtliness marks the race alone 
among Polynesians; terms of ceremony fly thick as oaths on board a 
ship; commoners my-lord each other when they meet - and urchins as 
they play marbles.  And for the real noble a whole private dialect 
is set apart.  The common names for an axe, for blood, for bamboo, 
a bamboo knife, a pig, food, entrails, and an oven are taboo in his 
presence, as the common names for a bug and for many offices and 
members of the body are taboo in the drawing-rooms of English 
ladies.  Special words are set apart for his leg, his face, his 
hair, his belly, his eyelids, his son, his daughter, his wife, his 
wife's pregnancy, his wife's adultery, adultery with his wife, his 
dwelling, his spear, his comb, his sleep, his dreams, his anger, 
the mutual anger of several chiefs, his food, his pleasure in 
eating, the food and eating of his pigeons, his ulcers, his cough, 
his sickness, his recovery, his death, his being carried on a bier, 
the exhumation of his bones, and his skull after death.  To address 
these demigods is quite a branch of knowledge, and he who goes to 
visit a high chief does well to make sure of the competence of his 
interpreter.  To complete the picture, the same word signifies the 
watching of a virgin and the warding of a chief; and the same word 
means to cherish a chief and to fondle a favourite child.

Men like us, full of memories of feudalism, hear of a man so 
addressed, so flattered, and we leap at once to the conclusion that 
he is hereditary and absolute.  Hereditary he is; born of a great 
family, he must always be a man of mark; but yet his office is 
elective and (in a weak sense) is held on good behaviour.  Compare 
the case of a Highland chief:  born one of the great ones of his 
clan, he was sometimes appointed its chief officer and conventional 
father; was loved, and respected, and served, and fed, and died for 
implicitly, if he gave loyalty a chance; and yet if he sufficiently 
outraged clan sentiment, was liable to deposition.  As to 
authority, the parallel is not so close.  Doubtless the Samoan 
chief, if he be popular, wields a great influence; but it is 
limited.  Important matters are debated in a fono, or native 
parliament, with its feasting and parade, its endless speeches and 
polite genealogical allusions.  Debated, I say - not decided; for 
even a small minority will often strike a clan or a province 
impotent.  In the midst of these ineffective councils the chief 
sits usually silent:  a kind of a gagged audience for village 
orators.  And the deliverance of the fono seems (for the moment) to 
be final.  The absolute chiefs of Tahiti and Hawaii were addressed 
as plain John and Thomas; the chiefs of Samoa are surfeited with 
lip-honour, but the seat and extent of their actual authority is 
hard to find.

It is so in the members of the state, and worse in the belly.  The 
idea of a sovereign pervades the air; the name we have; the thing 
we are not so sure of.  And the process of election to the chief 
power is a mystery.  Certain provinces have in their gift certain 
high titles, or NAMES, as they are called.  These can only be 
attributed to the descendants of particular lines.  Once granted, 
each name conveys at once the principality (whatever that be worth) 
of the province which bestows it, and counts as one suffrage 
towards the general sovereignty of Samoa.  To be indubitable king, 
they say, or some of them say, - I find few in perfect harmony, - a 
man should resume five of these names in his own person.  But the 
case is purely hypothetical; local jealousy forbids its occurrence.  
There are rival provinces, far more concerned in the prosecution of 
their rivalry than in the choice of a right man for king.  If one 
of these shall have bestowed its name on competitor A, it will be 
the signal and the sufficient reason for the other to bestow its 
name on competitor B or C.  The majority of Savaii and that of Aana 
are thus in perennial opposition.  Nor is this all.  In 1881, 
Laupepa, the present king, held the three names of Malietoa, 
Natoaitele, and Tamasoalii; Tamasese held that of Tuiaana; and 
Mataafa that of Tuiatua.  Laupepa had thus a majority of suffrages; 
he held perhaps as high a proportion as can be hoped in these 
distracted islands; and he counted among the number the 
preponderant name of Malietoa.  Here, if ever, was an election.  
Here, if a king were at all possible, was the king.  And yet the 
natives were not satisfied.  Laupepa was crowned, March 19th; and 
next month, the provinces of Aana and Atua met in joint parliament, 
and elected their own two princes, Tamasese and Mataafa, to an 
alternate monarchy, Tamasese taking the first trick of two years.  
War was imminent, when the consuls interfered, and any war were 
preferable to the terms of the peace which they procured.  By the 
Lackawanna treaty, Laupepa was confirmed king, and Tamasese set by 
his side in the nondescript office of vice-king.  The compromise 
was not, I am told, without precedent; but it lacked all appearance 
of success.  To the constitution of Samoa, which was already all 
wheels and no horses, the consuls had added a fifth wheel.  In 
addition to the old conundrum, "Who is the king?" they had supplied 
a new one, "What is the vice-king?"

Two royal lines; some cloudy idea of alternation between the two; 
an electorate in which the vote of each province is immediately 
effectual, as regards itself, so that every candidate who attains 
one name becomes a perpetual and dangerous competitor for the other 
four:  such are a few of the more trenchant absurdities.  Many 
argue that the whole idea of sovereignty is modern and imported; 
but it seems impossible that anything so foolish should have been 
suddenly devised, and the constitution bears on its front the marks 
of dotage.

But the king, once elected and nominated, what does he become?  It 
may be said he remains precisely as he was.  Election to one of the 
five names is significant; it brings not only dignity but power, 
and the holder is secure, from that moment, of a certain following 
in war.  But I cannot find that the further step of election to the 
kingship implies anything worth mention.  The successful candidate 
is now the TUPU O SAMOA - much good may it do him!  He can so sign 
himself on proclamations, which it does not follow that any one 
will heed.  He can summon parliaments; it does not follow they will 
assemble.  If he be too flagrantly disobeyed, he can go to war.  
But so he could before, when he was only the chief of certain 
provinces.  His own provinces will support him, the provinces of 
his rivals will take the field upon the other part; just as before.  
In so far as he is the holder of any of the five NAMES, in short, 
he is a man to be reckoned with; in so far as he is king of Samoa, 
I cannot find but what the president of a college debating society 
is a far more formidable officer.  And unfortunately, although the 
credit side of the account proves thus imaginary, the debit side is 
actual and heavy.  For he is now set up to be the mark of consuls; 
he will be badgered to raise taxes, to make roads, to punish crime, 
to quell rebellion:  and how he is to do it is not asked.

If I am in the least right in my presentation of this obscure 
matter, no one need be surprised to hear that the land is full of 
war and rumours of war.  Scarce a year goes by but what some 
province is in arms, or sits sulky and menacing, holding 
parliaments, disregarding the king's proclamations and planting 
food in the bush, the first step of military preparation.  The 
religious sentiment of the people is indeed for peace at any price; 
no pastor can bear arms; and even the layman who does so is denied 
the sacraments.  In the last war the college of Malua, where the 
picked youth are prepared for the ministry, lost but a single 
student; the rest, in the bosom of a bleeding country, and deaf to 
the voices of vanity and honour, peacefully pursued their studies.  
But if the church looks askance on war, the warrior in no extremity 
of need or passion forgets his consideration for the church.  The 
houses and gardens of her ministers stand safe in the midst of 
armies; a way is reserved for themselves along the beach, where 
they may be seen in their white kilts and jackets openly passing 
the lines, while not a hundred yards behind the skirmishers will be 
exchanging the useless volleys of barbaric warfare.  Women are also 
respected; they are not fired upon; and they are suffered to pass 
between the hostile camps, exchanging gossip, spreading rumour, and 
divulging to either army the secret councils of the other.  This is 
plainly no savage war; it has all the punctilio of the barbarian, 
and all his parade; feasts precede battles, fine dresses and songs 
decorate and enliven the field; and the young soldier comes to camp 
burning (on the one hand) to distinguish himself by acts of valour, 
and (on the other) to display his acquaintance with field 
etiquette.  Thus after Mataafa became involved in hostilities 
against the Germans, and had another code to observe beside his 
own, he was always asking his white advisers if "things were done 
correctly."  Let us try to be as wise as Mataafa, and to conceive 
that etiquette and morals differ in one country and another.  We 
shall be the less surprised to find Samoan war defaced with some 
unpalatable customs.  The childish destruction of fruit-trees in an 
enemy's country cripples the resources of Samoa; and the habit of 
head-hunting not only revolts foreigners, but has begun to exercise 
the minds of the natives themselves.  Soon after the German heads 
were taken, Mr. Carne, Wesleyan missionary, had occasion to visit 
Mataafa's camp, and spoke of the practice with abhorrence.  "Misi 
Kane," said one chief, "we have just been puzzling ourselves to 
guess where that custom came from.  But, Misi, is it not so that 
when David killed Goliath, he cut off his head and carried it 
before the king?"

With the civil life of the inhabitants we have far less to do; and 
yet even here a word of preparation is inevitable.  They are easy, 
merry, and pleasure-loving; the gayest, though by far from either 
the most capable or the most beautiful of Polynesians.  Fine dress 
is a passion, and makes a Samoan festival a thing of beauty.  Song 
is almost ceaseless.  The boatman sings at the oar, the family at 
evening worship, the girls at night in the guest-house, sometimes 
the workman at his toil.  No occasion is too small for the poets 
and musicians; a death, a visit, the day's news, the day's 
pleasantry, will be set to rhyme and harmony.  Even half-grown 
girls, the occasion arising, fashion words and train choruses of 
children for its celebration.  Song, as with all Pacific islanders, 
goes hand in hand with the dance, and both shade into the drama.  
Some of the performances are indecent and ugly, some only dull; 
others are pretty, funny, and attractive.  Games are popular.  
Cricket-matches, where a hundred played upon a side, endured at 
times for weeks, and ate up the country like the presence of an 
army.  Fishing, the daily bath, flirtation; courtship, which is 
gone upon by proxy; conversation, which is largely political; and 
the delights of public oratory, fill in the long hours.

But the special delight of the Samoan is the MALANGA.  When people 
form a party and go from village to village, junketing and 
gossiping, they are said to go on a MALANGA.  Their songs have 
announced their approach ere they arrive; the guest-house is 
prepared for their reception; the virgins of the village attend to 
prepare the kava bowl and entertain them with the dance; time flies 
in the enjoyment of every pleasure which an islander conceives; and 
when the MALANGA sets forth, the same welcome and the same joys 
expect them beyond the next cape, where the nearest village nestles 
in its grove of palms.  To the visitors it is all golden; for the 
hosts, it has another side.  In one or two words of the language 
the fact peeps slyly out.  The same word (AFEMOEINA) expresses "a 
long call" and "to come as a calamity"; the same word (LESOLOSOLOU) 
signifies "to have no intermission of pain" and "to have no 
cessation, as in the arrival of visitors"; and SOUA, used of 
epidemics, bears the sense of being overcome as with "fire, flood, 
or visitors."  But the gem of the dictionary is the verb ALOVAO, 
which illustrates its pages like a humorous woodcut.  It is used in 
the sense of "to avoid visitors," but it means literally "hide in 
the wood."  So, by the sure hand of popular speech, we have the 
picture of the house deserted, the MALANGA disappointed, and the 
host that should have been quaking in the bush.

We are thus brought to the beginning of a series of traits of 
manners, highly curious in themselves, and essential to an 
understanding of the war.  In Samoa authority sits on the one hand 
entranced; on the other, property stands bound in the midst of 
chartered marauders.  What property exists is vested in the family, 
not in the individual; and of the loose communism in which a family 
dwells, the dictionary may yet again help us to some idea.  I find 
a string of verbs with the following senses:  to deal leniently 
with, as in helping oneself from a family plantation; to give away 
without consulting other members of the family; to go to strangers 
for help instead of to relatives; to take from relatives without 
permission; to steal from relatives; to have plantations robbed by 
relatives.  The ideal of conduct in the family, and some of its 
depravations, appear here very plainly.  The man who (in a native 
word of praise) is MATA-AINGA, a race-regarder, has his hand always 
open to his kindred; the man who is not (in a native term of 
contempt) NOA, knows always where to turn in any pinch of want or 
extremity of laziness.  Beggary within the family - and by the less 
self-respecting, without it - has thus grown into a custom and a 
scourge, and the dictionary teems with evidence of its abuse.  
Special words signify the begging of food, of uncooked food, of 
fish, of pigs, of pigs for travellers, of pigs for stock, of taro, 
of taro-tops, of taro-tops for planting, of tools, of flyhooks, of 
implements for netting pigeons, and of mats.  It is true the beggar 
was supposed in time to make a return, somewhat as by the Roman 
contract of MUTUUM.  But the obligation was only moral; it could 
not be, or was not, enforced; as a matter of fact, it was 
disregarded.  The language had recently to borrow from the 
Tahitians a word for debt; while by a significant excidence, it 
possessed a native expression for the failure to pay - "to omit to 
make a return for property begged."  Conceive now the position of 
the householder besieged by harpies, and all defence denied him by 
the laws of honour.  The sacramental gesture of refusal, his last 
and single resource, was supposed to signify "my house is 
destitute."  Until that point was reached, in other words, the 
conduct prescribed for a Samoan was to give and to continue giving.  
But it does not appear he was at all expected to give with a good 
grace.  The dictionary is well stocked with expressions standing 
ready, like missiles, to be discharged upon the locusts - "troop of 
shamefaced ones," "you draw in your head like a tern," "you make 
your voice small like a whistle-pipe," "you beg like one 
delirious"; and the verb PONGITAI, "to look cross," is equipped 
with the pregnant rider, "as at the sight of beggars."

This insolence of beggars and the weakness of proprietors can only 
be illustrated by examples.  We have a girl in our service to whom 
we had given some finery, that she might wait at table, and (at her 
own request) some warm clothing against the cold mornings of the 
bush.  She went on a visit to her family, and returned in an old 
tablecloth, her whole wardrobe having been divided out among 
relatives in the course of twenty-four hours.  A pastor in the 
province of Atua, being a handy, busy man, bought a boat for a 
hundred dollars, fifty of which he paid down.  Presently after, 
relatives came to him upon a visit and took a fancy to his new 
possession.  "We have long been wanting a boat," said they.  "Give 
us this one."  So, when the visit was done, they departed in the 
boat.  The pastor, meanwhile, travelled into Savaii the best way he 
could, sold a parcel of land, and begged mats among his other 
relatives, to pay the remainder of the price of the boat which was 
no longer his.  You might think this was enough; but some months 
later, the harpies, having broken a thwart, brought back the boat 
to be repaired and repainted by the original owner.

Such customs, it might be argued, being double-edged, will 
ultimately right themselves.  But it is otherwise in practice.  
Such folk as the pastor's harpy relatives will generally have a 
boat, and will never have paid for it; such men as the pastor may 
have sometimes paid for a boat, but they will never have one.  It 
is there as it is with us at home:  the measure of the abuse of 
either system is the blackness of the individual heart.  The same 
man, who would drive his poor relatives from his own door in 
England, would besiege in Samoa the doors of the rich; and the 
essence of the dishonesty in either case is to pursue one's own 
advantage and to be indifferent to the losses of one's neighbour.  
But the particular drawback of the Polynesian system is to depress 
and stagger industry.  To work more is there only to be more 
pillaged; to save is impossible.  The family has then made a good 
day of it when all are filled and nothing remains over for the crew 
of free-booters; and the injustice of the system begins to be 
recognised even in Samoa.  One native is said to have amassed a 
certain fortune; two clever lads have individually expressed to us 
their discontent with a system which taxes industry to pamper 
idleness; and I hear that in one village of Savaii a law has been 
passed forbidding gifts under the penalty of a sharp fine.

Under this economic regimen, the unpopularity of taxes, which 
strike all at the same time, which expose the industrious to a 
perfect siege of mendicancy, and the lazy to be actually condemned 
to a day's labour, may be imagined without words.  It is more 
important to note the concurrent relaxation of all sense of 
property.  From applying for help to kinsmen who are scarce 
permitted to refuse, it is but a step to taking from them (in the 
dictionary phrase) "without permission"; from that to theft at 
large is but a hair's-breadth.


THE huge majority of Samoans, like other God-fearing folk in other 
countries, are perfectly content with their own manners.  And upon 
one condition, it is plain they might enjoy themselves far beyond 
the average of man.  Seated in islands very rich in food, the 
idleness of the many idle would scarce matter; and the provinces 
might continue to bestow their names among rival pretenders, and 
fall into war and enjoy that a while, and drop into peace and enjoy 
that, in a manner highly to be envied.  But the condition - that 
they should be let alone - is now no longer possible.  More than a 
hundred years ago, and following closely on the heels of Cook, an 
irregular invasion of adventurers began to swarm about the isles of 
the Pacific.  The seven sleepers of Polynesia stand, still but half 
aroused, in the midst of the century of competition.  And the 
island races, comparable to a shopful of crockery launched upon the 
stream of time, now fall to make their desperate voyage among pots 
of brass and adamant.

Apia, the port and mart, is the seat of the political sickness of 
Samoa.  At the foot of a peaked, woody mountain, the coast makes a 
deep indent, roughly semicircular.  In front the barrier reef is 
broken by the fresh water of the streams; if the swell be from the 
north, it enters almost without diminution; and the war-ships roll 
dizzily at their moorings, and along the fringing coral which 
follows the configuration of the beach, the surf breaks with a 
continuous uproar.  In wild weather, as the world knows, the roads 
are untenable.  Along the whole shore, which is everywhere green 
and level and overlooked by inland mountain-tops, the town lies 
drawn out in strings and clusters.  The western horn is Mulinuu, 
the eastern, Matautu; and from one to the other of these extremes, 
I ask the reader to walk.  He will find more of the history of 
Samoa spread before his eyes in that excursion, than has yet been 
collected in the blue-books or the white-books of the world.  
Mulinuu (where the walk is to begin) is a flat, wind-swept 
promontory, planted with palms, backed against a swamp of 
mangroves, and occupied by a rather miserable village.  The reader 
is informed that this is the proper residence of the Samoan kings; 
he will be the more surprised to observe a board set up, and to 
read that this historic village is the property of the German firm.  
But these boards, which are among the commonest features of the 
landscape, may be rather taken to imply that the claim has been 
disputed.  A little farther east he skirts the stores, offices, and 
barracks of the firm itself.  Thence he will pass through Matafele, 
the one really town-like portion of this long string of villages, 
by German bars and stores and the German consulate; and reach the 
Catholic mission and cathedral standing by the mouth of a small 
river.  The bridge which crosses here (bridge of Mulivai) is a 
frontier; behind is Matafele; beyond, Apia proper; behind, Germans 
are supreme; beyond, with but few exceptions, all is Anglo-Saxon.  
Here the reader will go forward past the stores of Mr. Moors 
(American) and Messrs. MacArthur (English); past the English 
mission, the office of the English newspaper, the English church, 
and the old American consulate, till he reaches the mouth of a 
larger river, the Vaisingano.  Beyond, in Matautu, his way takes 
him in the shade of many trees and by scattered dwellings, and 
presently brings him beside a great range of offices, the place and 
the monument of a German who fought the German firm during his 
life.  His house (now he is dead) remains pointed like a discharged 
cannon at the citadel of his old enemies.  Fitly enough, it is at 
present leased and occupied by Englishmen.  A little farther, and 
the reader gains the eastern flanking angle of the bay, where 
stands the pilot-house and signal-post, and whence he can see, on 
the line of the main coast of the island, the British and the new 
American consulates.

The course of his walk will have been enlivened by a considerable 
to and fro of pleasure and business.  He will have encountered many 
varieties of whites, - sailors, merchants, clerks, priests, 
Protestant missionaries in their pith helmets, and the nondescript 
hangers-on of any island beach.  And the sailors are sometimes in 
considerable force; but not the residents.  He will think at times 
there are more signboards than men to own them.  It may chance it 
is a full day in the harbour; he will then have seen all manner of 
ships, from men-of-war and deep-sea packets to the labour vessels 
of the German firm and the cockboat island schooner; and if he be 
of an arithmetical turn, he may calculate that there are more 
whites afloat in Apia bay than whites ashore in the whole 
Archipelago.  On the other hand, he will have encountered all ranks 
of natives, chiefs and pastors in their scrupulous white clothes; 
perhaps the king himself, attended by guards in uniform; smiling 
policemen with their pewter stars; girls, women, crowds of cheerful 
children.  And he will have asked himself with some surprise where 
these reside.  Here and there, in the back yards of European 
establishments, he may have had a glimpse of a native house elbowed 
in a corner; but since he left Mulinuu, none on the beach where 
islanders prefer to live, scarce one on the line of street.  The 
handful of whites have everything; the natives walk in a foreign 
town.  A year ago, on a knoll behind a bar-room, he might have 
observed a native house guarded by sentries and flown over by the 
standard of Samoa.  He would then have been told it was the seat of 
government, driven (as I have to relate) over the Mulivai and from 
beyond the German town into the Anglo-Saxon.  To-day, he will learn 
it has been carted back again to its old quarters.  And he will 
think it significant that the king of the islands should be thus 
shuttled to and fro in his chief city at the nod of aliens.  And 
then he will observe a feature more significant still:  a house 
with some concourse of affairs, policemen and idlers hanging by, a 
man at a bank-counter overhauling manifests, perhaps a trial 
proceeding in the front verandah, or perhaps the council breaking 
up in knots after a stormy sitting.  And he will remember that he 
is in the ELEELE SA, the "Forbidden Soil," or Neutral Territory of 
the treaties; that the magistrate whom he has just seen trying 
native criminals is no officer of the native king's; and that this, 
the only port and place of business in the kingdom, collects and 
administers its own revenue for its own behoof by the hands of 
white councillors and under the supervision of white consuls.  Let 
him go further afield.  He will find the roads almost everywhere to 
cease or to be made impassable by native pig-fences, bridges to be 
quite unknown, and houses of the whites to become at once a rare 
exception.  Set aside the German plantations, and the frontier is 
sharp.  At the boundary of the ELEELE SA, Europe ends, Samoa 
begins.  Here, then, is a singular state of affairs:  all the 
money, luxury, and business of the kingdom centred in one place; 
that place excepted from the native government and administered by 
whites for whites; and the whites themselves holding it not in 
common but in hostile camps, so that it lies between them like a 
bone between two dogs, each growling, each clutching his own end.

Should Apia ever choose a coat of arms, I have a motto ready: 
"Enter Rumour painted full of tongues."  The majority of the 
natives do extremely little; the majority of the whites are 
merchants with some four mails in the month, shopkeepers with some 
ten or twenty customers a day, and gossip is the common resource of 
all.  The town hums to the day's news, and the bars are crowded 
with amateur politicians.  Some are office-seekers, and earwig king 
and consul, and compass the fall of officials, with an eye to 
salary.  Some are humorists, delighted with the pleasure of faction 
for itself.   "I never saw so good a place as this Apia," said one 
of these; "you can be in a new conspiracy every day!"  Many, on the 
other hand, are sincerely concerned for the future of the country.  
The quarters are so close and the scale is so small, that perhaps 
not any one can be trusted always to preserve his temper.  Every 
one tells everything he knows; that is our country sickness.  
Nearly every one has been betrayed at times, and told a trifle 
more; the way our sickness takes the predisposed.  And the news 
flies, and the tongues wag, and fists are shaken.  Pot boil and 
caldron bubble!

Within the memory of man, the white people of Apia lay in the worst 
squalor of degradation.  They are now unspeakably improved, both 
men and women.  To-day they must be called a more than fairly 
respectable population, and a much more than fairly intelligent.  
The whole would probably not fill the ranks of even an English 
half-battalion, yet there are a surprising number above the average 
in sense, knowledge, and manners.  The trouble (for Samoa) is that 
they are all here after a livelihood.  Some are sharp 
practitioners, some are famous (justly or not) for foul play in 
business.  Tales fly.  One merchant warns you against his 
neighbour; the neighbour on the first occasion is found to return 
the compliment:  each with a good circumstantial story to the 
proof.  There is so much copra in the islands, and no more; a man's 
share of it is his share of bread; and commerce, like politics, is 
here narrowed to a focus, shows its ugly side, and becomes as 
personal as fisticuffs.  Close at their elbows, in all this 
contention, stands the native looking on.  Like a child, his true 
analogue, he observes, apprehends, misapprehends, and is usually 
silent.  As in a child, a considerable intemperance of speech is 
accompanied by some power of secrecy.  News he publishes; his 
thoughts have often to be dug for.  He looks on at the rude career 
of the dollar-hunt, and wonders.  He sees these men rolling in a 
luxury beyond the ambition of native kings; he hears them accused 
by each other of the meanest trickery; he knows some of them to be 
guilty; and what is he to think?  He is strongly conscious of his 
own position as the common milk-cow; and what is he to do?  "Surely 
these white men on the beach are not great chiefs?" is a common 
question, perhaps asked with some design of flattering the person 
questioned.  And one, stung by the last incident into an unusual 
flow of English, remarked to me: "I begin to be weary of white men 
on the beach."

But the true centre of trouble, the head of the boil of which Samoa 
languishes, is the German firm.  From the conditions of business, a 
great island house must ever be an inheritance of care; and it 
chances that the greatest still afoot has its chief seat in Apia 
bay, and has sunk the main part of its capital in the island of 
Upolu.  When its founder, John Caesar Godeffroy, went bankrupt over 
Russian paper and Westphalian iron, his most considerable asset was 
found to be the South Sea business.  This passed (I understand) 
through the hands of Baring Brothers in London, and is now run by a 
company rejoicing in the Gargantuan name of the DEUTSCHE HANDELS 
piece of literature is (in practice) shortened to the D. H. and P. 
G., the Old Firm, the German Firm, the Firm, and (among humorists) 
the Long Handle Firm.  Even from the deck of an approaching ship, 
the island is seen to bear its signature - zones of cultivation 
showing in a more vivid tint of green on the dark vest of forest.  
The total area in use is near ten thousand acres.  Hedges of 
fragrant lime enclose, broad avenues intersect them.  You shall 
walk for hours in parks of palm-tree alleys, regular, like soldiers 
on parade; in the recesses of the hills you may stumble on a mill-
house, tolling and trembling there, fathoms deep in superincumbent 
forest.  On the carpet of clean sward, troops of horses and herds 
of handsome cattle may be seen to browse; and to one accustomed to 
the rough luxuriance of the tropics, the appearance is of 
fairyland.  The managers, many of them German sea-captains, are 
enthusiastic in their new employment.  Experiment is continually 
afoot:  coffee and cacao, both of excellent quality, are among the 
more recent outputs; and from one plantation quantities of 
pineapples are sent at a particular season to the Sydney markets.  
A hundred and fifty thousand pounds of English money, perhaps two 
hundred thousand, lie sunk in these magnificent estates.  In 
estimating the expense of maintenance quite a fleet of ships must 
be remembered, and a strong staff of captains, supercargoes, 
overseers, and clerks.  These last mess together at a liberal 
board; the wages are high, and the staff is inspired with a strong 
and pleasing sentiment of loyalty to their employers.

Seven or eight hundred imported men and women toil for the company 
on contracts of three or of five years, and at a hypothetical wage 
of a few dollars in the month.  I am now on a burning question:  
the labour traffic; and I shall ask permission in this place only 
to touch it with the tongs.  Suffice it to say that in Queensland, 
Fiji, New Caledonia, and Hawaii it has been either suppressed or 
placed under close public supervision.  In Samoa, where it still 
flourishes, there is no regulation of which the public receives any 
evidence; and the dirty linen of the firm, if there be any dirty, 
and if it be ever washed at all, is washed in private.  This is 
unfortunate, if Germans would believe it.  But they have no idea of 
publicity, keep their business to themselves, rather affect to 
"move in a mysterious way," and are naturally incensed by 
criticisms, which they consider hypocritical, from men who would 
import "labour" for themselves, if they could afford it, and would 
probably maltreat them if they dared.  It is said the whip is very 
busy on some of the plantations; it is said that punitive extra-
labour, by which the thrall's term of service is extended, has 
grown to be an abuse; and it is complained that, even where that 
term is out, much irregularity occurs in the repatriation of the 
discharged.  To all this I can say nothing, good or bad.  A certain 
number of the thralls, many of them wild negritos from the west, 
have taken to the bush, harbour there in a state partly bestial, or 
creep into the back quarters of the town to do a day's stealthy 
labour under the nose of their proprietors.  Twelve were arrested 
one morning in my own boys' kitchen.  Farther in the bush, huts, 
small patches of cultivation, and smoking ovens, have been found by 
hunters.  There are still three runaways in the woods of Tutuila, 
whither they escaped upon a raft.  And the Samoans regard these 
dark-skinned rangers with extreme alarm; the fourth refugee in 
Tutuila was shot down (as I was told in that island) while carrying 
off the virgin of a village; and tales of cannibalism run round the 
country, and the natives shudder about the evening fire.  For the 
Samoans are not cannibals, do not seem to remember when they were, 
and regard the practice with a disfavour equal to our own.

The firm is Gulliver among the Lilliputs; and it must not be 
forgotten, that while the small, independent traders are fighting 
for their own hand, and inflamed with the usual jealousy against 
corporations, the Germans are inspired with a sense of the 
greatness of their affairs and interests.  The thought of the money 
sunk, the sight of these costly and beautiful plantations, menaced 
yearly by the returning forest, and the responsibility of 
administering with one hand so many conjunct fortunes, might well 
nerve the manager of such a company for desperate and questionable 
deeds.  Upon this scale, commercial sharpness has an air of 
patriotism; and I can imagine the man, so far from haggling over 
the scourge for a few Solomon islanders, prepared to oppress rival 
firms, overthrow inconvenient monarchs, and let loose the dogs of 
war.  Whatever he may decide, he will not want for backing.  Every 
clerk will be eager to be up and strike a blow; and most Germans in 
the group, whatever they may babble of the firm over the walnuts 
and the wine, will rally round the national concern at the approach 
of difficulty.  They are so few - I am ashamed to give their 
number, it were to challenge contradiction - they are so few, and 
the amount of national capital buried at their feet is so vast, 
that we must not wonder if they seem oppressed with greatness and 
the sense of empire.  Other whites take part in our brabbles, while 
temper holds out, with a certain schoolboy entertainment.  In the 
Germans alone, no trace of humour is to be observed, and their 
solemnity is accompanied by a touchiness often beyond belief.  
Patriotism flies in arms about a hen; and if you comment upon the 
colour of a Dutch umbrella, you have cast a stone against the 
German Emperor.  I give one instance, typical although extreme.  
One who had returned from Tutuila on the mail cutter complained of 
the vermin with which she is infested.  He was suddenly and sharply 
brought to a stand.  The ship of which he spoke, he was reminded, 
was a German ship.

John Caesar Godeffroy himself had never visited the islands; his 
sons and nephews came, indeed, but scarcely to reap laurels; and 
the mainspring and headpiece of this great concern, until death 
took him, was a certain remarkable man of the name of Theodor 
Weber.  He was of an artful and commanding character; in the 
smallest thing or the greatest, without fear or scruple; equally 
able to affect, equally ready to adopt, the most engaging 
politeness or the most imperious airs of domination.  It was he who 
did most damage to rival traders; it was he who most harried the 
Samoans; and yet I never met any one, white or native, who did not 
respect his memory.  All felt it was a gallant battle, and the man 
a great fighter; and now when he is dead, and the war seems to have 
gone against him, many can scarce remember, without a kind of 
regret, how much devotion and audacity have been spent in vain.  
His name still lives in the songs of Samoa.  One, that I have 
heard, tells of MISI UEBA and a biscuit-box - the suggesting 
incident being long since forgotten.  Another sings plaintively how 
all things, land and food and property, pass progressively, as by a 
law of nature, into the hands of MISI UEBA, and soon nothing will 
be left for Samoans.  This is an epitaph the man would have 

At one period of his career, Weber combined the offices of director 
of the firm and consul for the City of Hamburg.  No question but he 
then drove very hard.  Germans admit that the combination was 
unfortunate; and it was a German who procured its overthrow.  
Captain Zembsch superseded him with an imperial appointment, one 
still remembered in Samoa as "the gentleman who acted justly."  
There was no house to be found, and the new consul must take up his 
quarters at first under the same roof with Weber.  On several 
questions, in which the firm was vitally interested, Zembsch 
embraced the contrary opinion.  Riding one day with an Englishman 
in Vailele plantation, he was startled by a burst of screaming, 
leaped from the saddle, ran round a house, and found an overseer 
beating one of the thralls.  He punished the overseer, and, being a 
kindly and perhaps not a very diplomatic man, talked high of what 
he felt and what he might consider it his duty to forbid or to 
enforce.  The firm began to look askance at such a consul; and 
worse was behind.  A number of deeds being brought to the consulate 
for registration, Zembsch detected certain transfers of land in 
which the date, the boundaries, the measure, and the consideration 
were all blank.  He refused them with an indignation which he does 
not seem to have been able to keep to himself; and, whether or not 
by his fault, some of these unfortunate documents became public.  
It was plain that the relations between the two flanks of the 
German invasion, the diplomatic and the commercial, were strained 
to bursting.  But Weber was a man ill to conquer.  Zembsch was 
recalled; and from that time forth, whether through influence at 
home, or by the solicitations of Weber on the spot, the German 
consulate has shown itself very apt to play the game of the German 
firm.  That game, we may say, was twofold, - the first part even 
praiseworthy, the second at least natural.  On the one part, they 
desired an efficient native administration, to open up the country 
and punish crime; they wished, on the other, to extend their own 
provinces and to curtail the dealings of their rivals.  In the 
first, they had the jealous and diffident sympathy of all whites; 
in the second, they had all whites banded together against them for 
their lives and livelihoods.  It was thus a game of BEGGAR MY 
NEIGHBOUR between a large merchant and some small ones.  Had it so 
remained, it would still have been a cut-throat quarrel.  But when 
the consulate appeared to be concerned, when the war-ships of the 
German Empire were thought to fetch and carry for the firm, the 
rage of the independent traders broke beyond restraint.  And, 
largely from the national touchiness and the intemperate speech of 
German clerks, this scramble among dollar-hunters assumed the 
appearance of an inter-racial war.

The firm, with the indomitable Weber at its head and the consulate 
at its back - there has been the chief enemy at Samoa.  No English 
reader can fail to be reminded of John Company; and if the Germans 
appear to have been not so successful, we can only wonder that our 
own blunders and brutalities were less severely punished.  Even on 
the field of Samoa, though German faults and aggressors make up the 
burthen of my story, they have been nowise alone.  Three nations 
were engaged in this infinitesimal affray, and not one appears with 
credit.  They figure but as the three ruffians of the elder play-
wrights.  The United States have the cleanest hands, and even 
theirs are not immaculate.  It was an ambiguous business when a 
private American adventurer was landed with his pieces of artillery 
from an American war-ship, and became prime minister to the king.  
It is true (even if he were ever really supported) that he was soon 
dropped and had soon sold himself for money to the German firm.  I 
will leave it to the reader whether this trait dignifies or not the 
wretched story.  And the end of it spattered the credit alike of 
England and the States, when this man (the premier of a friendly 
sovereign) was kidnapped and deported, on the requisition of an 
American consul, by the captain of an English war-ship.  I shall 
have to tell, as I proceed, of villages shelled on very trifling 
grounds by Germans; the like has been done of late years, though in 
a better quarrel, by ourselves of England.  I shall have to tell 
how the Germans landed and shed blood at Fangalii; it was only in 
1876 that we British had our own misconceived little massacre at 
Mulinuu.  I shall have to tell how the Germans bludgeoned Malietoa 
with a sudden call for money; it was something of the suddenest 
that Sir Arthur Gordon himself, smarting under a sensible public 
affront, made and enforced a somewhat similar demand.


YOU ride in a German plantation and see no bush, no soul stirring; 
only acres of empty sward, miles of cocoa-nut alley:  a desert of 
food.  In the eyes of the Samoan the place has the attraction of a 
park for the holiday schoolboy, of a granary for mice.  We must add 
the yet more lively allurement of a haunted house, for over these 
empty and silent miles there broods the fear of the negrito 
cannibal.  For the Samoan besides, there is something barbaric, 
unhandsome, and absurd in the idea of thus growing food only to 
send it from the land and sell it.  A man at home who should turn 
all Yorkshire into one wheatfield, and annually burn his harvest on 
the altar of Mumbo-Jumbo, might impress ourselves not much 
otherwise.  And the firm which does these things is quite 
extraneous, a wen that might be excised to-morrow without loss but 
to itself; few natives drawing from it so much as day's wages; and 
the rest beholding in it only the occupier of their acres.  The 
nearest villages have suffered most; they see over the hedge the 
lands of their ancestors waving with useless cocoa-palms; and the 
sales were often questionable, and must still more often appear so 
to regretful natives, spinning and improving yarns about the 
evening lamp.  At the worst, then, to help oneself from the 
plantation will seem to a Samoan very like orchard-breaking to the 
British schoolboy; at the best, it will be thought a gallant Robin-
Hoodish readjustment of a public wrong.

And there is more behind.  Not only is theft from the plantations 
regarded rather as a lark and peccadillo, the idea of theft in 
itself is not very clearly present to these communists; and as to 
the punishment of crime in general, a great gulf of opinion divides 
the natives from ourselves.  Indigenous punishments were short and 
sharp.  Death, deportation by the primitive method of setting the 
criminal to sea in a canoe, fines, and in Samoa itself the penalty 
of publicly biting a hot, ill-smelling root, comparable to a rough 
forfeit in a children's game - these are approved.  The offender is 
killed, or punished and forgiven.  We, on the other hand, harbour 
malice for a period of years:  continuous shame attaches to the 
criminal; even when he is doing his best - even when he is 
submitting to the worst form of torture, regular work - he is to 
stand aside from life and from his family in dreadful isolation.  
These ideas most Polynesians have accepted in appearance, as they 
accept other ideas of the whites; in practice, they reduce it to a 
farce.  I have heard the French resident in the Marquesas in talk 
with the French gaoler of Tai-o-hae: "EH BIEN, OU SONT VOS 
QUELQUE PART FAIRE UNE VISITE."  And the ladies would be welcome.  
This is to take the most savage of Polynesians; take some of the 
most civilised.  In Honolulu, convicts labour on the highways in 
piebald clothing, gruesome and ridiculous; and it is a common sight 
to see the family of such an one troop out, about the dinner hour, 
wreathed with flowers and in their holiday best, to picnic with 
their kinsman on the public wayside.  The application of these 
outlandish penalties, in fact, transfers the sympathy to the 
offender.  Remember, besides, that the clan system, and that 
imperfect idea of justice which is its worst feature, are still 
lively in Samoa; that it is held the duty of a judge to favour 
kinsmen, of a king to protect his vassals; and the difficulty of 
getting a plantation thief first caught, then convicted, and last 
of all punished, will appear.

During the early 'eighties, the Germans looked upon this system 
with growing irritation.  They might see their convict thrust in 
gaol by the front door; they could never tell how soon he was 
enfranchised by the back; and they need not be the least surprised 
if they met him, a few days after, enjoying the delights of a 
MALANGA.  It was a banded conspiracy, from the king and the vice-
king downward, to evade the law and deprive the Germans of their 
profits.  In 1883, accordingly, the consul, Dr. Stuebel, extorted a 
convention on the subject, in terms of which Samoans convicted of 
offences against German subjects were to be confined in a private 
gaol belonging to the German firm.  To Dr. Stuebel it seemed simple 
enough:  the offenders were to be effectually punished, the 
sufferers partially indemnified.  To the Samoans, the thing 
appeared no less simple, but quite different: "Malietoa was selling 
Samoans to Misi Ueba."  What else could be expected?  Here was a 
private corporation engaged in making money; to it was delegated, 
upon a question of profit and loss, one of the functions of the 
Samoan crown; and those who make anomalies must look for comments.  
Public feeling ran unanimous and high.  Prisoners who escaped from 
the private gaol were not recaptured or not returned and Malietoa 
hastened to build a new prison of his own, whither he conveyed, or 
pretended to convey, the fugitives.  In October 1885 a trenchant 
state paper issued from the German consulate.  Twenty prisoners, 
the consul wrote, had now been at large for eight months from 
Weber's prison.  It was pretended they had since then completed 
their term of punishment elsewhere.  Dr. Stuebel did not seek to 
conceal his incredulity; but he took ground beyond; he declared the 
point irrelevant.  The law was to be enforced.  The men were 
condemned to a certain period in Weber's prison; they had run away; 
they must now be brought back and (whatever had become of them in 
the interval) work out the sentence.  Doubtless Dr. Stuebel's 
demands were substantially just; but doubtless also they bore from 
the outside a great appearance of harshness; and when the king 
submitted, the murmurs of the people increased.

But Weber was not yet content.  The law had to be enforced; 
property, or at least the property of the firm, must be respected.  
And during an absence of the consul's, he seems to have drawn up 
with his own hand, and certainly first showed to the king, in his 
own house, a new convention.  Weber here and Weber there.  As an 
able man, he was perhaps in the right to prepare and propose 
conventions.  As the head of a trading company, he seems far out of 
his part to be communicating state papers to a sovereign.  The 
administration of justice was the colour, and I am willing to 
believe the purpose, of the new paper; but its effect was to depose 
the existing government.  A council of two Germans and two Samoans 
were to be invested with the right to make laws and impose taxes as 
might be "desirable for the common interest of the Samoan 
government and the German residents."  The provisions of this 
council the king and vice-king were to sign blindfold.  And by a 
last hardship, the Germans, who received all the benefit, reserved 
a right to recede from the agreement on six months' notice; the 
Samoans, who suffered all the loss, were bound by it in perpetuity.  
I can never believe that my friend Dr. Stuebel had a hand in 
drafting these proposals; I am only surprised he should have been a 
party to enforcing them, perhaps the chief error in these islands 
of a man who has made few.  And they were enforced with a rigour 
that seems injudicious.  The Samoans (according to their own 
account) were denied a copy of the document; they were certainly 
rated and threatened; their deliberation was treated as contumacy; 
two German war-ships lay in port, and it was hinted that these 
would shortly intervene.

Succeed in frightening a child, and he takes refuge in duplicity.  
"Malietoa," one of the chiefs had written, "we know well we are in 
bondage to the great governments."  It was now thought one tyrant 
might be better than three, and any one preferable to Germany.  On 
the 5th November 1885, accordingly, Laupepa, Tamasese, and forty-
eight high chiefs met in secret, and the supremacy of Samoa was 
secretly offered to Great Britain for the second time in history.  
Laupepa and Tamasese still figured as king and vice-king in the 
eyes of Dr. Stuebel; in their own, they had secretly abdicated, 
were become private persons, and might do what they pleased without 
binding or dishonouring their country.  On the morrow, accordingly, 
they did public humiliation in the dust before the consulate, and 
five days later signed the convention.  The last was done, it is 
claimed, upon an impulse.  The humiliation, which it appeared to 
the Samoans so great a thing to offer, to the practical mind of Dr. 
Stuebel seemed a trifle to receive; and the pressure was continued 
and increased.  Laupepa and Tamasese were both heavy, well-meaning, 
inconclusive men.  Laupepa, educated for the ministry, still bears 
some marks of it in character and appearance; Tamasese was in 
private of an amorous and sentimental turn, but no one would have 
guessed it from his solemn and dull countenance.  Impossible to 
conceive two less dashing champions for a threatened race; and 
there is no doubt they were reduced to the extremity of muddlement 
and childish fear.  It was drawing towards night on the 10th, when 
this luckless pair and a chief of the name of Tuiatafu, set out for 
the German consulate, still minded to temporise.  As they went, 
they discussed their case with agitation.  They could see the 
lights of the German war-ships as they walked - an eloquent 
reminder.  And it was then that Tamasese proposed to sign the 
convention.  "It will give us peace for the day," said Laupepa, 
"and afterwards Great Britain must decide." - "Better fight Germany 
than that!" cried Tuiatafu, speaking words of wisdom, and departed 
in anger.  But the two others proceeded on their fatal errand; 
signed the convention, writing themselves king and vice-king, as 
they now believed themselves to be no longer; and with childish 
perfidy took part in a scene of "reconciliation" at the German 

Malietoa supposed himself betrayed by Tamasese.  Consul Churchward 
states with precision that the document was sold by a scribe for 
thirty-six dollars.  Twelve days later at least, November 22nd, the 
text of the address to Great Britain came into the hands of Dr. 
Stuebel.  The Germans may have been wrong before; they were now in 
the right to be angry.  They had been publicly, solemnly, and 
elaborately fooled; the treaty and the reconciliation were both 
fraudulent, with the broad, farcical fraudulency of children and 
barbarians.  This history is much from the outside; it is the 
digested report of eye-witnesses; it can be rarely corrected from 
state papers; and as to what consuls felt and thought, or what 
instructions they acted under, I must still be silent or proceed by 
guess.  It is my guess that Stuebel now decided Malietoa Laupepa to 
be a man impossible to trust and unworthy to be dealt with.  And it 
is certain that the business of his deposition was put in hand at 
once.  The position of Weber, with his knowledge of things native, 
his prestige, and his enterprising intellect, must have always made 
him influential with the consul:  at this juncture he was 
indispensable.  Here was the deed to be done; here the man of 
action.  "Mr. Weber rested not," says Laupepa.  It was "like the 
old days of his own consulate," writes Churchward.  His messengers 
filled the isle; his house was thronged with chiefs and orators; he 
sat close over his loom, delightedly weaving the future.  There was 
one thing requisite to the intrigue, - a native pretender; and the 
very man, you would have said, stood waiting:  Mataafa, titular of 
Atua, descended from both the royal lines, late joint king with 
Tamasese, fobbed off with nothing in the time of the Lackawanna 
treaty, probably mortified by the circumstance, a chief with a 
strong following, and in character and capacity high above the 
native average.  Yet when Weber's spiriting was done, and the 
curtain rose on the set scene of the coronation, Mataafa was 
absent, and Tamasese stood in his place.  Malietoa was to be 
deposed for a piece of solemn and offensive trickery, and the man 
selected to replace him was his sole partner and accomplice in the 
act.  For so strange a choice, good ground must have existed; but 
it remains conjectural:  some supposing Mataafa scratched as too 
independent; others that Tamasese had indeed betrayed Laupepa, and 
his new advancement was the price of his treachery.

So these two chiefs began to change places like the scales of a 
balance, one down, the other up.  Tamasese raised his flag (Jan. 
28th, 1886) in Leulumoenga, chief place of his own province of 
Aana, usurped the style of king, and began to collect and arm a 
force.  Weber, by the admission of Stuebel, was in the market 
supplying him with weapons; so were the Americans; so, but for our 
salutary British law, would have been the British; for wherever 
there is a sound of battle, there will the traders be gathered 
together selling arms.  A little longer, and we find Tamasese 
visited and addressed as king and majesty by a German commodore.  
Meanwhile, for the unhappy Malietoa, the road led downward.  He was 
refused a bodyguard.  He was turned out of Mulinuu, the seat of his 
royalty, on a land claim of Weber's, fled across the Mulivai, and 
"had the coolness" (German expression) to hoist his flag in Apia.  
He was asked "in the most polite manner," says the same account - 
"in the most delicate manner in the world," a reader of Marryat 
might be tempted to amend the phrase, - to strike his flag in his 
own capital; and on his "refusal to accede to this request," Dr. 
Stuebel appeared himself with ten men and an officer from the 
cruiser ALBATROSS; a sailor climbed into the tree and brought down 
the flag of Samoa, which was carefully folded, and sent, "in the 
most polite manner," to its owner.  The consuls of England and the 
States were there (the excellent gentlemen!) to protest.  Last, and 
yet more explicit, the German commodore who visited the be-titled 
Tamasese, addressed the king - we may surely say the late king - as 
"the High Chief Malietoa."

Had he no party, then?  At that time, it is probable, he might have 
called some five-sevenths of Samoa to his standard.  And yet he sat 
there, helpless monarch, like a fowl trussed for roasting.  The 
blame lies with himself, because he was a helpless creature; it 
lies also with England and the States.  Their agents on the spot 
preached peace (where there was no peace, and no pretence of it) 
with eloquence and iteration.  Secretary Bayard seems to have felt 
a call to join personally in the solemn farce, and was at the 
expense of a telegram in which he assured the sinking monarch it 
was "for the higher interests of Samoa" he should do nothing.  
There was no man better at doing that; the advice came straight 
home, and was devoutly followed.  And to be just to the great 
Powers, something was done in Europe; a conference was called, it 
was agreed to send commissioners to Samoa, and the decks had to be 
hastily cleared against their visit.  Dr. Stuebel had attached the 
municipality of Apia and hoisted the German war-flag over Mulinuu; 
the American consul (in a sudden access of good service) had flown 
the stars and stripes over Samoan colours; on either side these 
steps were solemnly retracted.  The Germans expressly disowned 
Tamasese; and the islands fell into a period of suspense, of some 
twelve months' duration, during which the seat of the history was 
transferred to other countries and escapes my purview.  Here on the 
spot, I select three incidents:  the arrival on the scene of a new 
actor, the visit of the Hawaiian embassy, and the riot on the 
Emperor's birthday.  The rest shall be silence; only it must be 
borne in view that Tamasese all the while continued to strengthen 
himself in Leulumoenga, and Laupepa sat inactive listening to the 
song of consuls.

CAPTAIN BRANDEIS.  The new actor was Brandeis, a Bavarian captain 
of artillery, of a romantic and adventurous character.  He had 
served with credit in war; but soon wearied of garrison life, 
resigned his battery, came to the States, found employment as a 
civil engineer, visited Cuba, took a sub-contract on the Panama 
canal, caught the fever, and came (for the sake of the sea voyage) 
to Australia.  He had that natural love for the tropics which lies 
so often latent in persons of a northern birth; difficulty and 
danger attracted him; and when he was picked out for secret duty, 
to be the hand of Germany in Samoa, there is no doubt but he 
accepted the post with exhilaration.  It is doubtful if a better 
choice could have been made.  He had courage, integrity, ideas of 
his own, and loved the employment, the people, and the place.  Yet 
there was a fly in the ointment.  The double error of unnecessary 
stealth and of the immixture of a trading company in political 
affairs, has vitiated, and in the end defeated, much German policy.  
And Brandeis was introduced to the islands as a clerk, and sent 
down to Leulumoenga (where he was soon drilling the troops and 
fortifying the position of the rebel king) as an agent of the 
German firm.  What this mystification cost in the end I shall tell 
in another place; and even in the beginning, it deceived no one.  
Brandeis is a man of notable personal appearance; he looks the part 
allotted him; and the military clerk was soon the centre of 
observation and rumour.  Malietoa wrote and complained of his 
presence to Becker, who had succeeded Dr. Stuebel in the consulate.  
Becker replied, "I have nothing to do with the gentleman Brandeis.  
Be it well known that the gentleman Brandeis has no appointment in 
a military character, but resides peaceably assisting the 
government of Leulumoenga in their work, for Brandeis is a quiet, 
sensible gentleman."  And then he promised to send the vice-consul 
to "get information of the captain's doings":  surely 
supererogation of deceit.

THE HAWAIIAN EMBASSY.  The prime minister of the Hawaiian kingdom 
was, at this period, an adventurer of the name of Gibson.  He 
claimed, on the strength of a romantic story, to be the heir of a 
great English house.  He had played a part in a revolt in Java, had 
languished in Dutch fetters, and had risen to be a trusted agent of 
Brigham Young, the Utah president.  It was in this character of a 
Mormon emissary that he first came to the islands of Hawaii, where 
he collected a large sum of money for the Church of the Latter Day 
Saints.  At a given moment, he dropped his saintship and appeared 
as a Christian and the owner of a part of the island of Lanai.  The 
steps of the transformation are obscure; they seem, at least, to 
have been ill-received at Salt Lake; and there is evidence to the 
effect that he was followed to the islands by Mormon assassins.  
His first attempt on politics was made under the auspices of what 
is called the missionary party, and the canvass conducted largely 
(it is said with tears) on the platform at prayer-meetings.  It 
resulted in defeat.  Without any decency of delay he changed his 
colours, abjured the errors of reform, and, with the support of the 
Catholics, rose to the chief power.  In a very brief interval he 
had thus run through the gamut of religions in the South Seas.  It 
does not appear that he was any more particular in politics, but he 
was careful to consult the character and prejudices of the late 
king, Kalakaua.  That amiable, far from unaccomplished, but too 
convivial sovereign, had a continued use for money:  Gibson was 
observant to keep him well supplied.  Kalakaua (one of the most 
theoretical of men) was filled with visionary schemes for the 
protection and development of the Polynesian race:  Gibson fell in 
step with him; it is even thought he may have shared in his 
illusions.  The king and minister at least conceived between them a 
scheme of island confederation - the most obvious fault of which 
was that it came too late - and armed and fitted out the cruiser 
KAIMILOA, nest-egg of the future navy of Hawaii.  Samoa, the most 
important group still independent, and one immediately threatened 
with aggression, was chosen for the scene of action.  The Hon. John 
E. Bush, a half-caste Hawaiian, sailed (December 1887) for Apia as 
minister-plenipotentiary, accompanied by a secretary of legation, 
Henry F. Poor; and as soon as she was ready for sea, the war-ship 
followed in support.  The expedition was futile in its course, 
almost tragic in result.  The KAIMILOA was from the first a scene 
of disaster and dilapidation:  the stores were sold; the crew 
revolted; for a great part of a night she was in the hands of 
mutineers, and the secretary lay bound upon the deck.  The mission, 
installing itself at first with extravagance in Matautu, was helped 
at last out of the island by the advances of a private citizen.  
And they returned from dreams of Polynesian independence to find 
their own city in the hands of a clique of white shopkeepers, and 
the great Gibson once again in gaol.  Yet the farce had not been 
quite without effect.  It had encouraged the natives for the 
moment, and it seems to have ruffled permanently the temper of the 
Germans.  So might a fly irritate Caesar.

The arrival of a mission from Hawaii would scarce affect the 
composure of the courts of Europe.  But in the eyes of Polynesians 
the little kingdom occupies a place apart.  It is there alone that 
men of their race enjoy most of the advantages and all the pomp of 
independence; news of Hawaii and descriptions of Honolulu are 
grateful topics in all parts of the South Seas; and there is no 
better introduction than a photograph in which the bearer shall be 
represented in company with Kalakaua.  Laupepa was, besides, sunk 
to the point at which an unfortunate begins to clutch at straws, 
and he received the mission with delight.  Letters were exchanged 
between him and Kalakaua; a deed of confederation was signed, 17th 
February 1887, and the signature celebrated in the new house of the 
Hawaiian embassy with some original ceremonies.  Malietoa Laupepa 
came, attended by his ministry, several hundred chiefs, two guards, 
and six policemen.  Always decent, he withdrew at an early hour; by 
those that remained, all decency appears to have been forgotten; 
high chiefs were seen to dance; and day found the house carpeted 
with slumbering grandees, who must be roused, doctored with coffee, 
and sent home.  As a first chapter in the history of Polynesian 
Confederation, it was hardly cheering, and Laupepa remarked to one 
of the embassy, with equal dignity and sense: "If you have come 
here to teach my people to drink, I wish you had stayed away."

The Germans looked on from the first with natural irritation that a 
power of the powerlessness of Hawaii should thus profit by its 
undeniable footing in the family of nations, and send embassies, 
and make believe to have a navy, and bark and snap at the heels of 
the great German Empire.  But Becker could not prevent the hunted 
Laupepa from taking refuge in any hole that offered, and he could 
afford to smile at the fantastic orgie in the embassy.  It was 
another matter when the Hawaiians approached the intractable 
Mataafa, sitting still in his Atua government like Achilles in his 
tent, helping neither side, and (as the Germans suspected) keeping 
the eggs warm for himself.  When the KAIMILOA steamed out of Apia 
on this visit, the German war-ship ADLER followed at her heels; and 
Mataafa was no sooner set down with the embassy than he was 
summoned and ordered on board by two German officers.  The step is 
one of those triumphs of temper which can only be admired.  Mataafa 
is entertaining the plenipotentiary of a sovereign power in treaty 
with his own king, and the captain of a German corvette orders him 
to quit his guests.

But there was worse to come.  I gather that Tamasese was at the 
time in the sulks.  He had doubtless been promised prompt aid and a 
prompt success; he had seen himself surreptitiously helped, 
privately ordered about, and publicly disowned; and he was still 
the king of nothing more than his own province, and already the 
second in command of Captain Brandeis.  With the adhesion of some 
part of his native cabinet, and behind the back of his white 
minister, he found means to communicate with the Hawaiians.  A 
passage on the KAIMILOA, a pension, and a home in Honolulu were the 
bribes proposed; and he seems to have been tempted.  A day was set 
for a secret interview.  Poor, the Hawaiian secretary, and J. D. 
Strong, an American painter attached to the embassy in the 
surprising quality of "Government Artist," landed with a Samoan 
boat's-crew in Aana; and while the secretary hid himself, according 
to agreement, in the outlying home of an English settler, the 
artist (ostensibly bent on photography) entered the headquarters of 
the rebel king.  It was a great day in Leulumoenga; three hundred 
recruits had come in, a feast was cooking; and the photographer, in 
view of the native love of being photographed, was made entirely 
welcome.  But beneath the friendly surface all were on the alert.  
The secret had leaked out:  Weber beheld his plans threatened in 
the root; Brandeis trembled for the possession of his slave and 
sovereign; and the German vice-consul, Mr. Sonnenschein, had been 
sent or summoned to the scene of danger.

It was after dark, prayers had been said and the hymns sung through 
all the village, and Strong and the German sat together on the mats 
in the house of Tamasese, when the events began.  Strong speaks 
German freely, a fact which he had not disclosed, and he was scarce 
more amused than embarrassed to be able to follow all the evening 
the dissension and the changing counsels of his neighbours.  First 
the king himself was missing, and there was a false alarm that he 
had escaped and was already closeted with Poor.  Next came certain 
intelligence that some of the ministry had run the blockade, and 
were on their way to the house of the English settler.  Thereupon, 
in spite of some protests from Tamasese, who tried to defend the 
independence of his cabinet, Brandeis gathered a posse of warriors, 
marched out of the village, brought back the fugitives, and clapped 
them in the corrugated iron shanty which served as gaol.  Along 
with these he seems to have seized Billy Coe, interpreter to the 
Hawaiians; and Poor, seeing his conspiracy public, burst with his 
boat's-crew into the town, made his way to the house of the native 
prime minister, and demanded Coe's release.  Brandeis hastened to 
the spot, with Strong at his heels; and the two principals being 
both incensed, and Strong seriously alarmed for his friend's 
safety, there began among them a scene of great intemperance.  At 
one point, when Strong suddenly disclosed his acquaintance with 
German, it attained a high style of comedy; at another, when a 
pistol was most foolishly drawn, it bordered on drama; and it may 
be said to have ended in a mixed genus, when Poor was finally 
packed into the corrugated iron gaol along with the forfeited 
ministers.  Meanwhile the captain of his boat, Siteoni, of whom I 
shall have to tell again, had cleverly withdrawn the boat's-crew at 
an early stage of the quarrel.  Among the population beyond 
Tamasese's marches, he collected a body of armed men, returned 
before dawn to Leulumoenga, demolished the corrugated iron gaol, 
and liberated the Hawaiian secretary and the rump of the rebel 
cabinet.  No opposition was shown; and doubtless the rescue was 
connived at by Brandeis, who had gained his point.  Poor had the 
face to complain the next day to Becker; but to compete with Becker 
in effrontery was labour lost.  "You have been repeatedly warned, 
Mr. Poor, not to expose yourself among these savages," said he.

Not long after, the presence of the KAIMILOA was made A CASUS BELLI 
by the Germans; and the rough-and-tumble embassy withdrew, on 
borrowed money, to find their own government in hot water to the 

THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY.  It is possible, and it is alleged, that 
the Germans entered into the conference with hope.  But it is 
certain they were resolved to remain prepared for either fate.  And 
I take the liberty of believing that Laupepa was not forgiven his 
duplicity; that, during this interval, he stood marked like a tree 
for felling; and that his conduct was daily scrutinised for further 
pretexts of offence.  On the evening of the Emperor's birthday, 
March 22nd, 1887, certain Germans were congregated in a public bar.  
The season and the place considered, it is scarce cynical to assume 
they had been drinking; nor, so much being granted, can it be 
thought exorbitant to suppose them possibly in fault for the 
squabble that took place.  A squabble, I say; but I am willing to 
call it a riot.  And this was the new fault of Laupepa; this it is 
that was described by a German commodore as "the trampling upon by 
Malietoa of the German Emperor."  I pass the rhetoric by to examine 
the point of liability.  Four natives were brought to trial for 
this horrid fact:  not before a native judge, but before the German 
magistrate of the tripartite municipality of Apia.  One was 
acquitted, one condemned for theft, and two for assault.  On 
appeal, not to Malietoa, but to the three consuls, the case was by 
a majority of two to one returned to the magistrate and (as far as 
I can learn) was then allowed to drop.  Consul Becker himself laid 
the chief blame on one of the policemen of the municipality, a 
half-white of the name of Scanlon.  Him he sought to have 
discharged, but was again baffled by his brother consuls.  Where, 
in all this, are we to find a corner of responsibility for the king 
of Samoa?  Scanlon, the alleged author of the outrage, was a half-
white; as Becker was to learn to his cost, he claimed to be an 
American subject; and he was not even in the king's employment.  
Apia, the scene of the outrage, was outside the king's jurisdiction 
by treaty; by the choice of Germany, he was not so much as allowed 
to fly his flag there.  And the denial of justice (if justice were 
denied) rested with the consuls of Britain and the States.

But when a dog is to be beaten, any stick will serve.  In the 
meanwhile, on the proposition of Mr. Bayard, the Washington 
conference on Samoan affairs was adjourned till autumn, so that 
"the ministers of Germany and Great Britain might submit the 
protocols to their respective Governments."  "You propose that the 
conference is to adjourn and not to be broken up?" asked Sir Lionel 
West.  "To adjourn for the reasons stated," replied Bayard.  This 
was on July 26th; and, twenty-nine days later, by Wednesday the 
24th of August, Germany had practically seized Samoa.  For this 
flagrant breach of faith one excuse is openly alleged; another 
whispered.  It is openly alleged that Bayard had shown himself 
impracticable; it is whispered that the Hawaiian embassy was an 
expression of American intrigue, and that the Germans only did as 
they were done by.  The sufficiency of these excuses may be left to 
the discretion of the reader.  But, however excused, the breach of 
faith was public and express; it must have been deliberately 
predetermined and it was resented in the States as a deliberate 

By the middle of August 1887 there were five sail of German war-
ships in Apia bay:  the BISMARCK, of 3000 tons displacement; the 
CAROLA, the SOPHIE, and the OLGA, all considerable ships; and the 
beautiful ADLER, which lies there to this day, kanted on her beam, 
dismantled, scarlet with rust, the day showing through her ribs.  
They waited inactive, as a burglar waits till the patrol goes by.  
And on the 23rd, when the mail had left for Sydney, when the eyes 
of the world were withdrawn, and Samoa plunged again for a period 
of weeks into her original island-obscurity, Becker opened his 
guns.  The policy was too cunning to seem dignified; it gave to 
conduct which would otherwise have seemed bold and even brutally 
straightforward, the appearance of a timid ambuscade; and helped to 
shake men's reliance on the word of Germany.  On the day named, an 
ultimatum reached Malietoa at Afenga, whither he had retired months 
before to avoid friction.  A fine of one thousand dollars and an 
IFO, or public humiliation, were demanded for the affair of the 
Emperor's birthday.  Twelve thousand dollars were to be "paid 
quickly" for thefts from German plantations in the course of the 
last four years.  "It is my opinion that there is nothing just or 
correct in Samoa while you are at the head of the government," 
concluded Becker.  "I shall be at Afenga in the morning of to-
morrow, Wednesday, at 11 A.M."  The blow fell on Laupepa (in his 
own expression) "out of the bush"; the dilatory fellow had seen 
things hang over so long, he had perhaps begun to suppose they 
might hang over for ever; and here was ruin at the door.  He rode 
at once to Apia, and summoned his chiefs.  The council lasted all 
night long.  Many voices were for defiance.  But Laupepa had grown 
inured to a policy of procrastination; and the answer ultimately 
drawn only begged for delay till Saturday, the 27th.  So soon as it 
was signed, the king took horse and fled in the early morning to 
Afenga; the council hastily dispersed; and only three chiefs, Selu, 
Seumanu, and Le Mamea, remained by the government building, 
tremulously expectant of the result.

By seven the letter was received.  By 7.30 Becker arrived in 
person, inquired for Laupepa, was evasively answered, and declared 
war on the spot.  Before eight, the Germans (seven hundred men and 
six guns) came ashore and seized and hoisted German colours on the 
government building.  The three chiefs had made good haste to 
escape; but a considerable booty was made of government papers, 
fire-arms, and some seventeen thousand cartridges.  Then followed a 
scene which long rankled in the minds of the white inhabitants, 
when the German marines raided the town in search of Malietoa, 
burst into private houses, and were accused (I am willing to 
believe on slender grounds) of violence to private persons.

On the morrow, the 25th, one of the German war-ships, which had 
been despatched to Leulumoenga over night re-entered the bay, 
flying the Tamasese colours at the fore.  The new king was given a 
royal salute of twenty-one guns, marched through the town by the 
commodore and a German guard of honour, and established on Mulinuu 
with two or three hundred warriors.  Becker announced his 
recognition to the other consuls.  These replied by proclaiming 
Malietoa, and in the usual mealy-mouthed manner advised Samoans to 
do nothing.  On the 27th martial law was declared; and on the 1st 
September the German squadron dispersed about the group, bearing 
along with them the proclamations of the new king.  Tamasese was 
now a great man, to have five iron war-ships for his post-runners.  
But the moment was critical.  The revolution had to be explained, 
the chiefs persuaded to assemble at a fono summoned for the 15th; 
and the ships carried not only a store of printed documents, but a 
squad of Tamasese orators upon their round.

Such was the German COUP D'ETAT.  They had declared war with a 
squadron of five ships upon a single man; that man, late king of 
the group, was in hiding on the mountains; and their own nominee, 
backed by German guns and bayonets, sat in his stead in Mulinuu.

One of the first acts of Malietoa, on fleeing to the bush, was to 
send for Mataafa twice: "I am alone in the bush; if you do not come 
quickly you will find me bound."  It is to be understood the men 
were near kinsmen, and had (if they had nothing else) a common 
jealousy.  At the urgent cry, Mataafa set forth from Falefa, and 
came to Mulinuu to Tamasese.  "What is this that you and the German 
commodore have decided on doing?" he inquired.  "I am going to obey 
the German consul," replied Tamasese, "whose wish it is that I 
should be the king and that all Samoa should assemble here."  "Do 
not pursue in wrath against Malietoa," said Mataafa "but try to 
bring about a compromise, and form a united government."  "Very 
well," said Tamasese, "leave it to me, and I will try."  From 
Mulinuu, Mataafa went on board the BISMARCK, and was graciously 
received.  "Probably," said the commodore, "we shall bring about a 
reconciliation of all Samoa through you"; and then asked his 
visitor if he bore any affection to Malietoa.  "Yes," said Mataafa.  
"And to Tamasese?"  "To him also; and if you desire the weal of 
Samoa, you will allow either him or me to bring about a 
reconciliation."  "If it were my will," said the commodore, "I 
would do as you say.  But I have no will in the matter.  I have 
instructions from the Kaiser, and I cannot go back again from what 
I have been sent to do."  "I thought you would be commanded," said 
Mataafa, "if you brought about the weal of Samoa."  "I will tell 
you," said the commodore.  "All shall go quietly.  But there is one 
thing that must be done:  Malietoa must be deposed.  I will do 
nothing to him beyond; he will only be kept on board for a couple 
of months and be well treated, just as we Germans did to the French 
chief [Napoleon III.] some time ago, whom we kept a while and cared 
for well."  Becker was no less explicit:  war, he told Sewall, 
should not cease till the Germans had custody of Malietoa and 
Tamasese should be recognised.

Meantime, in the Malietoa provinces, a profound impression was 
received.  People trooped to their fugitive sovereign in the bush.  
Many natives in Apia brought their treasures, and stored them in 
the houses of white friends.  The Tamasese orators were sometimes 
ill received.  Over in Savaii, they found the village of Satupaitea 
deserted, save for a few lads at cricket.  These they harangued, 
and were rewarded with ironical applause; and the proclamation, as 
soon as they had departed, was torn down.  For this offence the 
village was ultimately burned by German sailors, in a very decent 
and orderly style, on the 3rd September.  This was the dinner-bell 
of the fono on the 15th.  The threat conveyed in the terms of the 
summons - "If any government district does not quickly obey this 
direction, I will make war on that government district" - was thus 
commented on and reinforced.  And the meeting was in consequence 
well attended by chiefs of all parties.  They found themselves 
unarmed among the armed warriors of Tamasese and the marines of the 
German squadron, and under the guns of five strong ships.  Brandeis 
rose; it was his first open appearance, the German firm signing its 
revolutionary work.  His words were few and uncompromising: "Great 
are my thanks that the chiefs and heads of families of the whole of 
Samoa are assembled here this day.  It is strictly forbidden that 
any discussion should take place as to whether it is good or not 
that Tamasese is king of Samoa, whether at this fono or at any 
future fono.  I place for your signature the following: 'WE INFORM 
1887."  Needs must under all these guns; and the paper was signed, 
but not without open sullenness.  The bearing of Mataafa in 
particular was long remembered against him by the Germans.  "Do you 
not see the king?" said the commodore reprovingly.  "His father was 
no king," was the bold answer.  A bolder still has been printed, 
but this is Mataafa's own recollection of the passage.  On the next 
day, the chiefs were all ordered back to shake hands with Tamasese.  
Again they obeyed; but again their attitude was menacing, and some, 
it is said, audibly murmured as they gave their hands.

It is time to follow the poor Sheet of Paper (literal meaning of 
LAUPEPA), who was now to be blown so broadly over the face of 
earth.  As soon as news reached him of the declaration of war, he 
fled from Afenga to Tanunga-manono, a hamlet in the bush, about a 
mile and a half behind Apia, where he lurked some days.  On the 
24th, Selu, his secretary, despatched to the American consul an 
anxious appeal, his majesty's "cry and prayer" in behalf of "this 
weak people."  By August 30th, the Germans had word of his lurking-
place, surrounded the hamlet under cloud of night, and in the early 
morning burst with a force of sailors on the houses.  The people 
fled on all sides, and were fired upon.  One boy was shot in the 
hand, the first blood of the war.  But the king was nowhere to be 
found; he had wandered farther, over the woody mountains, the 
backbone of the land, towards Siumu and Safata.  Here, in a safe 
place, he built himself a town in the forest, where he received a 
continual stream of visitors and messengers.  Day after day the 
German blue-jackets were employed in the hopeless enterprise of 
beating the forests for the fugitive; day after day they were 
suffered to pass unhurt under the guns of ambushed Samoans; day 
after day they returned, exhausted and disappointed, to Apia.  
Seumanu Tafa, high chief of Apia, was known to be in the forest 
with the king; his wife, Fatuila, was seized, imprisoned in the 
German hospital, and when it was thought her spirit was 
sufficiently reduced, brought up for cross-examination.  The wise 
lady confined herself in answer to a single word.  "Is your husband 
near Apia?"  "Yes."  "Is he far from Apia?"  "Yes." "Is he with the 
king?"  "Yes."  "Are he and the king in different places?"  "Yes."  
Whereupon the witness was discharged.  About the 10th of September, 
Laupepa was secretly in Apia at the American consulate with two 
companions.  The German pickets were close set and visited by a 
strong patrol; and on his return, his party was observed and hailed 
and fired on by a sentry.  They ran away on all fours in the dark, 
and so doing plumped upon another sentry, whom Laupepa grappled and 
flung in a ditch; for the Sheet of Paper, although infirm of 
character, is, like most Samoans, of an able body.  The second 
sentry (like the first) fired after his assailants at random in the 
dark; and the two shots awoke the curiosity of Apia.  On the 
afternoon of the 16th, the day of the hand-shakings, Suatele, a 
high chief, despatched two boys across the island with a letter.  
They were most of the night upon the road; it was near three in the 
morning before the sentries in the camp of Malietoa beheld their 
lantern drawing near out of the wood; but the king was at once 
awakened.  The news was decisive and the letter peremptory; if 
Malietoa did not give himself up before ten on the morrow, he was 
told that great sorrows must befall his country.  I have not been 
able to draw Laupepa as a hero; but he is a man of certain virtues, 
which the Germans had now given him an occasion to display.  
Without hesitation he sacrificed himself, penned his touching 
farewell to Samoa, and making more expedition than the messengers, 
passed early behind Apia to the banks of the Vaisingano.  As he 
passed, he detached a messenger to Mataafa at the Catholic mission.  
Mataafa followed by the same road, and the pair met at the river-
side and went and sat together in a house.  All present were in 
tears.  "Do not let us weep," said the talking man, Lauati.  "We 
have no cause for shame.  We do not yield to Tamasese, but to the 
invincible strangers."  The departing king bequeathed the care of 
his country to Mataafa; and when the latter sought to console him 
with the commodore's promises, he shook his head, and declared his 
assurance that he was going to a life of exile, and perhaps to 
death.  About two o'clock the meeting broke up; Mataafa returned to 
the Catholic mission by the back of the town; and Malietoa 
proceeded by the beach road to the German naval hospital, where he 
was received (as he owns, with perfect civility) by Brandeis.  
About three, Becker brought him forth again.  As they went to the 
wharf, the people wept and clung to their departing monarch.  A 
boat carried him on board the BISMARCK, and he vanished from his 
countrymen.  Yet it was long rumoured that he still lay in the 
harbour; and so late as October 7th, a boy, who had been paddling 
round the CAROLA, professed to have seen and spoken with him.  Here 
again the needless mystery affected by the Germans bitterly 
disserved them.  The uncertainty which thus hung over Laupepa's 
fate, kept his name continually in men's mouths.  The words of his 
farewell rang in their ears: "To all Samoa:  On account of my great 
love to my country and my great affection to all Samoa, this is the 
reason that I deliver up my body to the German government.  That 
government may do as they wish to me.  The reason of this is, 
because I do not desire that the blood of Samoa shall be spilt for 
me again.  But I do not know what is my offence which has caused 
their anger to me and to my country."  And then, apostrophising the 
different provinces: "Tuamasanga, farewell!  Manono and family, 
farewell!  So, also, Salafai, Tutuila, Aana, and Atua, farewell!  
If we do not again see one another in this world, pray that we may 
be again together above."  So the sheep departed with the halo of a 
saint, and men thought of him as of some King Arthur snatched into 

On board the BISMARCK, the commodore shook hands with him, told him 
he was to be "taken away from all the chiefs with whom he had been 
accustomed," and had him taken to the wardroom under guard.  The 
next day he was sent to sea in the ADLER.  There went with him his 
brother Moli, one Meisake, and one Alualu, half-caste German, to 
interpret.  He was respectfully used; he dined in the stern with 
the officers, but the boys dined "near where the fire was."  They 
come to a "newly-formed place" in Australia, where the ALBATROSS 
was lying, and a British ship, which he knew to be a man-of-war 
"because the officers were nicely dressed and wore epaulettes."  
Here he was transhipped, "in a boat with a screen," which he 
supposed was to conceal him from the British ship; and on board the 
ALBATROSS was sent below and told he must stay there till they had 
sailed.  Later, however, he was allowed to come on deck, where he 
found they had rigged a screen (perhaps an awning) under which he 
walked, looking at "the newly-formed settlement," and admiring a 
big house "where he was sure the governor lived."  From Australia, 
they sailed some time, and reached an anchorage where a consul-
general came on board, and where Laupepa was only allowed on deck 
at night.  He could then see the lights of a town with wharves; he 
supposes Cape Town.  Off the Cameroons they anchored or lay-to, far 
at sea, and sent a boat ashore to see (he supposes) that there was 
no British man-of-war.  It was the next morning before the boat 
returned, when the ALBATROSS stood in and came to anchor near 
another German ship.  Here Alualu came to him on deck and told him 
this was the place.  "That is an astonishing thing," said he.  "I 
thought I was to go to Germany, I do not know what this means; I do 
not know what will be the end of it; my heart is troubled."  
Whereupon Alualu burst into tears.  A little after, Laupepa was 
called below to the captain and the governor.  The last addressed 
him: "This is my own place, a good place, a warm place.  My house 
is not yet finished, but when it is, you shall live in one of my 
rooms until I can make a house for you."  Then he was taken ashore 
and brought to a tall, iron house.  "This house is regulated," said 
the governor; "there is no fire allowed to burn in it."  In one 
part of this house, weapons of the government were hung up; there 
was a passage, and on the other side of the passage, fifty 
criminals were chained together, two and two, by the ankles.  The 
windows were out of reach; and there was only one door, which was 
opened at six in the morning and shut again at six at night.  All 
day he had his liberty, went to the Baptist Mission, and walked 
about viewing the negroes, who were "like the sand on the seashore" 
for number.  At six they were called into the house and shut in for 
the night without beds or lights.  "Although they gave me no 
light," said he, with a smile, "I could see I was in a prison."  
Good food was given him:  biscuits, "tea made with warm water," 
beef, etc.; all excellent.  Once, in their walks, they spied a 
breadfruit tree bearing in the garden of an English merchant, ran 
back to the prison to get a shilling, and came and offered to 
purchase.  "I am not going to sell breadfruit to you people," said 
the merchant; "come and take what you like."  Here Malietoa 
interrupted himself to say it was the only tree bearing in the 
Cameroons.  "The governor had none, or he would have given it to 
me."  On the passage from the Cameroons to Germany, he had great 
delight to see the cliffs of England.  He saw "the rocks shining in 
the sun, and three hours later was surprised to find them sunk in 
the heavens."  He saw also wharves and immense buildings; perhaps 
Dover and its castle.  In Hamburg, after breakfast, Mr. Weber, who 
had now finally "ceased from troubling" Samoa, came on board, and 
carried him ashore "suitably" in a steam launch to "a large house 
of the government," where he stayed till noon.  At noon Weber told 
him he was going to "the place where ships are anchored that go to 
Samoa," and led him to "a very magnificent house, with carriages 
inside and a wonderful roof of glass"; to wit, the railway station.  
They were benighted on the train, and then went in "something with 
a house, drawn by horses, which had windows and many decks"; 
plainly an omnibus.  Here (at Bremen or Bremerhaven, I believe) 
they stayed some while in "a house of five hundred rooms"; then 
were got on board the NURNBERG (as they understood) for Samoa, 
anchored in England on a Sunday, were joined EN ROUTE by the famous 
Dr. Knappe, passed through "a narrow passage where they went very 
slow and which was just like a river," and beheld with exhilarated 
curiosity that Red Sea of which they had learned so much in their 
Bibles.  At last, "at the hour when the fires burn red," they came 
to a place where was a German man-of-war.  Laupepa was called, with 
one of the boys, on deck, when he found a German officer awaiting 
him, and a steam launch alongside, and was told he must now leave 
his brother and go elsewhere.  "I cannot go like this," he cried.  
"You must let me see my brother and the other old men" - a term of 
courtesy.  Knappe, who seems always to have been good-natured, 
revised his orders, and consented not only to an interview, but to 
allow Moli to continue to accompany the king.  So these two were 
carried to the man-of-war, and sailed many a day, still supposing 
themselves bound for Samoa; and lo! she came to a country the like 
of which they had never dreamed of, and cast anchor in the great 
lagoon of Jaluit; and upon that narrow land the exiles were set on 
shore.  This was the part of his captivity on which he looked back 
with the most bitterness.  It was the last, for one thing, and he 
was worn down with the long suspense, and terror, and deception.  
He could not bear the brackish water; and though "the Germans were 
still good to him, and gave him beef and biscuit and tea," he 
suffered from the lack of vegetable food.

Such is the narrative of this simple exile.  I have not sought to 
correct it by extraneous testimony.  It is not so much the facts 
that are historical, as the man's attitude.  No one could hear this 
tale as he originally told it in my hearing - I think none can read 
it as here condensed and unadorned - without admiring the fairness 
and simplicity of the Samoan; and wondering at the want of heart - 
or want of humour - in so many successive civilised Germans, that 
they should have continued to surround this infant with the secrecy 
of state.


SO Tamasese was on the throne, and Brandeis behind it; and I have 
now to deal with their brief and luckless reign.  That it was the 
reign of Brandeis needs not to be argued:  the policy is throughout 
that of an able, over-hasty white, with eyes and ideas.  But it 
should be borne in mind that he had a double task, and must first 
lead his sovereign, before he could begin to drive their common 
subjects.  Meanwhile, he himself was exposed (if all tales be true) 
to much dictation and interference, and to some "cumbrous aid," 
from the consulate and the firm.  And to one of these aids, the 
suppression of the municipality, I am inclined to attribute his 
ultimate failure.

The white enemies of the new regimen were of two classes.  In the 
first stood Moors and the employes of MacArthur, the two chief 
rivals of the firm, who saw with jealousy a clerk (or a so-called 
clerk) of their competitors advanced to the chief power.  The 
second class, that of the officials, numbered at first exactly one.  
Wilson, the English acting consul, is understood to have held 
strict orders to help Germany.  Commander Leary, of the ADAMS, the 
American captain, when he arrived, on the 16th October, and for 
some time after, seemed devoted to the German interest, and spent 
his days with a German officer, Captain Von Widersheim, who was 
deservedly beloved by all who knew him.  There remains the American 
consul-general, Harold Marsh Sewall, a young man of high spirit and 
a generous disposition.  He had obeyed the orders of his government 
with a grudge; and looked back on his past action with regret 
almost to be called repentance.  From the moment of the declaration 
of war against Laupepa, we find him standing forth in bold, 
consistent, and sometimes rather captious opposition, stirring up 
his government at home with clear and forcible despatches, and on 
the spot grasping at every opportunity to thrust a stick into the 
German wheels.  For some while, he and Moors fought their difficult 
battle in conjunction; in the course of which, first one, and then 
the other, paid a visit home to reason with the authorities at 
Washington; and during the consul's absence, there was found an 
American clerk in Apia, William Blacklock, to perform the duties of 
the office with remarkable ability and courage.  The three names 
just brought together, Sewall, Moors, and Blacklock, make the head 
and front of the opposition; if Tamasese fell, if Brandeis was 
driven forth, if the treaty of Berlin was signed, theirs is the 
blame or the credit.

To understand the feelings of self-reproach and bitterness with 
which Sewall took the field, the reader must see Laupepa's letter 
of farewell to the consuls of England and America.  It is singular 
that this far from brilliant or dignified monarch, writing in the 
forest, in heaviness of spirit and under pressure for time, should 
have left behind him not only one, but two remarkable and most 
effective documents.  The farewell to his people was touching; the 
farewell to the consuls, for a man of the character of Sewall, must 
have cut like a whip.  "When the chief Tamasese and others first 
moved the present troubles," he wrote, "it was my wish to punish 
them and put an end to the rebellion; but I yielded to the advice 
of the British and American consuls.  Assistance and protection was 
repeatedly promised to me and my government, if I abstained from 
bringing war upon my country.  Relying upon these promises, I did 
not put down the rebellion.  Now I find that war has been made upon 
me by the Emperor of Germany, and Tamasese has been proclaimed king 
of Samoa.  I desire to remind you of the promises so frequently 
made by your government, and trust that you will so far redeem them 
as to cause the lives and liberties of my chiefs and people to be 

Sewall's immediate adversary was, of course, Becker.  I have formed 
an opinion of this gentleman, largely from his printed despatches, 
which I am at a loss to put in words.  Astute, ingenious, capable, 
at moments almost witty with a kind of glacial wit in action, he 
displayed in the course of this affair every description of 
capacity but that which is alone useful and which springs from a 
knowledge of men's natures.  It chanced that one of Sewall's early 
moves played into his hands, and he was swift to seize and to 
improve the advantage.  The neutral territory and the tripartite 
municipality of Apia were eyesores to the German consulate and 
Brandeis.  By landing Tamasese's two or three hundred warriors at 
Mulinuu, as Becker himself owns, they had infringed the treaties, 
and Sewall entered protest twice.  There were two ways of escaping 
this dilemma:  one was to withdraw the warriors; the other, by some 
hocus-pocus, to abrogate the neutrality.  And the second had 
subsidiary advantages:  it would restore the taxes of the richest 
district in the islands to the Samoan king; and it would enable 
them to substitute over the royal seat the flag of Germany for the 
new flag of Tamasese.  It is true (and it was the subject of much 
remark) that these two could hardly be distinguished by the naked 
eye; but their effects were different.  To seat the puppet king on 
German land and under German colours, so that any rebellion was 
constructive war on Germany, was a trick apparently invented by 
Becker, and which we shall find was repeated and persevered in till 
the end.

Otto Martin was at this time magistrate in the municipality.  The 
post was held in turn by the three nationalities; Martin had served 
far beyond his term, and should have been succeeded months before 
by an American.  To make the change it was necessary to hold a 
meeting of the municipal board, consisting of the three consuls, 
each backed by an assessor.  And for some time these meetings had 
been evaded or refused by the German consul.  As long as it was 
agreed to continue Martin, Becker had attended regularly; as soon 
as Sewall indicated a wish for his removal, Becker tacitly 
suspended the municipality by refusing to appear.  This policy was 
now the more necessary; for if the whole existence of the 
municipality were a check on the freedom of the new government, it 
was plainly less so when the power to enforce and punish lay in 
German hands.  For some while back the Malietoa flag had been flown 
on the municipal building:  Becker denies this; I am sorry; my 
information obliges me to suppose he is in error.  Sewall, with 
post-mortem loyalty to the past, insisted that this flag should be 
continued.  And Becker immediately made his point.  He declared, 
justly enough, that the proposal was hostile, and argued that it 
was impossible he should attend a meeting under a flag with which 
his sovereign was at war.  Upon one occasion of urgency, he was 
invited to meet the two other consuls at the British consulate; 
even this he refused; and for four months the municipality 
slumbered, Martin still in office.  In the month of October, in 
consequence, the British and American ratepayers announced they 
would refuse to pay.  Becker doubtless rubbed his hands.  On 
Saturday, the 10th, the chief Tamaseu, a Malietoa man of substance 
and good character, was arrested on a charge of theft believed to 
be vexatious, and cast by Martin into the municipal prison.  He 
sent to Moors, who was his tenant and owed him money at the time, 
for bail.  Moors applied to Sewall, ranking consul.  After some 
search, Martin was found and refused to consider bail before the 
Monday morning.  Whereupon Sewall demanded the keys from the 
gaoler, accepted Moors's verbal recognisances, and set Tamaseu 

Things were now at a deadlock; and Becker astonished every one by 
agreeing to a meeting on the 14th.  It seems he knew what to 
expect.  Writing on the 13th at least, he prophesies that the 
meeting will be held in vain, that the municipality must lapse, and 
the government of Tamasese step in.  On the 14th, Sewall left his 
consulate in time, and walked some part of the way to the place of 
meeting in company with Wilson, the English pro-consul.  But he had 
forgotten a paper, and in an evil hour returned for it alone.  
Wilson arrived without him, and Becker broke up the meeting for 
want of a quorum.  There was some unedifying disputation as to 
whether he had waited ten or twenty minutes, whether he had been 
officially or unofficially informed by Wilson that Sewall was on 
the way, whether the statement had been made to himself or to Weber 
in answer to a question, and whether he had heard Wilson's answer 
or only Weber's question:  all otiose; if he heard the question, he 
was bound to have waited for the answer; if he heard it not, he 
should have put it himself; and it was the manifest truth that he 
rejoiced in his occasion.  "Sir," he wrote to Sewall, "I have the 
honour to inform you that, to my regret, I am obliged to consider 
the municipal government to be provisionally in abeyance since you 
have withdrawn your consent to the continuation of Mr. Martin in 
his position as magistrate, and since you have refused to take part 
in the meeting of the municipal board agreed to for the purpose of 
electing a magistrate.  The government of the town and district of 
the municipality rests, as long as the municipality is in abeyance, 
with the Samoan government.  The Samoan government has taken over 
the administration, and has applied to the commander of the 
imperial German squadron for assistance in the preservation of good 
order."  This letter was not delivered until 4 P.M.  By three, 
sailors had been landed.  Already German colours flew over 
Tamasese's headquarters at Mulinuu, and German guards had occupied 
the hospital, the German consulate, and the municipal gaol and 
courthouse, where they stood to arms under the flag of Tamasese.  
The same day Sewall wrote to protest.  Receiving no reply, he 
issued on the morrow a proclamation bidding all Americans look to 
himself alone.  On the 26th, he wrote again to Becker, and on the 
27th received this genial reply: "Sir, your high favour of the 26th 
of this month, I give myself the honour of acknowledging.  At the 
same time I acknowledge the receipt of your high favour of the 14th 
October in reply to my communication of the same date, which 
contained the information of the suspension of the arrangements for 
the municipal government."  There the correspondence ceased.  And 
on the 18th January came the last step of this irritating intrigue 
when Tamasese appointed a judge - and the judge proved to be 

Thus was the adventure of the Castle Municipal achieved by Sir 
Becker the chivalrous.  The taxes of Apia, the gaol, the police, 
all passed into the hands of Tamasese-Brandeis; a German was 
secured upon the bench; and the German flag might wave over her 
puppet unquestioned.  But there is a law of human nature which 
diplomatists should be taught at school, and it seems they are not; 
that men can tolerate bare injustice, but not the combination of 
injustice and subterfuge.  Hence the chequered career of the 
thimble-rigger.  Had the municipality been seized by open force, 
there might have been complaint, it would not have aroused the same 
lasting grudge.

This grudge was an ill gift to bring to Brandeis, who had trouble 
enough in front of him without.  He was an alien, he was supported 
by the guns of alien warships, and he had come to do an alien's 
work, highly needful for Samoa, but essentially unpopular with all 
Samoans.  The law to be enforced, causes of dispute between white 
and brown to be eliminated, taxes to be raised, a central power 
created, the country opened up, the native race taught industry:  
all these were detestable to the natives, and to all of these he 
must set his hand.  The more I learn of his brief term of rule, the 
more I learn to admire him, and to wish we had his like.

In the face of bitter native opposition, he got some roads 
accomplished.  He set up beacons.  The taxes he enforced with 
necessary vigour.  By the 6th of January, Aua and Fangatonga, 
districts in Tutuila, having made a difficulty, Brandeis is down at 
the island in a schooner, with the ADLER at his heels, seizes the 
chief Maunga, fines the recalcitrant districts in three hundred 
dollars for expenses, and orders all to be in by April 20th, which 
if it is not, "not one thing will be done," he proclaimed, "but war 
declared against you, and the principal chiefs taken to a distant 
island."  He forbade mortgages of copra, a frequent source of 
trickery and quarrel; and to clear off those already contracted, 
passed a severe but salutary law.  Each individual or family was 
first to pay off its own obligation; that settled, the free man was 
to pay for the indebted village, the free village for the indebted 
province, and one island for another.  Samoa, he declared, should 
be free of debt within a year.  Had he given it three years, and 
gone more gently, I believe it might have been accomplished.  To 
make it the more possible, he sought to interdict the natives from 
buying cotton stuffs and to oblige them to dress (at least for the 
time) in their own tapa.  He laid the beginnings of a royal 
territorial army.  The first draft was in his hands drilling.  But 
it was not so much on drill that he depended; it was his hope to 
kindle in these men an ESPRIT DE CORPS, which should weaken the old 
local jealousies and bonds, and found a central or national party 
in the islands.  Looking far before, and with a wisdom beyond that 
of many merchants, he had condemned the single dependence placed on 
copra for the national livelihood.  His recruits, even as they 
drilled, were taught to plant cacao.  Each, his term of active 
service finished, should return to his own land and plant and 
cultivate a stipulated area.  Thus, as the young men continued to 
pass through the army, habits of discipline and industry, a central 
sentiment, the principles of the new culture, and actual gardens of 
cacao, should be concurrently spread over the face of the islands.

Tamasese received, including his household expenses, 1960 dollars a 
year; Brandeis, 2400.  All such disproportions are regrettable, but 
this is not extreme:  we have seen horses of a different colour 
since then.  And the Tamaseseites, with true Samoan ostentation, 
offered to increase the salary of their white premier:  an offer he 
had the wisdom and good feeling to refuse.  A European chief of 
police received twelve hundred.  There were eight head judges, one 
to each province, and appeal lay from the district judge to the 
provincial, thence to Mulinuu.  From all salaries (I gather) a 
small monthly guarantee was withheld.  The army was to cost from 
three to four thousand, Apia (many whites refusing to pay taxes 
since the suppression of the municipality) might cost three 
thousand more:  Sir Becker's high feat of arms coming expensive (it 
will be noticed) even in money.  The whole outlay was estimated at 
twenty-seven thousand; and the revenue forty thousand:  a sum Samoa 
is well able to pay.

Such were the arrangements and some of the ideas of this strong, 
ardent, and sanguine man.  Of criticisms upon his conduct, beyond 
the general consent that he was rather harsh and in too great a 
hurry, few are articulate.  The native paper of complaints was 
particularly childish.  Out of twenty-three counts, the first two 
refer to the private character of Brandeis and Tamasese.  Three 
complain that Samoan officials were kept in the dark as to the 
finances; one, of the tapa law; one, of the direct appointment of 
chiefs by Tamasese-Brandeis, the sort of mistake into which 
Europeans in the South Seas fall so readily; one, of the enforced 
labour of chiefs; one, of the taxes; and one, of the roads.  This I 
may give in full from the very lame translation in the American 
white book.  "The roads that were made were called the Government 
Roads; they were six fathoms wide.  Their making caused much damage 
to Samoa's lands and what was planted on it.  The Samoans cried on 
account of their lands, which were taken high-handedly and abused.  
They again cried on account of the loss of what they had planted, 
which was now thrown away in a high-handed way, without any regard 
being shown or question asked of the owner of the land, or any 
compensation offered for the damage done.  This was different with 
foreigners' land; in their case permission was first asked to make 
the roads; the foreigners were paid for any destruction made."  The 
sting of this count was, I fancy, in the last clause.  No less than 
six articles complain of the administration of the law; and I 
believe that was never satisfactory.  Brandeis told me himself he 
was never yet satisfied with any native judge.  And men say (and it 
seems to fit in well with his hasty and eager character) that he 
would legislate by word of mouth; sometimes forget what he had 
said; and, on the same question arising in another province, decide 
it perhaps otherwise.  I gather, on the whole, our artillery 
captain was not great in law.  Two articles refer to a matter I 
must deal with more at length, and rather from the point of view of 
the white residents.

The common charge against Brandeis was that of favouring the German 
firm.  Coming as he did, this was inevitable.  Weber had bought 
Steinberger with hard cash; that was matter of history.  The 
present government he did not even require to buy, having founded 
it by his intrigues, and introduced the premier to Samoa through 
the doors of his own office.  And the effect of the initial blunder 
was kept alive by the chatter of the clerks in bar-rooms, boasting 
themselves of the new government and prophesying annihilation to 
all rivals.  The time of raising a tax is the harvest of the 
merchants; it is the time when copra will be made, and must be 
sold; and the intention of the German firm, first in the time of 
Steinberger, and again in April and May, 1888, with Brandeis, was 
to seize and handle the whole operation.  Their chief rivals were 
the Messrs. MacArthur; and it seems beyond question that provincial 
governors more than once issued orders forbidding Samoans to take 
money from "the New Zealand firm."  These, when they were brought 
to his notice, Brandeis disowned, and he is entitled to be heard.  
No man can live long in Samoa and not have his honesty impugned.  
But the accusations against Brandeis's veracity are both few and 
obscure.  I believe he was as straight as his sword.  The governors 
doubtless issued these orders, but there were plenty besides 
Brandeis to suggest them.  Every wandering clerk from the firm's 
office, every plantation manager, would be dinning the same story 
in the native ear.  And here again the initial blunder hung about 
the neck of Brandeis, a ton's weight.  The natives, as well as the 
whites, had seen their premier masquerading on a stool in the 
office; in the eyes of the natives, as well as in those of the 
whites, he must always have retained the mark of servitude from 
that ill-judged passage; and they would be inclined to look behind 
and above him, to the great house of MISI UEBA.  The government was 
like a vista of puppets.  People did not trouble with Tamasese, if 
they got speech with Brandeis; in the same way, they might not 
always trouble to ask Brandeis, if they had a hint direct from MISI 
UEBA.  In only one case, though it seems to have had many 
developments, do I find the premier personally committed.  The 
MacArthurs claimed the copra of Fasitotai on a district mortgage of 
three hundred dollars.  The German firm accepted a mortgage of the 
whole province of Aana, claimed the copra of Fasitotai as that of a 
part of Aana, and were supported by the government.  Here Brandeis 
was false to his own principle, that personal and village debts 
should come before provincial.  But the case occurred before the 
promulgation of the law, and was, as a matter of fact, the cause of 
it; so the most we can say is that he changed his mind, and changed 
it for the better.  If the history of his government be considered 
- how it originated in an intrigue between the firm and the 
consulate, and was (for the firm's sake alone) supported by the 
consulate with foreign bayonets - the existence of the least doubt 
on the man's action must seem marvellous.  We should have looked to 
find him playing openly and wholly into their hands; that he did 
not, implies great independence and much secret friction; and I 
believe (if the truth were known) the firm would be found to have 
been disgusted with the stubbornness of its intended tool, and 
Brandeis often impatient of the demands of his creators.

But I may seem to exaggerate the degree of white opposition.  And 
it is true that before fate overtook the Brandeis government, it 
appeared to enjoy the fruits of victory in Apia; and one dissident, 
the unconquerable Moors, stood out alone to refuse his taxes.  But 
the victory was in appearance only; the opposition was latent; it 
found vent in talk, and thus reacted on the natives; upon the least 
excuse, it was ready to flame forth again.  And this is the more 
singular because some were far from out of sympathy with the native 
policy pursued.  When I met Captain Brandeis, he was amazed at my 
attitude.  "Whom did you find in Apia to tell you so much good of 
me?" he asked.  I named one of my informants.  "He?" he cried.  "If 
he thought all that, why did he not help me?"  I told him as well 
as I was able.  The man was a merchant.  He beheld in the 
government of Brandeis a government created by and for the firm who 
were his rivals.  If Brandeis were minded to deal fairly, where was 
the probability that he would be allowed?  If Brandeis insisted and 
were strong enough to prevail, what guarantee that, as soon as the 
government were fairly accepted, Brandeis might not be removed?  
Here was the attitude of the hour; and I am glad to find it clearly 
set forth in a despatch of Sewall's, June 18th, 1888, when he 
commends the law against mortgages, and goes on: "Whether the 
author of this law will carry out the good intentions which he 
professes - whether he will be allowed to do so, if he desires, 
against the opposition of those who placed him in power and protect 
him in the possession of it - may well be doubted."  Brandeis had 
come to Apia in the firm's livery.  Even while he promised 
neutrality in commerce, the clerks were prating a different story 
in the bar-rooms; and the late high feat of the knight-errant, 
Becker, had killed all confidence in Germans at the root.  By these 
three impolicies, the German adventure in Samoa was defeated.

I imply that the handful of whites were the true obstacle, not the 
thousands of malcontent Samoans; for had the whites frankly 
accepted Brandeis, the path of Germany was clear, and the end of 
their policy, however troublesome might be its course, was obvious.  
But this is not to say that the natives were content.  In a sense, 
indeed, their opposition was continuous.  There will always be 
opposition in Samoa when taxes are imposed; and the deportation of 
Malietoa stuck in men's throats.  Tuiatua Mataafa refused to act 
under the new government from the beginning, and Tamasese usurped 
his place and title.  As early as February, I find him signing 
himself "Tuiaana TUIATUA Tamasese," the first step on a dangerous 
path.  Asi, like Mataafa, disclaimed his chiefship and declared 
himself a private person; but he was more rudely dealt with.  
German sailors surrounded his house in the night, burst in, and 
dragged the women out of the mosquito nets - an offence against 
Samoan manners.  No Asi was to be found; but at last they were 
shown his fishing-lights on the reef, rowed out, took him as he 
was, and carried him on board a man-of-war, where he was detained 
some while between-decks.  At last, January 16th, after a farewell 
interview over the ship's side with his wife, he was discharged 
into a ketch, and along with two other chiefs, Maunga and Tuiletu-
funga, deported to the Marshalls.  The blow struck fear upon all 
sides.  Le Mamea (a very able chief) was secretly among the 
malcontents.  His family and followers murmured at his weakness; 
but he continued, throughout the duration of the government, to 
serve Brandeis with trembling.  A circus coming to Apia, he seized 
at the pretext for escape, and asked leave to accept an engagement 
in the company.  "I will not allow you to make a monkey of 
yourself," said Brandeis; and the phrase had a success throughout 
the islands, pungent expressions being so much admired by the 
natives that they cannot refrain from repeating them, even when 
they have been levelled at themselves.  The assumption of the Atua 
NAME spread discontent in that province; many chiefs from thence 
were convicted of disaffection, and condemned to labour with their 
hands upon the roads - a great shock to the Samoan sense of the 
becoming, which was rendered the more sensible by the death of one 
of the number at his task.  Mataafa was involved in the same 
trouble.  His disaffected speech at a meeting of Atua chiefs was 
betrayed by the girls that made the kava, and the man of the future 
was called to Apia on safe-conduct, but, after an interview, 
suffered to return to his lair.  The peculiarly tender treatment of 
Mataafa must be explained by his relationship to Tamasese.  Laupepa 
was of Malietoa blood.  The hereditary retainers of the Tupua would 
see him exiled even with some complacency.  But Mataafa was Tupua 
himself; and Tupua men would probably have murmured, and would 
perhaps have mutinied, had he been harshly dealt with.

The native opposition, I say, was in a sense continuous.  And it 
kept continuously growing.  The sphere of Brandeis was limited to 
Mulinuu and the north central quarters of Upolu - practically what 
is shown upon the map opposite.  There the taxes were expanded; in 
the out-districts, men paid their money and saw no return.  Here 
the eye and hand of the dictator were ready to correct the scales 
of justice; in the out-districts, all things lay at the mercy of 
the native magistrates, and their oppressions increased with the 
course of time and the experience of impunity.  In the spring of 
the year, a very intelligent observer had occasion to visit many 
places in the island of Savaii.  "Our lives are not worth living," 
was the burthen of the popular complaint.  "We are groaning under 
the oppression of these men.  We would rather die than continue to 
endure it."  On his return to Apia, he made haste to communicate 
his impressions to Brandeis.  Brandeis replied in an epigram: 
"Where there has been anarchy in a country, there must be 
oppression for a time."  But unfortunately the terms of the epigram 
may be reversed; and personal supervision would have been more in 
season than wit.  The same observer who conveyed to him this 
warning thinks that, if Brandeis had himself visited the districts 
and inquired into complaints, the blow might yet have been averted 
and the government saved.  At last, upon a certain unconstitutional 
act of Tamasese, the discontent took life and fire.  The act was of 
his own conception; the dull dog was ambitious.  Brandeis declares 
he would not be dissuaded; perhaps his adviser did not seriously 
try, perhaps did not dream that in that welter of contradictions, 
the Samoan constitution, any one point would be considered sacred.  
I have told how Tamasese assumed the title of Tuiatua.  In August 
1888 a year after his installation, he took a more formidable step 
and assumed that of Malietoa.  This name, as I have said, is of 
peculiar honour; it had been given to, it had never been taken 
from, the exiled Laupepa; those in whose grant it lay, stood 
punctilious upon their rights; and Tamasese, as the representative 
of their natural opponents, the Tupua line, was the last who should 
have had it.  And there was yet more, though I almost despair to 
make it thinkable by Europeans.  Certain old mats are handed down, 
and set huge store by; they may be compared to coats of arms or 
heirlooms among ourselves; and to the horror of more than one-half 
of Samoa, Tamasese, the head of the Tupua, began collecting 
Malietoa mats.  It was felt that the cup was full, and men began to 
prepare secretly for rebellion.  The history of the month of August 
is unknown to whites; it passed altogether in the covert of the 
woods or in the stealthy councils of Samoans.  One ominous sign was 
to be noted; arms and ammunition began to be purchased or inquired 
about; and the more wary traders ordered fresh consignments of 
material of war.  But the rest was silence; the government slept in 
security; and Brandeis was summoned at last from a public dinner, 
to find rebellion organised, the woods behind Apia full of 
insurgents, and a plan prepared, and in the very article of 
execution, to surprise and seize Mulinuu.  The timely discovery 
averted all; and the leaders hastily withdrew towards the south 
side of the island, leaving in the bush a rear-guard under a young 
man of the name of Saifaleupolu.  According to some accounts, it 
scarce numbered forty; the leader was no great chief, but a 
handsome, industrious lad who seems to have been much beloved.  And 
upon this obstacle Brandeis fell.  It is the man's fault to be too 
impatient of results; his public intention to free Samoa of all 
debt within the year, depicts him; and instead of continuing to 
temporise and let his enemies weary and disperse, he judged it 
politic to strike a blow.  He struck it, with what seemed to be 
success, and the sound of it roused Samoa to rebellion.

About two in the morning of August 31st, Apia was wakened by men 
marching.  Day came, and Brandeis and his war-party were already 
long disappeared in the woods.  All morning belated Tamaseseites 
were still to be seen running with their guns.  All morning shots 
were listened for in vain; but over the top of the forest, far up 
the mountain, smoke was for some time observed to hang.  About ten 
a dead man was carried in, lashed under a pole like a dead pig, his 
rosary (for he was a Catholic) hanging nearly to the ground.  Next 
came a young fellow wounded, sitting in a rope swung from a pole; 
two fellows bearing him, two running behind for a relief.  At last 
about eleven, three or four heavy volleys and a great shouting were 
heard from the bush town Tanungamanono; the affair was over, the 
victorious force, on the march back, was there celebrating its 
victory by the way.  Presently after, it marched through Apia, five 
or six hundred strong, in tolerable order and strutting with the 
ludicrous assumption of the triumphant islander.  Women who had 
been buying bread ran and gave them loaves.  At the tail end came 
Brandeis himself, smoking a cigar, deadly pale, and with perhaps an 
increase of his usual nervous manner.  One spoke to him by the way.  
He expressed his sorrow the action had been forced on him.  "Poor 
people, it's all the worse for them!" he said.  "It'll have to be 
done another way now."  And it was supposed by his hearer that he 
referred to intervention from the German war-ships.  He meant, he 
said, to put a stop to head-hunting; his men had taken two that 
day, he added, but he had not suffered them to bring them in, and 
they had been left in Tanungamanono.  Thither my informant rode, 
was attracted by the sound of walling, and saw in a house the two 
heads washed and combed, and the sister of one of the dead 
lamenting in the island fashion and kissing the cold face.  Soon 
after, a small grave was dug, the heads were buried in a beef box, 
and the pastor read the service.  The body of Saifaleupolu himself 
was recovered unmutilated, brought down from the forest, and buried 
behind Apia.

The same afternoon, the men of Vaimaunga were ordered to report in 
Mulinuu, where Tamasese's flag was half-masted for the death of a 
chief in the skirmish.  Vaimaunga is that district of Taumasanga 
which includes the bay and the foothills behind Apia; and both 
province and district are strong Malietoa.  Not one man, it is 
said, obeyed the summons.  Night came, and the town lay in unusual 
silence; no one abroad; the blinds down around the native houses, 
the men within sleeping on their arms; the old women keeping watch 
in pairs.  And in the course of the two following days all 
Vaimaunga was gone into the bush, the very gaoler setting free his 
prisoners and joining them in their escape.  Hear the words of the 
chiefs in the 23rd article of their complaint: "Some of the chiefs 
fled to the bush from fear of being reported, fear of German men-
of-war, constantly being accused, etc., and Brandeis commanded that 
they were to be shot on sight.  This act was carried out by 
Brandeis on the 31st day of August, 1888.  After this we evaded 
these laws; we could not stand them; our patience was worn out with 
the constant wickedness of Tamasese and Brandeis.  We were tired 
out and could stand no longer the acts of these two men."

So through an ill-timed skirmish, two severed heads, and a dead 
body, the rule of Brandeis came to a sudden end.  We shall see him 
a while longer fighting for existence in a losing battle; but his 
government - take it for all in all, the most promising that has 
ever been in these unlucky islands - was from that hour a piece of 


THE revolution had all the character of a popular movement.  Many 
of the high chiefs were detained in Mulinuu; the commons trooped to 
the bush under inferior leaders.  A camp was chosen near Faleula, 
threatening Mulinuu, well placed for the arrival of recruits and 
close to a German plantation from which the force could be 
subsisted.  Manono came, all Tuamasanga, much of Savaii, and part 
of Aana, Tamasese's own government and titular seat.  Both sides 
were arming.  It was a brave day for the trader, though not so 
brave as some that followed, when a single cartridge is said to 
have been sold for twelve cents currency - between nine and ten 
cents gold.  Yet even among the traders a strong party feeling 
reigned, and it was the common practice to ask a purchaser upon 
which side he meant to fight.

On September 5th, Brandeis published a letter: "To the chiefs of 
Tuamasanga, Manono, and Faasaleleanga in the Bush:  Chiefs, by 
authority of his majesty Tamasese, the king of Samoa, I make known 
to you all that the German man-of-war is about to go together with 
a Samoan fleet for the purpose of burning Manono.  After this 
island is all burnt, 'tis good if the people return to Manono and 
live quiet.  To the people of Faasaleleanga I say, return to your 
houses and stop there.  The same to those belonging to Tuamasanga.  
If you obey this instruction, then you will all be forgiven; if you 
do not obey, then all your villages will be burnt like Manono.  
These instructions are made in truth in the sight of God in the 
Heaven."  The same morning, accordingly, the ADLER steamed out of 
the bay with a force of Tamasese warriors and some native boats in 
tow, the Samoan fleet in question.  Manono was shelled; the 
Tamasese warriors, under the conduct of a Manono traitor, who paid 
before many days the forfeit of his blood, landed and did some 
damage, but were driven away by the sight of a force returning from 
the mainland; no one was hurt, for the women and children, who 
alone remained on the island, found a refuge in the bush; and the 
ADLER and her acolytes returned the same evening.  The letter had 
been energetic; the performance fell below the programme.  The 
demonstration annoyed and yet re-assured the insurgents, and it 
fully disclosed to the Germans a new enemy.

Captain Yon Widersheim had been relieved.  His successor, Captain 
Fritze, was an officer of a different stamp.  I have nothing to say 
of him but good; he seems to have obeyed the consul's requisitions 
with secret distaste; his despatches were of admirable candour; but 
his habits were retired, he spoke little English, and was far 
indeed from inheriting von Widersheim's close relations with 
Commander Leary.  It is believed by Germans that the American 
officer resented what he took to be neglect.  I mention this, not 
because I believe it to depict Commander Leary, but because it is 
typical of a prevailing infirmity among Germans in Samoa.  Touchy 
themselves, they read all history in the light of personal affronts 
and tiffs; and I find this weakness indicated by the big thumb of 
Bismarck, when he places "sensitiveness to small disrespects - 
wild career of Knappe.  Whatever the cause, at least, the natives 
had no sooner taken arms than Leary appeared with violence upon 
that side.  As early as the 3rd, he had sent an obscure but 
menacing despatch to Brandeis.  On the 6th, he fell on Fritze in 
the matter of the Manono bombardment.  "The revolutionists," he 
wrote, "had an armed force in the field within a few miles of this 
harbour, when the vessels under your command transported the 
Tamasese troops to a neighbouring island with the avowed intention 
of making war on the isolated homes of the women and children of 
the enemy.  Being the only other representative of a naval power 
now present in this harbour, for the sake of humanity I hereby 
respectfully and solemnly protest in the name of the United States 
of America and of the civilised world in general against the use of 
a national war-vessel for such services as were yesterday rendered 
by the German corvette ADLER."  Fritze's reply, to the effect that 
he is under the orders of the consul and has no right of choice, 
reads even humble; perhaps he was not himself vain of the exploit, 
perhaps not prepared to see it thus described in words.  From that 
moment Leary was in the front of the row.  His name is diagnostic, 
but it was not required; on every step of his subsequent action in 
Samoa Irishman is writ large; over all his doings a malign spirit 
of humour presided.  No malice was too small for him, if it were 
only funny.  When night signals were made from Mulinuu, he would 
sit on his own poop and confound them with gratuitous rockets.  He 
was at the pains to write a letter and address it to "the High 
Chief Tamasese" - a device as old at least as the wars of Robert 
Bruce - in order to bother the officials of the German post-office, 
in whose hands he persisted in leaving it, although the address was 
death to them and the distribution of letters in Samoa formed no 
part of their profession.  His great masterwork of pleasantry, the 
Scanlon affair, must be narrated in its place.  And he was no less 
bold than comical.  The ADAMS was not supposed to be a match for 
the ADLER; there was no glory to be gained in beating her; and yet 
I have heard naval officers maintain she might have proved a 
dangerous antagonist in narrow waters and at short range.  
Doubtless Leary thought so.  He was continually daring Fritze to 
come on; and already, in a despatch of the 9th, I find Becker 
complaining of his language in the hearing of German officials, and 
how he had declared that, on the ADLER again interfering, he would 
interfere himself, "if he went to the bottom for it - UND WENN SEIN 
SCHIFF DABEI ZU GRUNDE GINGE."  Here is the style of opposition 
which has the merit of being frank, not that of being agreeable.  
Becker was annoying, Leary infuriating; there is no doubt that the 
tempers in the German consulate were highly ulcerated; and if war 
between the two countries did not follow, we must set down the 
praise to the forbearance of the German navy.  This is not the last 
time that I shall have to salute the merits of that service.

The defeat and death of Saifaleupolu and the burning of Manono had 
thus passed off without the least advantage to Tamasese.  But he 
still held the significant position of Mulinuu, and Brandeis was 
strenuous to make it good.  The whole peninsula was surrounded with 
a breastwork; across the isthmus it was six feet high and 
strengthened with a ditch; and the beach was staked against 
landing.  Weber's land claim - the same that now broods over the 
village in the form of a signboard - then appeared in a more 
military guise; the German flag was hoisted, and German sailors 
manned the breastwork at the isthmus - "to protect German property" 
and its trifling parenthesis, the king of Samoa.  Much vigilance 
reigned and, in the island fashion, much wild firing.  And in spite 
of all, desertion was for a long time daily.  The detained high 
chiefs would go to the beach on the pretext of a natural occasion, 
plunge in the sea, and swimming across a broad, shallow bay of the 
lagoon, join the rebels on the Faleula side.  Whole bodies of 
warriors, sometimes hundreds strong, departed with their arms and 
ammunition.  On the 7th of September, for instance, the day after 
Leary's letter, Too and Mataia left with their contingents, and the 
whole Aana people returned home in a body to hold a parliament.  
Ten days later, it is true, a part of them returned to their duty; 
but another part branched off by the way and carried their 
services, and Tamasese's dear-bought guns, to Faleula.

On the 8th, there was a defection of a different kind, but yet 
sensible.  The High Chief Seumanu had been still detained in 
Mulinuu under anxious observation.  His people murmured at his 
absence, threatened to "take away his name," and had already 
attempted a rescue.  The adventure was now taken in hand by his 
wife Faatulia, a woman of much sense and spirit and a strong 
partisan; and by her contrivance, Seumanu gave his guardians the 
slip and rejoined his clan at Faleula.  This process of winnowing 
was of course counterbalanced by another of recruitment.  But the 
harshness of European and military rule had made Brandeis detested 
and Tamasese unpopular with many; and the force on Mulinuu is 
thought to have done little more than hold its own.  Mataafa 
sympathisers set it down at about two or three thousand.  I have no 
estimate from the other side; but Becker admits they were not 
strong enough to keep the field in the open.

The political significance of Mulinuu was great, but in a military 
sense the position had defects.  If it was difficult to carry, it 
was easy to blockade:  and to be hemmed in on that narrow finger of 
land were an inglorious posture for the monarch of Samoa.  The 
peninsula, besides, was scant of food and destitute of water.  
Pressed by these considerations, Brandeis extended his lines till 
he had occupied the whole foreshore of Apia bay and the opposite 
point, Matautu.  His men were thus drawn out along some three 
nautical miles of irregular beach, everywhere with their backs to 
the sea, and without means of communication or mutual support 
except by water.  The extension led to fresh sorrows.  The Tamasese 
men quartered themselves in the houses of the absent men of the 
Vaimaunga.  Disputes arose with English and Americans.  Leary 
interposed in a loud voice of menace.  It was said the firm 
profited by the confusion to buttress up imperfect land claims; I 
am sure the other whites would not be far behind the firm.  
Properties were fenced in, fences and houses were torn down, 
scuffles ensued.  The German example at Mulinuu was followed with 
laughable unanimity; wherever an Englishman or an American 
conceived himself to have a claim, he set up the emblem of his 
country; and the beach twinkled with the flags of nations.

All this, it will be observed, was going forward in that neutral 
territory, sanctified by treaty against the presence of armed 
Samoans.  The insurgents themselves looked on in wonder:  on the 
4th, trembling to transgress against the great Powers, they had 
written for a delimitation of the ELEELE SA; and Becker, in 
conversation with the British consul, replied that he recognised 
none.  So long as Tamasese held the ground, this was expedient.  
But suppose Tamasese worsted, it might prove awkward for the 
stores, mills, and offices of a great German firm, thus bared of 
shelter by the act of their own consul.

On the morning of the 9th September, just ten days after the death 
of Saifaleupolu, Mataafa, under the name of Malietoa To'oa Mataafa, 
was crowned king at Faleula.  On the 11th he wrote to the British 
and American consuls: "Gentlemen, I write this letter to you two 
very humbly and entreatingly, on account of this difficulty that 
has come before me.  I desire to know from you two gentlemen the 
truth where the boundaries of the neutral territory are.  You will 
observe that I am now at Vaimoso [a step nearer the enemy], and I 
have stopped here until I knew what you say regarding the neutral 
territory.  I wish to know where I can go, and where the forbidden 
ground is, for I do not wish to go on any neutral territory, or on 
any foreigner's property.  I do not want to offend any of the great 
Powers.  Another thing I would like.  Would it be possible for you 
three consuls to make Tamasese remove from German property? for I 
am in awe of going on German land."  He must have received a reply 
embodying Becker's renunciation of the principle, at once; for he 
broke camp the same day, and marched eastward through the bush 
behind Apia.

Brandeis, expecting attack, sought to improve his indefensible 
position.  He reformed his centre by the simple expedient of 
suppressing it.  Apia was evacuated.  The two flanks, Mulinuu and 
Matautu, were still held and fortified, Mulinuu (as I have said) to 
the isthmus, Matautu on a line from the bayside to the little river 
Fuisa.  The centre was represented by the trajectory of a boat 
across the bay from one flank to another, and was held (we may say) 
by the German war-ship.  Mataafa decided (I am assured) to make a 
feint on Matautu, induce Brandeis to deplete Mulinuu in support, 
and then fall upon and carry that.  And there is no doubt in my 
mind that such a plan was bruited abroad, for nothing but a belief 
in it could explain the behaviour of Brandeis on the 12th.  That it 
was seriously entertained by Mataafa I stoutly disbelieve; the 
German flag and sailors forbidding the enterprise in Mulinuu.  So 
that we may call this false intelligence the beginning and the end 
of Mataafa's strategy.

The whites who sympathised with the revolt were uneasy and 
impatient.  They will still tell you, though the dates are there to 
show them wrong, that Mataafa, even after his coronation, delayed 
extremely:  a proof of how long two days may seem to last when men 
anticipate events.  On the evening of the 11th, while the new king 
was already on the march, one of these walked into Matautu.  The 
moon was bright.  By the way he observed the native houses dark and 
silent; the men had been about a fortnight in the bush, but now the 
women and children were gone also; at which he wondered.  On the 
sea-beach, in the camp of the Tamaseses, the solitude was near as 
great; he saw three or four men smoking before the British 
consulate, perhaps a dozen in all; the rest were behind in the bush 
upon their line of forts.  About the midst he sat down, and here a 
woman drew near to him.  The moon shone in her face, and he knew 
her for a householder near by, and a partisan of Mataafa's.  She 
looked about her as she came, and asked him, trembling, what he did 
in the camp of Tamasese.  He was there after news, he told her.  
She took him by the hand.  "You must not stay here, you will get 
killed," she said.  "The bush is full of our people, the others are 
watching them, fighting may begin at any moment, and we are both 
here too long."  So they set off together; and she told him by the 
way that she had came to the hostile camp with a present of 
bananas, so that the Tamasese men might spare her house.  By the 
Vaisingano they met an old man, a woman, and a child; and these 
also she warned and turned back.  Such is the strange part played 
by women among the scenes of Samoan warfare, such were the 
liberties then permitted to the whites, that these two could pass 
the lines, talk together in Tamasese's camp on the eve of an 
engagement, and pass forth again bearing intelligence, like 
privileged spies.  And before a few hours the white man was in 
direct communication with the opposing general.  The next morning 
he was accosted "about breakfast-time" by two natives who stood 
leaning against the pickets of a public-house, where the Siumu road 
strikes in at right angles to the main street of Apia.  They told 
him battle was imminent, and begged him to pass a little way inland 
and speak with Mataafa.  The road is at this point broad and fairly 
good, running between thick groves of cocoa-palm and breadfruit.  A 
few hundred yards along this the white man passed a picket of four 
armed warriors, with red handkerchiefs and their faces blackened in 
the form of a full beard, the Mataafa rallying signs for the day; a 
little farther on, some fifty; farther still, a hundred; and at 
last a quarter of a mile of them sitting by the wayside armed and 

Near by, in the verandah of a house on a knoll, he found Mataafa 
seated in white clothes, a Winchester across his knees.  His men, 
he said, were still arriving from behind, and there was a turning 
movement in operation beyond the Fuisa, so that the Tamaseses 
should be assailed at the same moment from the south and east.  And 
this is another indication that the attack on Matautu was the true 
attack; had any design on Mulinuu been in the wind, not even a 
Samoan general would have detached these troops upon the other 
side.  While they still spoke, five Tamasese women were brought in 
with their hands bound; they had been stealing "our" bananas.

All morning the town was strangely deserted, the very children 
gone.  A sense of expectation reigned, and sympathy for the attack 
was expressed publicly.  Some men with unblacked faces came to 
Moors's store for biscuit.  A native woman, who was there 
marketing, inquired after the news, and, hearing that the battle 
was now near at hand, "Give them two more tins," said she; "and 
don't put them down to my husband - he would growl; put them down 
to me."  Between twelve and one, two white men walked toward 
Matautu, finding as they went no sign of war until they had passed 
the Vaisingano and come to the corner of a by-path leading to the 
bush.  Here were four blackened warriors on guard, - the extreme 
left wing of the Mataafa force, where it touched the waters of the 
bay.  Thence the line (which the white men followed) stretched 
inland among bush and marsh, facing the forts of the Tamaseses.  
The warriors lay as yet inactive behind trees; but all the young 
boys and harlots of Apia toiled in the front upon a trench, digging 
with knives and cocoa-shells; and a continuous stream of children 
brought them water.  The young sappers worked crouching; from the 
outside only an occasional head, or a hand emptying a shell of 
earth, was visible; and their enemies looked on inert from the line 
of the opposing forts.  The lists were not yet prepared, the 
tournament was not yet open; and the attacking force was suffered 
to throw up works under the silent guns of the defence.  But there 
is an end even to the delay of islanders.  As the white men stood 
and looked, the Tamasese line thundered into a volley; it was 
answered; the crowd of silent workers broke forth in laughter and 
cheers; and the battle had begun.

Thenceforward, all day and most of the next night, volley followed 
volley; and pounds of lead and pounds sterling of money continued 
to be blown into the air without cessation and almost without 
result.  Colonel de Coetlogon, an old soldier, described the noise 
as deafening.  The harbour was all struck with shots; a man was 
knocked over on the German war-ship; half Apia was under fire; and 
a house was pierced beyond the Mulivai.  All along the two lines of 
breastwork, the entrenched enemies exchanged this hail of balls; 
and away on the east of the battle the fusillade was maintained, 
with equal spirit, across the narrow barrier of the Fuisa.  The 
whole rear of the Tamaseses was enfiladed by this flank fire; and I 
have seen a house there, by the river brink, that was riddled with 
bullets like a piece of worm-eaten wreck-wood.  At this point of 
the field befell a trait of Samoan warfare worth recording.  Taiese 
(brother to Siteoni already mentioned) shot a Tamasese man.  He saw 
him fall, and, inflamed with the lust of glory, passed the river 
single-handed in that storm of missiles to secure the head.  On the 
farther bank, as was but natural, he fell himself; he who had gone 
to take a trophy remained to afford one; and the Mataafas, who had 
looked on exulting in the prospect of a triumph, saw themselves 
exposed instead to a disgrace.  Then rose one Vingi, passed the 
deadly water, swung the body of Taiese on his back, and returned 
unscathed to his own side, the head saved, the corpse filled with 
useless bullets.

At this rate of practice, the ammunition soon began to run low, and 
from an early hour of the afternoon, the Malietoa stores were 
visited by customers in search of more.  An elderly man came 
leaping and cheering, his gun in one hand, a basket of three heads 
in the other.  A fellow came shot through the forearm.  "It doesn't 
hurt now," he said, as he bought his cartridges; "but it will hurt 
to-morrow, and I want to fight while I can."  A third followed, a 
mere boy, with the end of his nose shot off: "Have you any 
painkiller? give it me quick, so that I can get back to fight."  On 
either side, there was the same delight in sound and smoke and 
schoolboy cheering, the same unsophisticated ardour of battle; and 
the misdirected skirmish proceeded with a din, and was illustrated 
with traits of bravery that would have fitted a Waterloo or a 

I have said how little I regard the alleged plan of battle.  At 
least it was now all gone to water.  The whole forces of Mataafa 
had leaked out, man by man, village by village, on the so-called 
false attack.  They were all pounding for their lives on the front 
and the left flank of Matautu.  About half-past three they 
enveloped the right flank also.  The defenders were driven back 
along the beach road as far as the pilot station at the turn of the 
land.  From this also they were dislodged, stubbornly fighting.  
One, it Is told, retreated to his middle in the lagoon; stood 
there, loading and firing, till he fell; and his body was found on 
the morrow pierced with four mortal wounds.  The Tamasese force was 
now enveloped on three sides; it was besides almost cut off from 
the sea; and across its whole rear and only way of retreat a fire 
of hostile bullets crossed from east and west, in the midst of 
which men were surprised to observe the birds continuing to sing, 
and a cow grazed all afternoon unhurt.  Doubtless here was the 
defence in a poor way; but then the attack was in irons.  For the 
Mataafas about the pilot house could scarcely advance beyond 
without coming under the fire of their own men from the other side 
of the Fuisa; and there was not enough organisation, perhaps not 
enough authority, to divert or to arrest that fire.

The progress of the fight along the beach road was visible from 
Mulinuu, and Brandeis despatched ten boats of reinforcements.  They 
crossed the harbour, paused for a while beside the ADLER - it is 
supposed for ammunition - and drew near the Matautu shore.  The 
Mataafa men lay close among the shore-side bushes, expecting their 
arrival; when a silly lad, in mere lightness of heart, fired a shot 
in the air.  My native friend, Mrs. Mary Hamilton, ran out of her 
house and gave the culprit a good shaking:  an episode in the midst 
of battle as incongruous as the grazing cow.  But his sillier 
comrades followed his example; a harmless volley warned the boats 
what they might expect; and they drew back and passed outside the 
reef for the passage of the Fuisa.  Here they came under the fire 
of the right wing of the Mataafas on the river-bank.  The beach, 
raked east and west, appeared to them no place to land on.  And 
they hung off in the deep water of the lagoon inside the barrier 
reef, feebly fusillading the pilot house.

Between four and five, the Fabeata regiment (or folk of that 
village) on the Mataafa left, which had been under arms all day, 
fell to be withdrawn for rest and food; the Siumu regiment, which 
should have relieved it, was not ready or not notified in time; and 
the Tamaseses, gallantly profiting by the mismanagement, recovered 
the most of the ground in their proper right.  It was not for long.  
They lost it again, yard by yard and from house to house, till the 
pilot station was once more in the hands of the Mataafas.  This is 
the last definite incident in the battle.  The vicissitudes along 
the line of the entrenchments remain concealed from us under the 
cover of the forest.  Some part of the Tamasese position there 
appears to have been carried, but what part, or at what hour, or 
whether the advantage was maintained, I have never learned.  Night 
and rain, but not silence, closed upon the field.  The trenches 
were deep in mud; but the younger folk wrecked the houses in the 
neighbourhood, carried the roofs to the front, and lay under them, 
men and women together, through a long night of furious squalls and 
furious and useless volleys.  Meanwhile the older folk trailed back 
into Apia in the rain; they talked as they went of who had fallen 
and what heads had been taken upon either side - they seemed to 
know by name the losses upon both; and drenched with wet and broken 
with excitement and fatigue, they crawled into the verandahs of the 
town to eat and sleep.  The morrow broke grey and drizzly, but as 
so often happens in the islands, cleared up into a glorious day.  
During the night, the majority of the defenders had taken advantage 
of the rain and darkness and stolen from their forts unobserved.  
The rallying sign of the Tamaseses had been a white handkerchief.  
With the dawn, the de Coetlogons from the English consulate beheld 
the ground strewn with these badges discarded; and close by the 
house, a belated turncoat was still changing white for red.  
Matautu was lost; Tamasese was confined to Mulinuu; and by nine 
o'clock two Mataafa villages paraded the streets of Apia, taking 
possession.  The cost of this respectable success in ammunition 
must have been enormous; in life it was but small.  Some compute 
forty killed on either side, others forty on both, three or four 
being women and one a white man, master of a schooner from Fiji.  
Nor was the number even of the wounded at all proportionate to the 
surprising din and fury of the affair while it lasted.


BRANDEIS had held all day by Mulinuu, expecting the reported real 
attack.  He woke on the 13th to find himself cut off on that 
unwatered promontory, and the Mataafa villagers parading Apia.  The 
same day Fritze received a letter from Mataafa summoning him to 
withdraw his party from the isthmus; and Fritze, as if in answer, 
drew in his ship into the small harbour close to Mulinuu, and 
trained his port battery to assist in the defence.  From a step so 
decisive, it might be thought the German plans were unaffected by 
the disastrous issue of the battle.  I conceive nothing would be 
further from the truth.  Here was Tamasese penned on Mulinuu with 
his troops; Apia, from which alone these could be subsisted, in the 
hands of the enemy; a battle imminent, in which the German vessel 
must apparently take part with men and battery, and the buildings 
of the German firm were apparently destined to be the first target 
of fire.  Unless Becker re-established that which he had so lately 
and so artfully thrown down - the neutral territory - the firm 
would have to suffer.  If he re-established it, Tamasese must 
retire from Mulinuu.  If Becker saved his goose, he lost his 
cabbage.  Nothing so well depicts the man's effrontery as that he 
should have conceived the design of saving both, - of re-
establishing only so much of the neutral territory as should hamper 
Mataafa, and leaving in abeyance all that could incommode Tamasese.  
By drawing the boundary where he now proposed, across the isthmus, 
he protected the firm, drove back the Mataafas out of almost all 
that they had conquered, and, so far from disturbing Tamasese, 
actually fortified him in his old position.

The real story of the negotiations that followed we shall perhaps 
never learn.  But so much is plain:  that while Becker was thus 
outwardly straining decency in the interest of Tamasese, he was 
privately intriguing, or pretending to intrigue, with Mataafa.  In 
his despatch of the 11th, he had given an extended criticism of 
that chieftain, whom he depicts as very dark and artful; and while 
admitting that his assumption of the name of Malietoa might raise 
him up followers, predicted that he could not make an orderly 
government or support himself long in sole power "without very 
energetic foreign help."  Of what help was the consul thinking?  
There was no helper in the field but Germany.  On the 15th he had 
an interview with the victor; told him that Tamasese's was the only 
government recognised by Germany, and that he must continue to 
recognise it till he received "other instructions from his 
government, whom he was now advising of the late events"; refused, 
accordingly, to withdraw the guard from the isthmus; and desired 
Mataafa, "until the arrival of these fresh instructions," to 
refrain from an attack on Mulinuu.  One thing of two:  either this 
language is extremely perfidious, or Becker was preparing to change 
sides.  The same detachment appears in his despatch of October 7th.  
He computes the losses of the German firm with an easy 
cheerfulness.  If Tamasese get up again (GELINGT DIE 
pay.  If not, then Mataafa.  This is not the language of a 
partisan.  The tone of indifference, the easy implication that the 
case of Tamasese was already desperate, the hopes held secretly 
forth to Mataafa and secretly reported to his government at home, 
trenchantly contrast with his external conduct.  At this very time 
he was feeding Tamasese; he had German sailors mounting guard on 
Tamasese's battlements; the German war-ship lay close in, whether 
to help or to destroy.  If he meant to drop the cause of Tamasese, 
he had him in a corner, helpless, and could stifle him without a 
sob.  If he meant to rat, it was to be with every condition of 
safety and every circumstance of infamy.

Was it conceivable, then, that he meant it?  Speaking with a 
gentleman who was in the confidence of Dr. Knappe: "Was it not a 
pity," I asked, "that Knappe did not stick to Becker's policy of 
supporting Mataafa?"  "You are quite wrong there; that was not 
Knappe's doing," was the reply.  "Becker had changed his mind 
before Knappe came."  Why, then, had he changed it?  This 
excellent, if ignominious, idea once entertained, why was it let 
drop?  It is to be remembered there was another German in the 
field, Brandeis, who had a respect, or rather, perhaps, an 
affection, for Tamasese, and who thought his own honour and that of 
his country engaged in the support of that government which they 
had provoked and founded.  Becker described the captain to Laupepa 
as "a quiet, sensible gentleman."  If any word came to his ears of 
the intended manoeuvre, Brandeis would certainly show himself very 
sensible of the affront; but Becker might have been tempted to 
withdraw his former epithet of quiet.  Some such passage, some such 
threatened change of front at the consulate, opposed with outcry, 
would explain what seems otherwise inexplicable, the bitter, 
indignant, almost hostile tone of a subsequent letter from Brandeis 
to Knappe - "Brandeis's inflammatory letter," Bismarck calls it - 
the proximate cause of the German landing and reverse at Fangalii.

But whether the advances of Becker were sincere or not - whether he 
meditated treachery against the old king or was practising 
treachery upon the new, and the choice is between one or other - no 
doubt but he contrived to gain his points with Mataafa, prevailing 
on him to change his camp for the better protection of the German 
plantations, and persuading him (long before he could persuade his 
brother consuls) to accept that miraculous new neutral territory of 
his, with a piece cut out for the immediate needs of Tamasese.

During the rest of September, Tamasese continued to decline.  On 
the 19th one village and half of another deserted him; on the 22nd 
two more.  On the 21st the Mataafas burned his town of Leulumoenga, 
his own splendid house flaming with the rest; and there are few 
things of which a native thinks more, or has more reason to think 
well, than of a fine Samoan house.  Tamasese women and children 
were marched up the same day from Atua, and handed over with their 
sleeping-mats to Mulinuu:  a most unwelcome addition to a party 
already suffering from want.  By the 20th, they were being watered 
from the ADLER.  On the 24th the Manono fleet of sixteen large 
boats, fortified and rendered unmanageable with tons of firewood, 
passed to windward to intercept supplies from Atua.  By the 27th 
the hungry garrison flocked in great numbers to draw rations at the 
German firm.  On the 28th the same business was repeated with a 
different issue.  Mataafas crowded to look on; words were 
exchanged, blows followed; sticks, stones, and bottles were caught 
up; the detested Brandeis, at great risk, threw himself between the 
lines and expostulated with the Mataafas - his only personal 
appearance in the wars, if this could be called war.  The same 
afternoon, the Tamasese boats got in with provisions, having passed 
to seaward of the lumbering Manono fleet; and from that day on, 
whether from a high degree of enterprise on the one side or a great 
lack of capacity on the other, supplies were maintained from the 
sea with regularity.  Thus the spectacle of battle, or at least of 
riot, at the doors of the German firm was not repeated.  But the 
memory must have hung heavy on the hearts, not of the Germans only, 
but of all Apia.  The Samoans are a gentle race, gentler than any 
in Europe; we are often enough reminded of the circumstance, not 
always by their friends.  But a mob is a mob, and a drunken mob is 
a drunken mob, and a drunken mob with weapons in its hands is a 
drunken mob with weapons in its hands, all the world over:  
elementary propositions, which some of us upon these islands might 
do worse than get by rote, but which must have been evident enough 
to Becker.  And I am amazed by the man's constancy, that, even 
while blows were going at the door of that German firm which he was 
in Samoa to protect, he should have stuck to his demands.  Ten days 
before, Blacklock had offered to recognise the old territory, 
including Mulinuu, and Becker had refused, and still in the midst 
of these "alarums and excursions," he continued to refuse it.

On October 2nd, anchored in Apia bay H.B.M.S. CALLIOPE, Captain 
Kane, carrying the flag of Rear-Admiral Fairfax, and the gunboat 
LIZARD, Lieutenant-Commander Pelly.  It was rumoured the admiral 
had come to recognise the government of Tamasese, I believe in 
error.  And at least the day for that was quite gone by; and he 
arrived not to salute the king's accession, but to arbitrate on his 
remains.  A conference of the consuls and commanders met on board 
the CALLIOPE, October 4th, Fritze alone being absent, although 
twice invited:  the affair touched politics, his consul was to be 
there; and even if he came to the meeting (so he explained to 
Fairfax) he would have no voice in its deliberations.  The parties 
were plainly marked out:  Blacklock and Leary maintaining their 
offer of the old neutral territory, and probably willing to expand 
or to contract it to any conceivable extent, so long as Mulinuu was 
still included; Knappe offered (if the others liked) to include 
"the whole eastern end of the island," but quite fixed upon the one 
point that Mulinuu should be left out; the English willing to meet 
either view, and singly desirous that Apia should be neutralised.  
The conclusion was foregone.  Becker held a trump card in the 
consent of Mataafa; Blacklock and Leary stood alone, spoke with all 
ill grace, and could not long hold out.  Becker had his way; and 
the neutral boundary was chosen just where he desired:  across the 
isthmus, the firm within, Mulinuu without.  He did not long enjoy 
the fruits of victory.

On the 7th, three days after the meeting, one of the Scanlons 
(well-known and intelligent half-castes) came to Blacklock with a 
complaint.  The Scanlon house stood on the hither side of the 
Tamasese breastwork, just inside the newly accepted territory, and 
within easy range of the firm.  Armed men, to the number of a 
hundred, had issued from Mulinuu, had "taken charge" of the house, 
had pointed a gun at Scanlon's head, and had twice "threatened to 
kill" his pigs.  I hear elsewhere of some effects (GEGENSTANDE) 
removed.  At the best a very pale atrocity, though we shall find 
the word employed.  Germans declare besides that Scanlon was no 
American subject; they declare the point had been decided by court-
martial in 1875; that Blacklock had the decision in the consular 
archives; and that this was his reason for handing the affair to 
Leary.  It is not necessary to suppose so.  It is plain he thought 
little of the business; thought indeed nothing of it; except in so 
far as armed men had entered the neutral territory from Mulinuu; 
and it was on this ground alone, and the implied breach of Becker's 
engagement at the conference, that he invited Leary's attention to 
the tale.  The impish ingenuity of the commander perceived in it 
huge possibilities of mischief.  He took up the Scanlon outrage, 
the atrocity of the threatened pigs; and with that poor instrument 
- I am sure, to his own wonder - drove Tamasese out of Mulinuu.  It 
was "an intrigue," Becker complains.  To be sure it was; but who 
was Becker to be complaining of intrigue?

On the 7th Leary laid before Fritze the following conundrum: "As 
the natives of Mulinuu appear to be under the protection of the 
Imperial German naval guard belonging to the vessel under your 
command, I have the honour to request you to inform me whether or 
not they are under such protection?  Amicable relations," pursued 
the humorist, "amicable relations exist between the government of 
the United States and His Imperial German Majesty's government, but 
we do not recognise Tamasese's government, and I am desirous of 
locating the responsibility for violations of American rights."  
Becker and Fritze lost no time in explanation or denial, but went 
straight to the root of the matter and sought to buy off Scanlon.  
Becker declares that every reparation was offered.  Scanlon takes a 
pride to recapitulate the leases and the situations he refused, and 
the long interviews in which he was tempted and plied with drink by 
Becker or Beckmann of the firm.  No doubt, in short, that he was 
offered reparation in reason and out of reason, and, being 
thoroughly primed, refused it all.  Meantime some answer must be 
made to Leary; and Fritze repeated on the 8th his oft-repeated 
assurances that he was not authorised to deal with politics.  The 
same day Leary retorted: "The question is not one of diplomacy nor 
of politics.  It is strictly one of military jurisdiction and 
responsibility.  Under the shadow of the German fort at Mulinuu," 
continued the hyperbolical commander, "atrocities have been 
committed. . . . And I again have the honour respectfully to 
request to be informed whether or not the armed natives at Mulinuu 
are under the protection of the Imperial German naval guard 
belonging to the vessel under your command."  To this no answer was 
vouchsafed till the 11th, and then in the old terms; and meanwhile, 
on the 10th, Leary got into his gaiters - the sure sign, as was 
both said and sung aboard his vessel, of some desperate or some 
amusing service - and was set ashore at the Scanlons' house.  Of 
this he took possession at the head of an old woman and a mop, and 
was seen from the Tamasese breastwork directing operations and 
plainly preparing to install himself there in a military posture.  
So much he meant to be understood; so much he meant to carry out, 
and an armed party from the ADAMS was to have garrisoned on the 
morrow the scene of the atrocity.  But there is no doubt he managed 
to convey more.  No doubt he was a master in the art of loose 
speaking, and could always manage to be overheard when he wanted; 
and by this, or some other equally unofficial means, he spread the 
rumour that on the morrow he was to bombard.

The proposed post, from its position, and from Leary's well-
established character as an artist in mischief, must have been 
regarded by the Germans with uneasiness.  In the bombardment we can 
scarce suppose them to have believed.  But Tamasese must have both 
believed and trembled.  The prestige of the European Powers was 
still unbroken.  No native would then have dreamed of defying these 
colossal ships, worked by mysterious powers, and laden with 
outlandish instruments of death.  None would have dreamed of 
resisting those strange but quite unrealised Great Powers, 
understood (with difficulty) to be larger than Tonga and Samoa put 
together, and known to be prolific of prints, knives, hard biscuit, 
picture-books, and other luxuries, as well as of overbearing men 
and inconsistent orders.  Laupepa had fallen in ill-blood with one 
of them; his only idea of defence had been to throw himself in the 
arms of another; his name, his rank, and his great following had 
not been able to preserve him; and he had vanished from the eyes of 
men - as the Samoan thinks of it, beyond the sky.  Asi, Maunga, 
Tuiletu-funga, had followed him in that new path of doom.  We have 
seen how carefully Mataafa still walked, how he dared not set foot 
on the neutral territory till assured it was no longer sacred, how 
he withdrew from it again as soon as its sacredness had been 
restored, and at the bare word of a consul (however gilded with 
ambiguous promises) paused in his course of victory and left his 
rival unassailed in Mulinuu.  And now it was the rival's turn.  
Hitherto happy in the continued support of one of the white Powers, 
he now found himself - or thought himself - threatened with war by 
no less than two others.

Tamasese boats as they passed Matautu were in the habit of firing 
on the shore, as like as not without particular aim, and more in 
high spirits than hostility.  One of these shots pierced the house 
of a British subject near the consulate; the consul reported to 
Admiral Fairfax; and, on the morning of the 10th, the admiral 
despatched Captain Kane of the CALLIOPE to Mulinuu.  Brandeis met 
the messenger with voluble excuses and engagements for the future.  
He was told his explanations were satisfactory so far as they went, 
but that the admiral's message was to Tamasese, the DE FACTO king.  
Brandeis, not very well assured of his puppet's courage, attempted 
in vain to excuse him from appearing.  No DE FACTO king, no 
message, he was told:  produce your DE FACTO king.  And Tamasese 
had at last to be produced.  To him Kane delivered his errand:  
that the LIZARD was to remain for the protection of British 
subjects; that a signalman was to be stationed at the consulate; 
that, on any further firing from boats, the signalman was to notify 
the LIZARD and she to fire one gun, on which all boats must lower 
sail and come alongside for examination and the detection of the 
guilty; and that, "in the event of the boats not obeying the gun, 
the admiral would not be responsible for the consequences."  It was 
listened to by Brandeis and Tamasese "with the greatest attention."  
Brandeis, when it was done, desired his thanks to the admiral for 
the moderate terms of his message, and, as Kane went to his boat, 
repeated the expression of his gratitude as though he meant it, 
declaring his own hands would be thus strengthened for the 
maintenance of discipline.  But I have yet to learn of any 
gratitude on the part of Tamasese.  Consider the case of the poor 
owlish man hearing for the first time our diplomatic commonplaces.  
The admiral would not be answerable for the consequences.  Think of 
it!  A devil of a position for a DE FACTO king.  And here, the same 
afternoon, was Leary in the Scalon house, mopping it out for 
unknown designs by the hands of an old woman, and proffering 
strange threats of bloodshed.  Scanlon and his pigs, the admiral 
and his gun, Leary and his bombardment, - what a kettle of fish!

I dwell on the effect on Tamasese.  Whatever the faults of Becker, 
he was not timid; he had already braved so much for Mulinuu that I 
cannot but think he might have continued to hold up his head even 
after the outrage of the pigs, and that the weakness now shown 
originated with the king.  Late in the night, Blacklock was wakened 
to receive a despatch addressed to Leary.  "You have asked that I 
and my government go away from Mulinuu, because you pretend a man 
who lives near Mulinuu and who is under your protection, has been 
threatened by my soldiers.  As your Excellency has forbidden the 
man to accept any satisfaction, and as I do not wish to make war 
against the United States, I shall remove my government from 
Mulinuu to another place."  It was signed by Tamasese, but I think 
more heads than his had wagged over the direct and able letter.  On 
the morning of the 11th, accordingly, Mulinuu the much defended lay 
desert.  Tamasese and Brandeis had slipped to sea in a schooner; 
their troops had followed them in boats; the German sailors and 
their war-flag had returned on board the ADLER; and only the German 
merchant flag blew there for Weber's land-claim.  Mulinuu, for 
which Becker had intrigued so long and so often, for which he had 
overthrown the municipality, for which he had abrogated and refused 
and invented successive schemes of neutral territory, was now no 
more to the Germans than a very unattractive, barren peninsula and 
a very much disputed land-claim of Mr. Weber's.  It will scarcely 
be believed that the tale of the Scanlon outrages was not yet 
finished.  Leary had gained his point, but Scanlon had lost his 
compensation.  And it was months later, and this time in the shape 
of a threat of bombardment in black and white, that Tamasese heard 
the last of the absurd affair.  Scanlon had both his fun and his 
money, and Leary's practical joke was brought to an artistic end.

Becker sought and missed an instant revenge.  Mataafa, a devout 
Catholic, was in the habit of walking every morning to mass from 
his camp at Vaiala beyond Matautu to the mission at the Mulivai.  
He was sometimes escorted by as many as six guards in uniform, who 
displayed their proficiency in drill by perpetually shifting arms 
as they marched.  Himself, meanwhile, paced in front, bareheaded 
and barefoot, a staff in his hand, in the customary chief's dress 
of white kilt, shirt, and jacket, and with a conspicuous rosary 
about his neck.  Tall but not heavy, with eager eyes and a marked 
appearance of courage and capacity, Mataafa makes an admirable 
figure in the eyes of Europeans; to those of his countrymen, he may 
seem not always to preserve that quiescence of manner which is 
thought becoming in the great.  On the morning of October 16th he 
reached the mission before day with two attendants, heard mass, had 
coffee with the fathers, and left again in safety.  The smallness 
of his following we may suppose to have been reported.  He was 
scarce gone, at least, before Becker had armed men at the mission 
gate and came in person seeking him.

The failure of this attempt doubtless still further exasperated the 
consul, and he began to deal as in an enemy's country.  He had 
marines from the ADLER to stand sentry over the consulate and 
parade the streets by threes and fours.  The bridge of the 
Vaisingano, which cuts in half the English and American quarters, 
he closed by proclamation and advertised for tenders to demolish 
it.  On the 17th Leary and Pelly landed carpenters and repaired it 
in his teeth.  Leary, besides, had marines under arms, ready to 
land them if it should be necessary to protect the work.  But 
Becker looked on without interference, perhaps glad enough to have 
the bridge repaired; for even Becker may not always have offended 
intentionally.  Such was now the distracted posture of the little 
town:  all government extinct, the German consul patrolling it with 
armed men and issuing proclamations like a ruler, the two other 
Powers defying his commands, and at least one of them prepared to 
use force in the defiance.  Close on its skirts sat the warriors of 
Mataafa, perhaps four thousand strong, highly incensed against the 
Germans, having all to gain in the seizure of the town and firm, 
and, like an army in a fairy tale, restrained by the air-drawn 
boundary of the neutral ground.

I have had occasion to refer to the strange appearance in these 
islands of an American adventurer with a battery of cannon.  The 
adventurer was long since gone, but his guns remained, and one of 
them was now to make fresh history.  It had been cast overboard by 
Brandeis on the outer reef in the course of this retreat; and word 
of it coming to the ears of the Mataafas, they thought it natural 
that they should serve themselves the heirs of Tamasese.  On the 
23rd a Manono boat of the kind called TAUMUALUA dropped down the 
coast from Mataafa's camp, called in broad day at the German 
quarter of the town for guides, and proceeded to the reef.  Here, 
diving with a rope, they got the gun aboard; and the night being 
then come, returned by the same route in the shallow water along 
shore, singing a boat-song.  It will be seen with what childlike 
reliance they had accepted the neutrality of Apia bay; they came 
for the gun without concealment, laboriously dived for it in broad 
day under the eyes of the town and shipping, and returned with it, 
singing as they went.  On Grevsmuhl's wharf, a light showed them a 
crowd of German blue-jackets clustered, and a hail was heard.  
"Stop the singing so that we may hear what is said," said one of 
the chiefs in the TAUMUALUA.  The song ceased; the hail was heard 
again, "AU MAI LE FANA - bring the gun"; and the natives report 
themselves to have replied in the affirmative, and declare that 
they had begun to back the boat.  It is perhaps not needful to 
believe them.  A volley at least was fired from the wharf, at about 
fifty yards' range and with a very ill direction, one bullet 
whistling over Pelly's head on board the LIZARD.  The natives 
jumped overboard; and swimming under the lee of the TAUMUALUA 
(where they escaped a second volley) dragged her towards the east.  
As soon as they were out of range and past the Mulivai, the German 
border, they got on board and (again singing - though perhaps a 
different song) continued their return along the English and 
American shore.  Off Matautu they were hailed from the seaward by 
one of the ADLER'S boats, which had been suddenly despatched on the 
sound of the firing or had stood ready all evening to secure the 
gun.  The hail was in German; the Samoans knew not what it meant, 
but took the precaution to jump overboard and swim for land.  Two 
volleys and some dropping shot were poured upon them in the water; 
but they dived, scattered, and came to land unhurt in different 
quarters of Matautu.  The volleys, fired inshore, raked the 
highway, a British house was again pierced by numerous bullets, and 
these sudden sounds of war scattered consternation through the 

Two British subjects, Hetherington-Carruthers, a solicitor, and 
Maben, a land-surveyor - the first being in particular a man well 
versed in the native mind and language - hastened at once to their 
consul; assured him the Mataafas would be roused to fury by this 
onslaught in the neutral zone, that the German quarter would be 
certainly attacked, and the rest of the town and white inhabitants 
exposed to a peril very difficult of estimation; and prevailed upon 
him to intrust them with a mission to the king.  By the time they 
reached headquarters, the warriors were already taking post round 
Matafele, and the agitation of Mataafa himself was betrayed in the 
fact that he spoke with the deputation standing and gun in hand:  a 
breach of high-chief dignity perhaps unparalleled.  The usual 
result, however, followed:  the whites persuaded the Samoan; and 
the attack was countermanded, to the benefit of all concerned, and 
not least of Mataafa.  To the benefit of all, I say; for I do not 
think the Germans were that evening in a posture to resist; the 
liquor-cellars of the firm must have fallen into the power of the 
insurgents; and I will repeat my formula that a mob is a mob, a 
drunken mob is a drunken mob, and a drunken mob with weapons in its 
hands is a drunken mob with weapons in its hands, all the world 

In the opinion of some, then, the town had narrowly escaped 
destruction, or at least the miseries of a drunken sack.  To the 
knowledge of all, the air of the neutral territory had once more 
whistled with bullets.  And it was clear the incident must have 
diplomatic consequences.  Leary and Pelly both protested to Fritze.  
Leary announced he should report the affair to his government "as a 
gross violation of the principles of international law, and as a 
breach of the neutrality."  "I positively decline the protest," 
replied Fritze, "and cannot fail to express my astonishment at the 
tone of your last letter."  This was trenchant.  It may be said, 
however, that Leary was already out of court; that, after the night 
signals and the Scanlon incident, and so many other acts of 
practical if humorous hostility, his position as a neutral was no 
better than a doubtful jest.  The case with Pelly was entirely 
different; and with Pelly, Fritze was less well inspired.  In his 
first note, he was on the old guard; announced that he had acted on 
the requisition of his consul, who was alone responsible on "the 
legal side"; and declined accordingly to discuss "whether the lives 
of British subjects were in danger, and to what extent armed 
intervention was necessary."  Pelly replied judiciously that he had 
nothing to do with political matters, being only responsible for 
the safety of Her Majesty's ships under his command and for the 
lives and property of British subjects; that he had considered his 
protest a purely naval one; and as the matter stood could only 
report the case to the admiral on the station.  "I have the 
honour," replied Fritze, "to refuse to entertain the protest 
concerning the safety of Her Britannic Majesty's ship LIZARD as 
being a naval matter.  The safety of Her Majesty's ship LIZARD was 
never in the least endangered.  This was guaranteed by the 
disciplined fire of a few shots under the direction of two 
officers."  This offensive note, in view of Fritze's careful and 
honest bearing among so many other complications, may be attributed 
to some misunderstanding.  His small knowledge of English perhaps 
failed him.  But I cannot pass it by without remarking how far too 
much it is the custom of German officials to fall into this style.  
It may be witty, I am sure it is not wise.  It may be sometimes 
necessary to offend for a definite object, it can never be 
diplomatic to offend gratuitously.

Becker was more explicit, although scarce less curt.  And his 
defence may be divided into two statements:  first, that the 
TAUMUALUA was proceeding to land with a hostile purpose on Mulinuu; 
second, that the shots complained of were fired by the Samoans.  
The second may be dismissed with a laugh.  Human nature has laws.  
And no men hitherto discovered, on being suddenly challenged from 
the sea, would have turned their backs upon the challenger and 
poured volleys on the friendly shore.  The first is not extremely 
credible, but merits examination.  The story of the recovered gun 
seems straightforward; it is supported by much testimony, the 
diving operations on the reef seem to have been watched from shore 
with curiosity; it is hard to suppose that it does not roughly 
represent the fact.  And yet if any part of it be true, the whole 
of Becker's explanation falls to the ground.  A boat which had 
skirted the whole eastern coast of Mulinuu, and was already 
opposite a wharf in Matafele, and still going west, might have been 
guilty on a thousand points - there was one on which she was 
necessarily innocent; she was necessarily innocent of proceeding on 
Mulinuu.  Or suppose the diving operations, and the native 
testimony, and Pelly's chart of the boat's course, and the boat 
itself, to be all stages of some epidemic hallucination or steps in 
a conspiracy - suppose even a second TAUMUALUA to have entered Apia 
bay after nightfall, and to have been fired upon from Grevsmuhl's 
wharf in the full career of hostilities against Mulinuu - suppose 
all this, and Becker is not helped.  At the time of the first fire, 
the boat was off Grevsmuhl's wharf.  At the time of the second (and 
that is the one complained of) she was off Carruthers's wharf in 
Matautu.  Was she still proceeding on Mulinuu?  I trow not.  The 
danger to German property was no longer imminent, the shots had 
been fired upon a very trifling provocation, the spirit implied was 
that of designed disregard to the neutrality.  Such was the 
impression here on the spot; such in plain terms the statement of 
Count Hatzfeldt to Lord Salisbury at home:  that the neutrality of 
Apia was only "to prevent the natives from fighting," not the 
Germans; and that whatever Becker might have promised at the 
conference, he could not "restrict German war-vessels in their 
freedom of action."

There was nothing to surprise in this discovery; and had events 
been guided at the same time with a steady and discreet hand, it 
might have passed with less observation.  But the policy of Becker 
was felt to be not only reckless, it was felt to be absurd also.  
Sudden nocturnal onfalls upon native boats could lead, it was felt, 
to no good end whether of peace or war; they could but exasperate; 
they might prove, in a moment, and when least expected, ruinous.  
To those who knew how nearly it had come to fighting, and who 
considered the probable result, the future looked ominous.  And 
fear was mingled with annoyance in the minds of the Anglo-Saxon 
colony.  On the 24th, a public meeting appealed to the British and 
American consuls.  At half-past seven in the evening guards were 
landed at the consulates.  On the morrow they were each fortified 
with sand-bags; and the subjects informed by proclamation that 
these asylums stood open to them on any alarm, and at any hour of 
the day or night.  The social bond in Apia was dissolved.  The 
consuls, like barons of old, dwelt each in his armed citadel.  The 
rank and file of the white nationalities dared each other, and 
sometimes fell to on the street like rival clansmen.  And the 
little town, not by any fault of the inhabitants, rather by the act 
of Becker, had fallen back in civilisation about a thousand years.

There falls one more incident to be narrated, and then I can close 
with this ungracious chapter.  I have mentioned the name of the new 
English consul.  It is already familiar to English readers; for the 
gentleman who was fated to undergo some strange experiences in Apia 
was the same de Coetlogon who covered Hicks's flank at the time of 
the disaster in the desert, and bade farewell to Gordon in Khartoum 
before the investment.  The colonel was abrupt and testy; Mrs. de 
Coetlogon was too exclusive for society like that of Apia; but 
whatever their superficial disabilities, it is strange they should 
have left, in such an odour of unpopularity, a place where they set 
so shining an example of the sterling virtues.  The colonel was 
perhaps no diplomatist; he was certainly no lawyer; but he 
discharged the duties of his office with the constancy and courage 
of an old soldier, and these were found sufficient.  He and his 
wife had no ambition to be the leaders of society; the consulate 
was in their time no house of feasting; but they made of it that 
house of mourning to which the preacher tells us it is better we 
should go.  At an early date after the battle of Matautu, it was 
opened as a hospital for the wounded.  The English and Americans 
subscribed what was required for its support.  Pelly of the LIZARD 
strained every nerve to help, and set up tents on the lawn to be a 
shelter for the patients.  The doctors of the English and American 
ships, and in particular Dr. Oakley of the LIZARD, showed 
themselves indefatigable.  But it was on the de Coetlogons that the 
distress fell.  For nearly half a year, their lawn, their verandah, 
sometimes their rooms, were cumbered with the sick and dying, their 
ears were filled with the complaints of suffering humanity, their 
time was too short for the multiplicity of pitiful duties.  In Mrs. 
de Coetlogon, and her helper, Miss Taylor, the merit of this 
endurance was perhaps to be looked for; in a man of the colonel's 
temper, himself painfully suffering, it was viewed with more 
surprise, if with no more admiration.  Doubtless all had their 
reward in a sense of duty done; doubtless, also, as the days 
passed, in the spectacle of many traits of gratitude and patience, 
and in the success that waited on their efforts.  Out of a hundred 
cases treated, only five died.  They were all well-behaved, though 
full of childish wiles.  One old gentleman, a high chief, was 
seized with alarming symptoms of belly-ache whenever Mrs. de 
Coetlogon went her rounds at night:  he was after brandy.  Others 
were insatiable for morphine or opium.  A chief woman had her foot 
amputated under chloroform.  "Let me see my foot!  Why does it not 
hurt?" she cried.  "It hurt so badly before I went to sleep."  
Siteoni, whose name has been already mentioned, had his shoulder-
blade excised, lay the longest of any, perhaps behaved the worst, 
and was on all these grounds the favourite.  At times he was 
furiously irritable, and would rail upon his family and rise in bed 
until he swooned with pain.  Once on the balcony he was thought to 
be dying, his family keeping round his mat, his father exhorting 
him to be prepared, when Mrs. de Coetlogon brought him round again 
with brandy and smelling-salts.  After discharge, he returned upon 
a visit of gratitude; and it was observed, that instead of coming 
straight to the door, he went and stood long under his umbrella on 
that spot of ground where his mat had been stretched and he had 
endured pain so many months.  Similar visits were the rule, I 
believe without exception; and the grateful patients loaded Mrs. de 
Coetlogon with gifts which (had that been possible in Polynesia) 
she would willingly have declined, for they were often of value to 
the givers.

The tissue of my story is one of rapacity, intrigue, and the 
triumphs of temper; the hospital at the consulate stands out almost 
alone as an episode of human beauty, and I dwell on it with 
satisfaction.  But it was not regarded at the time with universal 
favour; and even to-day its institution is thought by many to have 
been impolitic.  It was opened, it stood open, for the wounded of 
either party.  As a matter of fact it was never used but by the 
Mataafas, and the Tamaseses were cared for exclusively by German 
doctors.  In the progressive decivilisation of the town, these 
duties of humanity became thus a ground of quarrel.  When the 
Mataafa hurt were first brought together after the battle of 
Matautu, and some more or less amateur surgeons were dressing 
wounds on a green by the wayside, one from the German consulate 
went by in the road.  "Why don't you let the dogs die?" he asked.  
"Go to hell," was the rejoinder.  Such were the amenities of Apia.  
But Becker reserved for himself the extreme expression of this 
spirit.  On November 7th hostilities began again between the Samoan 
armies, and an inconclusive skirmish sent a fresh crop of wounded 
to the de Coetlogons.  Next door to the consulate, some native 
houses and a chapel (now ruinous) stood on a green.  Chapel and 
houses were certainly Samoan, but the ground was under a land-claim 
of the German firm; and de Coetlogon wrote to Becker requesting 
permission (in case it should prove necessary) to use these 
structures for his wounded.  Before an answer came, the hospital 
was startled by the appearance of a case of gangrene, and the 
patient was hastily removed into the chapel.  A rebel laid on 
German ground - here was an atrocity!  The day before his own 
relief, November 11th, Becker ordered the man's instant removal.  
By his aggressive carriage and singular mixture of violence and 
cunning, he had already largely brought about the fall of Brandeis, 
and forced into an attitude of hostility the whole non-German 
population of the islands.  Now, in his last hour of office, by 
this wanton buffet to his English colleague, he prepared a 
continuance of evil days for his successor.  If the object of 
diplomacy be the organisation of failure in the midst of hate, he 
was a great diplomatist.  And amongst a certain party on the beach 
he is still named as the ideal consul.


WHEN Brandeis and Tamasese fled by night from Mulinuu, they carried 
their wandering government some six miles to windward, to a 
position above Lotoanuu.  For some three miles to the eastward of 
Apia, the shores of Upolu are low and the ground rises with a 
gentle acclivity, much of which waves with German plantations.  A 
barrier reef encloses a lagoon passable for boats:  and the 
traveller skims there, on smooth, many-tinted shallows, between the 
wall of the breakers on the one hand, and on the other a succession 
of palm-tree capes and cheerful beach-side villages.  Beyond the 
great plantation of Vailele, the character of the coast is changed.  
The barrier reef abruptly ceases, the surf beats direct upon the 
shore; and the mountains and untenanted forest of the interior 
descend sheer into the sea.  The first mountain promontory is 
Letongo.  The bay beyond is called Laulii, and became the 
headquarters of Mataafa.  And on the next projection, on steep, 
intricate ground, veiled in forest and cut up by gorges and 
defiles, Tamasese fortified his lines.  This greenwood citadel, 
which proved impregnable by Samoan arms, may be regarded as his 
front; the sea covered his right; and his rear extended along the 
coast as far as Saluafata, and thus commanded and drew upon a rich 
country, including the plain of Falefa.

He was left in peace from 11th October till November 6th.  But his 
adversary is not wholly to be blamed for this delay, which depended 
upon island etiquette.  His Savaii contingent had not yet come in, 
and to have moved again without waiting for them would have been 
surely to offend, perhaps to lose them.  With the month of November 
they began to arrive:  on the 2nd twenty boats, on the 3rd twenty-
nine, on the 5th seventeen.  On the 6th the position Mataafa had so 
long occupied on the skirts of Apia was deserted; all that day and 
night his force kept streaming eastward to Laulii; and on the 7th 
the siege of Lotoanuu was opened with a brisk skirmish.

Each side built forts, facing across the gorge of a brook.  An 
endless fusillade and shouting maintained the spirit of the 
warriors; and at night, even if the firing slackened, the pickets 
continued to exchange from either side volleys of songs and pungent 
pleasantries.  Nearer hostilities were rendered difficult by the 
nature of the ground, where men must thread dense bush and clamber 
on the face of precipices.  Apia was near enough; a man, if he had 
a dollar or two, could walk in before a battle and array himself in 
silk or velvet.  Casualties were not common; there was nothing to 
cast gloom upon the camps, and no more danger than was required to 
give a spice to the perpetual firing.  For the young warriors it 
was a period of admirable enjoyment.  But the anxiety of Mataafa 
must have been great and growing.  His force was now considerable.  
It was scarce likely he should ever have more.  That he should be 
long able to supply them with ammunition seemed incredible; at the 
rates then or soon after current, hundreds of pounds sterling might 
be easily blown into the air by the skirmishers in the course of a 
few days.  And in the meanwhile, on the mountain opposite, his 
outnumbered adversary held his ground unshaken.

By this time the partisanship of the whites was unconcealed.  
Americans supplied Mataafa with ammunition; English and Americans 
openly subscribed together and sent boat-loads of provisions to his 
camp.  One such boat started from Apia on a day of rain; it was 
pulled by six oars, three being paid by Moors, three by the 
MacArthurs; Moors himself and a clerk of the MacArthurs' were in 
charge; and the load included not only beef and biscuit, but three 
or four thousand rounds of ammunition.  They came ashore in Laulii, 
and carried the gift to Mataafa.  While they were yet in his house 
a bullet passed overhead; and out of his door they could see the 
Tamasese pickets on the opposite hill.  Thence they made their way 
to the left flank of the Mataafa position next the sea.  A Tamasese 
barricade was visible across the stream.  It rained, but the 
warriors crowded in their shanties, squatted in the mud, and 
maintained an excited conversation.  Balls flew; either faction, 
both happy as lords, spotting for the other in chance shots, and 
missing.  One point is characteristic of that war; experts in 
native feeling doubt if it will characterise the next.  The two 
white visitors passed without and between the lines to a rocky 
point upon the beach.  The person of Moors was well known; the 
purpose of their coming to Laulii must have been already bruited 
abroad; yet they were not fired upon.  From the point they spied a 
crow's nest, or hanging fortification, higher up; and, judging it 
was a good position for a general view, obtained a guide.  He led 
them up a steep side of the mountain, where they must climb by 
roots and tufts of grass; and coming to an open hill-top with some 
scattered trees, bade them wait, let him draw the fire, and then be 
swift to follow.  Perhaps a dozen balls whistled about him ere he 
had crossed the dangerous passage and dropped on the farther side 
into the crow's-nest; the white men, briskly following, escaped 
unhurt.  The crow's-nest was built like a bartizan on the 
precipitous front of the position.  Across the ravine, perhaps at 
five hundred yards, heads were to be seen popping up and down in a 
fort of Tamesese's.  On both sides the same enthusiasm without 
council, the same senseless vigilance, reigned.  Some took aim; 
some blazed before them at a venture.  Now - when a head showed on 
the other side - one would take a crack at it, remarking that it 
would never do to "miss a chance."  Now they would all fire a 
volley and bob down; a return volley rang across the ravine, and 
was punctually answered:  harmless as lawn-tennis.  The whites 
expostulated in vain.  The warriors, drunken with noise, made 
answer by a fresh general discharge and bade their visitors run 
while it was time.  Upon their return to headquarters, men were 
covering the front with sheets of coral limestone, two balls having 
passed through the house in the interval.  Mataafa sat within, over 
his kava bowl, unmoved.  The picture is of a piece throughout:  
excellent courage, super-excellent folly, a war of school-children; 
expensive guns and cartridges used like squibs or catherine-wheels 
on Guy Fawkes's Day.

On the 20th Mataafa changed his attack.  Tamasese's front was 
seemingly impregnable.  Something must be tried upon his rear.  
There was his bread-basket; a small success in that direction would 
immediately curtail his resources; and it might be possible with 
energy to roll up his line along the beach and take the citadel in 
reverse.  The scheme was carried out as might be expected from 
these childish soldiers.  Mataafa, always uneasy about Apia, clung 
with a portion of his force to Laulii; and thus, had the foe been 
enterprising, exposed himself to disaster.  The expedition fell 
successfully enough on Saluafata and drove out the Tamaseses with a 
loss of four heads; but so far from improving the advantage, 
yielded immediately to the weakness of the Samoan warrior, and 
ranged farther east through unarmed populations, bursting with 
shouts and blackened faces into villages terrified or admiring, 
making spoil of pigs, burning houses, and destroying gardens.  The 
Tamasese had at first evacuated several beach towns in succession, 
and were still in retreat on Lotoanuu; finding themselves 
unpursued, they reoccupied them one after another, and re-
established their lines to the very borders of Saluafata.  Night 
fell; Mataafa had taken Saluafata, Tamasese had lost it; and that 
was all.  But the day came near to have a different and very 
singular issue.  The village was not long in the hands of the 
Mataafas, when a schooner, flying German colours, put into the bay 
and was immediately surrounded by their boats.  It chanced that 
Brandeis was on board.  Word of it had gone abroad, and the boats 
as they approached demanded him with threats.  The late premier, 
alone, entirely unarmed, and a prey to natural and painful 
feelings, concealed himself below.  The captain of the schooner 
remained on deck, pointed to the German colours, and defied 
approaching boats.  Again the prestige of a great Power triumphed; 
the Samoans fell back before the bunting; the schooner worked out 
of the bay; Brandeis escaped.  He himself apprehended the worst if 
he fell into Samoan hands; it is my diffident impression that his 
life would have been safe.

On the 22nd, a new German war-ship, the EBER, of tragic memory, 
came to Apia from the Gilberts, where she had been disarming 
turbulent islands.  The rest of that day and all night she loaded 
stores from the firm, and on the morrow reached Saluafata bay.  
Thanks to the misconduct of the Mataafas, the most of the foreshore 
was still in the hands of the Tamaseses; and they were thus able to 
receive from the EBER both the stores and weapons.  The weapons had 
been sold long since to Tarawa, Apaiang, and Pleasant Island; 
places unheard of by the general reader, where obscure inhabitants 
paid for these instruments of death in money or in labour, misused 
them as it was known they would be misused, and had been disarmed 
by force.  The EBER had brought back the guns to a German counter, 
whence many must have been originally sold; and was here engaged, 
like a shopboy, in their distribution to fresh purchasers.  Such is 
the vicious circle of the traffic in weapons of war.  Another aid 
of a more metaphysical nature was ministered by the EBER to 
Tamasese, in the shape of uncountable German flags.  The full 
history of this epidemic of bunting falls to be told in the next 
chapter.  But the fact has to be chronicled here, for I believe it 
was to these flags that we owe the visit of the ADAMS, and my next 
and best authentic glance into a native camp.  The ADAMS arrived in 
Saluafata on the 26th.  On the morrow Leary and Moors landed at the 
village.  It was still occupied by Mataafas, mostly from Manono and 
Savaii, few in number, high in spirit.  The Tamasese pickets were 
meanwhile within musket range; there was maintained a steady 
sputtering of shots; and yet a party of Tamasese women were here on 
a visit to the women of Manono, with whom they sat talking and 
smoking, under the fire of their own relatives.  It was reported 
that Leary took part in a council of war, and promised to join with 
his broadside in the next attack.  It is certain he did nothing of 
the sort:  equally certain that, in Tamasese circles, he was firmly 
credited with having done so.  And this heightens the extraordinary 
character of what I have now to tell.  Prudence and delicacy alike 
ought to have forbid the camp of Tamasese to the feet of either 
Leary or Moors.  Moors was the original - there was a time when he 
had been the only - opponent of the puppet king.  Leary had driven 
him from the seat of government; it was but a week or two since he 
had threatened to bombard him in his present refuge.  Both were in 
close and daily council with his adversary, and it was no secret 
that Moors was supplying the latter with food.  They were 
partisans; it lacked but a hair that they should be called 
belligerents; it were idle to try to deny they were the most 
dangerous of spies.  And yet these two now sailed across the bay 
and landed inside the Tamasese lines at Salelesi.  On the very 
beach they had another glimpse of the artlessness of Samoan war.  
Hitherto the Tamasese fleet, being hardy and unencumbered, had made 
a fool of the huge floating forts upon the other side; and here 
they were tolling, not to produce another boat on their own pattern 
in which they had always enjoyed the advantage, but to make a new 
one the type of their enemies', of which they had now proved the 
uselessness for months.  It came on to rain as the Americans 
landed; and though none offered to oppose their coming ashore, none 
invited them to take shelter.  They were nowise abashed, entered a 
house unbidden, and were made welcome with obvious reserve.  The 
rain clearing off, they set forth westward, deeper into the heart 
of the enemies' position.  Three or four young men ran some way 
before them, doubtless to give warning; and Leary, with his 
indomitable taste for mischief, kept inquiring as he went after 
"the high chief" Tamasese.  The line of the beach was one 
continuous breastwork; some thirty odd iron cannon of all sizes and 
patterns stood mounted in embrasures; plenty grape and canister lay 
ready; and at every hundred yards or so the German flag was flying.  
The numbers of the guns and flags I give as I received them, though 
they test my faith.  At the house of Brandeis - a little, 
weatherboard house, crammed at the time with natives, men, women, 
and squalling children - Leary and Moors again asked for "the high 
chief," and, were again assured that he was farther on.  A little 
beyond, the road ran in one place somewhat inland, the two 
Americans had gone down to the line of the beach to continue their 
inspection of the breastwork, when Brandeis himself, in his shirt-
sleeves and accompanied by several German officers, passed them by 
the line of the road.  The two parties saluted in silence.  Beyond 
Eva Point there was an observable change for the worse in the 
reception of the Americans; some whom they met began to mutter at 
Moors; and the adventurers, with tardy but commendable prudence, 
desisted from their search after the high chief, and began to 
retrace their steps.  On the return, Suatele and some chiefs were 
drinking kava in a "big house," and called them in to join - their 
only invitation.  But the night was closing, the rain had begun 
again:  they stayed but for civility, and returned on board the 
ADAMS, wet and hungry, and I believe delighted with their 
expedition.  It was perhaps the last as it was certainly one of the 
most extreme examples of that divinity which once hedged the white 
in Samoa.  The feeling was already different in the camp of 
Mataafa, where the safety of a German loiterer had been a matter of 
extreme concern.  Ten days later, three commissioners, an 
Englishman, an American, and a German, approached a post of 
Mataafas, were challenged by an old man with a gun, and mentioned 
in answer what they were.  "IFEA SIAMANI?  Which is the German?" 
cried the old gentleman, dancing, and with his finger on the 
trigger; and the commissioners stood somewhile in a very anxious 
posture, till they were released by the opportune arrival of a 
chief.  It was November the 27th when Leary and Moors completed 
their absurd excursion; in about three weeks an event was to befall 
which changed at once, and probably for ever, the relations of the 
natives and the whites.

By the 28th Tamasese had collected seventeen hundred men in the 
trenches before Saluafata, thinking to attack next day.  But the 
Mataafas evacuated the place in the night.  At half-past five on 
the morning of the 29th a signal-gun was fired in the trenches at 
Laulii, and the Tamasese citadel was assaulted and defended with a 
fury new among Samoans.  When the battle ended on the following 
day, one or more outworks remained in the possession of Mataafa.  
Another had been taken and lost as many as four times.  Carried 
originally by a mixed force from Savaii and Tuamasanga, the 
victors, instead of completing fresh defences or pursuing their 
advantage, fell to eat and smoke and celebrate their victory with 
impromptu songs.  In this humour a rally of the Tamaseses smote 
them, drove them out pell-mell, and tumbled them into the ravine, 
where many broke their heads and legs.  Again the work was taken, 
again lost.  Ammunition failed the belligerents; and they fought 
hand to hand in the contested fort with axes, clubs, and clubbed 
rifles.  The sustained ardour of the engagement surprised even 
those who were engaged; and the butcher's bill was counted 
extraordinary by Samoans.  On December 1st the women of either side 
collected the headless bodies of the dead, each easily identified 
by the name tattooed on his forearm.  Mataafa is thought to have 
lost sixty killed; and the de Coetlogons' hospital received three 
women and forty men.  The casualties on the Tamasese side cannot be 
accepted, but they were presumably much less.


FOR Becker I have not been able to conceal my distaste, for he 
seems to me both false and foolish.  But of his successor, the 
unfortunately famous Dr. Knappe, we may think as of a good enough 
fellow driven distraught.  Fond of Samoa and the Samoans, he 
thought to bring peace and enjoy popularity among the islanders; of 
a genial, amiable, and sanguine temper, he made no doubt but he 
could repair the breach with the English consul.  Hope told a 
flattering tale.  He awoke to find himself exchanging defiances 
with de Coetlogon, beaten in the field by Mataafa, surrounded on 
the spot by general exasperation, and disowned from home by his own 
government.  The history of his administration leaves on the mind 
of the student a sentiment of pity scarcely mingled.

On Blacklock he did not call, and, in view of Leary's attitude, may 
be excused.  But the English consul was in a different category.  
England, weary of the name of Samoa, and desirous only to see peace 
established, was prepared to wink hard during the process and to 
welcome the result of any German settlement.  It was an 
unpardonable fault in Becker to have kicked and buffeted his ready-
made allies into a state of jealousy, anger, and suspicion.  Knappe 
set himself at once to efface these impressions, and the English 
officials rejoiced for the moment in the change.  Between Knappe 
and de Coetlogon there seems to have been mutual sympathy; and, in 
considering the steps by which they were led at last into an 
attitude of mutual defiance, it must be remembered that both the 
men were sick, - Knappe from time to time prostrated with that 
formidable complaint, New Guinea fever, and de Coetlogon throughout 
his whole stay in the islands continually ailing.

Tamasese was still to be recognised, and, if possible, supported:  
such was the German policy.  Two days after his arrival, 
accordingly, Knappe addressed to Mataafa a threatening despatch.  
The German plantation was suffering from the proximity of his "war-
party."  He must withdraw from Laulii at once, and, whithersoever 
he went, he must approach no German property nor so much as any 
village where there was a German trader.  By five o'clock on the 
morrow, if he were not gone, Knappe would turn upon him "the 
attention of the man-of-war" and inflict a fine.  The same evening, 
November 14th, Knappe went on board the ADLER, which began to get 
up steam.

Three months before, such direct intervention on the part of 
Germany would have passed almost without protest; but the hour was 
now gone by.  Becker's conduct, equally timid and rash, equally 
inconclusive and offensive, had forced the other nations into a 
strong feeling of common interest with Mataafa.  Even had the 
German demands been moderate, de Coetlogon could not have forgotten 
the night of the TAUMUALUA, nor how Mataafa had relinquished, at 
his request, the attack upon the German quarter.  Blacklock, with 
his driver of a captain at his elbow, was not likely to lag behind.  
And Mataafa having communicated Knappe's letter, the example of the 
Germans was on all hands exactly followed; the consuls hastened on 
board their respective war-ships, and these began to get up steam.  
About midnight, in a pouring rain, Pelly communicated to Fritze his 
intention to follow him and protect British interests; and Knappe 
replied that he would come on board the LIZARD and see de Coetlogon 
personally.  It was deep in the small hours, and de Coetlogon had 
been long asleep, when he was wakened to receive his colleague; but 
he started up with an old soldier's readiness.  The conference was 
long.  De Coetlogon protested, as he did afterwards in writing, 
against Knappe's claim:  the Samoans were in a state of war; they 
had territorial rights; it was monstrous to prevent them from 
entering one of their own villages because a German trader kept the 
store; and in case property suffered, a claim for compensation was 
the proper remedy.  Knappe argued that this was a question between 
Germans and Samoans, in which de Coetlogon had nothing to see; and 
that he must protect German property according to his instructions.  
To which de Coetlogon replied that he was himself in the same 
attitude to the property of the British; that he understood Knappe 
to be intending hostilities against Laulii; that Laulii was 
mortgaged to the MacArthurs; that its crops were accordingly 
British property; and that, while he was ever willing to recognise 
the territorial rights of the Samoans, he must prevent that 
property from being molested "by any other nation."  "But if a 
German man-of-war does it?" asked Knappe. - "We shall prevent it to 
the best of our ability," replied the colonel.  It is to the credit 
of both men that this trying interview should have been conducted 
and concluded without heat; but Knappe must have returned to the 
ADLER with darker anticipations.

At sunrise on the morning of the 15th, the three ships, each loaded 
with its consul, put to sea.  It is hard to exaggerate the peril of 
the forenoon that followed, as they lay off Laulii.  Nobody desired 
a collision, save perhaps the reckless Leary; but peace and war 
trembled in the balance; and when the ADLER, at one period, lowered 
her gun ports, war appeared to preponderate.  It proved, however, 
to be a last - and therefore surely an unwise - extremity.  Knappe 
contented himself with visiting the rival kings, and the three 
ships returned to Apia before noon.  Beyond a doubt, coming after 
Knappe's decisive letter of the day before, this impotent 
conclusion shook the credit of Germany among the natives of both 
sides; the Tamaseses fearing they were deserted, the Mataafas (with 
secret delight) hoping they were feared.  And it gave an impetus to 
that ridiculous business which might have earned for the whole 
episode the name of the war of flags.  British and American flags 
had been planted the night before, and were seen that morning 
flying over what they claimed about Laulii.  British and American 
passengers, on the way up and down, pointed out from the decks of 
the warships, with generous vagueness, the boundaries of 
problematical estates.  Ten days later, the beach of Saluafata bay 
fluttered (as I have told in the last chapter) with the flag of 
Germany.  The Americans riposted with a claim to Tamasese's camp, 
some small part of which (says Knappe) did really belong to "an 
American nigger."  The disease spread, the flags were multiplied, 
the operations of war became an egg-dance among miniature neutral 
territories; and though all men took a hand in these proceedings, 
all men in turn were struck with their absurdity.  Mullan, Leary's 
successor, warned Knappe, in an emphatic despatch, not to squander 
and discredit the solemnity of that emblem which was all he had to 
be a defence to his own consulate.  And Knappe himself, in his 
despatch of March 21st, 1889, castigates the practice with much 
sense.  But this was after the tragicomic culmination had been 
reached, and the burnt rags of one of these too-frequently 
mendacious signals gone on a progress to Washington, like Caesar's 
body, arousing indignation where it came.  To such results are 
nations conducted by the patent artifices of a Becker.

The discussion of the morning, the silent menace and defiance of 
the voyage to Laulii, might have set the best-natured by the ears.  
But Knappe and de Coetlogon took their difference in excellent 
part.  On the morrow, November 16th, they sat down together with 
Blacklock in conference.  The English consul introduced his 
colleagues, who shook hands.  If Knappe were dead-weighted with the 
inheritance of Becker, Blacklock was handicapped by reminiscences 
of Leary; it is the more to the credit of this inexperienced man 
that he should have maintained in the future so excellent an 
attitude of firmness and moderation, and that when the crash came, 
Knappe and de Coetlogon, not Knappe and Blacklock, were found to be 
the protagonists of the drama.  The conference was futile.  The 
English and American consuls admitted but one cure of the evils of 
the time:  that the farce of the Tamasese monarchy should cease.  
It was one which the German refused to consider.  And the agents 
separated without reaching any result, save that diplomatic 
relations had been restored between the States and Germany, and 
that all three were convinced of their fundamental differences.

Knappe and de Coetlogon were still friends; they had disputed and 
differed and come within a finger's breadth of war, and they were 
still friends.  But an event was at hand which was to separate them 
for ever.  On December 4th came the ROYALIST, Captain Hand, to 
relieve the LIZARD.  Pelly of course had to take his canvas from 
the consulate hospital; but he had in charge certain awnings 
belonging to the ROYALIST, and with these they made shift to cover 
the wounded, at that time (after the fight at Laulii) more than 
usually numerous.  A lieutenant came to the consulate, and 
delivered (as I have received it) the following message: "Captain 
Hand's compliments, and he says you must get rid of these niggers 
at once, and he will help you to do it."  Doubtless the reply was 
no more civil than the message.  The promised "help," at least, 
followed promptly.  A boat's crew landed and the awnings were 
stripped from the wounded, Hand himself standing on the colonel's 
verandah to direct operations.  It were fruitless to discuss this 
passage from the humanitarian point of view, or from that of formal 
courtesy.  The mind of the new captain was plainly not directed to 
these objects.  But it is understood that he considered the 
existence of a hospital a source of irritation to Germans and a 
fault in policy.  His own rude act proved in the result far more 
impolitic.  The hospital had now been open some two months, and de 
Coetlogon was still on friendly terms with Knappe, and he and his 
wife were engaged to dine with him that day.  By the morrow that 
was practically ended.  For the rape of the awnings had two 
results:  one, which was the fault of de Coetlogon, not at all of 
Hand, who could not have foreseen it; the other which it was his 
duty to have seen and prevented.  The first was this:  the de 
Coetlogons found themselves left with their wounded exposed to the 
inclemencies of the season; they must all be transported into the 
house and verandah; in the distress and pressure of this task, the 
dinner engagement was too long forgotten; and a note of excuse did 
not reach the German consulate before the table was set, and Knappe 
dressed to receive his visitors.  The second consequence was 
inevitable.  Captain Hand was scarce landed ere it became public 
(was "SOFORT BEKANNT," writes Knappe) that he and the consul were 
in opposition.  All that had been gained by the demonstration at 
Laulii was thus immediately cast away; de Coetlogon's prestige was 
lessened; and it must be said plainly that Hand did less than 
nothing to restore it.  Twice indeed he interfered, both times with 
success; and once, when his own person had been endangered, with 
vehemence; but during all the strange doings I have to narrate, he 
remained in close intimacy with the German consulate, and on one 
occasion may be said to have acted as its marshal.  After the worst 
is over, after Bismarck has told Knappe that "the protests of his 
English colleague were grounded," that his own conduct "has not 
been good," and that in any dispute which may arise he "will find 
himself in the wrong," Knappe can still plead in his defence that 
Captain Hand "has always maintained friendly intercourse with the 
German authorities."  Singular epitaph for an English sailor.  In 
this complicity on the part of Hand we may find the reason - and I 
had almost said, the excuse - of much that was excessive in the 
bearing of the unfortunate Knappe.

On the 11th December, Mataafa received twenty-eight thousand 
cartridges, brought into the country in salt-beef kegs by the 
British ship RICHMOND.  This not only sharpened the animosity 
between whites; following so closely on the German fizzle at 
Laulii, it raised a convulsion in the camp of Tamasese.  On the 
13th Brandeis addressed to Knappe his famous and fatal letter.  I 
may not describe it as a letter of burning words, but it is plainly 
dictated by a burning heart.  Tamasese and his chiefs, he 
announces, are now sick of the business, and ready to make peace 
with Mataafa.  They began the war relying upon German help; they 
now see and say that "E FAAALO SIAMANI I PERITANIA MA AMERICA, that 
Germany is subservient to England and the States."  It is grimly 
given to be understood that the despatch is an ultimatum, and a 
last chance is being offered for the recreant ally to fulfil her 
pledge.  To make it more plain, the document goes on with a kind of 
bilious irony: "The two German war-ships now in Samoa are here for 
the protection of German property alone; and when the OLGA shall 
have arrived" [she arrived on the morrow] "the German war-ships 
will continue to do against the insurgents precisely as little as 
they have done heretofore."  Plant flags, in fact.

Here was Knappe's opportunity, could he have stooped to seize it.  
I find it difficult to blame him that he could not.  Far from being 
so inglorious as the treachery once contemplated by Becker, the 
acceptance of this ultimatum would have been still in the nature of 
a disgrace.  Brandeis's letter, written by a German, was hard to 
swallow.  It would have been hard to accept that solution which 
Knappe had so recently and so peremptorily refused to his brother 
consuls.  And he was tempted, on the other hand, by recent changes.  
There was no Pelly to support de Coetlogon, who might now be 
disregarded.  Mullan, Leary's successor, even if he were not 
precisely a Hand, was at least no Leary; and even if Mullan should 
show fight, Knappe had now three ships and could defy or sink him 
without danger.  Many small circumstances moved him in the same 
direction.  The looting of German plantations continued; the whole 
force of Mataafa was to a large extent subsisted from the crops of 
Vailele; and armed men were to be seen openly plundering bananas, 
bread-fruit, and cocoa-nuts under the walls of the plantation 
building.  On the night of the 13th the consulate stable had been 
broken into and a horse removed.  On the 16th there was a riot in 
Apia between half-castes and sailors from the new ship OLGA, each 
side claiming that the other was the worse of drink, both (for a 
wager) justly.  The multiplication of flags and little neutral 
territories had, besides, begun to irritate the Samoans.  The 
protests of German settlers had been received uncivilly.  On the 
16th the Mataafas had again sought to land in Saluafata bay, with 
the manifest intention to attack the Tamaseses, or (in other words) 
"to trespass on German lands, covered, as your Excellency knows, 
with flags."  I quote from his requisition to Fritze, December 
17th.  Upon all these considerations, he goes on, it is necessary 
to bring the fighting to an end.  Both parties are to be disarmed 
and returned to their villages - Mataafa first.  And in case of any 
attempt upon Apia, the roads thither are to be held by a strong 
landing-party.  Mataafa was to be disarmed first, perhaps rightly 
enough in his character of the last insurgent.  Then was to have 
come the turn of Tamasese; but it does not appear the disarming 
would have had the same import or have been gone about in the same 
way.  Germany was bound to Tamasese.  No honest man would dream of 
blaming Knappe because he sought to redeem his country's word.  The 
path he chose was doubtless that of honour, so far as honour was 
still left.  But it proved to be the road to ruin.

Fritze, ranking German officer, is understood to have opposed the 
measure.  His attitude earned him at the time unpopularity among 
his country-people on the spot, and should now redound to his 
credit.  It is to be hoped he extended his opposition to some of 
the details.  If it were possible to disarm Mataafa at all, it must 
be done rather by prestige than force.  A party of blue-jackets 
landed in Samoan bush, and expected to hold against Samoans a 
multiplicity of forest paths, had their work cut out for them.  And 
it was plain they should be landed in the light of day, with a 
discouraging openness, and even with parade.  To sneak ashore by 
night was to increase the danger of resistance and to minimise the 
authority of the attack.  The thing was a bluff, and it is 
impossible to bluff with stealth.  Yet this was what was tried.  A 
landing-party was to leave the OLGA in Apia bay at two in the 
morning; the landing was to be at four on two parts of the 
foreshore of Vailele.  At eight they were to be joined by a second 
landing-party from the EBER.  By nine the Olgas were to be on the 
crest of Letongo Mountain, and the Ebers to be moving round the 
promontory by the seaward paths, "with measures of precaution," 
disarming all whom they encountered.  There was to be no firing 
unless fired upon.  At the appointed hour (or perhaps later) on the 
morning of the 19th, this unpromising business was put in hand, and 
there moved off from the OLGA two boats with some fifty blue-
jackets between them, and a PRAAM or punt containing ninety, - the 
boats and the whole expedition under the command of Captain-
Lieutenant Jaeckel, the praam under Lieutenant Spengler.  The men 
had each forty rounds, one day's provisions, and their flasks 

In the meanwhile, Mataafa sympathisers about Apia were on the 
alert.  Knappe had informed the consuls that the ships were to put 
to sea next day for the protection of German property; but the 
Tamaseses had been less discreet.  "To-morrow at the hour of 
seven," they had cried to their adversaries, "you will know of a 
difficulty, and our guns shall be made good in broken bones."  An 
accident had pointed expectation towards Apia.  The wife of Le 
Mamea washed for the German ships - a perquisite, I suppose, for 
her husband's unwilling fidelity.  She sent a man with linen on 
board the ADLER, where he was surprised to see Le Mamea in person, 
and to be himself ordered instantly on shore.  The news spread.  If 
Mamea were brought down from Lotoanuu, others might have come at 
the same time.  Tamasese himself and half his army might perhaps 
lie concealed on board the German ships.  And a watch was 
accordingly set and warriors collected along the line of the shore.  
One detachment lay in some rifle-pits by the mouth of the Fuisa.  
They were commanded by Seumanu; and with his party, probably as the 
most contiguous to Apia, was the war-correspondent, John Klein.  Of 
English birth, but naturalised American, this gentleman had been 
for some time representing the NEW YORK WORLD in a very effective 
manner, always in the front, living in the field with the Samoans, 
and in all vicissitudes of weather, toiling to and fro with his 
despatches.  His wisdom was perhaps not equal to his energy.  He 
made himself conspicuous, going about armed to the teeth in a boat 
under the stars and stripes; and on one occasion, when he supposed 
himself fired upon by the Tamaseses, had the petulance to empty his 
revolver in the direction of their camp.  By the light of the moon, 
which was then nearly down, this party observed the OLGA'S two 
boats and the praam, which they described as "almost sinking with 
men," the boats keeping well out towards the reef, the praam at the 
moment apparently heading for the shore.  An extreme agitation 
seems to have reigned in the rifle-pits.  What were the newcomers?  
What was their errand?  Were they Germans or Tamaseses?  Had they a 
mind to attack?  The praam was hailed in Samoan and did not answer.  
It was proposed to fire upon her ere she drew near.  And at last, 
whether on his own suggestion or that of Seumanu, Klein hailed her 
in English, and in terms of unnecessary melodrama.  "Do not try to 
land here," he cried.  "If you do, your blood will be upon your 
head."  Spengler, who had never the least intention to touch at the 
Fuisa, put up the head of the praam to her true course and 
continued to move up the lagoon with an offing of some seventy or 
eighty yards.  Along all the irregularities and obstructions of the 
beach, across the mouth of the Vaivasa, and through the startled 
village of Matafangatele, Seumanu, Klein, and seven or eight others 
raced to keep up, spreading the alarm and rousing reinforcements as 
they went.  Presently a man on horse-back made his appearance on 
the opposite beach of Fangalii.  Klein and the natives distinctly 
saw him signal with a lantern; which is the more strange, as the 
horseman (Captain Hufnagel, plantation manager of Vailele) had 
never a lantern to signal with.  The praam kept in.  Many men in 
white were seen to stand up, step overboard, and wade to shore.  At 
the same time the eye of panic descried a breastwork of "foreign 
stone" (brick) upon the beach.  Samoans are prepared to-day to 
swear to its existence, I believe conscientiously, although no such 
thing was ever made or ever intended in that place.  The hour is 
doubtful.  "It was the hour when the streak of dawn is seen, the 
hour known in the warfare of heathen times as the hour of the night 
attack," says the Mataafa official account.  A native whom I met on 
the field declared it was at cock-crow.  Captain Hufnagel, on the 
other hand, is sure it was long before the day.  It was dark at 
least, and the moon down.  Darkness made the Samoans bold; 
uncertainty as to the composition and purpose of the landing-party 
made them desperate.  Fire was opened on the Germans, one of whom 
was here killed.  The Germans returned it, and effected a lodgment 
on the beach; and the skirmish died again to silence.  It was at 
this time, if not earlier, that Klein returned to Apia.

Here, then, were Spengler and the ninety men of the praam, landed 
on the beach in no very enviable posture, the woods in front filled 
with unnumbered enemies, but for the time successful.  Meanwhile, 
Jaeckel and the boats had gone outside the reef, and were to land 
on the other side of the Vailele promontory, at Sunga, by the 
buildings of the plantation.  It was Hufnagel's part to go and meet 
them.  His way led straight into the woods and through the midst of 
the Samoans, who had but now ceased firing.  He went in the saddle 
and at a foot's pace, feeling speed and concealment to be equally 
helpless, and that if he were to fall at all, he had best fall with 
dignity.  Not a shot was fired at him; no effort made to arrest him 
on his errand.  As he went, he spoke and even jested with the 
Samoans, and they answered in good part.  One fellow was leaping, 
yelling, and tossing his axe in the air, after the way of an 
excited islander.  "FAIMALOSI! go it!" said Hufnagel, and the 
fellow laughed and redoubled his exertions.  As soon as the boats 
entered the lagoon, fire was again opened from the woods.  The 
fifty blue-jackets jumped overboard, hove down the boats to be a 
shield, and dragged them towards the landing-place.  In this way, 
their rations, and (what was more unfortunate) some of their 
miserable provision of forty rounds got wetted; but the men came to 
shore and garrisoned the plantation house without a casualty.  
Meanwhile the sound of the firing from Sunga immediately renewed 
the hostilities at Fangalii.  The civilians on shore decided that 
Spengler must be at once guided to the house, and Haideln, the 
surveyor, accepted the dangerous errand.  Like Hufnagel, he was 
suffered to pass without question through the midst of these 
platonic enemies.  He found Spengler some way inland on a knoll, 
disastrously engaged, the woods around him filled with Samoans, who 
were continuously reinforced.  In three successive charges, 
cheering as they ran, the blue-jackets burst through their 
scattered opponents, and made good their junction with Jaeckel.  
Four men only remained upon the field, the other wounded being 
helped by their comrades or dragging themselves painfully along.

The force was now concentrated in the house and its immediate patch 
of garden.  Their rear, to the seaward, was unmolested; but on 
three sides they were beleaguered.  On the left, the Samoans 
occupied and fired from some of the plantation offices.  In front, 
a long rising crest of land in the horse-pasture commanded the 
house, and was lined with the assailants.  And on the right, the 
hedge of the same paddock afforded them a dangerous cover.  It was 
in this place that a Samoan sharpshooter was knocked over by 
Jaeckel with his own hand.  The fire was maintained by the Samoans 
in the usual wasteful style.  The roof was made a sieve; the balls 
passed clean through the house; Lieutenant Sieger, as he lay, 
already dying, on Hufnagel's bed, was despatched with a fresh 
wound.  The Samoans showed themselves extremely enterprising:  
pushed their lines forward, ventured beyond cover, and continually 
threatened to envelop the garden.  Thrice, at least, it was 
necessary to repel them by a sally.  The men were brought into the 
house from the rear, the front doors were thrown suddenly open, and 
the gallant blue-jackets issued cheering:  necessary, successful, 
but extremely costly sorties.  Neither could these be pushed far.  
The foes were undaunted; so soon as the sailors advanced at all 
deep in the horse-pasture, the Samoans began to close in upon both 
flanks; and the sally had to be recalled.  To add to the dangers of 
the German situation, ammunition began to run low; and the 
cartridge-boxes of the wounded and the dead had been already 
brought into use before, at about eight o'clock, the EBER steamed 
into the bay.  Her commander, Wallis, threw some shells into 
Letongo, one of which killed five men about their cooking-pot.  The 
Samoans began immediately to withdraw; their movements were 
hastened by a sortie, and the remains of the landing-party brought 
on board.  This was an unfortunate movement; it gave an 
irremediable air of defeat to what might have been else claimed for 
a moderate success.  The blue-jackets numbered a hundred and forty 
all told; they were engaged separately and fought under the worst 
conditions, in the dark and among woods; their position in the 
house was scarce tenable; they lost in killed and wounded fifty-
six, - forty per cent.; and their spirit to the end was above 
question.  Whether we think of the poor sailor lads, always so 
pleasantly behaved in times of peace, or whether we call to mind 
the behaviour of the two civilians, Haideln and Hufnagel, we can 
only regret that brave men should stand to be exposed upon so poor 
a quarrel, or lives cast away upon an enterprise so hopeless.

News of the affair reached Apia early, and Moors, always curious of 
these spectacles of war, was immediately in the saddle.  Near 
Matafangatele he met a Manono chief, whom he asked if there were 
any German dead.  "I think there are about thirty of them knocked 
over," said he.  "Have you taken their heads?" asked Moors.  "Yes," 
said the chief.  "Some foolish people did it, but I have stopped 
them.  We ought not to cut off their heads when they do not cut off 
ours."  He was asked what had been done with the heads.  "Two have 
gone to Mataafa," he replied, "and one is buried right under where 
your horse is standing, in a basket wrapped in tapa."  This was 
afterwards dug up, and I am told on native authority that, besides 
the three heads, two ears were taken.  Moors next asked the Manono 
man how he came to be going away.  "The man-of-war is throwing 
shells," said he.  "When they stopped firing out of the house, we 
stopped firing also; so it was as well to scatter when the shells 
began.  We could have killed all the white men.  I wish they had 
been Tamaseses."  This is an EX PARTE statement, and I give it for 
such; but the course of the affair, and in particular the 
adventures of Haideln and Hufnagel, testify to a surprising lack of 
animosity against the Germans.  About the same time or but a little 
earlier than this conversation, the same spirit was being 
displayed.  Hufnagel, with a party of labour, had gone out to bring 
in the German dead, when he was surprised to be suddenly fired on 
from the wood.  The boys he had with him were not negritos, but 
Polynesians from the Gilbert Islands; and he suddenly remembered 
that these might be easily mistaken for a detachment of Tamaseses.  
Bidding his boys conceal themselves in a thicket, this brave man 
walked into the open.  So soon as he was recognised, the firing 
ceased, and the labourers followed him in safety.  This is 
chivalrous war; but there was a side to it less chivalrous.  As 
Moors drew nearer to Vailele, he began to meet Samoans with hats, 
guns, and even shirts, taken from the German sailors.  With one of 
these who had a hat and a gun he stopped and spoke.  The hat was 
handed up for him to look at; it had the late owner's name on the 
inside.  "Where is he?" asked Moors.  "He is dead; I cut his head 
off."  "You shot him?"  "No, somebody else shot him in the hip.  
When I came, he put up his hands, and cried: 'Don't kill me; I am a 
Malietoa man.'  I did not believe him, and I cut his head off...... 
Have you any ammunition to fit that gun?"  "I do not know."  "What 
has become of the cartridge-belt?"  "Another fellow grabbed that 
and the cartridges, and he won't give them to me."  A dreadful and 
silly picture of barbaric war.  The words of the German sailor must 
be regarded as imaginary:  how was the poor lad to speak native, or 
the Samoan to understand German?  When Moors came as far as Sunga, 
the EBER was yet in the bay, the smoke of battle still lingered 
among the trees, which were themselves marked with a thousand 
bullet-wounds.  But the affair was over, the combatants, German and 
Samoan, were all gone, and only a couple of negrito labour boys 
lurked on the scene.  The village of Letongo beyond was equally 
silent; part of it was wrecked by the shells of the EBER, and still 
smoked; the inhabitants had fled.  On the beach were the native 
boats, perhaps five thousand dollars' worth, deserted by the 
Mataafas and over-looked by the Germans, in their common hurry to 
escape.  Still Moors held eastward by the sea-paths.  It was his 
hope to get a view from the other side of the promontory, towards 
Laulii.  In the way he found a house hidden in the wood and among 
rocks, where an aged and sick woman was being tended by her elderly 
daughter.  Last lingerers in that deserted piece of coast, they 
seemed indifferent to the events which had thus left them solitary, 
and, as the daughter said, did not know where Mataafa was, nor 
where Tamasese.

It is the official Samoan pretension that the Germans fired first 
at Fangalii.  In view of all German and some native testimony, the 
text of Fritze's orders, and the probabilities of the case, no 
honest mind will believe it for a moment.  Certainly the Samoans 
fired first.  As certainly they were betrayed into the engagement 
in the agitation of the moment, and it was not till afterwards that 
they understood what they had done.  Then, indeed, all Samoa drew a 
breath of wonder and delight.  The invincible had fallen; the men 
of the vaunted war-ships had been met in the field by the braves of 
Mataafa:  a superstition was no more.  Conceive this people 
steadily as schoolboys; and conceive the elation in any school if 
the head boy should suddenly arise and drive the rector from the 
schoolhouse.  I have received one instance of the feeling instantly 
aroused.  There lay at the time in the consular hospital an old 
chief who was a pet of the colonel's.  News reached him of the 
glorious event; he was sick, he thought himself sinking, sent for 
the colonel, and gave him his gun.  "Don't let the Germans get it," 
said the old gentleman, and having received a promise, was at 


KNAPPE, in the ADLER, with a flag of truce at the fore, was 
entering Laulii Bay when the EBER brought him the news of the 
night's reverse.  His heart was doubtless wrung for his young 
countrymen who had been butchered and mutilated in the dark woods, 
or now lay suffering, and some of them dying, on the ship.  And he 
must have been startled as he recognised his own position.  He had 
gone too far; he had stumbled into war, and, what was worse, into 
defeat; he had thrown away German lives for less than nothing, and 
now saw himself condemned either to accept defeat, or to kick and 
pummel his failure into something like success; either to accept 
defeat, or take frenzy for a counsellor.  Yesterday, in cold blood, 
he had judged it necessary to have the woods to the westward 
guarded lest the evacuation of Laulii should prove only the peril 
of Apia.  To-day, in the irritation and alarm of failure, he forgot 
or despised his previous reasoning, and, though his detachment was 
beat back to the ships, proceeded with the remainder of his maimed 
design.  The only change he made was to haul down the flag of 
truce.  He had now no wish to meet with Mataafa.  Words were out of 
season, shells must speak.

At this moment an incident befell him which must have been trying 
to his self-command.  The new American ship NIPSIC entered Laulii 
Bay; her commander, Mullan, boarded the ADLER to protest, succeeded 
in wresting from Knappe a period of delay in order that the women 
might be spared, and sent a lieutenant to Mataafa with a warning.  
The camp was already excited by the news and the trophies of 
Fangalii.  Already Tamasese and Lotoanuu seemed secondary 
objectives to the Germans and Apia.  Mullan's message put an end to 
hesitation.  Laulii was evacuated.  The troops streamed westward by 
the mountain side, and took up the same day a strong position about 
Tanungamanono and Mangiangi, some two miles behind Apia, which they 
threatened with the one hand, while with the other they continued 
to draw their supplies from the devoted plantations of the German 
firm.  Laulii, when it was shelled, was empty.  The British flags 
were, of course, fired upon; and I hear that one of them was struck 
down, but I think every one must be privately of the mind that it 
was fired upon and fell, in a place where it had little business to 
be shown.

Such was the military epilogue to the ill-judged adventure of 
Fangalii; it was difficult for failure to be more complete.  But 
the other consequences were of a darker colour and brought the 
whites immediately face to face in a spirit of ill-favoured 
animosity.  Knappe was mourning the defeat and death of his 
country-folk, he was standing aghast over the ruin of his own 
career, when Mullan boarded him.  The successor of Leary served 
himself, in that bitter moment, heir to Leary's part.  And in 
Mullan, Knappe saw more even than the successor of Leary, - he saw 
in him the representative of Klein.  Klein had hailed the praam 
from the rifle-pits; he had there uttered ill-chosen words, 
unhappily prophetic; it is even likely that he was present at the 
time of the first fire.  To accuse him of the design and conduct of 
the whole attack was but a step forward; his own vapouring served 
to corroborate the accusation; and it was not long before the 
German consulate was in possession of sworn native testimony in 
support.  The worth of native testimony is small, the worth of 
white testimony not overwhelming; and I am in the painful position 
of not being able to subscribe either to Klein's own account of the 
affair or to that of his accusers.  Klein was extremely flurried; 
his interest as a reporter must have tempted him at first to make 
the most of his share in the exploit, the immediate peril in which 
he soon found himself to stand must have at least suggested to him 
the idea of minimising it; one way and another, he is not a good 
witness.  As for the natives, they were no doubt cross-examined in 
that hall of terror, the German consulate, where they might be 
trusted to lie like schoolboys, or (if the reader prefer it) like 
Samoans.  By outside white testimony, it remains established for me 
that Klein returned to Apia either before or immediately after the 
first shots.  That he ever sought or was ever allowed a share in 
the command may be denied peremptorily; but it is more than likely 
that he expressed himself in an excited manner and with a highly 
inflammatory effect upon his hearers.  He was, at least, severely 
punished.  The Germans, enraged by his provocative behaviour and 
what they thought to be his German birth, demanded him to be tried 
before court-martial; he had to skulk inside the sentries of the 
American consulate, to be smuggled on board a war-ship, and to be 
carried almost by stealth out of the island; and what with the 
agitations of his mind, and the results of a marsh fever contracted 
in the lines of Mataafa, reached Honolulu a very proper object of 
commiseration.  Nor was Klein the only accused:  de Coetlogon was 
himself involved.  As the boats passed Matautu, Knappe declares a 
signal was made from the British consulate.  Perhaps we should 
rather read "from its neighbourhood"; since, in the general warding 
of the coast, the point of Matautu could scarce have been 
neglected.  On the other hand, there is no doubt that the Samoans, 
in the anxiety of that night of watching and fighting, crowded to 
the friendly consul for advice.  Late in the night, the wounded 
Siteoni, lying on the colonel's verandah, one corner of which had 
been blinded down that he might sleep, heard the coming and going 
of bare feet and the voices of eager consultation.  And long after, 
a man who had been discharged from the colonel's employment took 
upon himself to swear an affidavit as to the nature of the advice 
then given, and to carry the document to the German consul.  It was 
an act of private revenge; it fell long out of date in the good 
days of Dr. Stuebel, and had no result but to discredit the 
gentleman who volunteered it.  Colonel de Coetlogon had his faults, 
but they did not touch his honour; his bare word would always 
outweigh a waggon-load of such denunciations; and he declares his 
behaviour on that night to have been blameless.  The question was 
besides inquired into on the spot by Sir John Thurston, and the 
colonel honourably acquitted.  But during the weeks that were now 
to follow, Knappe believed the contrary; he believed not only that 
Moors and others had supplied ammunition and Klein commanded in the 
field, but that de Coetlogon had made the signal of attack; that 
though his blue-jackets had bled and fallen against the arms of 
Samoans, these were supplied, inspired, and marshalled by Americans 
and English.

The legend was the more easily believed because it embraced and was 
founded upon so much truth.  Germans lay dead, the German wounded 
groaned in their cots; and the cartridges by which they fell had 
been sold by an American and brought into the country in a British 
bottom.  Had the transaction been entirely mercenary, it would 
already have been hard to swallow; but it was notoriously not so.  
British and Americans were notoriously the partisans of Mataafa.  
They rejoiced in the result of Fangalii, and so far from seeking to 
conceal their rejoicing, paraded and displayed it.  Calumny ran 
high.  Before the dead were buried, while the wounded yet lay in 
pain and fever, cowardly accusations of cowardice were levelled at 
the German blue-jackets.  It was said they had broken and run 
before their enemies, and that they had huddled helpless like sheep 
in the plantation house.  Small wonder if they had; small wonder 
had they been utterly destroyed.  But the fact was heroically 
otherwise; and these dastard calumnies cut to the blood.  They are 
not forgotten; perhaps they will never be forgiven.

In the meanwhile, events were pressing towards a still more 
trenchant opposition.  On the 20th, the three consuls met and 
parted without agreement, Knappe announcing that he had lost men 
and must take the matter in his own hands to avenge their death.  
On the 21st the OLGA came before Matafangatele, ordered the 
delivery of all arms within the hour, and at the end of that 
period, none being brought, shelled and burned the village.  The 
shells fell for the most part innocuous; an eyewitness saw children 
at play beside the flaming houses; not a soul was injured; and the 
one noteworthy event was the mutilation of Captain Hamilton's 
American flag.  In one sense an incident too small to be 
chronicled, in another this was of historic interest and import.  
These rags of tattered bunting occasioned the display of a new 
sentiment in the United States; and the republic of the West, 
hitherto so apathetic and unwieldy, but already stung by German 
nonchalance, leaped to its feet for the first time at the news of 
this fresh insult.  As though to make the inefficiency of the war-
ships more apparent, three shells were thrown inland at Mangiangi; 
they flew high over the Mataafa camp, where the natives could "hear 
them singing" as they flew, and fell behind in the deep romantic 
valley of the Vaisingano.  Mataafa had been already summoned on 
board the ADLER; his life promised if he came, declared "in danger" 
if he came not; and he had declined in silence the unattractive 
invitation.  These fresh hostile acts showed him that the worst had 
come.  He was in strength, his force posted along the whole front 
of the mountain behind Apia, Matautu occupied, the Siumu road lined 
up to the houses of the town with warriors passionate for war.  The 
occasion was unique, and there is no doubt that he designed to 
seize it.  The same day of this bombardment, he sent word bidding 
all English and Americans wear a black band upon their arm, so that 
his men should recognise and spare them.  The hint was taken, and 
the band worn for a continuance of days.  To have refused would 
have been insane; but to consent was unhappily to feed the 
resentment of the Germans by a fresh sign of intelligence with 
their enemies, and to widen the breach between the races by a fresh 
and a scarce pardonable mark of their division.  The same day again 
the Germans repeated one of their earlier offences by firing on a 
boat within the harbour.  Times were changed; they were now at war 
and in peril, the rigour of military advantage might well be seized 
by them and pardoned by others; but it so chanced that the bullets 
flew about the ears of Captain Hand, and that commander is said to 
have been insatiable of apologies.  The affair, besides, had a 
deplorable effect on the inhabitants.  A black band (they saw) 
might protect them from the Mataafas, not from undiscriminating 
shots.  Panic ensued.  The war-ships were open to receive the 
fugitives, and the gentlemen who had made merry over Fangalii were 
seen to thrust each other from the wharves in their eagerness to 
flee Apia.  I willingly drop the curtain on the shameful picture.

Meanwhile, on the German side of the bay, a more manly spirit was 
exhibited in circumstances of alarming weakness.  The plantation 
managers and overseers had all retreated to Matafele, only one (I 
understand) remaining at his post.  The whole German colony was 
thus collected in one spot, and could count and wonder at its 
scanty numbers.  Knappe declares (to my surprise) that the warships 
could not spare him more than fifty men a day.  The great extension 
of the German quarter, he goes on, did not "allow a full occupation 
of the outer line"; hence they had shrunk into the western end by 
the firm buildings, and the inhabitants were warned to fall back on 
this position, in the case of an alert.  So that he who had set 
forth, a day or so before, to disarm the Mataafas in the open 
field, now found his resources scarce adequate to garrison the 
buildings of the firm.  But Knappe seemed unteachable by fate.  It 
is probable he thought he had

"Already waded in so deep,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er";

it is certain that he continued, on the scene of his defeat and in 
the midst of his weakness, to bluster and menace like a conqueror.  
Active war, which he lacked the means of attempting, was 
continually threatened.  On the 22nd he sought the aid of his 
brother consuls to maintain the neutral territory against Mataafa; 
and at the same time, as though meditating instant deeds of 
prowess, refused to be bound by it himself.  This singular 
proposition was of course refused:  Blacklock remarking that he had 
no fear of the natives, if these were let alone; de Coetlogon 
refusing in the circumstances to recognise any neutral territory at 
all.  In vain Knappe amended and baited his proposal with the offer 
of forty-eight or ninety-six hours' notice, according as his 
objective should be near or within the boundary of the ELEELE SA.  
It was rejected; and he learned that he must accept war with all 
its consequences - and not that which he desired - war with the 
immunities of peace.

This monstrous exigence illustrates the man's frame of mind.  It 
has been still further illuminated in the German white-book by 
printing alongside of his despatches those of the unimpassioned 
Fritze.  On January 8th the consulate was destroyed by fire.  
Knappe says it was the work of incendiaries, "without doubt"; 
Fritze admits that "everything seems to show" it was an accident.  
"Tamasese's people fit to bear arms," writes Knappe, "are certainly 
for the moment equal to Mataafa's," though restrained from battle 
by the lack of ammunition.  "As for Tamasese," says Fritze of the 
same date, "he is now but a phantom - DIENT ER NUR ALS GESPENST.  
His party, for practical purposes, is no longer large.  They 
pretend ammunition to be lacking, but what they lack most is good-
will.  Captain Brandeis, whose influence is now small, declares 
they can no longer sustain a serious engagement, and is himself in 
the intention of leaving Samoa by the LUBECK of the 5th February."  
And Knappe, in the same despatch, confutes himself and confirms the 
testimony of his naval colleague, by the admission that "the re-
establishment of Tamasese's government is, under present 
circumstances, not to be thought of."  Plainly, then, he was not so 
much seeking to deceive others, as he was himself possessed; and we 
must regard the whole series of his acts and despatches as the 
agitations of a fever.

The British steamer RICHMOND returned to Apia, January 15th.  On 
the last voyage she had brought the ammunition already so 
frequently referred to; as a matter of fact, she was again bringing 
contraband of war.  It is necessary to be explicit upon this, which 
served as spark to so great a flame of scandal.  Knappe was 
justified in interfering; he would have been worthy of all 
condemnation if he had neglected, in his posture of semi-
investment, a precaution so elementary; and the manner in which he 
set about attempting it was conciliatory and almost timid.  He 
applied to Captain Hand, and begged him to accept himself the duty 
of "controlling" the discharge of the RICHMOND'S cargo.  Hand was 
unable to move without his consul; and at night an armed boat from 
the Germans boarded, searched, and kept possession of, the 
suspected ship.  The next day, as by an after-thought, war and 
martial law were proclaimed for the Samoan Islands, the 
introduction of contraband of war forbidden, and ships and boats 
declared liable to search.  "All support of the rebels will be 
punished by martial law," continued the proclamation, "no matter to 
what nationality the person [THATER] may belong."

Hand, it has been seen, declined to act in the matter of the 
RICHMOND without the concurrence of his consul; but I have found no 
evidence that either Hand or Knappe communicated with de Coetlogon, 
with whom they were both at daggers drawn.  First the seizure and 
next the proclamation seem to have burst on the English consul from 
a clear sky; and he wrote on the same day, throwing doubt on 
Knappe's authority to declare war.  Knappe replied on the 20th that 
the Imperial German Government had been at war as a matter of fact 
since December 19th, and that it was only for the convenience of 
the subjects of other states that he had been empowered to make a 
formal declaration.  "From that moment," he added, "martial law 
prevails in Samoa."  De Coetlogon instantly retorted, declining 
martial law for British subjects, and announcing a proclamation in 
that sense.  Instantly, again, came that astonishing document, 
Knappe's rejoinder, without pause, without reflection - the pens 
screeching on the paper, the messengers (you would think) running 
from consulate to consulate: "I have had the honour to receive your 
Excellency's [HOCHWOHLGEBOREN] agreeable communication of to-day.  
Since, on the ground of received instructions, martial law has been 
declared in Samoa, British subjects as well as others fall under 
its application.  I warn you therefore to abstain from such a 
proclamation as you announce in your letter.  It will be such a 
piece of business as shall make yourself answerable under martial 
law.  Besides, your proclamation will be disregarded."  De 
Coetlogon of course issued his proclamation at once, Knappe 
retorted with another, and night closed on the first stage of this 
insane collision.  I hear the German consul was on this day 
prostrated with fever; charity at least must suppose him hardly 
answerable for his language.

Early on the 21st, Mr. Mansfield Gallien, a passing traveller, was 
seized in his berth on board the RICHMOND, and carried, half-
dressed, on board a German war-ship.  His offence was, in the 
circumstances and after the proclamation, substantial.  He had gone 
the day before, in the spirit of a tourist to Mataafa's camp, had 
spoken with the king, and had even recommended him an appeal to Sir 
George Grey.  Fritze, I gather, had been long uneasy; this arrest 
on board a British ship fitted the measure.  Doubtless, as he had 
written long before, the consul alone was responsible "on the legal 
side"; but the captain began to ask himself, "What next?" - 
telegraphed direct home for instructions, "Is arrest of foreigners 
on foreign vessels legal?" - and was ready, at a word from Captain 
Hand, to discharge his dangerous prisoner.  The word in question 
(so the story goes) was not without a kind of wit.  "I wish you 
would set that man ashore," Hand is reported to have said, 
indicating Gallien; "I wish you would set that man ashore, to save 
me the trouble."  The same day de Coetlogon published a 
proclamation requesting captains to submit to search for contraband 
of war.

On the 22nd the SAMOA TIMES AND SOUTH SEA ADVERTISER was suppressed 
by order of Fritze.  I have hitherto refrained from mentioning the 
single paper of our islands, that I might deal with it once for 
all.  It is of course a tiny sheet; but I have often had occasion 
to wonder at the ability of its articles, and almost always at the 
decency of its tone.  Officials may at times be a little roughly, 
and at times a little captiously, criticised; private persons are 
habitually respected; and there are many papers in England, and 
still more in the States, even of leading organs in chief cities, 
that might envy, and would do well to imitate, the courtesy and 
discretion of the SAMOA TIMES.  Yet the editor, Cusack, is only an 
amateur in journalism, and a carpenter by trade.  His chief fault 
is one perhaps inevitable in so small a place - that he seems a 
little in the leading of a clique; but his interest in the public 
weal is genuine and generous.  One man's meat is another man's 
poison:  Anglo-Saxons and Germans have been differently brought up. 
To our galled experience the paper appears moderate; to their 
untried sensations it seems violent.  We think a public man fair 
game; we think it a part of his duty, and I am told he finds it a 
part of his reward, to be continually canvassed by the press.  For 
the Germans, on the other hand, an official wears a certain 
sacredness; when he is called over the coals, they are shocked, and 
(if the official be a German) feel that Germany itself has been 
insulted.  The SAMOA TIMES had been long a mountain of offence.  
Brandeis had imported from the colonies another printer of the name 
of Jones, to deprive Cusack of the government printing.  German 
sailors had come ashore one day, wild with offended patriotism, to 
punish the editor with stripes, and the result was delightfully 
amusing.  The champions asked for the English printer.  They were 
shown the wrong man, and the blows intended for Cusack had hailed 
on the shoulders of his rival Jones.  On the 12th, Cusack had 
reprinted an article from a San Francisco paper; the Germans had 
complained; and de Coetlogon, in a moment of weakness, had fined 
the editor twenty pounds.  The judgment was afterwards reversed in 
Fiji; but even at the time it had not satisfied the Germans.  And 
so now, on the third day of martial law, the paper was suppressed.  
Here we have another of these international obscurities.  To Fritze 
the step seemed natural and obvious; for Anglo-Saxons it was a hand 
laid upon the altar; and the month was scarce out before the voice 
of Senator Frye announced to his colleagues that free speech had 
been suppressed in Samoa.

Perhaps we must seek some similar explanation for Fritze's short-
lived code, published and withdrawn the next day, the 23rd.  Fritze 
himself was in no humour for extremities.  He was much in the 
position of a lieutenant who should perceive his captain urging the 
ship upon the rocks.  It is plain he had lost all confidence in his 
commanding officer "upon the legal side"; and we find him writing 
home with anxious candour.  He had understood that martial law 
implied military possession; he was in military possession of 
nothing but his ship, and shrewdly suspected that his martial 
jurisdiction should be confined within the same limits.  "As a 
matter of fact," he writes, "we do not occupy the territory, and 
cannot give foreigners the necessary protection, because Mataafa 
and his people can at any moment forcibly interrupt me in my 
jurisdiction."  Yet in the eyes of Anglo-Saxons the severity of his 
code appeared burlesque.  I give but three of its provisions.  The 
crime of inciting German troops "by any means, as, for instance, 
informing them of proclamations by the enemy," was punishable with 
death; that of "publishing or secretly distributing anything, 
whether printed or written, bearing on the war," with prison or 
deportation; and that of calling or attending a public meeting, 
unless permitted, with the same.  Such were the tender mercies of 
Knappe, lurking in the western end of the German quarter, where 
Mataafa could "at any moment" interrupt his jurisdiction.

On the 22nd (day of the suppression of the TIMES) de Coetlogon 
wrote to inquire if hostilities were intended against Great 
Britain, which Knappe on the same day denied.  On the 23rd de 
Coetlogon sent a complaint of hostile acts, such as the armed and 
forcible entry of the RICHMOND before the declaration and arrest of 
Gallien.  In his reply, dated the 24th, Knappe took occasion to 
repeat, although now with more self-command, his former threat 
against de Coetlogon.  "I am still of the opinion," he writes, 
"that even foreign consuls are liable to the application of martial 
law, if they are guilty of offences against the belligerent state."  
The same day (24th) de Coetlogon complained that Fletcher, manager 
for Messrs. MacArthur, had been summoned by Fritze.  In answer, 
Knappe had "the honour to inform your Excellency that since the 
declaration of the state of war, British subjects are liable to 
martial law, and Mr. Fletcher will be arrested if he does not 
appear."  Here, then, was the gauntlet thrown down, and de 
Coetlogon was burning to accept it.  Fletcher's offence was this.  
Upon the 22nd a steamer had come in from Wellington, specially 
chartered to bring German despatches to Apia.  The rumour came 
along with her from New Zealand that in these despatches Knappe 
would find himself rebuked, and Fletcher was accused of having 
"interested himself in the spreading of this rumour."  His arrest 
was actually ordered, when Hand succeeded in persuading him to 
surrender.  At the German court, the case was dismissed "WEGEN 
NICHTIGKEIT"; and the acute stage of these distempers may be said 
to have ended.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  Hand had perhaps 
averted a collision.  What is more certain, he had offered to the 
world a perfectly original reading of the part of British seaman.

Hand may have averted a collision, I say; but I am tempted to 
believe otherwise.  I am tempted to believe the threat to arrest 
Fletcher was the last mutter of the declining tempest and a mere 
sop to Knappe's self-respect.  I am tempted to believe the rumour 
in question was substantially correct, and the steamer from 
Wellington had really brought the German consul grounds for 
hesitation, if not orders to retreat.  I believe the unhappy man to 
have awakened from a dream, and to have read ominous writing on the 
wall.  An enthusiastic popularity surrounded him among the Germans.  
It was natural.  Consul and colony had passed through an hour of 
serious peril, and the consul had set the example of undaunted 
courage.  He was entertained at dinner.  Fritze, who was known to 
have secretly opposed him, was scorned and avoided.  But the clerks 
of the German firm were one thing, Prince Bismarck was another; and 
on a cold review of these events, it is not improbable that Knappe 
may have envied the position of his naval colleague.  It is 
certain, at least, that he set himself to shuffle and capitulate; 
and when the blow fell, he was able to reply that the martial law 
business had in the meanwhile come right; that the English and 
American consular courts stood open for ordinary cases and that in 
different conversations with Captain Hand, "who has always 
maintained friendly intercourse with the German authorities," it 
had been repeatedly explained that only the supply of weapons and 
ammunition, or similar aid and support, was to come under German 
martial law.  Was it weapons or ammunition that Fletcher had 
supplied?  But it is unfair to criticise these wrigglings of an 
unfortunate in a false position.

In a despatch of the 23rd, which has not been printed, Knappe had 
told his story:  how he had declared war, subjected foreigners to 
martial law, and been received with a counter-proclamation by the 
English consul; and how (in an interview with Mataafa chiefs at the 
plantation house of Motuotua, of which I cannot find the date) he 
had demanded the cession of arms and of ringleaders for punishment, 
and proposed to assume the government of the islands.  On February 
12th he received Bismarck's answer: "You had no right to take 
foreigners from the jurisdiction of their consuls.  The protest of 
your English colleague is grounded.  In disputes which may arise 
from this cause you will find yourself in the wrong.  The demand 
formulated by you, as to the assumption of the government of Samoa 
by Germany, lay outside of your instructions and of our design.  
Take it immediately back.  If your telegram is here rightly 
understood, I cannot call your conduct good."  It must be a hard 
heart that does not sympathise with Knappe in the hour when he 
received this document.  Yet it may be said that his troubles were 
still in the beginning.  Men had contended against him, and he had 
not prevailed; he was now to be at war with the elements, and find 
his name identified with an immense disaster.

One more date, however, must be given first.  It was on February 
27th that Fritze formally announced martial law to be suspended, 
and himself to have relinquished the control of the police.

MARCH 1889

THE so-called harbour of Apia is formed in part by a recess of the 
coast-line at Matautu, in part by the slim peninsula of Mulinuu, 
and in part by the fresh waters of the Mulivai and Vaisingano.  The 
barrier reef - that singular breakwater that makes so much of the 
circuit of Pacific islands - is carried far to sea at Matautu and 
Mulinuu; inside of these two horns it runs sharply landward, and 
between them it is burst or dissolved by the fresh water.  The 
shape of the enclosed anchorage may be compared to a high-
shouldered jar or bottle with a funnel mouth.  Its sides are almost 
everywhere of coral; for the reef not only bounds it to seaward and 
forms the neck and mouth, but skirting about the beach, it forms 
the bottom also.  As in the bottle of commerce, the bottom is re-
entrant, and the shore-reef runs prominently forth into the basin 
and makes a dangerous cape opposite the fairway of the entrance.  
Danger is, therefore, on all hands.  The entrance gapes three 
cables wide at the narrowest, and the formidable surf of the 
Pacific thunders both outside and in.  There are days when speech 
is difficult in the chambers of shore-side houses; days when no 
boat can land, and when men are broken by stroke of sea against the 
wharves.  As I write these words, three miles in the mountains, and 
with the land-breeze still blowing from the island summit, the 
sound of that vexed harbour hums in my ears.  Such a creek in my 
native coast of Scotland would scarce be dignified with the mark of 
an anchor in the chart; but in the favoured climate of Samoa, and 
with the mechanical regularity of the winds in the Pacific, it 
forms, for ten or eleven months out of the twelve, a safe if hardly 
a commodious port.  The ill-found island traders ride there with 
their insufficient moorings the year through, and discharge, and 
are loaded, without apprehension.  Of danger, when it comes, the 
glass gives timely warning; and that any modern warship, furnished 
with the power of steam, should have been lost in Apia, belongs not 
so much to nautical as to political history.

The weather throughout all that winter (the turbulent summer of the 
islands) was unusually fine, and the circumstance had been 
commented on as providential, when so many Samoans were lying on 
their weapons in the bush.  By February it began to break in 
occasional gales.  On February 10th a German brigantine was driven 
ashore.  On the 14th the same misfortune befell an American 
brigantine and a schooner.  On both these days, and again on the 
7th March, the men-of-war must steam to their anchors.  And it was 
in this last month, the most dangerous of the twelve, that man's 
animosities crowded that indentation of the reef with costly, 
populous, and vulnerable ships.

I have shown, perhaps already at too great a length, how violently 
passion ran upon the spot; how high this series of blunders and 
mishaps had heated the resentment of the Germans against all other 
nationalities and of all other nationalities against the Germans.  
But there was one country beyond the borders of Samoa where the 
question had aroused a scarce less angry sentiment.  The breach of 
the Washington Congress, the evidence of Sewall before a sub-
committee on foreign relations, the proposal to try Klein before a 
military court, and the rags of Captain Hamilton's flag, had 
combined to stir the people of the States to an unwonted fervour.  
Germany was for the time the abhorred of nations.  Germans in 
America publicly disowned the country of their birth.  In Honolulu, 
so near the scene of action, German and American young men fell to 
blows in the street.  In the same city, from no traceable source, 
and upon no possible authority, there arose a rumour of tragic news 
to arrive by the next occasion, that the NIPSIC had opened fire on 
the ADLER, and the ADLER had sunk her on the first reply.  
Punctually on the day appointed, the news came; and the two 
nations, instead of being plunged into war, could only mingle tears 
over the loss of heroes.

By the second week in March three American ships were in Apia bay, 
- the NIPSIC, the VANDALIA, and the TRENTON, carrying the flag of 
Rear-Admiral Kimberley; three German, - the ADLER, the EBER, and 
the OLGA; and one British, - the CALLIOPE, Captain Kane.  Six 
merchant-men, ranging from twenty-five up to five hundred tons, and 
a number of small craft, further encumbered the anchorage.  Its 
capacity is estimated by Captain Kane at four large ships; and the 
latest arrivals, the VANDALIA and TRENTON, were in consequence 
excluded, and lay without in the passage.  Of the seven war-ships, 
the seaworthiness of two was questionable:  the TRENTON'S, from an 
original defect in her construction, often reported, never remedied 
- her hawse-pipes leading in on the berth-deck; the EBER'S, from an 
injury to her screw in the blow of February 14th.  In this 
overcrowding of ships in an open entry of the reef, even the eye of 
the landsman could spy danger; and Captain-Lieutenant Wallis of the 
EBER openly blamed and lamented, not many hours before the 
catastrophe, their helpless posture.  Temper once more triumphed.  
The army of Mataafa still hung imminent behind the town; the German 
quarter was still daily garrisoned with fifty sailors from the 
squadron; what was yet more influential, Germany and the States, at 
least in Apia bay, were on the brink of war, viewed each other with 
looks of hatred, and scarce observed the letter of civility.  On 
the day of the admiral's arrival, Knappe failed to call on him, and 
on the morrow called on him while he was on shore.  The slight was 
remarked and resented, and the two squadrons clung more obstinately 
to their dangerous station.

On the 15th the barometer fell to 29.11 in. by 2 P.M.  This was the 
moment when every sail in port should have escaped.  Kimberley, who 
flew the only broad pennant, should certainly have led the way:  he 
clung, instead, to his moorings, and the Germans doggedly followed 
his example:  semi-belligerents, daring each other and the violence 
of heaven.  Kane, less immediately involved, was led in error by 
the report of residents and a fallacious rise in the glass; he 
stayed with the others, a misjudgment that was like to cost him 
dear.  All were moored, as is the custom in Apia, with two anchors 
practically east and west, clear hawse to the north, and a kedge 
astern.  Topmasts were struck, and the ships made snug.  The night 
closed black, with sheets of rain.  By midnight it blew a gale; and 
by the morning watch, a tempest.  Through what remained of 
darkness, the captains impatiently expected day, doubtful if they 
were dragging, steaming gingerly to their moorings, and afraid to 
steam too much.

Day came about six, and presented to those on shore a seizing and 
terrific spectacle.  In the pressure of the squalls the bay was 
obscured as if by midnight, but between them a great part of it was 
clearly if darkly visible amid driving mist and rain.  The wind 
blew into the harbour mouth.  Naval authorities describe it as of 
hurricane force.  It had, however, few or none of the effects on 
shore suggested by that ominous word, and was successfully 
withstood by trees and buildings.  The agitation of the sea, on the 
other hand, surpassed experience and description.  Seas that might 
have awakened surprise and terror in the midst of the Atlantic 
ranged bodily and (it seemed to observers) almost without 
diminution into the belly of that flask-shaped harbour; and the 
war-ships were alternately buried from view in the trough, or seen 
standing on end against the breast of billows.

The TRENTON at daylight still maintained her position in the neck 
of the bottle.  But five of the remaining ships tossed, already 
close to the bottom, in a perilous and helpless crowd; threatening 
ruin to each other as they tossed; threatened with a common and 
imminent destruction on the reefs.  Three had been already in 
collision:  the OLGA was injured in the quarter, the ADLER had lost 
her bowsprit; the NIPSIC had lost her smoke-stack, and was making 
steam with difficulty, maintaining her fire with barrels of pork, 
and the smoke and sparks pouring along the level of the deck.  For 
the seventh war-ship the day had come too late; the EBER had 
finished her last cruise; she was to be seen no more save by the 
eyes of divers.  A coral reef is not only an instrument of 
destruction, but a place of sepulchre; the submarine cliff is 
profoundly undercut, and presents the mouth of a huge antre in 
which the bodies of men and the hulls of ships are alike hurled 
down and buried.  The EBER had dragged anchors with the rest; her 
injured screw disabled her from steaming vigorously up; and a 
little before day she had struck the front of the coral, come off, 
struck again, and gone down stern foremost, oversetting as she 
went, into the gaping hollow of the reef.  Of her whole complement 
of nearly eighty, four souls were cast alive on the beach; and the 
bodies of the remainder were, by the voluminous outpouring of the 
flooded streams, scoured at last from the harbour, and strewed 
naked on the seaboard of the island.

Five ships were immediately menaced with the same destruction.  The 
EBER vanished - the four poor survivors on shore - read a dreadful 
commentary on their danger; which was swelled out of all proportion 
by the violence of their own movements as they leaped and fell 
among the billows.  By seven the NIPSIC was so fortunate as to 
avoid the reef and beach upon a space of sand; where she was 
immediately deserted by her crew, with the assistance of Samoans, 
not without loss of life.  By about eight it was the turn of the 
ADLER.  She was close down upon the reef; doomed herself, it might 
yet be possible to save a portion of her crew; and for this end 
Captain Fritze placed his reliance on the very hugeness of the seas 
that threatened him.  The moment was watched for with the anxiety 
of despair, but the coolness of disciplined courage.  As she rose 
on the fatal wave, her moorings were simultaneously slipped; she 
broached to in rising; and the sea heaved her bodily upward and 
cast her down with a concussion on the summit of the reef, where 
she lay on her beam-ends, her back broken, buried in breaching 
seas, but safe.  Conceive a table:  the EBER in the darkness had 
been smashed against the rim and flung below; the ADLER, cast free 
in the nick of opportunity, had been thrown upon the top.  Many 
were injured in the concussion; many tossed into the water; twenty 
perished.  The survivors crept again on board their ship, as it now 
lay, and as it still remains, keel to the waves, a monument of the 
sea's potency.  In still weather, under a cloudless sky, in those 
seasons when that ill-named ocean, the Pacific, suffers its vexed 
shores to rest, she lies high and dry, the spray scarce touching 
her - the hugest structure of man's hands within a circuit of a 
thousand miles - tossed up there like a schoolboy's cap upon a 
shelf; broken like an egg; a thing to dream of.

The unfriendly consuls of Germany and Britain were both that 
morning in Matautu, and both displayed their nobler qualities.  De 
Coetlogon, the grim old soldier, collected his family and kneeled 
with them in an agony of prayer for those exposed.  Knappe, more 
fortunate in that he was called to a more active service, must, 
upon the striking of the ADLER, pass to his own consulate.  From 
this he was divided by the Vaisingano, now a raging torrent, 
impetuously charioting the trunks of trees.  A kelpie might have 
dreaded to attempt the passage; we may conceive this brave but 
unfortunate and now ruined man to have found a natural joy in the 
exposure of his life; and twice that day, coming and going, he 
braved the fury of the river.  It was possible, in spite of the 
darkness of the hurricane and the continual breaching of the seas, 
to remark human movements on the ADLER; and by the help of Samoans, 
always nobly forward in the work, whether for friend or enemy, 
Knappe sought long to get a line conveyed from shore, and was for 
long defeated.  The shore guard of fifty men stood to their arms 
the while upon the beach, useless themselves, and a great deterrent 
of Samoan usefulness.  It was perhaps impossible that this mistake 
should be avoided.  What more natural, to the mind of a European, 
than that the Mataafas should fall upon the Germans in this hour of 
their disadvantage?  But they had no other thought than to assist; 
and those who now rallied beside Knappe braved (as they supposed) 
in doing so a double danger, from the fury of the sea and the 
weapons of their enemies.  About nine, a quarter-master swam 
ashore, and reported all the officers and some sixty men alive but 
in pitiable case; some with broken limbs, others insensible from 
the drenching of the breakers.  Later in the forenoon, certain 
valorous Samoans succeeded in reaching the wreck and returning with 
a line; but it was speedily broken; and all subsequent attempts 
proved unavailing, the strongest adventurers being cast back again 
by the bursting seas.  Thenceforth, all through that day and night, 
the deafened survivors must continue to endure their martyrdom; and 
one officer died, it was supposed from agony of mind, in his 
inverted cabin.

Three ships still hung on the next margin of destruction, steaming 
desperately to their moorings, dashed helplessly together.  The 
CALLIOPE was the nearest in; she had the VANDALIA close on her port 
side and a little ahead, the OLGA close a-starboard, the reef under 
her heel; and steaming and veering on her cables, the unhappy ship 
fenced with her three dangers.  About a quarter to nine she carried 
away the VANDALIA'S quarter gallery with her jib-boom; a moment 
later, the OLGA had near rammed her from the other side.  By nine 
the VANDALIA dropped down on her too fast to be avoided, and 
clapped her stern under the bowsprit of the English ship, the 
fastenings of which were burst asunder as she rose.  To avoid 
cutting her down, it was necessary for the CALLIOPE to stop and 
even to reverse her engines; and her rudder was at the moment - or 
it seemed so to the eyes of those on board - within ten feet of the 
reef.  "Between the VANDALIA and the reef" (writes Kane, in his 
excellent report) "it was destruction."  To repeat Fritze's 
manoeuvre with the ADLER was impossible; the CALLIOPE was too 
heavy.  The one possibility of escape was to go out.  If the 
engines should stand, if they should have power to drive the ship 
against wind and sea, if she should answer the helm, if the wheel, 
rudder, and gear should hold out, and if they were favoured with a 
clear blink of weather in which to see and avoid the outer reef - 
there, and there only, were safety.  Upon this catalogue of "ifs" 
Kane staked his all.  He signalled to the engineer for every pound 
of steam - and at that moment (I am told) much of the machinery was 
already red-hot.  The ship was sheered well to starboard of the 
VANDALIA, the last remaining cable slipped.  For a time - and there 
was no onlooker so cold-blooded as to offer a guess at its duration 
- the CALLIOPE lay stationary; then gradually drew ahead.  The 
highest speed claimed for her that day is of one sea-mile an hour.  
The question of times and seasons, throughout all this roaring 
business, is obscured by a dozen contradictions; I have but chosen 
what appeared to be the most consistent; but if I am to pay any 
attention to the time named by Admiral Kimberley, the CALLIOPE, in 
this first stage of her escape, must have taken more than two hours 
to cover less than four cables.  As she thus crept seaward, she 
buried bow and stem alternately under the billows.

In the fairway of the entrance the flagship TRENTON still held on.  
Her rudder was broken, her wheel carried away; within she was 
flooded with water from the peccant hawse-pipes; she had just made 
the signal "fires extinguished," and lay helpless, awaiting the 
inevitable end.  Between this melancholy hulk and the external reef 
Kane must find a path.  Steering within fifty yards of the reef 
(for which she was actually headed) and her foreyard passing on the 
other hand over the TRENTON'S quarter as she rolled, the CALLIOPE 
sheered between the rival dangers, came to the wind triumphantly, 
and was once more pointed for the sea and safety.  Not often in 
naval history was there a moment of more sickening peril, and it 
was dignified by one of those incidents that reconcile the 
chronicler with his otherwise abhorrent task.  From the doomed 
flagship the Americans hailed the success of the English with a 
cheer.  It was led by the old admiral in person, rang out over the 
storm with holiday vigour, and was answered by the Calliopes with 
an emotion easily conceived.  This ship of their kinsfolk was 
almost the last external object seen from the CALLIOPE for hours; 
immediately after, the mists closed about her till the morrow.  She 
was safe at sea again - UNA DE MULTIS - with a damaged foreyard, 
and a loss of all the ornamental work about her bow and stern, 
three anchors, one kedge-anchor, fourteen lengths of chain, four 
boats, the jib-boom, bobstay, and bands and fastenings of the 

Shortly after Kane had slipped his cable, Captain Schoonmaker, 
despairing of the VANDALIA, succeeded in passing astern of the 
OLGA, in the hope to beach his ship beside the NIPSIC.  At a 
quarter to eleven her stern took the reef, her hand swung to 
starboard, and she began to fill and settle.  Many lives of brave 
men were sacrificed in the attempt to get a line ashore; the 
captain, exhausted by his exertions, was swept from deck by a sea; 
and the rail being soon awash, the survivors took refuge in the 

Out of thirteen that had lain there the day before, there were now 
but two ships afloat in Apia harbour, and one of these was doomed 
to be the bane of the other.  About 3 P.M. the TRENTON parted one 
cable, and shortly after a second.  It was sought to keep her head 
to wind with storm-sails and by the ingenious expedient of filling 
the rigging with seamen; but in the fury of the gale, and in that 
sea, perturbed alike by the gigantic billows and the volleying 
discharges of the rivers, the rudderless ship drove down stern 
foremost into the inner basin; ranging, plunging, and striking like 
a frightened horse; drifting on destruction for herself and 
bringing it to others.  Twice the OLGA (still well under command) 
avoided her impact by the skilful use of helm and engines.  But 
about four the vigilance of the Germans was deceived, and the ships 
collided; the OLGA cutting into the TRENTON'S quarters, first from 
one side, then from the other, and losing at the same time two of 
her own cables.  Captain von Ehrhardt instantly slipped the 
remainder of his moorings, and setting fore and aft canvas, and 
going full steam ahead, succeeded in beaching his ship in Matautu; 
whither Knappe, recalled by this new disaster, had returned.  The 
berth was perhaps the best in the harbour, and von Ehrhardt 
signalled that ship and crew were in security.

The TRENTON, guided apparently by an under-tow or eddy from the 
discharge of the Vaisingano, followed in the course of the NIPSIC 
and VANDALIA, and skirted south-eastward along the front of the 
shore reef, which her keel was at times almost touching.  Hitherto 
she had brought disaster to her foes; now she was bringing it to 
friends.  She had already proved the ruin of the OLGA, the one ship 
that had rid out the hurricane in safety; now she beheld across her 
course the submerged VANDALIA, the tops filled with exhausted 
seamen.  Happily the approach of the TRENTON was gradual, and the 
time employed to advantage.  Rockets and lines were thrown into the 
tops of the friendly wreck; the approach of danger was transformed 
into a means of safety; and before the ships struck, the men from 
the VANDALIA'S main and mizzen masts, which went immediately by the 
board in the collision, were already mustered on the TRENTON'S 
decks.  Those from the foremast were next rescued; and the flagship 
settled gradually into a position alongside her neighbour, against 
which she beat all night with violence.  Out of the crew of the 
VANDALIA forty-three had perished; of the four hundred and fifty on 
board the TRENTON, only one.

The night of the 16th was still notable for a howling tempest and 
extraordinary floods of rain.  It was feared the wreck could scarce 
continue to endure the breaching of the seas; among the Germans, 
the fate of those on board the ADLER awoke keen anxiety; and 
Knappe, on the beach of Matautu, and the other officers of his 
consulate on that of Matafele, watched all night.  The morning of 
the 17th displayed a scene of devastation rarely equalled:  the 
ADLER high and dry, the OLGA and NIPSIC beached, the TRENTON partly 
piled on the VANDALIA and herself sunk to the gun-deck; no sail 
afloat; and the beach heaped high with the DEBRIS of ships and the 
wreck of mountain forests.  Already, before the day, Seumanu, the 
chief of Apia, had gallantly ventured forth by boat through the 
subsiding fury of the seas, and had succeeded in communicating with 
the admiral; already, or as soon after as the dawn permitted, 
rescue lines were rigged, and the survivors were with difficulty 
and danger begun to be brought to shore.  And soon the cheerful 
spirit of the admiral added a new feature to the scene.  Surrounded 
as he was by the crews of two wrecked ships, he paraded the band of 
the TRENTON, and the bay was suddenly enlivened with the strains of 
"Hail Columbia."

During a great part of the day the work of rescue was continued, 
with many instances of courage and devotion; and for a long time 
succeeding, the almost inexhaustible harvest of the beach was to be 
reaped.  In the first employment, the Samoans earned the gratitude 
of friend and foe; in the second, they surprised all by an 
unexpected virtue, that of honesty.  The greatness of the disaster, 
and the magnitude of the treasure now rolling at their feet, may 
perhaps have roused in their bosoms an emotion too serious for the 
rule of greed, or perhaps that greed was for the moment satiated.  
Sails that twelve strong Samoans could scarce drag from the water, 
great guns (one of which was rolled by the sea on the body of a 
man, the only native slain in all the hurricane), an infinite 
wealth of rope and wood, of tools and weapons, tossed upon the 
beach.  Yet I have never heard that much was stolen; and beyond 
question, much was very honestly returned.  On both accounts, for 
the saving of life and the restoration of property, the government 
of the United States showed themselves generous in reward.  A fine 
boat was fitly presented to Seumanu; and rings, watches, and money 
were lavished on all who had assisted.  The Germans also gave money 
at the rate (as I receive the tale) of three dollars a head for 
every German saved.  The obligation was in this instance 
incommensurably deep, those with whom they were at war had saved 
the German blue-jackets at the venture of their lives; Knappe was, 
besides, far from ungenerous; and I can only explain the niggard 
figure by supposing it was paid from his own pocket.  In one case, 
at least, it was refused.  "I have saved three Germans," said the 
rescuer; "I will make you a present of the three."

The crews of the American and German squadrons were now cast, still 
in a bellicose temper, together on the beach.  The discipline of 
the Americans was notoriously loose; the crew of the NIPSIC had 
earned a character for lawlessness in other ports; and recourse was 
had to stringent and indeed extraordinary measures.  The town was 
divided in two camps, to which the different nationalities were 
confined.  Kimberley had his quarter sentinelled and patrolled.  
Any seaman disregarding a challenge was to be shot dead; any 
tavern-keeper who sold spirits to an American sailor was to have 
his tavern broken and his stock destroyed.  Many of the publicans 
were German; and Knappe, having narrated these rigorous but 
necessary dispositions, wonders (grinning to himself over his 
despatch) how far these Americans will go in their assumption of 
jurisdiction over Germans.  Such as they were, the measures were 
successful.  The incongruous mass of castaways was kept in peace, 
and at last shipped in peace out of the islands.

Kane returned to Apia on the 19th, to find the CALLIOPE the sole 
survivor of thirteen sail.  He thanked his men, and in particular 
the engineers, in a speech of unusual feeling and beauty, of which 
one who was present remarked to another, as they left the ship, 
"This has been a means of grace."  Nor did he forget to thank and 
compliment the admiral; and I cannot deny myself the pleasure of 
transcribing from Kimberley's reply some generous and engaging 
words.  "My dear captain," he wrote, "your kind note received.  You 
went out splendidly, and we all felt from our hearts for you, and 
our cheers came with sincerity and admiration for the able manner 
in which you handled your ship.  We could not have been gladder if 
it had been one of our ships, for in a time like that I can truly 
say with old Admiral Josiah Latnall, 'that blood is thicker than 
water.'"  One more trait will serve to build up the image of this 
typical sea-officer.  A tiny schooner, the EQUATOR, Captain Edwin 
Reid, dear to myself from the memories of a six months' cruise, 
lived out upon the high seas the fury of that tempest which had 
piled with wrecks the harbour of Apia, found a refuge in Pango-
Pango, and arrived at last in the desolated port with a welcome and 
lucrative cargo of pigs.  The admiral was glad to have the pigs; 
but what most delighted the man's noble and childish soul, was to 
see once more afloat the colours of his country.

Thus, in what seemed the very article of war, and within the 
duration of a single day, the sword-arm of each of the two angry 
Powers was broken; their formidable ships reduced to junk; their 
disciplined hundreds to a horde of castaways, fed with difficulty, 
and the fear of whose misconduct marred the sleep of their 
commanders.  Both paused aghast; both had time to recognise that 
not the whole Samoan Archipelago was worth the loss in men and 
costly ships already suffered.  The so-called hurricane of March 
16th made thus a marking epoch in world-history; directly, and at 
once, it brought about the congress and treaty of Berlin; 
indirectly, and by a process still continuing, it founded the 
modern navy of the States.  Coming years and other historians will 
declare the influence of that.


WITH the hurricane, the broken war-ships, and the stranded sailors, 
I am at an end of violence, and my tale flows henceforth among 
carpet incidents.  The blue-jackets on Apia beach were still 
jealously held apart by sentries, when the powers at home were 
already seeking a peaceable solution.  It was agreed, so far as 
might be, to obliterate two years of blundering; and to resume in 
1889, and at Berlin, those negotiations which had been so unhappily 
broken off at Washington in 1887.  The example thus offered by 
Germany is rare in history; in the career of Prince Bismarck, so 
far as I am instructed, it should stand unique.  On a review of 
these two years of blundering, bullying, and failure in a little 
isle of the Pacific, he seems magnanimously to have owned his 
policy was in the wrong.  He left Fangalii unexpiated; suffered 
that house of cards, the Tamasese government, to fall by its own 
frailty and without remark or lamentation; left the Samoan question 
openly and fairly to the conference:  and in the meanwhile, to 
allay the local heats engendered by Becker and Knappe, he sent to 
Apia that invaluable public servant, Dr. Stuebel.  I should be a 
dishonest man if I did not bear testimony to the loyalty since 
shown by Germans in Samoa.  Their position was painful; they had 
talked big in the old days, now they had to sing small.  Even 
Stuebel returned to the islands under the prejudice of an 
unfortunate record.  To the minds of the Samoans his name 
represented the beginning of their sorrows; and in his first term 
of office he had unquestionably driven hard.  The greater his merit 
in the surprising success of the second.  So long as he stayed, the 
current of affairs moved smoothly; he left behind him on his 
departure all men at peace; and whether by fortune, or for the want 
of that wise hand of guidance, he was scarce gone before the clouds 
began to gather once more on our horizon.

Before the first convention, Germany and the States hauled down 
their flags.  It was so done again before the second; and Germany, 
by a still more emphatic step of retrogression, returned the exile 
Laupepa to his native shores.  For two years the unfortunate man 
had trembled and suffered in the Cameroons, in Germany, in the 
rainy Marshalls.  When he left (September 1887) Tamasese was king, 
served by five iron war-ships; his right to rule (like a dogma of 
the Church) was placed outside dispute; the Germans were still, as 
they were called at that last tearful interview in the house by the 
river, "the invincible strangers"; the thought of resistance, far 
less the hope of success, had not yet dawned on the Samoan mind.  
He returned (November 1889) to a changed world.  The Tupua party 
was reduced to sue for peace, Brandeis was withdrawn, Tamasese was 
dying obscurely of a broken heart; the German flag no longer waved 
over the capital; and over all the islands one figure stood 
supreme.  During Laupepa's absence this man had succeeded him in 
all his honours and titles, in tenfold more than all his power and 
popularity.  He was the idol of the whole nation but the rump of 
the Tamaseses, and of these he was already the secret admiration.  
In his position there was but one weak point, - that he had even 
been tacitly excluded by the Germans.  Becker, indeed, once 
coquetted with the thought of patronising him; but the project had 
no sequel, and it stands alone.  In every other juncture of history 
the German attitude has been the same.  Choose whom you will to be 
king; when he has failed, choose whom you please to succeed him; 
when the second fails also, replace the first:  upon the one 
condition, that Mataafa be excluded.  "POURVU QU'IL SACHE SIGNER!" 
- an official is said to have thus summed up the qualifications 
necessary in a Samoan king.  And it was perhaps feared that Mataafa 
could do no more and might not always do so much.  But this 
original diffidence was heightened by late events to something 
verging upon animosity.  Fangalii was unavenged:  the arms of 
Mataafa were

Still soiled with the unexpiated blood

of German sailors; and though the chief was not present in the 
field, nor could have heard of the affair till it was over, he had 
reaped from it credit with his countrymen and dislike from the 

I may not say that trouble was hoped.  I must say - if it were not 
feared, the practice of diplomacy must teach a very hopeful view of 
human nature.  Mataafa and Laupepa, by the sudden repatriation of 
the last, found themselves face to face in conditions of 
exasperating rivalry.  The one returned from the dead of exile to 
find himself replaced and excelled.  The other, at the end of a 
long, anxious, and successful struggle, beheld his only possible 
competitor resuscitated from the grave.  The qualities of both, in 
this difficult moment, shone out nobly.  I feel I seem always less 
than partial to the lovable Laupepa; his virtues are perhaps not 
those which chiefly please me, and are certainly not royal; but he 
found on his return an opportunity to display the admirable 
sweetness of his nature.  The two entered into a competition of 
generosity, for which I can recall no parallel in history, each 
waiving the throne for himself, each pressing it upon his rival; 
and they embraced at last a compromise the terms of which seem to 
have been always obscure and are now disputed.  Laupepa at least 
resumed his style of King of Samoa; Mataafa retained much of the 
conduct of affairs, and continued to receive much of the attendance 
and respect befitting royalty; and the two Malietoas, with so many 
causes of disunion, dwelt and met together in the same town like 
kinsmen.  It was so, that I first saw them; so, in a house set 
about with sentries - for there was still a haunting fear of 
Germany, - that I heard them relate their various experience in the 
past; heard Laupepa tell with touching candour of the sorrows of 
his exile, and Mataafa with mirthful simplicity of his resources 
and anxieties in the war.  The relation was perhaps too beautiful 
to last; it was perhaps impossible but the titular king should grow 
at last uneasily conscious of the MAIRE DE PALAIS at his side, or 
the king-maker be at last offended by some shadow of distrust or 
assumption in his creature.  I repeat the words king-maker and 
creature; it is so that Mataafa himself conceives of their 
relation:  surely not without justice; for, had he not contended 
and prevailed, and been helped by the folly of consuls and the fury 
of the storm, Laupepa must have died in exile.

Foreigners in these islands know little of the course of native 
intrigue.  Partly the Samoans cannot explain, partly they will not 
tell.  Ask how much a master can follow of the puerile politics in 
any school; so much and no more we may understand of the events 
which surround and menace us with their results.  The missions may 
perhaps have been to blame.  Missionaries are perhaps apt to meddle 
overmuch outside their discipline; it is a fault which should be 
judged with mercy; the problem is sometimes so insidiously 
presented that even a moderate and able man is betrayed beyond his 
own intention; and the missionary in such a land as Samoa is 
something else besides a minister of mere religion; he represents 
civilisation, he is condemned to be an organ of reform, he could 
scarce evade (even if he desired) a certain influence in political 
affairs.  And it is believed, besides, by those who fancy they 
know, that the effective force of division between Mataafa and 
Laupepa came from the natives rather than from whites.  Before the 
end of 1890, at least, it began to be rumoured that there was 
dispeace between the two Malietoas; and doubtless this had an 
unsettling influence throughout the islands.  But there was another 
ingredient of anxiety.  The Berlin convention had long closed its 
sittings; the text of the Act had been long in our hands; 
commissioners were announced to right the wrongs of the land 
question, and two high officials, a chief justice and a president, 
to guide policy and administer law in Samoa.  Their coming was 
expected with an impatience, with a childishness of trust, that can 
hardly be exaggerated.  Months passed, these angel-deliverers still 
delayed to arrive, and the impatience of the natives became changed 
to an ominous irritation.  They have had much experience of being 
deceived, and they began to think they were deceived again.  A 
sudden crop of superstitious stories buzzed about the islands.  
Rivers had come down red; unknown fishes had been taken on the reef 
and found to be marked with menacing runes; a headless lizard 
crawled among chiefs in council; the gods of Upolu and Savaii made 
war by night, they swam the straits to battle, and, defaced by 
dreadful wounds, they had besieged the house of a medical 
missionary.  Readers will remember the portents in mediaeval 
chronicles, or those in JULIUS CAESAR when

"Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds
In ranks and squadrons."

And doubtless such fabrications are, in simple societies, a natural 
expression of discontent; and those who forge, and even those who 
spread them, work towards a conscious purpose.

Early in January 1891 this period of expectancy was brought to an 
end by the arrival of Conrad Cedarcrantz, chief justice of Samoa.  
The event was hailed with acclamation, and there was much about the 
new official to increase the hopes already entertained.  He was 
seen to be a man of culture and ability; in public, of an excellent 
presence - in private, of a most engaging cordiality.  But there 
was one point, I scarce know whether to say of his character or 
policy, which immediately and disastrously affected public feeling 
in the islands.  He had an aversion, part judicial, part perhaps 
constitutional, to haste; and he announced that, until he should 
have well satisfied his own mind, he should do nothing; that he 
would rather delay all than do aught amiss.  It was impossible to 
hear this without academical approval; impossible to hear it 
without practical alarm.  The natives desired to see activity; they 
desired to see many fair speeches taken on a body of deeds and 
works of benefit.  Fired by the event of the war, filled with 
impossible hopes, they might have welcomed in that hour a ruler of 
the stamp of Brandeis, breathing hurry, perhaps dealing blows.  And 
the chief justice, unconscious of the fleeting opportunity, ripened 
his opinions deliberately in Mulinuu; and had been already the 
better part of half a year in the islands before he went through 
the form of opening his court.  The curtain had risen; there was no 
play.  A reaction, a chill sense of disappointment, passed about 
the island; and intrigue, one moment suspended, was resumed.

In the Berlin Act, the three Powers recognise, on the threshold, 
"the independence of the Samoan government, and the free right of 
the natives to elect their chief or king and choose their form of 
government."  True, the text continues that, "in view of the 
difficulties that surround an election in the present disordered 
condition of the government," Malietoa Laupepa shall be recognised 
as king, "unless the three Powers shall by common accord otherwise 
declare."  But perhaps few natives have followed it so far, and 
even those who have, were possibly all cast abroad again by the 
next clause: "and his successor shall be duly elected according to 
the laws and customs of Samoa."  The right to elect, freely given 
in one sentence, was suspended in the next, and a line or so 
further on appeared to be reconveyed by a side-wind.  The reason 
offered for suspension was ludicrously false; in May 1889, when Sir 
Edward Malet moved the matter in the conference, the election of 
Mataafa was not only certain to have been peaceful, it could not 
have been opposed; and behind the English puppet it was easy to 
suspect the hand of Germany.  No one is more swift to smell 
trickery than a Samoan; and the thought, that, under the long, 
bland, benevolent sentences of the Berlin Act, some trickery lay 
lurking, filled him with the breath of opposition.  Laupepa seems 
never to have been a popular king.  Mataafa, on the other hand, 
holds an unrivalled position in the eyes of his fellow-countrymen; 
he was the hero of the war, he had lain with them in the bush, he 
had borne the heat and burthen of the day; they began to claim that 
he should enjoy more largely the fruits of victory; his exclusion 
was believed to be a stroke of German vengeance, his elevation to 
the kingship was looked for as the fitting crown and copestone of 
the Samoan triumph; and but a little after the coming of the chief 
justice, an ominous cry for Mataafa began to arise in the islands.  
It is difficult to see what that official could have done but what 
he did.  He was loyal, as in duty bound, to the treaty and to 
Laupepa; and when the orators of the important and unruly islet of 
Manono demanded to his face a change of kings, he had no choice but 
to refuse them, and (his reproof being unheeded) to suspend the 
meeting.  Whether by any neglect of his own or the mere force of 
circumstance, he failed, however, to secure the sympathy, failed 
even to gain the confidence, of Mataafa.  The latter is not without 
a sense of his own abilities or of the great service he has 
rendered to his native land.  He felt himself neglected; at the 
very moment when the cry for his elevation rang throughout the 
group he thought himself made little of on Mulinuu; and he began to 
weary of his part.  In this humour, he was exposed to a temptation 
which I must try to explain, as best I may be able, to Europeans.

The bestowal of the great name, Malietoa, is in the power of the 
district of Malie, some seven miles to the westward of Apia.  The 
most noisy and conspicuous supporters of that party are the 
inhabitants of Manono.  Hence in the elaborate, allusive oratory of 
Samoa, Malie is always referred to by the name of PULE (authority) 
as having the power of the name, and Manono by that of AINGA (clan, 
sept, or household) as forming the immediate family of the chief.  
But these, though so important, are only small communities; and 
perhaps the chief numerical force of the Malietoas inhabits the 
island of Savaii.  Savaii has no royal name to bestow, all the five 
being in the gift of different districts of Upolu; but she has the 
weight of numbers, and in these latter days has acquired a certain 
force by the preponderance in her councils of a single man, the 
orator Lauati.  The reader will now understand the peculiar 
significance of a deputation which should embrace Lauati and the 
orators of both Malie and Manono, how it would represent all that 
is most effective on the Malietoa side, and all that is most 
considerable in Samoan politics, except the opposite feudal party 
of the Tupua.  And in the temptation brought to bear on Mataafa, 
even the Tupua was conjoined.  Tamasese was dead.  His followers 
had conceived a not unnatural aversion to all Germans, from which 
only the loyal Brandeis is excepted; and a not unnatural admiration 
for their late successful adversary.  Men of his own blood and 
clan, men whom he had fought in the field, whom he had driven from 
Matautu, who had smitten him back time and again from before the 
rustic bulwarks of Lotoanuu, they approached him hand in hand with 
their ancestral enemies and concurred in the same prayer.  The 
treaty (they argued) was not carried out.  The right to elect their 
king had been granted them; or if that were denied or suspended, 
then the right to elect "his successor."  They were dissatisfied 
with Laupepa, and claimed, "according to the laws and customs of 
Samoa," duly to appoint another.  The orators of Malie declared 
with irritation that their second appointment was alone valid and 
Mataafa the sole Malietoa; the whole body of malcontents named him 
as their choice for king; and they requested him in consequence to 
leave Apia and take up his dwelling in Malie, the name-place of 
Malietoa; a step which may be described, to European ears, as 
placing before the country his candidacy for the crown.

I do not know when the proposal was first made.  Doubtless the 
disaffection grew slowly, every trifle adding to its force; 
doubtless there lingered for long a willingness to give the new 
government a trial.  The chief justice at least had been nearly 
five months in the country, and the president, Baron Senfft von 
Pilsach, rather more than a month before the mine was sprung.  On 
May 31, 1891, the house of Mataafa was found empty, he and his 
chiefs had vanished from Apia, and, what was worse, three 
prisoners, liberated from the gaol, had accompanied them in their 
secession; two being political offenders, and the third (accused of 
murder) having been perhaps set free by accident.  Although the 
step had been discussed in certain quarters, it took all men by 
surprise.  The inhabitants at large expected instant war.  The 
officials awakened from a dream to recognise the value of that 
which they had lost.  Mataafa at Vaiala, where he was the pledge of 
peace, had perhaps not always been deemed worthy of particular 
attention; Mataafa at Malie was seen, twelve hours too late, to be 
an altogether different quantity.  With excess of zeal on the other 
side, the officials trooped to their boats and proceeded almost in 
a body to Malie, where they seem to have employed every artifice of 
flattery and every resource of eloquence upon the fugitive high 
chief.  These courtesies, perhaps excessive in themselves, had the 
unpardonable fault of being offered when too late.  Mataafa showed 
himself facile on small issues, inflexible on the main; he restored 
the prisoners, he returned with the consuls to Apia on a flying 
visit; he gave his word that peace should be preserved - a pledge 
in which perhaps no one believed at the moment, but which he has 
since nobly redeemed.  On the rest he was immovable; he had cast 
the die, he had declared his candidacy, he had gone to Malie.  
Thither, after his visit to Apia, he returned again; there he has 
practically since resided.

Thus was created in the islands a situation, strange in the 
beginning, and which, as its inner significance is developed, 
becomes daily stranger to observe.  On the one hand, Mataafa sits 
in Malie, assumes a regal state, receives deputations, heads his 
letters "Government of Samoa," tacitly treats the king as a co-
ordinate; and yet declares himself, and in many ways conducts 
himself, as a law-abiding citizen.  On the other, the white 
officials in Mulinuu stand contemplating the phenomenon with eyes 
of growing stupefaction; now with symptoms of collapse, now with 
accesses of violence.  For long, even those well versed in island 
manners and the island character daily expected war, and heard 
imaginary drums beat in the forest.  But for now close upon a year, 
and against every stress of persuasion and temptation, Mataafa has 
been the bulwark of our peace.  Apia lay open to be seized, he had 
the power in his hand, his followers cried to be led on, his 
enemies marshalled him the same way by impotent examples; and he 
has never faltered.  Early in the day, a white man was sent from 
the government of Mulinuu to examine and report upon his actions:  
I saw the spy on his return; "It was only our rebel that saved us," 
he said, with a laugh.  There is now no honest man in the islands 
but is well aware of it; none but knows that, if we have enjoyed 
during the past eleven months the conveniences of peace, it is due 
to the forbearance of "our rebel."  Nor does this part of his 
conduct stand alone.  He calls his party at Malie the government, - 
"our government," - but he pays his taxes to the government at 
Mulinuu.  He takes ground like a king; he has steadily and blandly 
refused to obey all orders as to his own movements or behaviour; 
but upon requisition he sends offenders to be tried under the chief 

We have here a problem of conduct, and what seems an image of 
inconsistency, very hard at the first sight to be solved by any 
European.  Plainly Mataafa does not act at random.  Plainly, in the 
depths of his Samoan mind, he regards his attitude as regular and 
constitutional.  It may be unexpected, it may be inauspicious, it 
may be undesirable; but he thinks it - and perhaps it is - in full 
accordance with those "laws and customs of Samoa" ignorantly 
invoked by the draughtsmen of the Berlin Act.  The point is worth 
an effort of comprehension; a man's life may yet depend upon it.  
Let us conceive, in the first place, that there are five separate 
kingships in Samoa, though not always five different kings; and 
that though one man, by holding the five royal names, might become 
king in ALL PARTS of Samoa, there is perhaps no such matter as a 
kingship of all Samoa.  He who holds one royal name would be, upon 
this view, as much a sovereign person as he who should chance to 
hold the other four; he would have less territory and fewer 
subjects, but the like independence and an equal royalty.  Now 
Mataafa, even if all debatable points were decided against him, is 
still Tuiatua, and as such, on this hypothesis, a sovereign prince.  
In the second place, the draughtsmen of the Act, waxing exceeding 
bold, employed the word "election," and implicitly justified all 
precedented steps towards the kingship according with the "customs 
of Samoa."  I am not asking what was intended by the gentlemen who 
sat and debated very benignly and, on the whole, wisely in Berlin; 
I am asking what will be understood by a Samoan studying their 
literary work, the Berlin Act; I am asking what is the result of 
taking a word out of one state of society, and applying it to 
another, of which the writers know less than nothing, and no 
European knows much.  Several interpreters and several days were 
employed last September in the fruitless attempt to convey to the 
mind of Laupepa the sense of the word "resignation."  What can a 
Samoan gather from the words, ELECTION? ELECTION OF A KING? 
What are the electoral measures, what is the method of canvassing, 
likely to be employed by two, three, four, or five, more or less 
absolute princelings, eager to evince each other?  And who is to 
distinguish such a process from the state of war?  In such 
international - or, I should say, interparochial - differences, the 
nearest we can come towards understanding is to appreciate the 
cloud of ambiguity in which all parties grope -

"Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Half flying."

Now, in one part of Mataafa's behaviour his purpose is beyond 
mistake.  Towards the provisions of the Berlin Act, his desire to 
be formally obedient is manifest.  The Act imposed the tax.  He has 
paid his taxes, although he thus contributes to the ways and means 
of his immediate rival.  The Act decreed the supreme court, and he 
sends his partisans to be tried at Mulinuu, although he thus places 
them (as I shall have occasion to show) in a position far from 
wholly safe.  From this literal conformity, in matters regulated, 
to the terms of the Berlin plenipotentiaries, we may plausibly 
infer, in regard to the rest, a no less exact observance of the 
famous and obscure "laws and customs of Samoa."

But though it may be possible to attain, in the study, to some such 
adumbration of an understanding, it were plainly unfair to expect 
it of officials in the hurry of events.  Our two white officers 
have accordingly been no more perspicacious than was to be looked 
for, and I think they have sometimes been less wise.  It was not 
wise in the president to proclaim Mataafa and his followers rebels 
and their estates confiscated.  Such words are not respectable till 
they repose on force; on the lips of an angry white man, standing 
alone on a small promontory, they were both dangerous and absurd; 
they might have provoked ruin; thanks to the character of Mataafa, 
they only raised a smile and damaged the authority of government.  
And again it is not wise in the government of Mulinuu to have twice 
attempted to precipitate hostilities, once in Savaii, once here in 
the Tuamasanga.  The fate of the Savaii attempt I never heard; it 
seems to have been stillborn.  The other passed under my eyes.  A 
war-party was armed in Apia, and despatched across the island 
against Mataafa villages, where it was to seize the women and 
children.  It was absent for some days, engaged in feasting with 
those whom it went out to fight; and returned at last, innocuous 
and replete.  In this fortunate though undignified ending we may 
read the fact that the natives on Laupepa's side are sometimes more 
wise than their advisers.  Indeed, for our last twelve months of 
miraculous peace under what seem to be two rival kings, the credit 
is due first of all to Mataafa, and second to the half-heartedness, 
or the forbearance, or both, of the natives in the other camp.  The 
voice of the two whites has ever been for war.  They have published 
at least one incendiary proclamation; they have armed and sent into 
the field at least one Samoan war-party; they have continually 
besieged captains of war-ships to attack Malie, and the captains of 
the war-ships have religiously refused.  Thus in the last twelve 
months our European rulers have drawn a picture of themselves, as 
bearded like the pard, full of strange oaths, and gesticulating 
like semaphores; while over against them Mataafa reposes smilingly 
obstinate, and their own retainers surround them, frowningly inert.  
Into the question of motive I refuse to enter; but if we come to 
war in these islands, and with no fresh occasion, it will be a 
manufactured war, and one that has been manufactured, against the 
grain of opinion, by two foreigners.

For the last and worst of the mistakes on the Laupepa side it would 
be unfair to blame any but the king himself.  Capable both of 
virtuous resolutions and of fits of apathetic obstinacy, His 
Majesty is usually the whip-top of competitive advisers; and his 
conduct is so unstable as to wear at times an appearance of 
treachery which would surprise himself if he could see it.  Take, 
for example, the experience of Lieutenant Ulfsparre, late chief of 
police, and (so to speak) commander of the forces.  His men were 
under orders for a certain hour; he found himself almost alone at 
the place of muster, and learned the king had sent the soldiery on 
errands.  He sought an audience, explained that he was here to 
implant discipline, that (with this purpose in view) his men could 
only receive orders through himself, and if that condition were not 
agreed to and faithfully observed, he must send in his papers.  The 
king was as usual easily persuaded, the interview passed and ended 
to the satisfaction of all parties engaged - and the bargain was 
kept for one day.  On the day after, the troops were again 
dispersed as post-runners, and their commander resigned.  With such 
a sovereign, I repeat, it would be unfair to blame any individual 
minister for any specific fault.  And yet the policy of our two 
whites against Mataafa has appeared uniformly so excessive and 
implacable, that the blame of the last scandal is laid generally at 
their doors.  It is yet fresh.  Lauati, towards the end of last 
year, became deeply concerned about the situation; and by great 
personal exertions and the charms of oratory brought Savaii and 
Manono into agreement upon certain terms of compromise:  Laupepa 
still to be king, Mataafa to accept a high executive office 
comparable to that of our own prime minister, and the two 
governments to coalesce.  Intractable Manono was a party.  Malie 
was said to view the proposal with resignation, if not relief.  
Peace was thought secure.  The night before the king was to receive 
Lauati, I met one of his company, - the family chief, Iina, - and 
we shook hands over the unexpected issue of our troubles.  What no 
one dreamed was that Laupepa would refuse.  And he did.  He refused 
undisputed royalty for himself and peace for these unhappy islands; 
and the two whites on Mulinuu rightly or wrongly got the blame of 

But their policy has another and a more awkward side.  About the 
time of the secession to Malie, many ugly things were said; I will 
not repeat that which I hope and believe the speakers did not 
wholly mean; let it suffice that, if rumour carried to Mataafa the 
language I have heard used in my own house and before my own native 
servants, he would be highly justified in keeping clear of Apia and 
the whites.  One gentleman whose opinion I respect, and am so bold 
as to hope I may in some points modify, will understand the 
allusion and appreciate my reserve.  About the same time there 
occurred an incident, upon which I must be more particular.  A was 
a gentleman who had long been an intimate of Mataafa's, and had 
recently (upon account, indeed, of the secession to Malie) more or 
less wholly broken off relations.  To him came one whom I shall 
call B with a dastardly proposition.  It may have been B's own, in 
which case he were the more unpardonable; but from the closeness of 
his intercourse with the chief justice, as well as from the terms 
used in the interview, men judged otherwise.  It was proposed that 
A should simulate a renewal of the friendship, decoy Mataafa to a 
suitable place, and have him there arrested.  What should follow in 
those days of violent speech was at the least disputable; and the 
proposal was of course refused.  "You do not understand," was the 
base rejoinder.  "YOU will have no discredit.  The Germans are to 
take the blame of the arrest." Of course, upon the testimony of a 
gentleman so depraved, it were unfair to hang a dog; and both the 
Germans and the chief justice must be held innocent.  But the chief 
justice has shown that he can himself be led, by his animosity 
against Mataafa, into questionable acts.  Certain natives of Malie 
were accused of stealing pigs; the chief justice summoned them 
through Mataafa; several were sent, and along with them a written 
promise that, if others were required, these also should be 
forthcoming upon requisition.  Such as came were duly tried and 
acquitted; and Mataafa's offer was communicated to the chief 
justice, who made a formal answer, and the same day (in pursuance 
of his constant design to have Malie attacked by war-ships) 
reported to one of the consuls that his warrant would not run in 
the country and that certain of the accused had been withheld.  At 
least, this is not fair dealing; and the next instance I have to 
give is possibly worse.  For one blunder the chief justice is only 
so far responsible, in that he was not present where it seems he 
should have been, when it was made.  He had nothing to do with the 
silly proscription of the Mataafas; he has always disliked the 
measure; and it occurred to him at last that he might get rid of 
this dangerous absurdity and at the same time reap a further 
advantage.  Let Mataafa leave Malie for any other district in 
Samoa; it should be construed as an act of submission and the 
confiscation and proscription instantly recalled.  This was 
certainly well devised; the government escaped from their own false 
position, and by the same stroke lowered the prestige of their 
adversaries.  But unhappily the chief justice did not put all his 
eggs in one basket.  Concurrently with these negotiations he began 
again to move the captain of one of the war-ships to shell the 
rebel village; the captain, conceiving the extremity wholly 
unjustified, not only refused these instances, but more or less 
publicly complained of their being made; the matter came to the 
knowledge of the white resident who was at that time playing the 
part of intermediary with Malie; and he, in natural anger and 
disgust, withdrew from the negotiation.  These duplicities, always 
deplorable when discovered, are never more fatal than with men 
imperfectly civilised.  Almost incapable of truth themselves, they 
cherish a particular score of the same fault in whites.  And 
Mataafa is besides an exceptional native.  I would scarce dare say 
of any Samoan that he is truthful, though I seem to have 
encountered the phenomenon; but I must say of Mataafa that he seems 
distinctly and consistently averse to lying.

For the affair of the Manono prisoners, the chief justice is only 
again in so far answerable as he was at the moment absent from the 
seat of his duties; and the blame falls on Baron Senfft von 
Pilsach, president of the municipal council.  There were in Manono 
certain dissidents, loyal to Laupepa.  Being Manono people, I 
daresay they were very annoying to their neighbours; the majority, 
as they belonged to the same island, were the more impatient; and 
one fine day fell upon and destroyed the houses and harvests of the 
dissidents "according to the laws and customs of Samoa."  The 
president went down to the unruly island in a war-ship and was 
landed alone upon the beach.  To one so much a stranger to the 
mansuetude of Polynesians, this must have seemed an act of 
desperation; and the baron's gallantry met with a deserved success.  
The six ring-leaders, acting in Mataafa's interest, had been guilty 
of a delict; with Mataafa's approval, they delivered themselves 
over to be tried.  On Friday, September 4, 1891, they were 
convicted before a native magistrate and sentenced to six months' 
imprisonment; or, I should rather say, detention; for it was 
expressly directed that they were to be used as gentlemen and not 
as prisoners, that the door was to stand open, and that all their 
wishes should be gratified.  This extraordinary sentence fell upon 
the accused like a thunderbolt.  There is no need to suppose 
perfidy, where a careless interpreter suffices to explain all; but 
the six chiefs claim to have understood their coming to Apia as an 
act of submission merely formal, that they came in fact under an 
implied indemnity, and that the president stood pledged to see them 
scatheless.  Already, on their way from the court-house, they were 
tumultuously surrounded by friends and clansmen, who pressed and 
cried upon them to escape; Lieutenant Ulfsparre must order his men 
to load; and with that the momentary effervescence died away.  Next 
day, Saturday, 5th, the chief justice took his departure from the 
islands - a step never yet explained and (in view of the doings of 
the day before and the remonstrances of other officials) hard to 
justify.  The president, an amiable and brave young man of singular 
inexperience, was thus left to face the growing difficulty by 
himself.  The clansmen of the prisoners, to the number of near upon 
a hundred, lay in Vaiusu, a village half way between Apia and 
Malie; there they talked big, thence sent menacing messages; the 
gaol should be broken in the night, they said, and the six martyrs 
rescued.  Allowance is to be made for the character of the people 
of Manono, turbulent fellows, boastful of tongue, but of late days 
not thought to be answerably bold in person.  Yet the moment was 
anxious.  The government of Mulinuu had gained an important moral 
victory by the surrender and condemnation of the chiefs; and it was 
needful the victory should be maintained.  The guard upon the gaol 
was accordingly strengthened; a war-party was sent to watch the 
Vaiusu road under Asi; and the chiefs of the Vaimaunga were 
notified to arm and assemble their men.  It must be supposed the 
president was doubtful of the loyalty of these assistants.  He 
turned at least to the war-ships, where it seems he was rebuffed; 
thence he fled into the arms of the wrecker gang, where he was 
unhappily more successful.  The government of Washington had 
presented to the Samoan king the wrecks of the TRENTON and the 
VANDALIA; an American syndicate had been formed to break them up; 
an experienced gang was in consequence settled in Apia and the 
report of submarine explosions had long grown familiar in the ears 
of residents.  From these artificers the president obtained a 
supply of dynamite, the needful mechanism, and the loan of a 
mechanic; the gaol was mined, and the Manono people in Vaiusu were 
advertised of the fact in a letter signed by Laupepa.  Partly by 
the indiscretion of the mechanic, who had sought to embolden 
himself (like Lady Macbeth) with liquor for his somewhat dreadful 
task, the story leaked immediately out and raised a very general, 
or I might say almost universal, reprobation.  Some blamed the 
proposed deed because it was barbarous and a foul example to set 
before a race half barbarous itself; others because it was illegal; 
others again because, in the face of so weak an enemy, it appeared 
pitifully pusillanimous; almost all because it tended to 
precipitate and embitter war.  In the midst of the turmoil he had 
raised, and under the immediate pressure of certain indignant white 
residents, the baron fell back upon a new expedient, certainly less 
barbarous, perhaps no more legal; and on Monday afternoon, 
September 7th, packed his six prisoners on board the cutter 
LANCASHIRE LASS, and deported them to the neighbouring low-island 
group of the Tokelaus.  We watched her put to sea with mingled 
feelings.  Anything were better than dynamite, but this was not 
good.  The men had been summoned in the name of law; they had 
surrendered; the law had uttered its voice; they were under one 
sentence duly delivered; and now the president, by no right with 
which we were acquainted, had exchanged it for another.  It was 
perhaps no less fortunate, though it was more pardonable in a 
stranger, that he had increased the punishment to that which, in 
the eyes of Samoans, ranks next to death, - exile from their native 
land and friends.  And the LANCASHIRE LASS appeared to carry away 
with her into the uttermost parts of the sea the honour of the 
administration and the prestige of the supreme court.

The policy of the government towards Mataafa has thus been of a 
piece throughout; always would-be violent, it has been almost 
always defaced with some appearance of perfidy or unfairness.  The 
policy of Mataafa (though extremely bewildering to any white) 
appears everywhere consistent with itself, and the man's bearing 
has always been calm.  But to represent the fulness of the 
contrast, it is necessary that I should give some description of 
the two capitals, or the two camps, and the ways and means of the 
regular and irregular government.

MULINUU.  Mulinuu, the reader may remember, is a narrow finger of 
land planted in cocoa-palms, which runs forth into the lagoon 
perhaps three quarters of a mile.  To the east is the bay of Apia.  
To the west, there is, first of all, a mangrove swamp, the 
mangroves excellently green, the mud ink-black, and its face 
crawled upon by countless insects and black and scarlet crabs.  
Beyond the swamp is a wide and shallow bay of the lagoon, bounded 
to the west by Faleula Point.  Faleula is the next village to 
Malie; so that from the top of some tall palm in Malie it should be 
possible to descry against the eastern heavens the palms of 
Mulinuu.  The trade wind sweeps over the low peninsula and cleanses 
it from the contagion of the swamp.  Samoans have a quaint phrase 
in their language; when out of health, they seek exposed places on 
the shore "to eat the wind," say they; and there can be few better 
places for such a diet than the point of Mulinuu.

Two European houses stand conspicuous on the harbour side; in 
Europe they would seem poor enough, but they are fine houses for 
Samoa.  One is new; it was built the other day under the apologetic 
title of a Government House, to be the residence of Baron Senfft.  
The other is historical; it was built by Brandeis on a mortgage, 
and is now occupied by the chief justice on conditions never 
understood, the rumour going uncontradicted that he sits rent free.  
I do not say it is true, I say it goes uncontradicted; and there is 
one peculiarity of our officials in a nutshell, - their remarkable 
indifference to their own character.  From the one house to the 
other extends a scattering village for the Faipule or native 
parliament men.  In the days of Tamasese this was a brave place, 
both his own house and those of the Faipule good, and the whole 
excellently ordered and approached by a sanded way.  It is now like 
a neglected bush-town, and speaks of apathy in all concerned.  But 
the chief scandal of Mulinuu is elsewhere.  The house of the 
president stands just to seaward of the isthmus, where the watch is 
set nightly, and armed men guard the uneasy slumbers of the 
government.  On the landward side there stands a monument to the 
poor German lads who fell at Fangalii, just beyond which the 
passer-by may chance to observe a little house standing back-ward 
from the road.  It is such a house as a commoner might use in a 
bush village; none could dream that it gave shelter even to a 
family chief; yet this is the palace of Malietoa-Natoaitele-
Tamasoalii Laupepa, king of Samoa.  As you sit in his company under 
this humble shelter, you shall see, between the posts, the new 
house of the president.  His Majesty himself beholds it daily, and 
the tenor of his thoughts may be divined.  The fine house of a 
Samoan chief is his appropriate attribute; yet, after seventeen 
months, the government (well housed themselves) have not yet found 
- have not yet sought - a roof-tree for their sovereign.  And the 
lodging is typical.  I take up the president's financial statement 
of September 8, 1891.  I find the king's allowance to figure at 
seventy-five dollars a month; and I find that he is further (though 
somewhat obscurely) debited with the salaries of either two or 
three clerks.  Take the outside figure, and the sum expended on or 
for His Majesty amounts to ninety-five dollars in the month.  
Lieutenant Ulfsparre and Dr. Hagberg (the chief justice's Swedish 
friends) drew in the same period one hundred and forty and one 
hundred dollars respectively on account of salary alone.  And it 
should be observed that Dr. Hagberg was employed, or at least paid, 
from government funds, in the face of His Majesty's express and 
reiterated protest.  In another column of the statement, one 
hundred and seventy-five dollars and seventy-five cents are debited 
for the chief justice's travelling expenses.  I am of the opinion 
that if His Majesty desired (or dared) to take an outing, he would 
be asked to bear the charge from his allowance.  But although I 
think the chief justice had done more nobly to pay for himself, I 
am far from denying that his excursions were well meant; he should 
indeed be praised for having made them; and I leave the charge out 
of consideration in the following statement.


Salary of Chief Justice Cedarkrantz $500
Salary of President Baron Senfft von Pilsach (about) 415
Salary of Lieutenant Ulfsparre, Chief of Police 140
Salary of Dr. Hagberg, Private Secretary to the Chief Justice 100

Total monthly salary to four whites, one of them paid against His 
Majesty's protest $1155


Total monthly payments to and for His Majesty the King, including 
allowance and hire of three clerks, one of these placed under the 
rubric of extraordinary expenses $95

This looks strange enough and mean enough already.  But we have 
ground of comparison in the practice of Brandeis.

Brandeis, white prime minister $200
Tamasese (about) 160
White Chief of Police 100

Under Brandeis, in other words, the king received the second 
highest allowance on the sheet; and it was a good second, and the 
third was a bad third.  And it must be borne in mind that Tamasese 
himself was pointed and laughed at among natives.  Judge, then, 
what is muttered of Laupepa, housed in his shanty before the 
president's doors like Lazarus before the doors of Dives; receiving 
not so much of his own taxes as the private secretary of the law 
officer; and (in actual salary) little more than half as much as 
his own chief of police.  It is known besides that he has protested 
in vain against the charge for Dr. Hagberg; it is known that he has 
himself applied for an advance and been refused.  Money is 
certainly a grave subject on Mulinuu; but respect costs nothing, 
and thrifty officials might have judged it wise to make up in extra 
politeness for what they curtailed of pomp or comfort.  One 
instance may suffice.  Laupepa appeared last summer on a public 
occasion; the president was there and not even the president rose 
to greet the entrance of the sovereign.  Since about the same 
period, besides, the monarch must be described as in a state of 
sequestration.  A white man, an Irishman, the true type of all that 
is most gallant, humorous, and reckless in his country, chose to 
visit His Majesty and give him some excellent advice (to make up 
his difference with Mataafa) couched unhappily in vivid and 
figurative language.  The adviser now sleeps in the Pacific, but 
the evil that he chanced to do lives after him.  His Majesty was 
greatly (and I must say justly) offended by the freedom of the 
expressions used; he appealed to his white advisers; and these, 
whether from want of thought or by design, issued an ignominious 
proclamation.  Intending visitors to the palace must appear before 
their consuls and justify their business.  The majesty of buried 
Samoa was henceforth only to be viewed (like a private collection) 
under special permit; and was thus at once cut off from the company 
and opinions of the self respecting.  To retain any dignity in such 
an abject state would require a man of very different virtues from 
those claimed by the not unvirtuous Laupepa.  He is not designed to 
ride the whirlwind or direct the storm, rather to be the ornament 
of private life.  He is kind, gentle, patient as Job, conspicuously 
well-intentioned, of charming manners; and when he pleases, he has 
one accomplishment in which he now begins to be alone - I mean that 
he can pronounce correctly his own beautiful language.

The government of Brandeis accomplished a good deal and was 
continually and heroically attempting more.  The government of our 
two whites has confined itself almost wholly to paying and 
receiving salaries.  They have built, indeed, a house for the 
president; they are believed (if that be a merit) to have bought 
the local newspaper with government funds; and their rule has been 
enlivened by a number of scandals, into which I feel with relief 
that it is unnecessary I should enter.  Even if the three Powers do 
not remove these gentlemen, their absurd and disastrous government 
must perish by itself of inanition.  Native taxes (except perhaps 
from Mataafa, true to his own private policy) have long been beyond 
hope.  And only the other day (May 6th, 1892), on the expressed 
ground that there was no guarantee as to how the funds would be 
expended, and that the president consistently refused to allow the 
verification of his cash balances, the municipal council has 
negatived the proposal to call up further taxes from the whites.  
All is well that ends even ill, so that it end; and we believe that 
with the last dollar we shall see the last of the last functionary.  
Now when it is so nearly over, we can afford to smile at this 
extraordinary passage, though we must still sigh over the occasion 

MALIE.  The way to Malie lies round the shores of Faleula bay and 
through a succession of pleasant groves and villages.  The road, 
one of the works of Brandeis, is now cut up by pig fences.  Eight 
times you must leap a barrier of cocoa posts; the take-off and the 
landing both in a patch of mire planted with big stones, and the 
stones sometimes reddened with the blood of horses that have gone 
before.  To make these obstacles more annoying, you have sometimes 
to wait while a black boar clambers sedately over the so-called pig 
fence.  Nothing can more thoroughly depict the worst side of the 
Samoan character than these useless barriers which deface their 
only road.  It was one of the first orders issued by the government 
of Mulinuu after the coming of the chief justice, to have the 
passage cleared.  It is the disgrace of Mataafa that the thing is 
not yet done.

The village of Malie is the scene of prosperity and peace.  In a 
very good account of a visit there, published in the AUSTRALASIAN, 
the writer describes it to be fortified; she must have been 
deceived by the appearance of some pig walls on the shore.  There 
is no fortification, no parade of war.  I understand that from one 
to five hundred fighting men are always within reach; but I have 
never seen more than five together under arms, and these were the 
king's guard of honour.  A Sabbath quiet broods over the well-
weeded green, the picketed horses, the troops of pigs, the round or 
oval native dwellings.  Of these there are a surprising number, 
very fine of their sort:  yet more are in the building; and in the 
midst a tall house of assembly, by far the greatest Samoan 
structure now in these islands, stands about half finished and 
already makes a figure in the landscape.  No bustle is to be 
observed, but the work accomplished testifies to a still activity.

The centre-piece of all is the high chief himself, Malietoa-
Tuiatua-Tuiaana Mataafa, king - or not king - or king-claimant - of 
Samoa.  All goes to him, all comes from him.  Native deputations 
bring him gifts and are feasted in return.  White travellers, to 
their indescribable irritation, are (on his approach) waved from 
his path by his armed guards.  He summons his dancers by the note 
of a bugle.  He sits nightly at home before a semicircle of 
talking-men from many quarters of the islands, delivering and 
hearing those ornate and elegant orations in which the Samoan heart 
delights.  About himself and all his surroundings there breathes a 
striking sense of order, tranquillity, and native plenty.  He is of 
a tall and powerful person, sixty years of age, white-haired and 
with a white moustache; his eyes bright and quiet; his jaw 
perceptibly underhung, which gives him something of the expression 
of a benevolent mastiff; his manners dignified and a thought 
insinuating, with an air of a Catholic prelate.  He was never 
married, and a natural daughter attends upon his guests.  Long 
since he made a vow of chastity, - "to live as our Lord lived on 
this earth" and Polynesians report with bated breath that he has 
kept it.  On all such points, true to his Catholic training, he is 
inclined to be even rigid.  Lauati, the pivot of Savaii, has 
recently repudiated his wife and taken a fairer; and when I was 
last in Malie, Mataafa (with a strange superiority to his own 
interests) had but just despatched a reprimand.  In his immediate 
circle, in spite of the smoothness of his ways, he is said to be 
more respected than beloved; and his influence is the child rather 
of authority than popularity.  No Samoan grandee now living need 
have attempted that which he has accomplished during the last 
twelve months with unimpaired prestige, not only to withhold his 
followers from war, but to send them to be judged in the camp of 
their enemies on Mulinuu.  And it is a matter of debate whether 
such a triumph of authority were ever possible before.  Speaking 
for myself, I have visited and dwelt in almost every seat of the 
Polynesian race, and have met but one man who gave me a stronger 
impression of character and parts.

About the situation, Mataafa expresses himself with unshaken peace.  
To the chief justice he refers with some bitterness; to Laupepa, 
with a smile, as "my poor brother."  For himself, he stands upon 
the treaty, and expects sooner or later an election in which he 
shall be raised to the chief power.  In the meanwhile, or for an 
alternative, he would willingly embrace a compromise with Laupepa; 
to which he would probably add one condition, that the joint 
government should remain seated at Malie, a sensible but not 
inconvenient distance from white intrigues and white officials.  
One circumstance in my last interview particularly pleased me.  The 
king's chief scribe, Esela, is an old employe under Tamasese, and 
the talk ran some while upon the character of Brandeis.  Loyalty in 
this world is after all not thrown away; Brandeis was guilty, in 
Samoan eyes, of many irritating errors, but he stood true to 
Tamasese; in the course of time a sense of this virtue and of his 
general uprightness has obliterated the memory of his mistakes; and 
it would have done his heart good if he could have heard his old 
scribe and his old adversary join in praising him.  "Yes," 
concluded Mataafa, "I wish we had Planteisa back again."  A QUELQUE 
CHOSE MALHEUR EST BON.  So strong is the impression produced by the 
defects of Cedarcrantz and Baron Senfft, that I believe Mataafa far 
from singular in this opinion, and that the return of the upright 
Brandeis might be even welcome to many.

I must add a last touch to the picture of Malie and the pretender's 
life.  About four in the morning, the visitor in his house will be 
awakened by the note of a pipe, blown without, very softly and to a 
soothing melody.  This is Mataafa's private luxury to lead on 
pleasant dreams.  We have a bird here in Samoa that about the same 
hour of darkness sings in the bush.  The father of Mataafa, while 
he lived, was a great friend and protector to all living creatures, 
and passed under the by-name of THE KING OF BIRDS.  It may be it 
was among the woodland clients of the sire that the son acquired 
his fancy for this morning music.

I have now sought to render without extenuation the impressions 
received:  of dignity, plenty, and peace at Malie, of bankruptcy 
and distraction at Mulinuu.  And I wish I might here bring to an 
end ungrateful labours.  But I am sensible that there remain two 
points on which it would be improper to be silent.  I should be 
blamed if I did not indicate a practical conclusion; and I should 
blame myself if I did not do a little justice to that tried company 
of the Land Commissioners.

The Land Commission has been in many senses unfortunate.  The 
original German member, a gentleman of the name of Eggert, fell 
early into precarious health; his work was from the first 
interrupted, he was at last (to the regret of all that knew him) 
invalided home; and his successor had but just arrived.  In like 
manner, the first American commissioner, Henry C. Ide, a man of 
character and intelligence, was recalled (I believe by private 
affairs) when he was but just settling into the spirit of the work; 
and though his place was promptly filled by ex-Governor Ormsbee, a 
worthy successor, distinguished by strong and vivacious common 
sense, the break was again sensible.  The English commissioner, my 
friend Bazett Michael Haggard, is thus the only one who has 
continued at his post since the beginning.  And yet, in spite of 
these unusual changes, the Commission has a record perhaps 
unrivalled among international commissions.  It has been unanimous 
practically from the first until the last; and out of some four 
hundred cases disposed of, there is but one on which the members 
were divided.  It was the more unfortunate they should have early 
fallen in a difficulty with the chief justice.  The original ground 
of this is supposed to be a difference of opinion as to the import 
of the Berlin Act, on which, as a layman, it would be unbecoming if 
I were to offer an opinion.  But it must always seem as if the 
chief justice had suffered himself to be irritated beyond the 
bounds of discretion.  It must always seem as if his original 
attempt to deprive the commissioners of the services of a secretary 
and the use of a safe were even senseless; and his step in printing 
and posting a proclamation denying their jurisdiction were equally 
impolitic and undignified.  The dispute had a secondary result 
worse than itself.  The gentleman appointed to be Natives' Advocate 
shared the chief justice's opinion, was his close intimate, advised 
with him almost daily, and drifted at last into an attitude of 
opposition to his colleagues.  He suffered himself besides (being a 
layman in law) to embrace the interest of his clients with 
something of the warmth of a partisan.  Disagreeable scenes 
occurred in court; the advocate was more than once reproved, he was 
warned that his consultations with the judge of appeal tended to 
damage his own character and to lower the credit of the appellate 
court.  Having lost some cases on which he set importance, it 
should seem that he spoke unwisely among natives.  A sudden cry of 
colour prejudice went up; and Samoans were heard to assure each 
other that it was useless to appear before the Land Commission, 
which was sworn to support the whites.

This deplorable state of affairs was brought to an end by the 
departure from Samoa of the Natives' Advocate.  He was succeeded 
PRO TEMPORE by a young New Zealander, E. W. Gurr, not much more 
versed in law than himself, and very much less so in Samoan.  
Whether by more skill or better fortune, Gurr has been able in the 
course of a few weeks to recover for the natives several important 
tracts of land; and the prejudice against the Commission seems to 
be abating as fast as it arose.  I should not omit to say that, in 
the eagerness of the original advocate, there was much that was 
amiable; nor must I fail to point out how much there was of 
blindness.  Fired by the ardour of pursuit, he seems to have 
regarded his immediate clients as the only natives extant and the 
epitome and emblem of the Samoan race.  Thus, in the case that was 
the most exclaimed against as "an injustice to natives," his 
client, Puaauli, was certainly nonsuited.  But in that intricate 
affair who lost the money?  The German firm.  And who got the land?  
Other natives.  To twist such a decision into evidence, either of a 
prejudice against Samoans or a partiality to whites, is to keep one 
eye shut and have the other bandaged.

And lastly, one word as to the future.  Laupepa and Mataafa stand 
over against each other, rivals with no third competitor.  They may 
be said to hold the great name of Malietoa in commission; each has 
borne the style, each exercised the authority, of a Samoan king; 
one is secure of the small but compact and fervent following of the 
Catholics, the other has the sympathies of a large part of the 
Protestant majority, and upon any sign of Catholic aggression would 
have more.  With men so nearly balanced, it may be asked whether a 
prolonged successful exercise of power be possible for either.  In 
the case of the feeble Laupepa, it is certainly not; we have the 
proof before us.  Nor do I think we should judge, from what we see 
to-day, that it would be possible, or would continue to be 
possible, even for the kingly Mataafa.  It is always the easier 
game to be in opposition.  The tale of David and Saul would 
infallibly be re-enacted; once more we shall have two kings in the 
land, - the latent and the patent; and the house of the first will 
become once more the resort of "every one that is in distress, and 
every one that is in debt, and every one that is discontented."  
Against such odds it is my fear that Mataafa might contend in vain; 
it is beyond the bounds of my imagination that Laupepa should 
contend at all.  Foreign ships and bayonets is the cure proposed in 
Mulinuu.  And certainly, if people at home desire that money should 
be thrown away and blood shed in Samoa, an effect of a kind, and 
for the time, may be produced.  Its nature and prospective 
durability I will ask readers of this volume to forecast for 
themselves.  There is one way to peace and unity:  that Laupepa and 
Mataafa should be again conjoined on the best terms procurable.  
There may be other ways, although I cannot see them; but not even 
malevolence, not even stupidity, can deny that this is one.  It 
seems, indeed, so obvious, and sure, and easy, that men look about 
with amazement and suspicion, seeking some hidden motive why it 
should not be adopted.

To Laupepa's opposition, as shown in the case of the Lauati scheme, 
no dweller in Samoa will give weight, for they know him to be as 
putty in the hands of his advisers.  It may be right, it may be 
wrong, but we are many of us driven to the conclusion that the 
stumbling-block is Fangalii, and that the memorial of that affair 
shadows appropriately the house of a king who reigns in right of 
it.  If this be all, it should not trouble us long.  Germany has 
shown she can be generous; it now remains for her only to forget a 
natural but certainly ill-grounded prejudice, and allow to him, who 
was sole king before the plenipotentiaries assembled, and who would 
be sole king to-morrow if the Berlin Act could be rescinded, a 
fitting share of rule.  The future of Samoa should lie thus in the 
hands of a single man, on whom the eyes of Europe are already 
fixed.  Great concerns press on his attention; the Samoan group, in 
his view, is but as a grain of dust; and the country where he 
reigns has bled on too many august scenes of victory to remember 
for ever a blundering skirmish in the plantation of Vailele.  It is 
to him - to the sovereign of the wise Stuebel and the loyal 
Brandeis, - that I make my appeal.

MAY 25, 1892.

End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of A Footnote to History


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