At sunset a small ketch fanned
in to anchorage, and a little
later the skipper came ashore.
He was a soft-spoken, gentle-voiced
young fellow of twenty, but he
won Joan's admiration in advance
when Sheldon told her that he
ran the ketch all alone with
a black crew from Malaita. And
Romance lured and beckoned before
Joan's eyes when she learned
he was Christian Young, a Norfolk
Islander, but a direct descendant
of John Young, one of the original
Bounty mutineers. The blended
Tahitian and English blood showed
in his soft eyes and tawny skin;
but the English hardness seemed
to have disappeared. Yet the
hardness was there, and it was
what enabled him to run his ketch
single-handed and to wring a
livelihood out of the fighting
Joan's unexpected presence
embarrassed him, until she herself
put him at his ease by a frank,
comradely manner that offended
Sheldon's sense of the fitness
of things feminine. News from
the world Young had not, but
he was filled with news of the
Solomons. Fifteen boys had stolen
rifles and run away into the
bush from Lunga plantation, which
was farther east on the Guadalcanar
coast. And from the bush they
had sent word that they were
coming back to wipe out the three
white men in charge, while two
of the three white men, in turn,
were hunting them through the
bush. There was a strong possibility,
Young volunteered, that if they
were not caught they might circle
around and tap the coast at Berande
in order to steal or capture
"I forgot to tell you that
your trader at Ugi has been murdered," he
said to Sheldon. "Five big canoes
came down from Port Adams. They
landed in the night-time, and
caught Oscar asleep. What they
didn't steal they burned. The
Flibberty-Gibbet got the news
at Mboli Pass, and ran down to
Ugi. I was at Mboli when the
"I think I'll have to abandon
Ugi," Sheldon remarked.
"It's the second trader you've
lost there in a year," Young
concurred. "To make it safe there
ought to be two white men at
least. Those Malaita canoes are
always raiding down that way,
and you know what that Port Adams
lot is. I've got a dog for you.
Tommy Jones sent it up from Neal
Island. He said he'd promised
it to you. It's a first-class
nigger-chaser. Hadn't been on
board two minutes when he had
my whole boat's-crew in the rigging.
Tommy calls him Satan."
"I've wondered several times
why you had no dogs here," Joan
is to keep them. They're always
eaten by the crocodiles."
"Jack Hanley was killed at
Marovo Lagoon two months ago," Young
announced in his mild voice. "The
news just came down on the Apostle."
"Where is Marovo Lagoon?" Joan
"New Georgia, a couple of hundred
miles to the westward," Sheldon
answered. "Bougainville lies
"His own house-boys did it," Young
went on; "but they were put up
to it by the Marovo natives.
His Santa Cruz boat's-crew escaped
in the whale-boat to Choiseul,
and Mather, in the Lily, sailed
over to Marovo. He burned a village,
and got Hanley's head back. He
found it in one of the houses,
where the niggers had it drying.
And that's all the news I've
got, except that there's a lot
of new Lee- Enfields loose on
the eastern end of Ysabel. Nobody
knows how the natives got them.
The government ought to investigate.
And--oh yes, a war vessel's in
the group, the Cambrian. She
burned three villages at Bina--on
account of the Minota, you know--and
shelled the bush. Then she went
to Sio to straighten out things
The conversation became general,
and just before Young left to
go on board Joan asked, -
"How can you
manage all alone, Mr. Young?"
His large, almost girlish eyes
rested on her for a moment before
he replied, and then it was in
the softest and gentlest of voices.
"Oh, I get
along pretty well with them.
Of course, there is
a bit of trouble once in a while,
but that must be expected. You
must never let them think you
are afraid. I've been afraid
plenty of times, but they never
"You would think he wouldn't
strike a mosquito that was biting
him," Sheldon said when Young
had gone on board. "All the Norfolk
Islanders that have descended
from the Bounty crowd are that
way. But look at Young. Only
three years ago, when he first
got the Minerva, he was lying
in Suu, on Malaita. There are
a lot of returned Queenslanders
there--a rough crowd. They planned
to get his head. The son of their
chief, old One-Eyed Billy, had
recruited on Lunga and died of
dysentery. That meant that a
white man's head was owing to
Suu--any white man, it didn't
matter who so long as they got
the head. And Young was only
a lad, and they made sure to
get his easily. They decoyed
his whale-boat ashore with a
promise of recruits, and killed
all hands. At the same instant,
the Suu gang that was on board
the Minerva jumped Young. He
was just preparing a dynamite
stick for fish, and he lighted
it and tossed it in amongst them.
One can't get him to talk about
it, but the fuse was short, the
survivors leaped overboard, while
he slipped his anchor and got
away. They've got one hundred
fathoms of shell money on his
head now, which is worth one
hundred pounds sterling. Yet
he goes into Suu regularly. He
was there a short time ago, returning
thirty boys from Cape Marsh--that's
the Fulcrum Brothers' plantation."
"At any rate, his news to-night
has given me a better insight
into the life down here," Joan
said. "And it is colourful life,
to say the least. The Solomons
ought to be printed red on the
charts--and yellow, too, for
"The Solomons are not always
like this," Sheldon answered. "Of
course, Berande is the worst
plantation, and everything it
gets is the worst. I doubt if
ever there was a worse run of
sickness than we were just getting
over when you arrived. Just as
luck would have it, the Jessie
caught the contagion as well.
Berande has been very unfortunate.
All the old-timers shake their
heads at it. They say it has
what you Americans call a hoodoo
"Berande will succeed," Joan
said stoutly. "I like to laugh
at superstition. You'll pull
through and come out the big
end of the horn. The ill luck
can't last for ever. I am afraid,
though, the Solomons is not a
white man's climate."
"It will be,
though. Give us fifty years,
and when all the
bush is cleared off back to the
mountains, fever will be stamped
out; everything will be far healthier.
There will be cities and towns
here, for there's an immense
amount of good land going to
"But it will never become a
white man's climate, in spite
of all that," Joan reiterated. "The
white man will always be unable
to perform the manual labour."
"That is true."
"It will mean slavery," she
all the tropics. The black,
the brown, and the
yellow will have to do the work,
managed by the white men. The
black labour is too wasteful,
however, and in time Chinese
or Indian coolies will be imported.
The planters are already considering
the matter. I, for one, am heartily
sick of black labour."
"Then the blacks
will die off?"
Sheldon shrugged his shoulders,
and retorted, -
the North American Indian,
who was a far nobler
type than the Melanesian. The
world is only so large, you know,
and it is filling up--"
"And the unfit
so. The unfit must perish."
In the morning Joan was roused
by a great row and hullabaloo.
Her first act was to reach for
her revolver, but when she heard
Noa Noah, who was on guard, laughing
outside, she knew there was no
danger, and went out to see the
fun. Captain Young had landed
Satan at the moment when the
bridge-building gang had started
along the beach. Satan was big
and black, short-haired and muscular,
and weighed fully seventy pounds.
He did not love the blacks. Tommy
Jones had trained him well, tying
him up daily for several hours
and telling off one or two black
boys at a time to tease him.
So Satan had it in for the whole
black race, and the second after
he landed on the beach the bridge-building
gang was stampeding over the
compound fence and swarming up
the cocoanut palms.
"Good morning," Sheldon called
from the veranda. "And what do
you think of the nigger-chaser?"
"I'm thinking we have a task
before us to train him in to
the house-boys," she called back.
"And to your
Tahitians, too. Look out, Noah!
Run for it!"
Satan, having satisfied himself
that the tree-perches were unassailable,
was charging straight for the
But Noah stood his ground,
though somewhat irresolutely,
and Satan, to every one's surprise,
danced and frisked about him
with laughing eyes and wagging
"Now, that is what I might
call a proper dog," was Joan's
comment. "He is at least wiser
than you, Mr. Sheldon. He didn't
require any teaching to recognize
the difference between a Tahitian
and a black boy. What do you
think, Noah? Why don't he bite
you? He savvee you Tahitian eh?"
Noa Noah shook his head and
"He no savvee me Tahitian," he
explained. "He savvee me wear
pants all the same white man."
"You'll have to give him a
course in 'Sartor Resartus,'" Sheldon
laughed, as he came down and
began to make friends with Satan.
It chanced just then that Adamu
Adam and Matauare, two of Joan's
sailors, entered the compound
from the far side-gate. They
had been down to the Balesuna
making an alligator trap, and,
instead of trousers, were clad
in lava-lavas that flapped gracefully
about their stalwart limbs. Satan
saw them, and advertised his
find by breaking away from Sheldon's
hands and charging.
"No got pants," Noah
announced with a grin that
Adamu Adam took to flight.
He climbed up the platform
that supported the galvanized
iron tanks which held the water
collected from the roof. Foiled
here, Satan turned and charged
back on Matauare.
"Run, Matauare! Run!" Joan
But he held his ground and
waited the dog.
"He is the Fearless One--that
is what his name means," Joan
explained to Sheldon.
The Tahitian watched Satan
coolly, and when that sanguine-mouthed
creature lifted into the air
in the final leap, the man's
hand shot out. It was a fair
grip on the lower jaw, and Satan
described a half circle and was
flung to the rear, turning over
in the air and falling heavily
on his back. Three times he leaped,
and three times that grip on
his jaw flung him to defeat.
Then he contented himself with
trotting at Matauare's heels,
eyeing him and sniffing him suspiciously.
"It's all right, Satan; it's
all right," Sheldon assured him. "That
good fella belong along me."
But Satan dogged the Tahitian's
movements for a full hour before
he made up his mind that the
man was an appurtenance of the
place. Then he turned his attention
to the three house-boys, cornering
Ornfiri in the kitchen and rushing
him against the hot stove, stripping
the lava-lava from Lalaperu when
that excited youth climbed a
veranda-post, and following Viaburi
on top the billiard- table, where
the battle raged until Joan managed