Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesOmoo - PART II - Chapter LIX. THE MURPHIES
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Omoo - PART II - Chapter LIX. THE MURPHIES Post by :dallas02 Category :Long Stories Author :Herman Melville Date :February 2011 Read :1295

Click below to download : Omoo - PART II - Chapter LIX. THE MURPHIES (Format : PDF)

Omoo - PART II - Chapter LIX. THE MURPHIES

DOZING in our canoe the next morning about daybreak, we were awakened
by Zeke's hailing us loudly from the beach.

Upon paddling up, he told us that a canoe had arrived overnight, from
Papeetee, with an order from a ship lying there for a supply of his
potatoes; and as they must be on board the vessel by noon, he wanted
us to assist in bringing them down to his sail-boat.

My long comrade was one of those who, from always thrusting forth the
wrong foot foremost when they rise, or committing some other
indiscretion of the limbs, are more or less crabbed or sullen before
breakfast. It was in vain, therefore, that the Yankee deplored the
urgency of the case which obliged him to call us up thus early:--the
doctor only looked the more glum, and said nothing in reply.

At last, by way of getting up a little enthusiasm for the occasion,
the Yankee exclaimed quite spiritedly, "What d'ye say, then, b'ys,
shall we get at it?"

"Yes, in the devil's name!" replied the doctor, like a snapping
turtle; and we moved on to the house. Notwithstanding his ungracious
answer, he probably thought that, after the gastronomic performance
of the day previous, it would hardly do to hang back. At the house,
we found Shorty ready with the hoes; and we at once repaired to the
farther side of the inclosure, where the potatoes had yet to be taken
out of the ground.

The rich, tawny soil seemed specially adapted to the crop; the great
yellow murphies rolling out of the hills like eggs from a nest.

My comrade really surprised me by the zeal with which he applied
himself to his hoe. For my own part, exhilarated by the cool breath
of the morning, I worked away like a good fellow. As for Zeke and the
Cockney, they seemed mightily pleased at this evidence of our
willingness to exert ourselves.

It was not long ere all the potatoes were turned out; and then came
the worst of it: they were to be lugged down to the beach, a
distance of at least a quarter of a mile. And there being no such
thing as a barrow, or cart, on the island, there was nothing for it
but spinal-marrows and broad shoulders. Well knowing that this part of
the business would be anything but agreeable, Zeke did his best to
put as encouraging a face upon it as possible; and giving us no time
to indulge in desponding thoughts, gleefully directed our attention
to a pile of rude baskets--made of stout stalks--which had been
provided for the occasion. So, without more ado, we helped ourselves
from the heap: and soon we were all four staggering along under our
loads.

The first trip down, we arrived at the beach together: Zeke's
enthusiastic cries proving irresistible. A trip or two more, however,
and my shoulders began to grate in their sockets; while the doctor's
tall figure acquired an obvious stoop. Presently, we both threw down
our baskets, protesting we could stand it no longer. But our
employers, bent, as it Were, upon getting the work out of us by a
silent appeal to our moral sense, toiled away without pretending to
notice us. It was as much as to say, "There, men, we've been boarding
and lodging ye for the last three days; and yesterday ye did nothing
earthly but eat; so stand by now, and look at us working, if ye
dare." Thus driven to it, then, we resumed our employment. Yet, in
spite of all we could do, we lagged behind Zeke and Shorty, who,
breathing hard, and perspiring at every pore, toiled away without
pause or cessation. I almost wickedly wished that they would load
themselves down with one potato too many.

Gasping as I was with my own hamper, I could not, for the life of me,
help laughing at Long Ghost. There he went:--his long neck thrust
forward, his arms twisted behind him to form a shelf for his basket
to rest on; and his stilts of legs every once in a while giving way
under him, as if his knee-joints slipped either way.

"There! I carry no more!" he exclaimed all at once, flinging his
potatoes into the boat, where the Yankee was just then stowing them
away.

"Oh, then," said Zeke, quite briskly, "I guess you and Paul had better
try the 'barrel-machine'--come along, I'll fix ye out in no time";
and, so saying, he waded ashore, and hurried back to the house,
bidding us follow.

Wondering what upon earth the "barrel-machine" could be, and rather
suspicious of it, we limped after. On arriving at the house, we found
him getting ready a sort of sedan-chair. It was nothing more than an
old barrel suspended by a rope from the middle of a stout oar. Quite
an ingenious contrivance of the Yankee's; and his proposed
arrangement with regard to mine and the doctor's shoulders was
equally so.

"There now!" said he, when everything was ready, "there's no
back-breaking about this; you can stand right up under it, you see:
jist try it once"; and he politely rested the blade of the oar on my
comrade's right shoulder, and the other end on mine, leaving the
barrel between us.

"Jist the thing!" he added, standing off admiringly, while we remained
in this interesting attitude.

There was no help for us; with broken hearts and backs we trudged back
to the field; the doctor all the while saying masses.

Upon starting with the loaded barrel, for a few paces we got along
pretty well, and were constrained to think the idea not a bad one.
But we did not long think so. In less than five minutes we came to a
dead halt, the springing and buckling of the clumsy oar being almost
unendurable.

"Let's shift ends," cried the doctor, who did not relish the blade of
the stick, which was cutting into the blade of his shoulder.

At last, by stages short and frequent, we managed to shamble down the
beach, where we again dumped our cargo, in something of a pet.

"Why not make the natives help?" asked Long Ghost, rubbing his
shoulder.

"Natives be dumned!" said the Yankee, "twenty on 'em ain't worth one
white man. They never was meant to work any, them chaps; and they
knows it, too, for dumned little work any on 'em ever does."

But, notwithstanding this abuse, Zeke was at last obliged to press a
few of the bipeds into service. "Aramai!" (come here) he shouted to
several, who, reclining on a bank, had hitherto been critical
observers of our proceedings; and, among other things, had been
particularly amused by the performance with the sedan-chair.

After making these fellows load their baskets together, the Yankee
filled his own, and then drove them before him down to the beach.
Probably he had seen the herds of panniered mules driven in this way
by mounted Indians along the great Callao to Lima. The boat at last
loaded, the Yankee, taking with him a couple of natives, at once
hoisted sail, and stood across the channel for Papeetee.

The next morning at breakfast, old Tonoi ran in, and told us that the
voyagers were returning. We hurried down to the beach, and saw the
boat gliding toward us, with a dozing islander at the helm, and Zeke
standing up in the bows, jingling a small bag of silver, the proceeds
of his cargo.

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

Omoo - PART II - Chapter LX. WHAT THEY THOUGHT OF US IN MARTAIR Omoo - PART II - Chapter LX. WHAT THEY THOUGHT OF US IN MARTAIR

Omoo - PART II - Chapter LX. WHAT THEY THOUGHT OF US IN MARTAIR
SEVERAL quiet days now passed away, during which we just workedsufficiently to sharpen our appetites; the planters lenientlyexempting us from any severe toil.Their desire to retain us became more and more evident; which was notto be wondered at; for, beside esteeming us from the beginning acouple of civil, good-natured fellows, who would soon become quiteat-home with them, they were not slow in perceiving that we were fardifferent from the common run of rovers; and that our society wasboth entertaining and instructive to a couple of solitary, illiteratemen like themselves.In a literary point of view, indeed, they soon regarded us withemotions of
PREVIOUS BOOKS

Omoo - PART II - Chapter LVIII. THE HUNTING-FEAST; AND A VISIT TO AFREHITOO Omoo - PART II - Chapter LVIII. THE HUNTING-FEAST; AND A VISIT TO AFREHITOO

Omoo - PART II - Chapter LVIII. THE HUNTING-FEAST; AND A VISIT TO AFREHITOO
TWO BULLOCKS and a boar! No bad trophies of our day's sport. So bytorchlight we marched into the plantation, the wild hog rocking fromits pole, and the doctor singing an old hunting-song--Tally-ho! thechorus of which swelled high above the yells of the natives.We resolved to make a night of it. Kindling a great fire just outsidethe dwelling, and hanging one of the heifer's quarters from a limb ofthe banian-tree, everyone was at liberty to cut and broil forhimself. Baskets of roasted bread-fruit, and plenty of taro pudding;bunches of bananas, and young cocoa-nuts, had also been provided bythe natives against our return.The
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT