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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesTypee: A Romance Of The South Sea - Chapter XXXIV
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Typee: A Romance Of The South Sea - Chapter XXXIV Post by :chrisb Category :Long Stories Author :Herman Melville Date :April 2011 Read :2157

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Typee: A Romance Of The South Sea - Chapter XXXIV


NEARLY three weeks had elapsed since the second visit of Marnoo,
and it must have been more than four months since I entered the
valley, when one day about noon, and whilst everything was in
profound silence, Mow-Mow, the one-eyed chief, suddenly appeared
at the door, and leaning towards me as I lay directly facing him,
said in a low tone, 'Toby pemi ena' (Toby has arrived here).
Gracious heaven! What a tumult of emotions rushed upon me at
this startling intelligence! Insensible to the pain that had
before distracted me, I leaped to my feet, and called wildly to
Kory-Kory who was reposing by my side. The startled islanders
sprang from their mats; the news was quickly communicated to
them; and the next moment I was making my way to the Ti on the
back of Kory-Kory; and surrounded by the excited savages.

All that I could comprehend of the particulars which Mow-Mow
rehearsed to his audience as we proceeded, was that my long-lost
companion had arrived in a boat which had just entered the bay.
These tidings made me most anxious to be carried at once to the
sea, lest some untoward circumstance should prevent our meeting;
but to this they would not consent, and continued their course
towards the royal abode. As we approached it, Mehevi and several
chiefs showed themselves from the piazza, and called upon us
loudly to come to them.

As soon as we had approached, I endeavoured to make them
understand that I was going down to the sea to meet Toby. To
this the king objected, and motioned Kory-Kory to bring me into
the house. It was in vain to resist; and in a few moments I
found myself within the Ti, surrounded by a noisy group engaged
in discussing the recent intelligence. Toby's name was
frequently repeated, coupled with violent exclamations of
astonishment. It seemed as if they yet remained in doubt with
regard to the fact of his arrival, at at every fresh report that
was brought from the shore they betrayed the liveliest emotions.

Almost frenzied at being held in this state of suspense, I
passionately besought Mehevi to permit me to proceed. Whether my
companion had arrived or not, I felt a presentiment that my own
fate was about to be decided. Again and again I renewed my
petition to Mehevi. He regarded me with a fixed and serious eye,
but at length yielding to my importunity, reluctantly granted my

Accompanied by some fifty of the natives, I now rapidly continued
my journey; every few moments being transferred from the back of
one to another, and urging my bearer forward all the while with
earnest entreaties. As I thus hurried forward, no doubt as to
the truth of the information I had received ever crossed my mind.

I was alive only to the one overwhelming idea, that a chance of
deliverance was now afforded me, if the jealous opposition of the
savages could be overcome.

Having been prohibited from approaching the sea during the whole
of my stay in the valley, I had always associated with it the
idea of escape. Toby too--if indeed he had ever voluntarily
deserted me--must have effected this flight by the sea; and now
that I was drawing near to it myself, I indulged in hopes which I
had never felt before. It was evident that a boat had entered
the bay, and I saw little reason to doubt the truth of the report
that it had brought my companion. Every time therefore that we
gained an elevation, I looked eagerly around, hoping to behold
him. In the midst of an excited throng, who by their violent
gestures and wild cries appeared to be under the influence of
some excitement as strong as my own, I was now borne along at a
rapid trot, frequently stooping my head to avoid the branches
which crossed the path, and never ceasing to implore those who
carried me to accelerate their already swift pace.

In this manner we had proceeded about four or five miles, when we
were met by a party of some twenty islanders, between whom and
those who accompanied me ensued an animated conference.
Impatient of the delay occasioned by this interruption, I was
beseeching the man who carried me to proceed without his
loitering companions, when Kory-Kory, running to my side,
informed me, in three fatal words, that the news had all proved,
false--that Toby had not arrived--'Toby owlee pemi'. Heaven only
knows how, in the state of mind and body I then was, I ever
sustained the agony which this intelligence caused me; not that
the news was altogether unexpected; but I had trusted that the
fact might not have been made known until we should have arrived
upon the beach. As it was, I at once foresaw the course the
savages would pursue. They had only yielded thus far to my
entreaties, that I might give a joyful welcome to my long-lost
comrade; but now that it was known he had not arrived they would
at once oblige me to turn back.

My anticipations were but too correct. In spite of the
resistance I made, they carried me into a house which was near
the spot, and left me upon the mats. Shortly afterwards several
of those who had accompanied me from the Ti, detaching themselves
from the others, proceeded in the direction of the sea. Those
who remained--among whom were Marheyo, Mow-Mow, Kory-Kory, and
Tinor--gathered about the dwelling, and appeared to be awaiting
their return.

This convinced me that strangers--perhaps some of my own
countrymen--had for some cause or other entered the bay.
Distracted at the idea of their vicinity, and reckless of the
pain which I suffered, I heeded not the assurances of the
islanders, that there were no boats at the beach, but starting to
my feet endeavoured to gain the door. Instantly the passage was
blocked up by several men, who commanded me to resume my seat.
The fierce looks of the irritated savages admonished me that I
could gain nothing by force, and that it was by entreaty alone
that I could hope to compass my object.

Guided by this consideration, I turned to Mow-Mow, the only chief
present whom I had been much in the habit of seeing, and
carefully concealing, my real design, tried to make him
comprehend that I still believed Toby to have arrived on the
shore, and besought him to allow me to go forward to welcome him.

To all his repeated assertions, that my companion had not been
seen, I pretended to turn a deaf ear, while I urged my
solicitations with an eloquence of gesture which the one-eyed
chief appeared unable to resist. He seemed indeed to regard me
as a forward child, to whose wishes he had not the heart to
oppose force, and whom he must consequently humour. He spoke a
few words to the natives, who at once retreated from the door,
and I immediately passed out of the house.

Here I looked earnestly round for Kory-Kory; but that hitherto
faithful servitor was nowhere to be seen. Unwilling to linger
even for a single instant when every moment might be so
important, I motioned to a muscular fellow near me to take me
upon his back; to my surprise he angrily refused. I turned to
another, but with a like result. A third attempt was as
unsuccessful, and I immediately perceived what had induced
Mow-Mow to grant my request, and why the other natives conducted
themselves in so strange a manner. It was evident that the chief
had only given me liberty to continue my progress towards the
sea, because he supposed that I was deprived of the means of
reaching it.

Convinced by this of their determination to retain me a captive,
I became desperate; and almost insensible to the pain which I
suffered, I seized a spear which was leaning against the
projecting eaves of the house, and supporting myself with it,
resumed the path that swept by the dwelling. To my surprise, I
was suffered to proceed alone; all the natives remaining in front
of the house, and engaging in earnest conversation, which every
moment became more loud and vehement; and to my unspeakable
delight, I perceived that some difference of opinion had arisen
between them; that two parties, in short, were formed, and
consequently that in their divided counsels there was some chance
of my deliverance.

Before I had proceeded a hundred yards I was again surrounded by
the savages, who were still in all the heat of argument, and
appeared every moment as if they would come to blows. In the
midst of this tumult old Marheyo came to my side, and I shall
never forget the benevolent expression of his countenance. He
placed his arm upon my shoulder, and emphatically pronounced the
only two English words I had taught him 'Home' and 'Mother'. I
at once understood what he meant, and eagerly expressed my thanks
to him. Fayaway and Kory-Kory were by his side, both weeping
violently; and it was not until the old man had twice repeated
the command that his son could bring himself to obey him, and
take me again upon his back. The one-eyed chief opposed his
doing so, but he was overruled, and, as it seemed to me, by some
of his own party.

We proceeded onwards, and never shall I forget the ecstasy I felt
when I first heard the roar of the surf breaking upon the beach.
Before long I saw the flashing billows themselves through the
opening between the trees. Oh glorious sight and sound of ocean!
with what rapture did I hail you as familiar friends! By this
time the shouts of the crowd upon the beach were distinctly
audible, and in the blended confusion of sounds I almost fancied
I could distinguish the voices of my own countrymen.

When we reached the open space which lay between the groves and
the sea, the first object that met my view was an English
whale-boat, lying with her bow pointed from the shore, and only a
few fathoms distant from it. It was manned by five islanders,
dressed in shirt tunics of calico. My first impression was that
they were in the very act of pulling out from the bay; and that,
after all my exertions, I had come too late. My soul sunk within
me: but a second glance convinced me that the boat was only
hanging off to keep out of the surf; and the next moment I heard
my own name shouted out by a voice from the midst of the crowd.

Looking in the direction of the sound, I perceived, to my
indescribable joy, the tall figure of Karakoee, an Oahu Kanaka,
who had often been aboard the 'Dolly', while she lay in Nukuheva.
He wore the green shooting-jacket with gilt buttons, which had
been given to him by an officer of the Reine Blanche--the French
flag-ship--and in which I had always seen him dressed. I now
remembered the Kanaka had frequently told me that his person was
tabooed in all the valleys of the island, and the sight of him at
such a moment as this filled my heart with a tumult of delight.

Karakoee stood near the edge of the water with a large roll of
cotton-cloth thrown over one arm, and holding two or three canvas
bags of powder, while with the other hand he grasped a musket,
which he appeared to be proffering to several of the chiefs
around him. But they turned with disgust from his offers and
seemed to be impatient at his presence, with vehement gestures
waving him off to his boat, and commanding him to depart.

The Kanaka, however, still maintained his ground, and I at once
perceived that he was seeking to purchase my freedom. Animated
by the idea, I called upon him loudly to come to me; but he
replied, in broken English, that the islanders had threatened to
pierce him with their spears, if he stirred a foot towards me.
At this time I was still advancing, surrounded by a dense throng
of the natives, several of whom had their hands upon me, and more
than one javelin was threateningly pointed at me. Still I
perceived clearly that many of those least friendly towards me
looked irresolute land anxious. I was still some thirty yards
from Karakoee when my farther progress was prevented by the
natives, who compelled me to sit down upon the ground, while they
still retained their hold upon my arms. The din and tumult now
became tenfold, and I perceived that several of the priests were
on the spot, all of whom were evidently urging Mow-Mow and the
other chiefs to prevent my departure; and the detestable word
'Roo-ne! Roo-ne!' which I had heard repeated a thousand times
during the day, was now shouted out on every side of me. Still I
saw that the Kanaka continued his exertions in my favour--that he
was boldly debating the matter with the savages, and was striving
to entice them by displaying his cloth and powder, and snapping
the lock of his musket. But all he said or did appeared only to
augment the clamours of those around him, who seemed bent upon
driving him into the sea.

When I remembered the extravagant value placed by these people
upon the articles which were offered to them in exchange for me,
and which were so indignantly rejected, I saw a new proof of the
same fixed determination of purpose they had all along manifested
with regard to me, and in despair, and reckless of consequences,
I exerted all my strength, and shaking myself free from the grasp
of those who held me, I sprang upon my feet and rushed towards

The rash attempt nearly decided my fate; for, fearful that I
might slip from them, several of the islanders now raised a
simultaneous shout, and pressing upon Karakoee, they menaced him
with furious gestures, and actually forced him into the sea.
Appalled at their violence, the poor fellow, standing nearly to
the waist in the surf, endeavoured to pacify them; but at length
fearful that they would do him some fatal violence, he beckoned
to his comrades to pull in at once, and take him into the boat.

It was at this agonizing moment, when I thought all hope was
ended, that a new contest arose between the two parties who had
accompanied me to the shore; blows were struck, wounds were
given, and blood flowed. In the interest excited by the fray,
every one had left me except Marheyo, Kory-Kory and poor dear
Fayaway, who clung to me, sobbing indignantly. I saw that now or
never was the moment. Clasping my hands together, I looked
imploringly at Marheyo, and move towards the now almost deserted
beach. The tears were in the old man's eyes, but neither he nor
Kory-Kory attempted to hold me, and I soon reached the Kanaka,
who had anxiously watched my movements; the rowers pulled in as
near as they dared to the edge of the surf; I gave one parting
embrace to Fayaway, who seemed speechless with sorrow, and the
next instant I found myself safe in the boat, and Karakoee by my
side, who told the rowers at once to give way. Marheyo and
Kory-Kory, and a great many of the women, followed me into the
water, and I was determined, as the only mark of gratitude I
could show, to give them the articles which had been brought as
my ransom. I handed the musket to Kory-Kory, with a rapid
gesture which was equivalent to a 'Deed of Gift'; threw the roll
of cotton to old Marheyo, pointing as I did so to poor Fayaway,
who had retired from the edge of the water and was sitting down
disconsolate on the shingles; and tumbled the powder-bags out to
the nearest young ladies, all of whom were vastly willing to take
them. This distribution did not occupy ten seconds, and before
it was over the boat was under full way; the Kanaka all the while
exclaiming loudly against what he considered a useless throwing
away of valuable property.

Although it was dear that my movements had been noticed by
several of the natives, still they had not suspended the conflict
in which they were engaged, and it was not until the boat was
above fifty yards from the shore that Mow-Mow and some six or
seven other warriors rushed into the sea and hurled their
javelins at us. Some of the weapons passed quite as close to us
as was desirable, but no one was wounded, and the men pulled away
gallantly. But although soon out of the reach of the spears, our
progress was extremely slow; it blew strong upon the shore, and
the tide was against us; and I saw Karakoee, who was steering the
boat, give many a look towards a jutting point of the bay round
which we had to pass.

For a minute or two after our departure, the savages, who had
formed into different groups, remained perfectly motionless and
silent. All at-once the enraged chief showed by his gestures
that he had resolved what course he would take. Shouting loudly
to his companions, and pointing with his tomahawk towards the
headland, he set off at full speed in that direction, and was
followed by about thirty of the natives, among whom were several
of the priests, all yelling out 'Roo-ne! Roo-ne!' at the very
top of their voices. Their intention was evidently to swim off
from the headland and intercept us in our course. The wind was
freshening every minute, and was right in our teeth, and it was
one of those chopping angry seas in which it is so difficult to
row. Still the chances seemed in our favour, but when we came
within a hundred yards of the point, the active savages were
already dashing into the water, and we all feared that within
five minutes' time we should have a score of the infuriated
wretches around us. If so our doom was sealed, for these
savages, unlike the feeble swimmer of civilized countries, are,
if anything, more formidable antagonists in the water than when
on the land. It was all a trial of strength; our natives pulled
till their oars bent again, and the crowd of swimmers shot
through the water despite its roughness, with fearful rapidity.

By the time we had reached the headland, the savages were spread
right across our course. Our rowers got out their knives and
held them ready between their teeth, and I seized the boat-hook.
We were all aware that if they succeeded in intercepting us they
would practise upon us the manoeuvre which has proved so fatal to
many a boat's crew in these seas. They would grapple the oars,
and seizing hold of the gunwhale, capsize the boat, and then we
should be entirely at their mercy.

After a few breathless moments discerned Mow-Mow. The athletic
islander, with his tomahawk between his teeth, was dashing the
water before him till it foamed again. He was the nearest to us,
and in another instant he would have seized one of the oars.
Even at the moment I felt horror at the act I was about to
commit; but it was no time for pity or compunction, and with a
true aim, and exerting all my strength, I dashed the boat-hook at
him. It struck him just below the throat, and forced him
downwards. I had no time to repeat the blow, but I saw him rise
to the surface in the wake of the boat, and never shall I forget
the ferocious expression of his countenance.

Only one other of the savages reached the boat. He seized the
gunwhale, but the knives of our rowers so mauled his wrists, that
he was forced to quit his hold, and the next minute we were past
them all, and in safety. The strong excitement which had thus
far kept me up, now left me, and I fell back fainting into the
arms of Karakoee.

. . . . . . . .

The circumstances connected with my most unexpected escape may be
very briefly stated. The captain of an Australian vessel, being
in distress for men in these remote seas, had put into Nukuheva
in order to recruit his ship's company; but not a single man was
to be obtained; and the barque was about to get under weigh, when
she was boarded by Karakoee, who informed the disappointed
Englishman that an American sailor was detained by the savages in
the neighbouring bay of Typee; and he offered, if supplied with
suitable articles of traffic, to undertake his release. The
Kanaka had gained his intelligence from Marnoo, to whom, after
all, I was indebted for my escape. The proposition was acceded
to; and Karakoee, taking with him five tabooed natives of
Nukuheva, again repaired aboard the barque, which in a few hours
sailed to that part of the island, and threw her main-top-sail
aback right off the entrance to the Typee bay. The whale-boat,
manned by the tabooed crew, pulled towards the head of the inlet,
while the ship lay 'off and on' awaiting its return.

The events which ensued have already been detailed, and little
more remains to be related. On reaching the 'Julia' I was lifted
over the side, and my strange appearance and remarkable adventure
occasioned the liveliest interest. Every attention was bestowed
upon me that humanity could suggest. But to such a state was I
reduced, that three months elapsed before I recovered my health.

The mystery which hung over the fate of my friend and companion
Toby has never been cleared up. I still remain ignorant whether
he succeeded in leaving the valley, or perished at the hands of
the islanders.



THE morning my comrade left me, as related in the narrative, he
was accompanied by a large party of the natives, some of them
carrying fruit and hogs for the purposes of traffic, as the
report had spread that boats had touched at the bay.

As they proceeded through the settled parts of the valley,
numbers joined them from every side, running with animated cries
from every pathway. So excited were the whole party, that eager
as Toby was to gain the beach, it was almost as much as he could
do to keep up with them. Making the valley ring with their
shouts, they hurried along on a swift trot, those in advance
pausing now and then, and flourishing their weapons to urge the
rest forward.

Presently they came to a place where the paths crossed a bend of
the main stream of the valley. Here a strange sound came through
the grove beyond, and the Islanders halted. It was Mow-Mow, the
one-eyed chief, who had gone on before; he was striking his heavy
lance against the hollow bough of a tree.

This was a signal of alarm;--for nothing was now heard but shouts
of 'Happar! Happar!'--the warriors tilting with their spears and
brandishing them in the air, and the women and boys shouting to
each other, and picking up the stones in the bed of the stream.
In a moment or two Mow-Mow and two or three other chiefs ran out
from the grove, and the din increased ten fold.

Now, thought Toby, for a fray; and being unarmed, he besought one
of the young men domiciled with Marheyo for the loan of his
spear. But he was refused; the youth roguishly telling him that
the weapon was very good for him (the Typee), but that a white
man could fight much better with his fists.

The merry humour of this young wag seemed to be shared by the
rest, for in spite of their warlike cries and gestures, everybody
was capering and laughing, as if it was one of the funniest
things in the world to be awaiting the flight of a score or two
of Happar javelins from an ambush in the thickets.

While my comrade was in vain trying to make out the meaning of
all this, a good number of the natives separated themselves from
the rest and ran off into the grove on one side, the others now
keeping perfectly still, as if awaiting the result. After a
little while, however, Mow-Mow, who stood in advance, motioned
them to come on stealthily, which they did, scarcely rustling a
leaf. Thus they crept along for ten or fifteen minutes, every
now and then pausing to listen.

Toby by no means relished this sort of skulking; if there was
going to be a fight, he wanted it to begin at once. But all in
good time,--for just then, as they went prowling into the
thickest of the wood, terrific howls burst upon them on all
sides, and volleys of darts and stones flew across the path. Not
an enemy was to be seen, and what was still more surprising, not
a single man dropped, though the pebbles fell among the leaves
like hail.

There was a moment's pause, when the Typees, with wild shrieks,
flung themselves into the covert, spear in hand; nor was Toby
behindhand. Coming so near getting his skull broken by the
stones, and animated by an old grudge he bore the Happars, he was
among the first to dash at them. As he broke his way through the
underbush, trying, as he did so, to wrest a spear from a young
chief, the shouts of battle all of a sudden ceased, and the wood
was as still as death. The next moment, the party who had left
them so mysteriously rushed out from behind every bush and tree,
and united with the rest in long and merry peals of laughter.

It was all a sham, and Toby, who was quite out of breath with
excitement, was much incensed at being made a fool of.

It afterwards turned out that the whole affair had been concerted
for his particular benefit, though with what precise view it
would be hard to tell. My comrade was the more enraged at this
boys' play, since it had consumed so much time, every moment of
which might be precious. Perhaps, however, it was partly
intended for this very purpose; and he was led to think so,
because when the natives started again, he observed that they did
not seem to be in so great a hurry as before. At last, after
they had gone some distance, Toby, thinking all the while that
they never would get to the sea, two men came running towards
them, and a regular halt ensued, followed by a noisy discussion,
during which Toby's name was often repeated. All this made him
more and more anxious to learn what was going on at the beach;
but it was in vain that he now tried to push forward; the natives
held him back.

In a few moments the conference ended, and many of them ran down
the path in the direction of the water, the rest surrounding
Toby, and entreating him to 'Moee', or sit down and rest himself.
As an additional inducement, several calabashes of food, which
had been brought along, were now placed on the ground, and
opened, and pipes also were lighted. Toby bridled his impatience
a while, but at last sprang to his feet and dashed forward again.
He was soon overtaken nevertheless, and again surrounded, but
without further detention was then permitted to go down to the

They came out upon a bright green space between the groves and
the water, and close under the shadow of the Happar mountain,
where a path was seen winding out of sight through a gorge.

No sign of a boat, however, was beheld, nothing but a tumultuous
crowd of men and women, and some one in their midst, earnestly
talking to them. As my comrade advanced, this person came
forward and proved to be no stranger. He was an old grizzled
sailor, whom Toby and myself had frequently seen in Nukuheva,
where he lived an easy devil-may-care life in the household of
Mowanna the king, going by the name of 'Jimmy'. In fact he was
the royal favourite, and had a good deal to say in his master's
councils. He wore a Manilla hat and a sort of tappa morning
gown, sufficiently loose and negligent to show the verse of a
song tattooed upon his chest, and a variety of spirited cuts by
native artists in other parts of his body. He sported a fishing
rod in his hand, and carried a sooty old pipe slung about his

This old rover having retired from active life, had resided in
Nukuheva some time--could speak the language, and for that reason
was frequently employed by the French as an interpreter. He was
an arrant old gossip too; for ever coming off in his canoe to the
ships in the bay, and regaling their crews with choice little
morsels of court scandal--such, for instance, as a shameful
intrigue of his majesty with a Happar damsel, a public dancer at
the feasts--and otherwise relating some incredible tales about
the Marquesas generally. I remember in particular his telling
the Dolly's crew what proved to be literally a cock-and-bull
story, about two natural prodigies which he said were then on the
island. One was an old monster of a hermit, having a marvellous
reputation for sanctity, and reputed a famous sorcerer, who lived
away off in a den among the mountains, where he hid from the
world a great pair of horns that grew out of his temples.
Notwithstanding his reputation for piety, this horrid old fellow
was the terror of all the island round, being reported to come
out from his retreat, and go a man-hunting every dark night.
Some anonymous Paul Pry, too, coming down the mountain, once got
a peep at his den, and found it full of bones. In short, he was
a most unheard-of monster.

The other prodigy Jimmy told us about was the younger son of a
chief, who, although but just turned of ten, had entered upon
holy orders, because his superstitious countrymen thought him
especially intended for the priesthood from the fact of his
having a comb on his head like a rooster. But this was not all;
for still more wonderful to relate, the boy prided himself upon
his strange crest, being actually endowed with a cock's voice,
and frequently crowing over his peculiarity.

But to return to Toby. The moment he saw the old rover on the
beach, he ran up to him, the natives following after, and forming
a circle round them.

After welcoming him to the shore, Jimmy went on to tell him how
that he knew all about our having run away from the ship, and
being among the Typees. Indeed, he had been urged by Mowanna to
come over to the valley, and after visiting his friends there, to
bring us back with him, his royal master being exceedingly
anxious to share with him the reward which had been held out for
our capture. He, however, assured Toby that he had indignantly
spurned the offer.

All this astonished my comrade not a little, as neither of us had
entertained the least idea that any white man ever visited the
Typees sociably. But Jimmy told him that such was the case
nevertheless, although he seldom came into the bay, and scarcely
ever went back from the beach. One of the priests of the valley,
in some way or other connected with an old tattooed divine in
Nukuheva, was a friend of his, and through him he was 'taboo'.

He said, moreover, that he was sometimes employed to come round
to the bay, and engage fruit for ships lying in Nukuheva. In
fact, he was now on that very errand, according to his own
account, having just come across the mountains by the way of
Happar. By noon of the next day the fruit would be heaped up in
stacks on the beach, in readiness for the boats which he then
intended to bring into the bay.

Jimmy now asked Toby whether he wished to leave the island--if he
did, there was a ship in want of men lying in the other harbour,
and he would be glad to take him over, and see him on board that
very day.

'No,' said Toby, 'I cannot leave the island unless my comrade
goes with me. I left him up the valley because they would not
let him come down. Let us go now and fetch him.'

'But how is he to cross the mountain with us,' replied Jimmy,
'even if we get him down to the beach? Better let him stay till
tomorrow, and I will bring him round to Nukuheva in the boats.'

'That will never do,' said Toby, 'but come along with me now, and
let us get him down here at any rate,' and yielding to the
impulse of the moment, he started to hurry back into the valley.
But hardly was his back turned, when a dozen hands were laid on
him, and he learned that he could not go a step further.

It was in vain that he fought with them; they would not hear of
his stirring from the beach. Cut to the heart at this unexpected
repulse, Toby now conjured the sailor to go after me alone. But
Jimmy replied, that in the mood the Typees then were they would
not permit him so to do, though at the same time he was not
afraid of their offering him any harm.

Little did Toby then think, as he afterwards had good reason to
suspect, that this very Jimmy was a heartless villain, who, by
his arts, had just incited the natives to restrain him as he was
in the act of going after me. Well must the old sailor have
known, too, that the natives would never consent to our leaving
together, and he therefore wanted to get Toby off alone, for a
purpose which he afterwards made plain. Of all this, however, my
comrade now knew nothing.

He was still struggling with the islanders when Jimmy again came
up to him, and warned him against irritating them, saying that he
was only making matters worse for both of us, and if they became
enraged, there was no telling what might happen. At last he made
Toby sit down on a broken canoe by a pile of stones, upon which
was a ruinous little shrine supported by four upright poles, and
in front partly screened by a net. The fishing parties met
there, when they came in from the sea, for their offerings were
laid before an image, upon a smooth black stone within. This
spot Jimmy said was strictly 'taboo', and no one would molest or
come near him while he stayed by its shadow. The old sailor then
went off, and began speaking very earnestly to Mow-Mow and some
other chiefs, while all the rest formed a circle round the taboo
place, looking intently at Toby, and talking to each other
without ceasing.

Now, notwithstanding what Jimmy had just told him, there
presently came up to my comrade an old woman, who seated herself
beside him on the canoe.

'Typee motarkee?' said she. 'Motarkee nuee,' said Toby.

She then asked him whether he was going to Nukuheva; he nodded
yes; and with a plaintive wail and her eyes filling with tears
she rose and left him.

This old woman, the sailor afterwards said, was the wife of an
aged king of a small island valley, communicating by a deep pass
with the country of the Typees. The inmates of the two valleys
were related to each other by blood, and were known by the same
name. The old woman had gone down into the Typee valley the day
before, and was now with three chiefs, her sons, on a visit to
her kinsmen.

As the old king's wife left him, Jimmy again came up to Toby, and
told him that he had just talked the whole matter over with the
natives, and there was only one course for him to follow. They
would not allow him to go back into the valley, and harm would
certainly come to both him and me, if he remained much longer on
the beach. 'So,' said he, 'you and I had better go to Nukuheva
now overland, and tomorrow I will bring Tommo, as they call him,
by water; they have promised to carry him down to the sea for me
early in the morning, so that there will be no delay.'

'No, no,' said Toby desperately, 'I will not leave him that way;
we must escape together.'

'Then there is no hope for you,' exclaimed the sailor, 'for if I
leave you here on the beach, as soon as I am gone you will be
carried back into the valley, and then neither of you will ever
look upon the sea again.' And with many oaths he swore that if
he would only go to Nukuheva with him that day, he would be sure
to have me there the very next morning.

'But how do you know they will bring him down to the beach
tomorrow, when they will not do so today?' said Toby. But the
sailor had many reasons, all of which were so mixed up with the
mysterious customs of the islanders, that he was none the wiser.
Indeed, their conduct, especially in preventing him from
returning into the valley, was absolutely unaccountable to him;
and added to everything else, was the bitter reflection, that the
old sailor, after all, might possibly be deceiving him. And then
again he had to think of me, left alone with the natives, and by
no means well. If he went with Jimmy, he might at least hope to
procure some relief for me. But might not the savages who had
acted so strangely, hurry me off somewhere before his return?
Then, even if he remained, perhaps they would not let him go back
into the valley where I was.

Thus perplexed was my poor comrade; he knew not what to do, and
his courageous spirit was of no use to him now. There he was,
all by himself, seated upon the broken canoe--the natives grouped
around him at a distance, and eyeing him more and more fixedly.
'It is getting late: said Jimmy, who was standing behind the
rest. 'Nukuheva is far off, and I cannot cross the Happar
country by night. You see how it is;--if you come along with
me,. all will be well; if you do not, depend upon it, neither of
you will ever escape.'

'There is no help for it,' said Toby, at last, with a heavy
heart, 'I will have to trust you,' and he came out from the
shadow of the little shrine, and cast a long look up the valley.

'Now keep close to my side,' said the sailor, 'and let us be
moving quickly.' Tinor and Fayaway here appeared; the
kindhearted old woman embracing Toby's knees, and giving way to a
flood of tears; while Fayaway, hardly less moved, spoke some few
words of English she had learned, and held up three fingers
before him--in so many days he would return.

At last Jimmy pulled Toby out of the crowd, and after calling to
a young Typee who was standing by with a young pig in his arms,
all three started for the mountains.

'I have told them that you are coming back again,' said the old
fellow, laughing, as they began the ascent, 'but they'll have to
wait a long time.' Toby turned, and saw the natives all in
motion--the girls waving their tappas in adieu, and the men their
spears. As the last figure entered the grove with one arm
raised, and the three fingers spread, his heart smote him.

As the natives had at last consented to his going, it might have
been, that some of them, at least, really counted upon his speedy
return; probably supposing, as indeed he had told them when they
were coming down the valley, that his only object in leaving them
was to procure the medicines I needed. This, Jimmy also must
have told them. And as they had done before, when my comrade, to
oblige me, started on his perilous journey to Nukuheva, they
looked upon me, in his absence, as one of two inseparable friends
who was a sure guaranty for the other's return. This is only my
own supposition, however, for as to all their strange conduct, it
is still a mystery.

'You see what sort of a taboo man I am,' said the sailor, after
for some time silently following the path which led up the
mountain. 'Mow-Mow made me a present of this pig here, and the
man who carries it will go right through Happar, and down into
Nukuheva with us. So long as he stays by me he is safe, and just
so it will be with you, and tomorrow with Tommo. Cheer up, then,
and rely upon me, you will see him in the morning.'

The ascent of the mountain was not very difficult, owing to its
being near to the sea, where the island ridges are comparatively
low; the path, too, was a fine one, so that in a short time all
three were standing on the summit with the two valleys at their
feet. The white cascade marking the green head of the Typee
valley first caught Toby's eye; Marheyo's house could easily be
traced by them.

As Jimmy led the way along the ridge, Toby observed that the
valley of the Happars did not extend near so far inland as that
of the Typees. This accounted for our mistake in entering the
latter valley as we had.

A path leading down from the mountain was soon seen, and,
following it, the party were in a short time fairly in the Happar

'Now,' said Jimmy, as they hurried on, 'we taboo men have wives
in all the bays, and I am going to show you the two I have here.'

So, when they came to the house where he said they lived,--which
was close by the base of the mountain in a shady nook among the
groves--he went in, and was quite furious at finding it
empty--the ladies, had gone out. However, they soon made their
appearance, and to tell the truth, welcomed Jimmy quite
cordially, as well as Toby, about whom they were very
inquisitive. Nevertheless, as the report of their arrival
spread, and the Happars began to assemble, it became evident that
the appearance of a white stranger among them was not by any
means deemed so wonderful an event as in the neighbouring valley.

The old sailor now bade his wives prepare something to eat, as he
must be in Nukuheva before dark. A meal of fish, bread-fruit,
and bananas, was accordingly served up, the party regaling
themselves on the mats, in the midst of a numerous company.

The Happars put many questions to Jimmy about Toby; and Toby
himself looked sharply at them, anxious to recognize the fellow
who gave him the wound from which he was still suffering. But
this fiery gentleman, so handy with his spear, had the delicacy,
it seemed, to keep out of view. Certainly the sight of him would
not have been any added inducement to making a stay in the
valley,--some of the afternoon loungers in Happar having politely
urged Toby to spend a few days with them,--there was a feast
coming on. He, however, declined.

All this while the young Typee stuck to Jimmy like his shadow,
and though as lively a dog as any of his tribe, he was now as
meek as a lamb, never opening his mouth except to eat. Although
some of the Happars looked queerly at him, others were more
civil, and seemed desirous of taking him abroad and showing him
the valley. But the Typee was not to be cajoled in that way.
How many yards he would have to remove from Jimmy before the
taboo would be powerless, it would be hard to tell, but probably
he himself knew to a fraction.

On the promise of a red cotton handkerchief, and something else
which he kept secret, this poor fellow had undertaken a rather
ticklish journey, though, as far as Toby could ascertain, it was
something that had never happened before.

The island-punch--arva--was brought in at the conclusion of the
repast, and passed round in a shallow calabash.

Now my comrade, while seated in the Happar house, began to feel
more troubled than ever at leaving me; indeed, so sad did he feel
that he talked about going back to the valley, and wanted Jimmy
to escort him as far as the mountains. But the sailor would not
listen to him, and, by way of diverting his thoughts, pressed him
to drink of the arva. Knowing its narcotic nature, he refused;
but Jimmy said he would have something mixed with it, which would
convert it into an innocent beverage that would inspirit them for
the rest of their journey. So at last he was induced to drink of
it, and its effects were just as the sailor had predicted; his
spirits rose at once, and all his gloomy thoughts left him.

The old rover now began to reveal his true character, though he
was hardly suspected at the time. 'If I get you off to a ship,'
said he, 'you will surely give a poor fellow something for saving
you.' In short, before they left the house, he made Toby promise
that he would give him five Spanish dollars if he succeeded in
getting any part of his wages advanced from the vessel, aboard of
which they were going; Toby, moreover, engaging to reward him
still further, as soon as my deliverance was accomplished.

A little while after this they started again, accompanied by many
of the natives, and going up the valley, took a steep path near
its head, which led to Nukuheva. Here the Happars paused and
watched them as they ascended the mountain, one group of
bandit-looking fellows, shaking their spears and casting
threatening glances at the poor Typee, whose heart as well as
heels seemed much the lighter when he came to look down upon

On gaining the heights once more, their way led for a time along
several ridges covered with enormous ferns. At last they entered
upon a wooded tract, and here they overtook a party of Nukuheva
natives, well armed, and carrying bundles of long poles. Jimmy
seemed to know them all very well, and stopped for a while, and
had a talk about the 'Wee-Wees', as the people of Nukuheva call
the Monsieurs.

The party with the poles were King Mowanna's men, and by his
orders they had been gathering them in the ravines for his allies
the French.

Leaving these fellows to trudge on with their loads, Toby and his
companions now pushed forward again, as the sun was already low
in the west. They came upon the valleys of Nukuheva on one side
of the bay, where the highlands slope off into the sea. The
men-of-war were still lying in the harbour, and as Toby looked
down upon them, the strange events which had happened so
recently, seemed all a dream.

They soon descended towards the beach, and found themselves in
Jimmy's house before it was well dark. Here he received another
welcome from his Nukuheva wives, and after some refreshments in
the shape of cocoanut milk and poee-poee, they entered a canoe
(the Typee of course going along) and paddled off to a whaleship
which was anchored near the shore. This was the vessel in want
of men. Our own had sailed some time before. The captain
professed great pleasure at seeing Toby, but thought from his
exhausted appearance that he must be unfit for duty. However, he
agreed to ship him, as well as his comrade, as soon as he should
arrive. Toby begged hard for an armed boat, in which to go round
to Typee and rescue me, notwithstanding the promises of Jimmy.
But this the captain would not hear of, and told him to have
patience, for the sailor would be faithful to his word. When,
too, he demanded the five silver dollars for Jimmy, the captain
was unwilling to give them. But Toby insisted upon it, as he now
began to think that Jimmy might be a mere mercenary, who would be
sure to prove faithless if not well paid. Accordingly he not
only gave him the money, but took care to assure him, over and
over again, that as soon as he brought me aboard he would receive
a still larger sum.

Before sun-rise the next day, Jimmy and the Typee started in two
of the ship's boats, which were manned by tabooed natives. Toby,
of course, was all eagerness to go along, but the sailor told him
that if he did, it would spoil all; so, hard as it was, he was
obliged to remain.

Towards evening he was on the watch, and descried the boats
turning the headland and entering the bay. He strained his eyes,
and thought he saw me; but I was not there. Descending from the
mast almost distracted, he grappled Jimmy as he struck the deck,
shouting in a voice that startled him, 'Where is Tommo?' The old
fellow faltered, but soon recovering, did all he could to soothe
him, assuring him that it had proved to be impossible to get me
down to the shore that morning; assigning many plausible reasons,
and adding that early on the morrow he was going to visit the bay
again in a French boat, when, if he did not find me on the
beach--as this time he certainly expected to--he would march
right back into the valley, and carry me away at all hazards.
He, however, again refused to allow Toby to accompany him. Now,
situated as Toby was, his sole dependence for the present was
upon this Jimmy, and therefore he was fain to comfort himself as
well as he could with what the old sailor told him. The next
morning, however, he had the satisfaction of seeing the French
boat start with Jimmy in it. Tonight, then, I will see him,
thought Toby; but many a long day passed before he ever saw Tommo
again. Hardly was the boat out of sight, when the captain came
forward and ordered the anchor weighed; he was going to sea.

Vain were all Toby's ravings--they were disregarded; and when he
came to himself, the sails were set, and the ship fast leaving
the land.

. . . 'Oh!' said he to me at our meeting, 'what sleepless
nights were mine. Often I started from my hammock, dreaming you
were before me, and upbraiding me for leaving you on the island.'

. . . . . . .

There is little more to be related. Toby left this vessel at New
Zealand, and after some further adventures, arrived home in less
than two years after leaving the Marquesas. He always thought of
me as dead--and I had every reason to suppose that he too was no
more; but a strange meeting was in store for us, one which made
Toby's heart all the lighter.


The author was more than two years in the South Seas, after
escaping from the valley, as recounted in the last chapter. Some
time after returning home the foregoing narrative was published,
though it was little thought at the time that this would be the
means of revealing the existence of Toby, who had long been given
up for lost. But so it proved.

The story of his escape supplies a natural sequel to the
adventure, and as such it is now added to the volume. It was
related to the author by Toby himself, not ten days since.

New York, July, 1846.


Typee: A Romance of the South Sea, by Herman Melville

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