The White Man's Foot

The White Man's Foot

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The White Man's Foot by Grant Allen

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The White Man's Foot

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The old priest of Mauna Loa, the great Hawaiian volcano, is to all outward appearance a good, civilized Christian man, who has discarded his old beliefs and has heartily accepted the more excellent way offered him. All the while he keeps the old priest's mask in his closet and the old faith in his heart. His contact with the scientific explorers who come to pry into the secrets of his great goddess works out into a decidedly interesting tale, a little too full, perhaps, of hairbreadth escapes in situations from which escape seems impossible, and is found only at the very last possible moment, when all hope has been given up, but a well-sustained narrative throughout.

Book Excerpt

down long strings of macaroni: "don't you think, if we've got to live so long in a native hut, and feed on this port of thing, we may as well use ourselves to their manners and customs, whatever they may be, at the pearliest convenient opportunity?"

"Haven't you heard, my dear boy," said I, "what the naval officer wrote when he was asked to report to the Admiralty on that very subject of the manners and customs of the South Sea Islanders? 'Manners they have none,' he replied with Spartan brevity, 'and their customs are beastly.'"

"Not a bit of it," Frank answered quickly in his jolly way. "For my part I think this sticky, pasty stuff they're eating with their fingers, though it's a bit stodgy, looks like real jam, and I'd much rather take my lunch off things like that up here on deck, out of a native calabash, than go down and eat a civilized meal with a knife and fork in that hoky-poky, stuffy little cabin there."

I confess, for myself, I didn't exactly like the look of it. Cosmopolitan as I am, I object to fingers as a substitute for spoons. We were on board the Royal Hawaiian mail steamer Liké Liké, 500 tons registered burden, from Honolulu for Hilo, in the island of Hawaii; and a quainter group than the natives on deck I'm bound to admit, in all my wanderings, by sea or by land, I had never set eyes on. The tiny steamer was built in fact on purpose to accommodate all tastes alike, be the same savage or civilized. Down stairs was a saloon where regular meals in the European fashion were well served by a dusky Polynesian steward in a white linen jacket, to such

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