The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18

The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18

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The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 by Robert Louis Stevenson

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1891

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The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18

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Book Excerpt

y pleasantries--"Here is a mighty fine ship," said he, "to have no money on board!" I own I was inspired with sensible repugnance; even with alarm. The ship was manifestly in their power; we had women on board; I knew nothing of my guests beyond the fact that they were cannibals; the Directory (my only guide) was full of timid cautions; and as for the trader, whose presence might else have reassured me, were not whites in the Pacific the usual instigators and accomplices of native outrage? When he reads this confession, our kind friend, Mr. Regler, can afford to smile.

Later in the day, as I sat writing up my journal, the cabin was filled from end to end with Marquesans: three brown-skinned generations, squatted cross-legged upon the floor, and regarding me in silence with embarrassing eyes. The eyes of all Polynesians are large, luminous, and melting; they are like the eyes of animals and some Italians. A kind of despair came over me, to sit there helpless under all these staring orbs, and be thus blo

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