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RETURN IN A "KORA-KORA."
low, and about four tons burden. It had outriggers of bamboo about five feet off each side, which supported a bamboo platform extending the whole length of the vessel. On the extreme outside of this sit the twenty rowers, while within was a convenient passage fore and aft. The middle portion of the boat was covered with a thatch-house, in which baggage and passengers are stowed; the gunwale was not more than a foot above water, and from the great top and side weight and general clumsiness, these boats are dangerous in heavy weather, and are not unfrequently lost. A triangle mast and mat sail carried us on when the wind was favorable, which (as usual) it never was, although, according to the monsoon, it ought to have been. Our water, carried in bamboos, would only last two days, and as the voyage occupied seven, we had to touch at a great many places. The captain was not very energetic, and the men rowed as little as they pleased, or we might have reached Ternate in three days, having had fine weather and little wind all the way.
There were several passengers beside myself: three or four Javanese soldiers, two convicts whose time had expired (one, curiously enough, being the man who had stolen my cash-box and keys), the school-master's wife, and a servant going on a visit to Ternate, and a Chinese trader going to buy goods. We had to sleep all together in the cabin, packed pretty close; but they very civilly allowed me plenty of room for my mattress, and we got on very well together. There was a little cookhouse in the bows, where we could boil our rice and make our coffee, every one of course bringing his own provisions, and arranging his meal-times as he found most convenient. The passage would have been agreeable enough but for the dreadful " tom-toms," or wooden drums, which are beaten incessantly while the men are rowing. Two men were engaged constantly at them, making a fearful din the whole voyage. The rowers are men sent by the Sultan of Ternate. They get about threepence a day, and find their own provisEach man had a strong wooden "betel" box, on which he generally sat, a sleeping-mat, and a change of clothesrowing naked, with only a sarong or a waist-cloth. They sleep in their places, covered with their mat, which keeps out the rain pretty well. They chew betel or smoke cigarettes
incessantly; eat dry sago and a little salt fish; seldom sing while rowing, except when excited and wanting to reach a stopping-place, and do not talk a great deal. They are mostly Malays, with a sprinkling of Alfuros from Gilolo, and Papuans from Guebe or Waigiou.
One afternoon we staid at Makian; many of the men went on shore, and a great deal of plantains, bananas, and other fruits were brought on board. We then went on a little way, and in the evening anchored again. When going to bed for the night, I put out my candle, there being still a glimmering lamp burning, and, missing my handkerchief, thought I saw it on a box which formed one side of my bed, and put out my hand to take it. I quickly drew back on feeling something cool and very smooth, which moved as I touched it. Bring the light, quick," I cried; "here's a snake." And there he was, sure enough, nicely coiled up, with his head just raised to inquire who had disturbed him. It was now necessary to catch or kill him neatly, or he would escape among the piles of miscellaneous luggage, and we should hardly sleep comfortably. One of the ex-convicts volunteered to catch him with his hand wrapped up in a cloth, but from the way he went about it I saw he was nervous and would let the thing go, so I would not allow him to make the attempt. I then got a chopping-knife, and carefully moving my insect-nets, which hung just over the snake and prevented me getting a free blow, I cut him quietly across the back, holding him down while my boy with another knife crushed his head. On examination, I found he had large poison fangs, and it is a wonder he did not bite me when I first touched him.
Thinking it very unlikely that two snakes had got on board at the same time, I turned in and went to sleep; but having all the time a vague dreamy idea that I might put my hand on another one, I lay wonderfully still, not turning over once all night, quite the reverse of my usual habits. The next day we reached Ternate, and I ensconced myself in my comforta ble house, to examine all my treasures, and pack them securely for the voyage home.
DEPARTURE FROM AMBOYNA.
CERAM, GORAM, AND THE MATABELLO ISLANDS.
I LEFT Amboyna for my first visit to Ceram at three o'clock in the morning of October 29th, after having been delayed several days by the boat's crew, who could not be got together. Captain Van der Beck, who gave me a passage in his boat, had been running after them all day, and at midnight we had to search for two of my men, who had disappeared at the last moment. One we found at supper in his own house, and rather tipsy with his parting libations of arrack, but the other was gone across the bay, and we were obliged to leave without him. We staid some hours at two villages near the east end of Amboyna, at one of which we had to discharge some wood for the missionaries' house, and on the third afternoon reached Captain Van der Beck's plantation, situated at Hatosúa, in that part of Ceram opposite to the island of Amboyna. This was a clearing in flat and rather swampy forest, about twenty acres in extent, and mostly planted with cacao and tobacco. Besides a small cottage occupied by the workmen, there was a large shed for tobacco-drying, a corner of which was offered me; and thinking from the look of the place that I should find good collecting-ground here, I fitted up temporary tables, benches, and beds, and made all preparations for some weeks' stay. A few days, however, served to show that I should be disappointed. Beetles were tolerably abundant, and I obtained plenty of fine long-horned Anthribidæ and pretty longicorns, but they were mostly the same species as I had found during my first short visit to Amboyna. There were very few paths in the forest, which seemed poor in birds and butterflies, and day after day my men brought me nothing worth notice. I was therefore soon obliged to think about changing my locality, as I could evidently obtain no proper notion of the productions of the al
MR. VAN DER BECK.
most entirely unexplored island of Ceram by staying in this place.
I rather regretted leaving, because my host was one of the most remarkable men and most entertaining companions I had ever met with. He was a Fleming by birth, and, like so many of his countrymen, had a wonderful talent for languages. When quite a youth, he had accompanied a Government official who was sent to report on the trade and commerce of the Mediterranean, and had acquired the colloquial language of every place they staid a few weeks at. He had afterward made voyages to St. Petersburg and to other parts of Europe, including a few weeks in London, and had then come out to the East, where he had been for some years trading and speculating in the various islands. He now spoke Dutch, French, Malay, and Javanese, all equally well, English with a very slight accent, but with perfect fluency, and a most complete knowledge of idiom, in which I often tried to puzzle him in vain. German and Italian were also quite familiar to him, and his acquaintance with European languages included modern Greek, Turkish, Russian, and colloquial Hebrew and Latin. As a test of his power, I may mention that he had made a voyage to the out-of-the-way island of Salibaboo, and had staid there trading a few weeks. As I was collecting vocabularies, he told me he thought he could remember some words, and dictated a considerable number. Some time after I met with a short list of words taken down in those islands, and in every case they agreed with those he had given me. He used to sing a Hebrew drinking-song, which he had learned from some Jews with whom he had once travelled, and astonished by joining in their conversation, and had a never-ending fund of tale and anecdote about the people he had met and the places he had visited.
In most of the villages of this part of Ceram are schools and native school-masters, and the inhabitants have been long converted to Christianity. In the larger villages there are European missionaries; but there is little or no external difference between the Christian and Alfuro villages, nor, as far as I have seen, in their inhabitants. The people seem more decidedly Papuan than those of Gilolo. They are darker in color, and a number of them have the frizzly Paupan hair;