DOMAIN OF SAVAGE KINGS 285
the mightiest of the chiefs sit on the stones which are in the four corners.
Through the framework of the BalA(c) I A aw dozens of smoked heads, dangling under the idols. I glimpsed a skull through the lower opening in a tomb. The king must have observed my interest in these things, for he summoned three priestesses, gave an order, and at once the women began a slow, curious dance. It must, I think, have been a part of some ceremonial, probably interpretative of death.
I sat back and chewed my betela betel accepted out of diplomacy, not desirea and considered how much more thoroughly I would have enjoyed this adventure had my companions been with me. But if they had been there this would not have been an adventure.
A pig sauntered by, interrupting the dance. Si Dofa pointed to the animal with invitation in his eye. I nodded, and placed my hand on my stomach. Even without one word of a common language, the king and I were arriving at an excellent understanding. There was an appearance of general rejoicing; everyone must have been as hungry as I. Not that pig, but another already cooking furnished our feast at King Si Dofa's palace. Iron pots and kettles and pans were steaming on stones in front of the house ; and out of them came sago cakes and pork with a gravy of pigs' blood, boiling hot. These delicacies, with shaved cocoanut were put on a banana leaf, and offered to me. Devoutly