A NATURALIST'S WANDERINGS
devoid of all feelings of gratitude or pity. To give anything for nothing would be a breach of all their hereditary instincts.
On one occasion, towards the end of our stay, when our larder was empty and our men were away in the northern island of Molu, a bunch of fish, which
A- was sorely in need of after a
long bout of fever, was brought to us for sale ; but the barter demanded was a particular kind of button, of which we had not a single example remaining. We offered almost anything they might choose from our stocka cloth, knives, beadsa nothing, however, but the button would satisfy them. Give us the fishes the owner would not ; instead, he hung them on a peg at our very door, where we dared not have touched them, whero they remained till next day, when I had to fetch him to relieve us of the putrefying odour, which he did by casting them into the sea ! Where they think they can escape detection they lie and steal without compunction, though their laws punish the latter with slavery, from which the thief can be ransomed only by a great sum. When sober they are good natured enough and live in harmony with each other, but in their cups they are easily offended. To their enemies they are savagely cruel, executing on those that fall into their hands the most revolting atrocities before affixing their dismembered quarters to their publie places.
Like all untutored races they are very inquisitive. Tne} watched our a manners and customs a as eagerly as we di theirs. From morning to night wre had constant relays lyi^S in or sitting about our house, whom it was impossible to diA miss without giving offence. Though it was a very interesting study and there was much to be learned from watching those big children in their various moods, it was not quite pleasant to have them always with us, or to take our food with an infinite51
SUSPENSORY CONTRIVANCE MADE OF PALM-LEAF.