Six Prize Hawaiian Stories of the Kilohana Art League Part 4

We said we did not know. Then said he, "he is dead for his hat is lying beside the charcoal kiln and it looks as if he had fallen in and been consumed." We went over to see and things did have that appearance, as the roof had fallen in and the pit was a mass of flame. The Chinaman must have taken the rejection of his suit very much to heart to have destroyed himself by such a horrid route.

That same day Shenandoah rode off to Makawao on Lani's horse and reported the death of Leong Sing and swore out a complaint charging Frank Willoughby with the murder.

A constable came over and took Frank away and when the coroner's inquest was held the jury returned a verdict: "died by the hands of some one unknown to us." At the examination before the magistrate Shenandoah and Joe Edwards both swore to having repeatedly heard Frank Willoughby threaten to kill the Chinaman and the magistrate held Frank without bail to be tried by the next Circuit Court at Lahaina. He was taken off over the mountains by a policeman. Joe Edwards skipped out for fear he might be also arrested, for his threats were as pronounced as Frank's.

When Frank and the guard got into Lahaina he sent for an old friend of his father's who was practicing law there and he persuaded the Circuit Judge to accept bail as there had been no body found and no cause for the calling of a coroner's jury and that the magistrate merely acted on the hearsay of a pair who were jealous of the prisoner.

Frank went home with Farwell and the latter advised him to return home to New York saying that he had frequently written to him advising such a course and his parents were exceedingly anxious about him. Frank refused to skip his bail and determined to stand trial like a man.

Within two weeks the Chinaman, Leong Sing, came in with his uncle who had gone to search into the matter and Frank was ordered discharged. The Chinaman had felt so heartbroken that he had wandered away up the ravine and climbed up on a ridge and kept on walking until he met a heavy shower and as it is pretty cold up there he turned to go back.

Unfortunately he did not take the same ridge down, a thing likely enough to occur, as he had walked so far as to have passed the heads of several ravines, and keeping too much to the right had brought up the following night at Halehaku, some six miles from his point of departure. The natives took care of him and in a few days he was enabled to get a horse and return to camp to the agreeable surprise of the rest of us.

Frank took Mr. Farwell's advice and went straight home to New York.

Years afterwards we were riding from Waihee to Lahaina by way of Kahakuloa and arriving at the latter village we felt as if some fish and poi would taste good. It was a dilapidated looking place and the shanties were hardly improvements on pigsties, but we decided that it was better to eat there than to risk going farther and finding none.

We stopped at the best looking shanty and were told they would prepare us some _opihi_, a shell fish abundant on the rocks there, the sale of which is about the only source of livelihood of the few inhabitants.

Imagine our surprise when we were called to eat to find that our hostess was none other than Lani and that Shenandoah was our host and that their eleven little black offsprings were the kids we saw perched on the fence.

Lani was an old fagged out woman without any traces of the belle she had been, and Shenandoah was blacker and uglier than ever. "Apples of Sodom," said my friend, and we paid for our opihi and poi and departed."


Legend of Hiku i Kanahele

Above the long sloping hills of Kona where the coffee grows luxuriantly, on the stately mountain of Hualalai, he lived, this Hiku I Kanahele.

That he existed there can be no doubt, for the Kamaainas will tell you the most remarkable stories concerning him, which have been cherished with all the old-time love of romance to the present matter-of-fact age, handed down from generation to generation. They will tell you also that his father Ku was a Demi-God and his mother Hina a Demi-Goddess, and will eagerly show you a romantic relic of the past at the foot of the mountain, the Ke Ana o Hina--Cave of Hina, and will point out to you on the Kona coast, not far from Kailua, with its soft, dreamy warm atmosphere and enchanting bay, the palace where Hiku and his bride resided.

Ku and Hina had two children: Hiku, kane, and Kawelu, wahine, she being many years his junior. Hiku, however, did not know of her existence, for when a very little kaikamahine she was given to the care of the brave Chief of Holualoa, who reared her as his own child.

Beautiful as the sunrise was Kawelu, with eyes as large, soft and brown as the heart of a sunflower, tall, and graceful as the palms which swayed in the murmuring breezes in her palace garden, with a disposition sweet as the maile wreaths and ohia leis her maidens wove to adorn her jet-black hair, or wind around her willowy shapely form.

Many were the young chiefs who sought her favors, but for all she had only smiles of friendship, though at times, with the wanton coquetry innate in the heart of every beautiful woman, she would smile archly and invitingly upon some handsome Alii, then regard him with a saucy indifference which made her doubly precious in his eyes. Agile as she was beautiful, her equal could not be found throughout the Isle in athletic games. Often, in the pastime of throwing the spear, had she evaded half a dozen of these dangerous weapons cast at her at once, catching some with her hands, warding off or eluding the others. None could hurl the arrows so dextrously as she, nor ride so swiftly on the holua down the steep hills, and few cared to leap from such lofty rocks into the swollen streams; and she would think it a light task to swim for miles upon the gently swelling waters of the blue ocean, saying with a merry laugh that the dreaded Mano was her good friend. But the pastime she loved best of all was surf riding, and so wondrously expert was she in this exhilarating sport, and so beautiful did she appear standing erect on her board on the crest of an incoming wave, breaking in snowy foam all around her, so like a radiant Nymph or Goddess freshly risen from the seething waters, that the onlookers would burst into thunderous applause, calling her Kawelu the Beautiful, which was borne echoing up the mountain for many miles; and it was there in his home on the mountain top that Hiku heard these strange sounds wafted thither by the vagrant winds. Often had he asked his mother what they meant, but always evasive were her answers, for well she knew, with her wonderful power of divining the future, what the result would be if he should know. But at last, so persistent were his queries, she told him the sounds he heard were the voices of the people, applauding the most lovely wahine in all the world, praising her beauty and skill as she rode on the waves, and that this beautiful maiden was his own sister. Then a great warm desire filled his breast, and he said: "I must go to her; I must see this charming sister of mine, and ride with her on the waves." With commands and entreaties Hina endeavored to detain him, but to no purpose. Then she told him they would fall in love with each other, and that would bring great pilikia, for it was considered then a proper thing for the chiefs to make love to and marry their own sisters.

The next day Hiku departed for the coast with a surf board made by his father. Being descended from the Gods he had all their innate beauty of form and cleverness; and the manner in which he rode the waves called forth the plaudits of the assembled crowd again and again.

Kawelu, who at this time was indolently lying on the royal mats in the palace, her shapely form being lomilomied by her attentive maids, inquired why the people applauded so heartily, and on being told there had come a stranger to the shore as strong and graceful and athletic as a God, and that he was riding her favorite nalu, which were tabu to those not of Royal birth, hastily encircled her slender waist with her pa'u, and with the Leipalaoa around her neck (an ivory insignia of royalty enclosed in human hair), hurried to the beach, and there upon the white gleaming crests of her own nalu saw the most handsome youth her liquid eyes smiled upon with a malo around his loins, borne swiftly towards her, landing almost at her feet. Their eyes met, and both stood still as though transfixed by some delightful sensation, then with a sudden joyous impulse she took the Leipalaoa from her bosom and threw it around his neck, expressing a desire for him, it being a privilege, graciously accorded her royal station, to ask whom she pleased to be her lover. Hiku with all the fervor of the poetical nature returned her impromptu affection, for she appeared to him like one of his beautiful ancestors, who were Gods and Goddesses, of whom Ku and Hina had told him marvellous stories in his boyhood.

The happy lovers repaired to the Chief, the foster father of Kawelu, and when he learned of Hiku's exalted station readily gave consent to their union.

Several months sped swiftly by, never had time tripped along so merrily, his jaunty footsteps being hastened by hilarious luaus where hulas were sung and danced; and throughout the happy period the two lovers nestled together like a pair of cooing doves, never out of each other's presence. None amongst the hundreds of guests could dance the hulas with such ease and grace, nor sing so harmoniously; and when linked arm in arm as they rode on their surf boards on the hissing breakers, their handsome forms erect and stately, they seemed to the wondering gazers like the offspring of the Gods from some mystic realm beyond the waste of waters surrounding their tranquil isle or from one of the millions of moving worlds that shone above at night, which ever filled them with awe and amazement.

But there comes a time in the sweetest moments of our lives when the causes which induced them cease to operate, when Love itself grows tired of loving. Hiku had never before been so long away from his parents, and having drank to satiety of the love of his graceful Kawelu, a strong yearning filled his heart to see his mother Hina, a yearning which increased daily, till at length he told his affectionate bride that he must leave her for awhile. With tears and entreaties she implored him to stay, fearing this was a ruse to abandon her, that he no longer wished her caresses; but he became sullen and obstinate, and one day at sunrise he stealthily left the couch of his sweet young wife, whose eyes were softly closed in blissful slumber.

Kawelu awoke; Hiku was gone, and whither? Perhaps forever? These were the thoughts which swiftly filled her mind, and caused her eyes to weep rivers of tears. Then she wildly prayed to the Gods to bring him back to her aching bosom, and finding no response, set out alone along the mountain trail towards his home, where she surmised he was journeying.

But Hiku with his natural intuition knew of her design, and calling to his aid the clouds he bade them intercept her path, and the rain he bade fall to make slippery the ground for her feet, and the branches of the trees and the ferns and vines to detain her. Despite these obstacles, with all Love's fond foolishness, Kawelu followed her recreant lover for many hours, to sink at last exhausted on the cold wet earth, her soft skin torn by the thorny bushes and branches of the ohias, and her long silken hair tossed wildly around her form where the ieie vine had clutched it as she passed. Salt tears flowed from her eyes; her rosy morning dream of Love had vanished, and the black despair of night had taken its place. Calling loudly in the unbroken silence of the forest for her lover, she chanted the following lines pathetically:

Pii ana Hiku i ke kualono, Ka lala e kau kolo ana; I keekeehiia e ka ua, Helelei ka pua ilalo, E Hiku hoi e, Hoi mai kaua e!

Which roughly translated are as follows:

Hiku has gone up the mountain, Where the long winding branches are creeping, And the blossoms fall thickly around Where the rain on the branches is weeping: Oh Hiku! come back to me!

The radiant tropic morning has dawned, the sun has kissed the raindrops from the faces of the flowers, but on the sweet gentle face of Kawelu the raindrops of her heart still fall unceasingly! Vainly her father tries to soothe her grief, for he had found her weeping and shivering on the lonely mountain side; vainly her maids cluster around with soft words of condolence. At length she sleeps, and they leave her, praying to the Gods to take away this great sorrow, to make her again the warm ray of sunshine, gladdening all with which it came in contact. When they returned Kawelu was dead! Grieved beyond endurance by her tragic loss she sought release in Death for this maddening pain her heart could never hold, fastening with her own gentle fingers around her smooth round throat the death-inducing cord!

Hiku had greeted his mother Hina with a kiss, but she bent upon him reproachful eyes, and said "My son, you have killed your sister; already she lies dead through loss of you! You must now go and try to undo the great wrong you have committed." Then Hiku in despair rushed down the mountain accompanied by Ku, and reaching the palace of his beautiful Kawelu found his mother's words to be true, and with loud manifestations of grief had her body placed in a dark cool room which was tabu to all.

By his superior intuition Ku discerned Kawelu's soul had gone to Aina Milu, a region of pleasure in the underwood, a place where the spirits of those who break Nature's laws go at death, where no sun ever shines.

The entrance to this realm of shades he found to be in the fertile valley of Waipio, and thither he and the now distracted Hiku swiftly sped, gathering as they went the Kowali vine, weaving of it a stout rope. On the side of the valley they discovered a large hole (pointed out by the natives to the present day) which Ku said was the entrance to this darksome world of festive spirits. Hiku unwound his huge coil of rope with the delicate blue and white Kowali flowers entwined in its strands, and prepared to descend into the dark pit. Previous to doing so, however, he provided himself with an empty cocoanut shell, and rubbed his body all over with some rotten kukui nut oil, which emitted a most offensive odor, and with a kukui nut for a light, whilst Ku firmly held the rope, he descended into the blackness.

On reaching the bottom he found himself in a gloomy region amidst thorny trees without leaves and fruit, dry and barren, with a close heavy stifling atmosphere, whose odor excited the senses and produced an intense thirst. Countless numbers of spirits were gathered there, all active and restless, engaged in the very games they were fond of on earth. A great luau was being prepared, where thousands of phantom pigs and chickens were cooking in fires that gave no light. The Demon King Milu was going that night to marry a beautiful fresh young soul who had just arrived in his weird realm; and looking towards the throne of the king Hiku in dismay saw she was none other than his own lost bride.

Much excitement was created by the presence of Hiku, but he smelled so badly of the rotten kukui nuts that the spirits did not care to approach very closely, designing him "Ke akua pilau,"--the bad smelling ghost.

The merry game of Kilu was going on at the time, and in a few moments his presence was forgotten in its absorbing delights. The game is one of love, a wahine taking in her hand a small ball, with which she endeavors to strike the kanaka she desires, chanting at the same time a verse of a song, and if successful he becomes her immediate lover.

Kawelu was still seated on the elevated throne, holding in her dainty fingers the little ball which was the promoter of this intense merriment. Her mobile lips were chanting a cooing refrain, one which she and Hiku together had composed on earth in the glad days of their brief wedded life. In the midst of it she stopped, and he took up the chant, all the others remaining silent, as the song was unknown to them.

Instantly she called in a tremulous voice, "Who is this that sings;" as though some forgotten memory had wakened in her soul. No one spoke; then she left her place and went amongst the throng, looking into each face until she came to Hiku, who was crouching low, when she stopped, but finding in him a bad-smelling ghost she returned and recommenced the chant. Again she paused a moment when half through, and once more Hiku took up the refrain. Kawelu was intensely agitated; this time she observed it was the bad-smelling spirit who chanted the remainder of her melody, and again approached him, but he during this time had made a swing of his long rope and was swiftly swinging backwards and forwards, to the delight of the clustering spirits who had never seen anything of the kind before. "How smart the bad-smelling ghost is," they said, whilst Kawelu clapped her hands delightedly at the performance, expressing a desire to get on the swing; but Hiku, disguising his voice, said "this is a very difficult thing to learn; you might injure yourself seriously if you tried it without my help; if you sit in my lap I will swing you, then afterwards you can swing by yourself." But the swinging spirit smelled so strongly she would not accept his invitation until they had placed a long wrapper around him, when she did as he suggested.

Higher and higher Hiku sent the swing; with all the strength of his nervy, muscular, frame he propelled it back and forth, holding Kawelu close to his heart the while, which was beating rapidly with trembling hopes. Suddenly he pulled on the rope, the signal agreed on with his father to haul him up, and immediately, still moving in long tremendous sweeps, the swing rose high in the air, higher and higher each instant, amidst the alarmed shouts of the subjects of Milu, whose shrill cries echoed gruesomely along the avenues of foliageless trees, "He is stealing the King's wahine, he is stealing the King's wahine." Milu leaped madly forward to snatch her from his arms, but slipped on the Kilu ball, which lay on the ground, he fell heavily forward, and was trampled under the feet of his excited minions, and swift as were their movements, the marvellous strength of Ku, hauling up the swing, was more availing, for it shot up the black shaft with lightning rapidity, the startled Kawelu struggling wildly to escape, Hiku clasping her tightly to his breast, holding her easily in his strong grasp, chanting some mystic words whereby she became smaller and smaller, until he held her in the hollow of his hand, when he forced her into the empty cocoanut shell, and holding his fingers firmly over the hole safely returned to earth, glad to escape from the gloom of this underworld of unwholesome mirth and ceaseless revelry. Quickly they turned their faces towards Hualalai, looking in the distance like a dark ominous shadow, and before many hours their anxious feet echoed in the chamber where lay the mute body of Kawelu, still under strict tabu, no dog having barked in the vicinity of its sacred precincts, nor foot of man passed by the spot, since their departure.

The spirit leaves the body through the eyes, through the little holes in the corners of the eyes nearest the nose, when Death calls it. This Ku and Hiku knew, but they also knew that the spirit cannot return in the same manner, that it must find its way, if ever it returns, into its earthly tenement of flesh and blood through the hollow in the sole of the foot. Placing the cocoanut there, and removing his finger from the hole, Hiku commanded the spirit of his beloved Kawelu to enter her body, lying there so pathetically cold and still that the tears sprang to his eyes as he gazed. The spirit went as far as the knee, when it returned; again he commanded it to enter, and this time it went to the hip, but could go no further. Once again he commanded the spirit to seek an entrance, and with fluttering heart and motionless limbs awaited the outcome of those terribly anxious moments, for well he knew how many were the chances of the soul being lost in the intricate channels of the body, then to his unbounded joy he perceived a slight pulsing movement of the eyelids, then a gradual unveiling of her liquid dark-brown orbs, as she murmured, "Why did you wake me; I had so pleasant a sleep; why did you not let me rest;" but when she felt the warm-impassioned kisses of her lover on her cold lips, and heard his voice sounding in her ears like rare music she vaguely remembered having heard before under sweet conditions, breathing protestations of affection and love, and when his warm tears of joyous thankfulness fell on her smooth velvetry cheek, she awoke to a full realization of the tranquil bliss of love, of the delicious unspeakable harmony poets vainly endeavor to describe, remembering vividly the weird events of the past few days, and her arms twined lovingly around the form of her own Hiku, on whose trembling bosom she softly nestled.

Centuries have passed; Hiku and Kawelu no longer exist on this plane of action, but whilst the Hawaiian race endures will live the story of their love, and the spectral past with its warriors and gods, and its warm love and worship and song and story will ever be brilliantly reflected in their hearts. The lovers lived to a mellow old age, ever faithful to each other, blessed with a numerous offspring, from whom the kings of Hawaii claimed descent. And the old kamaainas will earnestly tell you that every bit of this romantic story is absolutely true.


Story of a Brave Woman

Three riders came out of the woods, and, turning into the road leading from Napoopoo to the uplands, slowly began the ascent. As they went up, the long plains, reaching from the forest covered heights of Mauna Loa to the ocean, seemed to grow broader, and the sea rose higher, till the far away horizon almost touched the sinking sun. Lanes of glassy water stretched from the shore into illimitable distance. A ship lying motionless looked as if hanging in mid-air. Under the cliff the delicate lines of cocoanut and palm trees were silhouetted against the ocean mirror. Far to the south ran the black and frowning coast, relieved here and there by white lines of foam creeping lazily in from the ocean, only to look darker as the surf melted from sight. On the plain, little clusters of trees, or a house, or a thin curl of smoke, indicated the presence of men: and back of all rose the forest, vast, dim and mysterious, stretching away for miles till lost in the clouds resting softly on the bosom of the mountain.

Such a scene could not fail to arrest attention, and, though our riders were tired, they reined in their horses to enjoy its quiet beauty.

"What a wonderful scene! I have been through Europe, feasted my eyes on the Alps, and have seen the finest that America can produce, but I never saw its equal," said the tourist.

"It looks as if such a picture might be the theatre of thrilling romance and history" said the Coffee Planter. "Is it not here that Captain Cook was killed? And I think I have heard that a famous battle was fought somewhere near: the last struggle of the past against advancing Christianity."

"Yes," replied the Native, slowly, with a lingering look in his eyes, as he turned from the inspiring view to his companions. "Yes, this is all historic ground. Over there under the setting sun, at Kuamoo, was fought the battle of Kekuaokalani, and there a heroic woman braved and met death with her husband, a rebel chief. On these plains below and on yonder heights there have been many thrilling scenes in Hawaii's history. But all of the romance is not in the past. Do you see those houses away down the coast, this side of the high lands of Honokua? See how they glow in the setting sun-light. That is Hookena, and only a few years ago it witnessed the last act in a simple drama, which can hardly be excelled in all the tales of heroism in the past. It was told me in part by the woman who was or is the heroine, for she yet lives. And I looked at her in wonder, because she was so unconscious of it all."

"Let us hear the story," said the Planter. "We will sit on that high point and watch this glorious scene fade into moonlight, while we rest and listen." They dismounted and stepped from the road to a projecting rock and, throwing themselves on the grass where none of the wonderful vision could be missed, listened. The Native looked a little embarrassed at his sudden transformation from guide to story-teller, but accepted the position and began.

"Many years ago a native family lived a few miles above Hookena, on land which had been occupied by their ancestors for generations, for they belonged to the race of chiefs. The house was hidden from the road, in the midst of a grove of orange, bread-fruit, mango, banana and other trees. It is on storied ground, for many stirring events in the past history of Hawaii had occurred here. A son and three daughters were the children. They received more than the usual care and attention given to Hawaiian children, and had grown to man and womanhood serious and reflective. The young man, Keawe, was filled with a desire to do something noble for his dying race. Though he had travelled over the Islands and had been well received everywhere, yet he was heart-free, and said he would never marry, but wait untrammelled till his time for action should come. With eagerness he watched political developments at the capital. His heart beat wildly when the last Kamehameha died, and Kalakaua was elected King. Such a method of King-making did not suit his chivalric ideas. The records of personal prowess, of brave chiefs and noble women were his delight. He mourned that such records belonged to the well nigh forgotten past. His ambition was not ignoble. He wanted the Hawaiians to be worthy of the best civilization, to maintain a Hawaiian kingdom, because that the native was equal to it. While he mourned, he condemned the frequent failures, under which the native was forfeiting the confidence of his white friends. He was one of the overwhelming majority who regarded Kalakaua's accession as unworthy, and as the beginning of the end of Hawaiian supremacy.

Chapter end

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