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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Lady Brassey

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She never forgets to do a kindness. In Chili she hears that a poor engine-driver, an Englishman, has met with a serious accident, and at once hastens to see him. He is delighted to hear about the trip of the Sunbeam, and forgets for a time his intense suffering in his joy at seeing her.

In Santiago she describes a visit to the ruin of the Jesuit church, where, Dec. 8, 1863, at the Feast of the Virgin, two thousand persons, mostly women and children, were burned to death. A few were drawn up through a hole in the roof and thus saved.

Their visit to the South Sea Islands is full of interest. At Bow Island Lady Brassey buys two tame pigs for twenty-five cents each, which are so docile that they follow her about the yacht with the dogs, to whom they took a decided fancy. She calls one Agag, because he walks so delicately on his toes. The native women break cocoanuts and offer them the milk to drink. At Maitea the natives are puzzled to know why the island is visited. "No sell brandy?" they ask. "No." "No stealy men?" "No." "No do what then?" The chief receives most courteously, cutting down a banana-tree for them, when they express a wish for bananas. He would receive no money for his presents to them.

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In Tahiti a feast is given in their honor, in a house seemingly made of banana-trees, "the floor covered with the finest mats, and the centre strewn with broad green plantain leaves, to form the table-cloth.... Before each guest was placed a half-cocoanut full of salt water, another full of chopped cocoanut, a third full of fresh water, and another full of milk, two pieces of bamboo, a basket of poi, half a breadfruit, and a platter of green leaves, the latter being changed with each course. We took our seats on the ground round the green table. The first operation was to mix the salt water and the chopped cocoanut together, so as to make an appetizing sauce, into which we were supposed to dip each morsel we ate. We were tolerably successful in the use of our fingers as substitutes for knives and forks."

At the Sandwich Islands, in Hilo, they visit the volcano of Kilauea. They descend the precipice, three hundred feet, which forms the wall of the old crater. They ascend the present crater, and stand on the "edge of a precipice, overhanging a lake of molten fire, a hundred feet below us, and nearly a mile across. Dashing against the cliffs on the opposite side, with a noise like the roar of a stormy ocean, waves of blood-red, fiery liquid lava hurled their billows upon an iron-bound headland, and then rushed up the face of the cliffs to toss their gory spray high in the air."

They pass the island of Molokai, where the poor lepers end their days away from home and kindred. At Honolulu they are entertained by the Prince, and then sail for Japan, China, Ceylon, through Suez, stopping in Egypt, and then home. On their arrival, Lady Brassey says, "How can I describe the warm greetings that met us everywhere, or the crowd that surrounded us; how, along the whole ten miles from Hastings to Battle, people were standing by the roadside and at the cottage doors to welcome us; how the Battle bell-ringers never stopped ringing except during service time; or how the warmest of welcomes ended our delightful year of travel and made us feel we were home at last, with thankful hearts for the providential care which had watched over us whithersoever we roamed!"

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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