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AUSTIN'S HAWAIIAN WEEKLY.
IN A SOUTHERN PARADISE.
BY ALLAN DUNN.
There were three in Eden Adam and
Eve and the Devil. Adam lay on his chest
on the grass looking up into Eve's eyes.
The evening shadows from the cocoanuts
ran a darker green across the grass and
turned to purple as they reached out to
embrace him in their shade.
The shifting bands almost completely in
terlaced him, only on one shoulder the set
ting sun turned the brown flesh to bronze.
Eve sat, creation of light and warmth
that she was, right on an almost level sun
path a sight for men to see and love.
So thought Adam, and so, too, thought the
Devil peering out between the branches of
A lei of frangipanni blossoms lay on her
dusky hair. A wreath of maile fell caress
ingly across her breast.
The missionary and the holoku had not
yet arrived in Eden to cover up the handi
work of God, and Eve glowed in the sun
light like a statue of burnished copper.
Adam was thinking thinking that Eve's
eyes were brighter than the stars when at
night floating on your back in the lagoon,
burn in the violet sky; thinking that her
teeth, when she smiled, as she was smiling
now, were whiter than the foam upon the
reef; her lips like an hybiscus bloom.
Eve was thinking too, not much, being a
woman, and a natural one, unspoiled by
the artist's stump of civilization that, in
attempting to refine, too often blurs.
Eve was thinking, not of the beauts' of
the clay, the scene. It was always beautiful
in Eden. Trees to the water's edge clothing
the island in verdure from mauka to makai;
from the mountain's fire-swept summit to
the coral beach. Koas lifted their stately
trunks, bananas flaunted their ragged ban
ners to the breeze. Kukuis rustled ; dates
produced their golden fruit; cocoanuts
raised their rakish heads everywhere the
blessing of Nature 1-iy upon the tropic land.
The foam flashed on the reef; beyond, the
sea gleamed in emerald and purple; the
clouds, that brought shade and rain to
Eden, lay piled on the horizon or banked
above mountain ranges, that plunged sheer
into the ocean's breast.
Though Eve with every action, every
breath, responded to the beauty of her
Eden, a symbol of its delights, the realiza
tion of her surroundings expressed them
selves in her outwardness, not in her
thoughts. She merely thought it was good
that the devil had gone fishing, and was not
here to look sulkily at Adam ; she wondered
too if, when the wreath of ferns she was
making was finished, Adam would kiss her
for the gift.
As she thought, the List fronds were en
tertwined and over Adam's head, supported
on his hands, she dropped the lei. Their
eyes meet, the lovelight dawning in each,
flamed out and became one lambent gleam
as their lips met in the kiss of first love
love as pure and n itur.il as the opening of
the water-lily to the moon, the flower to the
An idyll of Eden. The sea sang lullaby,
the world for one long, sweet moment
stopped, while Love swayed his scepter.
To the devil, hidden in the date-palm, the
world stopped too, an instant, and then
whirled madly by, while the westering sun
between the palm-stems on the beach filled
the air with red the red of blood. It was
hard on the Devil, who was scarcely a devil
yet, only just turning down the path of
jealousy, which is one of the high roads to
He was as strong, as straight as Adam,
as good a leaper, as skilful with the canoe
or at fishing. Had he not journeyed far to
bring her the upland taro, the much-prized
purple roots. Fresh fish and flowers lie
had made his daily offerings, and yet here
was he in the date-palm while Adam lucky,
lazy Adam was being decked with leis
and kissed before his eyes.
The evanescent tropical sunset quickly
died, the lagoon within the reef, a moment
ago a vast rippling rainbow, changed to a
dull gold shield with purple shadows in the
hollows of the waves, the shadows were
merged and in the deepening dusk Adam
and Eve, two shades blended as one, left
the Devil to his jealousy and went home.
Jealousy, that past master of machina
tion, brought temporary coolness to the
poor bewildered Devil's brain, to coolness
At the evening meal none could be more
friendly than he and Adam. The new
moon sunk into the sea at midnight, it
would be good if Adam and he waded the
sand bar to the reef and with kukui torch
and net should seek for squid. Adam,
happy Adam, assented gladly, he would
meet the Devil at an hour before the moon
bathed in the sea; meantime, but this he
did not tell the Devil, he expected to taste
again the delights of his hua pala.
All this the Devil knew, of intuition, and
would have followed to feed his wrath, as
a man bites on an aching tooth, desperate
by the steady pain, but the leaven in him,
worked to loneliness and alone in his canoe
he drifted in the gray veil of the evening.
Once when a valley opened to the sea,
the moon sinking westward gleamed silver
on the sands. Two forms slowly came
from the shadow and in the open stayed an
instant for a kiss.
The hour of meeting had passed when
Adam, breathing fast from rapid running,
came, lighted torch in hand to the appoint
ed place. The Devil saw him coming, saw
the happiness of his face, the sparkle of
his eyes, saw, too, with fancy's gaze, the
kiss on his lips and, turning seaward, wad
ed in silence towards the reef. He carried
a net and a lance of fire-hardened koa
The silence suited Adam. Not knowing
why, the gleam of the stars, the lazy mur
mur of the trees-, the monotone of the reef,
suited his mood. He hummed a song, a
love song, which the Devil heard and im
mediately graduated to a first-class demon.
The reel shone black against the horizon,
its crest just visible above the swell that
broke in sudden lines of white across the
cord of the land's bow.
Downward to the sea sailed the sickle
of the moon, turning from silver to orange;
as the two reached the outer reef she
seemed to quicken for the plunge, the
spangled path across the waves was gone
and only the reflection of some lower con
stellation feebly lit the sleeping sea.
Adam held the torch now aloft, where
the flame of it splashed like blood on his
naked chest, now sweeping the surface of
the water while the Devil plied the net for
the unwary squid or sought to spear the fish
attracted to the surface by the glare.
In his canoe, the stars had told the Devil
how eass' to, while Adam held the torch,
thrust the lance upward and make an end;
he had meant to kill him as he lay in the
date palm, to bring him to the reef and
fight him as a man, face to face, hand to
hand, but the stars had told him another
plan and Adam, foolish Adam, sealed his
own fate. A pool carved in the coral of
the reef, c lm and unruilled, became a
mirror under the torch; and Adam, think
ing always of his love said aloud, forgetting
the Devil. "Her eyes are like that pool,
1 see myself in the heart of her eyes as my
face comes out of the heart of the pool."
Suddenly a distorted, devilish face, came
beside his own, reflected from the depths,
a threatening lance that Adam had just
time to barely thrust aside. Quickly as his
own backward leap, the Devil, a thorough
devil now, rose to his height and thrust
again. Adam parried with the torch and
scorched the maddened, disappointed
lover's hand. With a yell, the Devil drop
ped the weapon and sprang for his oppo
nent's throat. As they closed Adam still,
by instinctive luck holding the torch,
dashed the fiery head of it full into the
furious face. Staggering wildly, blindly
back into the pools across the jagged jaws
of the reef, the Devil stumbled and, step
ping back again to regain his balance, fell
into the deej) water on the ocean side of
The plunge restored the poor tortured
devil, and he turned to reach the reef to
find Adam at the edge with torch in hand.
Striking out seaward again, he swam paral
lel with the reef to make a landing lower
down. A yell from Adam caused him only
to turn again to' sea, not heeding the cry
that was not a menace but a warning, not
seeing the fin that, scarcely rippling the
surface glided rapidly across the reflection
of the torch. A shriek of terrible agony,
and Adam, kneeling on the reef, saw a
swirl of the waters, a shapeless fragment
of a body come to the surface to be dragged
for a few seconds, hither and thither, man
gled and torn.
The surf of the next roller that broke on
the lip of the reef was flecked with a crim
son stain, as Adam, nerveless from the nar
row run from death and the horror of the
devil's end, slowly waded his way across
the sand bar under the stars to Eve and