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Newspaper Page Text
The salute brought Graves out of
Even at that distance I detected a
something irresolute in his manner.
"That's funny," I said to Don.
"He's coming to meet us in spite of
the fact that he's much rather not.
I left the schooner -while she was
still under way, and reached the
beach before Graves came up. There
were too many strange brown men to
suit Don, and he kept very close to
my legs. When Graves arrived the
the natives fell away from him as if
he was a leper. He wore a sort of
sickly smile, and when he spoke the
dog stiffened his legs and growled
"My dear fellow," I said, "what
the devil is the matter?"
Graves looked to right and left, and
the islanders shrank still further
away from him.
-'You can see for yourself," he said
curtly. "I'm taboo."
"I've been back there in the grass,"
he said, "and because because noth
ing happened to me I'm taboo."
"Is that all?"
"As far as they know yes."
"Well!" said I, "my business will
take me back there for days at a
time, so 111 be taboo, too. Then
there'll be two of us. Did you find
any curious grasses for me?"
"I don't know about grasses," he
asid, "but I found something very
curious that I want to show you and
ask your advice about."
So we started for Graves' house,
Don very close at my heels.
"Graves," I said, "surely a taboo
by a lot of fool islanders hasn't upset
you. There's something on your mind.
"Oh, no," he said. "She's coming.
It's other things. I'll tell you by and
by everything. Don't mind me, I'm
"You say you found something
very curious back there in the
He unlocked the door of his house
and stood aside for me to go in first. -.
"Shut up, Don!"
The dog growled savagely, but I
banged him with my open hand
across the snout and he quieted down'
and followed into the house all tense
On the edge of Graves' writing
table, with its legs hanging over, was);
what I took to be an idol of some light
brownish wood say sandalwood,
with a touch of pink. It was aboutf
a foot high, and represented a Poly-r
nesian woman in the prime of Iife"f
say, fifteen or sixteen years old, onlyj
the features were finer and cleaner"
carved. It was a nude, in an attitude
of easy repose. The thing was so
lifelike that it frightened me. And?
when Don began to growl like distant
thunder I didn't blame him. &
When l looked up the statuette's
eyes had moved. They were turned
downward upon the dog, with cool7
curiosity and indifference. A kind of1
tshudder went through me. And then;
'lo and behold, the statuette's tiny;
brown breasts rose and fell slowly,
and a long breath came out of its nos
I backed violently into Graves drag
ging Don with me and half choking'
"My God Almighty!" I said. "It's
"Isn't she!" said he. "I caught her1
back there in the grass the little
minx. And when I heard your signal'.
I put her up on that table to keep
out of mischief. It's too high for her
to jump and she's very sore
"You found her in the grass," I
said. "For God's sake are there
more of them9"
"Thick as quail," said he, "but it's
hard to get a sight of 'em. But you
were overcome by curiosity, weren't
you, old girl? You came out to have
a look at the big white giant and he
caught you with his thumb and fore
finger by the scruff of the neck so
you couldn't bite him and here you