Gabrielle of the Lagoon: A Romance of the South Seas by Arnold Safroni-Middleton

Gabrielle of the Lagoon: A Romance of the South Seas

byArnold Safroni-Middleton

Kobo ebook | September 15, 2019

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On the day following the tribal festival when the white girl had so astonished the heathen priests in the village called Ackra-Ackra a runaway ship’s apprentice emerged from his half-caste landlady’s wooden lodging-house. He was off for a stroll, for the tenth time or so, over the slopes that divided the banyan forests from the small township of Rokeville. He was stagnating and so had little else to do except to make the colour of the picturesque scenery harmonise with his meditations. He was a tall, handsome fellow, about twenty years of age. His brass-bound suit looked decidedly faded by the hot tropical sun, and the flannel collar of his only shirt had begun to look slightly grimy. All the same, he had that look of refinement which is inherited from good ancestors. A romantically inclined maid would have thought him extremely attractive. A bronze-hued lock seemed to ooze from beneath the rim of his cheese-cutter cap, for when funds were low in distant lands, and scissors scarce on ships at sea, his hair grew quite curly. One of his eyes was a deep blue and the other a golden-brown. This eccentric combination of colour may have had something to do with the romantic adventures that fell to his lot through his leaving ship in Bougainville. It was quite three weeks since he had made a bolt from his full-rigged sailing-ship in the harbour, consequently his cash in hand had seriously diminished. He had already become terribly sane whilst pondering over the natural consequences of being cashless. Hillary L——, for that was his name, hated plantation work and all muscular endeavours that did not contain some element of romance. But still, he had long since realised, through his many adversities at the end of long voyages, that wherever one goes one must toil for a living, however romantic the scenery may appear. “Blasted wicked world this! Wish white men could dress like the natives and chew nourishing nuts for a living!” he murmured, as he thoughtfully saluted the German official who was leaning against a dead screw-pine, on the top of which blew the Double Eagle flag. Hillary was no fool; he could always be polite at the right time and place. He’d been stranded, with fourpence-halfpenny or so in his possession, in about ten islands during the last twelve months, and he knew that if things got to the worst he could apply to the German consul for a free passage to British New Guinea or to Samoa. Hence his politeness. He was British to the backbone, and as the Teutonic official murmured that it was a nice day Hillary nodded and then lifted a cloud of the finest coral-dust with his offside boot. He could hear the German spluttering and coughing in a fearful rage, wondering why the hot wind had suddenly lifted so much dust. Hillary’s contempt for anything in the German line was quite unaffected. The natives whispered: “Germhony mans nicer feller when he looker one way, but all-e-samee, he belonga debil mans.” The young apprentice was one of a type that commercially was not worth a tinker’s dam. If he were a party to any scheme connected with finance, one could safely predict that that scheme was predestined to complete failure. But in the imaginative world Hillary could be pronounced a decided success. It was the same wherever he went. The old sea-boots on the shelf of the seaport’s slop-shop danced a jig on some ship far at sea; the oilskins swelled to visionary limbs as sailormen opened their bearded mouths and climbed aloft, singing the chanteys that he could distinctly hear as he placed his ear to the shop’s dirty window! The silk, blue-fringed chemise hanging on a nail by the oil lamp clung, as he gazed, to the limbs of some laughing girl; fingers travelling down the yellow keys of the second-hand piano mysteriously strummed out some melody that told of the briefness of life, youth and beauty.

Title:Gabrielle of the Lagoon: A Romance of the South SeasFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 15, 2019Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465632611

ISBN - 13:9781465632616

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From the Author

On the day following the tribal festival when the white girl had so astonished the heathen priests in the village called Ackra-Ackra a runaway ship’s apprentice emerged from his half-caste landlady’s wooden lodging-house. He was off for a stroll, for the tenth time or so, over the slopes that divided the banyan forests from the small township of Rokeville. He was stagnating and so had little else to do except to make the colour of the picturesque scenery harmonise with his meditations. He was a tall, handsome fellow, about twenty years of age. His brass-bound suit looked decidedly faded by the hot tropical sun, and the flannel collar of his only shirt had begun to look slightly grimy. All the same, he had that look of refinement which is inherited from good ancestors. A romantically inclined maid would have thought him extremely attractive. A bronze-hued lock seemed to ooze from beneath the rim of his cheese-cutter cap, for when funds were low in distant lands, and scissors scarce on ships at sea, his hair grew quite curly. One of his eyes was a deep blue and the other a golden-brown. This eccentric combination of colour may have had something to do with the romantic adventures that fell to his lot through his leaving ship in Bougainville. It was quite three weeks since he had made a bolt from his full-rigged sailing-ship in the harbour, consequently his cash in hand had seriously diminished. He had already become terribly sane whilst pondering over the natural consequences of being cashless. Hillary L——, for that was his name, hated plantation work and all muscular endeavours that did not contain some element of romance. But still, he had long since realised, through his many adversities at the end of long voyages, that wherever one goes one must toil for a living, however romantic the scenery may appear. “Blasted wicked world this! Wish white men could dress like the natives and chew nourishing nuts for a living!” he murmured, as he thoughtfully saluted the German official who was leaning against a dead screw-pine, on the top of which blew the Double Eagle flag. Hillary was no fool; he could always be polite at the right time and place. He’d been stranded, with fourpence-halfpenny or so in his possession, in about ten islands during the last twelve months, and he knew that if things got to the worst he could apply to the German consul for a free passage to British New Guinea or to Samoa. Hence his politeness. He was British to the backbone, and as the Teutonic official murmured that it was a nice day Hillary nodded and then lifted a cloud of the finest coral-dust with his offside boot. He could hear the German spluttering and coughing in a fearful rage, wondering why the hot wind had suddenly lifted so much dust. Hillary’s contempt for anything in the German line was quite unaffected. The natives whispered: “Germhony mans nicer feller when he looker one way, but all-e-samee, he belonga debil mans.” The young apprentice was one of a type that commercially was not worth a tinker’s dam. If he were a party to any scheme connected with finance, one could safely predict that that scheme was predestined to complete failure. But in the imaginative world Hillary could be pronounced a decided success. It was the same wherever he went. The old sea-boots on the shelf of the seaport’s slop-shop danced a jig on some ship far at sea; the oilskins swelled to visionary limbs as sailormen opened their bearded mouths and climbed aloft, singing the chanteys that he could distinctly hear as he placed his ear to the shop’s dirty window! The silk, blue-fringed chemise hanging on a nail by the oil lamp clung, as he gazed, to the limbs of some laughing girl; fingers travelling down the yellow keys of the second-hand piano mysteriously strummed out some melody that told of the briefness of life, youth and beauty.