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AN INTERRUPTED HONEYMOON
A Tale of Queen Liliuokalani
From the Hawaiian Papers of
Honeymoon Interrupted In 1873 old O-0, tall and of smiling dignity, had long been cook for Madani Dominis, with her little family-the Princess, soon to be Queen Liliuokalani, our Governor John, Mr. Perkins and the writer. But when a young man his good looks had nearly cost O-o his life. One morning his mistress found no cook to prepare breakfast—an irregularity so possible that his absence throughout the day was overlooked. But as he did not come to the kitchen the next morning, and it was reported that he was being prayed to death, Madam Dominis walked to his straw hut. O-o had been married the week before, breaking an earlier earlier promise, and the slighted woman had repaired to his hut intent on anaana revenge. The iran showed great exhaustion, the effect of fasting and fear. He was seated on the floor, naked, his hair disordered, his eyes fixed on the ground, features and limbs tremulous and cold to the touch. His friends (wife and relatives) chanted a sad death-song, while the author of the trouble crouched in a corner of e room under a heap of shawls and rags, her eyes fixed sleepily upon her former lover. Madam Dominis found no difficulty in expelling the jealous one. O-o recovered his balance in a few days and again cooked merrily on, an instance of recovery without medical treatment-the irritating cause having been removed.
In 1878 a native called at the shop of Mr. C. E. Williams, of Honolulu, and bought for himself and wife (both living) two coffins; went home,
bathed, changed his dress, and was buried in a week with his wife. There was no suspicion of poisoning.
A native workman who had been in Mr. Williams' employ for many years, admiring one day a showy coffin of koa-wood which he himself had polished, strongly hinted his desire to be interred therein. "Yes, Moku, when you die it shall be your pahu (box)," said the employer. But the impatient Moku could endure but one brief day, for he was buried within forty hours of acquiring his possession. In these latter instances some emotion other than fear-ambition, perhaps, or avarice, seemed to influence the early death.
Nowadays the milder native life is in evidence, with the musical cry "Aloha" "love to you" voicing the gentler aspect of the native life, while yet, not so very far away, is the hysterical thought of ghoul and sharkfiend, Pele's fire and kahuna's threat!
Have we taken too seriously this weird subconsciousness, this wave of fear that lurks in the coral caves that underlie terra-firma in the Hawaiian mind, in Chief and vassal alike? Let me tell you of Likelike. The writer well remembers Princess Likelike, the cultured and charming wife of Governor Cleghorn. An eruption of volcano Kilauea had persisted nearly nine months, when the akuas announced that a royal victim must be sacrificed to stay the progress of the approaching lava. Likelike immediately offered herself a sacrifice for her people. She slowly sank, in spite of medical treatment which her husband insisted on, and died in February, 1887.
Kalahaua, the late king, escaped all possible attacks from anaana by his concessions; in fact, his career proved so agreeable to the kahunas that he was deified and worshipped as a god a few days before his death. But the most recent triumph of anaana has not been death in corpore, mere loss of the life of the body. To her fear of the deadly prayer Queen Liliuokalani largely owed the loss of her little kingdom. Letters from informed sources showed the Queen to have been long in kahuna-tolls:-"The Queen is acting under the suggestions of a witch-woman, Puthe kahunas; lole of Lani, has announced herself a goddess, threatening the Queen at behest of the deities, in case she fails to re-establish the rites of heathendom with repossession of lands by natives (to be taken back from the foreign residents, clearly conspiracy of kahunas with politicians). In case she, the Queen, fails in all this thing, vengeance will follow promptly, and she will be buried alive, with anaana." As was well known, there was pitiful vacillation between good and evil counsel, creditable authority reported that sacrifices were offered in the ancient way, and by the kahunas, in the palace premises; and yet, next day the native protestant clergy were
called upon for their prayers to Jehovah; again she explained to a deputation of ladies her desire to do right, finally, however, yielding “gladly to the badder end.”
Incredible it all appears. But there is "an especial anaana" for this family. Leleiohoku, brother and heir apparent of Kalahaua, is known to have been prayed to death.
Sorrowful, indeed, must be our we review Liliuokalani's thought as short career. Alas! poor queen! Provoked as your world has been by your inconsistencies, there was much to pity. How sad to you was the transfer from your life of old, no witch-woman on your horizon then, and known but as Princess Lydia, from school-time when you named and taught your letters by the missionaries! A morning gallop, your long holoku streaming far behind, and then you could loiter all day under a big pandanus, while your maidens strung yellow leis of the lauhala which you had a chieftain's right to wear. Very happy and haughty and handsome you looked, with fine black lace over the ample folds of your gown of rich China silk, free then your will, conscience and character, until a certain "fierce light" forfeited. your leis, jewels and crown.