Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
Chinamen. The officers gave all their orders in English and the Chinese understood.
In Shanghai and Hong Kong most of the shopkeepers and servants are Chinese. They all talk the same pidgin English. In the Philippines the natives talk their own language and Spanish, but also pidgin-English.
We came to Australia in a German ship in which the crew and stewards were all Chinese or Japanese. Here again it was curious to hear the German officers talking English to the men.
Then, wherever we landed, in four German colonies, English or pidgin-English was the language that the Germans had to use in talking to their natives.
And on our ship was a mixture of native passengers, Kanákas, Chinese, Cingalese, and Japanese, all having totally different languages of their own, but all talking together quite comfortably in English – but such English.
Here, for instance, is what they call a cat, “Pussy he belong housey.” Then if they say “Pussy he belong bush,” that means a hare.
A lady told me that her servant boy had tried to explain to her that he had got what we should call “pins and needles” in his legs. He described it this way: “That leg belongy me he all same make like soda-water.”
A Trading Schooner
Rabane, the capital of the German colony of New Guinea and Caroline Islands, is a little township lying at the head of a landlocked circular creek which was formerly the crater of a volcano. There are three ancient volcanoes at the back of the town.
Two of them, being much alike in shape, were christened “Mother and Daughter” when they were first described and mapped by William Dampier in 1700.
The volcanoes are no longer active, and the hills are now covered with thick green woods, while plantations of palm trees cover the flat ground.
In this beautiful harbour lay two or three trading schooners, one of which was flying the red ensign with the five stars of Australia on it. She had sailed here in thirteen days from Sydney, which showed that she was as fast a craft as she was smart-looking.
There are a good many of these schooners sailing about among the hundreds of islands of the Pacific Ocean, and they trade with them chiefly by exchange of rice, axes, tools, and tobacco, for copra, rubber, and pearl-shell.
One trader showed me a beautiful collection he had of curiosities, such as carved totems, masks, cloth beautifully woven from fibre of trees, ornaments carved out of shells, neatly made spears and arrows, all of which he had picked up when trading at different places.