My Tropic Isle

My Tropic Isle

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of My Tropic Isle, by E J Banfield #2 in our series by E J BanfieldCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: My Tropic IsleAuthor: E J BanfieldRelease Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7177] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on March 22, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MY TROPIC ISLE ***This eBook was produced by Col ChoatNotes: Italics in the book have been capitalised in the eBook. Illustrations in the book have not been included in theeBook. This eBook uses 8-bit text.MY TROPIC ISLEBYE. J. BANFIELDAUTHOR OF "THE ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of My Tropic Isle, by E J Banfield #2 in our series by E J Banfield Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: My Tropic Isle Author: E J Banfield Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7177] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 22, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MY TROPIC ISLE *** This eBook was produced by Col Choat Notes: Italics in the book have been capitalised in the eBook. Illustrations in the book have not been included in the eBook. This eBook uses 8-bit text. MY TROPIC ISLE BY E. J. BANFIELD AUTHOR OF "THE CONFESSIONS OF A BEACHCOMBER" T. FISHER UNWIN LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE LEIPSIC: INSELSTRASSE 20 1911 TO MY WIFE "What dost thou in this World? The Wilderness For thee is fittest place." MILTON. "Taught to live The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts To interrupt sweet life." MILTON. PREFACE Much of the contents of this book was published in the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, under the title of "Rural Homilies." Grateful acknowledgments are due to the Editor for his frank goodwill in the abandonment of his rights. Also am I indebted to the Curator and Officers of the Australian Museum, Sydney, and specially to Mr. Charles Hedley, F.L.S., for assistance in the identification of specimens. Similarly I am thankful to Mr. J. Douglas Ogilby, of Brisbane, and to Mr. A. J. Jukes-Browne, F.R.S., F.G.S., of Torquay (England). THE AUTHOR. CONTENTS CHAPTER. I. IN THE BEGINNING II. A PLAIN MAN'S PHILOSOPHY III. MUCH RICHES IN A LITTLE ROOM IV. SILENCES V. FRUITS AND SCENTS VI. HIS MAJESTY THE SUN VII. A TROPIC NIGHT VIII. READING TO MUSIC IX. BIRTH AND BREAKING OF CHRISTMAS X. THE SPORT OF FATE XI. FIGHT TO A FINISH XII. SEA WORMS AND SEA CUCUMBERS XIII. SOME MARINE NOVELTIES XIV. SOME CURIOUS BIVALVES XV. BARRIER REEF CRABS XVI. THE BLOCKADE OF THE MULLET XVII. WET SEASON DAYS XVIII. INSECT WAYS XIX. INTELLIGENT BIRDS XX SWIFTS AND EAGLES XXI. SOCIALISTIC BIRDS XXII. SHARKS AND RAYS XXIII. THE RECLUSE OF RATTLESNAKE XXIV. HAMED OF JEDDAH XXV. YOUNG BARBARIANS AT PLAY XXVI. TOM AND HIS CONCERNS XXVII. DEBILS-DEBILS XXVIII. TO PARADISE AND BACK XXIX. THE DEATH BONE ILLUSTRATIONS (Not included in this eBook) "AT ONE STRIDE COMES THE DARK" Photo by Caroline Hordern COCONUT AVENUE Photo by Caroline Hordern THE BUNGALOW FERN OF GOD PARASITIC FERN THE COVE, PURTABOI BRAMMO BAY, FROM GARDEN PANDANUS PALM PECTINARIAN TUBES CLAM SHELL (Tridaena gigas) EMBEDDED IN CORAL FIRE FISH (Pterois lunulata). TRIGGER FISH (Balistapus aculeatus) CORALS EGG CAPSULES OF BAILER SHELL DEVELOPMENT OF BAILER SHELL EGG CAPSULES OF MOLLOSC, ATTACHED TO FAN CORAL HARLEQUIN PIGFISH (Kiphocheilus fasciatus) "FAERY LANDS FORLORN," TIMANA. NEST OF GREEN TREE ANT MATCH-BOX BEANS PALL-KOO-LOO WHERE SWIFTLETS BUILD SWIFTLETS' NESTS H. Barnes, Jun., Photo. Australian Museum UMBRELLA TREE (Brassaia actinophylla) Photo by Caroline Hordern HAMED OF JEDDAH BLACKS' TOYS—1. PIAR-PIAR; 2. BIRRA-BIRRA-GOO; 3. PAR-GIR-AH TURTLE ROCK, PURTABOI DISGUISES OF CRABS WYLO DEFIANT THE DEATH BONE YANCOO'S LAST RITE MY TROPIC ISLE CHAPTER I IN THE BEGINNING Had I a plantation of this Isle, my lord— * * * * * I' the Commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things; for no kind of traffic Would I admit . . . riches, poverty And use of service, none. SHAKESPEARE How quaint seems the demand for details of life on this Isle of Scent and Silence! Lolling in shade and quietude, was I guilty of indiscretion when I babbled of my serene affairs, and is the penalty so soon enforced? Can the record of such a narrow, compressed existence be anything but dull? Can one who is indifferent to the decrees of constituted society; who is aloof from popular prejudices; who cares not for the gaieties of the crowd or the vagaries of fashion; who does not dance or sing, or drink to toasts, or habitually make any loud noise, or play cards or billiards, or attend garden parties; who has no political ambitions; who is not a painter, or a musician, or a man of science; whose palate is as averse from ardent spirits as from physic; who is denied the all-redeeming vice of teetotalism; who cannot smoke even a pipe of peace; who is a casual, a nonentity a scout on the van of civilisation dallying with the universal enemy, time—can such a one, so forlorn of popular attributes, so weak and watery in his tastes, have aught to recite harmonious to the, ear of the world? Yet, since my life—and in the use, of the possessive pronoun here and elsewhere, let it signify also the life of my life- partner—is beyond the range of ordinary experience, since it is immune from the ferments which seethe and muddle the lives of the many, I am assured that a familiar record will not be deemed egotistical, I am scolded because I did not confess with greater zeal, I am bidden to my pen again. An attempt to fulfil the wishes of critics is confronted with risk. Cosy in my security, distance an adequate defence, why should I rush into the glare of perilous publicity? Here is an unpolluted Isle, without history, without any sort of fame. There come to it ordinary folk of sober understanding and well-disciplined ideas and tastes, who pass their lives without disturbing primeval silences or insulting the free air with the flapping of any ostentatious flag. Their doings are not romantic, or comic, or tragic, or heroic; they have no formula for the solution of social problems, no sour vexations to be sweetened, no grievance against society, no pet creed to dandle. What is to be said of the doings of such prosaic folk— folk who have merely set themselves free from restraint that they might follow their own fancies without hurry and without hindrance? Moreover, if anything be more tedious than a twice-told tale, is it not the repetition of one half told? Since a demand is made for more complete details than were given in my "Confessions," either I must recapitulate, or, smiling, put the question by. It is simplicity itself to smile, and can there be anything more gracious or becoming? Who would not rather do so than attempt with perplexed brow a delicate, if not difficult, duty? I propose, therefore, to hastily fill in a few blanks in my previous sketch of our island career and