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[25]

Noticing some foreign faces in the boats and near the fires, Chinese and even Sandwich Islanders, we ask the leading man whether he can employ such fellows in his trade.

“ Not the Chinese,” he answers; “they are only good for catching cuttle-fish and drying aballones. Like the natives, they are skunks and cowards. The Sandwich Islanders are a better lot; but they are hard to teach, and scarcely worth their salt. We should be better off if we were left alone.”

“Have you Portuguese wives and families with you?”

“No, Sehor; we have to take such squaws as we can get. Our lasses live at home, in Cascaes Bay and other ports near Lisbon; but we cannot fetch them over half the globe. Santa Maria! what are men to do? We have to buy our wives.”

To buy their wives! Yes, buy their wives. It is a custom of the country. The habit of buying and selling young women has existed on this spot time out of mind. If young women are not bought they are always stolen, and the man is thought a decent wooer who comes with money in his pocket to an Indian lodge. No Rumsen or Tularenos ever

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