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Honolulu, 1873 (Page 4)
This pali is the scene of one of the historic tragedies of this island. Kamehameha the Conqueror, who after fierce fighting and much ruthless destruction of human life united the island sovereignties in his own person, routed the forces of the King of Oahu in the Nuuanu Valley and drove them in hundreds up the precipice from which they leaped in despair and madness, and their bones lie bleaching eight hundred feet below.
The drive back here was delightful, from the wintry height where I must confess that we shivered to the slumbrous calm of endless summer, the glorious tropical trees, the distant view of the chasmlike valleys, with Honolulu sleeping in perpetual shade, and the still, blue ocean, without a single sail to disturb its profound solitude.
Saturday afternoon is a gala day here, and the broad road was so thronged with brilliant equestrians that I thought we should be ridden over by the reckless laughing rout. There were hundre of native horsemen and horsewomen, many of them doubtless on the dejected quadrupeds I saw at the wharf, but a judicious application long-roweled Mexican spurs, and a degree of emulation, caused these animals to tear along at full gallop.
The women seemed perfectly at home in their gay, brass-bossed, high-peaked saddles, flying along astride, barefooted, with their orange and scarlet riding dress streaming on each side beyond their horses' tails, a bright kaleidoscopic flash of bright eyes, white teeth, shining hair, garlands, flowers and many-colored dresses; while the men were hardly less gay, with fresh flowers round their jaunty hats and the vermilion colored blossoms of the ohia round their brown throats.
Sometimes a troop of twenty of these free-and-easy female riders went by a time, a graceful and exciting spectacle, with a running accompaniment of vociferation and laughter. Among these we met several the Nevada's officers, riding in the stiff, wooden style which all Saxons love, and a horde of jolly British sailors from H.M.S. Scout rushing helter-skelter, colliding with everybody, bestriding their horses as they would a topsail yard, hanging on to manes and lassoing horns, and enjoying themselves thoroughly.
In the shady tortuous streets we met hundreds more of native riders, dashing at full gallop without fear of the police. Many of the women were in flowing riding dresses of pure white, over which their unbound hair and wreaths of carmine-tinted flowers fell most picturesquely.
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