Whitten, however, had made enough to bring a 유흥알바
young brother from England, purchase a bigger and better vessel, also a large quantity of merchandise. At the date of writing, Whitten Brothers own numerous plantations, several steamers and sailing vessels, conduct a banking business, have branches in the gold-fields, and are the largest employers of labour in the country; in 1895, however, this greatness was as yet undreamt of by them.
Other than the Residency and the glorified sardine box doing duty as the Custom House, the only other building in Samarai formed of European materials—by which I mean sawn timber and fastened with nails—was the bungalow occupied by Burns, Philp’s manager, and situated on perhaps the best site there. Gangs of prisoners—native—were engaged quarrying in the hill of Samarai and filling up the swamp, a palpably necessary work. Curiously enough in a pleasantly written little book by Colonel Kenneth Mackay, C.B., entitled “Across Papua,” I noticed a reference to this work, which was ultimately the means of stamping malaria out of the place. The author attributed it, amongst others, to Doctor Jones, a health officer who came to New Guinea in recent years. This statement is quite incorrect; the credit of banishing malaria from Samarai belongs to Sir William MacGregor?
, and to him alone.
A few sheds, occupied by boat-builders and carpenters, scattered along the beach, complete the buildings of Samarai. Of hotels and accommodation houses there were none, but then there was no travelling public to accommodate; gold-diggers to and from the islands of Sudest and St. Aignan camped in their tents, which as a rule consisted of a single sheet of calico stretched over a pole; traders lived in their vessels. Alcoholic refreshment was dispensed at the stores; Burns, Philp’s manager, for instance, or one of the Whittens, ceasing from their book-keeping labours to serve thirsty customers with lager beer or more potent fluids over the store counter. Whitten Brothers had a large roofed balcony with no sides, situated at the back of the store, and here at night, as to a general club-house, foregathered all the Europeans of the island. Under a centre table was placed a supply of varied drinks, and as men came in and bottles were emptied, they were hurled over the edge on to the soft coral sand. In the morning one of the Whittens caused the bottles to be collected by a native boy, counted them, and avoided the trouble of book-keeping by the simple method of dividing the sum total of bottles by the number of men he knew, or that his boy told him, had visited the “house”; each man therefore, whether a thirsty person or not, was charged exactly the same as his neighbour.
All Samarai was planted with cocoanut palms, the dodging of6 falling nuts from which, in windy weather, served to keep the inhabitants spry. Pyjamas were the almost universal wear, varied in the case of some traders by a strip of turkey-red twill, worn petticoat fashion, and a cotton vest.
Among the traders were two picturesque ruffians, alike in nothing, save the ability with which they conducted their business and dodged hanging. Each had spent his life trading in the South Seas and had amassed a fair fortune. Of them and their exploits I have heard endless yarns. Of one of these men, who was known far and wide through the South Seas as “Nicholas the Greek”—Heaven knows why, for his real name sounded English, and his reckless courage was certainly not typical of the modern Greek—the following stories are told.