Samoa

14/11/1919

Dear Sir

I am pleased you approve the adges.  They warrant no explanation.  The other two stones do.  There is an old Samoan legend to this end.

A bird, a rat and an octopus went for a boat trip.  The boat was upset and the bird flew ashore.  The octopus naturally enough swam, but the rat was in danger of drowning, so the octopus gave him a ride on his head.  When they got to the shore the rat turned to the octopus and sneeringly said “look on your head.”  Upon doing so the octopus found that the rat had, to say it politely, dropped some excreta on the head of the octopus.  Since then the octopus wages war on the rat, so the natives make a stone bait such as I have sent you and have it over the side of the canoe around boulders and rocks, the octopus sees it, grabs it and is pulled on board.  I have heard the legend trice times from different Samoans with various trimmings, but the above is the crude tale.  I have been a long time getting this pair, they take a lot of making, but I got them.

About my expenses.  The absolute money expenditure was about 30/-, I should think and a lot of sweat travelling about.  That of course is all in the game.  I have five large adge well finished for you and a small one found in the caves here.

By the way would those caves here have been used for burial purposes?  There is a cave about 20 miles from here that has been used for that purpose and on Sunday I and one or two of the others are going to see.  We must keep it quite secret.  I suppose the ‘aitu’ will not trouble us ‘papalaupi’.  Shall be seeing you before long I hope.

Yours sincerely

JB Fleck

25345

Samoa

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