writen by Dr. N. B. Emerson
Kaopele was born in Waipio, Hawaii. When born he did not breathe, and his parents were greatly troubled; but they washed his body clean, and having arrayed it in good clothes, they watched anxiously over the body for several days, and then, concluding it to be dead, placed it in a small cave in the face of the cliff. There the body remained from the summer month of Ikiki (July or August) to the winter month of Ikua (December or January), a period of six months.
At this time they were startled by a violent storm of thunder and lightning, and the rumbling of an earthquake. At the same time appeared the marvellous phenomenon of eight rainbows arching over the mouth of the cave. Above the din of the storm the parents heard the voice of the awakened child calling to them:
“Let your love rest upon me,
O my parents, who have thrust me forth,
Who have left me in the cavernous cliff,
Who have heartlessly placed me in the
Cliff frequented by the tropic bird!
O Waiaalaia, my mother!
O Waimanu, my father!
Come and take me!”
The yearning love of the mother earnestly besought the father to go in quest of the infant; but he protested that search was useless, as the child was long since dead. But, unable longer to endure a woman’s teasing, which is the same in all ages, he finally set forth in high dudgeon, vowing that in case of failure he would punish her on his return.
On reaching the place where the babe had been deposited, its body was not to be found. But lifting up his eyes and looking about, he espied the child perched on a tree, braiding a wreath from the scarlet flowers of the lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha). “I have come to take you home with me,” said the father. But the infant made no answer. The mother received the child to her arms with demonstrations of the liveliest affection. At her suggestion they named the boy Kaopele, from the name of their goddess, Pele.
Six months after this, on the first day (Hilo) of the new moon, in the month of Ikiki, they returned home from working in the fields and found the child lying without breath, apparently dead. After venting their grief for their darling in loud lamentations, they erected a frame to receive its dead body.
Time healed the wounds of their affection, and after the lapse of six moons they had ceased to mourn, when suddenly they were affrighted by a storm of thunder and lightning, with a quaking of the earth, in the midst of which they distinguished the cry of their child, “Oh, come; come and take me!”
They, overjoyed at this second restoration of their child to them, and deeming it to be a miracle worked by their goddess, made up their minds that if it again fell into a trance they would not be anxious, since their goddess would awake their child and bring it to life again.
But afterward the child informed them of their mistake, saying: “This marvel that you see in me is a trance; when I pass into my deep sleep my spirit at once floats away in the upper air with the goddess, Poliahu. We are a numerous band of spirits, but I excel them in the distance of my flights. In one day I can compass this island of Hawaii, as well as Maui, Oahu, and Kauai, and return again. In my flights I have seen that Kauai is the richest of all the islands, for it is well supplied with food and fish, and it is abundantly watered. I intend to remain with you until I am grown; then I shall journey to Kauai and there spend the rest of my life.” Thus Kaopele lived with his parents until he was grown, but his habit of trance still clung to him.
Then one day he filled them with grief by saying: “I am going, aloha.”
They sealed their love for each other with tears and kisses, and he slept and was gone. He alighted at Kula, on Maui. There he engaged in cultivating food. When his crops were nearly ripe and ready to be eaten he again fell into his customary deep sleep, and when he awoke he found that the people of the land had eaten up all his crops.
Then he flew away to a place called Kapapakolea, in Moanalua, on Oahu, where he set out a new plantation. Here the same fortune befell him, and his time for sleep came upon him before his crops were fit for eating. When he awoke, his plantation had gone to waste.
Again he moves on, and this time settles in Lihue, Oahu, where for the third time he sets out a plantation of food, but is prevented from eating it by another interval of sleep. Awakening, he finds his crops overripe and wasted by neglect and decay.
His restless ambition now carries him to Lahuimalo, still on the island of Oahu, where his industry plants another crop of food. Six months pass, and he is about to eat of the fruits of his labor, when one day, on plunging into the river to bathe, he falls into his customary trance, and his lifeless body is floated by the stream out into the ocean and finally cast up by the waters on the sands of Maeaea, a place in Waialua, Oahu.
At the same time there arrived a man from Kauai in search of a human body to offer as a sacrifice at the temple of Kahikihaunaka at Wailua, on Kauai, and having seen the corpse of Kaopele on the beach, he asks and obtains permission of the feudal lord (Konohiki) of Waialua to take it. Thus it happens that Kaopele is taken by canoe to the island of Kauai and placed, along with the corpse of another man, on the altar of the temple at Wailua.
There he lay until the bones of his fellow corpse had begun to fall apart. When six moons had been accomplished, at midnight there came a burst of thunder and an earthquake. Kaopele came to life, descended from the altar, and directed his steps toward a light which he saw shining through some chinks in a neighboring house. He was received by the occupants of the house with that instant and hearty hospitality which marks the Hawaiian race, and bidden to enter (“mai, komo mai”).
Food was set before him, with which he refreshed himself. The old man who seemed to be the head of the household was so much pleased and impressed with the bearing and appearance of our hero that he forthwith sought to secure him to be the husband of his granddaughter, a beautiful girl named Makalani. Without further ado, he persuaded him to be a suitor for the hand of the girl, and while it was yet night, started off to obtain the girl’s consent and to bring her back with him.
The young woman was awakened from her slumbers in the night to hear the proposition of her grandfather, who painted to her in glowing colors the manly attractions of her suitor. The suit found favor in the eyes of the girl’s parents and she herself was nothing loath; but with commendable maidenly propriety she insisted that her suitor should be brought and presented to her, and that she should not first seek him.
The sun had hardly begun to lift the dew from the grass when our young hero, accompanied by the two matchmakers, was brought into the presence of his future wife. They found favor in each other’s eyes, and an ardent attachment sprang up on the instant. Matters sped apace. A separate house was assigned as the residence of the young couple, and their married life began felicitously.
But the instincts of a farmer were even stronger in the breast of Kaopele than the bonds of matrimony. In the middle of the night he arose, and, leaving the sleeping form of his bride, passed out into the darkness. He went mauka until he came upon an extensive upland plain, where he set to work clearing and making ready for planting. This done, he collected from various quarters shoots and roots of potato (kalo), banana (waoke), awa, and other plants, and before day the whole plain was a plantation. After his departure his wife awoke with a start and found her husband was gone. She went into the next house, where her parents were sleeping, and, waking them, made known her loss; but they knew nothing of his whereabouts. Much perplexed, they were still debating the cause of his departure, when he suddenly returned, and to his wife’s questioning, answered that he had been at work.
She gently reproved him for interrupting their bridal night with agriculture, and told him there would be time enough for that when they had lived together a while and had completed their honeymoon. “And besides,” said she, “if you wish to turn your hand to agriculture, here is the plat of ground at hand in which my father works, and you need not go up to that plain where only wild hogs roam.”
To this he replied: “My hand constrains me to plant; I crave work; does idleness bring in anything? There is profit only when a man turns the palm of his hand to the soil: that brings in food for family and friends. If one were indeed the son of a king he could sleep until the sun was high in the heavens, and then rise and find the bundles of cooked food ready for him. But for a plain man, the only thing to do is to cultivate the soil and plant, and when he returns from his work let him light his oven, and when the food is cooked let the husband and the wife crouch about the hearth and eat together.”
Again, very early on the following morning, while his wife slept, Kaopele rose, and going to the house of a neighbor, borrowed a fishhook with its tackle. Then, supplying himself with bait, he went a-fishing in the ocean and took an enormous quantity of fish. On his way home he stopped at the house where he had borrowed the tackle and returned it, giving the man also half of the fish. Arrived at home, he threw the load of fish onto the ground with a thud which waked his wife and parents.
“So you have been a-fishing,” said his wife. “Thinking you had again gone to work in the field, I went up there, but you were not there. But what an immense plantation you have set out! Why, the whole plain is covered.”
His father-in-law said, “A fine lot of fish, my boy.”
Thus went life with them until the crops were ripe, when one day Kaopele said to his wife, who was now evidently with child, “If the child to be born is a boy, name it Kalelealuaka; but if it be a girl, name it as you will, from your side of the family.”
From his manner she felt uneasy and suspicious of him, and said, “Alas! do you intend to desert me?”
Then Kaopele explained to his wife that he was not really going to leave her, as men are wont to forsake their wives, but he foresaw that that was soon to happen which was habitual to him, and he felt that on the night of the morrow a deep sleep would fall upon him (puni ka hiamoe), which would last for six months. Therefore, she was not to fear.
“Do not cast me out nor bury me in the ground,” said he. Then he explained to her how he happened to be taken from Oahu to Kauai and how he came to be her husband, and he commanded her to listen attentively to him and to obey him implicitly. Then they pledged their love to each other, talking and not sleeping all that night.
On the following day all the friends and neighbors assembled, and as they sat about, remarks were made among them in an undertone, like this, “So this is the man who was placed on the altar of the heiau at Wailua.” And as evening fell he bade them all aloha, and said that he should be separated from them for six months, but that his body would remain with them if they obeyed his commands. And, having kissed his wife, he fell into the dreamful, sacred sleep of Niolo-kapu.
On the sixth day the father-in-law said: “Let us bury your husband, lest he stink. I thought it was to be only a natural sleep, but it is ordinary death. Look, his body is rigid, his flesh is cold, and he does not breathe; these are the signs of death.”
But Makalani protested, “I will not let him be buried; let him lie here, and I will watch over him as he commanded; you also heard his words.” But in spite of the wife’s earnest protests, the hard-hearted father-in-law gathered strong vines of the koali (convolvulus), tied them about Kaopele’s feet, and attaching to them heavy stones, caused his body to be conveyed in a canoe and sunk in the dark waters of the ocean midway between Kauai and Oahu.
Makalani lived in sorrow for her husband until the birth of her child, and as it was a boy, she called his name Kalelealuaka.
When the child was about two months old the sky became overcast and there came up a mighty storm, with lightning and an earthquake. Kaopele awoke in his dark, watery couch, unbound the cords that held his feet, and by three powerful strokes raised himself to the surface of the water. He looked toward Kauai and Oahu, but love for his wife and child prevailed and drew him to Kauai.
In the darkness of night he stood by his wife’s bed and, feeling for her, touched her forehead with his clammy hand. She awoke with a start, and on his making himself known she screamed with fright, “Ghost of Kaopele!” and ran to her parents. Not until a candle was lighted would she believe it to be her husband. The step-parents, in fear and shame at their heartless conduct, fled away, and never returned. From this time forth Kaopele was never again visited by a trance; his virtue had gone out from him to the boy Kalelealuaka.
When Kalelealuaka was ten years old Kaopele began to train the lad in athletic sports and to teach him all the arts of war and combat practised throughout the islands, until he had attained great proficiency in them. He also taught him the arts of running and jumping, so that he could jump either up or down a high pali, or run, like a waterfowl on the surface of the water. After this, one day Kalelealuaka went over to Wailua, where he witnessed the games of the chiefs. The youth spoke contemptuously of their performances as mere child’s play; and when his remark was reported to the King he challenged the young man to meet him in a boxing encounter. When Kalelealuaka came into the presence of the King his royal adversary asked him what wager he brought. As the youth had nothing with him, he seriously proposed that each one should wager his own body against that of the other one. The proposal was readily accepted. The herald sounded the signal of attack, and both contestants rushed at each other. Kalelealuaka warily avoided the attack by the King, and hastened to deliver a blow which left his opponent at his mercy; and thereupon, using his privilege, he robbed the King of his life, and to the astonishment of all, carried away the body to lay as a sacrifice on the altar of the temple, hitherto unconsecrated by human sacrifice, which he and his father Kaopele had recently built in honor of their deity.
After a time there reached the ear of Kalelealuaka a report of the great strength of a certain chief who lived in Hanalei. Accordingly, without saying anything about his intention, he went over to the valley of Hanalei. He found the men engaged in the game of throwing heavy spears at the trunk of a cocoanut-tree. As on the previous occasion, he invited a challenge by belittling their exploits, and when challenged by the chief, fearlessly proposed, as a wager, the life of one against the other. This was accepted, and the chief had the first trial. His spear hit the stem of the huge tree and made its lofty crest nod in response to the blow. It was now the turn of Kalelealuaka to hurl the spear. In anticipation of the failure of the youth and his own success, the chief took the precaution to station his guards about Kalelealuaka, to be ready to seize him on the instant. In a tone of command our hero bade the guards fall back, and brandishing his spear, stroked and polished it with his hands from end to end; then he poised and hurled it, and to the astonishment of all, lo! the tree was shivered to pieces. On this the people raised a shout of admiration at the prowess of the youth, and declared he must be the same hero who had slain the chief at Wailua. In this way Kalelealuaka obtained a second royal sacrifice with which to grace the altar of his temple.
One clear, calm evening, as Kalelealuaka looked out to sea, he descried the island of Oahu, which is often clearly visible from Kauai, and asked his father what land that was that stood out against them. Kaopele told the youth it was Oahu; that the cape that swam out into the ocean like a waterfowl was Kaena; that the retreating contour of the coast beyond was Waianae. Thus he described the land to his son. The result was that the adventurous spirit of Kalelealuaka was fired to explore this new island for himself, and he expressed this wish to his father. Everything that Kalelealuaka said or did was good in the eye of his father, Kaopele. Accordingly, he immediately set to work and soon had a canoe completely fitted out, in which Kalelealuaka might start on his travels. Kalelealuaka took with him, as travelling companion, a mere lad named Kaluhe, and embarked in his canoe. With two strokes of the paddle his prow grated on the sands of Waianae.
Before leaving Kauai his father had imparted to Kalelealuaka something of the topography of Oahu, and had described to him the site of his former plantation at Keahumoe. At Waianae the two travellers were treated affably by the people of the district. In reply to the questions put them, they said they were going sight-seeing. As they went along they met a party of boys amusing themselves with darting arrows; one of them asked permission to join their party. This was given, and the three turned inland and journeyed till they reached a plain of soft, whitish rock, where they all refreshed themselves with food. Then they kept on ascending, until Keahumoe lay before them, dripping with hoary moisture from the mist of the mountain, yet as if smiling through its tears. Here were standing bananas with ripened, yellow fruit, upland kalo, and sugar cane, rusty and crooked with age, while the sweet potatoes had crawled out of the earth and were cracked and dry. It was the very place where Kaopele, the father of Kalelealuaka, had years before set out the plants from which these were descended.
“This is our food, and a good place, perhaps, for us to settle down,” said Kalelealuaka; “but before we make up our minds to stay here let me dart an arrow; and if it drops soon we shall stay, but if it flies afar we shall not tarry here.” Kalelealuaka darted his arrow, while his companions looked on intently. The arrow flew along, passing over many a hill and valley, and finally rested beyond Kekuapoi, while they followed the direction of its wonderful flight. Kalelealuaka sent his companions on to find the arrow, telling them at the same time to go to the villages and get some awa roots for drink, while he would remain there and put up a shelter for them.
Scene in Olokele Gulch, Makaweli, Kauai.
On their way the two companions of Kalelealuaka encountered a number of women washing kalo in a stream, and on asking them if they had seen their arrow flying that way they received an impertinent answer; whereupon they called out the name of the arrow, “Pua-ne, Pua-ne,” and it came to their hands at once. At this the women ran away, frightened at the marvel.
The two boys then set to gathering awa roots, as they had been bidden. Seeing them picking up worthless fragments, a kind-hearted old man, who turned out to be the konohiki of the land, sent by his servants an abundance of good food to Kalelealuaka.
On their return the boys found, to their astonishment, that during their absence Kalelealuaka had put up a fine, large house, which was all complete but the mats to cover the floors. The kind-hearted konohili remarked this, and immediately sent her servants to fetch mats for the floors and sets of kapa for bedding, adding the command, “And with them bring along some malos” (girdles used by the males). Soon all their wants were supplied, and the three youths were set up in housekeeping. To these services the konohiki, through his attendants, added still others; some chewed and strained the awa, while others cooked and spread for them a bountiful repast. The three youths ate and drank, and under the drowsy influence of the awa they slept until the little birds that peopled the wilderness about them waked them with their morning songs; then they roused and found the sun already climbing the heavens.
Now, Kalelealuaka called to his comrades, and said, “Rouse up and let us go to cultivating.” To this they agreed, and each one set to work in his own way, working his own piece of ground. The ground prepared by Kalelealuaka was a strip of great length, reaching from the mountain down toward the ocean. This he cleared and planted the same day. His two companions, however, spent several days in clearing their ground, and then several days more in planting it. While these youths occupied their mountain home, the people of that region were well supplied with food. The only lack of Kalelealuaka and his comrades was animal food (literally, fish), but they supplied its place as well as they could with such herbs as the tender leaves of the popolo, which they cooked like spinach, and with inamona made from the roasted nuts of the kukui tree (Aleurites molluccana).
One day, as they were eking out their frugal meal with a mess of popolo cooked by the lad from Waianae, Kalelealuaka was greatly disgusted at seeing a worm in that portion that the youth was eating, and thereupon nicknamed him Keinohoomanawanui (sloven, or more literally, the persistently unclean). The name ever after stuck to him. This same fellow had the misfortune, one evening, to injure one of his eyes by the explosion of a kukui nut which he was roasting on the fire. As a result, that member was afflicted with soreness, and finally became blinded. But their life agreed with them, and the youths throve and increased in stature, and grew to be stout and lusty young men.
Now, it happened that ever since their stay at their mountain house, Lelepua (arrow flight), they had kept a torch burning all night, which was seen by Kakuhihewa, the King of Oahu, and had caused him uneasiness.
One fine evening, when they had eaten their fill and had gone to bed, Kalelealuaka called to Keinohoomanawanui and said, “Halloo there! are you asleep?”
And he replied, “No; have I drunk awa? I am restless. My eyes will not close.”
“Well,” said Kalelealuaka, “when you are restless at night, what does your mind find to do?”
“Nothing,” said the Sloven.
“I find something to think about,” said Kalelealuaka.
“What is that?” said the Sloven.
“Let us wish” (kuko, literally, to lust), said Kalelealuaka.
“What shall we wish?” said the Sloven.
“Whatever our hearts most earnestly desire,” said Kalelealuaka. Thereupon they both wished. The Sloven, in accordance with his nature, wished for things to eat,—the eels, from the fish-pond of Hanaloa (in the district of Ewa), to be cooked in an oven together with sweet potatoes, and a bowl of awa.
“Pshaw, what a beggarly wish!” said Kalelealuaka. “I thought you had a real wish. I have a genuine wish. Listen: The beautiful daughters of Kakuhihewa to be my wives; his fatted pigs and dogs to be baked for us; his choice kalo, sugar cane, and bananas to be served up for us; that Kakuhihewa himself send and get timber and build a house for us; that he pull the famous awa of Kahauone; that the King send and fetch us to him; that he chew the awa for us in his own mouth, strain and pour it for us, and give us to drink until we are happy, and then take us to our house.”
Trembling with fear at the audacious ambition of his concupiscent companion, the Sloven replied, “If your wish should come to the ears of the King, we shall die; indeed, we should die.”
In truth, as they were talking together and uttering their wishes, Kakuhihewa had arrived, and was all the time listening to their conversation from the outside of their house. When the King had heard their conversation he thrust his spear into the ground outside the inclosure about Kalelealuaka’s house, and by the spear placed his stone hatchet (pahoa), and immediately returned to his residence at Puuloa. Upon his arrival at home that night King Kakuhihewa commanded his stewards to prepare a feast, and then summoned his chiefs and table companions and said, “Let us sup.” When all was ready and they had seated themselves, the King said, “Shall we eat, or shall we talk?”
One of them replied: “If it please the King, perhaps it were better for him to speak first; it may be what he has to say touches a matter of life and death; therefore, let him speak and we will listen.”
Then Kakuhihewa told them the whole story of the light seen in the mountains, and of the wishes of Kalelealuaka and the Sloven.
Then up spoke the soldiers, and said: “Death! This man is worthy to be put to death; but as for the other one, let him live.”
“Hold,” said the King, “not so fast! Before condemning him to death, I will call together the wise men, priests, wizards, and soothsayers; perchance they will find that this is the man to overcome Kualii in battle.” Thereupon all the wise men, priests, wizards, and soothsayers were immediately summoned, and after the King had explained the whole story to them they agreed with the opinion of the soldiers. Again the King interposed delay, and said, “Wait until my wise kahuna Napuaikamao comes; if his opinion agrees with yours, then, indeed, let the man be put to death; but if he is wiser than you, the man shall live. But you will have eaten this food in vain.”
So the King sent one of his fleetest runners to go and fetch Napuaikamao. To him the King said, “I have sent for you to decide what is just and right in the case of these two men who lived up in the region of Waipio.” Then he went on to state the whole case to this wise man.
“In regard to Keinohoomanawanui’s wish,” said the wise man, “that is an innocent wish, but it is profitless and will bring no blessing.” At the narration of Kalelealuaka’s wish he inclined his head, as if in thought; then lifting his head, he looked at the King and said: “O King, as for this man’s wish, it is an ambition which will bring victory to the government. Now, then, send all your people and fetch house-timber and awa.”
As soon as the wise man had given this opinion, the King commanded his chief marshal, Maliuhaaino, to set every one to work to carry out the directions of this counsellor. This was done, and before break of day every man, woman, and child in the district of Ewa, a great multitude, was on the move.
Now, when the Sloven awoke in the morning and went out of doors, he found the stone hatchet (pahoa) of the King, with his spear, standing outside of the house. On seeing this he rushed back into the house and exclaimed to his comrades, “Alas! our wishes have been overheard by the King; here are his hatchet and his spear. I said that if the King heard us we should die, and he has indeed heard us. But yours was the fatal ambition; mine was only an innocent wish.”
Even while they were talking, the babble of the multitude drew near, and the Sloven exclaimed, “Our death approaches!”
Kalelealuaka replied, “That is not for our death; it is the people coming to get timber for our houses.” But the fear of the Sloven would not be quieted.
The multitude pressed on, and by the time the last of them had reached the mountain the foremost had returned to the sea-coast and had begun to prepare the foundations for the houses, to dig the holes for the posts, to bind on the rafters and the small poles on which they tied the thatch, until the houses were done.
Meantime, some were busy baking the pigs and the poi-fed dogs in ovens; some in bringing the eels of Kanaloa and cooking them with potatoes in an oven by themselves.
The houses are completed, everything is ready, the grand marshal, Maliuhaaino, has just arrived in front of the house of the ambitious youth Kalelealuaka, and calls out “Keinohoomanawanui, come out!” and he comes out, trembling. “Kalelealuaka, come out!” and he first sends out the boy Kaluhe and then comes forth himself and stands outside, a splendid youth. The marshal stands gazing at him in bewilderment and admiration. When he has regained his equanimity he says to him, “Mount on my back and let us go down.”
“No,” said Kalelealuaka, “I will go by myself, and do you walk ahead. I will follow after; but do not look behind you, lest you die.”
As soon as they had started down, Kalelealuaka was transported to Kuaikua, in Helemano. There he plunged into the water and bathed all over; this done, he called on his ancestral shades (Aumakua), who came and performed on him the rite of circumcision while lightning flashed, thunder sounded, and the earth quaked.
Kaopele, on Kauai, heard the commotion and exclaimed, “Ah! my son has received the purifying rite—the offspring of the gods goes to meet the sovereign of the land” (Alii aimoku).
Meanwhile, the party led by Maliuhaaino was moving slowly down toward the coast, because the marshal himself was lame. Returning from his purification, Kalelealuaka alighted just to the rear of the party, who had not noticed his absence, and becoming impatient at the tedious slowness of the journey,—for the day was waning, and the declining sun was already standing over a peak of the Waianae Mountains called Puukuua,—this marvellous fellow caught up the lame marshal in one hand and his two comrades in the other, and, flying with them, set them down at Puuloa. But the great marvel was, that they knew nothing about being transported, yet they had been carried and set down as from a sheet.
On their arrival at the coast all was ready, and the people were waiting for them. A voice called out, “Here is you house, Keinohoomanawanui!” and the Sloven entered with alacrity and found bundles of his wished-for eels and potatoes already cooked and awaiting his disposal.
But Kalelealuaka proudly declined to enter the house prepared for himself when the invitation came to him, “Come in! this is your house,” all because his little friend Kaluhe, whose eyes had often been filled with smoke while cooking luau and roasting kukui nuts for him, had not been included in the invitation, and he saw that no provision had been made for him. When this was satisfactorily arranged Kalelealuaka and his little friend entered and sat down to eat. The King, with his own hand, poured out awa for Kalelealuaka, brought him a gourd of water to rinse his mouth, offered him food, and waited upon him till he had supplied all his wants.
Now, when Kalelealuaka had well drunken, and was beginning to feel drowsy from the awa, the lame marshal came in and led him to the two daughters of Kakuhihewa, and from that time these two lovely girls were his wives.
Thus they lived for perhaps thirty days (he mau anabulu), when a messenger arrived, announcing that Kualii was making war at Moanalua. The soldiers of Kakuhihewa quickly made themselves ready, and among them Keinohoomanawanui went out to battle. The lame marshal had started for the scene the night before.
On the morning of the day of battle, Kalelealuaka said to his wives that he had a great hankering for some shrimps and moss, which must be gathered in a particular way, and that nothing else would please his appetite. Thereupon, they dutifully set out to obtain these things for him. As soon as they had gone from the house Kalelealuaka flew to Waianae and arrayed himself with wreaths of the fine-leaved maile (Maile laulii). which is peculiar to that region. Thence he flew to Napeha, where the lame marshal, Maliuhaaino, was painfully climbing the hill on his way to battle. Kalelealuaka cheerily greeted him, and the following dialogue occurred:
K. “Whither are you trudging, Maliuhaaino?”
M. “What! don’t you know about the war?”
K. “Let me carry you.”
M. “How fast you travel! Where are you from?”
K. “From Waianae.”
M. “So I see from your wreaths. Yes, carry me, and Waianae shall be yours.”
At the word Kalelealuaka picked up the cripple and set him down on an eminence mauka of the battlefield, saying, “Remain you here and watch me. If I am killed in the fight, you return by the same way we came and report to the King.”
Kalelealuaka then addressed himself to the battle, but before attacking the enemy he revenged himself on those who had mocked and jeered at him for not joining the forces of Kakuhihewa. This done, he turned his hand against the enemy, who at the time were advancing and inflicting severe loss in the King’s army.
To what shall we compare the prowess of our hero? A man was plucked and torn in his hand as if he were but a leaf. The commotion in the ranks of the enemy was as when a powerful waterfowl lashes the water with his wings (O haehae ka manu, Ke ale nei ka wai). Kalelealuaka moved forward in his work of destruction until he had slain the captain who stood beside the rebel chief, Kualii. From the fallen captain he took his feather cloak and helmet and cut off his right ear and the little finger of his right hand. Thus ended the slaughter that day.
The enthusiasm of the cripple was roused to the highest pitch on witnessing the achievements of Kalelealuaka, and he determined to return and report that he had never seen his equal on the battlefield.
Kalelealuaka returned to Puuloa, and hid the feather cloak and helmet under the mats of his bed, and having fastened the dead captain’s ear and little finger to the side of the house, lay down and slept.
After a while, when the two women, his wives, returned with the moss and shrimps, he complained that the moss was not gathered as he had directed, and that they had been gone such a long time that his appetite had entirely left him, and he would not eat of what they had brought. At this the elder sister said nothing, but the younger one muttered a few words to herself; and as they were all very tired they soon went to sleep.
They had slept a long while when the tramp of the soldiers of Kakuhihewa was heard, returning from the battle. The King immediately asked how the battle had gone. The soldiers answered that the battle had gone well, but that Keinohoomanawanui alone had greatly distinguished himself. To this the King replied he did not believe that the Sloven was a great warrior, but when the cripple returned he would learn the truth.
About midnight the footsteps of the lame marshal were heard outside of the King’s house. Kakuhihewa called to him, “Come, how went the battle?”
“Can’t you have patience and let me take breath?” said the marshal. Then when he had rested himself he answered, “They fought, but there was one man who excelled all the warriors in the land. He was from Waianae. I gave Waianae to him as a reward for carrying me.”
“It shall be his,” said the King.
“He tore a man to pieces,” said the cripple, “as he would tear a banana-leaf. The champion of Kualii’s army he killed, and plundered him of his feather cloak and helmet.”
“The soldiers say that Keinohoomanawanui was the hero of the day,” said the King.
“What!” said the cripple. “He did nothing. He merely strutted about. But this man—I never saw his equal; he had no spear, his only weapons were his hands; if a spear was hurled at him, he warded it off with his hair. His hair and features, by the way, greatly resemble those of your son-in-law.”
Thus they conversed till daybreak.
After a few days, again came a messenger announcing that the rebel Kualii was making war on the plains of Kulaokahua. On hearing this Kakuhihewa immediately collected his soldiers. As usual, the lame marshal set out in advance the evening before the battle.
In the morning, after the army had gone, Kalelealuaka said to his wives, “I am thirsting for some water taken with the snout of the calabash held downward. I shall not relish it if it is taken with the snout turned up.” Now, Kalelealuaka knew that they could not fill the calabash if held this way, but he resorted to this artifice to present the two young women from knowing of his miraculous flight to the battle. As soon as the young women had got out of sight he hastened to Waialua and arrayed himself in the rough and shaggy wreaths of uki from the lagoons of Ukoa and of hinahina from Kealia. Thus arrayed, he alighted behind the lame marshal as he climbed the hill at Napeha, slapped him on the back, exchanged greetings with him, and received a compliment on his speed; and when asked whence he came, he answered from Waialua. The shrewd, observant cripple recognized the wreaths as being those of Waialua, but he did not recognize the man, for the wreaths with which Kalelealuaka had decorated himself were of such a color—brownish gray—as to give him the appearance of a man of middle age. He lifted the cripple as before, and set him down on the brow of Puowaina (Punch Bowl Hill), and received from the grateful cripple, as a reward for his service, all the land of Waialua for his own.
This done, Kalelealuaka repeated the performances of the previous battle. The enemy melted away before him, whichever way he turned. He stayed his hand only when he had slain the captain of the host and stripped him of his feather cloak and helmet, taking also his right ear and little finger. The speed with which Kalelealuaka returned to his home at Puuloa was like the flight of a bird. The spoils and trophies of this battle he disposed of as before.
The two young women, Kalelealuaka’s wives, turned the nozzle of the water-gourd downward, as they were bidden, and continued to press it into the water, in the vain hope that it might rise and fill their container, until the noonday sun began to pour his rays directly upon their heads; but no water entered their calabash. Then the younger sister proposed to the elder to fill the calabash in the usual way, saying that Kalelealuaka would not know the difference. This they did, and returned home.
Kalelealuaka would not drink of the water, declaring that it had been dipped up. At this the younger wife laughed furtively; the elder broke forth and said: “It is due to the slowness of the way you told us to employ in getting the water. We are not accustomed to the menial office of fetching water; our father treated us delicately, and a man always fetched water for us, and we always used to see him pour the water into the gourd with the nozzle turned up, but you trickily ordered us to turn the nozzle down. Your exactions are heartless.”
Thus the women kept complaining until, by and by, the tramp of the returning soldiers was heard, who were boasting of the great deeds of Keinohoomanawanui. The King, however, said: “I do not believe a word of your talk; when my cripple comes he will tell me the truth. I do not believe that Keinohoomanawanui is an athlete. Such is the opinion I have formed of him. But there is a powerful man, Kalelealuaka,—if he were to go into battle I am confident he would perform wonders. Such is the opinion I have formed of him, after careful study.”
So the King waited for the return of the cripple until night, and all night until nearly dawn. When finally the lame marshal arrived, the King prudently abstained from questioning him until he had rested a while and taken breath; then he obtained from him the whole story of this new hero from Waialua, whose name he did not know, but who, he declared, resembled the King’s son-in-law, Kalelealuaka.
Again, on a certain day, came the report of an attack by Kualii at Kulaokahua, and the battle was to be on the morrow. The cripple, as usual, started off the evening before. In the morning, Kalelealuaka called to his wives, and said: “Where are you? Wake up. I wish you to bake a fowl for me. Do it thus: Pluck it; do not cut it open, but remove the inwards through the opening behind; then stuff it with luau from the same end, and bake it; by no means cut it open, lest you spoil the taste of it.”
As soon as they had left the house he flew to Kahuku and adorned his neck with wreaths of the pandanus fruit and his head with the flowers of the sugar cane, thus entirely changing his appearance and making him look like a gray-haired old man. As on previous days, he paused behind the cripple and greeted him with a friendly slap on the back. Then he kindly lifted the lame man and set him down at Puowaina. In return for this act of kindness the cripple gave him the district of Koolau.
In this battle he first slew those soldiers in Kakuhihewa’s army who had spoken ill of him. Then he turned his hand against the warriors of Kualii, smiting them as with the stroke of lightning, and displaying miraculous powers. When he had reached the captain of Kualii’s force, he killed him and despoiled his body of his feather cloak and helmet, taking also a little finger and toe. With these he flew to the cripple, whom he lifted and bore in his flight as far as Waipio, and there dropped him at a point just below where the water bursts forth at Waipahu.
Arrived at his house, Kalelealuaka, after disposing of his spoils, lay down and slept. After he had slept several hours, his wives came along in none too pleased a mood and awoke him, saying his meat was cooked. Kalelealuaka merely answered that it was so late his appetite had gone, and he did not care to eat.
At this slight his wives said: “Well, now, do you think we are accustomed to work? We ought to live without work, like a king’s daughters, and when the men have prepared the food then we should go and eat it.”
The women were still muttering over their grievance, when along came the soldiers, boasting of the powers of Keinohoomanawanui, and as they passed Kalelealuaka’s door they said it were well if the two wives of this fellow, who lounges at home in time of war, were given to such a brave and noble warrior as Keinohoomanawanui.
The sun was just sinking below the ocean when the footsteps of the cripple were heard at the King’s door, which he entered, sitting down within. After a short time the King asked him about the battle. “The valor and prowess of this third man were even greater than those of the previous ones; yet all three resemble each other. This day, however, he first avenged himself by slaying those who had spoken ill of him. He killed the captain of Kualii’s army and took his feather cloak and helmet. On my return he lifted me as far as Waipahu.”
In a few days again came a report that Kualii had an army at a place called Kahapaakai, in Nuuanu. Maliuhaaino immediately marshalled his forces and started for the scene of battle the same evening.
Early the next morning Kalelealuaka awakened his wives, and said to them: “Let us breakfast, but do you two eat quietly in your own house, and I in my house with the dogs; and do not come until I call you.” So they did, and the two women went and breakfasted by themselves. At his own house Kalelealuaka ordered Kaluhe to stir up the dogs and keep them barking until his return. Then he sprang away and lighted at Kapakakolea, where he overtook the cripple, whom, after the usual interchange of greetings, he lifted, and set down at a place called Waolani.
On this day his first action was to smite and slay those who had reviled him at his own door. That done, he made a great slaughter among the soldiers of Kualii; then, turning, he seized Keinohoomanawanui, threw him down and asked him how he became blinded in one eye.
“It was lost,” said the Sloven, “from the thrust of a spear, in a combat with Olopana.”
“Yes, to be sure,” said Kalelealuaka, “while you and I were living together at Wailuku, you being on one side of the stream and I on the other, a kukui nut burst in the fire, and that was the spear that put out your eye.”
When the Sloven heard this, he hung his head. Then Kalelealuaka seized him to put him to death, when the spear of the Sloven pierced the fleshy part of Kalelealuaka’s left arm, and in plucking it out the spear-head remained in the wound.
Kalelealuaka killed Keinohoomanawanui and beheaded him, and, running to the cripple, laid the trophy at his feet with the words: “I present you, Maliuhaaino, with the head of Keinohoomanawanui.” This done, he returned to the battle, and went on slaying until he had advanced to the captain of Kualii’s forces, whom he killed and spoiled of his feather cloak and helmet.
When Kualii saw that his chief captain, the bulwark of his power, was slain, he retreated and fled up Nuuanu Valley, pursued by Kalelealuaka, who overtook him at the head of the valley. Here Kualii surrendered himself, saying: “Spare my life. The land shall all go to Kakuhihewa, and I will dwell on it as a loyal subject under him and create no disturbance as long as I live.”
To this the hero replied: “Well said! I spare your life on these terms. But if you at any time foment a rebellion, I will take your life! So, then, return, and live quietly at home and do not stir up any war in Koolau.” Thus warned, Kaulii set out to return to the “deep blue palis of Koolau.”
While the lame marshal was trudging homeward, bearing the head of the Sloven, Kalelealuaka alighted from his flight at his house, and having disposed in his usual manner of his spoils, immediately called to his wives to rejoin him at his own house.
“The Deep Blue Palis of Koolau.”
The next morning, after the sun was warm, the cripple arrived at the house of the King in a state of great excitement, and was immediately questioned by him as to the issue of the battle, “The battle was altogether successful,” said the marshal, “but Keinohoomanawanui was killed. I brought his head along with me and placed it on the altar mauka of Kalawao. But I would advise you to send at once your fleetest runners through Kona and Koolau, commanding everybody to assemble in one place, that I may review them and pick out and vaunt as the bravest that one whom I shall recognize by certain marks—for I have noted him well: he is wounded in the left arm.”
Now, Kakuhihewa’s two swiftest runners (kukini) were Keakealani and Kuhelemoana. They were so fleet that they could compass Oahu six times in a forenoon, or twelve times in a whole day. These two were sent to call together all the men of the King’s domain. The men of Waianae came that same day and stood in review on the sandy plains of Puuloa. But among them all was not one who bore the marks sought for. Then came the men of Kona, of Waialua, and of Koolau, but the man was not found.
Then the lame marshal came and stood before the King and said: “Your bones shall rest in peace, Kalani. You had better send now and summon your son-in-law to come and stand before me; for he is the man.” Then Kakuhihewa arose and went himself to the house of his son-in-law, and called to his daughters that he had come to get their husband to go and stand before Maliuhaaino.
Then Kalelealuaka lifted up the mats of his bed and took out the feather cloaks and the helmets and arrayed his two wives, and Kaluhe, and himself. Putting them in line, he stationed the elder of his wives first, next to her the younger, and third Kaluhe, and placing himself at the rear of the file, he gave the order to march, and thus accompanied he went forth to obey the King’s command.
The lame marshal saw them coming, and in ecstasy he prostrated himself and rolled over in the dust, “The feather cloak and the helmet on your elder daughter are the ones taken from the captain of Kualii’s army in the first day’s fight; those on your second daughter from the captain of the second day’s fight; while those on Kalelealuaka himself are from the captain killed in the battle on the fourth day. You will live, but perhaps I shall die, since he is weary of carrying me.”
The lame marshal went on praising and eulogizing Kalelealuaka as he drew near. Then addressing the hero, he said: “I recognize you, having met you before. Now show your left arm to the King and to this whole assembly, that they may see where you were wounded by the spear.”
Then Kalelealuaka bared his left arm and displayed his wound to the astonished multitude. Thereupon Kakuhihewa said: “Kalelealuaka and my daughters, do you take charge of the kingdom, and I will pass into the ranks of the common people under you.”
After this a new arrangement of the lands was made, and the country had peace until the death of Kakuhihewa; Kalelealuaka also lived peacefully until death took him.
Dr. Nathaniel Bright Emerson