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No sooner did the Vagabond reach Honolulu and became friendly with Shirley Temple than he flew north and west to Kauai, advertised by The Hawaiian Tourist Bureau as the "Garden Isle." There were not many gardens, as far as he could see. Then again he could see little but what the native Louis pointed out from the depths of a Model A which rattled as if it had been to Pike's Peak and busted. Louis was a years character; he had twelve children and eleven years of marriage. "One each year of wedlock," he said, ignoring the first born. Louis had a hapa-Pake, hapa-Hawaiian wife; she had had another husband, a Jap, whom she married for his washing machine.
Louis took him to Waimea Canyon, which in the sunlight displayed colors as brilliant as those of Grand Canyon. Louis was full of old legends and superstitions, and here he took time to seek of the fire goddess Pele, who roamed about Kattai digging caves as she searched for a home; but each cave held water, and she had to move on to another and another until she settled in one with almost no water, which was unfortunate, for ever after she was never quite as hot. At least so Louis said.
The Big Island, Hawaii, was very beautiful. Volcanoes had scattered lava over two-thirds of the island so that one could not see the land at all. On the other third cattle browsed and sugarcane grew--these on the Parker ranch, owned by a young man who forsook farming for Hollywood, where the producers own everything including their own language and where Ralph Forbes cannot pronounce "promiscuously."
Spear fishing is bubbles of fun. One Sunday he donned a glass mask, grasped a slingshot affair with a two-foot spear as the missile, and paddled about the surface. Where he was swimming, the water was clear and the reefs inhabited by fish such as you see in Nassau through a glass bottom boat. The trick is to shoot the spear when you espy a large game. Unhappily, he mistook his right foot for an unfamiliar species the first time he shot, and he was reluctant to try again.
The army presents an interesting spectacle in Honolulu. But because the army is the same as the Navy in Boston or Brooklyn, with the same characteristics off duty, it would be foolish to bring the names of countless innocent Hawaiians, Puerto Ricans, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and Stanford girls by mentioning the army. From the army one passes in review, to the hula in which one is told to watch the hands. The hands, the Waikiki beach boys claim, flashing their teeth in a smile, are very important.
So are the leis, the wreaths of flowers flung around his neck when he left. They were pretty and his neck felt like that of the army officer who must dress in a tuxedo every night and eat alone with his wife.
Thus the Vagabond sailed.
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