Jerry of the Islands
It is a misfortune to some fiction-writers that fiction and
unveracity in the average person's mind mean one and the same thing.
Several years ago I published a South Sea novel. The action was
placed in the Solomon Islands. The action was praised by the
critics and reviewers as a highly creditable effort of the
imagination. As regards reality--they said there wasn't any. Of
course, as every one knew, kinky-haired cannibals no longer obtained
on the earth's surface, much less ran around with nothing on,
chopping off one another's heads, and, on occasion, a white man's
head as well.
Now listen. I am writing these lines in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Yesterday, on the beach at Waikiki, a stranger spoke to me. He
mentioned a mutual friend, Captain Kellar. When I was wrecked in
the Solomons on the blackbirder, the Minota, it was Captain Kellar,
master of the blackbirder, the Eugenie, who rescued me. The blacks
had taken Captain Kellar's head, the stranger told me. He knew. He
had represented Captain Kellar's mother in settling up the estate.
Listen. I received a letter the other day from Mr. C. M. Woodford,
Resident Commissioner of the British Solomons. He was back at his