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The Hawaiian Archipelago: Six Months Among the Palm Groves, Coral Reefs, and Volcanoes of the Sandwich Islands. Bird, Isabella L. (Isabella Lucy), 1831–1904.
page: 381

ONCE more I write with the splendours of the quenchless fires in sight, and the usual world seems twilight and commonplace by the fierce glare of Halemaumau, and the fitful glare of the other and loftier flame, which is burning ten thousand feet higher in lonely Mokua-weo-weo.

Mr. Green and I left Hilo soon after daylight this morning, and made about “the worst time” ever made on the route. We jogged on slowly and silently for thirty miles in Indian file, through bursts of tropical beauty, over an ocean of fern-clad pahoehoe, the air hot and stagnant, the horses lazy and indifferent, till I was awoke from the kind of cautious doze into which one falls on a sure-footed horse, by a decided coolness in the atmosphere, and Kahélé breaking into a lumbering gallop, which he kept up till we reached this house, where, in spite of the exercise, we are glad to get close to a large wood fire. Although we are shivering, the mercury is 57°, but in this warm and equable climate, one's sensa- sensations

* I venture to present this journal letter just as it was written, trusting that the interest which attaches to volcanic regions, will carry the reader though the minuteness and multiplicity of the details.

page: 382 tions are not significant of the height of the thermometer.

It is very fascinating to be here on the crater's edge, and to look across its deep three miles of blackness to the clouds of red light which Halemaumau is sending up, but altogether exciting to watch the lofty curve of Mauna Loa upheave itself against the moon, while far and faint, we see, or think we see, that solemn light, which ever since my landing at Kawaihae has been so mysteriously attractive. It is three days off yet. Perhaps its spasmodic fires will die out, and we shall find only blackness. Perhaps anything, except our seeing it as it ought to be seen! The practical difficulty about a guide increases, and Mr. Gilman cannot help us to solve it. And if it be so cold at 4000 feet, what will it be at 14,000?