National Geographic : 1921 Jan
THE DREAM SHIP Photograph by I,. (Gauthier PISIIING MFN OF TRITI, NEAR PAPEETIE, TAHITI all he possessed and is perfectly prepared to return to his atolls and his debts. He has lived like a white man and cheated the mosquitos; what more can Paumotan heart desire? PROGRESS HAS NOT DESTROYED PICTUR ESQUENESS OF PEARL FISHING The thing we call progress has slain the picturesque in most industries of this world, but not so with pearling in the Paumotus. During the season, the beach of one of these atolls resembles an Old World fair more than anything I can call to mind. A crazy merry-go-round brays and rocks in the shade of the palms, luring the adventurous to invest three pearl shells in a ride on a broken-necked camel. The ubiquitous movie "palace" has reared its unlovely head, and for more shell or five coconuts one may witness on the shores of a South Sea lagoon the bat tered remnants of a love affair enacted not far from Los Angeles. I have often wondered what happens to all the worn out films in the world. Now I know. This season, and for the first time, the people of the atolls are to be initiated into the mysteries of ice-cream. Truly, the mosquito stops at nothing. It was down in this part of the world that I met Mr. Mumpus, though that is not his name. To reach him you must pick your way in the motor auxiliary through a maze of reefs, lie off and on, because there is no pass into his lagoon, and plod through blazing sand in a tem perature of ninety in the shade, which there is not. But it is worth it. THE PEARL-MAKER OF TIHE SOUTH SEAS You will probably find him in the pearl orchard, a green-lined umbrella in one hand and a dripping oyster shell in the other. He will stare fixedly for upward of half a minute and then say: "How the devil did you get here ?" with a brusque ness that is alarming until you get used to it. In my own case I indicated the Dream Ship, looking particularly smart in her recent coat of white paint.