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MANA was once more back in England, and her crew went each on his way. The Brixham and Lowestoft men returned to their homes, having at least enlarged their knowledge of the world. Rosa, the Chilean engineer, and the Jamaican cook disappeared to get engagements back to their respective lands; Rosa, we trust, to realise his dreams of a shop and a wife at St. Vincent. Mr. Gillam applied for service in the Royal Navy, and subsequently became a sub-lieutenant in the R.N.R.
The two Pitcairners were the last left on board; they had proved themselves very intelligent, as well as good workers. Charles could, it is believed, have passed an examination on. every port he had visited, and how long he had stayed in each.. We endeavoured to make some amends for our lack of Mendelian research on their island, by sending them up to the Royal College of Surgeons, where they were thoroughly measured and examined by Professor Keith. 1
A still more signal honour awaited them; they were commanded to Buckingham Palace as representatives of England's smallest colony. Mr. Gillam took charge of them in London. He was not intimately acquainted with the great city, and used the map as he would a chart, disdaining the main thoroughfares,, unless they lay on the direct route, and steering a straight^ course by weird and mysterious alleys. Any way, his charges, were produced in good time at the Palace.
During the arrangements for the interview, S. had stated that the men spoke "the pure Elizabethan English of the Bible and Prayer Book"; their vocabulary, however, had been enlarged on Mana, and I was not without trepidation lest such expressions might crop out as "I don't mind if I do"; which is considered at Brixham the most courteous form of polite acceptance. All, however, went well. Charles, who acted as spokesman, after a first embarrassment answered readily the questions asked by the King. The Queen graciously accepted some specimens of Pitcairn handiwork, and the men were much impressed with the kindness and condescension of their Majesties.
Incidentally, during the interview with which we were previously honoured, they made great friends with the royal footman who was on duty outside. He was of course a very imposing person in scarlet and gold, and they shook hands affectionately with him on leaving. Cuttings from the newspapers of official and other paragraphs, announcing the reception of the two inhabitants of Pitcairn by King George and Queen Mary, were taken back by them to be inserted in the State records of the island. Posts were obtained for both men on a New Zealand liner, and we have since heard that they have safely returned to their home, having made the voyage from Tahiti on a little schooner which the plucky Pitcairners have built since we were there. It is to be hoped that this boat may continue a success and solve many of the problems of the island.
This narrative cannot close without that note of pride and sadness which, alas, characterises so many records at this time in the history of the world. Since the first chapter was written two more of our company have laid down their lives. The words of appreciation which it was hoped would have given pleasure can only be wreaths to their memory. Charles Jeffery, of Lowestoft, who joined at Whitstable and was with us to the last, who grew from boyhood to manhood on Mana, has met with a hero's death on a minesweeper.
Henry James Gillam rests in a Sicilian grave. Volunteers were called for, for specially dangerous work in capturing submarines; Gillam responded — it is impossible to picture his doing otherwise — and he fell in action in April 1918. The loss to his country is great; to us it is very real and personal. The whole voyage of the Mana is a tribute to his skill. His high intelligence and character secured him universal confidence, while his unvarying good temper — in bad times as well as in good — made him a delightful companion. One can only think of him in that other life as still keen for some new work or enterprise, and carrying it out with perfect loyalty and success.
Thus from land and sea, in defence of a Great Cause, have our comrades of the Expedition made their last voyage “westward."
I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.
* * * * * * * *
And now the story is told. The Expedition has, we hope, brought some new pieces to fit into the puzzle which it went out to study, but the help is needed of every reader who has more to bring, from whatever part of the world; so alone can be finally solved the Mystery of Easter Island.
1 See Man, vol. xvii. 1917, No. 88. 389