By the way, some time later Mr. Fellows got me into trouble with Sir William 바알바 , though quite unintentionally. I had relieved Moreton as Resident Magistrate at Samarai, and amongst the correspondence to be dealt with, were a host of complaints from Fellows about robberies by the natives from the Mission House, assaults upon Mission servants and natives, and threats of violence against himself. Moreton said, “Get down and settle this business as soon as you can, Monckton; you may have to burn some powder, but make Fellows safe, for he is a real good chap, as you know.” I went to the Trobriands as soon as I conveniently could; and after seeing Mr. Fellows and questioning the village constable, I came to the conclusion that a certain old chief, living some miles inland, was at the bottom of the trouble. Marching inland I collared him with several of his satellites, and hauled him to the coast. On being brought before my court the old chief fully confessed, informed me of all the men engaged in the various outrages, sent for them, and begged for mercy; promising amendment and good behaviour in future if forgiven. He then begged Mr. Fellows to intercede with me for them, which Mr. Fellows did. At his request, after I had convicted the men, I discharged tand, in the course of conversation about the Trobriands, told him what I had done in the matter of the offences against Mr. Fellows. His Excellency said, “You are like all young magistrates, a fool. Can you not see that, by your action in this case, you have given the natives the impression that the Mission can summon the Government forces, have people sent to gaol, and then have them released? Never in future allow any44 one to interfere with a sentence once passed; the Crown alone can pardon, you cannot, neither can the Mission.” A remark which I never forgot, and which stood me in good stead in after years.

The greater number of the pearls found at the Trobriand Islands are of a very pale golden or straw colour; and for this reason, though of perfect lustre, are not considered equal to those obtained from the larger mother-of-pearl shell found in the China or Torres Straits, or from Ceylon and West Australia. A certain proportion of the Trobriand pearls are, however, of the purest white colour; and these, if perfect in shape and lustre, are the equals of any pearls in the world. Some few black pearls are found in these islands, but not in any great number. There is a common and erroneous impression amongst people, only acquainted with pearls in jewellers’ shops, that black pearls possess a greater value than others. This is not the case. The most valuable pearls are those of a pure white, and perfectly round in shape, suitable for stringing as a necklace; the next a pure white pear-shaped pearl, sufficiently large to be used as a pendant or ear-drop; then come the button-shaped pearls, that is, pearls perfectly round with the exception of a slight flattening on one side, which can be concealed by setting in a bracelet, pin or ring. Black pearls in all these shapes are worth less than the corresponding shapes in white.

Pearls of a freak or fanciful and irregular shape, or fastened together in clusters, possess no commercial value; though in odd cases I have known enormous prices paid for them for sentimental reasons. For instance, a pearl-fisher in Torres Straits found a cluster of small and medium sized pearls in the shape of an almost perfect cross. This cluster, after passing through the hands of several dealers, was eventually sold, I was told, to some wealthy Roman Catholics for presentation to the Pope, the sum paid being £10,000; and the actual value of the pearls composing it, if separate and perfect, would certainly not have been £10. Pearls are sometimes found attached to the pearl shell, or bubbles of the pearly lining of the shell are blown out in such a way as to resemble pearls; these pearls are known as blisters, and are sawn out by the trader and sold for the making of brooches and the cheaper forms of jewellery. When mounted they are frequently passed off to the uninitiated as the real thing.