Hail To The Chief

Tavua becomes the Chief of his village.

Annabelle went for a walk along the beach, her feet bare and borrowed uniform trousers rolled up so she can walk in the surf. She probably didn't mean to wander so far from the American camp by herself, but lo - here she is, looking lost in thought.

Village life continues much as it has for years. Little bobbing shapes over the ocean denote the fishing vessels bobbing on the water as they ply their trade. Most of the men are off hunting or gathering, though a few of the tougher looking ones remain back to guard the village. Tavua himself is in the center of the village, looking concerned as he speaks with a little gathering of older males.

Annabelle sees some of the native kids splashing in the ocean, and only then seems to realize how far she's walked. They get a faint smile, and she watches for a moment before turning towards the village proper. A concerned look settles on her face when she sees Tavua's expression. She doesn't approach the elders, though, knowing that probably wouldn't be welcomed. Instead she watches from afar.

Most of the kids don't seem to notice Annabelle, she's sorta on their side afterall. Tavua himself seems engaged in his conversation, evidently leading the whole discussion, ~He is dead? How?~ he asks, to which another man responds. ~Explosion, killed him, while hunting with us… he just stepped and.. boom…. and… that makes you.. Chief…~ he says, looking to Tavua who is just at a loss for words!

Annabelle would no doubt be all shocked to hear about the old Chief, but she's too far away to eavesdrop. She does spot one of the women going past, and calls out quietly to get her attention. A nod towards the elders. ~What are they talking?~

The woman in question has a basket of fish and shells, peering up at Annabelle, looking towards the men, biting her lip. "Chief dead, Tavua new chief…." she says, "You not know? Step on rock, gone. Dead."

Annabelle's jaw drops, one hand going to her mouth. "Oh my word." She shakes her head. "No, I didn't know." She looks back to Tavua then. ~I'm sorry. Chief good man.~ After all, he didn't massacre the missionaries and put their heads on pikes. That's definitely a bonus in Anna's world!

The woman lets out a sigh, "Happens. He old, not many time left. Tavua good man, good chief, look after us, defend us, lead us." she says simply, her english almost as bad as Anna's melenesian!

Annabelle tends to switch back and forth between the languages as her vocabulary allows. "Aye." A nod. ~Tavua be good Chief.~ She hesitates a moment before asking. "Does everyone know the Yanks found Jacob's body?"

The woman raises an eyebrow, ~They did? No one told us.~ she says, ~Are the tan-shirts going to return his body? Or have they already eaten it?~ she inquires, evidently rumors are spreading.

Annabelle's eyebrows go up in an appropriately horrified expression. "Eaten it? Heavens no!" A quick shake of her head. ~They bring back.~ A glance to the elders, "Unless the elders want some of their men to bring him home."

The woman bites her lip again, "I not know." she says, ~I think it best that they do… bring him back, our people are nervous and suspicious of the tan-shirts as it is.~

Annabelle nods. ~I tell them. They bring back.~ She chews her lip as well for a moment, before asking. "Can you not say anything about it? Please?" Such a poster child missionary, encouraging deception. Gasp. ~Not want them think tan-shirts…eat…~

The woman peers, ~You mean they don't? They eat from.. metal… things… it'snot… people they eat?~ Ahh yes, eating canned rations, so curious!

Annabelle shakes her head, actually seeming a little amused in spite of the seriousness of it all. "No, not people." She waves a hand towards the village. ~Animal. Fruit. Like feast.~ At least one hopes there were no people involved in that feast. Ahem.

The woman nods, looking barely convinced, but if Anna says so, well, she's never lied, right? ~I will try to explain. I do not think things will ever be as nice as they used to be.. but maybe.~

Annabelle nods sadly. "Aye, I fear you're right. But we can hope, pray and do our best." She offers a faint smile, though. ~Thank you. For talking them.~ Looking back at the village, she lets out a quiet sigh. "Maybe someday this will all be over, and we can come back and teach again." She doesn't sound convinced, though.

The woman shrugs, ~Maybe, when peace returns.~ She admits. She strains a little under her load, ~Sorry, I must go and deliver!~ she announces, offering a bob of her head before turning to hustle off towards the village.

Annabelle nods, waving a hand. "Oh, right, right, don't let me keep you." Anna watches the other woman wander off, and her eyes drift back towards the elders. Unless it looks like they've broken up, she turns to wander back down the beach.

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