Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Visit to a Long-ago War

5 - The Island of Death

            The next morning, my wife and I walked the beach and I gazed across at Savo Island, some 5 miles distant. The Australian had told me that cannibalism and head hunting had died out at the turn of the century, that the islands had been free of it long before we invaded. I thought back to marines coming aboard ship from Guadalcanal, bringing Jap rifles and other battle souvenirs to sell to our sailors, who were a ready market. It would have been to their interest to spice up their war stories.
            “No painted native faces and bones through their noses?”
            “Yes, on painted faces, when they were working for you as scouts. They would have seen themselves as warriors. Bones through their noses sounds strong. Did you see any?”