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An affair which might be deemed worthy of a note of a few lines in any
general history has been here expanded to the size of a volume or large
pamphlet. The smallness of the scale, and the singularity of the manners
and events and many of the characters, considered, it is hoped that, in
spite of its outlandish subject, the sketch may find readers. It has
been a task of difficulty. Speed was essential, or it might come too
late to be of any service to a distracted country. Truth, in the midst
of conflicting rumours and in the dearth of printed material, was often
hard to ascertain, and since most of those engaged were of my personal
acquaintance, it was often more than delicate to express. I must
certainly have erred often and much; it is not for want of trouble taken
nor of an impartial temper. And if my plain speaking shall cost me any
of the friends that I still count, I shall be sorry, but I need not be
In one particular the spelling of Samoan words has been altered; and the
characteristic nasal n of the language written throughout ng instead
of g. Thus I put Pango-Pango, instead of Pago-Pago; the sound being
that of soft ng in English, as in singer, not as in finger.
R. L. S.
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