It is an adventure story book. As the rising sun had just begun to pierce the misty tropic haze of early dawn, a small, white painted schooner of ninety or a hundred tons burden was bearing down upon the low, densely wooded island of Mayou, which lies between the coast of south east New Guinea and the murderous Solomon Group the grave of the white man in Melanesia. The white population of Mayou was not large, for it consisted only of an English missionary and his wife who was, of course, a white woman a German trader named Peter Schwartzkoff and his native wife; an English trader named Charlie Blount, with his two half caste sons and daughters; and an American trader and ex whaler, named Nathaniel Burrowes, with his wives. Although the island is of large extent, and of amazing fertility, the native population was at this time comparatively small, numbering only some three thousand souls. They nearly all lived at the south west end of the island, the rendezvous of the few trading ships that visited the place. Occasionally a surveying vessel, and, at longer intervals still, a labour recruiting ship from Hawaii or Fiji, would call. At such times the monotony of the lives of the white residents of Mayou was pleasantly broken. Once a year, too, a missionary vessel would drop anchor in the little reef bound port, but her visit was of moment only to the Rev. Mr. Deighton, his wife, and their native converts, and the mission ship's presence in the harbour was taken no notice of by the three white traders; for a missionary ship is not always regarded by the average trader in the South Seas as a welcome visitor.